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Created February 8, 2013 by
The written word: Your personal essays

Here at CNN iReport, we tend to focus on photos and videos. But we’ve seen strong, well-written essay submissions that beautifully express personal stories as well. From a mom raising her kids without religion to a man struggling to overcome panic attacks, these iReporters have told their stories and sparked conversation with the written word. Their personal essays impressed us so much that we’d like to encourage more of them on the site.


So, here’s your chance: If you have a personal story that you’d like to share with the world, write up your experience and share it here. Try to keep it to 1,000 words or less, and be sure to submit a photo of yourself – preferably one that’s relevant to the piece – to go along with your essay. You can also check out our handy essay-writing tips here and watch our roundtable here. The best-written and most compelling submissions could run with your byline on


If your essay tackles a parenting issue, please share it on our "Confessions from imperfect parents" page.


Please note: This assignment will focus on personal stories and life experiences. If you’d like to discuss the news of the day or share your thoughts on the issues, please visit Sound Off. And if you’d rather tell your story in pictures, check out our photo essays assignment.


Published on CNN

Anxiety, you're not the boss of me

Everything I need to know, I learned in music class

I hired an Aspie – now what?

Ostomy saved me from a life in the bathroom

The girl in the mirror is my enemy

Losing my father's smile

My name is Nandini, and I'm an introvert

The power of forgiveness: Apartheid-era cop's memories of Nelson Mandela

I have Asperger's, I play violent video games - and I'm not going to shoot you

An adult in the pediatric ward: What the littlest Cancer Avengers taught me

Rwanda wasn't what I thought it would be

I was an accomplice to my brother's suicide

How I learned to live after trying to end my life

I didn't know I was undocumented

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