The 2013 LHJ Essay Contest is Happening Now!!!!

Home Forums Vaginismus Support Group Vaginismus Advocacy The 2013 LHJ Essay Contest is Happening Now!!!!

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    Ladies’ Home Journal is a community that shares stories — and we’re dying to hear yours.

    Reading all of your essays moves us to laughter and tears (and yes, our editors read every single one), and it’s so rewarding to see the outpouring of writing from our readers. We love hearing about your lives and remember your stories as we put out a new magazine each month. So, we really hope you’ll enter this year’s essay contest — the deadline for entry is December 6, 2013, and we are dying to hear from you!

    This year’s theme is “The Best Decision I Ever Made.” When you think back to a defining time in your life, it probably began with a choice you made. Maybe it was big (“I moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone”) or little (“I decided to chat with that cute guy at the DMV”). Maybe you didn’t feel confident about your decision at the time—or even regretted it—but now you can see that it had a huge impact on your life. For our third-annual essay contest, we want you to tell us that story.

    If you win our essay contest, we’ll give you $3,000 and the chance to have your essay published in the Journal. You’re free to interpret the topic in whatever way you like, but remember that we value creativity and clarity above all.

    Essays will be judged on their emotional power, originality, and the quality of their prose. They should be no more than 2,000 words and ideally typed or written in a Microsoft Word document.

    You can enter the contest by clicking “submit your essay” below and using our submission form.

    Or, you can enter by e-mailing your submission as an attachment (with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address) to or by mailing a copy to Personal Essay Contest, Ladies’ Home Journal, 805 Third Ave., 26th Fl., New York, NY 10022. Entries are due by December 6, 2013.


    Hi ladies. I think that the theme of this essay contest fits so many of our own personal stories involving vaginismus so well. “The Best Decision I Ever Made” was to be brave and have this treatment and be cured from vaginismus after struggling with it and praying for a cure for 11 years prior. Within 7 days, my husband and I were able to make love and now couldn’t be happier. I intend to submit an abbreviated version of our story as well as successes post-procedure and continued advocacy efforts regarding the condition and this treatment and think it is so important to do. I would love for anyone interested in this to submit their own stories too, and, if even one of us is selected, it is an absolutely amazing step in getting the condition more known and this procedure more in the fore front so people don’t have to search for years for it.

    Some thoughts and ideas concerning the theme of the Essay include:

    1) For anyone continuing to struggle with vaginismus
    a. The Best Decision I Ever Made was searching the internet and self-diagnosing myself with vaginismus. Here, you could discuss the back story of physicians either misdiagnosing you with vulvodynia or never even mentioning the word vaginismus. You could explain how they asked you to “just relax” and the impossibility of doing this. You could elaborate on the impact that vaginismus has on all aspect of one’s life. You could explore what has happened now that you have self-diagnosed yourself with vaginismus and are brave enough to face it head on. Do you have any further ideas here?

    2) For anyone who has overcome vaginismus
    a. The Best Decision I Ever Made was [and describe your journey of overcoming and successes that followed]. Do you have any further ideas here?

    I would absolutely LOVE to hear from everyone here and would welcome your comments and feedback so much.

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