Chicken Soup for the soul 2021/How to submit ($200 + 10 free copies of publication + membership benefits)

The Chicken soup for the soul welcomes Stories and Poems. They are always looking for new talent. So whether you are a regular contributor or new to the family, you are welcomed to submit your stories and poems to them.

A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover the basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories is written in the first person and have a beginning, middle, and end.

Eligibility for the Chicken Soup for the Soul 2021

  • Writers from anywhere in the world
  • As long as you have a story to tell, you are qualified to send in your submissions.
  • Writers of any age
  • Although the preteen and teenager section is specifically for writers under 35 years
  • No entry fee
  • Submission must revolve around any of the listed topics

Theme

Before Submission, it is wise to check if your intended story or poem fits into any of the listed topics below.

  • If you have a great story or poem you want to submit but it doesn’t fit with any of the topics below, please save it and check this page again in the future to see if a topic that’s a better match has been added as they constantly make additions.
  • If you have a story or poem that you think fits two of the topics below, you may submit it to both. Then indicate in the comment section. 
  • You may submit more than one piece for each book.

Please scroll through the topics listed below to see if your story fits into any of them;

  • Angels 

Have you experienced a divine intervention, answered prayer, or other miraculous occurrences? Have you experienced something otherworldly or celestial? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? 

True personal stories about how an angel has touched your life. 

Stories, and poems that tell a story, from writers of all faiths. This includes writers who do not follow a particular religion. This book is by and for everyone.

They are not looking for stories about;

  • People who are “angels” because they do nice things
  • Eulogies for a loved one who has died and is now an “angel.” 

 

Black Women

Share your dreams and your triumphs and failures as a black woman. Write about your life and community, which have unique challenges not well understood by others.

This unique collection of stories will be for readers of all colors. Readers of color will recognize their struggles in these pages, and all readers will benefit from an inside view of Black life in America, Canada, and the diaspora. Don’t be afraid to get real and raw. Chicken Soup for the Soul is not just about heartwarming feel-good stories.

We’re looking for everything from the serious to the silly. There will be 101 stories, so you can go wide and deep. As they’d like to share stories from Black women of all ages, from late teens to women in their nineties.

Here are some suggested topics but stories should not be limited to it;

  • Black Lives Matter 
  • Raising Black children in a dangerous world 
  • Intersectionality 
  • Writing as a Black woman 
  • Traveling as a Black woman 
  • Children’s dolls and toys 
  • Television and films and how they affect you as a Black woman 
  • The strength of cultural roots and family 
  • Police brutality, fear 
  • Institutional racism, redlining, stereotypes 
  • Inequity and barriers, including voting 
  • Politics 
  • Role models and pioneers 
  • Sisterhood 
  • Dating and romance — the good, the bad, and the crazy 
  • Self-image and beauty 
  • Resilience and excellence 
  • Overcoming obstacles 
  • Humorous stories 
  • Entrepreneurship and making it as a woman 
  • Inter-racial marriages and relationships 
  • Stereotypes 
  • Physical health — how you are bettering yourself through physical activity. 
  • Mental health — taking care of your mental health just as much as your body 
  • Self-care — investing time into making yourself feel good, physically and mentally 
  • Managing finances — budgeting and investing for yourself 
  • Finding joy and happiness — how you have found JOY in your life. 
  • Life during the pandemic 
  • Life lessons — what storms have you been through that made you stronger? 
  • Sexual harassment/Abuse — how you fought back 
  • Confidence — coming forward and telling the truth, like it is, regardless of the consequences 
  • Self-esteem — understanding that you are terrific and can do anything 
  • Being brave enough to take educated risks 
  • Girls and women in sports — at school, college, professionally, Olympics 
  • Women in what used to be considered men’s roles/jobs/occupations 
  • Thinking outside the box 
  • Becoming a role model or mentor for other women 
  • What role models helped you? 
  • Speaking up for your rights 
  • Balancing marriage, kids, and your independence 
  • Following your passion 
  • Volunteering and giving back 

Cats 

Tell us about your cat. How he made you smile. How she “rescued” you after you “rescued” her.

How she brought your family closer together, helped you find love, inspired you to change something in your human life. Stories can be serious or humorous, or both. 

