Calls for Essays from Cup of Comfort

(Just received this list of manuscript needs for the popular Cup of Comfort anthology series from editor Colleen Sell. Note that the information is not yet posted on the Cup of Comfort site, where you can also check out sample stories, but will be shortly.)


A Cup of Comfort is a popular anthology (book) series featuring inspiring true stories about the extraordinary experiences of “ordinary” people. We are currently seeking submissions for three new volumes:


Only another writer can truly understand what it’s like to aspire to become and to be a writer. For this anthology of true stories celebrating (and commiserating) the writing life, we seek compelling, insightful, and exceptionally well-written personal essays from writers of every persuasion and level of experience.

Possible themes include but are not limited to:
* Mentors or teachers
* Overcoming challenges in becoming a writer, in your life as a writer, or in the
writing process
* Milestone(s) in your journey to become a writer or as a writer
* Discovering and/or heeding the call to become a writer
* Writers groups; the camaraderie of other writers
* Why you write
* Transcending self-doubt, fear, criticism, rejection
* What writing has taught you about life
* What life has taught you about writing
* Discovering/following your muse; what inspires your writing
* Best or worst writing experience and what you learned/gained from it
* Finding/making time/space to write

Submission Deadline: July 31, 2006
See submission specs, below.


As any dog lover will attest, dogs are, indeed, our best friends… and so much more. They’re also our helpers, heroes, champions, teachers, and beloved family members. For this volume, we seek heartwarming true stories that speak to the amazing bond between dogs and the people who love them. Stories can focus on any experience/theme that demonstrates how a dog has inspired and/or enriched the life/lives of a human(s).

Possible themes include but are not limited to a dog’s:
* Devotion and loyalty
* Courage
* Amazing feats
* Role as a member of a family or community
* Companionship
* Therapeutic effect on a human
* Unique relationship with a person
* Unique relationship with another pet or animal
* Inspirational effect on one or more people
* Amusing, endearing, exceptional ways

We do NOT want sad stories about a pet’s suffering or death. However, stories can be about the life of a dog that is now deceased and can include a fond farewell to a lost pet—provided the story isn’t solely about the pet’s death.

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2006
See submission specs, below.


As Oprah Winfrey has often said, parenting is the most difficult and important job in the world. It can be even tougher for single mothers, who face all the usual parenting challenges plus another whole set of unique ones. But single motherhood — whether by choice or by chance — also brings many untold rewards, for both moms and children. For this collection of personal essays celebrating single mothers, we seek uplifting true stories about the joys and the difficulties of single mothering. The majority of stories selected for publication will be written from the single mother’s point of view, but we will also consider stories written by the children of single mothers as well as by third parties with intimate knowledge of (and the permission of) the single mother and her child(ren).

Possible themes include but are not limited to:
* Juggling the myriad responsibilities of single motherhood
* Raising sons or daughters solo/without fathers
* The support of family, friends, other mothers
* Having/navigating adating/romance/social life
* Hard lessons learned
* Busting myths about single mothering
* Defying stereotypes about single moms and/or children of single moms
* Overcoming adversity
* Self-acceptance and self-respect in a society that sometimes disparages single mothers
* Unconventional wisdom(s) gained
* Blessings, joys, and rewards of being a single mother or the child of a single mothers
* The unique bond between a single mother and her child(ren)
* The courage, resilience, ingenuity, devotion, accomplishments, and/or integrity of a single mom
* Why you chose single motherhood (if by choice) and how you’ve made it work
* The unexpected and/or under-recognized advantages, joys, and/or rewards of being a single mother or having a single mother

Submission Deadline: December 31, 2006
See submission specs, below.


* $500 grand prize (one per book); $100 (each) for all other stories published
* Author receives one complimentary copy of book
* Story length: 1,000 to 2,000 words
* Stories must be original, true, uplifting, typed, and in English
* Simultaneous submissions acceptable
* Previously published material acceptable–EXCEPT for stories that have been or will be published in a widely distributed, mass market anthology or magazine
* Each submission must include the following:
Author’s name
Author’s mailing address
Author’s phone number
Author’s email address
Story title
Story wordcount

* Submit by email or mail:

EMAIL: In the subject line, cite the Cup of Comfort volume (i.e., Dog Lovers). Copy and paste (or type) the story into the body of the email (no attachments. One story
per email. Send to: cupofcomfort(at)adamsmedia(dot)com or wordsinger(at)aol(dot)com

MAIL: You can send more than one story per envelope. Include self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for each submission. Send only the paper copy of the story; do not send computer disks or CDs. Mail to:
Cup of Comfort
Adams Media
57 Littlefield St.
Avon, Massachusetts 02322, USA

Please direct questions and suggestions to: cupofcomfort(at)adamsmedia(dot)com or wordsinger(at)aol(dot)com. We cannot accept phone calls.”

Copyright 2001-2006, Adams Media Corporation, an F+W Publications Company. Reprinted by permission. (Thanks to the Renegade Writer blog for the lead.)

2 thoughts on “Calls for Essays from Cup of Comfort

  1. J. A. McDougall says:

    Thanks for these! I have a story in the Cup of Comfort book coming out in October (for ‘Moms to Be’) and I’m thrilled. I will definately sub to Adams again.

  2. Erika Dreifus says:

    Congrats on your forthcoming publication!

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