Writing Opportunity to Have Your Voice Heard

In Our Own Words: Standing Up

Have you ever stood up for yourself? For someone else? For a cause you believe in? Have you ever gotten back on your feet after being knocked down? Do you have a story about assuming leadership? About keeping integrity in a difficult situation?

We are back with a new call for entries for our popular My Story department, this time on the topic of “Standing Up.”

We invite you to submit your own personal story about “Standing Up”—however you interpret this phrase—for a chance to be published in our upcoming print magazine, themed Uprising. Selected entries will be featured in My Story, the section of World Pulse Magazine where women around the world share their personal stories describing pivotal experiences in their lives, in their own words.

Everyone who participates will self-publish their story on our social networking website, PulseWire, and 6-8 stories will be chosen for publication in the Summer/Fall 2011 edition of World Pulse Magazine. The top three stories, in addition to being published, will receive a $100 honorarium and everyone whose stories are chosen for publication will receive a copy of the magazine.

My Story Guidelines

Helpful Hints

Here are some tips to boost your chances of getting your story published:

For an idea of what we’re looking for, check out the top three submissions from last edition’s theme “Miracles":

Angelique Gatsinzi: Unchained Miracles
Bhavya: Here I Am, A Woman.
Parwana Fayyaz: March 8, 1990

We look forward to reading your story about Standing Up. Thank you for joining us and sharing your voice with the world!

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How to Participate

1. Join PulseWire

If you're not already a member, join PulseWire, World Pulse's online community of grassroots women leaders and supporters of women's initiatives from 180 countries.

Join now! »

2. Submit your story

Post your 400 words or less story to your personal journal. The topic is Standing Up. We encourage creative interpretations of this general theme, but the piece must be non-fiction.

  • Go to "My Pulse" on the top navigation bar. Select "Post to Journal."
  • Choose a creative title for your post.
  • In the "Tags" field, enter MyStoryStandingUp
  • Write your submission in the journal entry field.
  • Click "Submit" and you're done!

Submit your story »

3. Support your community

Read your fellow PulseWire members' storie for some inspiration. Offer a comment to further the dialogue by asking questions, adding your opinion, or simply showing support.

Dive In »

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I count the words in my story?
A: You can use the free online tool at Word Count Tool. If you are using Microsoft Word, highlight and select the text of your story. Click on "Tools" in the top menu, then select "Word Count" from the drop-down menu.

Q: Do I need to write My Story in English?
A: At this time we are unable to read all submissions in all languages. The primary language for submission is English. However, if your language is represented in our translation tool, our community can use it to read your story. To find out, locate the "Translate Page" box on the top right of the page. If your language is there, you may write in your native language.

We look forward to welcoming many more languages in the future!

Q: Will my writing be edited?
A: Due to space constraints in the print magazine, World Pulse editors may have to edit your piece for length, clarity or content.

Q: How will the stories published in the magazine be chosen?
A: Submissions must follow all the given Submissions Guidelines. Preference will be given to unique, honest, personal, creative stories that showcase the true-life stories of women and their allies. The World Pulse editorial team reserves all rights to final decision making.

Q: I'm not sure how to use some of the PulseWire functions. Can you help me?
A: For an overview of the PulseWire site, please visit our General FAQ page here: Site Help/FAQ

Q: Who do I contact with additional questions about My Story?
A: You can submit questions to our Online Community Assistant, Breese McIlvaine, at breese@worldpulse.com

Sample Submission

Please take a moment to read through this wonderful example of a My Story submission, from our first My Story submission process on the topic of Land:

After we were orphaned, my sister and I were denied the right to inherit my father's property. I remember one evening when we were evicted mercilessly from my father’s house in Nairobi. My paternal uncles claimed they had rightful ownership, and that we should forget about anything left behind by our parents. In their words, “He was your father but he was our brother.” They greedily—and legally—accumulated all of the property for themselves.

Upon the death of a husband or father, many female-headed households are displaced from matrimonial and ancestral land. Because children’s rights are linked to the mother, and there is no law protecting widows and orphans, many female-headed households lose property and inheritances to relatives. Like ferocious beasts waiting to grab their prey, relatives develop wait to grab anything in sight when they learn that one is infected with HIV. After all, the sentence of HIV/AIDS is well known to be death. Girls are particularly denied the right to inherit because it is assumed that they shall marry elsewhere and transfer inherited property to other clans.

It is time now for governments, organizations, men, and women of goodwill to cut the root of misery and devastation this pandemic causes on children. Let us find a cure for HIV/AIDS. Let us give children whose parents fall victim to HIV/AIDS, the right to live in dignity.

mamaAfrica, Kenya.