Announcing RSN's 18th Annual Essay Contest Call for Entries! RSN wants to hear your voice! Submit your story by August 10, 2020!

RSN’s Annual Essay Contest provides a unique opportunity for people who are living with any stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD), including people on dialysis and kidney transplant recipients, to share their courage with the world by expressing their ideas, experiences, and most importantly, hope. And a chance to win money and bragging rights! With many of us at home right now, why not use this time to engage in the connecting power of storytelling?

18th Annual Essay Contest Theme: “Thriving No Matter What I can or Can’t Eat: A Happy Food Experience on the Kidney Diet”

Contest winners will receive cash prizes: First Place, $500; Second Place, $300; and Third Place, $100. The submission deadline is August 10, 2020. Winners will be announced on the week of September 21, 2020, and winning essays will be featured in RSN’s publication KidneyTalk™ Magazine and on

Read and listen to the 17th Annual Essay Contest winning essays:

“The Warrior” – 1st Place Winner, 17th Annual Essay Contest

You take me back To a time and place That I do not want to be That I do not want to face That is my worst enemy Where...

Cape of TRIUMPH – 2nd Place Winner, 17th Annual Essay Contest

When is the best time to admit to a deep desire to own a cape? A desire so strong, you have to pursue the...

Nephrons of Wisdom from a Kidney Shaken Survivalist – 3rd Place Winner, 17th Annual...

In the beginning I was a painfully shy, embarrassingly awkward, and endlessly imaginative little toothpick of a boy who was completely unaware of the...

My Mother’s Toolbox –4th Place Winner, 17th Annual Essay Contest

As a young girl, I distinctly remember my mother’s toolbox. It was a large black box that held a variety of helpful tools—a hammer,...

Yes, I AM: A 40-Year Survivor’s Declaration

I watch the young man, shivering, curled up in a ball at the end of the couch I'm sitting on. You hear about addiction,...

Wisdom of Warriors –Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

“This is Sparta!” If you have ever seen the movie 300, then you know that these epic words were spoken by one King Leonidas....

“Never Give Up” – Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

Some people may think that to win the fight against kidney disease requires a transplant, or they might invest their hope in the much...

The Art of War, Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

“From the neck up is where you win or lose the battle. It's the art of war. You have to lock yourself in and...

Bloodied, Bruised, But Not Broken –Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

Few people are born warriors. Most often, those called to battle are ordinary commoners forged into fierce combatants by the fires of tribulation. The...

Kidney 411 –Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

Welcome to Kidney 411! You’ve been involuntarily signed up for this life-long course because your kidneys have decided to slack off or generally cause...

Iron Warrior –Honorable Mention, 17th Annual Essay Contest

My name, Ferris, means iron, and after eight major surgeries in ten years my friends call me the “Iron Warrior.” The surgeries included five...

“We have created a following of amazing writers. We received over 100 essays from all across the United States. I read each one with pride, tears and admiration for the strength of my peers. Judging is very challenging, and I want to give everyone a prize. RSN has a committee of judges who help us determine the winners. It was so close we added a 4th place prize and have more honorable mention winners than ever. This year the top five essay winners recorded audio of themselves reading their essays. This new feature offers a unique, personal connection with the listener and has breathed spirited life into their stories. I am blown away by their narrating skill and how the emotional journey was evoked by their readings. We discovered an untapped talent!” says Lori Hartwell, President and Founder of RSN.

Read Past Essays

Hakuna Matata – Honorable Mention 16th Annual Essay Contest

When I was first diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of 23, I was young with no plan on how to cope with...

Get the Essay Collection Book

Book of Essays - Renal Support Network

RSN’s book of essays “Hope, Inspiration & Wisdom: A Treasury of Thoughts on Coping with Kidney Disease” is available for purchase.
Order the Printed Book for $14.95 or the Kindle Book for $6.99

Thanks to Our 2020 Corporate Partners




U.S. Renal Care


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