Park Inn Leavesden Ticket Essay Contest: Pick a Winner!

Voting is simple. Leave a one sentence vote in the comment boxes below. One vote only, please, and anything negative will be deleted! Thank you to all of you who sent entries and best wishes to our three finalists —

First Contestant

… But the thing I love the most about Harry Potter, and the thing that I’ll always be thankful for, is the friendships. In that lonely time period, I had no friends to speak of. No one I could call my own. But whenever I opened Harry Potter, I had two of the best friends I could ever ask for in Ron and Hermione, a family that would go to the end of the world for me in the Weasleys, a girlfriend who loved me unconditionally in Ginny, and a whole community of people who accepted me for exactly who I was. In a time where loneliness and despair dominated my thoughts, that was the best gift I could’ve ever been given. It may have saved my life.

And the very best part of it all is that despite whatever else is going on in my life, they’re always just a page turn away.

Second Contestant

… Now, the last thing I love about Harry Potter. The thing that I find most important is the lessons I have learned from it. From Hermione; I learned that it doesn’t matter what people think of you, and that as long as you make yourself happy, others opinions aren’t important. From Ron; to never underestimate yourself just because someone is better at something than you, one day you’ll find something you’re truly good at. Lastly, from Harry; bravery, courage, and loyalty are things most important in your character, and that you can defy the limitations of your past if you try hard enough.

So, when I am old and sitting on my porch, reading Harry Potter again, and my grandchildren ask me, ‘after all this time?’ I will reply with,


Third Contestant

… I wept imagining what it must have been like for Jo. She created her saga inspired and guided by the alchemical process. As medieval alchemists were aware, steps taken to produce the Philosopher’s Stone can also initiate spiritual advancement for the practitioner. Similarly, writers could weave this process into their story and experience catharsis through that story. In this way, their work becomes a transformative journey for the writer. And then she gave it to us. I felt profoundly grateful when I understood how her work had likewise engaged our hearts making it possible for me and countless others to have a direct and edifying experience of Harry’s path to transformation and transcendence. I love Harry’s story and I love Jo for gifting it to us.

Following the triumph of Love over Death, waves of tearful joy and hope washed over me and will remain with me forever. For if Death is the last Mystery we question, Harry’s story enlightens us with the manner in which Love answers.

The polls will close at noon Monday and the winner will be announced Monday evening. Thank you, Park Inn Watford  hotel, again, for making these tickets available!


  1. Congrats to all three – well done – my vote is for the First Contestant.

  2. vote for second contestant, enjoyed the applying of life lessons

  3. Rebecca Rodriguez says:

    The second contestant for great description and original thoughts.

  4. I vote for contestant two because they wrote with heartfelt emotions and gave
    explicit examples.

  5. I vote for essay number three. I think it hits the sine qua non, how we deal with death, and captures best what I found most worthy in the series, a great ending.

  6. I vote for two because of the excellence of the descriptions. It was flowing and had me feeling as though I were feeling those experiences

  7. erika melville says:

    I vote for contestant 2! I love how it was so relatable!!

  8. David James says:

    My vote is for contestant two. I am taken back to the depth of virtue and the power of love within Harry’s journey and the life applied lessons to us all through the main characters in the seven books.

  9. Ashley S. says:

    I vote for contestand #2. Amazing!

  10. Contestant 2. It was written with such emotion.

  11. 7kidsintx says:

    I vote for contestant #3. The transformation experienced by the reader is outlined so clearly.