Childhood Essay Guidelines


1 These are similar to the “What it’s like living here” pieces in terms of concentration on place and concrete detail. But this time you also add an evocation of time and childhood experiences, stories and memories. Concentrate on childhood. It’s preferable if you don’t allude to yourself as an adult or as a parent or your own children, except perhaps very briefly.

2 Length 2000-3000 words or more (if the quality is there).

3 5-6 or more photos of yourself as a child. If you don’t have enough photos of yourself, at least take photos of the place.

4 No restriction on point of view, but we’ve had some nice results with 2nd person in the short essay form, or some variation thereof.

5 Write in sections and use subtitles.

6 Read examples of Childhood essays already published.

6 The essay is meant to evoke time and place. Fill it with concrete details that evoke time and place. The chief difficulty people have with this essay is in sometimes talking about themselves as adults looking back, or in describing their children instead of their own childhood. Evoke the time and place of your own specific childhood with concrete evocative details. Pile on the details.

7 Please be prepared to take editorial advice or even rejection (it happens) gracefully and professionally.

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