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The Honest Storytelling Challenge: Our Origin Story & Why

By Angela Pang and Taletha Derrington

“It is almost as if we are all playing a big game of hide-and-go-seek. We all hide expecting to be found, but no one has been labeled the seeker. We stand behind the wall, at first excited, then worried, then bored, then anxious, then angry. We hide and hide. After a while, the game is not fun anymore. Where is my seeker? Where is the person who is supposed to come find me here in my protected shell and cut me open? Where is that one who will make me trust him, make me comfortable, make me feel whole? Some people rot on the spot, waiting for the seeker that never comes. The most important truth that I can relate to you, if you are hiding and waiting, is that the seeker is you and the world, behind so many walls, awaits.”

~Vironika Tugaleva

The Honest Storytelling Challenge (THSC) was imagined into existence by Taletha Derrington, then fleshed out by Jenny Liu Zhang showing us her storytelling cards in the first Plot Twisters’ meeting with The Honest Majority. Since then, it has become so much more than simply a team effort to host a writing contest—several revampings after “vamping,” mysterious-to-mystifying technical and natural bugs, and one adorable baby later, we are finally ready to launch! 3… 2… 1…

But wait. What exactly is it that we’re launching?

At a glance, the illustrations depict kintsugi, 金継ぎ, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with powdered gold lacquer to symbolize how brokenness doesn’t inevitably mean hopelessness or worthlessness that can only be tossed out or shamefully covered up; with delicate care and a little creativity, it’s possible to mend the pieces back together in order to create something far more beautiful than mere, impossible “perfection.”

What “the something far more beautiful” is, well, that’s up to you to decide: transformation? Art? Meaning? Acceptance of yourself? Of reality? THSC is here to prompt critical thinking, introspection, and reflection: the rest is left as a challenge to the reader. While there is a high chance of winning a prize, this is not a competition against others as much as a challenge for each entrant to try to be better than who you were before and to tell the story for others to hear. Truly look inside yourself, every forgotten, dusty, or hidden corner. Honestly ask: who am I? What do I value? Why? What is my evidence? What factors made it so difficult for me to know this before? (Add in your own questions here.) This is an opportunity for you to explore your relationship to critical thought, truth, and understanding. We encourage you to dig deeply and share your observations by telling a story that challenges all of us.

“If you don’t examine your values, they might be someone else’s.”

~author unknown

We hope you rise to the challenge:

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