I'm always reminding people who submit stories to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that they must expect a very long waiting time between submission and final acceptance. I submitted a story for the Reboot Your Life book on September 29, 2013. That's nine months that the story was out of circulation.
This past Friday, I received notice that my story was in the final selection list and was asked to sign and return the Permission Release form attached to the message. Then came the warning that not all the stories that had made it to this point would be included in the book. I knew it would be another waiting period before I'd know whether I'd been slashed or made it.
On Monday, the good news arrived. My Dad, A Dream and A Red Shirt" would be included in the book which is to be published September 16, 2014.This has to be the fastest ever! The edited version was attached and I was asked to read it, make any corrections I felt needed, or send a message permitting the publisher to use my story as is. The first thing that hit me was that they'd changed the title to Forgiveness and Freedom. I had no problem with the new title. In fact, I liked it a lot. The original one had been a working title and I never came up with anything I liked better. The rest of the story was not changed so I happily sent my permission to publish message to the editor.
Because of the very long wait from last September, I had submitted the same story to another book to be published later, one on the topic of forgiveness. I felt that the story would be perfect for that book. But it went to the first one. My next step was to inform the editor that the story had also been submitted for another book and needed to be withdrawn. She was most gracious and said it would be taken care of. If you are ever in that situation, be sure to let the editor/publisher know that the story is no longer available.
I set a goal to have stories in at least an even dozen of the Chicken Soup books. This one is number 15 and that pleases me greatly. My friend, Harriet Cooper, far surpasses me in numbers in this anthology series. She has had two stories in more than a few books, not just one like the rest of us. I call her The Queen of Chicken Soup. Harriet did a guest post for me in 2010 about writing for anthologies that you might like to read. Since then, she's had more stories published in Chicken Soup. Yep, she's the queen!