A Night at the Circus Writer Resources

The Editorial Board recognizes the problematic history of the circus (regarding racism, ableism, and animal abuse) and will take extra care in reading entries for this contest. We also recognize that the current circus industry is working on reform and continues to be a contemporary art form practiced throughout the world. Be sure to check the guidelines before submitting, because there will be resources on the historical context of the circus as well as how circuses today are striving for a more inclusive and anti-racist environment. Writers can write about these topics as long as they are acknowledging that they are not advocating for inequality in any way. The Editorial Board doesn’t want to silence any voices, but we do not tolerate racism, ableism or any other type of bigotry.  

While not required, the Editorial Board strongly encourages you to check out some of these resources on the history of the circus and what modern circuses look like today. These can help you understand the true story behind the big top and how circuses have evolved. Reading some of these may also spark inspiration.

The history of the circus

Modern Circus Resources

Additional circus resources from the Penn State Libraries

If you're looking for more information, head over to the Penn State Libraries and search using terms like "circus history" and or "circus studies."