The Moment
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SMITH Magazine’s “The Moment”

Can a single, decision, happenstance, accident, call, conversation, or even email change the rest of your life?

THE MOMENT: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure.

Welcome to “The Moment,” stories of how a single moment changed your life in a profound way.

For the past year we’ve been asking SMITH community members and other storytellers we admire to recount a time in their lives that has a profound and lasting impact. Now, we’re thrilled to present a book of our favorites THE MOMENT: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure (Harper Perennial).

The stories in The Moment take many forms: written narratives, photographs, comics, illustrations, handwritten letters, tweets, and more. Contributors include bestselling authors Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Gregory Maguire, musicians Melissa Etheridge and Judy Collins, 100-year-old journalism legend Ruth Gruber, up-and-coming new voices such as Benjamin Percy, Tao Lin and Said Sayrafiezadeh, and many people published for the first time ever.

Give The Moment as a gift and then ask the best question in the world: What’s your Moment?

Press: Contact Martin Wilson at Harper Perennial

Your Moment
Share your Moment on SMITH Magazine and you’ll be considered for a future book of Moments. Your Moment might be a split-second decision, something you witnessed, a message sent or received, a literal or mental discovery. Moments can be serious or silly, as short as a tweet, as long as 1,200 words, told via a single image or illustration, series of photos, a scanned letter, or a post-it note.

Submit your Moment here or via email, Facebook, or Twitter (#mymoment).

What’s a Moment? It can be almost anything, as long as it’s true, personal, and changed your life in some way.

  • Text Moments, as few as 50 and as many as 1,200 words. Most of the text moments will be short essays, but they can also be Twitter feeds, Facebook status updates, IMs, or text messages sent or received.
  • A postcard or letter, sent or received—or some other form of communication that provided inspiration, or altered your life.
  • A photograph, a single shot, or series.
  • An illustration or comic, a single panel, or series.
  • Specs: The book will be 7-1/8 (height) x 5-1/2 (wide). So images/illos need to be a little smaller than that, and at least 600 DPI.
  • Something different altogether—we look forward to being surprised by your creativity!

Moments Are Like This…

  • Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, overhead her parents talking one evening, and her four-year-old world was profoundly rocked. She writes: “Hearing my mother’s voice calling to my father like that filled me with the most eerie and unsettling realization—namely, that these two people, my parents, existed separately from me.” Read her Moment.
  • Jeremy Toback was at an anti-war rally in DC when he realized that he could not stop the war in Iraq, but he might be able to stop his marriage from falling apart: Read his Moment.
  • Cheryl Della Pietra picked up the phone at 3am to find it was Hunter S. Thompson calling. She had one moment to accept the offer to become his assistant, provided she could leave the next morning. Read her Moment.
  • AJ Jacobs watched as his third-grade science teacher chucked a piece of chalk at his friend Max. As a stunned classroom looked on, the teacher said, “I shouldn’t have done that.” That was the moment AJ realized that adults are just as big fuck-ups as kids.
  • Adriano Morae almost pulled a knife on his schizophrenic brother. Instead, as his six-panel illustration details, he put the knife down and decided it was time to leave Brazil and start over in the United States. Read his Moment.
  • Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, ended up in the middle of an international drug ring, looks back at the turning point in her adult life and realizes it when her uncle told her to try driving a car when she was just fourteen.
  • Karol Nielsen saw a New York Times photo essay on families going to war, and it sparked her own memory about her father being sent to Vietnam when she was six months old. Her “Moment” is a poem about her father in a series of tweets. Read her Moment.

Everyone has a Moment. What’s yours?

By submitting your Moment, you agree to SMITH Magazine’s Terms of Service.

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