Our Memoir Contest Explained

Our Memoir Contest Explained

Madison Magazine and I have teamed up to offer one lucky reader the chance to see his or her life story become a book. To  submit a 500-word autobiographical sketch by October 31, 2012.

After we pick a winner, I’ll be blogging about the process as we work together. Not every great story can be a winner, so we’ll also share some of the other sketches entered. Follow along here and watch a composite portrait of Madison take shape!

In the meantime—since I promised I wouldn’t sneak a peek at the entries as they come in—what can I share with you? How about a few of the questions that readers have asked about the contest?

What is “the Madison area”?

Big. If your story concerns the area covered by Channel 3 broadcasts—a sister company to Madison Magazine—then you’re in the Madison area. In Platteville? Pardeeville? Sun Prairie? You’re in the area. Send us your stories.

Does it have to be a story about Madison?

No. You lived in Madison over 30 years. You took two years off to serve in the Peace Corps—and your life was forever changed. Is that story suitable for the contest? Yes!

Does it have to be about me?

No. Many people write memoirs about the family members, teachers, or other guides who have influenced them. Your memoir could focus on an individual whose life reveals lessons or values worth sharing. “Me” may be the first word in “memoir” but it’s not the last!

In my next post I’ll tell you more about how the process unfolds when I become someone’s writing partner.

Map of Wisconsin’s counties courtesy of Bruce Jones Design. 

Sarah White is the founder of First Person Productions