Dear Friend of Chicken Soup for the Soul,
We owe most of our success to writers like you for the wonderful contributions of inspiration, hope, overcoming life’s challenges and realized dreams.
We hope that this letter finds you well and sitting atop a plethora of stories that you just don’t know what to do with. We welcome stories from contributors of any age.
Recipe for A Winning Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple, inter-denominational, living art piece that touches the soul of the readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. They are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.
Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an ending that often closes with a punch, creating emotion rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have heart, but also something extra…an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A story that causes tears, laughter, goosebumps or any combination of these. A good story covers the range of human emotions.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Make sure that you introduce the character(s). Please know that your story should be written in the first person.
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh or get goose bumps (the good kind!) Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?
3. The story should start with action; it should include a problem, issue or situation. It should include dialogue and the characters should express their feelings through the conflict or situation. It should end in a result, such as a lesson learned, a positive change or pay-off.
4. Above all, let it come from your HEART! Your story is important!
a Chicken Soup for the Soul story IS NOT:
1. A sermon, an essay or eulogy.
2. An "as told to" story written in the third person.
3. A term paper, thesis, letter or journal entry.
4. About politics or controversial issues.
5. A biography or testimonial.
1. We are no longer able to accept or consider any submissions sent by fax or postal mail. Please know that the only way to submit your stories or poems to us is via our website: www.chickensoup.com. If you have any problems when trying to submit, please contact our webmaster at: email@example.com. Responses usually take several days to receive.
2. Stories and poems must be non-fiction and should be no longer than 1,200 words.
3. No anonymous, author unknown or "as told to" submissions, please.
4. We prefer that you submit your stories only once, but if you believe your story fits in more than one book topic, please indicate which other topics you have submitted it for in the Comments line on the submission form. Submitting the SAME story more than once to the SAME topic causes delays, so please resist the urge to submit your story multiple times to the same topic.
5. Be sure to keep a copy of the stories and/or poems that you submit to us. Please do not contact us and ask us to send you a copy of anything you have previously submitted. We are unable to do that.
6. Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. The only exception to this is if your work has only been published in a small local publication with limited circulation.
If the story or poem you wrote is published by us, you will be paid $200 upon publication of the book plus you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in.
When you submit your story to us through our website, you will receive an immediate response that we have received it. It is the next screen that comes up after you hit the submit button and not a separate e-mail message from us. The message says, "Thank you! Your information has been received." This is the confirmation that your story has been delivered and accepted into our submission process. It is the only acknowledgment you will receive from us. If you receive an error message when trying to submit, please contact our webmaster for assistance. If you do not have Internet access at home, you can always visit a local library.
It can take up to three or four years for Chicken Soup for the Soul books to develop. Please be patient, as this is an important, yet time-consuming process. If your story is chosen for a future edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul or any other projects, you will be notified and your permission to print it will be requested. Please know that we never publish anything without written permission from the author.
Feel free to submit more than one story or poem to us to consider.
Please do not send us any book manuscripts, unless through a literary agent, as these will be automatically discarded.