(9/1/16) I anticipate announcing a winner on 9/15/16.
I hereby announce a Five Hundred Dollar Essay Contest for a worthy reader response to my work. I do not mean “Wow” or “Incredible.” I mean a minimum of one thousand words explicating the themes of at least one of my books and how they relate to at least two mainstream academic disciplines. I would be pleasantly surprised though not shocked if a precocious teen or a literate engineer pulled off a coup, but the best fit might be adjunct faculty with multi-disciplinarian interests who deserve a chance to make five hundred dollars a day if only for one day showing off those hard earned skills of analysis. One day, by the way, is my estimate of how long it would take someone already comfortable with language like “Stevens makes disparate modern genres resonate with and even progress the history of literary criticism, the philosophy of mind and transfinite mathematics” to take this challenge and nail it to the wall. Others might take longer. A hint to those still interested, “Stevens fails” has just as good a chance of winning as “Stevens succeeds” because like any good-and-annoying liberal arts professor I am more interested in how you argue than what you argue. Engage me in a brilliant discussion and I will pay you to call me inadequate to my self-appointed artistic goals.
It would be up to you to acquire the texts. Prices range from free through Kindle Unlimited to $65 for the complete oeuvre signed and shipped through my author website. You have until August 31, 2016 to submit your entry to me as the body/text of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .If you win I pay you $500.00 USD and I retain the right to use your entry however I choose (probably but not exclusively for social media publicity.) If you do not win you retain all rights to your entry. If there is only one worthwhile entry that is where it will end. If there are multiple worthwhile entries I will make the torturous choice of one to win and, as I deem appropriate, contact runners up with alternative ideas for collaboration. I do not guarantee anyone will win. The decision is entirely up to me and if no one gets me (or rejects me) with an adequately persuasive argument then I am keeping my money. I also do not guarantee how long my decision will take though I do promise some sort of feedback by September1, 2016. That feedback might be that I was overwhelmed by the response and it will take me X months to work through all the entries or it might be that I will get back to both of you by tomorrow.