Ekphrastic Writing Contest

And the winners are: Click here

Areola Eyes – I’m a Baddie by Carolina Reyes: View and get started!

Guest Juror: Mairead Case 


Submission Fee: $5 for contest entry. You may enter more than once. One submission per entry.

Feedback/Critique from Mairead Case: $25 (Total payment: $30)

Deadline: April 15, 2021.


1st Prize $100 plus interview & recording of your work on our website. 

2nd Prize $75 plus video recording of your work on our website.

3rd Prize $50 plus video recording of your work on our website.

Honorable Mention: Video recording of your work on our website.

The winners will also be announced and promoted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Press Release and Mass Mail. 

General Guidelines:

Submit one written work, in any genre that responds, reacts, bounces off  Areola Eyes / I’m a Baddie.  Maximum of 500 words. 

Please format your submission double-spaced and include a word count. 

In the top header, please add the title and page numbers. 

Include the title AND your last name in the document name.

In the cover letter: Include a short bio

Selecting the critique option for your submission does not guarantee your submission will be selected as a winner or for publication online, but it does guarantee a summary of insights, and recommendations on your work.  

About Mairead Case

MAIREAD CASE (rhymes with parade; she her hers) is a writer, teacher, and editor. Mairead learns about and works in radical anti-racist pedagogy, embodied queer theory, narrative, poetry, the US prison industrial complex, and the public.

Currently, Mairead teaches English in Denver Public Schools, the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, the Colorado School of Mines and at the Denver women’s jail. She is also Associate Editor at Maggot Brain, a magazine edited by Mike McGonigal and published by Third Man Records. Mairead has been a Legal Observer for the National Lawyers Guild for over a decade, and keeps equity, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of all her work.

Mairead is the author of the novels Tiny and See You In the Morning(featherproof), the poetry chapbook TENDERNESS (Meekling Press), the TO THE TEETH column at Entropy, and, with David Lasky, the forthcoming Georgetown Steam Plant Graphic Novel.

Mairead earned degrees from the University of Notre Dame (BA, Great Books and French) the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA-W), and the University of Denver (PhD, English and Creative Writing; AHSS Fellow) as well as anti-racism trainings from the Chicago Freedom School and the Highlander Center. She has an RYT-200 through Courageous Yoga.

Mairead teaches, reads, and organizes widely, at places including the Poetry Foundation Library, the Naropa Summer Writing Program, the Public Media Institute, the Pitchfork Book Fort, the Bronx Museum, Neighborhood Public Radio at the Whitney Biennial, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Young Chicago Authors, the Chicago Public Library, and Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop. She was awarded residencies and fellowships from Ragdale, ACRE, the Wassaic Project, Seattle Arts and Culture, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; presents regularly at AWP and the Museum of Pop Culture; and has published in POETRYJSTOR DailyLos Angeles Review of BooksThe New InquiryPitchforkBest American Comics, and other places.

WordSpace and The Dharma Beauty Pageant are honored to have Mairead Case “all-in” as Guest Juror and Feedback professional. We love this recent interview with Mairead on the Largehearted Boy website. Mairead’s talks about her writing process for her recently release book, Tiny, and includes her playlist during the process.

Mairead Case’s Playlist for Her Novel “Tiny”

January 5, 2021

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn WardLauren GroffBret Easton EllisCeleste NgT.C. BoyleDana SpiottaAmy BloomAimee BenderRoxane Gay, and many others.

Mairead Case’s novel Tiny is an immersive modern retelling of Antigone set in the Pacific Northwest, a poignant exploration of grief and mourning.

In her words, here is Mairead Case’s Book Notes music playlist for her novel Tiny:

When I wrote the first drafts of Tiny, I was in my head, all of the time. I wanted to understand my attraction to death, and at the same time, to stop myself from haunting myself. I was terribly sincere about it, and so I embarrassed myself sometimes. (I also figured a lot out; all embarrassment means is that you’re blocked.) When I wrote the last drafts, I moved just as much as I sat, and my loneliness was no longer sucking the air out of the room. This process was awful, bewildering, joyful, and necessary, and I was never completely alone in it. As a result, but also because of the pandemic, I don’t remember writing all of the sentences in Tiny, though I do recognize them all as me, and I can tell which came from the Head Drafts and which ones came after. Each one needs the others to work. Recognizing this made me a better listener.

The key line was always songs. When I play this mix, which I built during all drafts, I feel it in my fists, my hips, and nowhere at all (in which case, I’m listening to the lyrics). I am not Tiny, but I think she’d hear these songs like I did, and do. In that sense this is also a mix for her. The Frankie Knuckles song is actually in the book, and so are X, Le Tigre, and Iggy Pop and David Bowie, though they aren’t on this playlist. The songs I listened to most while writing were Magnolia Electric Company’s “Farewell Transmission”; Destroyer’s “This Just Doesn’t Happen”; Julius Eastman’s “Stay On It,” which is a new medicine for me; and most of all, the Velvet Underground’s “Temptation Inside Your Heart.” “I can listen to myself.” My cat Hero now chirps at the swirling sounds in that one. I think she thinks they’re our friends, and so now they are.


1. “Untitled #1,” Pretty Girls Make Graves
2. “Young Lions,” Constantines
3. “Temptation Inside Your Heart,” Velvet Underground
4. “No One,” Jenn Champion
5. “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On,” Talking Heads
6. “Here’s Your Future,” The Thermals
7. “Yesterday’s News,” Gossip
8. “Learning the Game,” Buddy Holly
9. “Ashes to Ashes,” Jenny Hval
10. “bury a friend,” Billie Eilish
11. “Sock It to Me,” Colleen Green
12. “That’s Us / Wild Combination,” Arthur Russell
13. “The True Wheel,” Brian Eno
14. “Demons,” Fatboy Slim, feat. Macy Gray 
15. “When I Was Done Dying,” Dan Deacon
16. “Ceremony,” New Order
17. “Shark Smile,” Big Thief
18. “The Source of Uncertainty,” Tortoise
19. “Down by the Water (demo),” PJ Harvey
20. “Ha Ha Ha Armageddon,” The Julie Ruin
21. “What Part of Me,” Low
22. “I Am a Scientist,” Guided By Voices
23. “He War,” Cat Power
24. “Turned to String,” No Age
25. “Your Love,” Frankie Knuckles, feat. Jamie Principle
26. “Sketch for Summer,” The Durutti Column
27. “I Want More,” CAN
28. “Atlantic City,” Bruce Springsteen
29. “Farewell Transmission,” Songs: Ohia
30. “Real Death,” Mount Eerie
31. “Loner,” Dehd
32. “It Just Doesn’t Happen,” Destroyer
33. “French Disko,” Stereolab
34. “Fall Asleep,” Big Joanie
35. “Drone Bomb Me,” ANOHNI
36. “Slip Away,” Perfume Genius
37. “Tugboat,” Galaxie 500
38. “Unfucktheworld,” Angel Olsen
39. “Don’t Lie to Me,” Big Star
40. “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” Lucy Dacus
41. “The Truth,” Handsome Boy Modeling School
42. “Les Fleurs,” Minnie Riperton
43. “Stay On It,” Julius EastmanM

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