Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul


Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul
Here is the latest callout from Chicken Soup. As always, submit your stories directly to Chicken Soup for the Soul.


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back
101 Inspiring Stories About Purpose and Passion

We’re making another book about volunteering! Whether you are a first time volunteer or you have been volunteering for years; whether you are a hands-on volunteer or you work or donate to a charitable organization, you can make a positive impact in this world. A single individual can make a significant difference in the lives of others and in the community as a whole. How has your life been changed by volunteering? What have you done with your life that makes you feel good and has also made this world a better place? We are looking for true stories about how you found purpose, passion and joy in your life by doing for others. And by volunteering, we mean an unpaid position.

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

• Paying it forward
• Making a difference
• Random acts of kindness
• Unsung heroes
• Being a role model
• Acts of compassion and love
• Finding a new purpose
• Being the beneficiary of a charitable act
• Working as a team
• Working for a charitable organization
• Taking a chance
• The rewards of volunteering
• Doing something for someone who cannot repay you

Please remember, we no longer publish “as told to” stories. Write your experience in the first person. Do not ghost write someone else’s story unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the “Comments” section of the submission form. If the story was published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it, as we will not publish it again.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and the right to resell it.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO OUR WEBSITE. Fill in the form, select this title, and paste your Word document into the box that is provided.


2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques)

2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers

Clear Your Writing Clutter: Get Critiqued

by Terri Kelly (Critique and Appointment Drill Sargent)

Okay, you probably have zero clutter in your house and your writing is clutter free. No nonsense words, backstory, punctuation errors… But if you’re like me, like most writers, your writing needs an overhaul, not to mention the house.
Ready to start cleaning? Pluck the Christmas tree free of ornaments, turn it upside down, and drag it out of the house. That’s it. No more housecleaning. You’ve got to get down and dirty with a manuscript, polish it until it shines, and send it in for an overhaul, a.k.a critique, from our faculty.

You’ll automatically earn an extra appointment with faculty with your paid critique.

Saves time; ultimately the critique may keep you out of the rejection pile.

Learn possible tips from authors who know the market.

This opportunity only comes once a year.

Our bootcamp faculty is professional.

Bootcamp critiques are inexpensive.

One-to-one feedback.

Another perspective.

Personal Growth


Convinced? Send your critique to Terri Kelly: bootcampcritiques@gmail.com. Check out the details on the critique link on the Writers Advance! Boot Camp website.

Pray Uniquely

Eddie and CindyBoot Camp is quickly approaching. So I’m asking everyone to go to their knees. PRAY UNIQUELY.

There is something uniquely special when we fall to our knees physically. We are, by all due rights, laying our faces on the feet of Jesus – and what a place to be!

I don’t expect you to live on your knees all the time, but I am asking for you to do that at least once. Just one time, close yourself in a dark room, kneel, and pray for Boot Camp. The rest of the time, shoot up those arrow prayers. And as you do, come here and comment. You don’t have to SAY a lot, just type in the time of day or night you prayed and we’ll all see how frequently the prayers for this event are lifted high.

You can pray for:

*Our registration and those God will send
*Good weather and safe travel
*Our faculty
*Open hearts and minds
*Your calling as a writer
*Gentle attitudes
*The will of God to work among us

I can’t wait to see your prayers or the times of your prayers. It means so much to Eddie and I for the ministry of Christ to be first in all we do. So pray, soldiers. Pray.

Write Right – A Christian Writing Career

Photo licensed: istock.comThe craft of writing is many things to many people. For some, it’s a dream. Others, a career. Still others, a hobby. Regardless of your stance of a writing career at this point, I want to make this last assignment before Boot Camp, one you really have to work on.

We’re going to assess your desire, and when we do this, we’re going to ask some very hard questions. Questions I expect you to look at and consider seriously.

When Eddie Jones and I were called to begin Christian Devotions, we possessed a different mindset. It’s not always been one that was accepted with open arms due to the fact, we require complete disclosure from a writer.

Not disclosure to us, but disclosure to God. It’s so easy to wave our hands in the air and tell folks, “I’m a Christian writer,” when the truth is, we aren’t Christian at all. “Christians” wonder why folks look at us and shake their heads. We can’t understand why the world calls us hypocrites. Why?

