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Korea Stories

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Credit: madamepsychosis on Flickr (cc)

Credit: madamepsychosis on Flickr (cc)

Participate in This Book Project

You’ve heard them. You have them. Stories.

Stories of the crazy expat. Stories of the eccentric but wonderful elderly Korean gentleman. Travel mishaps and glories. Silly mistakes when adjusting to life in Korea.

Share your stories with the world.

We’re putting together the most entertaining and interesting stories and publishing them as an e-book or whatever format we can. I’ve heard so many stories over the years, that it’s a pity that they disappear into the ether. There aren’t that many books out there that collectively express the Korean experience from an outsider’s perspective. If any of the stories I’ve heard at pubs are indication, this could turn out to be an epic read.

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How to Participate

We’re in the initial pitch stage now. Fill out this form. One form per story. Feel free to fill out another form for another story, as many times as you wish. Include your name, email, category, and a quick one paragraph summation of your story–like a movie pitch. Or an elevator pitch, something you can tell someone in the length of an elevator ride. We don’t want real names. Substitute them. We also don’t want highly negative stories trashing Koreans and Korea. It’s a fine line to walk between quirky funny and mean spirited. A little exaggeration is fine, but it must be rooted in something that actually happened.

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Here is a loose rundown of the categories:

  • Amazing Koreans – Characters who stand out in your mind. Is there a story you remember about them?
  • Loony Expats – There are some expat stories that are legendary. This wasn’t called the “Wild East” for nothing. Especially the stories of pre-World-Cup expats–if you have those stories we’re all ears. That was one crazy time.
  • Adjusting to Life – Did you do something so egregiously stupid that you still kick yourself for it? What was your most embarrassing experience in Korea? Do you have a pubworthy story of a significant accomplishment?
  • Straddling Worlds (Gyopo Stories) – There’s a unique and interesting viewpoint Korean-Americans (Korean-British, Korean-Offlanders) bring that few ever read. The most interesting blogs come from Korean who weren’t born or didn’t grow up in Korea. The stories must be great as well.
  • Making It Domestic (Family Stories) – What makes Korean different from other big Asian locales, like Hong Kong and Singapore, is that it doesn’t have generations of expats. The average stay of a foreigner is two years. What’s it like to actually plant roots here and start a family? How was it like meeting the parents? Are are things with the in-laws? Have you ever taken them back to your home country? What really stresses you out? How is Korea a good place to raise a family? Or is it?
  • Hold on to Your Stapler (Workplace Stories) – There are many English teaching stories, and we’re open to them. But we really want to know what it’s like working for a Korean corporation. Any crazy huisik? Did you end up being pressured to go someplace you normally wouldn’t go? How’s the office culture compared to your home country?
  • Travel Stories – Adventures. Mishaps. Hidden finds. That moment when everything clicked. And that moment when everything fell apart.
  • Banchan (General Stories) – Basically the stuff that does not fit neatly in the other categories. Granted, not really interested in “man, I was so drunk that time” tales with Seth Rogen playing your role in the movie version. If you could tell only one story to your friends back home about your time in Korea, what would it be?

There is no set timeline for this project. We’re just seeing if something is there.

What’s in It for You?

Still working on that. Of course, you’ll get free copies of the book. We can’t monetarily compensate you, but we can figure out other ways (dinner, drinks, swag). I personally have contributed my share of pieces for books without expecting much in return beyond the satisfaction of getting something published. If we find your pitch worth working on we can discuss more as we progress.

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