Daniel Boone Footsteps

Personal Essay Publishing Project

Copies of   Bearing Up   (2018) and   Exploring   (2019)  are available at “books and DVDs”

Copies of Bearing Up (2018) and Exploring (2019)
are available at “books and DVDs”

Quick Summary of
Personal Story Publishing Project-spring 2020

Please write in 780 words or so (800 max) a personal story about “That Southern thing”—living, loving, laughing, loathing, leaving the South. No fiction. You may share a story of someone close to you or an ancestor whose story you know well.

Email your story as an attachment by Dec. 15, 2019 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 Story Publishing Project - spring 2020" 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.

“6-minute Stories” Podcast

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You can listen to some of the stories from Bearing Up and Exploring narrated for our podcast of writers’ work. Find the podcast online at Apple Podcasts or through Spotify or Stitcher. Listen the stories from this website under “6-minutes Stories” in the main menu.

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

July 5, 2019


Personal Story
Publishing Project—2020

Following the success of our 2018 and 2019 Personal Story Publishing Projects, we are announcing our new Call for Personal Stories for our 2020 anthology. You are invited to submit your writing for consideration for inclusion in this collection of special stories.

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The theme is

“that Southern thing,” in short: we want personal stories about “living, loving, laughing, loathing, leaving the South,”

incited, perhaps, by a writer’s personal musings on the good, the bad, and the peculiar of life in “the South,” however the writer defines that. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us wince, make us think. Leave the readers grateful, encouraged, reeling, vexed, or just plain gobsmacked, but in every case sensing something more about “the South” than they considered before. Newcomers and natives have equal value in their perspectives. After all, “The South” is not what we think, or is it?

Writers from North Carolina and its contiguous neighbor states are especially encouraged but all Southern writers are welcomed, and that includes those who left and new arrivals from outside “the South.” As with our two prior Personal Story Publishing Projects in 2018 and 2019, we are encouraging new writers and looking for fresh voices. Of course, experienced and published writers are welcome, too. Poet laureates and prize-winning writers have shared their stories in these collections thus encouraging the new voices to join in, too.

All the stories 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 780 words or so, but no more than 800. These must be true stories; no fiction will be considered. Deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, December. 15, 2019.

Everybody loves a good story and you are invited to craft yours into a splendid piece. You are invited to share your story and the lessons learned from your experience. Give the readers something to consider as they think about life experiences you share about “The South,” whatever that brings to your mind. We will all learn something new together.

Rules for submitting your personal story
This publishing opportunity is made possible through Daniel Boone Footsteps Publishing of Winston-Salem, NC, 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 Story Publishing Project, spring 2020" 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 Labor Day (Sept. 2)
$7 - September 3 through Halloween (Oct. 31)
$8 - November
$9 - December (1-15) 
(The reading fee is nominal so as not to present a barrier to submissions, but we also want to discourage being flooded with tripe.)

All received submissions received an email acknowledgement within a week. Expect that and follow up if you do not receive an acknowledgment.

Authors of stories selected for the anthology will sign a simple, non-exclusive release giving us permission to print your story in the anthology. Authors retain all rights to their writing. Authors of included stories 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 stories 
You should email your story 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 submission 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, 2019 will be considered for inclusion in the anthology of personal stories on the theme. Preference will be given to those submissions arriving before December 1. Please send your submissions early. If your story 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 story, please select "Personal Feedback" as a service offered under "Books & DVDs" in the main menu. For your $10 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 story for inclusion in the anthology. We all want to become better writers.