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Seeking Inspirational True Stories | New from Smith's Can-Lists
Write Tonight - Contest Listings
Seeking Inspirational True Stories

Postings Updated - July 31, 2000

Submission Guidelines

Adams Media Inspiring True Story Contest

A Paid Publishing Opportunity for Your Stronger-than fiction Stories!

Do you write about the compelling, inspirational, or incredible experiences of real people? Are you a master storyteller of people, places, events, and invisiible forces that affect people in pivotal or profound, life-defining or life-changing, ways?

Are you ready to share the story of someone who has turned lemons into lemonade, righted a terrible wrong, or overcome incredible odds? Been empowered or deeply moved by an epiphany, a harrowing or humbling event, the forces of nature, or an extraordinary act of humanity? Witnessed a miracle or the presence of a higher spirit?

If so, we invite you to submit your work for possible inclusion in a book of heartfelt, soulful true stories to be published in spring 2001 by a leading national publisher, Adams Media Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts.

We're looking for true stories that evoke emotion, insight, inspiration, memories, and hope in people of all ages and backgrounds. We want compelling stories that touch readers' hearts, catch in their throats, and make them laugh, cry, or gasp out loud.

Stories must be written (no audio/video/multi-media) in English. Typed stories preferred.

Story length: 1,000 to 2,000 words.

Unpublished and published writers welcome. Open to U.S. and Canadian citizens, 18 years or over.

Stories must be positive an dbased on real-life experiences. Be prepared to provide Editor/Publisher with information by which to verify authenticity of story.

Acceptable themes: family, love, friendship, parenthood, synchronicity, spirituality, overcoming hardship, rites of passage, unexpected blessings, courage, miracles, recovery, disabilities, facing adversity, realizing one's lessons, renuion, life-changing moments and events, self-discovery, losing/finding one's way, empowerment.

Acceptable styles: inspirational, humorous, incredulous, nostalgic, mystical, sentimental, insightful, witty.

Acceptable structures: First-person (I/we) or third-person (he/she/they). Narrative essay, or creative nonfiction. (No news stories, poetry, articles, academic papers, journal entries, diatribes, or experimental forms.)

All stories must follow a story format, with a strong lead (beginning), a rich midle, and a satisfying end, all woven together by a compelling central theme. The story should be written in active, descriptive language that has a rhythm and visceral quality that evoke visual imagery and emotion in the reader. A good story entertains and informs in a clear and fluid "voice" that is easy to read and to understand, while presenting a distinctive concept or perspective.

If story rights are owned by someone other than the author: The author should obtain permission from the subject of the story before submitting the manuscript.

If the story is written as creative nonfiction: Certain details may be appropriately fictionalized; however, the events and characters depicted in the story must accurately represent actual events and people.

Stories must be original (that is, the author's own work): You may submit unpublished or previously published material for which you own all rights. However, we are not interested ins tories that have been widely published or published in a similar anthology. Preference may be given to unpublished and self-published material.

Previously published or stories derived from previously publisher material published (whether print, electronic, or any other media;; including magazines, newspapers, newsletters, websites, scripts) must include: Name of publisher; location of publisher; title of publication; date of publication; published title of story; author's name; rights purchased by previous publisher. If self-published, provide similar information.

If you are not the author: Please identify the author and provide as much information as known about the author (including contact information) and the publication in which the story appeared.

Multiple submissions: Submit as many stories as you like. Submit each story separately.

Include at top of first page of each submission: Your name, address, phone number, fax number (if applicable), and email address (if applicable); word count; copyright date; submission date; rights currently retained by author. Also include details regarding any previous publication of the story (see above).

Submission requirements: Submit a separate entry for each story by mail or email. For email submissions, include the story as unformatted text within the email, not as an attachment. For mailed submissions, include both a hard copy (double-spaced, typed) and an electronic copy (unformatted, rich text, PDF, or graphics files; no faxed submissions; no phone calls. RETAIN A DATED COPY OF EACH SUBMISSION.

Selection process: the Editor will select and, as needed, develop 75 to 100 "finalist" stories for submission to the publisher. Development may include rewriting, embellishing, editing, and/or re-titling the material. The author will receive a copy of the edited manuscript for correction, comment, and approval prior to submission to Publisher. The Publisher's selection committee will select from the finalists the 50 +/- most compelling, well-told, and unique stories for publication in a trade book and the publisher's website. The selection committee will also select the grand-prize winner.

Rights: The Publisher reserves nonexclusive, one-time, North American book and electronic rights. All rights revert to the Author following publication. The Publisher reserves the right to fact-check, modify, abridge, edit, rewrite, and re-title material, as necessary, for publication in said book and website.

Compensation: $1000 for each accepted and published story, or $1,000 for the grand-prize entrant, plus publication in a book and website by Adams Media Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts. Paid on publication. Author receives no royalties or percentage of sales.


Submission deadline: October 01, 2000.

Submit to: Editor, P.O. Box 863, Eugene, OR 97440 (include SASE), or (email)

Guidelines reprinted with permission.

You are cautioned to use your own discretion when responding to any of the organizations listed. The Publishers of Write Tonight are not responsible for errors, mis-information or omissions in the information provided or for scam artists.

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