Who Will Be the Next Winner of RSN’s 21st Annual Essay Contest?

Your experience with kidney disease may qualify you for a chance to score a prize.

May 12th, 2023, GLENDALE, CA — Renal Support Network (RSN) is pleased to announce the theme of its 21st annual essay contest. This year, it’s all about creativity, and writers are asked to address the following question: “How do you use your creativity to help cope with kidney disease?” The contest is open to all people in the United States who have been diagnosed with kidney disease, have had a kidney transplant, or are on dialysis.

RSN’s Essay Contest was originally established in 2002. Since then, thousands of essays have been submitted by people living with CKD. The contest gives those who live with chronic kidney disease (CKD) the opportunity to tell their story.

Lori Hartwell, founder and president of RSN, says, “When our kidneys fail, we must embrace a new life and learn to live with the challenges we face every day. As individuals with a chronic disease, how do we deal with the bumps in the road that seem to continually appear before us? One of the strategies I use to cope with those challenges is to engage in the creative process. When I am involved in doing something creative, or even when I watch someone who is involved, I feel relaxed. It helps me live in the moment. We encourage our fellow kidney peeps to share how they use their own creative skills to cope with CKD. By doing so, they will serve as an example of extraordinary courage and resilience.”

Contest winners receive cash prizes: First Place, $500; Second Place, $300; and Third Place, $100. For submissions to be accepted, they must be typed and not exceed 750 words. The submission deadline is August 10, 2023. Winners will be announced the week of September 24, 2023. Winning essays will be published on RSN’s website, RSNHope.org, and will also be featured in RSN’S publication, KidneyTalk® Magazine.

You can read 20 years of essays by previous winners on the website RSNhope.org/essay-contest/.

To learn more about the contest rules and how to submit your essay, and download a flyer to share https://www.rsnhope.org/essay-contest.

RSN would like to thank their corporate partners who helped support this patient engagement writing contest: Akebia, Fresenius Kidney Care, and U.S. Renal Care.


The Renal Support Network (RSN) is a nonprofit organization founded by Lori Hartwell in 1993. RSN’s hopeful and life-enriching programs help people, and their families deal with kidney disease, whether they are in the early stages of the disease, on dialysis, or have had a transplant. Hartwell’s mission is to help them cope and give them hope. Hartwell suffered kidney failure at the age of 2. She survived 50-plus surgeries and was on dialysis for 13 years. She is now living with her fourth kidney transplant. Hartwell founded RSN to encourage her peers to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate this illness. To this day, Hartwell continues to serve as president of RSN, the leading organization in engaging people who have kidney disease through its vast reach and prolific library of documented patient experiences. Visit www.RSNhope.org to learn more.