Submit Your Own Inspirational Stories to "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (Updated 6/12/15)

 

Your true stories may be in demand by
Chicken Soul For the Soul.

Even if you've never been published before, submit a story. According to Ken & Dahlynn McKowen, co-authors of four Chicken Soup For the Soul books, including Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, approximately 40% of the stories accepted by Chicken Soup are from unpublished writers.”

If your story is accepted you'll be paid $200, plus 10 copies of the book you're in.

So send your stories to "Chicken Soup" on these topics:
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* Random Acts of Kindness
Have you ever put a quarter in the parking meter for a stranger? Has someone performed a random act of kindness for you? We love hearing about random acts of kindness and we want to read your best stories about ones that have occurred to you or to someone close to you. We’d also love to read about acts of kindness that you have performed or that people close to you have performed. Did you deliberately set out to perform an act of kindness every day to a stranger? Did you encourage someone else to do so? How did receiving a kindness or giving one to someone else change your life? What did you learn from a random act of kindness? Did you pay it forward and do something for someone else? We want to hear what you did or what was done for you. Stories can be serious or funny, but they should definitely be inspirational. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is July 31, 2015.
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* My Very Good, Very Bad Cat   (Updated) 
Our cats can be so good, and then they can be not-so-good! But boy do they give us great stories! Our cat books are so popular that we do a new one every other year. We are now collecting stories for our 2016 edition. We want your funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mind-boggling stories about all the very good, very bad, simply amazing things that your cat does.

We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your cat. We are looking for first-person true stories and poems up to 1200 words. 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 cats!

Here are a few ideas but we know you will come up with your own:

• How does your cat let you know who the boss really is?
• What have you learned from your cat?
• How does your cat improve your life?
• What crazy things does your cat do?
• How does your cat warm your heart and make you smile?
• Has your cat ever done something that made you laugh out loud?
• Has your cat ever demonstrated a surprising degree of empathy or comprehension of a situation?
• Have you ever taken a trip with your cat? Did s/he do something funny?
• If you have more than one cat, have they ever done something together that you can't believe?
• Does your cat do something that no other pet of yours has ever done?
• Does your cat act a certain way with a particular family member?
• Has your cat ever gotten stuck somewhere?
• Has your cat ever done something extremely embarrassing?
• What happened when you tried to train your cat?
• Have you ever brought your cat somewhere you really shouldn't have?
• Do you sometimes think your cat is human
• Has your cat done something heroic?

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2015.
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* My Very Good, Very Bad Dog   (Updated)
Our dogs can be so good, and then they can be not-so-good! But boy do they give us great stories! Our dog books are so popular that we do a new one every other year. We are now collecting stories for our 2016 edition. We want your funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mind-boggling stories about all the very good, very bad, simply amazing things that your dog does.

We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog. We are looking for first-person true stories and poems up to 1200 words. 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!

Here are a few ideas but we know you will come up with your own:

• What have you learned from your dog?
• How does your dog improve your life?
• What crazy things does your dog do?
• How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile?
• Has your dog ever done something that made you laugh out loud?
• Has your dog ever demonstrated a surprising degree of empathy or comprehension of a situation?
• Have you ever taken a trip with your dog? Did s/he do something funny?
• If you have more than one dog, have they ever done something together that you can't believe?
• Does your dog do something that no other pet of yours has ever done?
• Does your dog act a certain way with a particular family member?
• Has your dog ever gotten stuck somewhere?
• Has your dog ever done something extremely embarrassing?
• What happened when you tried to train your dog?
• Have you ever brought your dog somewhere you really shouldn't have?
• Do you sometimes think your dog is human
• Has your dog done something heroic?

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2015.
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* Angels and Miracles   (Updated)  
There are events that happen in our lives that we cannot explain and that cause wonder and astonishment. These events give us hope for a better future, for the resolution of our problems, for miracles. Amazing things happen all around us — often without an earthly explanation. Have you experienced something otherworldly or miraculous? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? If so, please submit your story!

We are looking for personal stories about your feelings of expectation and hope and the extraordinary events that have happened to you. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did your positive attitude give you hope for better things to come? Did you find something you had lost long after you had given up hope of finding it? Did something good happen when only bad was predicted? Did a “person” appear in your life and help you and then disappear? Did you listen to an urgent inner voice and avoid disaster?

