To submit a story:
- Send your Medium handle to Kyle (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tarah (email@example.com).
- Read through these guidelines before writing and submitting. Stories should be 2–4k words, highly personal and illustrate some aspect of what it’s like to be a woman in the tech world. (More on that below)
- This is not an essay or editorial on the tech industry. Don’t give advice. Instead, think of this as your autobiography. Don’t use the words “you” or “all women.” Write your story from your first-person perspective. Let people get to know you and why you are who you are.
TL;DR: write about your story, not your views on the state of the industry.
Tips on structure
- Where were you born?
- What was it like growing up as you?
- What is your family like?
- When did you start to have an interest in tech?
- Did you go to college? What did you major in?
- Did you start out in technology?
- How did your career start to grow more and more aligned with what you’re doing now — or did it?
- What early lessons did you learn as you started working in all your different jobs that helped teach you what you needed to know to get where you are?
- What are some of the times that you felt that you couldn’t keep going on?
- What made you push through?
- Are you happy doing what you do?
- What will some of your next goals be?
- What do you do to help others succeed and what are your passions involving mentoring and volunteering?
- Is it possible for others to do what you did?
- If you could go back and change anything, would you — and why?
- What do you wish people knew about you that they don’t?
- What do you hope telling your story will accomplish?
- Liberally sprinkle this whole autobiography with examples that focus in on how you felt at times when you were at decision crossroads and what made you make the choices you did.
- Do not let your own modesty stop you from talking about yourself — because that’s what they want to know about. Don’t avoid talking about yourself and your accomplishments in favor of generalizations and philosophy and critique of the system.
- Think of this autobiographical essay as an explanation of how you got where you are now. This is a moment to show what you did, not tell others how to replicate what you did. Most women in tech do not have a computer science degree and came into tech through a side door faced with difficult decisions, self teaching, and life-altering moments.
- Avoid statements about “all women in tech”. This is only about you, your story, and how other women can see possibilities for themselves through your story. One good way to do this is to never use the word “you”. Only “I” statements (like those of us with co-founders have learned to do :-) My co-founder made me go read Nonviolent Communication….. )
- This autobiography must be PG-rated and suitable for little girls and middle schoolers in terms of avoiding profanity or graphic descriptions which can trigger people.
- Do not name any companies or any organizations in a negative fashion. We can’t take responsibility for being the platform for you to publicize harassment or assault at a named company, even if you do feel comfortable talking about your negative experiences.
Photo via Creative Commons / Unsplash / Florian Klauer