Tell Your Story
Like what you’ve heard? Feel inspired to contribute? Have your own story that will help make the invisible visible? Awesome! We’d love to have you contribute. We believe firmly in the power of storytelling for personal healing and for building a more empathetic world - thank you for joining us in that mission!
Length: 3-10 min, spoken at an intelligible pace.
Topic: A story about something invisible (grief, PTSD, being primary caretaker, broken heart, illness, divorce, etc)
True: Your story must be true. (I'm not here to fact-check, but I will note any language that departs from your personal experience and asserts things about other people or institutions or their motivations, particularly if it is framed as an attack. Be kind.)
About you: Your story must be about YOU. For example, you cannot tell a story about your best friend losing her mom, only she can tell that story. However, you can tell a story about what it was like to support your friend while she was grieving.
Recorded in your voice: We want to feel connect to YOU, so please record yourself (if there is an extenuating circumstance where using your own voice may cause harm, I can record your story for you).
How to Submit a Story:
Read the tips below.
Outline, write or practice your story. (If you’re typing, its minutes is generally 2-3 pages typed, single-spaced, size 12 font)
Record yourself saying the story, in its entirety, using QuickTime or another audio recording software. The final format must be .mp3.
Listen to the recording to check for VOLUME, SPEED, and BACKGROUND NOISE. The louder you are, and the quieter the background noise the better. Closests are great places to record your story. If you have access to editing software, you are welcome to use it to adjust noise levels.
Upload the file to Dropbox, Google Drive, or whatever method of file-sharing you prefer. (Not email)
Label the file using the following naming convention: YourName_Shortened Story Title_date.
Fill out the “Contact” page with the link to the audio recording and a typed version of your story. Include your preferred email address, otherwise, I won’t know how to get ahold of you as required for permissioning.
Allow for 1 week for response time. Some of the time, editors will respond with suggestions for how to improve the story or tighten it.
Accept the edits you’d like, re-record the story and re-submit it.
If accepted, we will send you a form granting us permission to share your story. You will retain the right to share the story, or a modified version of it, in any form––such as writing or live storytelling. This simply authorizes us to share your content.
Return the form. We will give you 24 hrs notice before posting the story.
A Few Tips and Tricks for Telling a Good Story
Stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. Something has to CHANGE in the story (you, one of your relationships, an “ah-ha” moment).
Tell only one story. You have a super short amount of time. One incident may contain 100 stories - choose only one and tell it well. It won’t be your only chance, I promise. If you’re feeling stuck think about writing a story around a theme - like tell us about a time you felt: love, sacrifice, change of identity, like a fish out of water, disguised, distance, invisible, etc.
Be Authentic. Listeners are savvy - we’ll know if you are avoiding labeling that feeling or painting yourself as the hero you really aren’t. Be honest, even if it’s hard.
Tell scar stories, not wound stories. Listeners are empathetic, but don’t like to feel helpless. So, talk about something where you have some closure (don’t confuse that for a happy ending, happy endings aren’t always reality), and not something you’re still discussing with your therapist.
Bring us into the details. Add some meat to the bones, as my mother likes to say. Tell us what day it was (make it up if you don’t remember), tell me the color of the woman’s lips before you kissed them, describe the taste of hospital chicken, how your room smelled after being in it for a month straight. Take us into the sensory details, it’ll keep the audience with you.