LifeRich Publishing Announces Inaugural Reminisce & LifeRich Publishing Memoir Writing Contest Grand Prize Winner

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J. R. Nakken Awarded a Transform Publishing Package and Author Interview for “Confessions of a Martian Schoolgirl”

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LifeRich Publishing, the supported self-publishing imprint of The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., announced this week the Grand Prize Winner of its inaugural Reminisce & LifeRich Publishing Memoir Writing Contest. J.R. Nakken, from Tulalip, Washington, wins a complimentary LifeRich Publishing Transform Publishing Package and Author Interview valued at more than $10,000 for her winning entry, “Confessions of a Martian Schoolgirl.”

A coming-of-age story based in the 1940s and ’50s, “Confessions” focuses on the author—a glasses-wearing, smart-mouthed bookworm/outcast raised by her grandparents. In the memoir, Nakken recalls her many years of retreating into books and inner fantasy while her outside world became chaotic with abuse and ignorance.

"If I have a regret, it is that I was too thin-skinned to accept rejection slips when I was nineteen or twenty, and stopped writing for submission until I took a shot at age 65," Nakken said. "I encourage new writers to bite the bullet of rejection slips, to rejoice in the ones that have a hand-written note on them, and to practice, practice, practice. I am looking forward to the book publication of 'Confessions of a Martian Schoolgirl and Other Odd Stories.'"    

Calling the work “a fun and easy read,” the panel commented, “the author presented a funny, strong voice, incredible attention to detail and a dramatic distinction between likable protagonist and loathsome antagonist.”

“We were impressed by the variety of work submitted to the judging panel for consideration,” said Courtenay Smith, executive editor of Reminisce and Reader’s Digest magazines, and one of the contest judges. “It was clear that these authors poured their hearts and souls into writing these very personal stories. We’re pleased that so many writers took this opportunity to share their stories with us.”\

In addition to Nakken, Betty Jackson Whitaker’s “Rocking Chair Porch” was named First Place Winner, and “Fathom” by Michael Lee Gaff received Second Place honors. Whitaker received a free LifeRich Guide Publishing Package, with Gaff winning a free LifeRich Develop Publishing Package.

The contest was co-sponsored by Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.—publisher of Reminisce magazine—and LifeRich Publishing. Entries were accepted through August 31 and judged on the basis of focus and organization, content and topic, voice and style, sentence structure and fluency and other writing conventions.

To learn more or begin publishing with LifeRich Publishing, log on to or call 888-238-8637. To keep up on the latest LifeRich Publishing news, Like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @LifeRichPub.


About LifeRich Publishing
LifeRich Publishing is the supported self-publishing imprint of the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., in partnership with Author Solutions, LLC. LifeRich was created to provide all writers a platform for sharing their stories, recipes, advice and more. LifeRich authors will benefit from a wealth of editorial, design, marketing and education resources, specially created by Reader’s Digest editors for the enrichment of these LifeSmart individuals. Books can be published in print, ebook or audio formats, with additional distribution to up to 25 million Reader’s Digest customers through its online properties. For more information about LifeRich Publishing, or to begin publishing your book today, please call 1-888-238-8637 or log on to

Reminisce is North America’s top-selling nostalgia magazine, which takes readers on a sentimental ride back to the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, early ’70s and beyond. The magazine and its website celebrate readers’ cherished experiences with a collection of user-generated stories of friends and loved ones, cultural milestones and vintage keepsakes. For more, download digital editions for the Nook, Kindle, Google Play or Android. Follow Reminisce on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Reminisce is produced by The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), a family of iconic brands that celebrate reading, sharing and doing among consumers on print and digital platforms.

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Kevin A. Gray
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