A Chicken Soup for the Soul story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.

Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories has heart, but also something extra—an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A good story causes tears, laughter, goosebumps or any combination of these.

The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.

If we publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family, you will receive our exclusive contributors’ communiqué and you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount.

Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul story

1. Tell an exciting, heartwarming or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Your story should be written in the first person and should be about yourself or someone close to you.
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh, get goose bumps or say “Wow!”
3. The story should start “in the action” and draw in the reader. Do not start your story with an introduction about what you are going to say, or end with a concluding paragraph about what you just said.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Many people tell personal stories for the first time in our books, and they find it to be a cathartic and productive experience. We do let you use a pen name for your story if you do not want to use your real name.
5. Don’t try fancy moves with tenses. Writing in the present tense about something that happened in the past rarely works.
5. Keep your story to 1200 words or less. Tighten, tighten, tighten!
6. Your story must be true. No fiction, no creative writing.

Submit to:






                                    SUBMISSIONS FOR 'CURIOUS

                                   THINGS' (NSW SHORT STORY COLLECTION)

The North State Writers (NSW) 2019 Collection of Short Stories will be published on Amazon Books and made available for purchase in the fall of 2019. The publication will include a collection of strange events, Halloween memoirs, scary humor, unexplained oddities, ghost sightings, curses, and/or other amazing tales. Submissions will be juried (selected) by professional reviewers. 

As a current member of the California Writers Club (CWC), you are invited to submit up to two short stories, poems, essays, and/or memoirs, both of which may be chosen for publication by professional reviewers.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES (please know that submissions failing to meet these guidelines will not be considered)
Must be a current member of the California Writers Club.

  • All submissions must be received by March 31, 2019.  Submissions received or postmarked after this date will not be accepted.
  • Members may submit up to 2 published or unpublished works
  • Works may include (fiction or non-fiction) short stories, memoirs, essays, and/or poems
  • Please have each submission edited
  • Submit one cover page with member’s name, email, phone number, CWC branch, and story/poem title(s). 

Entries will be read and selected for the NSW Short Story Collection anonymously. Each entry will be assigned a number to preserve anonymity, so please do not put your name on the work itself.

Works that are proselytizing, libelous or gratuitous vulgarity or obscenity will not be considered.

Short story 750-3000 maximum words. Poetry 30 lines or fewer. Submit one or two submissions in the same email as separate attachments.
Submit attachments as 12pt Times Roman, single spacing, 5-space paragraph indent, R-L Justified, no page-breaks, Word doc or Docx format (please do NOT submit as a PDF attachment). Each entry must have a beginning, middle, and end (short stories and book excerpts must stand alone).

Email your cover sheet with your Submissions and Professional Introduction (below) attached 

Entry fee is $10 for each submission.  The $10 nonrefundable fee pays for copy costs and beta (proof) readers who will assess each entry for quality, content, and structure.

Entry Fees will be accepted via PayPal by clicking...                 or at the member’s monthly meeting, or by a check payable to North State Writers mailed to:
            North State Writers
            PO Box 6734
            Chico, CA  95927

PLEASE NOTE: Submissions will not be accepted for review or publishing consideration until after receipt of payment.


Each published author will be required to introduce themselves to readers in 150 words or less (Professional Introductions over 150 words will be returned). It is an opportunity to share relevant milestones and ‘who you are’ with your readers. Be sure to include your name and California Writers Club branch.

Not sure what to write? Here are a few suggestions….

  • Current and/or previous writing accomplishments/milestones
  • Education, work, or home environment pertinent to writing
  • Why you write
  • A message you wish to pass on to readers

You may include the URL link to your website or email address so your readers can contact you. Please do not submit the URL link to your published book(s) on Amazon.

The  Committee Chair will notify entrants regarding the status of their submissions prior to publication. For further information and/or questions please email:



One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train continues to actively champion emerging writers. The magazine is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, New Stories from the Midwest, the O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, Best of the West, New Stories from the Southwest, Best American Short Stories, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Short Story Award for New Writers (1st place - $2,500): Welcome in January/February, May/June, and September/October. Open only to emerging writers who haven’t had fiction appear in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Previous online publication is fine.) Most entries run from 1,000 to 4,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

Very Short Fiction (1st place - $2,000): Welcome in March/April and July/August. We invite any length stories from 300 to 3,000 words.

Fiction Open (1st place - $3,000): Welcome in March/April, and July/August. Open to all subjects and themes. Most entries run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, but we invite stories from 3,000 to 20,000 words.

Family Matters (1st place - $2,500): Welcome in November/December. Calling for stories about families of all configurations. Most entries run from 1,000 to 5,000 words, but any lengths up to 12,000 are welcome.

Standard Category ($700): Welcome in April and November.
Open to all. $2 processing fee. Maximum word count: 12,000. Any shorter lengths are welcome.

Halloween Story Contest

Deadline: November 5, 2018, 11:59 EST Entry Fee: $9.95 per entry, one entry per author, only authors who've never submitted to Fanstory. Website: Prize : $100.00 cash plus feedback on the submission Guidelines: See website for complete guidelines and submission link. Write a horror or thriller story for our Halloween writing contest. The story can have a Halloween theme or use your imagination to create a story that will put your readers on edge. The use of the theme must be clear. Minimum length 700 words. Maximum Length 7,000 words. Recommended length 2,000 - 3,500 words.


The Equestrian Voices

Creative Writing Contest Deadline: October 15, 2018, Noon EST Entry Fee: $20.00 which includes a 1-year subscription to The Plaid Horse Magazine Website: Prizes: The Plaid Horse Prize in Fiction–$1000.00: The Constance Wickes Prize in Creative Nonfiction– $1000.00; The Piper J. Klem Emerging Authors Prize–$500.00 (limited to authors under 24 years of age currently enrolled in high school or college). All winners receive publication in The Plaid Horse Magazine. Guidelines: All works must have an equestrian theme or include horses in some way. Work will be judged by the editors and board of The Plaid Horse Magazine. Contributing/staff writers affiliated with The Plaid Horse are not eligible to submit. Writers may submit for multiple prizes if they are eligible. See website for full guidelines.