Recipe for A Winning Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple, inter-denominational, living art piece that touches the soul of the readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. They are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.
Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have a beginning, middle and an ending that often closes with a punch, creating emotion rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have heart, but also something extra…an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A story that causes tears, laughter, goosebumps or any combination of these. A good story covers the range of human emotions.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul Story
1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Make sure that you introduce the character(s).
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh or get goose bumps (the good kind!) Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?
3. The story should start with action; it should include a problem, issue or situation. It should include dialogue and the character should express their feelings though the conflict or situation. It should end in a result, such as a lesson learned, a positive change or pay-off.
4. Above all, let it come from your HEART! Your story is important!
What a Chicken Soup for the Soul story IS NOT:
1. A sermon, an essay or eulogy.
2. A term paper, thesis, letter or journal entry.
3. About politics or controversial issues.
4. A “My Grandma Just Died, and Let Me Tell You What A Wonderful Person She Was” or “Let Me Tell You About My Disease or Operation” or “I Gave a Bum Some Money, Aren’t I Incredible?” or “Why My Mother Is the Best Mother” or a personal testimony that may mean nothing to the reader.
1. It is preferred that all submissions are sent via our website by clicking here. In the future all submission will need to be entered in this way but if, for now, you need to send your submission by postal mail or fax please use the address and fax number provided below. Please know your stories and poems have the best chance of being used if you submit them through our website.
2. Stories and poems should be non-fiction, ranging in length between 300-1200 words.
3. No anonymous or author unknown submissions please.
4. Send only one copy of each submission.
5. We do not return submissions, so please don’t send the original.
6. 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.
If the story or poem you wrote is published by us, you will be paid $200 upon publication of the book plus you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in.
The only way to receive an acknowledgment of your submission at this time is by submitting through our website, by clicking here . By submitting through the website, you will be taken to an acknowledgment screen on our website directly after hitting “send”. This screen will inform you that the story has been accepted into our submission process. We strongly encourage you to submit stories online as it is both the fastest and easiest way to process and review your submission. If you do not have Internet access at home, you can always visit a local library.
It can take up to three or four years for Chicken Soup for the Soul books to develop. Please be patient, as this is an important, yet time-consuming process. If your story is chosen for a future edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul or any other projects, you will be notified and your permission to print it will be requested. Please know that we never publish anything without written permission from the author.
Feel free to submit more than one story or poem. Please do not send us any book manuscripts, unless through a literary agent, as these will be automatically discarded
You can submit your story 3 different ways:
Please know your stories and poems have the best chance of being used if you submit them through our web site.
Mail: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Attn: Story Submissions
PO Box 700
Cos Cob, CT 06807-0700