Christmas Stories 

Everyone loves holiday stories and our contributors write great ones. We are looking for stories about the entire December holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s festivities too.

Counting Your Blessings 

Gratitude.

One of the keys to happiness. Even during the toughest times, if we can find our gratitude and count our blessings we feel better. Please share your stories about handling challenges in your life, finding the silver linings, and counting your blessings, whether the challenges you are facing are COVID-19 related or other kinds.

Eldercare

Are you providing eldercare for a spouse, partner, or sibling due to dementia, chronic illness, permanent physical or mental disabilities, or just plain old age?

Did you move in with an older family member to care for him or her?

Are you part of the “sandwich” generation—caring for a parent and a child at the same time?

They are looking for true stories that show our readers how lives and relationships change when eldercare becomes necessary. They will provide practical advice, encouragement, insight, and support.

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

  • Accepting the new reality 
  • Recognizing when eldercare is necessary 
  • Convincing the person that he or she needs help 
  • Moving day 
  • Cleaning out the old residence 
  • Meeting the challenges of everyday life 
  • Making important decisions 
  • Finding the blessings and gratitude in eldercare 
  • Dealing with the physical changes 
  • Visiting with the elderly during the pandemic 
  •  Not being able to visit during the pandemic – isolation 
  • Using Zoom, FaceTime, or other forms of technology to keep in touch 
  • Dealing with the rollercoaster ride of emotions 
  • Reactions from the outside world 
  • Reacting to personality changes 
  • Asking others for help 
  • Coping with the stress 
  • Taking care of yourself, too, and your marriage and other relationships 
  • The lighter side – and there will be some funny moments! 

Preteens 

This is the 20th anniversary of the release of the Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul book. And they are adding 20 new stories!

They want these stories to represent how the world is today for preteens. Stories about the pandemic, technology, social media, and other modern-day concerns.

Here are some suggested topics, but you can think of more;

  • Dealing with the pandemic – how COVID changed your life 
  • Zoom schooling or homeschooling 
  • Lack of contact with friends because of COVID 
  • Dealing with tough stuff – being teased or bullied or confronting the bully 
  • Teachers, parents, coaches, and friends who gave you guidance 
  • Embarrassing moments and funny stories 
  • Changing schools and being the new kid 
  • First crushes 
  • How technology influences your life — texting, FaceTime, social media, and emailing 
  • Learning to be comfortable in your skin 
  • Doing the right thing even though it was a difficult thing 
  • Divorce and remarriage – blended families and fitting in 
  • Best friends and changing best friends 
  • Body image and eating disorders 
  • Being an immigrant 
  • Going through puberty 
  • Sports and teams 
  • Having a disability or being different

Teenagers 

We are excited to announce the 25th anniversary of the release of the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul book. They will release the original Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, with an addition of 25 new stories!

Stories that represent how the world is today for teenagers, and we’re hoping for stories about the pandemic, technology, social media, and other modern-day concerns.

Here are some suggested topics;

  • Dealing with the pandemic – how COVID changed your life 
  • Zoom schooling or homeschooling 
  • Lack of contact with friends because of COVID 
  • Dealing with tough stuff – being teased or bullied or confronting the bully 
  • Teachers, parents, coaches, and friends who gave you guidance 
  • Embarrassing moments and funny stories /
  • Changing schools and being the new kid 
  • Crushes and dating 
  • How technology influences your life — texting, FaceTime, social media, and emailing 
  • Sibling relationships 
  • Learning to be comfortable in your skin 
  • Doing the right thing even though it was a difficult thing 
  • Divorce and remarriage – blended families and fitting in 
  • Best friends and changing best friends 
  • Body image and eating disorders 
  • Being an immigrant 
  • Going through puberty 
  • Sports and teams 
  • Having a disability or being different 
  • Drinking and using drugs and the consequences of those actions 
  • LGBTQ stories and coming out to friends and family 
  • Learning to drive and driving stories 
  • Living in a shelter or housing project 
  • Going through tough times in terms of finances or health

Tough Times 

Because of the pandemic, our way of life has completely changed.

Things we used to take for granted are no longer available to us.

