Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids
After the success of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive, our bestselling book for adults, we decided to make a version for children too. We have teamed up with Kevin Sorbo, who is not only a successful actor, known to many as the hero Hercules, but is also the spokesperson and chair for A World Fit for Kids!, a successful mentoring program that trains teens to become heroes to the kids in their own neighborhoods by using the vehicles of school, fitness, sports, and positive role models. The program is unique because of the powerful format of “kids teaching kids” — and its success rate is astounding — working with more than 12,000 children in the Los Angeles School District, it has a 100% graduation rate in a school system that has a 54% dropout rate.
Bringing positive messages to kids at all socioeconomic levels, in all kinds of schools, is of paramount importance in a fast-paced world filled with technology and choices, temptations and challenges for children. Now, more than ever, it’s important for parents, grandparents, teachers, and other mentors to sit down with kids, get quiet, and talk. And one of the best ways to start a conversation with a child is by reading a story about another child first.
That’s the goal of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids— to start conversations with children about core values, good examples, making good decisions, and having the courage to do the right thing. The values that children learn today will stay with them for the rest of their lives. We hope to contribute to the building blocks that create tomorrow’s wonderful young adults through this book for today’s children.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids will contain 101 stories about issues that are important to children. It is geared for children 12 and under. The stories in it can be read to younger children, read by older children, and discussed with adults. The stories will be personal anecdotes that are entertaining and also impart a lesson. For example, someone might write about that summer at camp when she got up the courage to invite an unpopular girl to her house, even though other girls made fun of her for doing it. Or someone might write about the time he found a ten-dollar bill on the ground and turned it into the teacher instead of keeping it, and was glad that he did because there was a new immigrant crying because she had lost that bill and it was her family’s money for dinner that night. The stories can be just plain fun as well — someone might write about the time that he spent a month practicing saying hello to a girl and then she said hello back and it was all worth it. That kind of story can help a lot of kids too, as they wrestle with private social dramas.
Stories should be written in a way that kids can understand, but contributors do not need any special ability to write for children. Just focus on one theme per story, keep the message clear, and don’t talk down to kids or try to use “cool” language. They see right through that. We’d like to keep stories in the 500-1200 word range. We are looking for stories from your own childhood, or about children you know, written in the first person, that both entertain and educate children, and that expose them to positive thinking and good values. These stories will show children how to make good choices… even when no one is looking, how to respect the needs and feelings of others, how to develop their own self-esteem, and how to stay true to their convictions. The stories will remind kids that each day holds something to be grateful for and show them that they are not alone in dealing with difficult issues.
Some of the themes and issues we want to address are:
We are not planning to include stories that might be too mature for younger readers, such as stories about abuse. We are also a “Santa safe” company — we keep the magic alive for all our readers.
If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.
SUBMISSIONS GO TO OUR WEBSITE. Select the Submit Your Story link on the left tool bar and follow the directions.
The deadline for story submissions is June 30, 2013, with the book going on sale in October 2013.