Sharing stories invokes empathy and understanding for people with different life experiences, and helps us to recognise and celebrate the ways in which we are different. They can also reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation for people who find a story they can see themselves reflected in. People can come to realise that there are other people living in the same town that are just like them, even if they don’t know who they are.
What are we looking for?
We want to share stories from as many different kinds of people as we can: people of different ages, races, religions, professions, abilities, genders… The list is huge, but although we are a new organisation we hope to make up for that with our ambition and keenness to unite the community. Your story should be true, and about your experience with a part of your identity, like those listed above, and needs to be no more than 500 words in total. Try to pick one aspect of your identity and focus on it; we’ve given some example stories below.
How is it going to work?
All stories will be anonymous; we are showcasing the diversity of the people who live and work in our town, but want to protect them too. For some people sharing their story could put them at risk (such as someone experiencing domestic abuse or someone who is in the closet), but they still have the right to have their voices heard and to share their experiences. Others might relate to their story, empathise or learn something new. Stories will be collected, vetted and edited if needed, and then printed to be part of an interactive experience in Yeovil Library where we invite people to come and read about the lives of the people they share their town with. We will also feature some online. All Yarns will be labelled as either “suitable for all”, “16+” and “sensitive subject / discretion advised”, with trigger warnings included for different types of content.
When we launch this project in 2023, you will be able to submit your Yeovil Yarn by filling in the submission form. Please read all the information on the submission form carefully – you have to tick a box to say you agree to the terms and conditions, which includes confirming you have anonymised any names or other identifiable information, as well as giving us permission to edit your story if needed. We will also assign your story a title which will be very short, often just one word, such as: firefighter, single mum, bisexual, Muslim, motorcyclist, homeless.
Here are some examples of stories we have already gathered to give you an idea: