Each month we explore place through the lens of a different theme.
YAH is currently on Sabbatical, but please explore our website by enjoying the stories organized by previous themes.
Hope & Place (December 2016)—stories that explore places where a particular hope has been planted, longed for, realized, or lost (or perhaps the hope itself is directly tied to a place).
History & Place (November 2016)—stories about personal experiences with places that have impacted history, either on an individual, community, national, or global level.
Secret Places (October 2016)—stories about secret places you’ve had or still have—places that cultivate private spaces within you, or are somehow woven with mystery.
Time & Place (September 2016)—stories about how specific places have meant different things over time, about how your relationship to a place and role in it have changed, and about places where aging and the passage of time seem to slow down or speed up.
Gender & Place (August 2016)—stories that explore how cultural and personal expectations around gender impact your experience in certain places.
Iconic Place (July 2016)—stories about personal experiences in places that are either widely thought of as iconic (ie: the Grand Canyon or Vietnam Wall) or have become iconic to you and/or your family or friends.
Sound & Place (June 2016)—stories about places that are defined in our memories and experiences by how they sound—places you could identify in a heartbeat even with your eyes closed.
Food & Place (May 2016)—stories about growing, preparing, sharing, and enjoying food. (An encore of this blog’s very first theme in November 2014!)
Reclaiming Place (April 2016)—stories about rediscovering places that were somehow lost to us over time, or reclaiming places we chose to walk away from.
Mess & Place (March 2016)—stories about tackling literal messes (from closets and basements to barns), and stories about the more figurative messes we create (or inherit) in our lives.
Money & Place (February 2016)—stories about how money—or the lack of it— impacts places, from the home you live in or place where you vacation, to more broad senses of place such as the city you live in or a foreign country you’ve spent time in.
Laughter & Place (January 2016)—stories about specific experiences that generated much laughter, or more generally about places (and people) you associate with humor, laughter, and joy.
Finding Place (December 2015)—stories about discovery, both of self and place, and feeling a sense of being rooted and finally home.
Losing Place (November 2015)—stories about places that were once significant in some way (good or bad) and have since been “lost,” or about experiences with feeling ungrounded, untethered in the world.
Scent & Place (October 2015)—stories about the scents you associate with specific places and the ways those scents conjure up memories, relationships, and emotions.
Learning & Place (September 2015)—stories about places where you’ve learned or helped others learn, whether that education has been formal or informal, emotional or academic. Also stories about the role schools play in your community or neighborhood.
Creating Place (August 2015)—stories about creating and creativity, centered either on how you’ve created a specific sense of place somewhere in your life, or on the spaces and places that feed your creative endeavors (writing, painting, cooking, etc.).
Memory & Place (July 2015)—stories about how a certain place triggers certain memories, or about how significant memories—whether joyful, difficult, or in between—are shaped and informed by place.
Travel & Place (June 2015)—stories about the journeys or the destinations, and about how traveling to “other places” has impacted you.
Alone in Place (May 2015)—stories about places you go to be alone, places where you feel most alone, or any other experience you’ve had with aloneness connected to place.
Together in Place (April 2015)—stories about marriage, family, and community, or about strangers or crowds—any experience of being together with others in this world.
Season & Place (March 2015)—stories about changing seasons, geography, and nature, and/or about seasons as a metaphor for life and aging.
Role & Place (February 2015)—stories about the roles you (or others) fill in your family, work, church, etc, and how who you are often changes depending on where you are.
Home & Place (January 2015)—stories about physical homes as well as anything (or anyone) else that represents being or feeling at home.
Out of Place (December 2014)—stories about being estranged from your geographic, social, spiritual (etc.) place.
Food & Place (November 2014)—stories about family, cooking, gardening, traditions, holidays, etc.
Share your stories about where in the world you are!
We welcome guest submissions to broaden our discussion of place. Please keep in mind the following parameters:
- The average post on our blog is 500 – 800 words. Please do not submit a piece over 800 words!
- We are looking for stories written from personal experience, loosely themed around some broad topics we have assigned to each month (see the editorial calendar, below). Please feel free to get creative and interpret the monthly themes in any way that strikes you—there are no “right” or “wrong” ways.
- We enjoy descriptive, conversational pieces that are written from personal experiences and rooted in some understanding of place; this is not a platform for directive, instructional, political, or soapbox pieces.
- These might seem like minor details, but they save our all-volunteer editorial team time: Please insert a single space after each period, colon, etc., and use a double-return for new paragraphs (rather than indents).
- Our hope is that this space will be known for storytelling that is both authentic and well-crafted. To maintain a desired level of quality, variety, and the pacing of new posts, we will not be able to publish every story that is sent to us. You can, however, expect to hear a response either way by the end of the month in which your submission was received.
- Through this blog, the editorial team is creating an environment of respectful critique, engagement of ideas, and a sense of community as writers and storytellers. If we accept your piece, anticipate a request for at least minor revisions of some sort; after your piece is published, we hope the comments section will provide a forum for an engaging, loving discussion of the ideas and experiences you have shared.
- Email your post and a short bio (both pasted into the body of your email), as well as a photo of you and any photo that might accompany your post to firstname.lastname@example.org, within the timeframes indicated in the editorial calendar below. (For a sample guest bio, see Cara’s.) We look forward to your stories!