The Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Competition
The Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Competition was launched in 2014 as a partnership between the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and Dr. Paul Quinnett, PhD, the Executive Chairman of the QPR Institute. The purpose of the annual competition is to promote stories of survival, hope, and recovery from suicidal ideation and/or suicide attempt(s).
A personal essay describing the author’s experience with suicidal ideation and/or attempt(s). The writing describes impact on the writer and tells the story in a way that is accessible and understandable to the greater community. Poetry, creative fiction, and biographies are not accepted.
- First Place: $1,500
- Second Place: $1,000
- Third Place: $500
October 6th, 2023, 11:59pm EST.
- Word limit: 2,500
- Font: Open Sans or Times New Roman
- Font Size: 12pt
- Spacing: Double-spaced
- Margins: Normal (1″)
Messaging About Suicide:
Entries must follow the guidelines below:
- Using “died by/of suicide” instead of “committed”
- Avoiding usage of “unsuccessful” or “failed” attempt
- Avoiding describing attempt(s) in graphic details
Writers must waive copyright restrictions and must allow AAS and others to reprint or reproduce the writing.
Confidentiality within the writing:
Names of any individuals or organizations will be redacted for the judges. We encourage you to consider having conversations with individuals who will be named since the story will be publicly accessible.
Previous Submissions and Participants:
Past participants may submit previously submitted works. Previous winning authors are not eligible to submit new or previously submitted work.
Ratings by Judges:
Our volunteer judges are professional writers, writing instructors, and/or members of the suicidology community. Each entry will be reviewed by at least two judges, who are randomly assigned. All entries will be evaluated on a double-blind basis. Neither entrant nor judge will know which individuals have participated in the competition. Due to time constraints, writers are not provided feedback.
Judges will rate submissions on a scale from 1-5. No decimal numbers are allowed. This is an award of points for quality, the better the submission, the higher the rating. The combined score of those judges will be the submission’s total score.
The rated categories will be:
- Increases public awareness about understanding of the experiences of suicidal people
- Challenges the field to think about suicide survivorship in new ways
- Good writing – compelling, engaging, understandable to a wide range of audiences
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enough by Shawnna Holweger
A Promise by Teresa Theophano
Hurt Child, Fractured Adult by Katrina Garcia
Moments of Possible: Queer Joy, Resilience & Community as Suicide Prevention by Silen Wellington
Fragile Like A… by Amanda Stein
The Survivors of Suicide: A Story of Transformational Resilience by Denise Williams
Flickering Light by Christy Curro
Are We Ready For This Yet? by Kim Bryan
Once Upon a Craniotomy by Ashley Boyd Fermin
Beautiful Swan by Olya Nakonechny
Something Like Happy by Daniel Garcia
Insignificant Moments by Ursula Delgadillo
To Feel Myself Beloved by Leah Harris
A Picture Album by Meghan Caughey
Suicide Recovery: From the Floor Up by Laura Mayer
Developing Power by Jess Stohlmann-Rainey
The Sentence by Kristin Drouin
The Wicked Awesome Wish List by Tracy L. Medeiros
Baltering from Bedlam by Ashley Loftin
The 5 Year Plan by Zachary Kluckman
Reclaiming My Voice by Emily Lupsor
Redeemed by Dese’Rae L. Stage
No Title by Tricia Ellis
How It Started by Helen Evrard