For the second installment of our twice-annual essay contest, The Monthly asked readers, writers, contributors, and essayists from around the Bay Area to submit original personal essays on those pesky things that rob us of sleep. Specifically, the theme was: “What keeps me up at night?” We selected our five favorites, although there were tons of other submissions we wish we also could have published. Thanks to all of the essayists who sent in their prose on this topic; the pieces were a delight to read. For our winter essay collection, we settled on takes from a sleep-deprived dad, a fretting environmentalist, a cheeky Austenite, a questioning daughter, and a wakeful woman whose mind won’t shut off at night. The Monthly also runs a summer literary issue with an essay contest.
Sleepless in Albany by Robert Menzimer
The Other by Rebecca Lawton
Confessions by Stacy Appel
In Defense of Mrs. Bennet (of All People) by Maureen Ellen O’Leary
65 Thoughts a Minute by Laurie Wagner