Lend a helping hand with Chicken Soup for the Soul

By in Culture

We all need help getting through tough times. Sometimes, that help can come from a book like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Students are now being invited to submit their stories to become part of the project.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a world-wide best-selling book series that brings together inspiring stories from people all across the world. With over 250 collections published in over 40 different languages, there is something for everyone to be found in this series.

Chicken Soup for the Soul began in 1993 with two motivational speakers, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They realized they had been told inspirational stories by people for years, and when audience members began asking where they could find these stories, Canfield and Hansen realised they should be published somehow so that they could potentially hChicken Soup - Ashley Britzelp people. So, they gathered 101 stories, mostly from their audience members, and created the first Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Initially, the book was met with a lot of setbacks, as it was turned down by every major publishing company it was submitted it to. After all hope for the book appeared to be lost, it was finally taken on by a small self-help publisher called HCI. Their gamble paid off, as Chicken Soup for the Soul has since become the best-selling trade paperback book series of all time — over 100 million copies have been sold in the U.S. alone.

My own obsession with these books began as a pre-teen when I first read Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, which was one of their most successful titles. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul guided me through a lot of really tough times and helped me put my situations into perspective.

This book series motivated me to help other people around me, as well. Chicken Soup for the Soul has also helped pre-teens, teens, adults, parents, the elderly, the sick and every demographic you can think of. Now, students can be a part of this world-wide phenomenon too.

Chicken Soup for the Soul currently has a call out for story submissions. Any college students enrolled in the 2015-16 school year are eligible to submit their true stories for consideration. The call is for college stories on themes including tolerance, respect, compassion, embracing differences and making good choices, among others.

If accepted, your story will be edited and included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: What’s Your Story? The book will be published in August 2016 and as its subtitle says, it will include “101 stories by college students about embracing differences and getting along.”

If you’re thinking about submitting, be sure to write in first person and tell a true, original story. Write a story, not an academic essay, in 800 to 1,200 words about how you have embraced differences, made good choices and/or overcome stereotypes. You can write a personal story or about something that happened to someone close to you. If your story is published, you will receive $200, plus 10 copies of the book, so there’s an added bonus to the already appealing prospect of being published.

If you prefer to tell your story in a video, there is also an opportunity to have your video shown on Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Hidden Heroes, the new Saturday morning series hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet, former co-host of Dancing with the Stars.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul series has helped  a lot of people deal with difficult times in their lives. If you think you have a story to share, take a shot at submitting. Who knows how your words might help someone?

The deadline for written and video entries is Jan. 15, 2016. For further information and to submit, visit whatsyourstory.amplifiertv.com.

Kay-Lynne Collier

Graphic: Ashley Britz