The Fabilli Hoffer Essay Prize competition is now accepting entries. This year’s topic is: “The end of civil discourse?” The contest is open to staff, faculty, and students. Prize money totaling $6,000 is available this year.

In a 1970 letter, Eric Hoffer let the University of California regents know that he intended to give Berkeley at least $10,000 to endow a prize for 500-word essays judged solely on their originality of thought and excellence in writing. The first prize was given in the 1970–71 academic year for an essay on the topic “The Modern City: Survival or Suicide?”

The late philosopher-longshoreman Eric Hoffe once wrote: “Wordiness is a sickness of American writing.” He argued in a 1977 letter posted on the Fabilli Hoffer Prize website: “There is not an idea that cannot be expressed in 200 words.”

This year’s essays are due by November 30, 2018, at 4 pm. Entries must be submitted in person, with a Cal ID, to 210 Sproul Hall. More information is available on the Honors and Prizes website.