Vidya Sury at an event writing on the wall — Photo kindly clicked on Vidya’s camera by colleague

Photography, Love & Hearts — Vidya’s February Prompt

Love & Hearts: February Prompt

Writing’s on the wall — love rules!

Before the pandemic, every other week, I’d be flying off to an influencer event. One such was a visit to the Johnson and Johnson factory in Mumbai, followed by a two-day fun and games program. On day 2, before we left, as moms, we were asked to express our love for our bundles of joy.

I picked up a sharpie, drew a big fat heart within a heart, and wrote in it — pledging to do what’s best for my son and myself — and what it meant to me.

Hearts brimming with endlessly unconditional love.

I returned home with bags of swag that I lovingly gifted off to friends who had little ones, and they were thrilled. And baked deliciousness for my son to enjoy.

The February Challenge is “Love & Hearts” brought to you by me — Vidya Sury

February is the month of love, and what better prompt than celebrating love? The concept is to take a photo that somehow captures the meaning of “Love & Heartsin some way, whether abstract or concrete, figurative or literal, physical or mental. The possibilities are endless — we’re looking for submissions with different perspectives, unusual stories, and brilliant photographs.

Please read about the Definition, Purpose & Rules of the “Love & Hearts” Challenge below.

Possible Definitions of How to Use “Love & Hearts” in Your Six Word Photo Story

There are countless ways to find love in our lives. Love brings joy, lights up your brain, or satisfies you in some way. In fact, I believe that whatever the question, love is usually the answer!

“Love & Hearts” can refer to something emotional, mental, spiritual, physical, material, something in nature, the universe, or the life cycle, food, or drink. The sky is the limit. Maybe you’ll look up and see a heart!

Love is a many-splendored thing!

Love? Hearts? How? (just reading your mind!)

  • can be murals, wall art
  • can be your art — on paper, in nature, with food.
  • can be hearts you spot randomly
  • can be a motif on fabric
  • can be a sign like my pic above
  • can be something shaped like a heart in nature
  • can be something you created
  • can be a sign you saw outdoors
  • can be something someone you love made for you
  • can be a gift you received that you treasure
  • can be something that evokes love
  • can be something you love
  • can be something that represents time with family/friends
  • can be about self-love
  • can be something that triggers nostalgia

Just open your eyes, your mind.
Look. And ye shall find.

(Felt so good to say that!)

“Love & Hearts” is YOU and your perspective. It’s something that represents the meaning of “Love & Hearts” in some way or form, from your individual viewpoint — that connects to your photo and story.

What’s your “Love & Hearts” story?

Bring on the hearts, flood your world and our publication with love.

The Purpose of “Love & Hearts”

  1. The “Love & Hearts” Challenge is an intuitive self-challenge to explore what love & hearts mean to you — maybe it’s internal or external or both.
  2. The “Love & Hearts” Challenge is an investigative challenge to observe and figure out what things in your life can capture the “meaning of love” through photography, contemplation, and six words.
  3. The “Love & Hearts” Challenge is designed for YOU and your perspective.

Can you take a photo that represents “Love & Hearts” and tell a story about it in six words?

“Love & Hearts” Challenge Rules

Guidelines, Formatting & How to Submit

Note: These apply to ALL stories in this publication. I know it may seem like a lot, but once you’ve submitted your first story to our pub, it’s easy to duplicate the formatting style!

Note: This challenge will run from February 1 until NOON, Pacific Standard Time, February 28, 2023.

The Photo

  1. The photo must be taken by yourself (ORIGINAL & UNPUBLISHED elsewhere), and please include a photo credit.
  2. Only ONE PHOTO can be featured in your story, and it must be placed ABOVE the title and subtitle. Your photo must be the first thing our editors see when we review your submission.
  3. The only person that can be featured in the photo is YOURSELF. If you’re in the photo, it can be taken by someone else (please include the photo credit.) Photos of people other than yourself are NOT ALLOWED. See this article for legal reasons why.

