In late 2006 I made a decision. I wanted to get a story in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Here's how I did it.
I listened to thirteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
I took a class, Writing from the Heart.
I studied the list of upcoming book titles and story call outs.
I read the guidelines before I began to write each story and after.
I wrote over twenty stories and selected thirteen of my best to submit.
Seven of my stories were considered for publication between 2007-2009. Four made it to publication. In 2010 I submitted three stries and one of them was considered and published.
I've set my sights on a much loftier goal. My first middle grade novel, "Crippled Mind" is in the final editing stage. I decided I want to win the ALA American Library Award, The Schneider Family Book Award.
A book is a much more difficult task than 1200 word inspirational stories are to write. Remember I wrote 20+ stories to reach my goal. I guess it's good I'm writing a series. lol
Plan to Win the Schneider Family Book Award
Step One - Reading and rereading the guidelines for the Schneider Family Book Award.
Step Two - Read every winner's book that the NLS National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has. (I can only read (listen to) audio books, because I can't hold a book or see to read a paper version. I'm legally blind and a quadriplegic.) For any books they don't have, I'll try to buy the CD. For any books do not have an audio version, I'll have my computer read the "look inside this book" and the reviews for the book on Amazon.
Step Three - Attempt to identify commonalities in winning books.
Step Four - Read vand edit my book for the millionth time and try to weave the common traits into my manuscript.
Step Five - Find a publisher.
I'm sure there will be dozens of steps I haven't thought about, but this is a beginning.