AACT Open Call for 100 Stories - Vol 2

Echoes of Empathy:
Serendipitous Acts of Kindness

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Project Introduction

AACT’s 100 Stories is a literary project with its first open call released in May 2021 which aims to encourage community members to share their voices and personal experiences as Asian diaspora living in Canada. By collecting 100 stories from the public that embrace the everyday lived experiences of Asian immigrants, their inner thoughts and feelings, their individual, familial, social, and cultural challenges, as well as their milestones, AACT’s vision is to holistically capture Immigrant experiences of Asian individuals and communities in Canada; and,  disseminate their stories to diversify mainstream narratives while highlighting the complexities and intersectionalities of identity through their authentic and genuine experiences.



VOLUME 2: Echoes of Empathy: Serendipitous Acts of Kindness

How has an act of kindness inspired you?

We invite writers to contribute to our forthcoming volume in our 100 Stories anthology, titled “Echoes of Empathy: Serendipitous Acts of Kindness”, which explores the transformative impact of acts of kindness and reflects upon how a seemingly small action could reverberate within our community to build networks of support and compassion. We seek stories that capture unexpected encounters with kindness, delving into how they foster connection, inspire positivity, and spark optimism. 

In a world where interactions often remain fleeting, we are interested in narratives that illuminate moments of shared humanity to shed light on the profound significance of ordinary acts that occur among us. How has a simple gesture, word, or gift from a stranger left an enduring impression on your day, your perspective, or perhaps even altered the trajectory of your life? What words were exchanged, or what silent gestures spoke volumes? Whether it was a helping hand extended when least expected or a revelatory conversation shared with a passerby, we want to hear about the resonance of these acts of kindness in your life. 

We are also curious to learn about the ripple effects of kindness. How did the experience inspire you to “pay it forward” and spread goodwill? Upon reflection, what wisdom can you share about the importance of support and building community shaped by acts of sincerity, courtesy, and selfless consideration for others? How did these encounters deepen your understanding of compassion and empathy?

We invite writers of all ages and levels to share their stories and motivating messages, passing on a personal memory and/or visions for hope you wish to see in your community. 

To apply by the end of day July 14, please fill out the Application Form by selecting “Apply Now”.


STORY SUBMISSION DETAILS

Eligibility Criteria:

We welcome submissions from all aspiring and established writers.

Languages:

Story submissions may be in any language. English or Chinese – Mandarin/Cantonese are preferred due to editorial capacity.

Accepted Story Formats: 

Flash fiction (500 to 1,000 words)
Short stories (1,500 to 5,000 words)
Short essays (750 to 1,500 words)
Poetry
Webtoon/comic strip (3-panel comic min., 1 to 5 pages – standard page size: 8.5 x 11 inches)         

*text-based stories may be accompanied by illustrations/images

Acceptable File Formats:

PDF, Word Document, JPEG, or PNG for illustrations/images

Publication:

Selected stories will be published online in Volume 2 of AACT’s 100 Stories anthology, a collection of stories from writers in our community that provide authentic accounts and narratives of immigrant life based on the stories of those who lived it. 
For this Volume, Echoes of Empathy, we aim to further the narrative on kindness by sharing selected stories in local spaces around the city of Toronto through pop-up story exhibitions to engage with and encourage people passing by to stop and take a moment out of their day to be inspired by the shared stories of acts of kindness that occur in our community.

FAQS: 

Q: Do I have to be a professional writer or have a literary portfolio to submit a story?
A: No. We encourage anyone to submit a story who has an interest in writing or a desire to share their story with us and the general public. Every voice matters! 

Q: Will all story submissions be published?
A: We would love to share everyone’s story. However, Story Selection and Publication will be determined based on merit and alignment to our provided writing prompts and project vision.   

Q: Will I reserve the rights over my story?
A: Yes. All authors will own the copyrights to their story.  

Q: When will I hear back from AACT about my story application?
A: Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. All applicants can expect to hear back regarding the results by one month after the submission deadline at the latest. 

Q: When and where will my story be published?
A: Stories submitted and selected during an open call window will be published all at once on our Online Publication Platform. We will have two volumes released in September and February of each year.

Q: What if I have a great personal experience that I would love to share but I think I am not a strong enough writer?
A: Send us your story anyway! We will be happy to work with you to get it ready for publication.

Q: Will I get paid if my story is selected?
A: The online features of stories are not paid; however, the selected writers will be invited to give talks - paid per CARFAC guideline.

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