Call for Essays: Common Shares

Image composition by Jonathan Tarleton; Madison Square Park image via NYPL; Stock listings image via Andreas Poike

Call for Essays: Common Shares
The Third Annual Urban Omnibus Writing Competition

Submission Deadline: May 12, 2014, 11:59 p.m. EDT
This competition is now closed.

The winning and runner-up essays, listed below, are now published on Urban Omnibus. 

Booklets can also be purchased at McNally Jackson Books while supplies last.

“A Commons of Unwanted Things” by Frederica Hill

Runners Up:
311 Complainer,” by Keith Engel
A Shared Life,” by Yen Ha

Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York
Lucy Ives, Deputy Editor, Triple Canopy, author of two poetry collections, Anamnesis (2009) and Orange Roses (2013)
Suketu Mehta, Associate Professor of Journalism, NYU, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found (2004)
Cassim Shepard, Editor, Urban Omnibus
Varick Shute, Digital Editorial Director, The Architectural League of New York
Caitlin Zaloom, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, Director of Metropolitan Studies, NYU, author of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London (2006)

Download a PDF of this Call for Essays.

Call for Essays
The third annual Urban Omnibus writing competition explores the topics of common ownership, private property, and the sharing economy. With this competition, UO invites writers to infuse the discourse around structural economic change with narrative, theory, history, or humor. In so doing, UO seeks to advance its dedication to redefining the culture of citymaking by questioning how we talk about what is public, private, and shared in the urban realm.

What do you hold in common with your fellow citizens, the strangers with whom you share your city?

What kinds of urban space, property, or merchandise do you choose not to own yet feel you have the right to use? How do you know what those rights are and how to exercise them?

How does living in a city affect what you own versus what you share? How does the city affect your perceptions of the distinctions between goods and services, private and public, material and digital, proprietary and common, ownership and access?

The jury will select one first-prize essay, whose author will receive an award of $500. Up to two second place winners will receive prizes of $250 each. Winning submissions will be published on Urban Omnibus and in a booklet printed by McNally Jackson Books. The booklet will be featured in the Architecture section of McNally Jackson this summer, and winners will be invited to read their submissions at an event at the bookstore in July.

Partnering Bookstore

Visit Urban Omnibus for more information about eligibility, submission requirements, and application.