If Tablet Magazine were helping sponsor a personal essay contest, and the sole prize were that the winner gets published in these here digital pages, then that would be alright, I suppose. But first place in the East-European Roots: New Writing on the Old World competition not only gets that, but gets to attend the 2011 Summer Literary Seminars Jewish Lithuania/Litvak Experiences Program, in Vilnius, Lithuania, with free airfaire, tuition, and board. So basically Birthright, except to Vilnius. And not Vilnius now, when it’s snowing and the windchill is set to travel south of zero, but in the summer, when I hear it’s quite lovely. (Second-place gets free tuition, third-place gets half-off.) You also get the validation of Phillip Lopate having judged your essay aces, which some might argue is the biggest prize of all.

Check the Website for the full guidelines. But most important: Deadline’s March 15.