Tell Your Story

If you have a story to tell, we would love to hear from you. There are as many stories to tell as there are survivors, and you can chose to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable. This story is in your hands. You can use it to say what you want to. We’re looking for submissions of up to 1500 words, and writing guidelines are included at the bottom of this page. We recognise that this is a very small word limit for some big experiences, and will publish multiple pieces by the same writer.

If you are stuck trying to find a way into writing, it might help to focus on one aspect of your experience. Don’t feel you have to go right back to the beginning and tell us what happened (though of course you are welcome to). Other ideas of where to start might be: the first time you tried to tell someone, the anniversary of when it happened, trying to access a service such as the police or refuge housing, or a memory that is particularly strong to you.

We are also keen to hear from those close to survivors. You could tell us about the moment a friend told you they had been assaulted, comforting a friend when they are at their lowest, or seeing the perpetrator out and about and not knowing what to do. Most of all we want you to tell us your story, not the story of the survivor.

You could focus on one of the above, all of the above, none of the above. The story is in your hands.

Submitted writing will be looked over by one of our editorial team to check that it fits the guidelines below. We will then publish your writing on the blog. We will not make any edits other than the ones listed below (name changes etc) without consulting you. We will finalise content for the zine in late summer 2013, and will contact all writers whose work is included at that stage and arrange for them to receive a paper copy at a safe address.

We are aiming to publish all writing submitted on the blog, but due to space not all writing will appear in the zine. If you would like your writing not to appear in the zine but are happy to be on the blog, please tell us when you submit. Likewise, if you are happy to be considered to appear in the zine but do not want to be published on the blog, please tell us.

Below are some more details on our writing and editorial guidelines. These are mainly for ensuring the safety of the writer and of everyone who works on the project.

  1. Word count 500 – 1,500 (with some flexibility)
  2. Don’t include identifying personal details such as addresses, workplaces, specific groups or organisations
  3. It is ok to detail what words were used against you or used in context of what someone else said, but we will not accept any language used against other people that is racist, homophobic, ablist, classist, sexist, transphobic or derogatory in any way.
  4. Remember this is for the internet and we can’t make guarantees about who will read it and where it might be shared.
  5. All posts will be anonymous.
  6. Any names used will be changed as standard for the safety of the writer and of everyone involved on the project. This will happen regardless of whether writers indicate names have already been changed.
  7. If you are sharing writing that you have already published in some form elsewhere, perhaps on a personal blog, be careful as to what identifying details could be traced back to you.
  8. We ask that people who did not experience the abuse directly, for instance family and friends of survivors, focus on their own experiences rather telling someone elses story. Only you can decide the boundaries of this. Please interpret this guideline respectfully.

All stories should be submitted via email to usingthewords@gmail.com

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