One of the things I wanted to blog about this year is how to write stories about your dog, and how to get your story published. With the release of the new Chicken Soup for the Soul My Very Good, Very Bad Dog this month, I thought it would be a great time to share about how to get published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. I have stories in more than a dozen of Chicken Soup for the Soul books (including this one), and I'll tell you how you can do it too.
Because the subject of pets is so popular, Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes a dog and a cat volume each year. So even though this book is already on the shelves, you can get an opportunity to submit to the next one. Here are some tips.
Write Your Story
1. The story must be true.
2. The story must be your own.
3. Write your story in the first person ("I").
4. Forget that fancy, stuffy writing. Write the story as if you were telling it to a close friend.
5. Remember the five senses--sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.
6. Think about a specific moment of significance--don't tell your pet's whole life story.
7. Write in a way that touches emotions, inspires, or makes people laugh and smile.
8. Keep it short. Stories must be less than 1200 words.
After you've written the story, you might ask someone to read it over and give you some comments. Try to avoid your mother and your best friend, however, who will probably love every word you write. Then, set it aside for a few days, come back to it, read it over and make your final edits.
Submit Your Story
1. go to http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/submit-your-story
2. Fill in the form and paste your story.
3. click Submit
4. Wait. If your story is selected in a month or two you will receive an email outlining the next step. Usually you are notified when your story makes it past the first round, and then later if you've made it through the final selection. Chicken Soup for the Soul does not send rejection letters. If you haven't heard anything after 60 or so days, you can assume your story wasn't selected this time. Don't let that discourage you. There are many reasons a story might not get accepted, and there are always other opportunities. Keep writing, keep submitting.
Does Chicken Soup for the Soul pay? You bet. Chicken Soup for the Soul pays $200 plus 10 free copies of the book.
I think every pet parent has a story to tell. Why not submit yours?
Any questions? Ask them here.
I am neither a book reviewer or a big-time reader of
However, I AM a dog lover (just ask Ike).
And I want to take this opportunity to let you know about
the fantastic time I just had reading W. Bruce Cameron’s hit book: A Dog’s
Purpose and its sequel: A Dog’s Journey.
These books reflect just about all that happens in the
relationship between a dog and its owner--the full range of emotions from utter
happiness to heartbreaking loss.As told
through the eyes of the dogs, the books explain how dogs sense their purpose in
their relationship with their humans.
I love the way Cameron uses his characters to shed some
light on why our dogs do some of the things they do that we never quite
understand…and does it in a way that makes us believe it to be true.For example, why a dog will lavish great
affection on one individual and completely ignore another.Or, why they might act in some unexplained
intelligent way—but without training.Or
why they have such empathy for a particular human that they had never before
I promise that if you (either growing up or as an adult) have
had relationships with dogs, these books will provide an enjoyable tale and
give you plenty to think about as to what your dogs are thinking as they try to
make you happy and discover their “purpose” in your life.
Our first assignment.
We were both so excited, Ike and I!
Our first event was a Valentine's Day event at a local college.
We had no idea what to expect. I know Ike is a laidback dog and I hoped he'd enjoy the experience.
We braved the 16 degrees below zero temperatures and walked the scenic pathways along the quad to the student union building. There we encountered a long line of students--this was going to be a well-attended event.
Coordinators led us into the room where crafts and refreshments were set up for the students. One other dog, a yellow lab, was there. Later, another dog joined. There were supposed to be 9 dogs at the event, but the rest didn't show up due to the cold. These three would have their paws full!
As soon as the doors opened, college students with broad smiles rushed over to greet Ike. They sat cross-legged on the cold floor and reached out to touch him.
Ike's tail wagged and before long, he flopped over for belly rubs.
I think he was emailed to many moms at home and posted on many Facebook pages! (#ilikeike)
I asked the students if they had pets at home. They all chorused "yes" and then the stories began. I heard about the dogs, cats, and rabbits they'd left behind and missed. They showed me a pictures of their pets. One boy said that his dog would be ten years old in two days. It was sweet how, despite his busy schedule and studies and college stresses, he remembered his dog's birthday. Another boy told me that he loved dogs but his mother wouldn't let him have one, and so he kept rabbits. He also asked a lot of questions about therapy dog work and said he'd like to do it one day. I told him that rabbits could also be therapy pets.
The questions the students wanted to know most was how to train therapy dogs and if it was hard.
I told them about the classes and test we took, and told them no, it wasn't difficult, it was mostly about the dog's temperament and how well the dog and handler work together.
I was impressed with the students. They were calm, friendly, respectful and intelligent.
By the time the evening ended, Ike and I were tired. We were given a lovely arrangement of roses and thanked for our visit.
I was left feeling very grateful that we'd become a therapy dog team.
"After a busy day of scooting around in my pink and purple car, it's time to get out and play with my dog and his favorite green ball. Nothing makes a girl's day better than having a furry best friend. He takes care of me so I need to take care of him."
From the publisher: They come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. From goofy to guard, from hero to ham, and everywhere in between, our dogs are important and beloved members of our families. Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Dog will have readers of all breeds laughing, commiserating, and maybe even shedding a tear. These 101 heartwarming, humorous and completely true stories about our canine companions are sure to touch every dog lover's soul. Perfect for "man's best friend's" best friend.
My story is called Golden Oldies, and it's about Brooks, who we adopted when he was 11 years old, and how this led to Mike and I having a heart for rescuing senior dogs. And Ike, 9 years old, is here posing with the book, showing you that he is one of those awesome golden oldies we love!
If you love true, heartwarming, funny stories about dogs, check out Chicken Soup for the Soul, My Very Good, Very Bad Dog tomorrow.