How experimental are we allowed to be? Are we allowed to incorporate moments of fiction and fiction techniques in certain areas, so long as any fictive leaps are clearly marked out as such?
You're allowed to be as experimental as you want! Certainly it's a 'nonfiction' prize, but I'm sure you know this is very contested territory. Oliver Mol, our inaugural co-winner, incorporated fiction in his entry, and we've had experimental pieces shortlisted in the past, and would be happy to see experimental pieces this year. Over all, we hope to see a variety of ambitious, daring, and thought-provoking work on a variety of topics, with a range of styles and approaches. –David.
What do we do about referencing if required? Is there a certain format wanted with secondary sources?
References aren't required for a submission to be eligible, of course, and we certainly don't have rules about how we want them to appear. We're more concerned with writing quality and expression of ideas. If you feel they should be included, however, just make sure that they're consistent and not intrusive to the reading experience.
A good thing to keep in mind: references are included in the 5-10K word limit for the prize, so if you feel they're important enough to use up some of the word count, then go for it! –Lesley
Is there a specific way we need to have the manuscript formatted (beyond 'neatly typed and double-spaced')?
No, as long as it's legible and you've expressed yourself clearly, we want to read it –Lesley
In terms of structure/scope, should the piece in some way demonstrate that it has the potential to expand beyond the 5-10K words for the entry into a longer exploration of the topic or theme (e.g. by leaving some questions open)? Or should the focus be on a complete piece within the word count as much as possible?
We'd love to be able to develop a manuscript with a young writer as a result of this prize, and to foster young writers' careers, but there are no concrete rules about whether it's a complete story or not. The thing to consider is whether the narrative you're constructing is compelling enough on its own terms within the word limit. So basically it's up to how long you need to tell the narrative you went to tell. That age-old adage about letting the story speak for itself. –Lesley
And a bonus insight, Scribe senior editor Julia Carlomagno shared what themes she’d like to read about in this year’s submissions:
Anything on politics and the implications of entering a 'post-truth age', cultural diversity, the ways in which the internet is shaping the brain, the rise of automation, as well as strongly voice-driven personal stories.
We would particularly encourage female-identifying writers and writers from regional areas.
The Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers closes on Sunday 10 September. If you haven't found the answer to your question above, check out our Q&A insights from last year.
Further questions can be directed to either Scribe at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Express Media at email@example.com
Good luck with your manuscripts — we look forward to reading them!