Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Yes, we're meeting over the summer!

Summer meetings

July 14 (upstairs) 

August 4 (regular room)

These informal meetings will be opportunities for encouragement and to discuss personal questions or concerns. There will no Focus Point or planned exercises but critique pieces are welcome. Regular members, please contact Barbara ( with your intentions. If we do not have a number of attendees and decide to cancel, we want to notify members who travel a distance. Also give me a heads up about questions or topics you want to discuss. The Focus Point from our June meeting is below.

Focus Point
Our Story

When E. B. White was 48 years old, he wrote, 
“I’m glad to report that even now, at this late day, a blank sheet of paper holds the greatest excitement there is for me—more promising than a silver cloud, prettier than a little red wagon. It holds all the hope there is, all fears. I can remember, really quite distinctly, looking a sheet of paper square in the eyes when I was seven or eight years old and thinking, ‘This is where I belong, this is it.’” Letter to Stanley Hart White, January 1947 
I can’t say I’ve ever thrilled over a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen), but I love E.B. White’s sense of anticipation and his awareness of limitless possibilities. Our joy in writing should not falter under the shadow of staleness, the pressure of a deadline, or a feeling of obligation. 

As a Christian writer, my thrill is to be a blank sheet of paper. I love the joy of Creator God writing my story and using me to write His. I delight in discovering a creative thought, a twist of words, the perfect analogy, an original description, or inspired theme. 

As the bride spoke of the bridegroom in Song of Solomon (2:16), let us say, “I am His.” What will God write in us? What will He inspire us to write? Let’s rekindle the joy of our gift. As we share summer writing goals, let’s remain as a blank sheet, ready to receive from the Author of our faith. 
Take home thought: Lord, I am yours. As the author of my story, use me to write your story.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Writing Contests - 2018

From Reedsy
here is a curated list of writing contests for this year. 
Good luck! 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Story Callout

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Cat
101 Stories about Our Feline Friends and What Matters Most

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Dog
101 Stories about Our Canine Companions and What Matters Most

We are making two books, but since they are similar in tone, 
we are describing them both to you in this one e-mail.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Cat and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Dog will be both entertaining and heartwarming.

Our dog and cat titles are so very popular, and you have so many great stories to share with us, that we do new pet titles 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 what your pet taught you. How he made you smile. How she "rescued" you after you "rescued" her. How she brought your family closer together, helped you find love, inspired you to change something in your human life. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. We can't wait to read all the heartwarming, inspirational, and hysterical stories you have about your dogs or cats and what you learned from them!

Here are some suggested topics:

  • Who rescued who?
  • Who trained who?
  • Do you sometimes think your dog or cat is human?
  • Insights from your dog/cat
  • Empathy from your cat/dog
  • Compassion from your dog/cat
  • How my cat/dog picked me
  • My dog/cat can almost talk
  • My therapy cat/dog
  • My cat/dog makes me laugh
  • My dog/cat understands
  • How my cat/dog changed my family
  • How my cat/dog changed my life
  • My dog/cat's interaction with other animals
  • From puppies to senior dogs, milestones, end of life
  • From kittens to senior cats, milestones, end of life
  • Your work at a shelter or rescue organization
  • Children and dogs/cats
  • Your dog/cat and holidays
  • Your dog/cat overcoming hardship, getting lost and coming home, being injured and recovering

When you go to our website to submit your story or poem, please be sure to select either the Life Lessons from the Dog title or the Life Lessons from the Cat title we have posted on the pull-down menu to be sure your story or poem gets to the correct place. Thank you!

All stories and poems need to be true — we do not publish fiction. Stories should be no longer than 1,200 words. If your story was already published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it. We will not publish it again. If you submitted a story to one of our previous cat or dog book titles and we did not publish it, please do submit it to us again so we will be sure to consider it for one of these new titles.

Please remember, we no longer publish "as told to" stories. Write your story or poem in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published and the approximate exposure it received in the "Comments" section of the submission form.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it or self-publish it.