Friday, July 18, 2008

Parent Blessings

PARENT BLESSINGS (previously titled PARENT PRAYERS) is geared specifically for parents and will have the same spiritual tone as BABY BLESSINGS. The intention of the book is to provide insight, joy, and support for parents throughout their parenting journey. Parents will read PARENT BLESSINGS when they feel like celebrating the simple joys of parenting and will also turn to the book for comfort and insight when they feel discouraged in their role as a parent. The primary market will be a gift book for new moms and dads. The secondary market will be parents buying it for themselves for encouragement and inspiration.

The chapters include: Pregnancy, Babies, Toddlers, Children, Teens, Leaving Home, Adulthood, Reflections, and Inspiration. Please avoid standard "Please help me be a better parent" submissions. I particularly need submissions for chapters printed in bold. As always, I appreciate freshness and originality. The selections will reflect upon the spirituality of parenting and day-to-day family life. Parents whose children have passed beyond the first few chapters will enjoy the book for the emotional recollection of the precious early years in a child’s life and appreciate the later chapters that pertain to them.

Submission date is open.

*TERMS: Terms are generally $25 + one complimentary copy of the book for each piece published for one-time rights. You retain all rights. If the book's advance is small, I can't always guarantee $25/piece, but I do my best! At the minimum, you will receive a complimentary book for each piece published.


Please limit your submissions to no more than 3 per book.

For all of my books, I find that short submissions, no more than 24 lines, work best and those that don’t lecture, but rather, enlighten. Submissions should be insightful, encouraging, or inspirational. Previously published work will be considered. Any dedications or personalization should be removed before submitting your work in order to make it appeal to a wider audience.

All submissions should be typed, double-spaced, titled, and submitted one per page. The contributor’s name (the way it should appear in the book), address, and phone number should be listed at the top of each page. (If you have an email address or a fax number, please include it with your submissions. While I don’t accept regular submissions via email or fax, I sometimes send an "alert" via email if I need poems for a particular chapter in a current book—or if a proposed project sells quickly and I have a tight deadline to meet.)

Send submissions to June Cotner, P.O. Box 2765, Poulsbo, WA 98370 and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient return postage. All those submitting work with an SASE will eventually receive a reply. It's helpful if you list the books for which you are submitting on the lower left corner of your envelope. You may include submissions for multiple projects in one envelope. It usually works best to include a cover letter that lists the titles of all of your submissions along with a note telling me it's okay to dispose of any unwanted submissions. I will return your cover letter in my response so you will have a record of what was sent. Response time is approximately 3-4 months.

If you live outside the U.S., you are welcome to email no more than three submissions to Please use the name of the book as your subject line and include all of your contact information on each submission.

My books receive major publicity. I market my books strongly and strive to find additional recognition for contributors, such as publication in national magazines and newspapers. Poems and prayers from my books have appeared in USA Today, Family Circle, Woman's Day, New Age Journal, the "Dear Abby" column, and major newspapers. Many poets have been contacted by card companies to have their poems featured on a card as a result of exposure of their poem in one of my anthologies. My books feature poetry from approximately 20% classic and famous authors and 80% contemporary writers.

The most common reasons for rejections:

  • Too specific to one religion (if the book is religious or spiritual, interfaith pieces work best)
  • Language is not fresh
  • Too long; generally poems of 24 lines or less work best in these books
  • Does not fit in with theme of book
  • Not universal enough; too specific to your experience
  • Too prescriptive
  • Too complex or not easily understood
  • Lacks the poetic quality I’m seeking

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