WBUR

FAQ

1. How does this work?
Listeners are then invited to submit their original short stories and essays, which must take place in a Massachusetts ZIP code.  Occasionally, we will suggest themes or particular geographic locations.

2. How long can my story be?
It should be no more than 500 words.

3. Must it be fiction?
We are accepting fiction and non-fiction.

4. Do I have to live in one of the ZIP codes?
No, your story simply has to take place in one of them.

5. Which ZIP codes are highlighted this month?
We’re trying something new this month–any ZIP code is eligible.  We have decided to introduce a theme, “expecting the unexpected.” Please just let us know which ZIP code/town you’re referring to somewhere in the body of your piece or in your cover letter.

6. When is this month’s deadline?
All stories for this round must be submitted by 10pm EST on May 31st

7. Why ZIP codes?
This project is about place. We want you to tell us about your communities, and breaking down the Boston-area by ZIP code allows us to go deeper into specific towns, neighborhoods and villages. The ultimate goal: transport the reader through your writing.

8. How do I submit my story?
There are a few ways. Since we’re a radio station and an audio literary magazine, our favorite way for you to submit is by sending us a recording of yourself reading your story out loud. You can do this using Broadcastr, a social-media platform for location-based stories. Visit the Broadcastr website or use their iPhone and Android apps. Please make sure you tag your story “ZipCodeStories.”

You can also submit your story online here.

Or send it via snail mail (please make sure you include a way for us to contact you) to:

WBUR
Attn: Zip Code Stories/Radio Boston
890 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Fl
Boston, MA 02215

9. What happens once I submit?
A panel of readers from The Drum and WBUR will read each essay and pick one winner.  This winner will be featured on air as well as online at wbur.org and The Drum.

10. I have more questions.
Please contact us via email: zipcode@wbur.org

11. Are there limits to what I can say in my story?
Yes. We will not feature material that is crude, obscene or hateful.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • Cavcmc

    This is a great idea! I am looking forward to the stories.  Can we submit something we have already posted on the web (on my own on publicized blog)? and how can we “encourage” our favorite zipcode to be selected? Thanks

    • Cavcmc

      Should say “non-publicized”

    • Jalpert

      Of course…feel free to submit anything you’ve written that is not published by a third party (and therefore may be protected).  Email us the ZIPs you’d like to see featured! zipcode@wbur.org  

  • Jacqueline Leary

    I loved hearing the Revere story.  I lived for many years on the East Boston/Revere line so next best thing.  I just want to know how to find out which zip codes are being featured each month.  I tried sending the message but it didn’t fly.

    jacquelineleary8@gmail.com

  • Guest

    Can you do some other zip code stories?

    • Jalpert

      The next round of ZIP codes will be announced in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

  • Guest

    When will the winners from the last round be announced? 

  • Robertlmortimer

    Today, for the first time, I heard “zip code stories” on WGBH.  Very entertaining.  Thanks. A comment, though, seems appropriate given the subject.  One of the commentators when citing the zip codes, said 0h, the letter in the alphabet every time she stated a 5 digit zip code.  The “o” in a zip code is actually a digit, namely zero.  So o2139 would be zero, two, one, three, nine; not oh, two, one, three, nine.  My guess is the commentator is from the American midwest, as that is an area where saying the letter “oh” for zero seems widespread. 

    • http://twitter.com/curiositykt curiositykt

      Pretty much every person I’ve ever met in New England says O, one, two, three, four. 

      • Kferone

        I’m from NY originally and would also say O instead of zero . Seems like pretty common and acceptable usage. Like the TV show 90210 (nine oh two one oh) and not Hawaii five-zero

      • Teechkidz

        I’ve lived her my whole life and have lived in various zip codes which start with “0″ and have always said, “Oh”, as has everyone I know.

    • DLA

      55 years in Boston and have always said ‘OH’.   didn’t you watch Zoom growing up???

    • Rrknight2785

      may seem silly but saying “o” instead of zero is more common because “o” has more of a relationship to the other nine digits due to it having only one syllable. Where as zero is more like “zer-oh”, just think of it as people cutting out ZER.

  • http://twitter.com/curiositykt curiositykt

    The ZIIIIIP intro is from the old zip code song! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH_RTZhwuYg&feature=related

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