How To Write a Tribute
Writing a tribute to someone you love and/or admire is easy.
If you have come to this page from a link on the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund site, the AWR Tributes for Charity project ended on November 1, 2008, and raised USD 1,000 for PCRF. If you wish to donate to PCRF, please do so through their site. Thank you.
Use a simple three step process:
- put fingers to keyboard (or pen to paper)
- open your heart
- let love pour out
1) Put fingers to keyboard
2) Open your heart
If it’s someone you know (or knew) personally, close your eyes for a moment and imagine you’re together. How do you feel? What is it/was it like to be with them? Experience their presence in your heart and thoughts, then let all your positive emotions flow through your fingertips.
3) Let love pour out
Transfer all your feelings and thoughts about the person from your heart and mind to your computer/paper. It’s easiest to do that when you free yourself from constraints and just let the words flow. You can shape, reorganise, and cut later.
The hardest part is the start
Every writer suffers from writer’s block at some time, don’t worry if you do too. It’s normal. The important thing is to start writing. Write anything. Anything at all. And then just keep writing until the words stop coming, until your well of thoughts and emotions runs dry.
Write your tribute in a separate word program and save it on your computer. Let the first draft sit for a day or two, then go back to it. Read it, review it, make adjustments. Cut, paste, add, delete. Let it sit for awhile, then come back to it again with fresh eyes. Cut, paste, add, delete a second time. When you’re ready, submit!
Tips to get you going:
1) Start with one word that describes the person, then expand on it...
The first and the only time I’ve seen you with Nolan was coincidentally, the last time I saw you. You were a new mom, he was a tiny baby – was it five or six years ago now…?
But I don’t have to see you together to know you are the kind of mom that every kid would want: a wellspring of playfulness, openness and laughter. You see the good in everybody and everything. You practice wonder and joy as a matter of routine. And you LOVE to have fun!
2) Describe them – what distinctive features do they have? Eyes? Hair? Smile?
Your hair is in your trademark shoulder-length bob. It looks darker than it is, because the photo is black and white. But I know it’s blond, shiny and full, because that’s the way it always is. Your nails are beautifully manicured, I wonder what colour they were?
Your face is joyful, lit up by your lovely smile and your sparkling eyes. You are so beautiful. So expressive. So natural. So perfectly Laurie.
3) Think about how they do/did things: laugh, drive, walk, make breakfast….
You’re one helluva’ good communicator – I admire the way you describe things with such clarity, style and attention to detail. Though our friendship would come later, you were a super role model for me in those good ole’ Baker Lovick days – the epitome of professionalism tiptoeing through agency politics with such aplomb.I often wondered if I would ever be so skilled and respected. All I know is that I’m still playing catch up!
4) Share a story about something nice they did/do for you.
Jane, whenever I think about you, I also think about Fireside Al and The Story of the Little Match Girl (we both love the CBC), Greece (your favourite holiday destination) and the fact that you have generously and graciously hosted several TGIFs when I’ve come back to Calgary over the years – it’s fun to sit on your back deck and catch up with the gang over too much wine and too much food.
5) Tell the impact they’ve had on you, your family, your community, the world.
I didn't know Katherine Martin personally. I never met her, or even spoke to her. But in reading her words I recognized in her a kindred spirit. She was, in many ways, the inspiration for this website.Two of her books, Women of Courage and Women of Spirit, were the sparks that reignited my passion for telling women’s stories.
Read other tributes on AWR to get more ideas.
Your tribute doesn't have to be a masterpiece of modern literature.
Simple words spoken from the heart create lasting impact.
Submitting is easy:
- You must be logged in to submit a tribute. To upload your written tributes, go to the tributes page and click on submit tribute. (To upload audio or video tributes, please contact us.)
- Fill in the form, then paste your tribute into the text field.
- Upload photos (and captions), if you like.
- Tick the categories (e.g. courage & determination, love & friendship), you think apply to the tribute you have written.
- Click submit.
When we approve the tribute, we’ll send a notice to your email address and to the email address you provide for the person about whom the tribute is written. There will be links to the tribute in those emails.
Once it’s posted, you can email the tribute to friends, family and others by clicking on the email button on the tribute page.