The Title, Subtitle & Tags

  1. Title: Choose your own title.
  2. For your subtitle: Please use February Six Word Photo Story Challenge: “Love & Hearts(like the subtitle used in this article.) Once you have written your subtitle, remember to highlight it and click on the small “T” to format it correctly.
  3. Please Tag your story using this tag: Monthly Challenge

The Six Word Photo Story

  1. The photo must be connected to your story and concept of “Love & Hearts” in some way. The connection to “Love & Hearts” should be made clear either in the photo, six word story, or (optional) backstory.
  2. All six word stories and optional backstories must also abide by Medium’s rules. Note: Any stories that the editors may view as disrespectful, inappropriate, or that fall into a grey area will be reviewed at the discretion of the editors and may be rejected.
  3. The story must be six words only. Once you write your six word story, highlight it and click on the small “T” to format the six words. This is so your six words stand out; it’s a formatting guideline unique to this publication.
  4. The 3 dots (like in this story) should appear directly below your six word story. If you don’t know how to do this, view the formatting guidelines.

The Backstory (OPTIONAL) & 2-Minute Maximum Read per story!

  1. IF you include a backstory, it can be 1–2 minutes.
  2. The 3 dots (like in this story) should appear directly below your backstory.
  3. The entire reading time of your story must be no longer than 2 minutes! This includes the photo, six word story, any tags, links, or promotion of yourself or other stories. It will be unread and rejected if your submission comes in as a 3-minute read or more.

How to Submit Your Story

  1. Submit unpublished drafts only. Previously published stories (self-published or published elsewhere) will be unread and rejected.
  2. To submit your unpublished draft: a) Click on the three dots at the top right corner of the screen b) Click “Add to publication” c) select “Six Word Photo Story Challenge” d) Click on “Select and continue.” e) Click “Submit.”
  3. WHAT NOT TO DO! When submitting your unpublished draft, DO NOT CLICK “Publish” first. If you click “Publish” first — your story will be automatically self-published to your own profile page, and we will NOT accept it if you then attempt to submit your self-published story to our publication.

“Love & Hearts” is open for submissions from February 1 until NOON, February 28, 2023, PACIFIC STANDARD TIME.

If you have any questions about the rules or need further clarification about the Monthly Challenge, please leave a comment on this story. For formatting step-by-step instructions (these are unique to this publication), see Formatting Your Six Word Photo Story.

NOTE: Stories not formatted correctly, don’t follow rules, or that require edits will delay publication or may not be accepted. Formatting guidelines are unique to this publication. If you’d like to be added as a writer and submit to Six Word Photo Story Challenge publication, please read and follow the submission guidelines.

It’s time to explore the meaning of “Love & Hearts”

Grab those cameras or dig into your archives — you may be empowered and surprised to see what you come up with. Embrace the power of “Love & Hearts”

Freestyle stories

You also have the option to write a six-word photo story featuring a photo and topic of your choosing — as long as the photo and story are connected in some way. The story doesn’t need to be related to the monthly challenge prompt. For your subtitle: Please use your own subtitle followed by the word: Freestyle, OR use Six Word Photo Story: Freestyle. Please tag your story using this tag: Freestyle.

Submissions are always open for Freestyle stories.

— Village hugs, from the editorial team, Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles, Sandi Parsons, and Mary Chang Story Writer — creator & editor of SWPSC. If you don’t want to miss any future Six Word Photo Story Challenges, please follow this publication and subscribe to our stories by hitting the “green envelope” button next to our profiles.

About Vidya

After a couple of decades in the corporate world in marketing and training, I am living my dream as a Writer | Editor | Blogger. I enjoy writing so much that besides writing on Medium, I juggle six blogs of my own. I started my own personal publication on Medium a couple of days ago and would love for you to take a look. More about me here.

On really busy days, my free time is restricted to playing with my dust bunnies and showing my diabetes who’s boss. Oh, I love coffee, books, cooking, music, photography, travel, people, and collecting smiles. I believe there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women. And that people will always rule over technology!

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles ❤ Did you smile today?

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Monthly six word story writing challenges inspired by photos taken by yourself

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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: