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What is Voices?

Kensington resident, Jasmin Velez, delivers a speech at Allegheny station in response to the closure of SEPTA’s Somerset station on March 23, 2021. Photo by Solmaira Valerio

Voices is a section of Kensington Voice where community members are given a platform to express themselves. We see it as an opportunity for individuals to share first-person accounts of their experiences in Kensington. The Voices section highlights community perspectives often overlooked in media coverage of Kensington and gives community members control of their personal narratives.

Who is allowed to contribute:

Kensington Voice accepts submissions from community members with a deep connection to the Kensington area. Community members include people who live in, work in, or go to school in our coverage area. Our coverage area stretches from Cecil B. Moore Avenue to Tioga Street and from 6th Street to Aramingo Avenue. This includes Kensington and parts of Harrowgate, Fairhill, Port Richmond, and Norris Square. 

If you do not meet these requirements, we won’t be able to publish your work. 

Partnerships:

Kensington Voice is partnered with Youth United for Change and publishes work submitted by students on a bi-monthly basis to increase youth involvement. If your organization is interested in a creative partnership, please email editors@kensingtonvoice.com.

Accepted forms of work:

Contributors can submit work in the following forms:

  • Personal essays
  • Poetry
  • Opinion pieces
  • Photo essays
  • Open letters
  • Other agreed upon types of work
  • Plagiarism is not allowed or accepted

If submitting a personal essay or opinion piece, we ask for drafts to be a minimum of 300-500 words.

Photo essays should have a minimum of eight photos.

If you’d like to express yourself in another format not listed above, send us an email at editors@kensingtonvoice.com! We are open to suggestions and may be able to work with you. 

Compensation:

Contributions of essays are compensated with a $150 Visa gift-card. Poetry is compensated with a $75 Visa gift-card.

Editorial Process:

After you submit your Voices piece, you’ll work with our editors over Google Docs, and sometimes, over the phone. The editing process is collaborative. We will help you reach a final draft, but we won’t restrict your creative process or change the meaning of your piece.

Typically, we like to include a portrait of the author with their Voices piece, which means you’ll get to meet up with one of our photojournalists, too.

How to pitch to us:

Send us an email at editors@kensingtonvoice.com! Or get in touch over Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Before you begin writing, we ask that you tell us two things:

  1. What’s the topic that you are arguing or expressing in your piece? Note: If you’re not sure what to focus on or you have a few ideas in mind, we can set up a chat with you to help you plan and get started.
  2. What’s your connection to the Kensington area?
    1. Do you live, work, or attend school in our coverage area?
    2. How does your experience in the neighborhood influence the piece you’ll be working on?

Editors: Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters

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