#Recovery Essay Contest Winners Announcement

Congratulations to everyone who submitted to the 2018 Memoir Magazine #Recovery Essay Contest! Thank you for sharing a part of your journey with us. We’d also like to thank our staff, readers, and supporters who made this contest possible.

Recovery. Getting back to a baseline. Most often when we think of recovery we think of drug addiction or rx addiction or illness, but any kind of imbalance (emotional, physical, spiritual, psychological) can require recovery, grief, dis-ease, loss, addiction. These are just a few examples of the wide variety of subject matter we encountered during this contest. Perhaps most astonishing has been discovering the many different ways there are to heal. We had a heck of a time choosing from so much exceptional writing and so many  inspiring accounts of resilience.

We hope these stories will enlighten and inspire you to greater empathy for yourself and others–as hard times surely come to us all on this epic human journey, and maybe, something in these stories might help you make it through. It has been a privilege to read them and may they contribute to a new dialogue on human trauma and healing.

Thanks for reading. Here are our winners below.

Sincerely Yours in Truth,

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Memoir Magazine

The 2018 Memoir Magazine #Recovery Essay Award Winners

The winning essays can be read by clicking on the links below.

1st Prize: How to Tell a Healing Story by Cameron Shenassa

“I have a student who is failing my class. He wants to be writer, but he comes to me and tells me that he can’t write because he is depressed. He is wearing pajama pants, the same ones he usually wears to my class, and which make me uncomfortable.”

Cameron Shenassa is a writer and instructional designer from Chicago. His stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in Electric Literature, Hobart, PANK, and others. He is a dual citizen of the US and Luxembourg.

2nd Prize: Losing My Words by Evelyn Krieger

“If recovery means you are no longer sick, or even that you are simply functioning again, then perhaps I have recovered.”

Evelyn Krieger is a writer and educational consultant in the Boston area. She is the author of the award-winning YA novel, One Is Not A Lonely Number. Her writing has appeared in Hippocampus, Lilith, Grown & Flown, Tablet Magazine, Gemini, Family Circle, and other publications. A shorter version of her essay “Losing My Words” was published by Sunlight Press online journal, July 2017.

3rd Prize: Being the Lie by R.J. Roberts

“Everyone in rehab has a very serious neck injury. It’s the hardest injury for doctors to accurately diagnose, even with modern MRIs and cat scans, the neck is so complex and impenetrable to scanning technology that it’s hard to tell if anyone genuinely has one or not. “
R.J. Roberts says he fell asleep with a booze bottle for about fifteen years and is now living the dream of working a dead end spirit devouring job and being a starving artist. He recently finished a novel about addiction that he hopes to get published. He’s been previously published in The Oddville Press. He enjoys car fires and the Cleveland Browns.


These Finalists essays are so insanely good and powerfully relevant that we will be publishing them over the next few weeks in a special Drip Edition. Look out for more #Recovery essays from these authors:

Father Figured by Laura Carey
A Week Among the Rest by Justin Neff
Wildflowers by Rhea Lewitzki
dermatilloManiac by Nicole Junior
Little One by Lisa Hayes-Minney

Notable Essays:

Fire On the Mountain by Elizabeth Jannuzzi
Remembering Death by Optimism One
A Morning’s Choice by Kirsten Lagatree
Writing About Danger and Death After Combat as Therapy by Robert Robeson

Go ahead and Leave Feedback about this essay for a reply from the author.

Memoir Magazine