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Can't find housing? Struggling with rising costs? Tell your story, in your own words

Are you struggling to find an affordable place to live, or priced out of the housing market?  (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Are you struggling to find an affordable place to live, or priced out of the housing market? (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

If you've been struggling with the rising cost of, well, everything — you're not alone. P.E.I. has seen some of the highest inflation rates in the country, average rents are higher than they've ever been, the cost to buy a house has just about doubled in the last decade, the cost of food seems like it just keeps going up, and the list goes on.

That's where you come in. Have you ever thought about writing your own story, sharing your perspective or life experience?

There's a Google form at the bottom of this page, but here's some more info before we get there.

What's a First Person column?

Great question!

CBC's First Person columns are a place to tell your story — in your own words. It's a more personal way of sharing a story and gives readers a little peek into your life experience.

A really good First Person piece can change the way someone sees the world by bringing them a new perspective, or even make someone feel a little less alone if they see themselves in your story.

Here's an FAQ with more about CBC's First Person stories.

What are you looking for?

We publish all kinds of pieces, but this series is on housing and the cost of living.

You don't have to be a professional writer — we'll work with you every step of the way. You just need to have a story you can tell in around 500 to 600 words, and it has to be an original piece that hasn't been published anywhere else.

The more specific the better. Focus on one slice of your life experience rather than trying to cover everything.

Maybe you're a renter who can't afford a place to live. Maybe you've had to give up on buying a house, or you've been forced to move back home or drop out of school. Maybe you've turned to the food bank to feed your family, or you work two or three jobs and you're still not making enough to live. These are just ideas to help you get started!

Here are a few examples from a series on climate change:

The requirements

  • You have to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who can legally work in Canada, because the writers we choose will be paid for their work.

  • You have to be available to work with your editor (that's me!) throughout the editing process.

  • You have to consent to having your name and photos published on our website.

What's next?

I'm a producer here at CBC P.E.I. and the editor behind most of our First Person pieces.

I'll go through the submissions with our editorial team in Charlottetown and pick a handful of people whose stories reflect all kinds of life experiences. I'll get back to everyone who submits, even if your pitch isn't the right fit.

If we pick your story, I'll walk you through what to expect as we edit your piece. I'll work with you from your first draft to publication, from the story itself to the headline and the pictures that'll go along with the piece.

If you have any questions, you can email me at: devon.goodsell@cbc.ca.

Submit your pitch here

Some more First Person examples

People shop in the produce aisle of a grocery store in Toronto, Monday, July 17, 2023.
People shop in the produce aisle of a grocery store in Toronto, Monday, July 17, 2023.

Maybe you've had to change the way you buy food or learn new recipes because groceries have gotten so expensive, (Cole Burston/CBC)