This summer, ELLE Canada invited readers to enter our first ever competition by writing a 700 word personal essay on “the fashion moment that changed your life”. The winner would be selected by our judging panel, made up of literary agent Sarah Heller, Penguin Canada publishing director Diane Turbide, award-winning novelist Heather O’Neill, and our editor-in-chief Vanessa Craft. The top essay would win $500, and be published in the November issue (on news stands now).

The response was overwhelming, and we thank each and every person who took the time (and the courage!) to share their writing with us.

There could only be one winner, though, and our judges selected Genevieve Anne Michaels. You can read her moving reflection on fashion in a time of loss here.

We also excited to announce two (tied!) runners up. Congratulations to Jenna Hazzard (you’ll find her piece here) and Rebecca Mangra (her essay can be read here).