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.

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