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Essay Competition Guidelines and FAQ

Published onJan 10, 2018
Essay Competition Guidelines and FAQ


The MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab announce a call for essays on the topic of resisting reduction, broadly defined, for the Journal of Design and Science. To help support open access scholarship, JoDS will award each author of up to ten chosen essays $10,000. Selections will run in JoDS under a Creative Commons license and will be published in an MIT Press volume. Proceeds from the publication of this volume will go toward supporting open access publications at MIT. This is an open competition and everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal.

The submission deadline for essay abstracts of no longer than 300 words is 1 March 2018.

Semi-finalists will be notified in April and invited to submit essays of 3,000 to 5,000 words. All selections will be made by the JoDS editorial board and winners will be announced in July 2018.

Submission criteria:

  • An abstract no longer than 300 words that proposes a new perspective relating to resisting reduction.

  • Proposals should engage in and expand the conversation started by Joi It'o’s manifesto, “Resisting Reduction” and issue 3 of JoDS, which comprises essays on this topic.

  • Your name and email address, as well as a working title are required to submit an abstract.

To submit an abstract for consideration, please complete this Google form:


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Who can submit an essay proposal?

    A: Everyone

  2. Q: Can I submit more than one proposal?


  3. Q: What is the deadline for submissions?

    A: 1 March 2018

  4. Q: How long should my abstract be?

    A: All abstracts should be no longer than 300 words.

  5. Q: When will respondents hear back about the next phase of the competition?

    A: Selected respondents will be notified no later than 15 April 2018.

  6. Q: Who will be selecting the winners of the competition?

    A: The JoDS editorial board will be selecting both semi-finalists and finalists. You can read more about the JoDS editorial board on our About page.

  7. Q: What happens if my abstract is selected for the next round?

    A: Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit an essay that expands upon the ideas the proposed in their abstracts. More information about how to submit you essay will be communicated at this time.

  8. Q: If selected, how long should my essay be?

    A: Essays should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words and contain proper citations as well as any accompanying graphics and multimedia.

  9. Q: When are completed essays due?

    A: The deadline for submitting your completed essay is 1 June 2019.

  10. Q: When will I know if my essays has been selected as winner of the competition?

    A: Winners of the competition will be notified no later than 15 July 2019.

  11. Q: Will there be a revision and review process for winning essays?

    A: Yes, all winning essays will be peer-reviewed and copyedited by the MIT Press.

  12. Q: Do all proposed pieces need to be essays? Will other forms be considered?

    A: Judges will consider works of visual art, poetry, fiction, and multimedia pieces that engage with the theme resisting reduction in a new, creative way.

  13. Q: Who can I contact if I have a question about or issue with my submission?

    A: Please contact Catherine at cahearn [at]mit[dot]edu.

  14. Q: How can I share news about this contest with others?

    A: Please spread the word about the competition by linking to our [announcement page] and using the hashtag(s) #ResistingReduction #JoDSComp when posting on social media. Please also follow JoDS on Twitter at the handle @MIT_JoDS.

  15. Q: My abstract was not selected, but I am still interested in submitting a piece to JoDS. How can I do so?


  16. Q: How is this contest being funded?


  17. Q: Will there be more contests like this one in the future?


  18. Q: When will the MIT Press volume of essays be published?

    A: The volume of essays will be available in early 2019.

  19. Q:


List of Key Dates

1 March 2018: Abstract submission deadline (<300 words)

15 April 2018: Semi-finalists notified and invited to proceed to the next round

1 June 2018: Essay submission deadline (3,000 to 5,000 words)

15 July 2018: Contest winners notified

August 2018: Essays published in JoDS

Winter/Spring 2019: MIT Press volume published

Catherine Ahearn:

need to decide on this amount.

Catherine Ahearn:

all of these dates are placeholders.

Catherine Ahearn:


Catherine Ahearn:

Can someone phrase this better? I’m having trouble doing so…

Catherine Ahearn:

Thoughts either way?

Catherine Ahearn:

Is this true? Do we want to limit the competition to essays? How would this work with the MITP volume?

Catherine Ahearn:

Should this be for the first phase (abstracts) or for the whole competition?