It’s easy. Go to a restaurant on Sunday after church and ask any waitress or waiter who they dread waiting on. You’ll most certainly get this answer, “The church crowd.” Christians attend church, smile, pray and praise, then leave the building and become who they want to be. And it shows. We do the same in our writing. We’re kind and sweet until a contract comes along and then we become – well – less than Christian. It’s no longer about God, it’s about ME.

So as we look at these questions, I want you to be honest. Painfully honest. I want you to assess your desires as a “Christian” writer, then once you get a solid number, take that number before God. 

I want you to come at your writing with the face of Christ. Every aspect of your writing depends on it. When Jesus said the fields were ready for harvest, but the workers were few, He knew what He was talking about. He tried to make others see the desires of our hearts come after the work in the fields. . .His work. So to call yourself a Christian writer is more than writing a Bible study. It’s writing whatever you write with the right heart. Writing with the intention of working the fields. 

Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, articles or blogs, when you call yourself a Christian writer the words you pen, your attitude, your heart must reflect the face of Christ. It’s a big challenge. Writing Christian is more than writing clean. It’s writing and having the attitude of Truth. 

Read over the questions. Think them through. Think hard. Assess your heart. Remember, Jesus said, “Where your heart is, there is your treasure.” Is your treasure chest filled with selfishness, stubbornness, greed, cocky attitude, entitlement? Or are you truly a Christian writer. It’s very easy for our desire to be successful to be overshadowed by selfishness. This is the temptations you will face as a writer. Keeping your heart RIGHT.  Jesus never promised His way was easy. He never once said, writing Christian was the fast track to publication. But He did say the fields were ripe and His workers few. Let your writing be the thing that works the fields. Let your attitude exude the love of Christ. He can and will work through you. But if you put limitations on what Christ can do because it’s what YOU think is best, then the road will be rockier and the bloody scraps will become gashes.

Here is your countdown to a new career as a Christian writer. Write RIGHT!

There are two groups of questions. One for unpublished writers, the other for published. Choose your group and answer your questions. As you answer keep in mind there is a fine line between desire and greed. This is why I want you assess. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a paid Christian writer, but keeping your heart in line sets the balance. If your number is high, it’s okay IF your heart is in the right spot.

Let’s begin your Countdown to a New Career – Christian Writer.

Rate yourself on a scale of one to five with five being the highest:

If you are an unpublished writer these questions are for you. Possible 60 points

1) I want a published book on the shelves of a bookstore.
1     2     3     4     5

2) I want to tell my friends I’m a published author.
1     2     3     4     5

4) I enjoy writing for my friends.
1     2     3     4     5

5) I search for writing jobs that pay.
1     2     3     4     5

6) When I write, the first thing I do is pray.
1     2     3     4     5

7) I have written what God has told me and I won’t change it.
1     2     3     4     5

8) I give away at least 10% of my writing with no expectation of payment.
1     2     3     4     5

9) I’m patient when I send in a submission.
1     2     3     4     5

10)I’m constantly working to improve my work.
1     2     3     4     5

11)If a publisher won’t look at my work, I’ll just self-publish.
1     2     3     4     5

12)I have a good book, I’m not willing to wait to find publication.
1     2     3     4     5

If you are a published writer, these are for you.  Possible 50 points

1) I write faithfully to a Christian Worldview
1     2     3     4     5

2) I work without badgering my agent, editor or publisher.
1     2     3     4     5

3) I tithe of my writing money.
1     2     3     4     5

4) I’m a team player in the publishing process.
1     2     3     4     5

5) I offer all my writing back to God for His glory.
1     2     3     4     5

6) I listen to good criticism without making excuses or defending myself because it’s about making the work better.
1     2     3     4     5

7) I expect my publisher to market my book themselves.
1     2     3     4     5

8) I am grateful for the contracts I receive.
1     2     3     4     5

9) I help new writers get a jump on their career.
1     2     3     4     5

10)I seek out an editor before I make a submission.
1     2     3     4     5

God asks us to ADVANCE not retreat. Writers ADVANCE!