Monday, October 18, 2021

Chicken Soup for the Soul always needs stories and pays well

Chicken Soup for the Soul has an ongoing need for poems and true stories under 1,200 words. Chicken Soup stories are written in the first person and often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul stories have 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, goose bumps or any combination of these. Read their general guidelines here.

Chicken Soup pays $200 per story. As usual, they’re calling for submissions for numerous anthologies. Here are a few:


The deadline for submissions is DECEMBER 20, 2021.

We are collecting stories for TWO books—one for preteens (ages 9-12) and one for teenagers (ages 13-19).

For suggested topics for Teenagers, please check the Preteens topics below. The suggestions for that topic can be used for this topic too.


The deadline for submissions is DECEMBER 20, 2021.

Adolescence is a great time to learn about the power of gratitude, practice thankfulness, and to appreciate the blessings in your life, including your friends and family. These are skills that preteens and teenagers need to develop as part of social and emotional learning.

We are collecting stories for TWO books—one for preteens (ages 9-12) and one for teenagers (ages 13-19). Please choose the right one when you submit your story. Both books are slated to come out in late spring 2022.

Scientific research has proven that being thankful improves your health, your cognitive functions, and your relationships. Young people who see the silver linings, count their blessings, and maintain a positive perspective weather the ups and downs of life much better than those who bemoan their fates and focus on the negative.

We’re looking for your uplifting true stories and poems about how you used the power of gratitude to change your own life while you navigated the preteen and teenage years. You’ll help readers through your examples and your personal tips on how to use thankfulness and appreciation.


The deadline for submissions is OCTOBER 31, 2021.

Small gestures can make a big difference in someone’s day, even in someone’s life. In our fast-paced world many people tend to only pay attention to what is important to them.

It is so wonderful and heartwarming to hear stories about people who have gone out of their way to do something kind for someone without being asked. Just because it was the kind thing to do. Just because it was the right thing to do.

Many times the person who receives an act of kindness doesn't even know the person who is being kind to them. The kindness is from total stranger, someone who will not be able to be paid back. Or perhaps you are that person who does a kind thing for a stranger knowing you will not be acknowledged or paid back. You did it just because.

Has someone performed an act of kindness for you? How did it feel? Did you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else? Did that person know it was you doing that kind thing? Did you do something kind for a stranger knowing you would not be paid back? How did that feel?

We are looking for true stories about acts of kindness that have happened to you or stories about a kindness that you performed for someone else. Stories can be serious or funny but they should definitely inspire our readers to look for ways in which they can perform kind acts.

Humorous stories

The deadline for submissions is NOVEMBER 20, 2021.

Laughter is the best medicine. And we love to publish your funny stories—in all our books. Our first ever book filled with nothing but funny stories was a bestseller, so we’re doing it again, for publication in 2022. We’re looking for those funny stories you tell again and again. The ones that make everyone laugh.

Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?

We can’t wait to hear your true stories. We want them to be silly, outrageous and hilarious, and they absolutely must brighten our day and make us laugh! Good clean fun—and sometimes a tiny bit risqué too.

Counting your blessings/attitude of gratitude

The deadline for submissions is JANUARY 15, 2022

Gratitude is one of the keys to happiness. Even during the toughest times, if we can find our gratitude and count our blessings we feel better. Back in 2009, when we were going through a deep recession, we received thousands of stories from people who were still counting their blessings and finding their joy. Those stories became the bestselling book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings.

With today’s worries about contracting disease, joblessness, and rampant divisiveness we thought it was time to revisit this topic. We’re not sure of the title for our next book about counting your blessings, but we’re sure a new collection of stories is appropriate for 2021.

Please share your stories about handling challenges in your life, finding the silver linings, and counting your blessings, whether the challenges you are facing are COVID-19 related or other kinds.

Stories can be serious or funny, but definitely should be inspirational and heartwarming. 

For more details of these topics and for other upcoming topics, see here.

