2017 Essay Contest

The Dr. John Norton
“Failure and Success” Essay Contest

Download a PDF copy of this contest: 2017 FandS essay contest.

In 600 words or less describe a failure or challenge that you overcame, or a time in which you showed resilience, persistence, or determination.

My goal for initiating and sponsoring this contest is to generate a storm of stories to help others find their drive, their mission, or just their energy, to take those next steps toward success. I want to help reinforce and re-invigorate each applicant’s sense of triumph in how they understood and addressed their own challenges to achieve success. I also wish to encourage each reader with these awesome examples of perseverance, determination, and hard work to help them overcome the challenges presented by life. Schadenfreude is the German word meaning “to find joy in other people’s misery.” A commonly suggested antonym is Muditā, the Sanskrit word for “to find joy in other’s success.” We need a new word that means “to find encouragement from other people’s struggles.” After reading these inspiring tales of real-life success, hopefully you will say, “I’m not the only one, maybe I can do that too!” All personal stories and topic are welcome!

At the top of your essay include the following:

  1. Name, age, and either school (if attending) or occupation, Country of residence or country of origin

At the end of your essay include the following:

  1. Electronic signature under the release. “I _____ warrant that I am the original author of the essay entitled ______, and I assign “FailureandSuccess.com” perpetual use of said essay for posting on the “FailureandSuccess.com website,” use of excerpts for press releases and similar media kits, and the right to publish the article in full or in part in subsequent collections. I understand that I _____ maintain all rights to privately or publicly share my work, including the right to republish my work in other journals or publications.”
  2. Date signed (electronic signatures are considered valid)
  3. Parent signature (if under the age of 18),
  4. Email,
  5. School name and contact information (If attending),
  6. Mailing address, including country and zip code/country postal code
  7. Phone number

Submit electronic file (MS Word format) via the website: www.failureandsuccess.com by creating a new registration and directly posting it, or emailing directly to john@failureandsuccess.com.

DEADLINE: 11:59 PM, the first Monday in December. Winners will be announced mid-January. All submissions become the property of failureandsuccess.com and will be posted on the website to be voted on by readers of the site.


  1. One First Place winner will earn $350 and a medallion
  2. Two Second Place winners will each earn $200 and a medallion
  3. Five Third Place winners will each earn $50 and a medallion
  4. Ten (10) Honorable mentions will each earn a recognition medallion

All winners will receive a certificate.

Questions: please contact Dr. John Norton at john@failureandsuccess.com.