April 14th was the publication date for my first story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. “Laughter is the Best Medicine” is a collection of 101 funny stories, and I am so proud to be included!
Knowing that you are a writer and having an editor agree is pretty heady stuff. My ego can be as big as anyone’s, and I don’t mind bragging about my latest published work. I’m darned proud of this!
To be a Chicken Soup author is a pretty big deal. According to the website, there have been over 110 million copies of the 250+ titles sold since 1993. Source – https://www.chickensoup.com/about/facts-and-figures .
My story, “No Good Deed”, is about how I met my best friend when she asked me to help her return a stray chicken. It should have been simple. But it wasn’t. And it was funny!
“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”~ Orson Scott
I had read some of the books, and had even checked out the website to read the writer’s guidelines. However, I’d always chickened out when it came to submitting one of my stories.
I do credit the writer’s newsletter, Funds for Writers https://fundsforwriters.com/ written by one of my favorite mystery writers, C. Hope Clark, with keeping me interested in writing, and in giving me weekly tips and inspiration. Another shameless brag – she featured me in her success segment in the April issue!
I had a story, and Chicken Soup for the Soul had an idea for a book that was a perfect fit! So I sat down and wrote the story. Once it was refined to a point that I felt proud to submit it, I followed the instructions on the web site, hit “submit”, and waited to hear back.
Publishing is a long process. I’d submitted my story back in the late fall of 2019. I got the first email that they were interested in publishing my story after the first of the year. I signed contracts, went through the editing process, and was among the final 101 stories chosen for the book. When the 10 free copies arrived in late March, I was thrilled to hold a copy in my hands. I’ll get a check for $200.00 by mid May, and I’ll be thrilled about that, too!
Since public book readings and signings are not allowed at the current time (due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders), I had to be satisfied with participating in an on-line Twitter book launch party the day before the book was released. While that was lots of fun, I do feel a little sad that I couldn’t throw a party at the local library.
I’m already looking at future books in the series to see if I have another Chicken Soup story in me!
How You Can Contribute a Story, Too
Everyone has a story. It took me a long time to be brave enough to start telling mine. I’d encourage anyone who has an inspirational or funny story to check out the Chicken Soup website to see what upcoming books are in the works. It changes regularly, and each planned book has a clear theme, deadline for submissions, and a list of story ideas to consider.
My advice is to check out the links below. Read the story guidelines. Look at the book topics. Write your story, and submit it using the online submission form. I like to write it in Word, and then copy and past into the box in the form.
Remember that the stories are true, about you or someone you know, short, and fit the theme of the book you are submitting for.
Even if your story is not chosen, I think it’s good to start putting your stories in writing. Stories are important. And you might be happily surprised to find yourself in a position to brag about your own Chicken Soup author story!
Where Can You Get a Copy of This Book?
Chicken Soup for the Soul books are available at bookstores everywhere, and stores like Walmart and Target. They can also be found at online book vendors including
Here’s the link to my Published Work page, where you can order a copy from Amazon. I will receive a small affiliate payment for books ordered through links on this page, but your cost does not increase. https://lindabittle.com/my-published-work/