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Online: How to Make Yourself Write workshop, Sunday, Jan 23, 2022

How to Make Yourself Write

A Creativity Workout

Sunday, January 23, 2022
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Online and accessible from wherever there's Internet

Let's get the new year off to a running start! This workshop is designed to help you find the time and the inspiration to write. No more staring at a blank screen. Come to this workshop and give yourself a kick-start, and then learn how to keep going. This creativity workout will get your words flowing and help you make the breakthrough into the next level of writing.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University, and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Charlottetown. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors. 

See reviews of Brian's classes and workshops here.

Fee: $37.17 + hst = $42 paid in advance 

To reserve a spot now, email:

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

"Honeymoon for One" by Dana Webster


Newlywed, Hannah, was peering in the storefront window, her delighted visage reflected back to her through the glass. For the last two hours, she and Lou had visited a dozen stores just like this one and Lou had had enough.

“Oh, honey, look,” exclaimed Hannah, “it’s an old timey boulangerie. Let’s go in.”

Lou hadn’t envisioned his honeymoon being quite like this. Despite the months’ long planning and fervent itinerary-making by his young fiancée, he still hadn’t counted on so much of their time being spent outside of the honeymoon suite. His pleas earlier this morning for a quiet day of rest with promises of touristy resumption tomorrow had fallen on deaf ears. There will be plenty of time for rest tonight, Hannah had said. I only get one honeymoon, she’d pouted. Lou had tried to insist, he’d joked about his advanced years, but Hannah was having none of it. In fact, Lou recalled, her resistance to his insistence bordered on frenzied.

Standing on the sidewalk now, outside the pastry shop, the headache Lou had been fighting off all day was only getting worse. He just wanted to go back to the hotel and take a nap. But he knew that to protest would make things worse for himself. Hannah would put on her petulant child face. The silent treatment would inevitably ensue. So, he simply shrugged and followed Hannah into the shop.

The door jangled as it opened, the wood-planked floors creaked underfoot. Hannah went directly to the showcase where trays of cookies, tarts, and similar sweets were aligned on tiered shelves.

“Oh my god, Lou, look at this. So many things to choose from.” Hannah was entranced. Lou hung back a bit, hoping for somewhere to sit down. A small chair, a window seat. 

The plump middle-aged woman behind the counter approached Hannah. “Bonjour, madame. Ca va?” she enquired.

“Oui, oui, ca va!” responded Hannah with her trademark over-enthusiasm. The pitch of her speech was like a stabbing icepick to Lou’s head.

“Do you speak English? I’m afraid my French isn’t very good,” Hannah explained, eyes downcast in false humility.

“Oui, madame, yes. What may I serve you today?”

Hannah scanned the treats behind the glass and turned to Lou. “Honey? What should we get? I’m thinking chocolate croissants at the very least.”

Before Lou had a chance to respond, Hannah turned back to the server and was pointing out her favourites. Lou noticed that the woman looked inquisitively past Hannah to where he was leaning against the door frame. He really didn’t want anything, and he knew it was pointless to interrupt Hannah once she got going on something. Besides, the headache was getting worse and the thought of putting anything into his stomach brought on a wave of nausea. Still, it was kind of the shopkeeper to include him, so he politely shook his head, no.

As the woman placed items into a paper bag, Hannah made small talk. “That’s my husband, Lou, the shy one,” she giggled. “We just got married. We’re here on our honeymoon.” The woman avoided looking at Hannah as she half-glanced at Lou. She seemed embarrassed and Lou assumed this was on his account. Clearly, Hannah was a woman who was used to getting her own way and perhaps the shopkeeper felt Lou’s discomfiture. Sure, it was old-fashioned to take pity on a seemingly emasculated male but, to be honest, Lou rather appreciated it.

“Your honeymoon?” asked the woman. “Over there, that is your husband?” She looked directly at him only it seemed, also, that she looked past him.

