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Submission Guidelines for


A Force Outside Myself: Citizens Over 60 Speak is a project where we publish the voices of people over 60. They are being marginalized and even written off. It’s time we hear from them.

Here’s how you can help:

  • If you are 60 or older, we’re interested in your thoughts right now and hope you can write a short first-person narrative. (100-500 words)
  • If not, ask your parents, grandparents to write something or interview them and put their thoughts into a first-person oral history. (100-500 words)
  • Send it to us. Include the narrator’s birth year and their current city and state or other location.

Prompts you can send along:

  • How are you feeling about the national mood now?
  • Compare it to other times in your life, other crises in your lifetime. How does it compare?
  • What should the citizens of the US know about you and your place in our society?
  • Tell us stories from your life. Things that might give us strength or a smile.
  • What gives you hope right now?

Obviously, many entries will be sad and fearful. Those are part of the mosaic of voices we want to hear from, but we also value levity, too. Details matter, what you’re specifically experiencing matters. This doesn’t have to be an essay with the star spangled banner playing behind it, the personal is powerful.

McSweeney’s reserves the right to edit entries for length and clarity. Please include the author’s current city and state or other location and their birth year. Names can be altered or abbreviated if privacy is a concern.

Send entries to Kitania Folk at and watch our site for ongoing updates.

Thank you!