How Underdogs Shine!

Summer Six Word Photo Story Challenge: “Shine!”

Body parts featured in “Human Parts.”

Since I launched and created the Six Word Photo Story Challenge publication in September 2021, I haven’t written as many long-form stories as I used to. But when I do, they’re often about my life experiences related to the fitness adventures or personal challenges I’ve embraced — as an underdog.

I self-published this swimming story last Thursday. It was “chosen for further distribution,” and a few hours later, an editor from one of the biggest Medium-owned publications, Human Parts, reached out to me via email:

“I’m writing because your story really stood out, and we want to help it find a wider audience by featuring it in Human Parts…Again, I loved your story and appreciate you sharing your work on Medium.”

I was surprised and delighted the editor selected my story. This is the first time the Human Parts publication contacted me about an article I wrote. The editor suggested a new subtitle, and they pulled my story into their publication on Tuesday. 

The only way to get featured in Human Parts is if the editors happen to find your self-published story, decide it’s a good fit, and then they will contact you via email to ask for your consent.

My name isn’t well-known on the platform, I don’t have a large audience outside my small Six Word Photo Story Challenge publication, and I struggle with promoting my writing beyond Medium, Facebook, and my blog. I’m grateful for any extra support that Medium can provide.

Somehow they found my story amongst the hundreds of other stories from more prolific or popular writers— I guess underdogs can stand out too!

This news brightened my day and it was the sunshine I needed to replenish my writer’s heart and give me an extra kick to keep persevering with swimming and writing. 

To my fellow underdogs — keep chasing progress, not perfection. Keep shining.

Here’s the story.

Why Ignorance is Bliss When You’re the Underdog
How underdogs chase progress not

What’s your “Shine!” story? Can you portray the meaning of Shine!, take a photo of it, and tell a story about your experience in six words? See details and rules below if you’d like to submit a story to participate.

Shine! Sexy Summer Challenge
Summer Six Word Photo Story Challenge: “Shine!”

About the Writer

Mary Chang is the editor of the Six Word Photo Story Challenge publication — inspired by her original 6-Word Photo Story Summer Challenge writing prompt (2021) on Medium. She’s also a writer, parent, and fitness enthusiast — and loves creating monthly challenges. Fueled by cartwheels, laughter, and encouraging people to shine.