My mother has been my guiding light all my life. She believed in me when I didn’t. She told me that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. These are the types of positive people writers need around them as they struggle to accomplish their writing goals. Unfortunately, I lost my mother to cancer at the end of the summer. Mom may be in Heaven now, but some of her sage advice lives on in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul Mom Knows Best issue released on March 19, 2019.
Have you ever had an essay included in a Chicken Soup issue? Which one? Was it your first attempt, or did it take a while for them to accept one of your essays?
For me, it took quite a while for Chicken Soup for the Soul to accept one of my essays. I have been trying to break into this niche on and off for years. Several friends in my South Jersey Writers Group have been published in Chicken Soup. They gave me courage to try again and again. There is no charge for submitting to Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Like any other writing project, it’s always best to begin by studying the market. Read other Chicken Soup for the Soul books to see what they are publishing. Break down the essay to see how the writer put it together. Notice how tightly the prose is, how specific the details about place are. Notice there are no extra words or throwaway dialogue and thoughts. Then check Chicken Soup’s website to see what topics they are currently looking for and start drafting your essay.
Although the editors at Chicken Soup give you lots of guidance on how to prepare your story, nothing beats a critique partner, especially someone who has already been published by the market you wish to enter. Ask to see their document of the essay they submitted to the market. This will be what they sent in as opposed to the one that was edited by the publisher before publication. It helps to see how they structured their essays.
|I was ecstatic when I saw one of my own stories in the
Chicken Soup for the Soul Mom Knows Best issue.
And keep the essay simple. This was my biggest problem. I could study issues from Chicken Soup, strip down the essays, study the language used, and feel I have created just what they want, and receive silence for all my effort. Chicken Soup for the Soul will contact you ONLY when they want your essay. Otherwise you don’t hear from them.
And God knows, be persistent! Like I said, it doesn’t cost anything to submit to Chicken Soup, so why not follow these steps and send in your best advice on a topic they’re looking for. Good Luck!
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Mom Knows Best is on sale now. My particular story, Evening Things Up, will be featured in a podcast from Chicken Soup on April 29, 2019. You can listen to the podcast for free by going to Chicken Soup’s website and clicking the podcast tab.
My beloved mother, Elaine McDonald
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