The Entries to the 4th Annual Column Contest once again managed to impress us with their number (1200 or so) and their quality (consistently excellent). The discussions and deliberations were long and difficult, but we have emerged with our five winning entries:

Big Mom on Campus: Raising Two Kids in a College Dorm
by Taylor Harris

God’s Little Acre of Diamonds: Observations on Travel Ball in Cobb County, Georgia
by Stella A.

Are You Telling Me This Sucker is Nuclear? Adventures in Atomic Tourism
by Anne Marie Wheeler

The 49ers: Oral Histories of Americans Facing 50
by Rob Trucks

Tractors Drive Themselves: One Man’s Return to the Farm
by Matthew James

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:

Going Where the Southern Cross the Dog: A Column About the Blues
by Jason Harrington

Getting a Head—Touring the World as a Giant Dancing Bear
by Daniel Falk

Position Papers from the Apple Pie and Machine Guns Institute
by Stuart Winchester

Thank you again for all of your entries. The winning and runner-up columns will debut on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency in the coming weeks, and we’ll be back with the 5th Annual Column Contest at this time next year.