A new Chicken Soup for the Soul call for stories!

Soup_1_smI just received a new call for stories for Chicken Soup for the Soul - High School. Details are as follows:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School to be published Fall 2008

We are looking for true stories and poems about your high school years.  We prefer stories written in the first person and no more than 1200 words.  We would like to include stories and poems on the following topics, among others:
. Regrets (lessons learned from making bad choices)
. Sports (making the team, or not.  Winning the game, or not.  Social aspects of sports).
. Clubs
. Music
. Religion and faith - its place in your life
. Dating and sex
. Embarrassing moments
. Humorous moments
. Issues, good and bad, with instant messaging, Facebook, texting, cell phones, emails, the web in general
. Self image, self acceptance - would include coming out, eating disorders, different body types
. College applications
. Grades, SATs, ACTs
. Military decision, trade school, or other non-college plans for after high school
. Family relationships - siblings, parents, other family members
. Puberty - early, late, being a short boy, being a tall girl, etc.
. Friends - best friends, losing friends, cliques, support of friends
. Tough issues - divorce, cancer, suicide of friend, death, drunk driving death, pregnancy
. Failures and rising above them

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book.  You will also receive a check for $200 and ten free copies of your book, worth more than $100. 

If your story is published by us, we will copyright it in your name and you will retain your rights to resell the story to another publication.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO http://chickensoupforthesoul.com/form.asp?cid=submit_story
DEADLINE IS June 15, 2008 although we may accept stories after that date if we have room.

I have been published in a Chicken Soup book and the authors are a pleasure to work with! Best of luck!

New "Chicken Soup for the Soul" writing opportunity!

Soup_1_sm_2I received this today:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Resolution Stories

Release Date:  December 2008         

Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories from people about their past New Year's resolutions and how they worked out - their failures and successes, what they learned. 

Tentative chapter topics include:

.        Trying to lose weight
.        Getting fit (The weight loss and getting fit stories could tie into our self-esteem, accept-who-you-are theme for girls and women)
.        Getting more organized
.        Making more money
.        Giving away money
.        Restoring a relationship with someone
.        Changing one's behavior
.        Stopping bad habits such as smoking, biting fingernails
.        Going green
.        Eating healthy
.        Serious stuff such as substance abuse withdrawal, seeking treatment for mental health issues
.        Self acceptance - realizing the resolution wasn't necessary and you are great the way you are

Stories must be true (non-fiction), written in first person, and 1,000 words or less. Stories should make readers laugh, cry or sigh, and be positive, universal and non-controversial. Also, the  "point" or "message" should be evident without preaching. No essays, commentaries, tributes, philosophical or biographical pieces will be accepted. Please refer to other Chicken Soup books to better understand our story-telling style.

You may submit more than one story. For each story selected, a 50-word biography will be included about the contributor and a permission fee of $200 per story will be paid within 30 days upon publication

Please submit stories through our website at www.chickensoup.com. The tentative submission deadline is August 30, 2008, please note that this deadline may adjust, so the sooner, the better!

Good luck to you if you decide to send in a written piece! I love the people at Chicken Soup books; they are very professional and great to deal with! Also, you will potentially open more doors for future writing opportunities in other arenas should you have a story published.


Great deal on BHG - get a free one year subscription!


Get your free subscription to BHG Scrapbooks, Etc. by being one of the next 1000 registrants for Scrap-A-Faire! Type in coupon code: scrap3fest when you register! Get in on all the fun but hurry - it starts February 28th!

Domonique had a track meet again today and although she didn't place, she got first place at her school for shot put. The weather was gorgeous today - it was 90 degrees when we picked up Alex from school!

Img_6655_edit_bw_smallHere is a picture of my three that I was able to take a few days ago.  I used it on an assignment I just finished up for BHG. Matthew's hair is longer in this picture as he got it cut yesterday. Now I need to take Alex in to get his hair cut, too.

I have been trying to get my scraproom organized. I still have to get the rest of my cabinets installed and get three more drawer units so I can get all of my junk OFF of my scrap counter.

To make a glass cutting surface, I went to Home Depot and bought an inexpensive piece of 16 x 20" glass and applied electrical tape all around the edges to cover the sharp edge. It works really well and is easy to clean, plus it is bigger than the cutting mats I have seen at Joann's, etc. As soon as I get the room finished, I will post a few pictures.

My favorite music to listen to when I scrapbook is 80's music (big surprise, there!) so I usually tune online to Club 977. If you like 80's music, check it out! It is free.

I got another call for the latest Chicken Soup book that will be coming out; if you want it, just e-mail me and I will pass it along to you!

By the way... Scrapsubmit 2.0 is coming!!!!!

Have a great night - I am off to scrap!

Layout from this month's Scrapbooks, Etc. (BHG)

76wherehasthetimegoneHere is a layout I created for the new February Scrapbooks, Etc. magazine. It is about my mom and me when I was three years old.  :) I used Imaginisce papers and some of their embellishments released at Memory Trends last fall. The magazine has some tips about how to restore color to a faded photograph; I hope it is useful to you!  :)

I have received several new calls for upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul books, so I will post them here in case you see something that you would like to contribute a story or two for. Chicken Soup stories that are accepted pay $200 per story.

