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Glamour Magazine wants your “amazing, real-life story” for essay contest

Magazine real-life story contestEnter Glamour’s My Real-Life, Story Essay Contest 2012

Yes, Glamour Magazine is seeking your essays for their annual writing contest. The winner wins big with a $5,000.00 cash prize, the possibility of publication, and a possible meeting with a literary agent. Not too shabby. The contest is running from July 1, 2012 to November 31, 2012. See rules for details for online and mail-in entries.

Update: Check out the 2014 Glamour Magazine Real-life Essay contest here. – ed.

What will Jane Smiley and other Glamour essay judges want to see?

Every woman has an inspiring true story somewhere inside her—and we want to hear yours. Is it about the time you overcame an obstacle, tested your courage, met the love of your life, or found your passion? Start writing it now!

A panel of authors—among them Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley—will help choose the winner. Our judges will be looking for strong writing, original style and a compelling story.

Glamour Essay Contest Writing Requirements

Be sure you read all the rules provided by Glamour before you start, but here are the nonfiction essay writing essentials that you will need to do.

  • Manuscript word count: Minimum 2,500 words and a maximum of 3,500 words.
  • Manuscript should be typed and double-spaced.
  • Manuscript should be formatted as a Word document.
  • Story must be true.
  • Written essay must be your original work.
  • Essay must not contain any “defamatory, obscene or otherwise unlawful matter or depict anyone engaged in any illegal, immoral or lewd act, any violent or pornographic material or contain any other inappropriate content.”
  • One entry per person and one entry per e-mail address.
  • Contest is free.
  • You must be 18 years old or older.
  • All submissions become the property of Glamour and will not be returned.

Read previous Glamour nonfiction essay winning entries

magazine writing contest

Angie Kim

It’s often good to read past winning entries so you can get a feel for the style, tone, and mood of winning entries. Here are three recent winners.

“If My Bullies Could See Me Now!” – Imagine starting junior high (that land of smelly boys and mean girls) barely knowing English. Laugh along as writer and winner of Glamour’s eighth annual essay contest winner Angie Kim gets her revenge.

Magazine real life essay contest winner

Andrea Coller

“I Want My Life Back” – How does a sarcastic, tattooed, music-obsessed, Tic Tac-popping, vodka-drinking 27-year-old feel when her cancer comes back for the third time? Angry–and determined to come out alive.

“I Drank and Drank, and Then One Day I Stopped” – For Adrienne Edenburn-MacQueen, now 25, alcohol was an escape, a party—until it wasn’t. Blackouts, lost weekends and a DUI took their toll, and suddenly she had to make a choice

More on the Glamour nonfiction essay contest

You have a couple of options for submission, so make sure you read all the rules.

Don’t forget: Contests are known for being sticklers when it comes to following their rules. Good luck and let me know if you will be entering or share your thoughts on this contest and others below.


Join The Classics Club. My 5 year 50+ booklist is here: The Classics Club project. Short story lovers, check out The Short Stories Challenge.

To find more links and shares, go to Down the Writer’s Path Facebook Page. Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

  • IMAGE & AFFILIATE CREDITS: Magazine cover and Glamour pink button via affiliate program; Glamour publicity photos of winners via Glamour magazine

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  • Megan

    Did they ever pick a winner for this one? I haven’t seen anything published yet!

  • Vikk Simmons

    Hi Megan, From their rules they apparently sent the manuscripts to the judges in January. I would imagine they have selected the winner but I’m not sure. You can ask for a winner list (see below). I don’t think they announce or publish the work until sometime in the fall in one of the magazine issues. You might start looking at the magazines as they come out or simply keep checking their website if you don’t want to bother to send a written request.

    12. WINNER LIST. For the name of the winner, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, within six (6) months of the Judging Date, to: Winner List, “My Real Life Essay Contest,” Glamour Magazine, 4 Times Square, 16th floor, New York, NY 10036.

    Sorry for the delay but my internet connection was down from all the rain we’ve had the last few weeks.