Two days into spring break, you might be wondering what exactly you’re going to do with yourself for the next week. Instead of robbing a diner to hang out in South Beach with James Franco and Gucci Mane's terrible acting, consider submitting to Quarto’s writing contest. This year, the nonfiction category is being judged by none other than Barnard Medal of Distinction winner Lena Dunham.
“Maybe it’s just about optimism,” Quarto’s outreach editor, Ikem Leigh, CC ’15, said about landing such a big name to judge nonfiction entries. “We had an editor in chief who was very willing about reaching out to a bunch of different publicists just seeing who would respond to us, and luckily she [Dunham] did and said she would be interested.”
In case nonfiction (up to 15 pages) isn’t your thing, Quarto is also seeking submissions of fiction shorter than 20 pages and poems (up to three) that are spring-themed.
Sam Lipsyte, novelist and chair of the graduate creative writing program at the School of Arts, will judge the fiction submissions. Quarto’s faculty adviser, Dorothea Lasky—whose poetry has been published in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, and other outlets, will be judging the poetry entries.
By landing Dunham, Quarto is showing that it’s not the only literary magazine on campus that can land big names—4x4, which was started by many students who worked for Quarto before a shakeup last fall, had its contest judged by Joyce Carol Oates.
As with the 4x4 contest, editors will be paring down the submissions that go to their famous judge. Dunham will end up reading five pieces that editors decide to pass along to her.
Quarto is accepting entries until March 25 and has a page for submissions on its website.