Monday, January 14, 2008

Literary Jocks Do Exist

Clearly, I got involved in too much play-off football over the weekend. (Now that the Skins are out, it’s, “Go, Pack, go!” all the way. We even ate Wisconsin-style cheese spread and brats during the game.) Anyway, this caught my eye, so I thought I’d pass it along, bad football puns and all:


Called by some the greatest football player of all time, Bronko Nagurski, an old Chicago Bear, an original Midway Monster, would surely share his story with Sport Literate. A Chicago-based journal that’s been cracking literary skulls since 1995, Sport Literate (SL) is perhaps the nation’s lone literary magazine focusing on the creative nonfiction exploration of sports. There’s some poetry, too, but we want the truth. We can handle the truth. So consider sending us your football best. You may even make some money.

Football Contest: Nobody likes paying reading fees, but one person will enjoy winning a $300 first-place prize. Here are the simple rules: Send your creative nonfiction essay with a $15 contest fee. Put your name on the cover sheet only. The SL editors will comb through the selections before sending five finalists to special guest editor Lee Gutkind of Creative Nonfiction.

Timing: We are hoping our football issue will coincide with the kickoff of the 2008 season. Please have all entries postmarked by May 1, 2008. We’ll announce a winner sometime during the NFL training camps.

SL Poetry: Gives Ezra Pound a whole new meaning. Put on a cup for this one, Ditka, and send verse—metered or otherwise—that will make a grown fan cry.

Pigskin Best: We want this issue to be wall-to-wall football. So whether you’re in it for the contest, or just want to send a standard submission within the gridiron theme, consider strapping on the high top cleats, pounding out something artful on the Underwood, and running to SL daylight.

Interview: We’re also looking for good conversations with personalities from the game. In previous issues, we’ve talked to a couple of Chicago footballers (both Cardinal and Bear) from the near and recent past—Chris Zorich and Marshall Goldberg. Query with ideas for a chance to share your Q & A with a football hero.

Two ways to make the play by 5/1/08:
Go long with your submission by mailing a SASE and your reading fee.

Or cut inside with an e-mail Word attachment and the words “Football contest” and “[your name]” in the subject line.
Send to bill(at) (replace (at) with @).
Pay with Paypal at

Entries without reading fee will be whistled dead and automatically moved back to the standard submission pile.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.