Friday, February 08, 2008

Cup of Comfort Volumes Seek Essay Submissions

(Erika's note: Editor Colleen Sell has asked that I publicize this call for anthology manuscripts [note the extended deadlines]; I'm happy to oblige.)

The editor of the bestselling book series A Cup of Comfort is now accepting submissions for three new volumes with the following themes: Military Families, New Mothers, and Adoptive Families.

A Cup of Comfort for Military Families

It has been said that military life is “not for the faint of heart.” But neither is it without its benefits and blessings. One thing is certain: it is an experience like no other -- both for the soldiers and for their families. For this book, we want positive and powerful stories about how military life affects the personal lives of service men and women (enlisted and officers), how family affects soldiers’ on the job, and how military life affects family members (primarily spouses, children, and parents but also siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts/uncles, fiancés, etc.). Any situation or subject that is significant and/or unique to military personnel and their loved ones is acceptable. Our goal is to compile a collection of uplifting stories that cover a wide range of topics and reveal a variety of perspectives, experiences, and emotions specific to military families. Stories may be written by the service man or woman or by a loved one; military service may be current, recent, or past.

Submission deadline: March 15, 2008 (extended from March 1)
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book

A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers

Few experiences bring forth as many anxieties, blessings, challenges, wonders, and changes as having a baby—whether it’s your first child or fifth, your birth child or adopted child. And nothing is as miraculous as giving birth to or witnessing the birth of your baby. This heartwarming anthology will be filled with birth stories and newborn homecoming stories as well as a wide range of stories about the various experiences, emotions, and concerns involved in adding a new baby to one’s life and family. Potential topics include but are not limited to: nursing (or not), caring for a newborn, bonding/falling in love with infant, lack of sleep, relationship with spouse, how siblings respond, returning to work, balancing responsibilities, post-partum depression, self transformation, unexpected joys, life lessons, small miracles, etc. The majority of the stories will be about birth children, but the book will likely include a couple adoptive stories as well. Likewise, most of the stories will be written from the new mother’s perspective, but we are open to including a few stories written from the spouse’s or a very close family member’s perspective. All stories will be uplifting and positive, no matter how difficult the situation portrayed in the story might be. We do not want stories that simply recount misfortunes and sorrows and that do not clearly reveal a positive outcome or redeeming result (silver lining).

Submission deadline: April 15, 2008 (extended from April 1)
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book

A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families

The primary purpose of this book is to celebrate adoptive families and to recognize the extraordinary and challenging experiences that are unique to “chosen children” and their families. We are most interested in stories written by adult adoptive children and their adoptive parents and siblings, but the book will also likely include some stories written by members of the extended adoptive family (grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin), close friends of the adoptive family (i.e. godparent), and birth family members. Virtually any topic relevant to adopted children and their adoptive parents is acceptable—as long as it is authentic, positive, insightful, and uplifting or inspiring. We do not want heartbreaking stories about adoptive parents or birth families that regret the adoption; there is a place for stories of that ilk, but this book is not that place. All of the stories in this collection must show a positive aspect of adoption and must bring comfort or joy or inspiration to those who have been adopted and/or to the families who adopted them—no matter how difficult the experience and emotions portrayed in the story might be.

Submission deadline: June 15, 2008
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book

All Cup of Comfort stories must be true, original, and positive; narrative essays (creation nonfiction); and 1,000-2,000 words. Entrants pay no fees. Writer's guidelines:

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