A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories 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 end. The stories often close 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 good story causes tears, laughter, goose bumps or any combination of these.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
NOTE: WE DO NOT PAY FOR SUBMISSIONS. WE ONLY PAY FOR STORIES IF WE PUBLISH THEM IN ONE OF OUR BOOKS, TYPICALLY 6 MONTHS TO 2 YEARS AFTER SUBMISSION. WE RECEIVE THOUSANDS OF SUBMISSIONS FOR EACH BOOK BUT CAN ONLY SELECT 101 STORIES FOR INCLUSION.
Please be patient after you press the SUBMIT button. Wait for the next screen to come up with a message that says: Thank you! Your information has been received. This is your confirmation that we have received your story or poem and that it has been entered into our database. This is the only confirmation you will receive. There is no separate e-mail message from us. A very obvious “Error” message comes up if your submission does not go through.
How will you know if your story is selected? We do not send rejection letters, and we occasionally will save a submission for consideration for a future book. But in general, if you have not heard from us 60 days before the book’s on-sale date, that probably means we have decided not to use your story or poem. You can check the on-sale dates for our future books by checking the Coming Soon page on our website. We get thousands of submissions for each book and we only have room for 101 pieces, so please don’t take our silence personally!
It can take many months or even a few years for a Chicken Soup for the Soul book to be completed. Please be patient, as the selection of stories and poems is a time-consuming process. Please do not contact us to ask for an update about your story unless you need to know whether we are considering it because another publisher is interested in it too.
If we choose your story or poem for a future edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul or any of our other projects, we will notify you by e-mail and request your permission to print it. We never publish anything without written permission from the author, and we get your approval for the inspirational quote that we put at the top of each story and also for any edits we make.
If your e-mail address changes after you submit your story, be sure to let our webmaster know by emailing [email protected]. You need to let her know which book you submitted to so that she can update your information.
If we publish your story, you will be paid $250 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.
If your story is selected to be published in one of our Chicken Soup for the Soul books, you will be asked to sign our standard permission release agreement. That agreement asks for non-exclusive rights to publish your story. This means that you retain ownership of your story or poem but you grant us the rights to publish it and use it again in any future Chicken Soup for the Soul book title or any Chicken Soup for the Soul product.