The Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing

Surveying the scope of critical art writing today, the board, advisory board, and editors of Gulf Coast recognize the significant lack of venues and support for young and mid-career writers working across the United States. The Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing seeks to address this lacuna by bringing exposure to writers who are dealing with the spirit of the age and unafraid to ask difficult questions. 

The 2021 Beauchamp Prize will be judged by Jenna Wortham, journalist and culture writer from The New York Times.

Grounded in both scholarship and journalism, critical art writing occupies a specific niche. The best examples appeal to a diverse readership through an accessible approach and maintain a unique voice and literary excellence. The Beauchamp Prize will consider submissions of work that have been written (or published) within the last year. A variety of creative approaches and formats to writing on the visual arts are encouraged, and can include thematic essays, exhibition reviews, and scholarly essays.

Gulf Coast differs from many other literary journals in its commitment to exploring visual art and critical art writing. The journal has always featured portfolios by visual artists, along with short introductions from critics familiar with their work. In 2013, Gulf Coast merged with the art journal Art Lies, a quarterly publication based in Texas with a respected history of putting artists, curators, scholars, and critics in dialogue with their colleagues around the world. This partnership has driven the journal to significantly expand its contemporary art coverage and reach. Currently, Gulf Coast features sixteen full-color pages of visual art features and twenty-four pages of critical art writing in each issue.

There will be one first place prize of $3,000 dollars, and two runners up, awarded $1,000 each. The winning essay will be featured in GC's printed journal, and the two runners-up will be considered for publication. For previous winners, see the sidebar.

Deadline: August 31, 2021

Entries for the Toni Beauchamp Prize in Critical Art Writing should be a single piece of prose, written in English, not exceeding 1,500 words. 

Submission Guidelines
-    Click here for online submissions accepted via Gulf Coast’s Submittable 
-    Submit your work as a single .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. 
-    All work submitted must have been written or published within the last year.
-    It is the author's responsibility to secure image permissions and, when applicable, reprint permission if the submission has been previously published.
-    The contest will be judged blindly, so please do not include your bio, your name, or any contact information in the uploaded document. This information should only be pasted in the “Comments” field.
-    There is currently no entry fee.