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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Chicken Soup for the Soul submission guidelines

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The deadline date for story and poems submissions is December 15, 2019.

If we publish your story, you will be paid $200 one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family and will be entitled to buy cases of your books from us at half price. You will also receive our monthly newsletter that is sent exclusively to our published writers, with advance notice of new books, contests to win Chicken Soup for the Soul merchandise, and writing tips.

We have many Chicken Soup for the Soul books in development and we frequently add new titles. If you have a great story or poem you want to submit but it doesn’t fit with any of the topics below, please save it and check this page again in the future to see if we have added a topic that’s a better match.

If you have a story or poem that you think fits two of the topics below, you may submit it to both. Then let us know in the Comments section that you’ve done so. Also, you may submit more than one piece for each book.

We are always looking for new talent. So whether you are a regular contributor or new to our family, please share your story or poem with us. If this is your first time, please visit our Story Guidelines page, which will answer many of your questions about subject matter, length, and style.

Select Your Topic


***SELECT YOUR TOPIC***





Laughter Is the Best Medicine

**Please note: this title was changed from I Can't Stop Laughing!**

We are looking for stories about something that happened to you in your life - in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors? We can’t wait to hear your true stories. We want them to be silly, outrageous and hilarious, and they absolutely must make us laugh!

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:

Laughing at “inappropriate” times
Slip of the tongue - words that came out wrong
Misunderstandings – I thought you said…
Obsessions and Compulsions
Pranks that worked – Gotcha!!
Pranks that backfired – Oh no!
Annoying habits - if you don’t stop doing that I’m going to scream!
Aggravating pet behavior
Embarrassing moments
Wedding mishaps
Funeral foul-ups
Holiday meltdowns
Kitchen/dinner party disasters
Sports catastrophes
Family foibles
Zany vacations
Moving-day mayhem
Travel turmoil

**Please submit your story or poem using your real name but if your work is selected to be published in the book, we expect many of you to use a pen name and/or change the names of the people in your story to protect the innocent (or guilty!).

The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to OCTOBER 31, 2019

Listen to Your Dreams

When we are asleep, we dream. Are dreams a connection to the unconscious mind? Are they omens of things to come—both good and bad? Dreams are often the way we tap into our own inner wisdom. Sixth sense, gut feeling, premonitions, instinct. Whatever you call it, sometimes we have no logical reason for knowing something—but still we know it.

We want to know about your dreams. What have you learned from your dreams? Did you listen? Did any of your dreams come true? Did a dream strengthen your faith or help you change the direction your life was headed in? Did some miraculous insight serve as a warning about something that was going to happen?

Please do not submit stories about realizing your dreams, as in aspirations or hopes. We are talking about dreams while you are asleep! Here are some suggested topics but we know you will be able to think and write about many more:

Dreams about finding love
Dreams that saved you or a loved one from danger/death
Dreams that helped you face your fears
Dreams that changed the direction of your life
Dreams in which you communicated with a loved one, either dead or alive
Dreams that caused epiphanies
Dreams that changed your behavior
Dreams that made you more adventurous
Dreams that contained important warnings or medical information
Dreams that gave you comfort or helped your forgive someone
Dreams that made you more optimistic/happier
Dream journaling and how-to use your dreams more effectively
Premonitions that came true or saved you from something bad
Learning to trust your inner guidance [we may do a chapter about inner guidance even if it occurs during your waking hours]
Amazing coincidences and synchronicity [again, we may do a chapter about this even if these things occurred during your waking hours]

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is February 28, 2020.

Stories about Christmas

Everyone loves holiday stories and our contributors write great ones. They are so good that we create a new edition for the holiday season every year. We are now collecting stories for our HOLIDAY 2020 book and we are looking for stories about the entire December holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s festivities too.

We want to hear about your holiday memories and traditions. The rituals of the holiday season give a rhythm to the years and create a foundation for our lives, as we gather with family, with our communities at church, at school, and even at the mall, to share the special spirit of the season, brightening those long winter days. Please share your special stories about the holiday season with us. Be sure that they are “Santa safe” so that we don’t spoil the magic for precocious readers!

Here are some suggested topics, but we know you can think of many more:

The True Meaning of the Holidays
Holiday Traditions
Memories of the Holiday Season
The Love of Family
Family Reunions
Holiday Humor
Gift Giving
Gift Receiving
Regifting
Decorating
Eat, Eat, Eat... and Be Merry
Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child
Christmas Through the Eyes of Your Pets!
Here Comes Santa Claus
Things that went wrong!
Holiday food and traditions
The weird things your family does
Funny anecdotes
... and any other stories you would like to share

If we published your story in a previous Christmas book please do not submit it again. We will not publish it. If you submitted a story and we did not publish it and it will fit in this book, please do submit it again.

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is JANUARY 30, 2020.

Stories about Self-care and Me Time

Do you ever say that you’ll take care of yourself AFTER you finish your to-do list? That’s what we did until we started putting ourselves ON our to-do list, right there with the other people we care for.

Self-care is what we all neglect most. And we’re waking up to its importance. We care for children and partners and parents and friends. We care for pets and homes and volunteer organizations. But, in order to take care of others you must first take care of yourself. And that is not being selfish.

