Is that the excitement you feel when you mention YOUR CITY to your friends? It should be. And when I say YOUR CITY, I don’t necessarily mean where you currently live now. It is the place that lives within you. It’s the place you feel most connected. A place you can proudly say is the GREATEST CITY in the WORLD.
That is the THEME for this year’s charitable book project, Oh City! My City!
What is this project about?
Simply put: a bunch of people coming together from all over the world to contribute an original piece of writing on the city that speaks to him/her. All the pieces will be compiled in a book titled “Oh City! My City” and crowdfunded – with 100% of the proceeds donated to charity.
This is the third year running that a project of this kind has taken place. In our first year, we published “The Trip that Changed my Life” and donated $3500 to Unbound. In our second year, we dedicated the platform to “Taste the World” and donated over $1000 to Action Against Hunger.
All of this relied on our benevolent volunteers, and the reward paid for itself in the warm fuzzies knowing that we’ve empowered an incredible charity to continue doing GOOD work.
So, if this speaks to you, read on and JOIN US in this inclusive and beautiful effort.
This year, we will donate our fundraising to All Hands Volunteers. All Hands Volunteers is an A+ rated charity (Charity Watch) that spends 94% of its donated funds on programs and not overhead. This incredible organization focuses on assisting communities devastated by natural disasters. It accomplishes its goal with a three-pronged approach: Respond (immediate assistance to disaster-struck areas), Recover (rebuild community hubs for long-term recovery), and Renew (become part of the community to create enduring impact). To learn more about All Hands Volunteers, visit the website at hands.org.
How do I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved in this project. As the project is 100% volunteer work, any help you can provide will be truly appreciated.
- WRITE about YOUR CITY. Join a talented group of writers and bloggers and tell the world about your amazing city. This is the most direct way to support the creation of our book. On top of representing your city on the world stage, you will also get to meet and work with an incredible team! This is first come, first served, and cities are filling up fast! To check if your city is still available to write about, please check the Cities List. Note: you do not need to be a blogger to write. All it takes is the willingness and COMMITMENT to deliver on writing about your city (specific details about what’s required in the writing are provided below). To join this project as a writer, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and city you’d like to represent.
- SUBSCRIBE to our Newsletter. As this is a charitable project, we will not use funds for advertising (we want to maximize our donation). Because of that, we rely solely on YOU to be our ambassadors, our reach to the four corners of the world. It is YOU we count on to spread the word and bring people to help fundraise the campaign when it kicks off. To help us in this charitable endeavor, simply join the mailing list below. We will occasionally send you an email to let you know the progress and ask for YOUR HELP. Input your email address and click Subscribe below.
- JOIN our Facebook page. We’ll post frequent updates, do live interviews, and provide more details about the project on our Facebook page. Plus you can participate in the discussions and meet new friends! Come join us on our official page today.
What are the requirements for writers?
What will it take to convince someone your city is the BEST? That is the mindset you must bring to bear when penning this piece. To bring a familiar flow to the book, certain sections will be REQUIRED while some suggested items are optional. Pictures are REQUIRED – please do not steal other people’s pictures – you must own these! Please use the highest quality picture you have to give me the flexibility for editing later.
Words Requirements: minimum 1200 words; maximum 3000 words.
Below is what a typical city write-up will look like. Please pay close attention to the details:
PICTURE (this is your attention-grabbing shot, so choose wisely) [MANDATORY]
Provide 1-3 exploratory paragraphs to give readers a sense of the city you’ll be writing about. This may be a personal story about how you found the place or how long you’ve lived there or something extraordinary or mysterious about the place. This is an important section because it sets up the rest of your story.
Here is a ROUGH example:
Rumors have it, UFOs frequently visit Mt. Rainier, the majestic backdrop of the Emerald City, also known as Seattle. Perhaps the always-snowy peak hides a hideous secret that only true local Seattleites know… Maybe Seattleites are aliens!!! So on and so on…
THE BEST OF [MANDATORY]
This is the meat of your writing. In this section, you may use a list (or otherwise) to provide 15-25 (or more) activities, sights, foods, and other interesting details that visitors can’t miss. This is your personal take so don’t just look up TripAdvisor for top 10 things to do in your city. Please don’t.
It is preferred that each item you write about is accompanied by a picture. But you may deviate if you don’t have enough. This might be a great opportunity for you to go be a tourist in your city and take those pictures if you don’t have them.
Each item you write about should be 1-2 paragraphs. It should tell the readers what it is and why it’s epic! You don’t need to include logistical stuff like best time to go or how much or etc. People can look that stuff up if they are really interested.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A LOCAL [OPTIONAL]
You may offer insight on the culture of the people in this city. What are people obsessed with? What are some weird traditions that are ingrained in the city? This is a flexible section so you may take it in whichever direction you want.
ANYTHING ELSE [OPTIONAL]
This is a free-for-all section. You can talk about the “other side” of the city – the insidious side, the not-so-great-side. You can perhaps give tips for how, when, and where in the city to visit. You can even provide tips for packing if the weather in your city is a big factor.
WHY YOUR CITY IS THE BEST [MANDATORY]
It all comes down to this… your personal thought on why this is the best city EVER. Use your convincing skills. This can be as short as a paragraph or as drawn out as an essay. I’ll leave it up to you. There will be a contest for the top 8, with a vote to find out which city is the best. Prizes to be announced. These will be chosen from a panel of writers to be announced.
REPRESENT your city!
What is the schedule?
Project Kickoff: January 11, 2018
Writer Sign-Up Ending Date: February 9, 2018
Write-up Submission (with pictures): May 4, 2018 (may the 4th be with you)
Book Creation and Crowdfunding Campaign Prep: July 23, 2018
Crowdfunding Period (on IndieGogo): July 29, 2018 to August 19, 2018
DONATION TO CHARITY (charity to be announced): September 28, 2018
My city, Seattle, is the BEST. I DARE YOU to convince me otherwise.
If you have any questions or would like to support this effort by being a sponsor, please send me an email or leave a message below in the comment section.