We have had to overcome obstacles and adversities we never dreamed of having to do.

Many people have lost their lives, their jobs, their homes, or at least are having to make drastic changes and cutbacks.

Are you going through other challenges that have nothing to do with the pandemic, such as health crises, loss of loved ones, personal challenges, family issues, job loss, and economic upheaval? They want it.

Tough times won’t last but tough people will.

Stories about how you have been affected and how you are handling the changes in your life. The ups and downs, so share the tough times but also the silver linings, the unexpected blessings, and resilience and gratitude that you have discovered.

Here are some general ideas for story topics: 

  • Dealing with Covid-19 
  • Economic troubles/loss of a business or a job
  • Death, grieving, and healing 
  • Accepting the new norms and living with them 
  • Stay-at-home self-quarantine changes to the routine 
  • Zoom schooling and home-schooling challenges and perks 
  • Taking and making time for the simpler things
  • Working from home instead of going to the office 
  • Returning to old values and pastimes 
  • How did your children or grandchildren change and grow as a result of this? 
  • What lessons from the pandemic can you apply to other parts of your life? 
  • What other issues were you dealing with at the same time as the pandemic and did that give you perspective? 
  • Did you have family issues with some people wanting to practice social distancing and others not? How did you handle that? 
  • Celebrating milestones during the pandemic

Deadline for the Chicken Soup for the Soul 2021 Submission

The deadline is based on the topics you intend to submit for

January 15, 2021

  • Black women
  • Preteen
  • Teenagers

January 30, 2021

  • Eldercare

February 28, 2021

  • Cats
  • Counting your blessings

March 31, 2021

  • Angels
  • Tough times

May 15, 2021

  • Christmas stories

Guidelines for the Chicken Soup for the Soul 2021 Submission

  • Stories and poems must be real and personal (your story or someone you know) not fictional.
  • Writers are encouraged to write in the first person with proper tense.
  • Word count of 1200 words or less
  • Submissions will be reviewed as they come in so you don’t have to wait for the last minute to submit
  • Poems must tell a story. In other words, a prose-like poem
  • Submissions of both stories and poems must be via the submission page
  • If you have any problems when trying to fill out the form and submit your work, please contact the webmaster at [email protected]
  • Responses from the webmaster usually take several days, so be patient.
  • Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. The only exception to this is if your work has only been published in a small local publication with limited circulation or on your blog.

They are not looking for;

  1.  A sermon, an essay, or eulogy.
  2.  An “as told to” story written by you for someone else. If you ghost-write a story for someone, we thank you for helping that person share his or her story. That person’s name will be listed as the author and he or she can acknowledge your help in the bio section.
  3.  A term paper, thesis, letter, or journal entry.
  4.  About politics or controversial issues.
  5.  A biography or testimonial.
  6.  A journalistic article about a third party that reads like a newspaper article.
  7. Stories that argue against good health practices, social distancing, and wearing masks will be deleted.
  8. Manuscripts for full-length stories except through a literary agent
  9. Title ideas are no accepted 

A few more tips about submitting

  • 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.

If your story is selected

  • They do not send rejection letters, and we occasionally will save a submission for consideration for a future book
  • If your story or poem is chosen for a future edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul or any of the other projects, you will be notified by e-mail and your printing permission will be requested.
  • 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
  • Please do not contact them to ask for an update about your story unless you need to know whether it is being considered or because another publisher is interested in it too.
  • You would also need to approve the inspirational quote that is put at the top of each story and also for any edit as they always seek written permission from authors.
  • If your e-mail address changes after you submit your story, be sure to email [email protected]. You need to let her know which book you submitted to so that she can update your information.

Prizes for the Chicken Soup for the Soul 2021 Submission

  • $200 for each story or poem published

This is usually paid a month after publication.

  • 10 free copies of the Published book where your story or poem appears.
  • Certified membership for the Chicken soup for the soul family
  • Receipt of a monthly newsletter that is sent exclusively to our published writers. 
  • Advance notice of new books.
  • Contests to win Chicken Soup for the Soul merchandise, and 
  • Writing tips.

It’s important to learn tips for writing a great story before you submit.

Good Luck!

 

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