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About the Contest

Culture forms us, it molds us, it provides a lens through which to see and experience the world, and it defines us. Culture is an intimate experience; both deeply personal and unique to our individual life experiences. It creates the landscape of our lives and is all around us; it is the sky above us, the images we see, the people we meet, and the things we love.

But how exactly do we experience culture? How do other cultures interact with the culture we grew up knowing? How do different cultures fuse together to create new ideas, perspectives, and cultural forms? What do these new forms look like, and how do they define a world that is increasingly internationalized, with more cultures coming together than ever before?

Freely is pleased to announce our “Under Two Skies” Writing Contest in an effort to give you the chance to answer these important questions. We want you to write about cultural fusions that you have experienced, and how they have changed or defined you.

— This may mean reflecting on your own cultural background, and how you celebrate the different cultures from which you come.

— This may mean reflecting on experiences you’ve had living or studying abroad, and how you absorbed or learned about new cultures.

— This may be as simple as reflecting on the myriad cultures that exist right here in Philadelphia, and how these cultures interact with one another, share space and overlap.

What you choose to represent is completely up to you, but we ask that you focus on the idea of cultural fusion, and what it means to you and the people, places, and things around you.


We will accept all forms of written work, including:

Essays (limit to 1,500 words)

Personal reflections (limit to 1,500 words)


Short stories (limit to 4,000 words)

All contest participants must submit their work to freelymagazine@gmail.com by March 25th. We will then select three winners and award prizes as follows:

1st place: $50

2nd place: $25

3rd place:  A T-Shirt from the International Student Affairs Office

All winners will be announced at our end-of-the-year event on April 12th and you’ll have the option to publish your work on our website. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of students and faculty based on the following:


Representation of cultural fusion


Flow and clarity

Length (any submission that fails to comply with length limits will be disqualified)

Please direct any questions or inquiries to alex.voisine@temple.edu. Best of luck!

By submitting your essays, you are giving Freely magazine the rights to feature them in our exhibition and to publish them on our website.