Daniel Boone Footsteps

Personal Essay Publishing Project

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Quick Summary of Personal Essay Project

Please write in 750 words (800 max) a personal story of overcoming adversity, making do, or bearing up when facing a challenging situation. No fiction. You may share a story of someone close to you or an ancestor whose story you know well. 

Email your essay as an attachment by Feb. 17, 2018 to essayprojectDBF@gmail. A nominal reading fee of $6 may be paid by mailing a check or paying online. (See "Books & DVDs" in the main menu. Click on "Personal Essay Publishing Project - winter 2018." See "Contact Us" for mailing address.)

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

Thank you for participating. Keep writing.


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 this page again in July to learn about the next Call for Essays for Personal Essay Publishing Project - spring 2019

March 26, 2018

Announcing essays selected for including in published anthology, Bearing Up

Click here to see list of essayists selected to appear in Bearing Up, the anthology from the PEPP-w2018 Call for Essays.

A special collection of personal essays will be printed in early spring 2018. You are invited to submit your writing for consideration for inclusion. Only writers in Kentucky and North Carolina will be included. We are encouraging new writers and looking for fresh voices. Of course, experienced writers are welcome, too.

The selected essays will resonate with the themes of “making-do,” “bearing up,” and “overcoming adversity.” 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, Feb. 17, 2018.

A 250th anniversary Story

Before Daniel Boone so indelibly carved his name into the history and heritage of Kentucky, he lived in the backcountry of North Carolina for 21 years. Indeed, North Carolina and Kentucky can both take great pride in having Daniel Boone as part of their frontier legacies. And this winter, 2017-2018, we observe a unique experience in Boone’s life: his first expedition through the Appalachian Mountains into what would become Kentucky.

During the winter of 1767-1768, Daniel Boone and his longtime hunting companion William Hill, passed through the Appalachian Mountains along the Russell Fork. That water gap is today in Breaks Interstate Park, straddling the state line between Virginia and Kentucky near Elkhorn City, Kentucky.  After the fall harvest, Boone had left his Wilkes County home on Beaver Creek in North Carolina for a winter hunt. He and his companions were caught in the wilderness by an early snow storm. Running low on shot and powder for their rifles and other supplies, they decided to camp at a salt spring near today’s David, Kentucky. Rather than chase scarce game through the deep snow, they conserved their resources by shooting the wild game which came their way seeking the salt lick. Boone and his fellow hunters survived through their skills and knowledge of living in the wilderness. They made do. They kept their spirits high, and their resolve strong. After enduring a long and harsh winter, the men returned to Wilkes County in the spring, having had quite an adventure and delighting their families with their long-awaited return.

Your Personal Essay

In the spirit of finding oneself in a challenging circumstance and persevering by making do, you are invited to write a personal essay about some experience of your own in which you made do, kept your spirits high, or your resolve strong. 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. Only North Carolina and Kentucky authors will be included in the final collection as it pays tribute to the resourcefulness and the character of Daniel Boone and his colleagues on the 250th anniversary of their experience hunting in the wilderness.

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 challenges in life we sometimes face today and how we make do, keep our spirits up, and hold to our resolves. Or perhaps how we struggle and falter in the effort.


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 North Carolina and Kentucky. A nominal reading fee of $6 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 $6 payable to Daniel Boone Footsteps, if you prefer.) All entrants paying the reading fee will receive a $3 credit toward the purchase of any book offered by Daniel Boone Footsteps under "Books & DVDs."

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) are preferred. 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 for $6 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, February 17, 2018 will be considered for inclusion in the anthology of personal essays on this theme. Preference will be given to those submissions arriving on or before February 10. 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 $7 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.