Amplifying Young Secular Voices of Color

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

One of the most important priorities of the secular media company OnlySky is to broaden the conversation and perspective of the nonreligious community. Part of that involves exploring topics beyond our usual focus until we’re engaging the whole human experience from a secular point of view.

To do so, we must embark on a huge project of unpacking and rediscovery. Gods have been a part of the human story for as long as we’ve been telling it, shaping and coloring our conception of who we are. What if we take one natural world and one mortal life as a starting point? What is the world really like when you scrub off centuries of religious influence? Who are we, why are we that way, and how can we improve on that by seeing the world and ourselves more clearly? That’s the better, truer story OnlySky wants to tell.

But gods haven’t been the only challenging characters so far. We’ve too often focused on the victors and their victories, on one race, one culture, one gender, one class. This project is about understanding how much richer and fuller the secular community story really is and using that understanding to move everyone forward.

That challenge goes beyond broader topics. To tell that greater human story, we need the broadest possible spectrum of storytellers—a dynamic range of ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and experiences on our creative team.

The secular community’s longstanding skew toward older, white men has also limited the way we see ourselves and the stories we tell. Breaking out of those limits means elevating and amplifying diverse new voices.

To highlight the work and stories of diverse young secular creators, OnlySky is sponsoring the Young Secular Voices of Color competition. People of color under 40 years of age whose worldview is nonreligious are encouraged to submit either a feature article of 1,500-2,500 words or a recorded, scripted podcast episode of 20-25 minutes (voice only) in one of the following subject areas:

  • Arts
  • Science and technology
  • Social justice
  • Comedy
  • Generation Z
  • Personal stories

Although your worldview should be secular, that doesn’t have to be on the surface of the piece. OnlySky wants your perspective on any aspect of the human experience, not just on being secular. The ideal submission includes a narrative storytelling element, whether personal or otherwise, as well as something that shakes up the perspective of the reader or listener, or tells the story of how your own perspective was shaken up.

One first prize of $500 will be selected from all submissions, as well as three second-place prizes of $250. All winners will receive an invitation to join the OnlySky creative team.

Submissions should be original and unpublished online or in print. Submit articles as a Word document or Google Doc link; submit podcast episodes as an mp3 file.


DEADLINE: All submissions must be received by 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, July 31, 2022. Winners will be notified and announced by Monday, August 22.

We look forward to hearing and seeing you, learning from your perspective, and sharing your story with the OnlySky community.