As you can guess, choosing 2011 Content of the Year was a positively ENORMOUS process. Our judges perused thousands of carefully crafted, uniquely informed, and eloquent pieces before narrowing it down. They hogged conference rooms and duked it out on behalf of their favorite contenders for hours. With so many amazing options to consider, the final decision wasn't easy!
Still, with so much great content getting so much attention behind closed doors, we figured it would be a shame not to share more of it. So we rounded up five more community nominations that generated a lot of discussion. Read on and see for yourself just how stiff the competition was!
As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In Michelle Ward’s case, these lemons were significantly sour -- in October 2011 at age 33, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite this major setback, Michelle managed to make some seriously sweet lemonade by sharing her journey with the world in an incredibly hopeful and helpful piece. Michelle not only doles out advice to those facing similar situations, she also imparts a strong sense of self; her story is entirely personal and her attitude is inspiring. This Brooklyn gal’s quirky, comedic, and optimistic approach to spreading the word and her corresponding video left us crying and laughing.
In today’s connected society where a constant stream of information whirs past us at the speed of light, it is easy to forget that each day’s headlines have great personal impact on someone, somewhere. For Lea Matthews, her partner Rachel, and their young daughter, New York state’s decision to legalize gay marriage was truly life changing. This major news event meant that the couple of 14 years could finally plan their wedding – and plan it they did! In true New York fashion, the two were married this past October in Central Park. Lea’s personal take on the impact of this legislation is a great example of how our contributors can take a major news story and run with it – providing unique, first-person coverage that only someone in the midst of it all could.
Sometimes a good piece of writing can completely capture a moment in time. In S. Alexander Cooke’s case, his article embodies both a singular moment in time -- an intense video game match with his daughter -- and a nuanced reflection on a larger societal concern, namely kids and gaming culture. He grabs the reader with an enticing lead and rounds it out with a touch of comedy, explaining why his daughter's enthuiasm for gaming makes him happy and how it actually brings them closer together.
Here at Yahoo! Contributor Network, we're always looking for fresh angles on newsworthy topics. In the midst of royal wedding media frenzy and the kickoff of the 2011 NFL Draft, sportswriter Eric R. Ivie combined not one, but two trending stories in a wholly imaginative way. His article, "2011 Mock Draft of English Monarchs" takes a creative (and hilarious!) dive into the tumultuous worlds of British history and American football. Despite the zaniness of his premise, Eric’s speculations are thoughtful and well supported with research.
Tunisian-born Sophia Tesch came to America at age two. Her parents valued the American Dream and worked hard toward achieving it. After September 11th, their Islamic heritage earned her family some unwanted attention. Despite these unfair circumstances, Sophia speaks to the value of a day like 9/12 – a day when Americans opened their arms and came together to help each other in any way they possibly could. Her piece is hopeful, poignant, and enriched with personal experience. It serves as a great example how our contributors amplify their voices to spread hopeful and empowering messages.
We'd like to thank our amazing community of contributors for sharing stories like these on Yahoo! Contributor Network.