Yet again, we were blown away by the volume (more than 1000 entries) and quality (amazing) of the entries to our columnist contest. The decisions and debates were difficult and emotional.

All of which is why we’re so pleased and proud to announce our five prize-winning columns:

The Peculiar Arab Chronicles
by Nour Ali Youssef

History’s a Bitch: A Dog Walk Through Time
by Robb Fritz

It’s All Greek to Me
by MM Locker

Assimilate or Go Home: Dispatches from the Stateless Wanderers
by DLM

No Fear of Flying: Kamikaze Missions in Death, Sex, and Comedy
by Michelle Mirsky

Each of these winners receives a $500 prize. In the coming weeks we’ll be asking our readers to weigh in on these selections in order to award our grand prize of $750. Details will be announced on the site and via our twitter feed @mcsweeeneys.

Additionally, we’re pleased to announce our columnist contest runners-up who will also become regular contributors to our virtual pages:

Graphic Dispatches from a Recent College Graduate Still Living in a College Town
by Larry Buchanan

Dendrophilia and Other Social Taboos
by Dani Burlison

Gyros To Heroes: A Column About Sandwiches
by Lindsay Eanet

The Long Walk: A Column About Washington
by Alec Bings

Fading the Vig: A Gambler’s Guide to Life
by David Hill

American Policy Suggestions from a Chicago Sports Fan
by Matt McKenna

The Chorus Boy Chronicles
by Brian Spitulnik

Thanks again to everyone who entered! Look for the winning columns to debut in a little over a week, and for the runners-up to launch shortly thereafter.