Tips for getting started on writing

1. Here are some questions that can guide your writing if you know the answers. You don’t have to use these questions if you have a particular experience you’d prefer to write about.

  • Where did he/she come from?
  • What did they do in their country of origin?
  • When did they come to the U.S.
  • Why did they leave their country of origin?
  • Where did they start out in the U.S.?
  • What kind of work did they find?
  • Are there any particular experiences or memories about those early years in the U.S. that left an impression on you?
  • What is your relationship to the immigrant and what are your memories about her or him?
  • What kind of education and work has come in subsequent generations since immigration?

2. You can write an account that addresses some (or all) of these questions or you can even list each question in your text and write the answer below it.

3. It’s great to write something in chronological order that keeps the reader wanting to know what came next.

4. It’s great to use descriptions that help readers imagine the look, feel, smell, taste etc. of things, people, or places in your story. If you don’t have those kind of details, don’t worry about it.

5. If you want to write a particular story about your Immigrant relative instead of answering the questions above, that’s okay.

6. Keep it pretty short. Most readers on the web are overwhelmed by stories that are much more than a thousand words or two pages. You can write additional stories as separate postings. You can also submit different immigration accounts for different relatives of yours.

7. Go to the “Submit a Story” page to enter your story or to cut and paste your story from a document you create on your own computer.

8. Upload a photo of the person you write about. You’ll see the words “Attach Image” just below the story box on the “Submit a Story” page.  Click on choose file and go to the photo on your computer to select it.

9. Lastly, scroll down further to select where they came from, where they landed, and when they came from the dropdown menus. Click SEND and you have become a publisher!

Allow up to one week for the story to be published onto the web site.