Frontline Stories Submission
Welcome to the private submission page for our community’s frontline workers to share their specific experience with the pandemic.
Whether they are stories of heartbreak, exasperation, and disappointment, or stories of hope, encouragement, and inspiration – we want to hear from you and so does our community.
If this is your first time submitting, please read this entire page first. This page explains the process, answers questions, and helps guide your writing.
The purpose of Frontline Stories is so frontline workers have a public space to release, share, and explain.
- As journalists, we too have experienced work under harsh and dangerous conditions, and we know how cathartic it can be to write down the experiences of a given day.
- We also know the power of conveying insight. Through your writing, we hope you can explain to our community of what it is like as a frontline worker, if only a snapshot of your experience.
- The community will also benefit when they read first-hand the threat of the pandemic, see the consequences of the destructiveness of those who deny its severity or actively go against the science, and perhaps hear practical suggestions for ways to make the system better.
- Hopefully, together we can contribute to a community that cares more for each other, takes this pandemic more seriously, and helps them better appreciate the sacrifice we all should be making – and that frontline workers make every day.
Editors may lightly edit your submission – for readability, format, and liability. It will remain a first-person experiential style, which we say resembles a one-person, written version of NPR’s StoryCorps.
Authors will remain anonymous to the reader, if the submitter chooses. Only the two most senior NowKalamazoo staff, Ben Lando and Ben Jones, have access to the submissions. We will work directly with you to make sure you are comfortable with the attribution.
Every submission must include
- Email address and phone number. We need this to ask any follow up questions prior to publication, and to confirm exactly what your attribution will be for those who wish to remain anonymous.
- Who referred you to this site. In order to maintain anonymity while also ensuring accuracy, we have created a word-of-mouth trust system. We pre-selected the first cohort of submitters, and authorized them to share this page with fellow frontline workers they trust. No one’s name will be public, but tracking who refers who is a way for us to verify you as legitimate.
- How you prefer to be identified to readers. For us, our preference is full name and job title. However, we understand that for many this could bring considerable job security and legal risk. In lieu of full name and title, our second preference is First name, Job title – for example: Sarah, RN. If combined your name, position, and/or the story you are conveying will risk identifying you, then either first name or title will suffice. If you feel none of these fits, please communicate this and we will come up with a solution with you.
- Your story. we want to hear from you about your experiences working in, surviving, dealing with other people during the pandemic while being on the front line. There are many forms this can take, including but not limited to:
- A vignette of something lovely that you witnessed or experienced.
- A real-life anecdote that illustrates a common or larger issue that frontline workers face.
- Stories that make people better understand consequences to their actions (or, when it comes to staying safe, inaction).
- Identifying a problem, either systemic, or societal, or specific to your line of work. And what would you do to solve it? Examples of what’s working and what’s not working, why, consequences, and solutions/ideas for doing things better.
Tips for best submissions
- Write out in MS Word, apple note, etc. Then copy paste into this submission form below. We journalists know the pain of a technical glitch that erases your work.
- The best writing will be focused on a clear objective, such as recounting an experience of the day, or identifying a problem and your idea for a solution.
- Don’t say it, show it: as much as possible, you are encouraged to paint a picture with color and details that support your objective. That will be the most impactful to readers and is the most compelling type of prose.
- Stay true to yourself in your writing, whether you are venting, or telling a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
- If you’re stuck in your writing, don’t worry, we experience that too. Feel free to ask us for help.
- Please keep your submission to 900 words max.
So long as we maintain your anonymity if requested, all submissions become property of NowKalamazoo.Our editing will be as minimal as possible. Our focus will be on making it readable, and cutting anything that could be a liability to NowKalamazoo. Submissions supporting or forwarding conspiracy theories and other harmful content will be immediately rejected.