Agreements & Policy


At Gloucester 400, we ask everyone participating in one of our storytelling activities to agree to the following:

  • Be authentic and welcome authenticity from others.
  • Share what’s important to you.
  • Speak from your own life experience.
  • Show respect and suspend judgment.
  • Listen, participate and honor.

“The only way to speak the truth is to speak it lovingly.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Policy on Accepting Stories

With this quote of Thoreau as our guide, the “Gloucester 400 Collection of Stories” project is open to receive non-fiction stories (nothing “made up”) about people whom Gloucester has touched or who have touched Gloucester. We hope to publish a body of volunteers’ writings and interviews from which readers, even those unfamiliar with our city, may gain an idea of what it was like here, in Gloucester, to be human at different times from 1623 up to the present. We hope to generate what is in effect a critical love letter to Gloucester, 1623-2023, by many hands.

NOTE: Because few lives can be described accurately in a flat and simple way, expressions of mixed emotions and complex discussions are fair. Objective and thoughtful reflection on past errors, (healing visions, so to speak), will be considered even-handedly along with celebrations of heroism and selflessness, and comical true stories. The stories selected for the collection, no matter how different, will have all received an affirmative answer to the question: Was the truth in this story spoken lovingly?