What is Our Parents?
Our Parents is a project to record the stories we have about those who raised us. A new interview is added around once a month, and there are no criteria about the demographic of the interviewees, nor the content or tone of what they say. The goal is to chronicle the stories we find important, and to print them one after another.
Why only stories about parents?
The way we view our parents and parental figures is one of the most powerful and confounding perspectives in our lives. It is often difficult to explain or appreciate, but everyone has stories to tell about those who raised them, good or bad. They make for remarkable narratives. Over time, the series of stories will show the diversity and richness of family life.
How were these stories gathered?
Interviewees take time out of their lives to volunteer their stories. On average, each interview takes less than an hour to conduct. A recorder is used, so that quotes are as accurate as possible. In general, each interview is divided into the following sections:
- A description of the interviewee by the writer.
- A description of the family, using quotes by the interviewee.
- One or more stories about the people who raised them.
How is the privacy of the interviewee taken into account?
No interview is ever published without the express consent of the interviewee. Each person is asked orally during the interview for permission to print their stories, and then asked again in writing when they are sent the final copy for publication. No interview will ever be published if the interviewee feels at all uncomfortable with the content.
Pseudonyms are also regularly used. At any point before publication, the interviewee may ask that some or all names be changed. Again, stories may not be published in their complete form without consent.
How is Our Parents financed?
Our Parents is not-for-profit. The project will last as long as the founder has time to continue it. Once enough stories are gathered, a printed book will be available for purchase. After this, a small percentage of the profits is deducted to recuperate administrative costs, such as the design of the header and reserving the website address. The remainder will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada. Their website can be reached here.
Who writes the articles?
Mark McLean is the founder and a regular contributor to Our Parents. His other publications include the novel Losing Dominion, a free excerpt of which can be downloaded at www.losingdominion.com.
How do I get involved?
Our Parents is always looking for people to volunteer their stories. If you would like to be interviewed, please contact Mark McLean at email@example.com.
If you would like to write for Our Parents, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.