Share your story

Pillow Talking is always looking for first person, narrative/creative nonfiction stories of real-life bedroom conversations.

In fact, this podcast wouldn’t exist without people choosing to share their intimate conversations. Whether they are thought-provoking, funny, heart-breaking or silly this takes trust, vulnerability and some guts, and I consider receiving each story a huge privilege and responsibility.

You can submit from wherever in the world you happen to be.

As of May 2022, we are a paying market.

Please read the guidelines before submitting your story.

Submission guidelines

Be truthful. Be authentic. Be yourself. Candour is welcome; smut or gratuitous anything isn’t, so keep it classy. It’s also not the place for pulpy “true confessions”. If you need a refresher, here is what Pillow Talking is about.

It’s the story that’s important, so don’t worry about your spelling or grammar. It will be our little secret. Story, however, means structure. Pillow Talking is first person, narrative nonfiction or creative nonfiction, which means:

  • Context is important, so tell a little bit (or a lot bit) about your relationship with your fellow pillow talker.
  • Don’t spend too much time on backstory or “the way things were” unless it’s an important part of the story.
  • Your story needs to be specific, ie. about something that happened, rather than what your pillow talk is generally like.
  • Your story doesn’t need to be only about a pillow talking conversation, but you need to have one in there, and it needs to be important to the story.
  • First person means that it can only be a story about you and your fellow pillow talker, not someone else, even if the someone else is someone you’re very close to. The rule is: if you weren’t there, it’s not your story to tell.
  • Feelings and reflection are important. Describe how this pillow talk made you feel, and why it’s stayed with you.
  • You can’t pull out any old story you have already written and bookend it with a supposed “pillow talk” for an intro and epilogue. This a) is disingenuous, b) shows you haven’t listened to an episode, and c) is insulting to the people who are brave and vulnerable enough to put their hearts on the line and share their stories.
  • Story range is 350-2,000 words.

Still wondering what to write or how to write it? The best thing to do is to listen to an episode – ideally more. Then get the story down and send it in. I read and respond to each submission.

Themes

Although I’m overjoyed to receive a pillow talking story about anything, anytime, you can choose to write to any of the themes we have coming up. Themes also act as nifty memory or writing prompts, so if you’re feeling a bit stuck, grab a theme and go for it!

How you interpret a theme is 100% up to you. Including the words of the theme in your story isn’t necessary; the most important thing is for your story to fit the theme either literally, figuratively, or emotionally.

Upcoming themes and deadlines
Water In The Desert2 December 2022
Odd16 December 2022
They Who Hesitate31 December 2022
Open category (ie. no theme)Submit anytime

Terms

When you submit your story you’re agreeing for it to be recorded once by The Pillow Talking Project (“Pillow Talking”), and to have the archived podcast and its transcript available indefinitely. There may be an opportunity to include your story in the free Pillow Talking zine; I will contact you for special permission if I choose to use your story for this. Your story is your own and you will retain all copyright control, and we will treat it with utmost respect and integrity; however, when you submit your story you’re also agreeing for it to be narrated and edited for clarity (hey – it happens to the best of us).

Your story won’t be used or sold outside Pillow Talking and you will be credited as the author and owner by whatever name you choose, both in the podcast and episode show notes. You also have the option of submitting your author/podcast website URL for us to link to in the show notes.

Submitting your story doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be used in the podcast. I do, however, read each submission and will let you know either way.

Payment for each story used in the podcast is a flat rate of $25AUD, paid via PayPal or Stripe, within 1 week of the episode going to air. (Wondering how much this is in your currency? Check here.) You can also choose to receive your payment as a $25 Kiva gift card, for you to make a micro loan and change someone’s life. (Kiva is a cause close to my heart. You can find out about Kiva here.)

Each episode of Pillow Talking is © The Pillow Talking Project.

Questions about any of this? Get in touch.

Ready to submit? Write on!


Step 1 of 3
Only use your real name if you're comfortable with me using it when telling your story.
I promise to keep your email address safe and only use it for the purposes of getting in touch with you about your story.

* IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT KIVA GIFT CARDS: Should you choose to be paid with a Kiva gift card, you will be able to make a $25 micro loan to someone on the Kiva platform. This is a loan, not a donation, so loan repayments will be paid back to you; once the full amount is paid back, you can choose to withdraw the funds or re-lend them. Find out about Kiva and how it works here.