Different takes on a theme by Bay Area writers.
The Monthly is proud to present the winning entries from our summer essay contest. This year’s writing topic resulted in confessions, surprises, and compelling stories as different from one another as the people who live here.
The essays selected for publication are fine examples of expository writing that convey a strong voice and a deep sense of place through descriptive writing—what The Monthly strives for in every issue.
The field was full of memorable submissions, so sifting through the entries was a pleasurable, if not difficult, exercise. Thanks to all the Bay Area writters who participated. The Monthly will issue a call for winter essays in the fall.
Feline Replace Therapy By Margo Peller Feeley
A Berkeley writer muses on how one thing replaces another.
Answer By Robert Menzimer
An Albany father reveals a family secret about a previous mother.
Underpinnings: How I Learned to Love Unmentionables By Jill Koenigsdorf
A feminist goes lingerie shopping with her lover.
Clutter By Irene Sardanis
A retired psychologist shares how de-cluttering affects her psyche.
Please Don’t Feed the Narcissists By Stacy Appel
A Lafayette writer gives a graduation pep talk.
Getting to Om By Rachel Trachten
A Berkeley writer tunes up her vocal chords.
What I Don’t Talk About When I Talk About College By Kathy Hrastar
A criminal justice major talks about the murder-for-hire scheme against her.