Writers Reaching Out
Are you an Al-Anon member interested in writing an article?
Are you an experienced, published writer and a member of Al-Anon?
Are you a member of Al-Anon and an aspiring writer who would like to publish stories of personal recovery to non-Al-Anon publications?
If the answer is, “Yes!” The Al-Anon World Service Office invites you to use your talent and writing skills to help carry the Al-Anon message of recovery to readers who are still suffering from someone else’s drinking. Select local, regional, or national magazines, journals, Web sites/blogs, or other publications that you feel are appropriate for your work. If you haven’t been published before, try submitting your work to your church bulletin, organizational newsletter, or community newspaper. Please apply the principles of Al-Anon in your recovery writing—especially anonymity and confidentiality.
Anonymity outside the fellowship
When writing or speaking as an Al-Anon or Alateen member in publications, films, on TV, radio, or the Internet, we do not reveal our full name or allow our face to be shown. On the other hand, if we do not reveal our Al-Anon/Alateen membership, we can use our full name and face in the media and printed word.
Some ways to write a story without breaking anonymity
Write your personal experience anonymously as an Al-Anon member, using first name only or a pseudonym as author. Do not allow your photo to appear in connection with the story.
• “Attending Al-Anon helped me learn how to take care of myself and gave me wonderful support through all the tough times.” (Authored by Betty B.)
Write your personal experience using your full name as author without revealing Al-Anon membership. Photos may be used.
• “Growing up with alcoholism left me wounded. I began to heal when I sought help in a recovery program.” (Authored by Betty Brown)
Write about Al-Anon without revealing your own membership.
• “Alcoholism affects more than just the drinker, the whole family suffers. Help is available in Al-Anon Family Groups right here in our community.” (Authored by Betty Brown)
Write nonfiction in the third person using your full name as author. Write about yourself as if it happened to someone else. This does not reveal the author’s membership. If you want to use elements of other members’ stories, it is important to obtain their permission, and to withhold identifying details.
• “Susan Smithers (not her real name) broke through her isolation when she reached out for help. In Al-Anon, she met others who had experienced what it was like to live with alcoholism.” (Authored by Betty Brown)
Write fiction using your full name as author. Create a character who has been affected by alcoholism and attends Al-Anon or Alateen.
We’d like to share your success…
• Would you send the WSO a copy of your submission and indicate where you sent it? Please send to WSO, attention: Writers reaching out.
• Would you let the WSO know when and where your story will appear?
• Would you accept the gratitude of worldwide Al-Anon/Alateen for carrying the message of recovery to families and friends of alcoholics who are still suffering?
Let us know if we can help…
Would you like permission to use brief excerpts from Conference Approved Literature? Can you use statistical information from recent membership surveys? For additional information, follow the links below.
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 757-563-1600; or fax 757-563-1656.
• “Anonymity” from “Inside Al-Anon” in the April 2005 Forum magazine
• Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual, “Policy Digest” section on “Anonymity”
• Attracting and Cooperating (S-40)
• WSO Members’ Survey Results
“As an individual, not an Al‑Anon spokesperson, any member may write an article about the fellowship for local or national publications, and may be financially remunerated. The personal anonymity of someone writing as a member is maintained by signing anonymously or using a pseudonym. Personal anonymity also applies to members who author books or create other public communications.” (2014-2017 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual, p.115)