We have launched two anonymous series: one essay series on our Women's only, closed Facebook group, "The Layers Platform." The second now open on Instagram- one sentence to one paragraph statements.
For as long as Layers has been around, we have received anonymous submissions from women who wanted to share their stories but did not feel ready to share their names publically. Our approach thus far has been to only publish non-anonymous pieces, because we felt that we were attempting to do our best to break stigma within the community, and in order to do so, we needed to stand tall and relinquish the shame that came with those stigmas. We needed to challenge the fear of being different, outside or imperfect, and tagging our names to our stories was an important part of that process.
We still feel that way, but as we have waded deeper into the pain of the women in our community, we acknowledge that not every story could be easily told with an identity- but that does not mean that they should not be heard. Sometimes writing requires being sensitive to other players in our lives, and that might mean that even though we are comfortable talking about something, it would hurt someone else to share it. Oftentimes, we need to be cognizant of their privacy.
Because The Layers Platform is a closed space for Jewish women, we have an opportunity to open discourses that may be uncomfortable but are deeply relatable and important. The whole point of Layers is to make each other feel less alone, and help one another access healing, through connection.
As a response to these ideas, we have decided to begin a new series to be hosted on The Layers Platform only, called, “In-Confidence.” We will accept essays written to our Layers community written in the same style as our magazine essays. The purpose of these essays will be to make meaning of pain, searching to open respectful conversations about exceptionally difficult topics, and serve as a conversation opener about what the community should know or needs to address or acknowledge in relation to this particular struggle.
These essays must be in the same polished, non-judgemental style as the rest of the pieces we publish. We are not looking for posts that are searching for “advice”- just support and conversation. We will not edit these essays, but we may choose to remove something if we feel it is not aligned with our values.
- We are only looking to publish full essays. That means pieces of original writing between 650-1000 words. We are looking for full sentences and fleshed out ideas, and edited for spelling and grammar.
- Though it may be tempting to simply reveal a secret, or something that you may consider shameful, we are not simply looking to tell secrets. We are looking for pieces of writing that also make meaning of those feelings or experiences. We want to know- not just about the experience, but also, what do you think other women can learn from your truth? Help educate us about what you’ve experienced- the pitfalls, the complications, and even the blessings.
- If you are writing a response (or comment) to another essay we have published, please be careful not to pathologize or diagnose the situation or person you are referring to. Remember that the writings shared here are likely a drop in the bucket of the experience, and there is so much that we don’t know. The story may feel familiar to you, or similar to something you have experienced. But it’s not our job to make definitive statements about what we don’t fully understand. They can be hurtful to our writers.
We value and respect your privacy. We also try our best to publish content that will be healthy for our readers to read, in the same way we do on the magazine. Graphic and disturbing descriptions may not be always appropriate for this venue. But the feelings behind those experiences we believe are vital and deserve to be heard.
We are eagerly looking forward to hearing more of what you all have to say. The honesty has been so refreshing. The freedom to share has been rewarding. The support from our community, to our writers has been so moving.
You continue to inspire and motivate us to continue to share.
Announcing a new anonymous series- this time- for Instagram! While we publish 750-1000 word essays on our Facebook group, "The Layers Platform" -- we are now going to be publishing posts that are between 1 sentence to 1 paragraph on our Instagram page, featuring the same topics. If you have something to say, please submit to our 100% anonymous link below and title it "insta". Sometimes there are just true things that need to be said.
Submit to this form below, and your anonymity will be preserved 100%.
If you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen.