What’s a Youshare?

yü sher (noun)
1: a story about an experience that has affected a person’s character, well-being, or relationship with others
2: short for Youshare Project, a global community of storytellers sharing their personal experiences and spurring respectful dialogue

Other forms: plural youshares
Origin: English, from you, used to refer to a person or group of people, and share, to tell (as thoughts, feelings, or experiences) to others, or to have in common
First use: 21st century (2014)


Formats: Personal nonfiction essays and short stories; audio and video essays (please do not include music with your audio or video submissions); photo essays

(Please note: Previously published essays and personal blog posts are welcome, as long as they are adapted for submission to Youshare (i.e. removing references to personal blogs, bloggers’ audiences, and providing necessary background information for readers who may be unfamiliar with the author’s experience.)

Length: Between 800-2,000 words are recommended for print submissions; a 2-minute minimum is recommended for audio and video essays; a 5-photo minimum is recommended for photo essays

Style: Be creative and trust your voice. Youshares need not be written by professional writers, but should be easy to read. Please use capital letters to begin sentences and when spelling out proper nouns, and include appropriate punctuation. (Youshare editors may make minor edits for grammar, spelling, and readability.)

Title & Links: Please provide a title, but know that Youshare editors may edit or change the title to enhance search engine optimization or better reflect the story content. Any links included in the body of the text will be vetted and may be removed by Youshare editors.

Media: Watermark-free photos, illustrations, and videos may be uploaded (and are encouraged) with your Youshare story. By uploading this media, you are authenticating that you either own the rights or have permission to post them here. (Please note: All submitted images should be horizontal. Otherwise, Youshare editors may select stock images to accompany your story.)

Authenticity: By submitting a Youshare story, you are authenticating that the story is true and reflects your opinions. If you choose not to attach your real name, you will be required to provide some sort of authentication to prove the story is real.

Permissions: If other people are mentioned in your Youshare story, you must get permission from them to submit your story to our website.

Categories: Do your best to select an appropriate category from the drop down menu. Ultimately we’ll tag it for you and may include the story in one or more categories.

*Story submissions that are defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening, or an invasion of privacy will not be accepted.

Helpful Tips

  • Stories told in the first person (I, me, we, us) are more personal and preferred by Youshare editors.
  • Use general time references (i.e. “Recently,” “A few weeks ago,” “This past spring,” etc.) instead of specific (“Yesterday,” “Two weeks ago,” etc.) when possible, unless it’s a named date.
  • Because Youshare is a global community, you may want to include brief explanations of words, organizations, holidays, etc., that are unique to certain populations, cultures, or regions of the world.