Before sitting down to write your story, review the Telling Our Story
Guidelines below to help structure your writing and your submission.
Telling Our Story aims to produce concise, simple stories about USDA's Food
Aid-funded programs that everyone—especially people outside the field of
international development—can enjoy reading. When composing your story, try to:
Build a narrative flow for your story - with a beginning, middle, and end.
Describe the problem or the issue and USDA's Food Aid’s solution or response.
Avoid acronyms, program names, and partner names.
Focus on the main subject of the story: the people that USDA's Food Aid helps.
Stories submitted to the TOS website must follow the word limits indicated for
each story type.
Any submissions beyond this length will be edited by the TOS team without
consultation with the author.
Success Story: 350-1000 words
First Person: 350-1000 words
Photo & Caption: 500 words
The quality of the photograph can make or break a story. Please review these
Digital photos should be shot with at least a 3-megapixel resolution, and when
possible, maintain at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).
Send only graphics files – do not paste photographs into an MS Word document
and attach that document as your photo submission.
JPEG (or .jpg) files are preferred – GIF files make poor photographs.
Do not alter, compress, or crop photographs – send only original images – TOS
will make any necessary changes.
Do not scan images from publications or other printed materials.
Generally speaking: the larger the file, the better the quality and final
Submitting your story is easy. Simply go to Submit Story’s
submission page and choose the appropriate format. Fill out all
required fields in the story form, upload your photograph, and click “Submit.”
You should receive confirmation that your story was submitted successfully. If
you do not receive confirmation, please verify that your story:
Does not use any special characters (such as accents) in any field.
Does not exceed the maximum length.
Includes a photo attachment in JPG format.