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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Twice The Joy

Our doorbell rang yesterday afternoon. Ken answered and found a box that had been left on our porch. "It's for you." he said. "What did you order?" I didn't remember ordering anything and then it dawned on me. The box was full of Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Sure enough, when we opened it, there were 20 copies of My Amazing Mom published by Chicken Soup for the Soul nestled together. I loved the pretty spring-like cover. Usually, authors of the stories in these anthologies receive 10 free copies and a check in payment. This is the first book in which I have two stories featured, counting them as #'s 19 and 20 for Chicken Soup books. It felt pretty exciting to have two stories accepted out of the huge numbers of submissions they receive, so color me Happy

The stories in this book honor both mothers and grandmothers. My story, A Bowl of Raspberries is about something that took place when I was 9 years old. My grandfather was dying of cancer and had asked to see me. He and Grandma had been separated for many years but she came to be his caregiver in those end weeks. All that happened and what I learned impressed me, even at that young age. My other story in the book is called Mirror Magic. This one's about me, my mom and a mirror. 

The book goes on sale March 20, 2018 but it can be pre-ordered for Kindle or Paperback readers now at Amazon.

I taught a workshop a few years ago titled Writing For Anthologies. Several in the class said they'd sent a story to Chicken Soup but never heard a thing. Strange as it may sound, the publisher and editors at this anthology do not send rejection letters because they don't want to be negative in any way. That sounds nice, but those of us who are waiting would rather get a rejection letter and know our status than never hear from them.I told the group that the best way to get your foot in the door at Chicken Soup is to keep submitting. Yes, I have been blessed to have 20 stories accepted but there were a whole lot more that didn't make it. The more stories you submit, the better your chances. 

Another point I made with these hopeful authors is very important. The anthology has very definite Guidelines to tell you what a story they want is and what it is not. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to read those Guidelines every time you submit. Read your story again and do a checklist to see if it fits what this publisher wants. Here's the page that gives you the information. If you're looking for the page later, go to the website and scroll to the bottom of the Home Page. Click on Submit a Story and you'll find three sections to help you. One is the books they need stories for, then the Guidelines and finally, the Submission page.

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