Over the past forty years Ms. magazine has offered feminist reporting and perspectives on topics ranging from Marilyn Monroe to childbirth, from breast cancer to domestic violence. A group of Stanford faculty and editors of Ms. have selected forty Ms. covers from the magazine¹s inaugural freestanding issue in 1972 to today. Contestants will be invited to submit 150-word essays about one of these covers, addressing such questions as "How did this cover reflect or shape your own life? How does it capture an era, or moment from the past? How does it resonate with the present? What does it say about American women and men? About feminism? About sexuality? About the political landscape at the time it appeared or today? How does it reveal both the strengths and limitations of feminist thought?"
Entries will be judged on their originality, vision, awareness of feminist issues, and quality of expression. A group of Stanford faculty, Stegner Fellows, and Ms. editors will select ten winning entries, each of which will be awarded $100 cash prizes and a subscription to Ms. A number of honorable mentions may also be awarded. Winning entries will be displayed alongside the Ms. covers in an exhibit on the Stanford campus. Entries will be accepted starting August 1, 2011 at this web site, where the full set of rules and images of the covers may be found: http://gender.stanford.edu/