The Evan’s Support Writing Services operate solely on the efforts of volunteer writers and editors who are willing and able to help a family in need during the tragic time of the death of their child(ren).
We know that obituary writing, or writing about death in general, isn’t the most glamorous of writing, but please know that to the family who is trying to preserve the memory of their child, the story you help them tell will be one that they’ll think about often.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about what it takes to be a writer for us. Feel free to ask us about anything that isn’t covered within!
What do I need to do to be a Life Story writer, poet, or editor?
Writing an obituary or a poem about a loved one who has left us is a type of art form, and we want to make sure that all of our writers can put a nice flair on the piece they are writing for a family. So we ask all of our writers to first submit a sample of their writing. This is how you can show us your creative side in writing the story of someone who has passed.
Poets, please submit a poem, preferably about a person or loss.
Life Story writers, please send us a piece that is similar to the kind of writing we do, preferably an obituary.
Editors, we simply expect that you have a general sense of English grammar and can catch mistakes in other people’s writing and we do not need a writing sample unless you would like to do both. If you would like to write and submit a new piece and need inspiration or a person to write about, please feel free to use Evan (you can read his story HERE).
Please send your writing sample, the best email address to reach you at, and a phone number (with area code so we can offer our services in your area) that can receive text messages to email@example.com with a note saying that you would like to write (either as a poet, for Life Stories, or both) for our organization.
If you would rather just act as an editor for us, you can shoot an email and same contact information to the same address saying so.
Know that you may have to check your junk mail for responses from us.
What kind of requests does Evan’s Support get for writing?
For all of our writing, there are two types of requests:
- Immediate requests
These are for families who want to use the Life Story or poem for the funeral or death announcement; the typical time frame to complete these is one or two days.
- “After” requests.
These are requested after the funeral (weeks, months, or even a few years after) when the family would like a beautiful poem or story written about their child; the typical time frame for these is under a week.
Do you have an example of what an obituary could look like?
Your best bet for making something awesome and meaningful is to write from your heart in a way that you feel suits best. For some guidence, we suggest looking at Evan’s story because that’s what came from OUR hearts, but you can also find some other great reads in MPR’s Art of the Obituary or from our own collection.
Will I be writing for families across the entire United States?
When our pool of writers grows, our volunteer writers will serve their own communities. However, until that happens, we may be calling upon writers to work with families who live in completely different areas of the United States than themselves. We want to be accessible to any and all families in the country who may need our help during their time of tragedy and need.
How often will I have to write an obituary for a family? I don’t always have a lot of free time.
We expect our writers to be called upon under five times a year, but because this is a new org and idea, we don’t know for sure. Additionally, if called upon for a family, you have the option to defer it to someone else based on your own time commitments. This is a very fluid commitment on your part.
What happens if I’m needed to write for a family and how will I be notified?
When we receive a request for a writing service, we send out notifications to our poets and writers via text message and email; we found that texting is the fastest and emails give the most information — combining them works wonders. The first person to respond back with a “yes” will be the writer, the second person will be a back-up writer. If we don’t have anyone from the local area, we will expand our search to different regions.
Where will I get the information about the child?
As a writer for us in either capacity, you will receive a questionnaire that the family has filled out about their memories of their child as well as a photo or two. The questions are formed in a way to collect as much information as possible about the child to give an adequate picture of the type of person they were. Additionally, you will have contact information for the families in case you have any questions or need more information.
What if I don’t agree with the beliefs/values/etc. of the family I’m
Our Life Stories and poems are written as if the family has written it, laced with their beliefs, values, and memories. Sure, each of our poets and writers will have their own style, but it’s important to always keep the family first. For some, this is the hardest task. If at any point (sooner rather than later), you feel that you can no longer write for a family due to feeling uncomfortable because of clashing views or anything else, you can opt out of writing and we will find another writer for the family, no questions asked.
Do I get to put my name on the obituary that I write?
As writers, and as an org, we don’t want to take credit for the writing that we do for these families. As far as we’re concerned, the words were theirs to tell, we just helped it get put down on paper. Sometimes, a family may want to give you credit for the work that you did for them, but it is up to that family’s discretion on how credit is given to the writer.
My question about writing and editing wasn’t answered in your FAQ!
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can answer it for you!