Your true stories may be in demand by Chicken Soul For the Soul.
Even if you've never been published before, submit a story. According to Ken & Dahlynn McKowen, co-authors of four Chicken Soup For the Soul books, including Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, “approximately 40% of the stories accepted by Chicken Soup are from unpublished writers.”
If your story is accepted you'll be paid $200, plus 10 copies of the book you're in.
Here are some STORY WRITING TIPS to help you get started, from Chicken Soup for the Soul's own Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Amy Newmark.
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Amy for her Chicken Soup for the Soul daily podcast and we talked about the transformative power of both writing and reading these stories:
These are the topics Chicken Soup for the Soul is currently accepting stories for (from their Possible Book Topics page) arranged by submission deadline date:
* My Kind (of) America
101 Stories about the Land of the Free
It’s time to make America kind again. We have always been known as a country filled with good people who volunteer in our communities, help people who need help, and pride ourselves on doing the right thing. Our huge and varied country is known for tolerance, energy, and spirit. We are proud of our inclusive and welcoming attitude, no matter our color, our country of origin, our sexual identity, or our religion.
This is not a book about politics. This is a book about people — one at a time — doing what we do best. Tell us your positive and uplifting experiences about living in a kind America — the kind of America we know to be the true America.
We know you will think of many more topics, but here are a few possibilities to get you thinking:
• Volunteering at church, at school, and in your community
• How it feels to help other people
• Talk about being the doer of good deeds and also the recipient of good deeds
• When and how did your family come to America? Were you an immigrant? Were your ancestors? Did your ancestors come to America voluntarily or were they slaves?
• How have you benefited from tolerance in America?
• How have you shown tolerance and acceptance of differences of all kinds?
• What is your “kind America?” How do you define it?
• Do you serve our country in the armed services? Do you have a family member who does so? How does that make you feel? What kinds of sacrifices do you make?
• Have you welcomed new immigrants to America?
• Have you helped someone who was a victim of intolerance of some kind?
• Tell us stories that demonstrate the kind America that we all love.
• If you are a teacher or an influencer, how have you used your power to keep American kind?
• What does the American flag mean to you?
The deadline for story and poem submissions has been EXTENDED to April 30, 2017.
* Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
We all have a tendency to get in a rut. We start to say no to new things, and that can only lead to a narrower and narrower life. When we try new things, we end up feeling energized and pleased with ourselves. There is tremendous power in saying “yes” to new things, new places, and new experiences. It makes you feel more dynamic, younger, and more of a participant in the world. You’re not distancing yourself from change any more. Start now!
Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do.”
Tell us your own stories about stepping outside your comfort zone and how that changed your life. We know you’ll think of many more topics, but here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
• Meeting new people
• Wearing different kinds of clothing
• Traveling to new places
• Trying a new sport or activity
• Eating a food you didn’t think you would like
• Doing something that you were afraid of
• Convincing a friend or family member to do something that made them step outside their own comfort zone
• Advice on how to get yourself to step outside your comfort zone
• How doing something new made you feel
• What new things/places/foods/activities you are planning for the future
• What it was like to stay stuck in a rut and not try new things
• Epiphanies and prompts – what caused you to try new things
• Switching careers
• Trying a new volunteer activity
• Watching television channels you never saw before
• Going to a different kind of movie
• Picking up a different kind of book
• Shopping at a different grocery store
• Trying new things on your computer or phone and on the Internet
• Trying new technology/appliances
• How trying new things affected your marriage/your relationship with your children or other family members
• Trying a new church or other place of worship/joining a new congregation
• Overcoming agoraphobia or other fears
The deadline for story and poem submissions has been EXTENDED to May 15, 2017.
* Positively Happy!
101 Stories about Positive Thinking and Living a Happy Life
Being happy is a state of mind. We can all find happiness in our lives and, even though we may have to look for it, we know that each day brings something to be grateful for. We want to hear your stories about finding your path to contentment. These success stories can be serious or funny and should inspire our readers to focus on hope, strength, and optimism. How did you think positive and find happiness? Was it something as simple as an attitude adjustment? Did you make a major change in the handling of your daily life? How did you find purpose, passion, and joy in your life and how do you stay positive? How do you use gratitude to be happier?
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is May 31, 2017.
* My Crazy Family!
We do love our families but they can also drive us crazy! It’s fun to read about all those wacky relatives and compare them to our own. These true stories, either serious or hilarious, will touch your heart or make you laugh… or both. They will make you see that other families are not that different from your own, and that when push comes to shove, we all need our crazy families. Please submit using your real name. We will let you use a pen name if necessary when it comes time to publish your story.
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is June 30, 2017.
* Stories of Redemption
Redemption stories can be amazing. What starts out as a negative force can be turned positive and can change the world of ordinary people. There are countless stories of redemption and we want to hear yours. How did you use the negative in your life to move onto a more positive path? What did you do to make up for the wrongs in your past? We are looking for true stories of redemption that will inspire us, restore us, heal us, and make a positive difference to lead a better, more rewarding life because of the example they set.
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2017.
* Miracles and More
When Good Things Happen to Good People
All of us have experienced events in our lives that are completely unexplainable: the strange premonition that made you take a different route home only, causing you to miss an accident; the eerie feeling that you should call home… now, saving someone’s life; the mysterious communication from a loved one who has passed on. Angels, divine timing, miraculous coincidences, answered prayers, premonitions that come true. Good things do happen to good people. Please share your unbelievable and amazing stories about the unexplainable events that have occurred to you. Share the awe, the faith, and the wonder with our readers.
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2017.
* Christmas and Holliday Collection - 2018
Our next holiday collection will not be released until 2018 but we are already collecting stories for it. People love reading about the winter holidays – from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Day. We want to hear about your traditions and how they came to be. We want to hear about your holiday memories and the rituals that create the foundation of your life. We love to hear about the funny things too: the ugly holiday sweaters, the gingerbread house that kept falling down, the re-gifting embarrassments and the fruit cake disasters. Please be sure your stories are “Santa safe” so we don’t spoil the magic for any precocious young readers.
The deadline date for story and poem submissions is October 31, 2017.