Uncategorized / Wordslingin

Mix’n’Match Stories: The Rules

By Sam Martin

We’re going to take a break from contests for an issue or two, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that your story submissions were PHENOMENAL. We want more! So here’s a writing exercise to showcase more of the prefecture’s talent…

So for those that haven’t heard yet, April is Autism Acceptance month**. Since we as JETs tend to work around people, in the classroom and outside of it, it’s always good to lend our support and learn more about people who live with a different perspective on life. We can be better educators, communicators, and overall people if we’re constantly trying to be more informed about the way others live their lives. **Many people are making the switch to “Acceptance” instead of “Awareness”, because it is not enough to just be aware of people. We should accept people as they are: with all of the flaws, quirks, insight, and gifts they happen to come with.

Therefore, in a slight reference to one of the more well-known and possibly problematic symbols of autism awareness (the puzzle piece)*** but an even bigger reference to a more accurate and increasingly popular logo for autism acceptance (the neurodiversity symbol) I’d like to give out another story exercise! In comic form because visual aids are great!


Mix’n’Match Stories, so called because you will be mix and matched with another anonymous person to finish what you start! In the end we’ll have a diverse, silly, interesting, well-worded collection of original stories!

So here are the rules:

  • Any genre is ok!
  • Each story half is MAX 250 words, MIN 100 words
  • TOTAL STORY MAX 500 words
  • Submit your story beginning with your name by Sunday 10th April, but tell us if you want it ANONYMOUS when we publish the finished products in the following issue.
  • After being matched up, submit the full story by Wednesday 20th April.
  • Submit to goodmorningaomori@gmail.com
  • MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS are okay! But this means you will have the same number of story endings to write afterwards!
  • DON’T CHEAT, e.g. ask people if they wrote the story beginning you are put with 😉
  • ENJOY! I know the prefecture enjoyed getting to read your story submissions last time!

Once again, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR STORY BEGINNING BY Sunday 10th April! Also, don’t forget, if you want feedback given for your story submissions to the last contest, please email me and ask– I’ll get the comments to you ASAP!

In relation to sensitive debate topics, I strongly feel that if we as people are not a part of a group, we need to defer to what that group chooses for themselves to be called or represented by. Therefore, I felt like it was my duty as column editor to provide as much background information as possible, with as much links to the conversations occurring as possible. Thank you!
***The puzzle piece in no way should imply that people with autism need to be “solved”, or that they as people are “incomplete”, which is why there has been lots of conversation on its continued use as a symbol for autism awareness/acceptance. If you’re interested,  please read these articles on the debate as to whether the puzzle piece symbol is one to stay or be replaced!

the neurodiversity symbol

Side-note: many people dislike the puzzle piece symbol because of the association with Autism Speaks (an organization that is problematic at best, and  harmful at worst). If you’re not aware of the organization’s implications beyond what you’ve seen advertised, please read through the links provided!
As with all words and symbolism, there are people who strongly identify with past symbols and those who eschew them (many people and organizations still use Awareness Month). Acceptance in April does not necessarily mean buying a charm bracelet with a puzzle piece on it, or reposting a picture of an Autism Speaks “light it up blue” campaign (in fact, I’d ask that you didn’t do those things but don’t just take my word for it). Growing more aware and learning acceptance can mean just reading articles and blogs and journals to better understand what you’re not informed of.

2 thoughts on “Mix’n’Match Stories: The Rules

  1. Pingback: April 2016, Vol. 1: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes – Good Morning Aomori

  2. Pingback: Mix’n’match Stories: The Promo! – Good Morning Aomori

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