Write about your First Times for Rife

Illustration by Amber’s Illustrations

Rife wants your personal essays on the theme of ‘First Times.’ 

First times can be scary. But they can also be exciting, meaningful and eye-opening. Whatever what your First Time was like, we want to hear about it.

We want to publish your personal essays on the theme of ‘First Times.’ 

Not just losing your virginity, or passing your driving test (though we’d like to hear about that too), but maybe the first time you felt different, the first time you knew you had to leave home, or the first time you told someone a secret you’d been holding onto way too long. Write us something that means something to you – something you’d like to share with someone else, maybe to help them feel less alone when they have their first time.

We can offer you:

  • £100 for every essay we choose to publish.
  • Editorial support as you write your essay – so please don’t be put off if you feel like you’re an inexperienced writer, or even if you’ve never written an essay before. It’s all about the idea.
  • Publication on Rife along with an amazing illustration from Amber’s Illustrations, so you can pop it in your portfolio or on your CV.

When you send us your idea:

  • Make it no more or less than 150-250 words long – this is hard, we know, but it really helps you (and us) to drill down on what’s most important about your essay’s message.
  • Feel free to add as many links to other stuff as you like for context.
  • Make sure it’s non-fiction and drawn from your own experiences.
  • Have a think about our target audience – they’re young people, like you.
  • Try and think about the emotions you’d get your reader to feel, and why your essay would connect with them.
  • Make sure you send it in by 7th October.
  • Need a hand to pitch? Email sammy.j@watershed.co.uk.

Send your ideas to sammy.j@watershed.co.uk by 7th October. We’ll get back to you by 11th October. 

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.