Nancy's Books

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Taking Risks

I’m a rule follower, not a risk-taker. Taking risks slings me way out of my comfort zone, but as a writer, following rules is not always the best route to publication. Editors refer to risk-takers as those who take chances on making a mistake, those who explore unique voices and are not afraid to use them. Not afraid? Hummmmm. When I first began writing children’s books, back in the last century, I tried to emulate a particular type of writing style of an individual author. Imitating another author, called stylized writing, is a good activity to learn how to develop a plot and characters and unfold an ending. After imitating a variety of authors, it was time for me to move on to MY own style that works with MY stories. It was time for me to develop MY own literary voice.

I began to write in a way that was comfortable to me. After writing the piece, I store it away for a while, at least a month, and move on to a new project. Writing new manuscripts is the best way to forget a previous one. Later, when I revisit the stored manuscript, I reread with fresh eyes and ask myself, if my targeted age group would enjoy reading it.
Of course, before the manuscript is stored, it undergoes numerous revisions and after I look at it with fresh eyes, more tweaking is needed. Almost all of my work includes a bit of humor, even serious stories and biographies. That’s just MY style.
Write to engage your audience, but first, write to engage yourself. When you do that, you have developed YOUR own unique style.
Call for submissions for Young Writers
Chicken Soup for the Soul.
College Student Stories
Calling all college students! We are working on a new book to be written entirely by you about your lives in college and outside college, including stories about kindness, respect, compassion, expanding your horizons, and embracing differences.

We are looking for true, non-fiction stories of no more than 1,200 words from current college students up to age 24. You can be enrolled in two-year, four-year, or technical college—any post high school educational institution.

We would like to share with you five free stories specially selected from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles, our previous book for college students, as examples of the kind of stories we publish. Please go to and scroll down. The five stories will be right there for you to look at!

The deadline date for story and poem submissions is July 31, 2016.

Submission guidelines at

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