"The 101" Guidelines
Recipe for A Winning Submission
"The 101" story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary Indigenous people having extraordinary experiences. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple piece that touches our readers and helps them discover basic teachings they can use in their own lives. These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.
"The 101" stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a punch, creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. "The 101" stories have heart, but also something extra—an element that makes us all feel more connected, more thankful, more passionate and informed about life in general. A good story causes tears, laughter, goose bumps; compassion or any combination of these.
The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.
If we publish your story, you will receive three free copies of "The 101" book. You will also become part of "The 101" family, where you will receive our exclusive contributors’ communiqué (media promotion) and up to 20 copies of "The 101" book at wholesale cost (beyond that you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount).
Guidelines for a story in "The 101":
- Tell an exciting, heartwarming, funny or emotional story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Your story should be written in the first person and should be about yourself or someone close to you.
- Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh, feel empathy, get goose bumps or say “WOW!!!”
- The story should start “in the action” and draw in the reader. Do not start your story with an introduction about what you are going to say, or end with a concluding paragraph about what you just said.
- Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Many people tell personal stories for the first time in our books, and they find it to be a cathartic and productive experience. We do let you use a pen name for your story if you do not want to use your real name.
- Don’t try fancy moves with tenses. Writing in the present tense about something that happened in the past rarely works.
- Try to keep your story to 1200 words or less. Tighten, tighten, tighten!
- Your story must be true. No fiction, no creative writing.
A story in "The 101" IS NOT:
- A sermon, an essay or eulogy.
- An "as told to" story written by you for someone else. If you ghost-write a story for someone, we thank you for helping that person share his or her story. That person’s name will be listed as the author and he or she can acknowledge your help in the bio section.
- A biography or testimonial.
- A journalistic article about a third party that reads like a newspaper article.
A few more tips about submitting:
- The only way to submit your stories to us is via our website. If you have any problems when trying to fill out the form and submit your work, please contact our administrator at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses usually take several days, so be patient.
- Our administrator cannot help you with your personal computer problems. If you have questions, such as, “How do I paste my story into the submission form?” please ask a friend or relative.
- Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. The only exception to this is if your work has only been published in a small local publication with limited circulation or on your own blog.
What happens after I submit my story?
Please be patient after you press the SUBMIT button. Wait for the next screen to come up with a message that says: "Thank you! Your information has been received." This is your confirmation that we have received your story and that it has been entered into our database. This is the only confirmation you will receive. There is no separate e-mail message from us. A very obvious “Error” message comes up if your submission does not go through.
How will you know if your story is selected?
We do not send rejection letters, and we occasionally will save a submission for consideration for a future book. But in general, if you have not heard from us 30 days before the book’s on-sale date, that probably means we have decided not to use your story or poem. We get countless submissions and we only have room for 101 pieces, so please don’t take our silence personally!
It can take many months for "The 101" book to be completed. Please be patient, as the selection of stories is a time-consuming process. Please do not contact us to ask for an update about your story unless you need to know whether we are considering it because another publisher is interested in it too.
If we choose your story or poem for a future edition of "The 101" or any of our other projects, we will notify you by e-mail and request your permission to print it. We never publish anything without written permission from the author, and we get your approval for the inspirational quote that we put at the top of each story and also for any edits we make.
If your e-mail address changes after you submit your story:
Be sure to let our administrator know by emailing email@example.com.
If we publish your story:
You will also receive our regular newsletter that is sent exclusively to our published writers, with advance notice of new books, contests to win merchandise, and writing tips.