We host an annual personal essay contest.

I wrote my first story at the age of five, a retelling of the Icarus myth titled I have worked as a documentary film producer, a radio producer, and a college writing professor. I now devote myself to writing fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, and personal essays. I have been published and received awards in the Locutorium, the BYU Studies Personal Essay Contest, the Meeting of the Myths, Four Centuries of Mormon Stories, the Mormon Lit Blitz, and the Tempe Community Writing contest. (Most of these stories and essays are available online–see my page.)

04/13/2015  – Personal Essay Contest

Liz Windhorst Harmer lives with her philosopher husband and three young daughters in Hamilton, Ontario. One of her stories appeared in Little Fiction and another was shortlisted for the 2013 Vanderbilt/Exile Award; her essay, "Pain," was first runner-up for the 2013 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest and is forthcoming in The New Quarterly. She is working on a novel and an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.


2nd Annual Shriners International Personal Essay Contest

Who Are These Guys? 2nd Annual Shriners International Personal Essay Contest

Tiny Lights: A Journal of Personal Narrative began in 1995 as a personal essay contest. Fifty adventurous writers paid the $5 entry fee, which barely covered the $245 I offered as prize money. I made 150 copies of the six-page journal and mailed them to everyone I could think of. To my relief and delight, the world responded with money, offers of help and encouragement. I ended up with just enough to cover the remaining costs, and the inspiration to put out another issue six months later. That's been the way of it ever sincea series of small investments that have led to ever-increasing dividends.

Tiny Lights continues grow and generate new marvels. In August 2002, we launched a writer's exchange called . October of 2003 brought , a column for those otherwise unclassifiable nuggets of literary gold. arrived in 2007, along with a separate contest category for "Flash" essays of fewer than 1,000 words. 2008 saw the arrival of Paypal and our free monthly e-letter called Sparks: News and Notes.

We hope you will join us on a regular basis, as a subscriber to the hard copy edition, the free monthly email newsletter, and a contributor to the website. Tiny Lights is your place to shine. Help us keep the lights on.