Taking care of yourself is not just about your physical health but includes your emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing too. Self-care includes that all-important “me time” whether that means exercising or reading or meditating or having lunch with friends. Whatever your psyche needs is your “me time.”

We are looking for your stories about how you neglected your self-care and then how you realized its importance and so you now engage in it.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices going:

When you realized you were NOT engaging in self-care, realized how important that is and what that realization was like
How you turned the situation around and found your self-care and your me time
The consequences of NOT taking care of yourself
The benefits of proper self-care and me time
The benefits of getting enough sleep
The consequences of being sleep-deprived
How do you handle your self-care and me time? Share your tips and examples.
Have you made a difference to friends and family members too by encouraging them to take care of themselves?
Your favorite ways to spend “me time”
How do you relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul?
Self-care for physical wellbeing, whether it’s proper nutrition, exercise, environment, making those doctor appointments, addressing addictions (including the legal ones)
Self-care for emotional and mental wellbeing, whether it’s stress reduction, editing your calendar, changing who you spend time with, cutting back on obligations, seeing a therapist
What’s your strategy for including self-care in your daily life?
What have you added to your life?
What have you eliminated from your life?
WHO have you eliminated from your life? Self-care includes removing negativity and toxic people from your life, too!

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is December 31, 2019.

The Magic of Cats

Our cat titles are so very popular, and you have so many great stories to share with us, that we do a new cat title every eighteen months or so. Here is another chance for you to share a story or two about the member of your family who just happens to walk on four feet!

We are looking for first-person true stories and poems up to 1200 words. Tell us about the magic of your cat or the magic of a cat you know. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. We can’t wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and magical stories you have about a cat and the magic that cat brings to your life or the life of your family!

Here are some ideas to start you out:

• My cat warms my heart and makes me smile
• My cat seems to be able to read my mind at times
• My cat improves my life
• My cat can almost talk – and I understand
• My cat makes me laugh
• My cat shows me unconditional love
• My cat can forgive and forget
• My cat shows empathy and an understanding of many situations
• My cat thinks he is human
• My cat has expectations that she assumes, as her human, I will follow up on
• My cat has some peculiar habits
• My cat loves the holidays… sleeping in the sun… riding in the car… having a bath… loud noises… my significant other… etc.
• My cat hates the holidays… sleeping in the sun… riding in the car… having a bath… loud noises… my significant other… etc.
• And any other things you can think of…

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is January 15, 2020.

The Magic of Dogs

Our dog titles are so very popular, and you have so many great stories to share with us, that we do a new dog title every eighteen months or so. Here is another chance for you to share a story or two about the member of your family who just happens to walk on four feet!

We are looking for first-person true stories and poems up to 1200 words. Tell us about the magic of your dog or the magic of a dog you know. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. We can’t wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and magical stories you have about a dog and the magic that dog brings to your life or the life of your family!

Here are some ideas to start you out:

• My dog warms my heart and makes me smile
• My dog seems to be able to read my mind at times
• My dog improves my life
• My dog can almost talk – and I understand
• My dog makes me laugh
• My dog shows me unconditional love
• My dog can forgive and forget
• My dog shows empathy and an understanding of many situations
• My dog thinks he is human
• My dog has expectations that she assumes, as her human, I will follow up on
• My dog has some peculiar habits
• My dog loves the holidays… taking a walk… riding in the car… having a bath… loud noises… my significant other… etc.
• My dog hates the holidays… talking a walk… riding in the car… having a bath… loud noises… my significant other… etc.
• And any other things you can think of…

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is January 15, 2020.

You Go, Girl

Today’s woman is independent, self-confident and feisty but at the same time, nurturing, loving and caring. Today’s woman can be everything she wants to be.

Being a confident and strong woman does not mean being bossy or not needing others. It means being able to take care of yourself without having to look to others. It means having the confidence to make decisions without having to check with someone else for approval. You believe in yourself and are confident in your own skin.

You are in charge of your life and the decisions you make. A woman doesn’t have to lose her femininity or become a bully. A woman doesn’t have to be single or divorced to be looked upon as independent. Married women and women in relationships are independent, too. We are looking for your true stories on how you are running your life, how you became empowered and achieved independence. Your story will help young women feel stronger, more capable, and more confident… more empowered.

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:

Becoming your true self – not doing something because someone else thinks you should or because it is expected of you
Balancing a relationship and independence
Confidence – coming forward and telling the truth, like it is, regardless of the consequences
Sexual harassment and how you fought back
Self-esteem ¬– understanding that you are terrific and can do anything
Epiphanies – what motivates you?
Being brave enough to take educated risks
Equality in the workplace, in promotions, job responsibilities and pay
Starting, owning, selling your own business
Girls and women in sports – at school, college, professionally, Olympics
Women in what used to be considered men’s roles/jobs/occupations
Thinking outside the box
Becoming a role model or mentor for other young women
What role models helped you?
Speaking up for your rights or the rights of other women
Balancing marriage, kids and your own independence
Self-motivation - waiting for no one to get it done
Following your passion
Accepting help graciously/Asking for help when necessary
Raising sons and daughters who are feminists
Educating family workers, colleagues, friends as to women’s rights and abilities


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