Meet the Judges for the Inaugural Narratively Profile Prize
Legendary journalist Gay Talese, groundbreaking book publisher Lisa Lucas and bestselling author Rebecca Traister will help select our grand prize winner.
The entries for our first-ever Profile Prize writing contest have been rolling in, and we're so excited to read all of your stories. But we're even more excited that the final round of judging will be conducted by three absolute icons of the literary world. And the grand prize winner will get the chance to connect with each of our judges for an intimate online conversation to discuss their writing future.
So, who are these incredible judges?
If you've been a regular magazine reader at any time in the past half-century, you've more than likely come across the work of legendary journalist Gay Talese. As a pioneer of literary journalism, it’d be an understatement to say Gay tops the charts as one of our writing heroes. His 1966 Esquire profile "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" has been hailed as "best story Esquire ever published" and is taught in just about every journalism class that exists. His story about Joe DiMaggio reminds us of what we hope a Narratively profile is: revealing and emotional, yet authentic and character-driven. The author of 15 books, Gay's 16th comes out this September. In Bartleby and Me: A Reporter's Life Among the Characters of New York City, Gay revisits some of the most fascinating people he's met throughout his celebrated career. We can't wait to read it!
Formerly the publisher of Guernica, one of our favorite online magazines, Lisa Lucas went on to become the youngest, first woman, and first person of color to be the executive director of the National Book Foundation. She's now the senior vice president and publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House, where she's become known as a fierce, trailblazing advocate for elevating diverse voices in books. Last year's New York Times Magazine cover story about Lisa's efforts to increase inclusivity in the publishing industry is an absolute must-read, as are all the books she publishes. And if you don't know, she also wins at Twitter pretty much every day. Follow her at @likaluca.
One of the most insightful journalists working today, Rebecca Traister, writer at large for New York magazine, has been wowing readers for years with intimate profiles of everyone from Serena Williams to Elizabeth Warren to Marga Griesbach, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who set off on a round-the-world-cruise right before Covid hit. Most notably, Rebecca has helped readers make sense of the head-spinning state of the world today via her National Magazine Award-winning columns on gender, politics and power, and her books, including Good and Mad and All the Single Ladies, both New York Times best sellers.
We're so honored to have Gay, Lisa and Rebecca serve as our guest judges for the Narratively Profile Prize. They'll each weigh in on which of our finalists should take home the grand prize, then connect with that winning writer to offer advice and insight on how they may be able to build on their story. Wondering what those conversations will be like? Check out our 2022 Spring Memoir grand prize winner's chats with guest judges Ashley C. Ford and Glynn Washington.
Excited yet? The deadline for submitting to the Narratively Profile Prize is April 14, 2023. Check out all the details and submit your story here.