We need you. We want you.
You have ideas too about the incredible initiatives and places that are now in the world that support us as people. That could be anything: a cafe that puts community as much as coffee at the center of what it does, a creative center that values social practice with those contemporary trends, a retreat that has a human-centered mission and not just a body-centered one. We favor great design, accessibility, inclusiveness and whenever possible bricks-and-mortar, physical places where people can gather, learn and play together.
There are two ways to get involved: 1/ submit an idea for a place that advocates for our mental wellbeing in interesting ways. 2./ contribute a written piece—a caption on a place, an interview with a founder of a space or initiative, or a personal essay—to our online platform. For both of these, we recommend that you first read the pieces on our site for tone and content, and check out our Categories and Criteria here for a little more direction. We imagine that one of the Categories will resonate more with you than others.
If Lost Start Here features places worldwide that are kind to our minds and our lives. Which means we really need your help building this guide. Your contributions will help us grow this list of places and ways of being in our worlds, and make sure that people have access to the everyday destinations they need for wherever they are in their lives.
We can only build this together. Thank you.
Have an idea for somewhere we should feature? Tell us about about that place you love so much on the form below, as well as a little about yourself and why you want to let other people know about it. If we like it and it fits with our tone and mission, we’ll try to include it on our site, with a credit back to you!
If Lost Start Here aims to feature multiple voices, with all the perspectives and experiences that involves. We welcome your written contributions to our platform. There are three types of articles that we’re interested in:
1/ Captions to places (300-600 words): These are short pieces that form an overview of a place in the world that approaches our mental wellbeing in interesting ways. The tone of these is objective, informational and directive, giving enough context on a place so that our readers can quickly decide if this is somewhere that fits with what they need. In your writing, try to make us feel what it is to experience a place and how to best engage with it. See Sophie’s piece on Teutulia; or Claire’s on Canvas Cafe.
2/ Personal narratives (1000-1500 words): These tend to be longer pieces with a more personal take on a place. They tell a story of somewhere in relation to someone’s experience of it. This might be about a specific place like Amanda’s on Joshua Tree or a type of experience like Lindsey’s on Cycle Class. We want to hear your voice in these submissions.
3/Interviews (1000-1500 words): Know of a place, space or initiative and have a connection to its founder? Then interview them for a piece. We love featuring the people who are making these things happen for us. Take a look at Nora’s piece on Angela Skudin at The Codfish Cowboy and Claire’s piece on Kris Galmarini at Neve & Hawk.
For all of the above, we’re looking for engaging articles on the go-to places that you turn to when everything feels too much (or to stop you from getting there in the first place). In addition to looking at the specific places we can go to when mental health issues strike, we’re also interested in how we operate generally, what types of places bring us comfort and put our minds at ease when we’re grasping for breath and feel like we may never come up for air. For us it could be anywhere from a coffee shop to a skate park to a museum to a public art work to a meet-up group to a creative storefront. Just write about where you go when you’re feeling lost. Where’s your somewhere?
If you think you have an idea that fits one of the above, pitch it to us at email@example.com. Just include in your email a summary of the idea, a little about yourself (including any website and social media handles) and why you are a good person to write this piece. Also include any links to other published works so we can get an idea of your writing style.
We read all submissions and endevour to get back to you within 30 days. If we like the idea, we’ll then commission you to write the piece. Please note, we’re not yet in a position to pay for contributions but we’re hoping that will change one day. For now, if selected, we’ll help get your work out there by distributing your piece and crediting you on our website, posting it on social media, including it on Medium and maybe later in printed form.
Thank you!!! We’re looking forward to reading your submissions and building a platform where we can find ourselves together.
x Claire & Amanda