Share your awesome stories about how good things happen to good people! We’re looking for stories about angels, miracles, answered prayers, messages from heaven, and all your other awe-inspiring experiences, whether religious or non-religious. We are looking for stories of true wonder and inspiration — things that have happened to you and your friends and family — things that are hard to explain, but really happened! Share the awe, the faith, and the wonder with our readers. And just a note – we are not looking for stories about people who are “angels” because they do nice things or for eulogies about loved ones who are now angels.

Here are some suggested topics:

• Power of prayer
• Messages from loved ones who have passed on
• Guardian angels
• Mysterious helpers
• Divine intervention
• Unexplained happenings
• Visions and revelations
• Everyday miracles
• Signs and wonders
• Miraculous dreams and premonitions
• Miraculous healing and recovery
• Heavenly connections
• Safety and protection
• Visions and voices
• Revelations from beyond
• Messages from an angel

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is September 30, 2015.
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* Alzheimer’s and Dementias Family Caregiving 
We are making another book for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Our first book came out in April 2014 and it was so well received that we decided to make another for 2016. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia on an ongoing basis can be extremely difficult and stressful, but rewarding as well. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, please share your best advice, encouragement, funny stories, comforting stories, and support with other people like you. We know from our last book how much these stories help! Family caregivers can feel so alone—we know your stories will help. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is October 30, 2015.
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*  The Joy of Less   (New)
A recent study found that 75% of U.S. families have so much stuff in their garages that they can’t park their cars in them! U.S. children make up 3.1% of the global kid population but Americans buy 40% of the world’s toys. And are we really happy with all the commitments we have made for our time? We have to learn to say no! There’s a move afoot to simplify our lives, both in terms of material possessions and in commitments of our time in order to focus on what is important and to spend time with family. Share your own stories or resolutions about the joy of less!
*Please note! The original deadline date for story and poem submissions was January 15, 2016. That date has been moved back to October 30, 2015. All submission must be in by that date.
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* Military Families   (Updated) 
We are so proud of the men and women in the military and want to do everything we can to support them. We are looking for true stories from soldiers who defend and protect our country — both active and retired — and from their families who make sacrifices when their loved ones are far away. Those families move with them, anxiously wait for them, raise kids and grow up with a parent or child away. They are an important part of the success of our heroes. We know our readers will be overcome with emotion as they read these stories that will acknowledge, entertain and inspire. They will leave you with admiration and gratitude for our nation’s best and brightest.

We are looking for true stories of no more than 1200 words from soldiers who defend and protect our country — both active and retired — and from their families: spouses, children, parents and other relatives. Tell us what it’s like to be part of a military family: the ups and downs, the funny stories, the heartwarming stories, and your best advice for other military families.

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:

• Military life… there’s nothing like it
• We’ve got orders to deploy
• The front line
• The home front
• Holidays — military style
• Raising children in the military
• The benefits of military life
• And the sacrifices made by military families
• Meeting your baby for the first time
• Life on a military base
• Moving… again!
• The military community
• Coming home
• Beyond the call of duty
• How technology has changed things/enabled communications
• Miracles, dreams, and other amazing experiences
• What you’ve learned from military life
• How military life makes you different
• Pets in the military
• Healing and remembering
• Remembering and honoring

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is November 30, 2015.
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* The Spirit of America 
We’ll be facing the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and another presidential election in 2016. We’ll all be very focused on what America means to us and that’s why we are creating a book about our great country. Send us your stories about what it means to be an American, whether you’re talking about apple pie and baseball, country music and our national anthem, barbecues, national holidays, our military heroes, first responders, American ingenuity, buying “made in America” (like our books!), our huge and varied country, our diversity and our tolerance, our energy and spirit, and all the other things that make us proud Americans. The deadline for story and poem submissions is November 30, 2015.

Possible Anthology Titles   

Writers Guidelines

Submit Your Stories

Hooked on Hockey
If you love hockey, if you play hockey, if you are a hockey fan, we are looking for stories from you! We are looking for stories for this book written by and for hockey fans and families. The book will include stories from everyday hockey players and fans like you, as well as revealing personal stories from some of your favorite NHLers and hockey insiders. The deadline for story and poems submissions is January 30, 2012.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.

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