18 January 2011

Call for Submissions: 100 Women, 100 Stories for International Women's Day 2011

Post date: 18 January 2011
100 women, 100 stories

The purpose of these stories, all written by diverse women from around the world, is to inspire, challenge, entertain and to provoke thought from a gender angle. They are stories of celebration, hurt, triumph, shock, humour, anger, remembrance and question. Each story transports and provokes the reader into a world of thought. These stories continue to remind in an entertaining and engaging way about the insightful problems, plights and pursuances of women. 2011 sees 100 years since the first International Women's Day was held so to mark this very special Centenary the '100 Women, 100 Stories' initiative was launched.

Guidelines for story submissions

Each story is an inspirational story in its own right. They are written by women for women and address lessons in life, wisdom, humour, achievement or overcoming challenges. The stories will educate and inspire readers opening their hearts and minds, grabbing readers' emotions. The stories are non-fiction, inspirational and are written as an 'ordinary women doing extraordinary things' OR as a 'high-achieving women with a public profile writing personally and informally about meaningful issues and events you have experienced in your own life'. Readers should come away from each story with something valuable, memorable or learnt.

Story style required

1. Simplicity and wider audience relevance are key so that readers can identify parallels in their own lives or be inspired by the stories of others.
2. The stories are personal and often contain emotion and drama.
3. The narrative is engaging and vivid, drawing the reader in as though they were present.
4. The stories are written in the first person.
5. The stories have a beginning, middle and an end, often concluding with a twist, a punch or life message that creates emotion in the reader.
6. The stories should be about a single aspect, issue, situation or experience rather than about multiple events, experiences, dilemmas, problems or situations.
7. The stories connect women regardless of race, age, location, career or ability. They make women feel more thoughtful and unified through life's experiences. The stories make women readers laugh, cry, be happy, be sad, be angry, be shocked, be inspired or feel compassionate. Some of the stories cover a rollercoaster of emotions from heart-felt sorrow, to absurd occurrences through to good old light heartedness and humour.
8. View examples of stories here.

Story guidelines

1. Write an inspiring, exciting, sad, funny or shocking story about something that has happened to you. Introduce the character(s) in an engaging way. Write your story in the first person (e.g. It suddenly dawned on me as I was travelling to Sydney on the plane. Instantly, I felt totally elated at the prospect of ...)
2. Write your story in a manner that will stir readers' emotions. Explaining your own personal emotions and feelings is very important. The 'tone' of your writing should clearly capture your emotion (e.g. frustration, joy, sorrow, exhilaration, anger, gratitude, confusion, elation, etc).
3. The beginning of your story should generally set some context and see some form of action. It should then include a dilemma or some kind of problematic issue or situation. Finally it should conclude with an outcome or result such as a life lesson learned, a resolution, or some type of positive result that is inspiring to others. Your story should be about a single aspect or experience rather than multiple aspects.
4. The word count for your story should be between 400 and 1,000 words and must not have been published already or submitted to a publisher.
5. There are some aspects that must definitely be avoided as our stories are not:
- a promotional piece for specific products, services or campaigns
- a lecture, academic article, biography or letter
- an attack on others or a means to have your say in an attempt to try to right wrongs
- defamatory of other people, libellous or slanderous
- written in the third person.

How will the 100 stories be selected?

Stories will be published on a first come basis, however, if this number of stories is exceeded then a decision will be made as to which stories will be run continuously on the internationalwomensday.com website as based on:

- greatest levels of readership as identified through traffic received per story
- a mix of stories from different countries will also be taken into account
- quality and engagement level of stories
- user voting may also be used.

What is the deadline for submitting a story?

International Women's Day is 8 March and the IWD website receives in excess of 1 million users on that day alone. Stories will be published as fast as possible in the lead up to that day so submitting a story sooner rather than later is requested.

Can I remain anonymous as the author?

Yes. Although it is preferred that authors state their name, due to the nature of some stories confidentiality of source will however be fully accepted as long as the story meets the criteria and does not breach the Terms & Conditions as stated below.

Can I edit my story at a later date?

Yes. By logging in to your 'My IWD' account, you can perform a number of functions such as editing your story, uploading IWD events, etc. To login, click here.

How do I submit a story?

Once you are logged in to your 'My IWD' account you can upload your story.

What if I have further questions?

Please contact us here.

More information here.
This blog is no longer updated. Please instead visit Writers For Diversity for new opportunities for women/ LGBT writers and writers of color. Thank you.