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Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s OCD Awareness Week Creative Expression Contest!  We received so many wonderful entries, and it was hard work selecting a handful of finalists from all of the quality submissions!

Now it is up to you, dear readers, to select your favorites from the finalists!  You can vote for one entry in each of the two categories: 1) Writing and 2) Media/Art.

And the #OCDweek Creative Expression Contest Finalists for 2013 are…

Writing Category Finalists:

“From Worrier to Warrior [Poem]” by Heather McGraw
Description: This is a letter to OCD, documenting where it’s taken me in the past, how far I’ve come, and where I’M going to take us in the future.

“The Key to OCD [Poem]” by Gannon Myers
Description: Original poem written by Gannon, a 10 year old boy who is living with OCD.

“Inmate [Poem]” by Nidhi Shetty
Description: A poem that talks about my journey through ocd and how I fought it through coming out as a stronger individual.

“A Parent’s Prayer [Essay]” by Gwenne Gorman
Description: I am a parent of an adult child with severe and persistent OCD who has been homebound for 8 years and whose compulsions have created serious medical conditions. My child has chosen not to receive any treatment for his disorder, despite my untiring efforts to get him help. I pray everyday to be shown how to move past my own suffering as a parent of a child with OCD. Enclosed is a prayer I wrote that helps transform my suffering into understanding and clarity.

“The Letter [Short Story]” by Joni St. John
Description: In this short story, I wanted to show how dealing with OCD and its treatment requires strength, courage, and creativity.  However, the successes that one has when dealing with OCD often goes unrecognized in any official form.  By writing a “letter of recommendation”  for her son a mother voices admiration for her son’s achievements in a way that she hopes he will hear her.  So many times, those who have OCD fight and win their battles in secret, and this story was my attempt to acknowledge those hard won victories.

“A Search for A Self and Myself [Essay]” by Kelly Larsen
Description: My senior year of college, in a psychology class called “Selfhood” we were challenged with a semester long assignment of writing our Autobiographies. I didn’t know how to write my autobiography without including my OCD, despite the fact that still no one knew that I “actually” had it. So, as scary as it was, I decided to, for the first time, put down in words the moment when my life became my nightmare. This is the excerpt from my autobiography where I addressed having OCD and how it changed me to the person I have become. In the original writing of this piece, I never once said “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” or “OCD”, just alluded to it. I have edited a little because now it doesn’t scare me as much to say those words.

Media/Art Category Finalists:

“Martha’s Dance [Original Song/Performance]” by Danielle Berlin
Description: I have lived with OCD since I was a young child, but was not diagnosed until recently. Since then, I have struggled to find myself within this mess known as obsessive compulsive disorder. This piece, entitled “Martha’s Dance,” is an original piano composition that I composed in an effort to create a musical representation of OCD. Many repetitive and dark motifs can be heard, and there is a dissonance throughout the piece, representing the struggle to pull away from the never ending obsessions but always coming back to them. There is an allure that constantly pulls you back into the madness. I hope you enjoy and thank you for listening!

“Thank You [Song/Performance]” by Daniel Derrico
Description: I wrote this song as a thank you to the awesome people at Rogers Memorial Hospital for helping me fight through my struggles with OCD.

ERP sawUntitled Cartoon by Lisa Walter (click image to view full size)
Description: This is a cartoon about what it’s like to be in treatment for OCD.


Voting will be open all week, and we will announce the winners of the contest on Friday, October 18th at 4pm ET. One winner from each category will win a trip to the 21st Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles, CA in July 2014! View contest details here.

Thank you!


  • AHHH!! What?!?! I NEVER expected anyone would actually read it let alone be a finalist?!?! Crazy, I’m so honored !

  • Reblogged this on Spiders Have Feelings Too and commented:
    Guys, I entered this contest with absolutely no expectations and now I’m a finalist!!!! It means to much to me to even be a finalist!!!! But if you have the time, if you could please vote for my essay, “A Search for A Self and Myself” by ME, Kelly it would mean so much for me. It was something I had a really hard time even submitting to a bunch of strangers so being a finalist is honestly too good to be true.

  • Arlene Krauss

    Even though I didn’t make the finalists (boo hoo), I thank everyone who entered the contest sharing their struggles. Arlene

  • Kevin

    You are All Winners even though only one from each category can win.


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