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Npr This I Believe Essay Database

Use this feature to search through the tens of thousands of essays that have been submitted to This I Believe. In addition, you can search through the essays from Edward R. Murrow’s original 1950s radio series.

For privacy purposes, when an essay is viewed, the essayist will only be identified by first name, city, and state. The only exceptions to this rule are essayists who have granted permission for use of their last name or essayists from the original 1950s series.

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Each essay is categorized by the age of the person writing the essay. You can mouse over each age category to tell how many essays have been written by people in that age category and click on the age category view essays written by people in that age group.

Under 1818 - 3030 - 5050 - 6565+

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Themes are displayed relative to the number of essays tagged with each theme. You can mouse over each theme to see how many essays have been tagged with that theme or click on the theme to see essays covering that subject.

The People Behind the New 'This I Believe'

Host and Curator
Jay Allison is well known to NPR listeners as the host and co-producer of the All Things Considered and Morning Edition series Lost & Found Sound, Hidden Kitchens, and the post-9/11 Sonic Memorial Project, all created with his friends The Kitchen Sisters. As an independent journalist and documentary maker, Allison has won most of the major broadcasting awards, including five Peabodys. With his non-profit organization Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Mass., he is founder of the Cape and Islands public radio stations, and two acclaimed websites encouraging citizen involvement in public broadcasting, Transom.org and the Public Radio Exchange (prx.org).

Executive Producer
Dan Gediman is a reporter and producer whose work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Marketplace, Soundprint, Jazz Profiles and This American Life, for which he produced a profile of his brother, a Tom Jones impersonator. During his 20-year radio career, Dan has won many of public broadcasting's most prestigious awards for programs such as Breaking The Cycle: How Do We Stop Child Abuse, and I Just Am Who We Are: A Portrait of Multiple Personality Disorder. He also worked with legendary radio playwright Norman Corwin to produce 13 by Corwin and 50 Years After 14 August, which won the duPont-Columbia Award.

Project Manager
John Gregory has worked in public radio for almost 20 years in development, programming, production and marketing. His documentaries have explored environmental and agricultural issues, history, rural healthcare, workplace violence and domestic abuse. He has won the George Foster Peabody Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Senior Editor, NPR
Ellen Silva has been a public radio producer and editor for more than 18 years. She worked for many years at NPR's national daily call-in talk show, Talk of the Nation, where she held several positions, including senior producer and senior editor jobs. That team earned two duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton awards and a Peabody award for coverage of the 1994 Congress, post-Sept. 11 live coverage, and the war in Afghanistan. Most recently, Ellen has been senior editor at NPR's evening magazine, All Things Considered, handling commentaries and other duties. Before coming to NPR in 1994, she worked at public radio stations WRTI, WHYY and WAMU, as a jazz deejay, a researcher at Fresh Air and as the senior producer at the Derek McGinty Show, which won the 1994 Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Medal award for public affairs programming.

Senior Editor, 'This I Believe'
Viki Merrick was a radio producer and production coordinator for ABC News in Rome, Italy, and location/production manager for film documentaries. Since the founding of Atlantic Public Media in 1995, she has been producing essays and features for national broadcast on NPR and for the Cape and Island public radio stations, WCAI/WNAN. Viki is an editor on the Peabody award-winning website, Transom.org, and a collaborator on the two Peabody Award-winning series, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project.

Submissions Editors
The team from Atlantic Public Media includes Jay Allison and Viki Merrick, and fields all incoming essay submissions. They have many years of experience reviewing material from listeners and new public radio voices for projects like Lost & Found Sound, Life Stories, The Sonic Memorial Project,
Hidden Kitchens, public radio stations WCAI/WNAN, and the Public Radio Exchange (prx.org). All members of the team are editors of the Peabody award-winning website, Transom.org.

Sydney Lewis is the author of three oral histories and an assistant and transcriber for acclaimed oral historian Studs Terkel. She has edited award-winning radio essays for WBEZ radio in Chicago and written for Chicago Tribune Magazine. Sydney produces content for Atlantic Public Media for local (WCAI/WNAN) and national air.

Helen Woodward produces for Atlantic Public Media content for local (WCAI/WNAN) and national broadcast. A British citizen, she was previously an environmental policy consultant before moving to the U.S.

Melissa Robbins has worked as an independent producer and as an associate producer with The Kitchen Sisters and Homelands Productions. She studied radio production at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and has previously worked as a newspaper reporter in London and New York City.

Associate Editor
Emily Botein is an independent producer based in Brooklyn. She was senior producer for PRI's The Next Big Thing from 1999 to 2005. Her freelance radio projects have ranged from tracking down Gulf-Coast shrimpers in Texas to recording suicide prevention tests for teenagers in Harlem. Pre-radio, Emily honed her interviewing skills developing exhibits at the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

Associate Producer
Amy Fisher has been a video production coordinator for a production company and a number of short films. She also has experience developing and teaching in an overseas education initiative.

Nubar Alexanian is a documentary photographer whose work has been regularly featured in major magazines in the United States and Europe. A Fulbright Fellow, Alexanian co-founded Essex Photographic Workshop, one of the most successful residential programs in photography in Massachusetts.

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