Advice for the next chancellor? Keep it short and win Fabilli Hoffer Essay Prize

Got some advice for the new chancellor? If so, you have a chance to win the Lily Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Essay Prize, given annually at UC Berkeley.

But you’ll need to keep your suggestions concise and to the point: The prize is all about brevity, and winning entries must be 500 words or fewer. The contest is open to students, faculty and staff, and the deadline for submission is Jan. 20, 2017, at 4 p.m.

The contest has its roots in the work of American social writer Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer among other books, who endowed it 1970. Hoffer valued brevity. His 1977 note about the prize, posted on the prize website, reads in part: “Wordiness is a sickness of American writing. Too many words dilute and blur ideas.” Many of Hoffer’s papers were bequeathed to Lili Fabilli Osborne, a family friend.

More information about the contest, including links to winning essays from the last five years, is posted on the prize website.