In April, while the city and state went into a complete lockdown, the BBF, in collaboration with The Boston Globe, launched a community writing project to capture slices of everyday life — the ordinary to extraordinary — during these unprecedented times.
We received stories from every corner of the city and beyond, including from frontline workers, parents at home with kids, teens studying virtually, grandparents removed from family members, and, as spring turned to summer, protesters taking to the streets over racial injustices. We published a selection in The Boston Globe and regularly featured essays on our social media during the spring and summer.
New Exhibit Launches Outdoors at Downtown Crossing October 2020
We are excited that the At Home Boston Community Writing Project will now be an outdoor exhibit during BBF 2020! This moving exhibit features ten of our most celebrated stories from over 350 collected for the At Home project. Taking on themes from racial justice to reconnection, the stories weave together a powerful portrait of this time.
From October 3–25, enjoy this free outdoor exhibit that includes a piece by well-known local author and Emerson professor Jabari Asim. Location: Starbucks at Downtown Crossing (27 School Street).
We are grateful to Downtown Boston Improvement District for supporting this exhibit.
Subscribe here to read more about At Home Boston and BBF 2020.
Submit your story
Throughout BBF 2020, we will be re-opening our writing project submission form and accepting micro-essays of 200 words or less with an accompanying photo or other artwork. Stories can be submitted here or by clicking the “Submit Your Essay” button below. Submissions should be real, lived experiences during 2020 related to the pandemic or protests. We will not be accepting fiction stories or poetry for this project.
We encourage everyone to participate. Stories will be archived at Northeastern University and may also be part of other national archives. We will request your permission to share your story with the archives on the form. The archives provide a way to capture and share your story with readers across the globe and with future generations.
Stay updated with At Home Boston here. If you have any questions or trouble submitting, please email Carlin Carr at email@example.com.
Local writers share their stories
Find inspiration from three local authors who have provided their thoughts on At Home Boston and writing tips and advice on our vimeo.
Dr. Suzanne Koven, writer in residence at Mass General Hospital, on the need for frontline health workers to tell their stories right now.
Nakia Hill, author and educator, and her powerful words about why it’s important to tell our stories right now and hear more about why the word “stillness” is what will stay with her.
Linda K. Wertheimer, author of Faith Ed and Grub Street writing instructor, gives us some concrete advice to “get the cobwebs out” in order to find “what you were most obsessed about.”
Read Published Stories from the At Home Project
An essay from Megan O’Connor, a physician assistant in Boston.
Dropped Connection, an essay from Brent Whelan about what’s lost when school goes online
Comfort and Love in a Single Word, an essay from Amy Sales about expressing love with puzzles
An essay from Gretchen Ayoub about the importance of grieving together
The Stranger, an essay from Faye Rapoport DesPres about the kindness of strangers in crisis
An essay from Anna Harris about a marriage in quarantine
These stories have been published in the Boston Globe
Jane deLima Thomas, an essay about the importance of saying goodbye
Shahrin Islam, an essay about fasting while serving as a Case Manager with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Kate H Schlesinger, an essay about the last day of online class
Amrapali Maitra, an essay about the importance of the little things in quarantine
Daina Wynot, an essay about grandparenting in quarantine
Deborah Vatcher, an essay about appreciating outside
Jennifer Serafyn, an essay about the comforting obliviousness of a dog
Chris Kelly, a story about staying apart in order to stay together