What is “Stories of Compassion” all about?
“Just as sunlight, rain and earth make up the flower, so do attention, concern, intention, insight and embodiment make up compassion.” ~ Roshi Joan Halifax
It is to bring forth this spirit of compassion, for which we have embarked on this journey of curating powerful stories of compassion from children, all around the world.
“Stories of Compassion” is an initiative that provides an opportunity for children to share their compassion stories. Through these stories, we hope to rekindle this natural, inborn, human trait and take a step forward in making this a more beautiful world.

• What will you do with the stories?
We plan to get them reviewed and edited by our editorial team. We have children volunteers to narrate the stories,  which will be shared in the form of a podcast.
Children, teachers, parents, and people working with children and with educational institutions, all are encouraged to listen to the podcast and share with everyone.

• Who can submit a story?
We invite children between 7 years to 16 years to be a part of this journey. Those who are differently abled or unable to access technology may take help of an adult only to register and send us the submission. We will do reference checks to ensure all submissions are original before including in the final podcast.

• Can one person submit more than one story?
Yes, each person may submit up to TWO stories though submission is not a guarantee that the story would be included.

• How can I submit my story or stories?

Follow these steps to submit your story:

a. Register at www.zemynafoundation.org/stories-of-compassion and obtain a registration number. We recommend you make a note of this registration number for future correspondence with us.

b. Write your story in a word processor such as Microsoft Word. Save it as a pdf file and email it to stories.zemyna@gmail.com as an attachment. Ensure that you provide your registration number in the subject and body of your email.

Note: Currently we are accepting stories written in English language only.

• Can we submit a story as a group?

Yes, certainly you can form a group or a team and collaborate to produce a story. One person can represent the team to register and email the story to us. Please do not forget to provide the names of team members in your email.

• What is the last date for registration and for submission of stories?
The last date for registration and submission of stories is 31st December 2020.

• What is the maximum word limit for a story?
We recommend you write a story within 850 words. We might need to make minor edits to the story before publishing in the podcast.

• What should the story be based on?
Stories could be focused on any of the following four topics:
a) compassion for self
b) compassion for fellow human beings
c) compassion for animals
d) compassion for our planet

Here are a few tips:
o Write your stories based on a real-life role, experiences and instances that have occurred in your life.
o Here is a video of an inspirational real-life story on compassion for others.
o See this video to understand what compassion for animals could mean.
o Here is a useful video on writing a good story.
o This link provides you with a guide on writing stories.

• How will you select the stories?
After an initial screening process, our panel of writers and editors will carefully go through the selected stories. Selected stories would adhere to the following criteria:
• The story should be on one of the categories stated above
• The submission should be an original story and not copied from some other sources including web sites and other podcast
• Each story should have a clear structure, brevity, made good use of language, and should be engaging
• Since the target audience of this podcast are children, any child should clearly understand the value of compassion through the story

• Can I use pictures and photographs in my story?
Yes, you are welcome to use pictures and photographs. For pictures, if you copy them from another source then ensure that you mention the source and for photographs, ensure that you have due permission to use them in your story. Submissions need to mention that they have the appropriate permissions of the people in case their pictures are used.

• How and by when will I know if my story is selected for the podcast?
You will receive an email if we select your story for the podcast. Please visit www.zemynafoundation.org/stories-of-compassion for regular updates on the podcast status.

• What will you do with my story, if it is not selected?
We are expecting many stories from around the world and hence we may not be able to publish all stories in our podcast. If not selected, that does not mean your story is not good. It might have not featured under the 108 short-listed stories. However, if found suitable, we would update your story on our website with due attribution.

• Are there any prizes for the participants?
As a token of gratitude for all your effort, we intend to develop a ‘Compassion Forest’ with the number of trees equal to the number of the entries received. Even if your story is not published, please know that we will plant a tree sapling on your behalf. 🙂

• Is there any participation fee?
There is no participation cost for this contest though we welcome your donations to support this project. Please visit this link to donate (in INR only).

How can I listen to the podcast?
The podcast link will be made available to all for easy listening, as soon as our first stories get recorded. More information would be available on our website and the FaceBook page, shortly.