Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
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Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Contest

Sponsored by the QPR Institute for the American Association of Suicidology

The stories of those who have attempted suicide or experienced persistent suicidal ideation have, for too long, remained untold. Due to stigma and taboo, the world has been denied important educational narratives. The purpose of the Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Contest is to encourage the publication of these stories of survival, hope, recovery, and revival. 

Writing must be: a first person account of suicidal ideation and/or attempt(s). The winning entry will focus on the progression from before the attempt, or the time of the attempt, until the current time.  The writing will describe impact on the writer, and will tell this story in a way that is accessible and understandable to the greater community.


  • First place: $1500 
  • Second place: $1000
  • Third place: $500

Deadline: The submission period for the 2019 Contest Year is now over. Please check back for the winner announcements in Spring of 2019.

To find out more, please see the Participant Guidelines

To see how the submissions will be scored, please the Judging Criteria

Winners will be announced in February of 2019 and awards will be presented during AAS’ 52nd Annual Conference in Denver, CO April 24-27th, 2019. 

If you have lived through the dark night of a suicidal journey and lived to tell about it, we want your story to be shared with the world, and with those who may be about to embark on a similar, possibly life-threatening, path. AAS is very proud to share the winning submissions to promote the message of hope, healing, and recovery for attempt survivors and those with lived experiences. Click here to view all past Paul G. Quinnett Lived Experience Writing Contest Winners.

Contest sponsor Paul Quinnett describes the importance hearing all voices, and answers the main question "Why a Writing Contest?" Read his own words here

Please find the Self Care Guide for tips and information on strategies for mental well-being as some of the first-hand accounts of attempt survivors listed on this website may be triggering.

Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide is also a helpful resource for the safe media coverage of suicide and suicide-related topics.

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