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Guidelines

WRITING GUIDELINES

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1. Each submitted Tale must be an original, non-fiction story.

2. Inspire, motivate, uplift the reader’s spirits or give them an ‘aha’ moment of awareness.

Although no rule is absolute, and stories certainly can contain elements of sadness, try to focus your story so that overall the positive shines through.  Write to inspire, excite, or warm the heart of your readers. Tell your story so that it has an emotional impact on the reader. Make them laugh, cry, get the ‘gooseys’, shout WOW.

3. Invite the reader in so they can experience and feel the power of your story.

Start with the action and draw your reader in. Avoid using an introductory paragraph that tells what your story is about or a concluding paragraph that tells the reader what to think or feel. Avoid preaching. Don’t tell the reader how to feel, how to live, how to think, etc. Let them feel it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

4. Spiritual stories must have universal appeal.

Avoid proselytizing. Stories must be written so that people of all beliefs can relate to the message. Do not promote any given religion, religious beliefs, ritual or deity.

5. Stick to one central theme and develop it fully.

First try completing this one sentence: “My story is about . . .” Once you have established your central theme and understand  the central message you want to convey, let all your paragraphs flow from that one sentence.

6. Polish to perfection.

After you have written your story, give it to at several writer friends or an internet critique group for their unbiased input. Tell them you asking for their help to make your story as strong as possible. Then listen, listen, listen.

7. Edit and proofread VERY thoroughly. 

If you feel you need help to strengthen the power of your ‘tale’ but are not sure how, consider taking advantage of one of our affordable, yet professional pre-submission critique services.  Click here.

8. Use only one single space at the end of each sentence.

Please avoid double spaces after end punctuation marks as they do not format properly in print layout.



 CONTEST DETAILS

CLICK HERE for story categories, submission procedures, deadline dates and more.



TESTIMONIALS

James Osborne  

Jim Osborne – British Columbia, Canada

Lois Stern is brilliant! She has identified an enormous gap in the world of aspiring writers and is working hard to fill it. Lois brings creativity, energy and above all encouragement to countless writers struggling for the recognition they deserve.


Susan  

Susan Haley – Harrisburg, Pa.

Lois Stern is a gem and the time and energy she expends to help promote her authors is amazing to me. Lois is my eyes is a literary philanthropist.