Telling Our Covid Stories

CHER invites Trinity College students to submit stories about the Covid pandemic to deepen our understanding of different people’s experiences of this crisis, and how communities have responded. These stories will be made publicly available to highlight the variety of experiences and to remind us about the importance of connection and community during this difficult period.

1) Pitch your story idea and format — essay, photography, audio, or video — in our online form. Apply in early April to guarantee consideration, and submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You can propose to work solo or with a partner.  Applicants must also agree that all work is original and may be shared on the public web.

2) CHER will review submissions and seek to match you with an editor on our staff and if requested, a funding source (such as a related Trinity departmental or program budget with unspent funds). Funding preference will be given to students with demonstrated financial need. We cannot guarantee a match or funding.

3) If the student agrees to the match and funds are available, a set amount will be paid to complete the work. For this initial round, we anticipate that a typical submission will require 10 hours of work per person (or about $110 per person through Trinity student hourly payroll, with direct deposit to your account). 

4) When the student and their assigned editor agree that the work is complete, CHER will arrange for it to be hosted on a Trinity website and made available to the public.

Background: This initiative draws inspiration from Federal Project Number One of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which employed thousands of artists, musicians, and writers to create cultural works during the Great Depression of the 1930s. We recognize that Trinity students can draw on their liberal arts skills to create stories from different communities to share with broader audiences. Furthermore, we aim to connect student contributors — particularly those with financial need during this crisis — with Trinity funding sources to pay them as hourly student workers. 

Here are some prompts to help you think about how you can structure your project. Remember, this is a project about your experience so there is no wrong way to do it. You can be creative and come up with your own ideas, or take some inspiration from the ideas below.

  • Video or written essay: What has changed or what has stayed the same for you during Covid-19? What has been difficult? What has been positive?
  • Video, photos, or written essay: How has your community responded to the pandemic?
  • Video or written essay: Many people have been staying in some level of quarantine the past few weeks. Have you had time to reflect? What are you thinking about or wondering about? 
  • How have you been staying connected with classmates/friends during Covid-19? You might compile screenshots of your group texts, photos of your video chats or Instagram posts, or writing.
  • Are you on campus, at home, with a friend? What does campus or your hometown look like? You might send in a video or photo series of photos with captions.
  • Video, written essay, or photo series: Have you helped your neighbors or volunteered either in-person or remotely?
Pitch Your Story In Our Online Form

Photos courtesy of The Art Story, Leslie Hammond, Erica Crowley, and Megan Faver Hartline.

See also: Volunteer in the Hartford Area During Covid-19