“Yes, that’s right,” responded Hannah, a little puzzled by the woman’s tone. “Oh, I see,” she said, “yes, he is a bit older than me. About twenty years, if you must know, but I don’t see how that’s any of your business.” Hannah’s voice grew quiet. A tell-tale sign that a storm was brewing within.

The woman apologized for having caused any offense, wished Hannah and Lou a bonne journée and quickly made for the back of the store. Lou felt badly for her. He could see that she was only trying to be polite. If he were feeling more like himself, he might have intervened on her behalf. But right now, the urge to lie down was pressing in.

“Well, that was rude,” said Hannah as they exited the store. “Imagine her passing judgement like that.”

Lou didn’t know what to say. Despite the age difference, Hannah had seen something in him and jumped at the chance to marry. He was just so grateful to have such a vibrant woman for his wife that he hadn’t dwelled on the “red flags” his sister, Jean, had been so willing to point out.

“She’s after your money, Lou. Can’t you see that? No offense but you aren’t exactly Tom Cruise. One of these days, you’re going to have to push back.”

Finally, Hannah and Lou were headed back to their hotel. Lou wanted to offer to carry Hannah’s bags. It was the gentlemanly thing to do but the throbbing in his head was worse than ever.

Back at the hotel, Hannah pushed open the door to their honeymoon suite and dropped her bags on the chair. She kicked off her heels and threw her jacket on the bed. On her way to the kitchenette, she stepped over Lou’s inconveniently situated lifeless body, nimbly avoiding the pool of coagulated blood from his open head wound.

“Lou, I’m going to pour us a nice cold drink and maybe we can tuck into one or two of those lovely buns we bought,” Hannah called out. She cracked out some ice cubes from the tray into two tall glasses and filled them with some iced tea.

“Best honeymoon ever, darling,” said Hannah as she raised her glass in Lou’s direction.


Dana Webster has been writing off and on for most of her life but has only begun to find her stride in the last year and a half. You can subscribe to her observational blog at

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Free online Meet-Ups for Writers, Monday evenings, Nov 1, 15, and 29

Free online Meet-Ups for Writers

 – Brought to by the Burlington Public Library

Mondays, November 1, 15, and 29
6 – 7 p.m.
Starting Oct 22, sign up here:

Join us for all three evenings or just for one day; arrive sharply at 6:00 p.m. or wander in when you will. It doesn't matter, just come online and hang out with some fellow writers. 

But note: You must sign up at least an hour before a session to receive the URL to join us. And yes, you only need to sign up once, and sign-ups will be open until our last session on Nov 29.

We’ll have two rooms:

The writer’s café. Join us here to chat about your work in progress, successes you’ve had, difficulties you’re encountering, and questions you have. Bring your coffee or a glass of wine – after all, there’s no need to drive home

The writing room. This will be a quiet space. Turn your mic off as you enter. Pull up your work in progress, take a deep breath and write! When you get a warren of writers all writing together, the room buzzes with energy; it’s a great motivational boost.

These meet-ups coincide with NationalNovel Writing Month, but you don’t have to be taking part in NaNoWriMo to participate. All you need is an urge to hang out with some fellow writers. 

This event is free, but, again, you must register at least an hour before a meet-up. Starting Oct 22, register online here~Brian

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Annick Press seeks Kid Lit ~ Picture Books to Young Adult

By Kira Vermond

Annick Press

388 Carlaw Avenue
Suite 200

Toronto, Ontario

Note: Don't ever miss a post on Quick Brown Fox. Fill in your email in the Follow Brian by Email box to the right under my bio, and get each post delivered to your Inbox. If you’re not yet on my newsletter list, send me an email, including your locale to ~Brian

Annick Press is currently accepting submissions of picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and nonfiction for kids of all ages. Annick’s stories feature contemporary themes (even if the setting is historical) and aim to instill kids with the joy of reading.

