Call for Stories about Everyday Heroes
My Mom is My Hero
Being a mother often proves the most difficult, and the most important, job
in the world; one that includes conflict but also brings rich — albeit often
unspoken — rewards. In this anthology, we seek to honor real-life mothers and,
therefore, want inspiring, true, personal stories that speak to the challenges,
ultimately positive experiences, and extraordinary relationships between
mothers and their children (mothers of all ages, i.e., grandmothers count). The
majority of stories in this collection will be written from the adult child's
point of view, but it is also acceptable to submit third person stories by
authors who have intimate knowledge of the mother and her children. Also a woman
who served as a mother figure, who played a significant role, or who performed a
heroic deed may also be honored. Heroic deeds range from rescuing a child
from physical peril to holding down a steady job and raising children with
exceptional values or work ethics. As we will print very few stories focused on
illness or dying, we encourage authors to choose another time that illustrates
your mother’s unique character, drive, strength, dedication, tenderness,
generosity, intelligence, humor, etc. Bring your mother to life on the page and show
the world why she is worthy of accolades.
December 15, 2007
$100 per published story, plus one copy of the book.*
Early birds may indeed catch the worm!
* The editor will select three stories in each anthology for an additional
prize. The First Prize story will earn an additional $100; the Second Prize
story will earn an additional $75; and the Third Prize story will earn an
additional $50. The editor, not the publisher, is offering the prizes.
Call for True Stories about Everyday Heroes
Literary Cottage is compiling a new anthology series for Adams Media
featuring uplifting, original, true stories about the experiences and relationships
that inspired and enriched our lives, namely those with our mothers, our
fathers, and our teachers (also mother figures, father figures, and mentors). These
true, original slice-of-life stories will be written by people from all walks
of life and will provide unique personal insights into powerful universal
truths, as well as honor the "everyday hero" in their lives. Each anthology in the
series will be divided to highlight the variety of ways real life mothers,
teachers, and fathers go beyond the call of duty to heroism.
Each Hero anthology will include a balanced mix of true stories of varied
themes, such as:
Extraordinary achievements and experiences of real life, ordinary
teachers, mothers, and fathers.
True life-changing, life-affirming, or life-defining experiences and
Epiphany, synchronicity, serendipity.
Finding/giving comfort in difficult times.
Triumph over tragedy; overcoming adversity or challenges.
Life's blessings and miracles, big and small.
Finding the silver lining in a dark cloud; turning lemons into lemonade.
Relationships and experiences that bring hope, understanding, healing.
Catalysts for and examples of positive change; acts of kindness and
850 - 1400 words.
Stories must be original, true, uplifting, poignant, heartwarming, and/or
humorous, and in English. The intended audience is mainstream adult readers.
Please carefully review all of the Writer's Guidelines (below) prior to writing
Early submission is both suggested and appreciated!
We are now seeking submissions for the following volumes:
My Mom Is My Hero
Being a mother can be the most difficult and important job in the world, one
that often brings conflict but also brings many untold rewards. For this
anthology in which we honor real-life mothers, we seek inspiring true, personal
stories that speak to the challenges, positive experiences, and extraordinary
relationships between mothers and their children (mothers of all ages and their
adult children, i.e., grandmothers count). The majority of stories in this
collection will be written from the adult child's point of view, but the book will
also include some stories written by third parties with intimate knowledge of
the mother and her children. Also a woman who served as a mother figure who
played a significant role, or who performed a heroic deed can also be honored.
Heroic deeds range from rescuing a child from physical peril to holding down a
steady job and raising children with exceptional values or work ethics.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: DECEMBER 15, 2007
Early birds may indeed catch the worm!
Please review the Writer's Guidelines (below) for additional details.
My Dad Is My Hero
This anthology celebrating the powerful bond between fathers and children
will feature inspiring true stories that reveal the extraordinary impact fathers
(or father figures) have on their children. We want stories that portray
fathers as heroes in their children's eyes, as companions, helpers, messengers,
healers, teachers, and inspirational forces in people's lives, as well as stories
about the incredible, and the simple, yet vital, things that fathers (or
father figures) do out of love for their children. Your story should illustrate
that no one is more loyal, caring, inventive, loving, and heroic than your
father (or father figure).
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 28, 2008
Early birds may indeed catch the worm!
Please also review the provided samples.
How to Create a Hero Story
The Hero series will weave powerful life lessons into vividly told true
tales. They are real-life (nonfiction) stories that will ideally read like fiction,
but will always be true and embody a universal truth. They are true stories
that reveal the positive aspects of close, familial relationships and teacher
relationships: stories that inspire, entertain, and enlighten readers. We want
true, everyday stories that bring tears of compassion and joy to our eyes,
hope to our hearts, and nourishment to our souls. All stories must be true,
original, creative, slice-of-life depictions of the most important and influential
experiences and relationships with our teachers, mothers, and fathers.
