Write A Story
Thank you so much for considering sharing your story on our blog. cambyo is a quickly growing, mission-based group of trailblazers sharing their stories and struggles to help people develop their intimate lives. We don’t care where you come from, how old you are or how many degrees you have or don’t have, we just want what is real, what is human and more than anything, we want to feel. We want to be moved with honesty and quality. Together, we are bringing vulnerability and truth to the world through stories about our intimate lives. Whether you want to share anonymously or named, both options are totally cool. Named stories allow for more of a connection with readers as well as wider visibility, however if your story involves others that are easily implicated, it's best not to go the named route.
I learned that an artist is not necessarily someone who has studied art. But one who has something to say. And the courage to say it. I learned that an artist is someone who makes art to save her life.
On cambyo, we share vulnerable and real stories about relationships, sexuality, intimacy and love as experienced by real people. The main thing to keep in mind is we want these stories to be both interesting and useful. This can include struggles, crazy experiences, first-time experiences, overcoming obstacles, breakthroughs, joyful situations or even heartbreaking situations. Need some inspiration? Perhaps you can think about something that you have experienced or are experiencing that many others would get a lot out of reading about. And if that’s not enough, you can consider showing readers they’ve been going about some aspect of their lives all wrong, through a story from your own life. Our hope is to create a space where others can learn more about themselves by acknowledging obstacles and/or truths in their own lives.
What makes a story great? Three things: It has to be simple, it has to have a hook, and it has to have punch in the face.”
Writing Style & Process
We’re all about personal stories but only when they transcend the diary format and can be recycled into more wisdom. A good story awakens us to our own reality. We are having a conversation about sex and intimacy, and that conversation is wide and varied. Does it have your personal touch? We need to ‘see’ you somewhere in it. And we prefer real-and-broken over pretended-and-fabricated. We don’t want anything that reads contrived or synthetic. Weave your DNA into it, leave a few drops of your blood, sweat and tears - as only you can. We also fully refrain from publishing ‘you-oriented’ articles. This practice stems from the Buddhist principle of “experience it for yourself.” Furthermore, using “you” in an article or title tends to separate the writer from the reader and can appear preachy or bossy.
When writing your story, aim for 1200 - 1500 words and use whatever writing style you are comfortable with. We’re all about quality over quantity. If your story is longer than 1500 words, there must be a good reason for it 🙂 Send us your rough draft in a google doc once you are happy with sharing it. Share it with our friendly editor Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a suggested headline for your story. Don't worry about making the first draft polished. Once you submit a rough draft to us, Matt will usually get back to you within 1-2 weeks with some direction and a number of questions to get you into an even more vulnerable and accessible space. Our second editor Philip will also be reviewing the piece at this stage. Once everyone is happy with the nuts and bolts of the story, we will then work together to make sure it is accessible and presentable to the public. There is no limit to our combined creative madness.
Afraid that your writing skills aren't amazing? We can totally relate. Not to worry though. Our philosophy is that the story and the vulnerability is what's important; the writing is a secondary thought for us. We’ve got some great tips below that will hopefully help you out. Please take a moment to also read about our vision and values to provide context for writing your story. We are really keen to share your story and welcome you into our family as a contributor!
Writing suggestions from George Orwell and us:
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Be clear; say exactly what you mean.
- Avoid cliches like the plague.
- Avoid beginning sentences with "Look," "Listen," "You see," or "Now."
- Avoid rhetorical questions.
- Avoid squishy, meaningless adjectives, like "quite," "somewhat," and "interesting."
- Any number over nine is written numerically: 10, four, 32, 108, nine years, 10 apples. (Unless it is the first word in a sentence: Eighty years ago.)
- Do not put words in ALL CAPS or bold for emphasis, please italicize. We hate ALL CAPS, we really do.
If you have any questions at all, send us an e-mail to email@example.com
Here are a few examples of stories we like and have subsequently published on cambyo