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Think positive for kids

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids will contain 101 stories about issues that are important to children. The submission deadline is June 30. Stories should be in the 500- to 1,200-word range.

Some guidelines from the editors:

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 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 the book will address are:

• Bullying
• Relationships with friends and family
• Divorce
• Moving
• Crushes and relating to the opposite sex
• Self-acceptance
• Helping others
• Being different
• Physical and mental disabilities
• Following rules
• “Telling” on someone when it will help them
• Doing the right thing even when it’s hard
• How it feels to do the right thing

The book will not 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,” the editors say.

If your story is chosen, you will receive $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.

Submit your piece here. Select the “Submit Your Story” link on the left tool bar and follow the directions.

Reflections of Erma