I am off to work on another BHG project!

Chicken Soup for the American Idol Lover's Soul

I received the following information yesterday for submitting to the newest book in the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Here are the submitting details, in case you would like to try your hand at getting published in an upcoming book. I must say that the publishing process with the Chicken Soup people was very simple. Good luck!

Chicken Soup for the American Idol Lover's Soul

Dear Fellow American Idol Fan-atics,

We know who we are - we're the ones who wouldn't miss an AI show even if the world were coming to an end.  We're the ones who think that the vote between Clay and Ruben was one of the most important elections of the past decade.  We're the ones who can't believe that there are people who have actually never heard of Bo Bice or Diana DeGarmo or even Taylor Hicks.

Now we have a chance to share how AI has impacted our lives.  We are in immediate need of funny, inspirational and heartfelt true stories for our newest upcoming Chicken Soup title Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. 

The stories should be 1200 words or less, and should be positive and non-controversial.  No tributes, philosophical, self-promoting or biographical pieces will be accepted. 

The stories must be written in first person but you don't necessarily need to be the person that the story is about.  It can be about a friend who auditioned for AI, your grandma who re-ignited her singing career after watching the show or your sister who began working with special needs kids having been inspired by Clay.

Tentative chapter headings include:

· The Dream Begins (stories from the Idols of the childhood moment when they knew they were meant to sing)

· Waiting in the Rain (contestant hopefuls'' stories of waiting)

· America Got It Wrong (dealing with disappointment)

· Simon Says (turning criticism into inspiration)

· Success is a Journey (lessons/experiences along the road)

· That's my Baby (stories from the Idol's parents and families)

· The Idol's Idols (stories from the Idols about who was their mentor/inspiration)

· Touched By an Idol (viewer's stories)

· "And Tonight Our Next Idol Hopeful Will be Singing." (stories of the songs that moved you - stories can be from Idols or fans)

· Behind the Scenes (stories of things the viewers never see..hopefully we''ll include stories from make-up and hair people and/or the Idol's voice coaches, etc.)

· Life After American Idol (stories from the Idols of what their lives look like not and how the experience has changed them)

As you can see, many of the stories will be written by the contestants or their family members, but we also want to hear from you, the fans - especially for the chapters:

· Touched By an Idol (viewer's stories)

· Success is a Journey (lessons/experiences along the road - must relate to Idol)

· "And Tonight Our Next Idol Hopeful Will be Singing." (stories of the songs that moved you)

You may submit more than one story.  We accept previously published pieces, as long as you retained all rights to your story.  For each story published, a 50-word biography will be included about the author and a permission fee of $200 per story will be paid.  We also need AI cartoons and if accepted for publication, payment will be $100 each.  We accept poems, although very few are used.  Payment for poems is $50.  All payment s are paid within thirty days of publication.  The submission deadline is April 15th, but the sooner the better!

Please submit stories through the Chicken Soup for the Soul website at www.chickensoup.com.  Click on Submit a Story and be sure to select "American Idol Soul" as the book title.

I hope to see lots of you with selected entries for the final book!  :) Have a great morning!

Resizing layouts for publication - my steps!

Ok, I always get a zillion e-mails asking me how I resize my layouts for posting online or for submission purposes, so here are my steps:

To resize your images to fit most publications’ submission guidelines, please follow these instructions:

Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

To resize your images in Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, simply follow these instructions:

Step 1: Save your original file and make a copy (File > Save As > “Filename-copy.jpg”). You will be prompted to choose image quality on a scale of 1–12, or low, medium, high, or maximum. Save your file at the highest image-quality setting, and work from this copy. If you mess up, you’ll still have your high-resolution original.

Step 2: Lower the resolution to 72 dpi. Go to Image > Image Size and change the resolution to 72 pixels.

Step 3: Reduce the image dimensions. While still in the Image Size menu, check the width and height of the image. Make sure it’s no higher or wider than six inches. Click “OK.”

Step 4: Sharpen the image. When you shrink an image, it automatically seems to become less sharp, but this can be fixed. Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Use the sliders and check the preview box to see when your image is as sharp as the full-sized version. When you’re satisfied that you’ve sharpened your image enough, hit “OK.” (Others may find that simply selecting the Sharpen filter does the trick).

Step 5: Compress the file. If done right, this will bring your image down to under 100K without changing how it looks on screen. Do another Save As, but select a lower-quality image setting. We found a middle setting of 5–6, or medium, to be sufficient, while also cutting file size by a factor of 10–20X.

Step 6: Check file size. Your file should be under 100K! If not, it’s probably very close; go back to the original, and try compressing further. Still too big? Resize the image a bit smaller.

Hope this helps!! If you have any more questions, please send them my way!  :) Have a great Friday!