Guidelines & Current Schedule

The Essays on Childhood (EOC) project is designed to inspire written stories about life up to the first 18 years as well as to encourage and support writers themselves. Encouraging and supporting writers means making the process of submitting an essay accessible, simple, and straightforward.  We are not big on rules around here, but guidelines and deadlines are part of a web of factors that helps produce good work.


Regarding submission format, EOC can work with anything that works for you.  The easiest method is  to use a Word document or to upload your work and give the editor’s email address permission to view it on Google docs.*  If you don’t feel comfortable with electronic typing, you may send a written essay and EOC will see if we can transcribe it for you.

Length is optional.  The EOC editor will let you know if it seems a bit long for a single post, and we can divide it up into more than one post.  When you look at last year’s submissions you will get a sense of what others have done, but that in no way should be a restriction on what is right for you.

Personal photos are encouraged.  We would like to have a photo or two to go with your essay.  Again, see previous essays to get a feeling for what we need.  In addition, we request a “head shot”  to include with your…….

Bio!  We need a few words about you as a person.  Where did you grow up?  Where do you live now?  What do you value/like to do?  Is there an achievement of which you are particularly proud?  Schooling, profession, family…..etc.  It is entirely yours.

* When you officially become a writer for the project, you will use the editor’s private Gmail address.

Project timeline:

May 15, 2013 — Provide the EOC editor with your bio and head shot in JPEG format.  (We can crop a larger photo as needed.)

June 15, 2013 or sooner — Submit your proposed essay title and basic subject matter.

July 15, 2013 — EOC will announce writers committed to the project along with bios, head shots, and basic essay subject matter.

August 15, 2013 — Submit a draft of your essay (or final if you do not request any feedback).

September 15, 2013 — EOC will provide feedback to anyone who requests it.

October 1 or earlier — EOC will begin posting the essays.

*** Note:  EOC will not announce anything about your commitment to the project without your consent; the reciprocal request is that if you reach July 15 and are announced as a writer, that you follow through on the project if you are at all able.  It does not look good for any of us otherwise.

  • If you are writing purely on the West Virginia childhood concept, some ideas to consider are available here.
  • If you are writing on place, be it in West Virginia or somewhere else, the EOC editor can work with you one-on-one around that as we go.  You should feel confident you will get the support you need.

A final word on reserved rights:  EOC reserves the right to make the final decision about whether or not an essay will be accepted for posting.  It is highly unlikely but possible that an essay may turn out to be of such a tone, content, or quality that it is not appropriate for this project.  Excessive profanity, the use of extremely vulgar terms, or unusually disturbing content may or may not be posted.  The EOC editor will make a generous effort to keep all essays intact, but may request some modifications or that the essay is best suited for another venue.

Image credit: E. Gaucher

8 thoughts on “Guidelines & Current Schedule

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  6. I am not at all clear on what this project consists of. People write essays about childhood and, what? They are later posted on this blog? Is that what the project is? What rights are forfeit? What are the terms of participation?

    • Hi, Ginger! Reading the “about” page on this site may be a helpful starting point. The essays are posted to my blog, Esse Diem, and also here as an archive of sorts.

      This is the 4th year. It is about promoting and encouraging writers, and about illuminating childhood experience. There is a short radio interview with WV Public Broadcasting about the history and purpose of the project here:

      In 2014, I intend to look seriously at publishing some of my favorite essays, and at that time I would talk in some detail with selected writers about their willingness to be in a book and we would look at “rights” etc.

      For now, it is very low key. No one forfeits anything, and I retain the right to accept or deny essays at my discretion.

      Hope this helps!

  7. Pingback: Essays! You In? | Esse Diem

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