“We are committed to publishing diverse authors and illustrators and believe strongly in producing books that reflect our readers' own experiences while broadening their perspectives. In considering submissions, we prioritize #ownvoices representation of underrepresented and marginalized communities and identities. We encourage creators who identify as LGBTQ2SIA+, Indigenous, Black, and people of color to submit their work. We also encourage submissions from creators living with disabilities. Click here to read about our new Editorial Mentorship Program.”

Send submissions to “The Editor” at:

attach files in .docx or .pdf format

Picture Books

“The picture books that excite us most combine original ideas with strong storytelling and inherent appeal for kids. We prefer child-centered stories that tap into deeper issues and emotions, conveying poignant messages without being didactic. Generally, we prefer to receive the manuscript alone, without illustrations, though you are welcome to include suggestions. Our picture books tend to be 32 pages and no longer than 1000 words.”

Submit your full manuscript and cover letter to

Middle Grade Fiction

“Annick’s middle reader novels aim to engage kids with exciting stories that inspire deep thought and reflection. We’re looking for original stories with motivated characters, high stakes, and gripping action, even if it’s delivered in subtle form. Humor, even if used occasionally, is an asset. The typical length of our middle reader novels is 20,000 to 40,000 words.”

Submit your first chapter, synopsis and cover letter to

Young Adult Fiction

“Annick’s YA fiction features distinctive contemporary voices that wrestle with the big issues that matter to teens. We’re looking for powerful, dramatic, thought-provoking stories across most sub-genres, though the best way to determine if your manuscript might be a fit for us is to check out a few of our recent teen titles. Our YA novels tend to range from 50,000 to 70,000 words.”

Submit your first chapter, synopsis and cover letter to


“Annick’s nonfiction titles aim to hook readers with fascinating subject matter, appealing to their natural sense of wonder. These books give kids a solid foundation of facts while allowing them to draw their own conclusions. 

We’re looking for manuscripts that combine an original idea with narrative skills, a distinctive voice and dedication to accuracy. Show us your passion for the material and the little-known details that will captivate kids and encourage further exploration.”

Submit a sample chapter, detailed outline and cover letter to


“We’re always looking to add new illustrators to our list. We’re keen to see portfolios that demonstrate stylistic range, expressive characters and visual storytelling. Don’t forget to include illustrations of kids!”

Send sample images or a link to your portfolio, along with a few words about yourself, to

Full submission guidelines here.

Katie Hearn, editorial director
Annick Press

Note: Katie Hearn, editorial director, Annick Press, and picture book author Lana Button will be the guest speakers for: Writing for Children and for Young Adults, an online workshop Sunday, Nov 14. Details here.

Also, if you’re interested in meeting an agent and in getting published, don’t miss our online How to Get Published  workshop Nov 27, with guest, literary agent Paige Sisley. Details here.

See all of Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Online workshop: Writing Great Characters, this Saturday, Oct 16

How to Write Great Characters

This Saturday, October 16, 2021
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Offered on Zoom and accessible wherever there's Internet.

Whatever you're writing ~ fiction or nonfiction ~ readers will care about your story only if they care about your people. In this workshop, you'll learn techniques for creating fictional characters and depicting real people. You’ll learn how to breathe life into the page so that your characters start telling you how the story should go.

Workshop leader Brian Henry has been a book editor and creative writing instructor for more than 25 years. He publishes Quick Brown Fox, Canada’s most popular blog for writers, teaches creative writing at Ryerson University and has led workshops everywhere from Boston to Buffalo and from Sarnia to Saint John. But his proudest boast is that he has helped many of his students get their first book published and launch their careers as authors.

Read reviews of Brian's workshops, classes, and writing retreats here (and scroll down).

Fee: $37.17 + hst = $42 paid in advance 

This workshop will be offered on Zoom. Orientation provided, but you will need a computer, tablet or smartphone with a mic and, preferably, a camera {i.e. a webcam}. 

To reserve a spot now, email:

See all of Brian’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.