Tips for Writing a Hero Story
Create an anecdotal story about a true event or series of event(s) that
caused the person(s) you are writing about to have a profound and positive
impact on you.
Write a true personal story that embodies a universal truth.
Show, don't tell. Color your story with action, imagery, dialog, and/or
dramatic scenes. Minimize use of adjectives and adverbs. Make the reader
experience the events and emotions portrayed.
Write from the heart. Tell your story honestly, fully, and succinctly.
Make each scene as real for the readers as it was for you and the person you
Begin with a strong lead that hooks the reader and that clearly and
creatively introduces the main character(s), establishes the central theme of the
story (plot), and sets the scene.
Create a rich middle that depicts compelling life experiences and human
emotions, in other words, dramatic action. The mid-section should include at
least one compelling plot point (pivotal moment) as well as transitional scenes
or other transitional devices that continually move the story forward and
toward the conclusion.
End with a satisfying conclusion that resolves the conflict/challenge in
a positive way, leaves readers with an Aha! a Wow! or a Yes! moment.
Build your story around a distinctive, compelling, and believable
premise that weaves together the story and drives the plot forward.
Use lively, descriptive language that is appropriate for the time,
place, and people depicted in the story as well as for our mainstream adult
Read your story out loud and then revise it to remove anything that is
not essential to the story. Make sure that every word counts and that the story
flows together seamlessly.
One of the best ways to discover the nature and flavor of a Hero story
is to request a sample via e-mail.
Terms & Conditions
$100 (each) for all stories published in the books, plus one complimentary
copy of the book on publication. Three stories in each anthology will be
selected as a prizewinner. The First Prize story will earn an additional $100; the
Second Prize story will earn an additional $75; and the Third Prize story will
earn an additional $50. The editor, not the publisher, is offering the prizes.
Point of View
First-person or third-person (no second person)
Narrative nonfiction, creative nonfiction, or literary nonfiction, written as
Stories must be true, uplifting and preferably poignant, heartwarming, and/or
We do not publish magazine articles, fiction, poetry, profiles, eulogies,
sermons, testimonials, letters, commentary, expository essays, persuasive essays,
diatribes, academic papers, confessionals, erotica, pornography, or
If you can write a compelling, personal, intimate essay that is completely
focused on the impact the Hero had on your life and brings the qualities that
made him/her heroic in your life alive on the page, we may consider it.
Stories with religious themes or references will only be published if
religious beliefs are truly inherent to the story and delicately woven into the story
(not as the focus!), and will be a very small percentage of accepted stories,
as in less than 5 percent.
We do not publish reprints or revisions of material that has been—or will be—
published in a magazine, a book, or the Internet (with the exception of books
comprised solely of the author's original works).
Due to the large volume of submissions received, we cannot acknowledge
receipt of submissions nor report on the status of individual submissions (with the
exception of finalists, who are notified in writing). The grand-prize winning
stories and the list of contributors for each volume will be posted on this
website upon the book's publication.
Manuscripts are not returned.
Authors may submit multiple stories for any volume of the Hero series, at any
time up to the submission deadline. Again, early submissions are encouraged!
How to Submit Your Story
Electronic (e-mailed) submissions are preferred, with the story attached as a
separate Word document. If you do not have Word, embed the story in the body
of the e-mail. If the deadline permits, mailed entries are accepted, but
E-MAIL IS PREFERRED.
Typed submissions are preferred; neatly handwritten submissions are
Each submission must include the following:
Your full name
Your mailing address
Your phone number
Your email address, if applicable
Story word count
Please choose one of these submission methods:
Send e-mail to: sreynolds(at)literarycottage.com (replace (at) with @)
In the subject line, cite the Hero volume (for example, "My Teacher Is
My Hero", "My Mom is My Hero", or "My Dad Is My Hero").
Send only one story per e-mail.
Copy and Paste the story into the body of the email.
Attachments will not be opened!
Send USPS mail to:
Attn: Susan Reynolds
P. O. Box 1070
Pembroke, MA 02359
It is okay to send more than one story per envelope.
For confirmation of receipt, include one SAS postcard.
Computer disks or CDs will not be read.
Send via USPS Regular or Express Mail Only!
No FedEx, UPS, etc.
Please direct questions and suggestions to: sreynolds(at)literarycottage.com
(replace (at) with @)
Due to volume, we cannot accept telephone calls.
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