The 2019 #MeToo Essay Award Winners

We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to make the The 2019 #MeToo Essay Contest a reality. Most specifically, we’d like to thank our fantastic judge, Tracy Strauss, author of the new book: “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet“, our dedicated tireless readers Irene Dewitt and Joshua Dykes, and most importantly To Every Brave Soul Who Submitted their essay, Thank you All!

This year’s contest submissions introduced us to even more dimensions of truth, with a growing section of male-authored essays covering male-victim abuse, reminding us just how broad the spectrum of abuse is. And, Memoir Magazine IS full spectrum, so we’ve created a new hashtag to encourage and celebrate our brothers in the struggle: #MenToo.

Several submissions were inspired by the Kavanaugh hearings and, like Christine Blasey Ford, we commend these determined writers for testifying in the face of crushing apathy. To paraphrase one writer: “She is us and we are her– accomplished women who (through no fault of our own) have found ourselves in a life-long fight for our lives .”

We were witness to many narratives that were 50 years past due, about the long years of fog and doubt, and a few writers even shared their mothers’ #metoo stories. It has been a huge privilege to see so many people who have finally found their voices after decades of crushing silence.

This reconfirms our ideal of the importance of giving others a voice and safe place to share. It is our hope that writing and sharing these stories will move us closer to a world where everyone are safe from the all pervasive trauma sexual assault.

We’re witnessing the birth of a new Sun through all of your stories. Your Sun removes shadows, warms cold and disbelieving hearts, and heals the wounded. THANK YOU for providing strength to the #MeToo movement and giving a sonorous voice to countless, speechless others. And THANK YOURSELVES for having compassion for yourselves in writing your stories. We noticed! As survivors, Compassion for ourselves is our greatest strength, powering our journey back to whole health- mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and giving us the courage to stand up and stop the cycle of abuse.

We are honored to present to you:

The 2018 Memoir Magazine #MeToo Essay Award Winners

The 1st and 2nd Place essays can be read by clicking on the links below.

The 1st place essay winner will receive our $500 cash prize + publication, the 2nd place winner receives $200 + publication , 3rd place wins $100 +publication. Our four Finalists will each receive a copy of the the judge’s new book “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet.”

In addition, the Finalist essays will be published in the following weeks in our ongoing #MeToo section.

Once again, we thank those who have shared their personal stories and in so doing have helped so many of our readers understand the scope of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. For triumph and uncommon valor exhibited in the course of their personal lives, we recognize them as follows:

1st Prize: The Fear is Real by Jules Carter

The Fear is Real is the first essay Jules Carter has ever written. Our First Place winner says she feels lucky to have been shown that her life is worth living and that she is not alone. She is happiest in the peace and quiet of the mountains. An English woman, she now lives in France where she teaches children to swim.

2nd Prize: A Face in the Mirror by Sue Gano

Sue Gano is a Pacific Northwest writer whose gritty, gutsy work has been published in Voice Catcher Journal, Six Hens Magazine, and Pithead Chapel Journal.  Her personal essay “The Rule Breaker” was a runner-up in the Women on Writing Nonfiction Essay Contest.  Sue has studied creative non-fiction writing at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon. She does her best thinking and most profound healing paddling a kayak on the peaceful Willamette River.

3rd Prize: A Tale of Two Sisters by Rebecca May Hope

Rebecca May Hope delights in reading and writing the well-crafted phrase.  Rebecca couldn’t imagine a life without teaching; her middle school, high school, and college students give her a chance to share her passion for words with a new crop of young people each year. When she feels the need to follow Wordsworth’s advice (“Up, up, my friend, and quit your books!”), you’ll find her playing with or rocking her grandbabies; walking her rambunctious ninety-pound Labradoodle on the nature trails near her home in Champlin, Minnesota; or pampering her softer-than-air Ragdoll cat.

+ Finalists

“Driving Safe” by Carol Gremli

“Walking Prey” by Holly Gibbs

“Listening for the Boys” by DeLon Howell

“Telling” by Amy Lutz

“Nothing Happened” by by Sandra Schmidtke

“Witness” by Lance Garland

+ Notable Essays

“No, Don’t Touch Me” by Danielle Hark

“Bubble and Pop” by Alyssa Sorresso

“SAFE” by Heather Holtzclaw-Stone

“How to Build a Hookers Army” by Vanessa Carlisle

“#MeToo For Sure, a Haibun” by Sharon Wood Wortman

“50 years To Tell” by Jenny Hickinbotham

“Quick” by Catherine Vance

“Subterranean” by Nicholas Tristan

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Memoir Magazine