Thursday, April 10, 2008

Anthology Submissions Sought

This just in from Colleen Sell, editor of the Cup of Comfort anthology series, and reprinted with permission.


The bestselling Cup of Comfort book series is currently seeking inspiring true stories for 7 new volumes:


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—for both the soldiers and their families. For this book, we want positive 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 inspiring or 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 a close family member; military service may be current, recent, or past.

Submission deadline: April 15, 2008 (last call)


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: May 15, 2008 (last call)


The primary purpose of this book is to celebrate adoptive families and to recognize the extraordinary and challenging experiences unique to “chosen children” and their adoptive families. We are most interested in stories written by adult adopted children and their adoptive parents and siblings, but the book will likely include some stories written by members of the extended adoptive family (i.e. grandparent) 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 or birth families that regret the adoption. All of the stories in this collection must reveal a positive aspect of adoption and must bring comfort, 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


The connection between father and child can be as deep as the ocean, as strong as a mountain, and as uplifting as fresh air. For all its rewards, though, fatherhood is not without its challenges. And for all the gifts dads bring to their kids' lives, dads sometimes falter and fumble. Yet, the father-child bond forms, holds, and grows. A Cup of Comfort for Fathers will feature inspiring and insight true stories about the life-defining and life-enriching relationships and experiences shared by fathers and their children. These personal essays will be of varying topics and tones (heartwarming, humorous, poignant, provocative, etc.); about fathers and children of all ages and varying circumstances; and written by fathers, daughters, and sons.

Submission deadline: August 1, 2008


For this very special collection, we seek uplifting true stories about the ins and outs, ups and downs, blessing and challenges of parenting children with special needs. The stories will cover children of all ages (birth to adult) and a wide range of developmental, physical, and mental delays/disabilities. No matter how difficult the experiences/emotions conveyed in a story might be (we want them to be authentic, after all), the story must reveal a positive aspect, resolution, or outcome and must be of comfort to parents of children with special needs. Stories may be serious, humorous, insightful, heartwarming, or inspiring. The majority of the stories will be written by parents of children with special needs; we will also consider stories written by adult children with special needs. (No articles or commentaries by clinicians, please.)

Submission deadline: September 15, 2008


Oh, how we humans love our canine companions -- for so many reasons and in so many ways that one Cup of Comfort collection of uplifting dog stories just wasn’t enough. So we’re giving all you dog-loving writers another opportunity to share your personal stories of canine comfort with a growing legion of dog-loving readers. This volume will feature both serious and humorous anecdotal stories covering a wide range of topics and perspectives and varying breeds of dogs. We do NOT want sad stories about a dog’s illness, injury, or death, though we will consider stories that weave a beloved pet’s illness or death into an otherwise positive story. The story should focus on the dog’s remarkable attributes and/or actions as well as on the special relationship between the dog and his/her human(s).

Submission deadline: December 15, 2008


When a loved one passes away, comfort is often fleeting and hard to come by. Yet, even a small comfort, like a personal story of how someone has faced a similar loss, does help to ease the sorrow. This volume will feature uplifting personal stories that reveal the special relationships and extraordinary experiences shared by the deceased and his/her loved one(s) immediately before, during, and after the loved one’s passing; it will also includes stories about the internal and external processes by which one deals with and heals from the loss of a loved one. The stories will vary with regard to subject matter, circumstances of death, and the relationship of the author to the individual who has passed away. The book will not include eulogies, profiles/memoirs of people who have passed away, or clinical depictions of death and dying.

Submission deadline: February 1, 2009

Please note that deadlines are sometimes extended by one to four weeks.


All Cup of Comfort stories must be original; true; appropriate for mainstream Americans (adult, primarily women); inspiring, comforting, and/or uplifting; and 1,000 to 2,000 words.

Creative nonfiction and narrative essays preferred (that is, incorporating such fictive elements as scene, dialogue, character/plot development, imagery, and literary word usage). Whether serious or humorous, the story should be authentic and engaging.

Electronic submissions preferred. One submission per email. Copy and paste (or type) into body of email. No formatting (no indents, centering, doublespace, bold, underline, etc.). To: wordsinger(at)aol(dot)com.

Mailed submissions are acceptable. Standard typed manuscript (double-spaced, indents). Send as many submissions per envelope as you’d like, but include one SASE per submission. To: Colleen Sell, 71563 London Rd., Cottage Grove, Oregon, 97424, USA.

Each submission must include: author’s full name, mailing address, email address, phone number, story title, story wordcount, and theme of volume for which it is being submitted (i.e., Grieving Hearts).

For more detailed writers guidelines:


LaShawn said...

Hi Ericka, been enjoying your blog.

A question though. I went to the Cup of Comfort website and saw there that the deadline for the New Moms Anthology was June 15, 2008, not May 15. Can you verify that? Thanks!

Erika D. said...

Hi, LaShawn: I simply repasted the information the editor sent me. I have written to her to check on the discrepancy, but if something like this should happen in the future, that's something you can easily do yourself, too. Thanks so much for the kind words about the blog. Best, Erika.

Erika D. said...

Hi, LaShawn. I heard back from editor Colleen Sell today. She says the information posted here is correct. Hope that helps!