What would xoJane be without "It Happened To Me"? These deeply confessional, often shocking, sometimes uplifting personal stories are part of the fabric our little website. Thank you, Jane Pratt for coming up with this idea for Sassy Magazine 25 years ago! You're pretty smart, did you know that?
We crave your stories so hard, that we're looking to publish a CRAPload (or buttload, if you will) of them this month. To make this happen, we're going to post IHTMs much more frequently and put up your stories.... without editing them first. They will be 100% raw and unedited. (OK, there will be some copy-editing. We're not animals.)
At the end of the month, a panel of senior editors [all of us sitting around on the floor ] will choose a winner based on four criteria: Impact of Story, Quality of Writing, Emotional Integrity of Story and Self-awareness of Writer. Readers, you have a say too, as quality and quantity of comments are part of the criteria for Impact Of Story. [I wanted you to pick the winner, but the best way we could work that legally was through quantity and quality of comments, which we'll weigh heavily. ]
This grand prize winner will get a check for $1,000 from Jane Pratt. Would you like to win? Send your story to IHTMcontest@xojane.com by January 31. It should be 1,000-1,500 words in length, in a word or txt document, and include relevant photos, preferably of you! Please specify if you would like your story published anonymously. For more specific submission guidelines, please read the official rules. Entries that don't meet the submission guidelines won't be published.
Why wouldn't you do this? Anyone who is alive has got an IHTM up their sleeve. Even a newborn baby could write about his or her journey through the birth canal or tell us what the womb is really like. Hey, even if you don't win, you'll get published, dude. Sounds a like a win-win to me. Read the detailed rules and fine print before entering, please!