Daniel Boone Footsteps

Personal Essay Publishing Project

PEPP 2019 logo.jpg

Quick Summary of
Personal Essay Publishing Project-spring 2019

Please write in 750 words (800 max) a personal story about Exploring--making discoveries, facing challenges, or having an adventure. No fiction. You may share a story of someone close to you or an ancestor whose story you know well. The theme of "exploration" resonates with Daniel Boone's first excursion through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky in 1769. 

Email your essay as an attachment by Dec. 15, 2018 to essayprojectDBF@gmail.com. A nominal reading fee of $6 (higher after August) may be paid by mailing a check or paying online. (See "Books & DVDs" in the main menu. Click on "Personal Essay Publishing Project - spring 2019" to pay. See "Contact Us" for mailing address if sending check.)

More details are in the longer project description to the right.

Thank you for participating. Keep writing.

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America's spirit of exploration is not limited to its earliest years, so perhaps stories from later in our collective engagement in the democratic experience will spark your own recollections of exploring, discoveries, challenges, and adventure. America's heritage is rich and our modern times are as full of inspiration as any era in America's continuing story. 


What the writers are saying about
the Personal Essay Publishing Project:

  • Bearing Up is beautiful!!!!!!!! – Betsy Burch
  • I couldn't put the book down. – Carole Coates
  • I read the first story and it is immediately apparent that I am in the company of some very talented writers. – Antoinette Sirois
  • I’ve just started reading Bearing Up, but already I feel honored to have my story amidst these talented writers. This is only the second time I’ve submitted writing and the first to be published. THANK YOU! - Beth Bixby Davis
  • Thank you so much for including this special piece about my Dad. I think I will be ordering more. - Catherine Rhoden-Goguen
  • The quality of the book is wonderful.  I am proud to be included in this anthology.  . . .  I appreciate your informative updates.  This continues to be a rewarding experience. – Suzanne Cottrell
  • I absolutely love the book!  I hope you got my permission to share email addresses. I’ve discovered I went to high school with one of the other writers and I would love to get in touch with him, as well as others too. – Vicki Easterly
  • I am so excited to be part of Bearing Up and I look forward to future opportunity. You have created something so important—so needed—something that will really matter to both writer and reader. I am so honored to be a part of it and I am grateful to you for all the work and passion you have poured into this publishing project. – Lisa Miracle Ballard
  • When my copies of Bearing Up arrived, I started browsing through. It is so good I ordered another copy for my daughter! – Susan Proctor
Valerie Paterson shares her story "Me Alone" at an open mic event at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC. - April 23

Valerie Paterson shares her story "Me Alone" at an open mic event
at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro, NC. - April 23

Personal Essay Publishing Project-winter 2018 is now completed. You can purchase copies of Bearing Up, the collection of essays from 40 writers from Kentucky and North Carolina sharing 4-page stories about their experiences in making do and overcoming adversity while facing some of life's daunting and peculiar challenges.

Visit "books & DVDs" in the main menu to learn more and to purchase.

April 22, 2018


Personal Essay Publishing Project-spring 2019

A special collection of personal essays will be printed in early 2019. You are invited to submit your writing for consideration for inclusion. Writers from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky are especially encouraged but all are welcomed. As with PEPP-winter 2018, we are encouraging new writers and looking for fresh voices. Of course, experienced writers are welcome, too.

The selected essays will resonate with the theme of
“Exploring: Discoveries. Challenges. Adventure.
(Think of exploring the unknown, the new, the unfamiliar, having an experience outside your comfort zone, experiencing different.)

All the essays should be about true-life experiences of the writer, a family member, or someone the writer knows personally. These are short pieces. Writers should target 750 words, but no more than 800. Deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, December. 15, 2018.

A 250th anniversary in America's Story
In the spring of 1769, Daniel Boone made his first excursion through the Cumberland Gap, the portal through the Appalachian barrier mountains which enabled America's westward movement. Indeed, Cumberland Gap is America's first "gateway to the West."

On June 7, Daniel Boone and his party of five other longhunters first saw the beautiful level of Kentucky from a rock shelf atop Pilot Knob. That date is National Daniel Boone Day, a day annually to remember America's appetite for exploring, for making discoveries, facing challenges, and having adventures, a day to remember and recall the American spirit. 

