2019 Essay Contest Rules for Submission

This year, there are two O'Brien House Essay Contests: one for Louisiana high school students and one for adults currently participating in addiction recovery in the state of Louisiana. All high school students must be currently enrolled in high school in either 2019 or 2010 in the state of Louisiana in grades 9-12 (this includes students who are homeschooled). Only one (1) submission per student is allowed. The deadline for submissions is September 1st, 2019. Any person currently participating in an addiction recovery program can submit an essay. Submissions for those adults in recovery are limited to one essay per adult.

Applicants must submit a typed essay (1,000–1,500 words) answering the following questions:

For both teens and adults, please address as many of the essay prompts as possible as they apply to your story. Strive to tell your story in a strong, narrative form, and be honest. 

Note: Teens may tell either a story about his/her own addiction or the story of a loved one’s journey with addiction. Adults must tell their own story about addiction and recovery.

  •  What significant event(s) occurred in your (teens: or your loved one’s life) that you feel affected your journey with/through addiction? 

  •  Share your personal journey.

  •  How has addiction impacted you and your family? Your life perspective? What will you do differently now as a result of living through this? Do you feel adequate resources were available to help you and your family?

The essay must state the word count and must include the writer's full name (both first and last name), along with either his or her:

a) high school and grade or b) name and address of recovery center

plus the entrant's email address, phone number, and permanent address.

The winning applicants will be determined based on the essay content, style and originality. Judges are looking for logically organized and creative essays.

Essays must be submitted in one of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word Document

  • Adobe PDF

Essays must be emailed to the following email address:


Deadline for submission is September 1st, 2019. 

Winners will be notified individually by email prior to the annual breakfast and recognized in person at the annual breakfast. At least the first place winner will be asked to read his/her winning essay at the annual breakfast in September.