Submissions for the Contest are now CLOSED

Each submission to the Winter and Spring online editions of Élan are automatically entered into the Élan Magazine Art and Writing Contest.

One writing piece and one art piece are chosen by the judges. The winners are rewarded with a cash prize and recognition in the magazine, as well as their own copy of Élan.

For additional information and clarification, please visit our Contact Us page.


Our 2015-2016 writing contest winner: “The 10th Plague” by Terrence Scott

Read our interview with Terrence Scott on the role writing plays in his life.

The 10th Plague

Exodus 11:4-6
“4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again”

I’ve been counting the bloody grains of sand between
my foot and sandal,
they stretch across my heels like water.
These houses frown towards me,
kneeling on their dirty wooden legs.
Decomposing frogs sink their rippling bodies onto the pyramids
as dead cattle pushes their decaying flesh
up from the sand

The city lays across the night sky like a rotting carcass
But as dirty as the night seems,
My Lord’s great mind is clean

I can not question
what the Almighty has asked me do.
rather hold it in my lap, hands spread
like a mother holding the dead head
of her first born son
I will not be able to rebuild her soft heart with her baby boys brown hairs,
put together the handmade vase he would’ve broken
draw her a stickman picture in the sand.

The path breaks in two
And I imagine my brother, the Pharaoh,
Calling my nephew’s empty name from his throne

Red night drags down the village.
The desperate wailing spills from its
broken mouth
as my eyes stare from bloodless wooden door to
bloodless wooden door.

Our 2015-2016 art contest winner: Remy Cunningham’s piece “Traces of Lipstick on a Cigarette”