Daniel Boone was gone from his North Carolina home for two years, leaving his wife Rebecca behind to deal with the farm and the family in her own way. Daniel and his hunting companions were regarded by the Cherokees and the Shawnees as poachers of the hides, pelts, and furs they harvested from the bounty of the Ken-te-ke lands. Bands of Cherokee and Shawnee accosted the trespassers, taking their gathered inventory of skins, and telling the men to go home. Those easily discouraged retreated and suffered lost and alone for it. But Boone and others remained, continuing to hunt, wandering far and wide to get a feel for the land, and imagining the new life they and others could build in such a fertile place. After two years in the wilderness and after the disappearance of his brother-in-law, John Stuart, Daniel returned to North Carolina, full of tales about the wondrous land to the west of the mountains, a land whose name would soon become a symbol of bounty and opportunity in a newly independent America--"Kentucky." 

Your Personal Essay
In the spirit of exploring--making discoveries, facing challenges, and having adventures, you are invited to write a personal essay about some experience of your own in which you had an adventure, faced a challenge, or made a discovery and from that exploration learned something about the world, about life, or about yourself or others. Or perhaps your experience did not end so positively. In any case, you are invited to share your story in 750 words (800 maximum) in a personal essay and to submit it for consideration for inclusion in an anthology of personal essays on this theme. Writers from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Kentucky are especially encouraged because of their proximity to the Cumberland Gap and/or their connection to the land on which Boone lived. But, Boone's footsteps tread upon the soil of Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, so all writers are welcomed to offer a personal story which resonates with this experience of exploring in the life of America's pioneer hero especially on this special anniversary of an event which signaled a turning point in America's early story. 

You may write about your own experience or share the story of a family member or someone you know personally. These are short, personal essays of life experiences. No fiction will be considered.

Everybody loves a good story and you are invited to craft yours into a piece of 750 words. You are invited to share your story and the lessons learned. Give the readers something to consider as they think about the experiences of exploring in life, whatever that brings to your mind.  

Rules for submitting your personal essay
This publishing opportunity is made possible through Daniel Boone Footsteps with the promotional help of writing groups and literary organizations in several states. A nominal reading fee is due with each submission. It is payable online by choosing "Personal Essay Publishing Project, winter 2018" as a service under "Books & DVDs" in the main menu. (You may also mail a check for the fee payable to Daniel Boone Footsteps, if you prefer.) 

Reading fee varies by date of submission. Submit early.
$6 - through August 31
$7 - September and October
$8 - November
$9 - December (1-15) 

Authors of essays selected for the anthology will sign a simple, non-exclusive release giving us permission to print your essay in the anthology. Authors retain all rights to their writing. Authors of included essays will be able to purchase copies of the anthology at a discount for having, sharing, or selling. Daniel Boone Footsteps will make the anthology available for retail purchase online at a low price to encourage high readership. 

Online submission of essays
You should email your essay to essayprojectDBF@gmail.com as an attachment. MS Word documents (.doc or .docx extensions) are acceptable. You may also send the text as Rich Text Format (.rtf). You may also mail your submissions through the postal service as hard copy to Daniel Boone Footsteps, 1959 N. Peace Haven Rd., # 105, Winston-Salem, NC  27106. With hard copy, include your check or money order payable to Daniel Boone Footsteps. If your essay is selected, you will be contacted about emailing the content. Include your name, mailing address, and email address at the end of your essay text, whether sent online or hard copy.

Submissions received by 11:59 p.m. EST, December 15, 2018 will be considered for inclusion in the anthology of personal essays on this theme. Preference will be given to those submissions arriving before December 1. Please send your submissions early. If your essay is selected for inclusion, you will be contacted directly. A list of authors to be included will be published here on or before March 31. Good writing and a compelling story are paramount, but we will also be looking for a diversity of geographic locations. 

Thank you for writing and for sharing your best. 

Personal Feedback on your writing (optional)

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If you would like personal feedback on your writing of your essay, please select "Personal Feedback" as a service offered under "Books & DVDs" in the main menu. For your $8 fee, you will receive feedback and suggestions through "Track Changes" in your MS Word document from a professional writing coach and book editor with over 25-years’ publishing experience. This service is optional and will not affect consideration of your essay for inclusion in the anthology. We all want to become better writers.