When you are submitting your story to Now What, you need to fill in the form that is attached to the bottom of this page.
This means that you are happy for us to use your story on Now What.
There are a couple of guidelines you need to follow when submitting your story to Now What.
- Please do not swear or use inappropriate language in your story. Stories that contain inappropriate language will not be posted.
- Please do not use people’s real or full names in your story. If you do we will remove the names.
- Please only send a photo of yourself with your story. If you do want to post a photo of a third party, then you will need to have their permission. Now What is not liable for any breach of this.
- In submitting your story as a video you understand that it will be hosted in YouTube.
- In submitting your story you understand that it may be featured on the homepage.
- In submitting your story you agree that it may be on the Now What website for up to 2 years. If you want your story to be removed you will need to contact the Now What team.
- In submitting your story you understand that your story may be edited for website readability.
In submitting your story you agree to the above.
How to write a good story
Beginning and end
Think about where your story is going to start and finish. It might sound obvious but your story needs to have an ending (rather than just stopping). For example, if someone is diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the story, at the end of the story make sure you let us know how they’re doing now.
Introduce yourself and give context to your story
Tell us a bit about yourself – how old you are, where you live, what you like. This helps the reader empathise and understand your story. For example, “After I was diagnosed I couldn’t play rugby anymore” is more meaningful if we know that “I used to be captain of the rugby team”.
Show, don't tell
This is the first rule of good writing. It means that when you describe something, you should give specific details and use examples where you can. For instance, instead of saying “my friends were really supportive” you could give an example of one supportive thing they did. Instead of saying “I was really scared” you could say “I was worried about where I was going to live and who was going to look after me.”
Tell us what happened AND how you felt
A story that goes through the facts (diagnosis, hospital, treatment, checkups) will be very boring if it doesn’t tell us how the facts affected the people involved. For example, “Mum had chemo for 4 weeks” doesn’t make for a very interesting story. It would be better to tell us “Mum had chemo for 4 weeks. She lost her appetite but joked that it was the best diet she had ever been on.”
An adjective is a describing word. Try and use adjectives that describe exactly what you mean, not just “good” or “bad” or “okay”. For example, cancer treatment can be described as scary, painful, nauseating, overwhelming, upsetting, inconvenient, confusing, easy, manageable… you get the idea.
Don't use too many exclamation points
This isn’t an online chat so please don’t use LOLs, smiley faces :-) or lots of these!!!!
Write what you would like to read
Imagine you’re telling the story to someone in person – what would you choose to tell them? Important moments, scary moments, interesting things, funny things, advice…
Don't use cliches
Don’t use other people’s words. Use yours. The most powerful writing is truthful and personal.
Longer is not better
This applies to the length of your story, and also the length of your sentences.
Read it again before you send it
The best way to find out how your story appears to a reader is, amazingly, to read it! Plus it gives you a chance to tweak it (change it slightly) and fix any spelling errors.