Guide to Telling Your Story
As a young Muslim in the U.S., you’ve got a story to tell. Maybe you’ve never told it, and maybe you think no one would be interested. But you never know how your story might influence someone else. Here’s your chance to tell your own story and make a difference!
Look back on your life journey from the time of your birth until now, and remember your significant experiences. Try to identify moments in your life when you faced a turning point or felt uncertainty–-leaving one place and moving to another; going to a new school; facing an unexpected challenge or sudden event that caused your normal routine to change. How did you feel in these situations and what did you do? What do your actions say about you?
Remember, you are the main character, so tell your story with your individual voice. Select specific details about your identity and experiences to let the reader connect with you as a person. (Your name won’t be used when sharing your story). Use sensory details to create vivid descriptions.
A good story should have a challenge that the character faces, a choice that the character makes, and an outcome of that choice. There should also be a lesson or moral that the story teaches. Think about the following questions. You don’t need to answer them all, but you can use them as a guide to help develop your story.
Think about difficult challenges you’ve struggled with. Why were they challenging?
Think about situations that moved you to act, or situations when you felt unable to act. Which emotions were you feeling in those moments?
If you could make changes in your situation, what would you change? Why?
Are your challenges internal (coming from within yourself) or external (coming from outside yourself)?
Which challenges have you chosen for yourself? Why?
What stands in the way of reaching your goals or achieving your dreams?
Which important choices have you made when faced with a challenge or dilemma?
What do your choices show about you as a person?
Why did you make those choices? What was difficult about them?
What pressures have influenced your choices?
What courage have you shown in your choices?
Which values have guided your choices?
How do you feel about the outcome of your choices?
How have your choices affected you?
How have your choices affected others?
Did your choices help you overcome your challenges? How?
Which choices are you proud of? Which do you regret?
Where have you found support?
What have you learned from the outcome of your choices?
What gives you hope?
What lessons do you want others to learn from your story?
How do you want readers to feel?
What actions would you like others to take after reading your story?
Who is Eligible?
Muslim students in Middle School, High School, and College
- Stories should be 1-3 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font.
- You must write about your own experiences (*but your name will not be used)
- Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Why you Should Participate
- It’s a rare opportunity to tell your story and finally be heard
- To help other youth who may have similar experiences
- To raise awareness about the experiences of Muslim youth
- Selected stories will be published online and used to create educational materials for teachers
- We will seek to widely publish the best stories, so you can have an impact and be an agent for change through understanding!
Any questions? Please email: MuslimYouthVoices@gmail.com