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Public Radio Essays

This I Believe is an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Foreign Languages

It's National Foreign Language Week, a time when American high schools, colleges, and universities celebrate and recognize the importance of learning languages other than English. For some, the goal of learning a new language is to satisfy a grade in school. But for these essayists, learning other languages changed their world.

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Top 100 Essays USB Drive

This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from the 1950s series. It can be loaded to your computer, your mobile device, or plugged straight into your car. Perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Submissions to
Weekend All Things Considered

Dear Listeners:

Many of you have written asking how you can submit an essay to Weekend All Things Considered. Here are our guidelines:

1. Keep It Short. That means, between 2-3 minutes, read aloud. Three minutes is about a page and a half, double-spaced, typed, and that must include time for an "introduction" to your story. We will contact you to edit your piece IF we think we can use it. If we can't use your piece, we'll try to tell you so, gently. It may indeed be a great piece, but we are few, and our time is short (we're only half the length of Weekday ATC!), so we have less room to run short essays.

2. Keep It Interesting. We'll be honest: we get an awful lot of essays about having a child. Or having a parent. Or losing a parent. In fact, if it's happened in your peer group, we've probably heard from many of you about it already. These things happen to us too, and believe us, we read all of your submissions with respect. We're really touched that you relate to our show enough to send us your stories.

What we love getting are small stories of things that don't happen to all of us, but somehow draw us in. Recently we aired a story by a woman who makes a ritual of feeding her farm cows first, on Christmas. Then she found out her father used to feed the cows first, back in Poland, on Christmas. We liked the story of the Mennonite Ladies Volleyball team, and the teen from India who wanted a pierced nose like her friends in New York but her mom wouldn't let her. These are some examples - and guess what? They were really short! That's part of the charm in a radio essay.

3. Op-ed Pieces Work Better in Print. We're happy to hear from you in response to news we've covered, and we try to air some of your comments in our "Letters" segment.

4. How It Works:
You can mail your essay to
WATC EDITOR, NPR, 635 Massachussetts Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20001.
Or you can E-Mail to watc@npr.org
and note this is a "Submission."

Put your name, address, e-mail, and telephone number on whatever you send. You do not need to tape record your submissions - we prefer a print copy first.
We Will Not Return Copies Sent To Us so keep a spare for yourself!

Because of the volume of mail we get, we may not be able to reply to your submission individually. If we are interested, we'll call you and set up an "edit," where we edit your copy and work with you on your voice.

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