***SELECT YOUR TOPIC***

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Christmas and Holiday Collection - 2018
Our next holiday collection will not be released until 2018 but we are already collecting stories for it. People love reading about the winter holidays – from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Day. We want to hear about your traditions and how they came to be. We want to hear about your holiday memories and the rituals that create the foundation of your life. We love to hear about the funny things too: the ugly holiday sweaters, the gingerbread house that kept falling down, the re-gifting embarrassments and the fruit cake disasters. Please be sure your stories are “Santa safe” so we don’t spoil the magic for any precocious young readers. The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to January 10, 2018.

Stories about My Mom
We are collecting stories and poems written by sons and daughters of all ages about their moms, step-moms, grandmoms or someone that is "like a mom" to you. Tell us what this special person has done for you. Is she always right? Do you still turn to her for advice? Does she annoy you with her advice? Have you become your mom even though you swore you never would? How has your relationship changed as you've gotten older? Share your best stories - ones that will make us laugh, cry, or nod our heads in recognition. We are not looking for general tributes (we know your mom is terrific) nor are we looking for biographies. We are looking for specific anecdotes about you and your mom or stepmom or grandmom. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is JULY 31, 2018 for release in March 2019 in time for Mother's Day.

The Best Advice I Ever Heard
Have you ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul story that had a wonderful piece of advice in it that made a difference in your life? Have you ever watched a movie or read an article that really had an impact on you that you haven’t been able to forget? Do you have a friend or family member who gave you some advice that you didn’t necessarily want to hear but really needed to hear that stuck with you and directed you to make positive changes in your life?

We are looking for stories that contain a great piece of advice that you were given or advice that you gave to someone else. Whether the advice is about a little thing that improve your everyday life, or major epiphanies that can change a life completely, we want to hear about them and how they made a difference.

Here are some topics we can suggest but there are many more that we know you can think of:

• Career choices or changes
• Personal relationships – family or friends
• Parenting
• School
• Travel
• Moving to a new place
• Buying or selling your house
• Setting priorities
• Health and fitness
• Finances
• Taking chances
• Co-dependence and tough love
• Following your passion
• Taking risks
• Trying new things
• Simplifying your life
• Using gratitude
• Forgiving someone… or yourself

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is February 28, 2018.

The Empowered Woman
Today’s woman! Empowered, self-confident and feisty but at the same time, nurturing, loving and caring. A direct contradiction? No! A complicated balance to achieve? Yes! But women are amazing and are doing it every day, showing the world that they are capable and confident. That they are fierce and strong. That they are soft yet durable. Today’s woman is empowered to be everything she wants to be!

Being an empowered woman does not mean being bossy and alone or not depending on others. It means being able to take care of yourself without having to look to others to take care of you. It means having the confidence to make decisions without having to check with someone else for approval to be sure you’re doing the right thing. It can be just a small step like going back to school and taking one class on the road to a new career, or a huge step like buying and running a business. You believe in yourself and are confident in your own skin.

Whether you are single or married, working or retired, widowed or divorced, working or stay-at-home, you are in-charge of your life and the decisions you make. A woman doesn’t have to lose her femininity or become a bully to be empowered. A woman doesn’t have to be single, divorced or widowed to be looked upon as independent. Married women and women in relationships are independent too. We are looking for your true stories on how you are running your life, how you became empowered and achieved independence. Your story will help women of all ages feel stronger, more capable, and more confident… more empowered.

***Important tip about your story: If you are divorced, the focus of your story should be about what you did to become empowered, not the specifics of your marriage or divorce.

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

• Becoming your true self – not doing something because someone else thinks you should
• Balancing a relationship and empowerment
• Balancing family life and independence
• Confidence – coming forward and telling the truth, like it is, regardless of the consequences
• Have you been the victim of sexual harassment and fought back?
• Self-esteem – understanding that you are terrific and not being so diffident
• Epiphanies – what set you on the road to empowerment and independence?
• Being brave enough to take educated and calculated risks
• Achieving financial independence
• Buying or selling a house
• Buying or selling a business
• Thinking outside the box
• Going back to school – a new career
• Becoming a role model
• Speaking up for your rights or the rights of other women
• Divorce
• Widowhood
• It’s never too late to start - do it now!
• Self-motivation - waiting for no one to get it done
• Hard work does pay off – passionate about what you do
• Traveling independence
• Taking charge – more of a leader than a follower
• Accepting help graciously/Asking for help when necessary

Please note: We did collect stories for a book called Independent Woman back in 2012, but we decided to go with this new topic instead. If you submitted a story for that book title, yes we have it and will read it. But if you feel like updating your story and resubmitting it for this slightly changed topic, please do so. We will read the more recent story if we see two from you that seem similar.

Please don’t ask us to check to see if you already submitted a story. Our system does not allow us to do that. If you are not sure whether you submitted a story for the Independent Woman topic back in 2012, please resubmit it to us so we are sure that we have it and that it will be considered for this updated topic.

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is January 10, 2018.

The Miracle of Love
*** This title was formerly posted as Love Stories - the title has been changed to The Miracle of Love***

We’re looking for stories about how you found love. And how you kept it fresh over the years. New love, old love, please warm our hearts with your stories and poems.
PLEASE NOTE THIS BOOK IS FOR ADULTS, NOT FOR TEENS. We’re happy to hear about your high school sweetheart if you ended up together, but we are not looking for stories from current teens about teen relationships.

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

• The miracle of finding love
• Amazing coincidences that led to you meeting your soul mate
• Dreams that came true about finding your soul mate
• Anything that makes us say “wow” about how you found love!
• Dating adventures
• From “friends” to “lovers”
• Senior dating
• Reconnecting with someone from your past
• Rejoining the dating world after divorce or breakups
• Proposals
• Rekindling romance in a longer term relationship
• Anything that entertains our readers or gives them hope that love is around the corner for them, too!

Please remember that if your story was already published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, do not submit it. We will not publish it again. If you submitted your story for one of our previous books and we did not publish it, please feel free to submit it to this book if you think it will fit. That way we will be sure it is considered for this new edition.

The deadline date for story and poem submissions has been extended to January 15, 2018.

Thank you!