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Day 3 The Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Anthology Contributor Day

Today, I’d like to present Judy M. Miller, Samantha Ducloux Waltz, and Emily Chadwick Baker, for our anthology day. These lovely ladies will each give away a signed anthology copy today, so that’s three chances to win a book today for three participants! Enjoy…

Judy M. Miller

Scared to pieces at first, Judy M. Miller has found writing to be centering and cathartic. She rediscovered herself and confidence in the process of finding her voice. She finds blocks of time to write while her four kids are in school, typically loosening up with a few prompts. Her essays and articles appear in adoption and parenting magazines. Judy’s stories are included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul), A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families: Stories That Celebrate a Special Gift of Love (Adams Media), Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? (EMK Pres), Sensational Journeys (Future Horizons), and Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Teaching and Publishing (Key Publishing House). Learn more about Judy at JudyMMiller.com.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul), is an amazing tribute to mothers the world over. The stories will make you smile, laugh and cry. Perfect for Mother’s Day or those special women in your life. Judy’s essay, “The Chest,” is included in the inspirational Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom. Chicken Soup for the Soul editor Wendy Walker said, “I chose ‘The Chest’ because it captured the essence of the mother-daughter relationship. A mother has been through the stages of life the daughter will soon pass, and yet for the daughter to pass through them, she must separate from her mother. So here we had this mother knowing what would be important to her daughter years down the road.”

• • •

Samantha Ducloux Waltz:

Samantha Ducloux Waltz is an award-winning freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. Her personal stories appear in the Chicken Soup For The Soul series, A Cup of Comfort series, and numerous other anthologies as well as Redbook and Christian Science Monitor.  She has also written fiction and nonfiction under the name Samellyn Wood. More at  http://www.pathsofthought.com.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog’s Life is the most recent in the acclaimed Chicken Soup series. “Double Love” by Samantha Ducloux Waltz is one of 101 heartwarming, entertaining and inspirational stories about all the ages and stages of our best friends and faithful companions, from puppyhood  to the senior years.


1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

My success as a writer is essential to my sense of self.  I’ve always been very achievement oriented, and that is evidently something one does not outgrow. When I get a contract for a story I feel better about myself. Like getting an “A” in school. My mother was a successful writer and maybe I inherited a “must publish” gene.  Although I value the work of other writers whether they are published or not, I feel driven to see my work in print.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

Three words that describe my writing process are: meditative, focused, and centering.

3. What good has your book created in the world?

A woman contacted me who ended an abusive relationship after reading one of my stories about my divorce.  A man from Iraq contacted me who said his world view became much more positive and hopeful after he read a story I wrote about my older son’s successful battle against depression that followed his disabling accident. The man explained that he turned to the story frequently, and he quoted parts of it that particularly influenced him. (The credit really goes to my son.)  I’ve had other comments and compliments, but these are the two most dramatic examples.

• • •

Emily Chadwick Baker

Emily Chadwick is a freelance writer with regular gigs as a small town columnist, general reporter and feature writer.  Her monthly newspaper column, “On a shoestring,” currently runs in two Pacific Northwest newspapers. In 2010 Emily co-founded the Terroir Creative Writing Festival which has featured several nationally acclaimed writers including Ursula K. Le Guin, Jean Auel, Molly Gloss, Monica Drake and Larry Colton, Christina Katz and many others. She continues to help organize the event by coordinating authors, building schedules, negotiating contracts, and writing copy. She lives in a 102 year old house in the heart of Oregon’s wine country with her husband and children. Learn more at www.emilychadwick.com.

Just Moms: Conveying Justice In An Unjust World
Edited by Melanie Springer Mock and Rebekah D. Schneiter

Conveying the principles and the practice of justice to young children is no small task. In this poignant, honest, and sometimes witty collection of stories, 27 women share their adventures and misadventures modeling social-justice principles for their children and communities. Just Moms is about moms bending their own rules and redefining success as they work to raise kids who value peace, equality, truth, simplicity, and love.


1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?
Writing my essay, “Digging for Answers,” which was included in the book, Just Moms, has given me the confidence to set goals and pursue them.  For a brief moment when the book was released, I celebrated the accomplishment of publication, then I quickly shifted my focus to “next time.” Before this anthology I wondered if a book deal was in my future. Now, I think about how hard I must to work to ensure that one is.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?
Write despite distraction

3. What good has your book created in the world?
Stories, both fiction and non-fiction, help us make sense of the world and our experiences. I think readers of Just Moms walk away from the book knowing they are not alone as they negotiate, and sometimes struggle with, important child rearing issues and decisions.  Though this book is written from a Christian perspective, the experiences shared by  mom writers feel familiar to any mother, regardless of religious creed or beliefs. At its best, the book might even change the way moms think about each other.

• • •

Thanks for participating, Judy, Samantha, and Emily!

I am curious how many of you have written for anthologies or maybe even created one. My “first” book was an anthology of my former students’ work called Rhapsody In Writing.

Have you ever submitted your work to an anthology? If so, which one or what kind? Let us know if you are a member of the anthology creator’s club.

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Judy, Samantha, and Emily are allowed to answer too, but not until tomorrow because they can’t win their own books.

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! Please spread the word.

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  • DrJLeBlanc May 3, 2011, 8:55 am

    Hi Christina,

    I’ve contributed to several anthologies to include TeaTime Stories for Women, a career/resume anthology and the upcoming A Book of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel (and Deepak Chopra).

    Were some of your CO publications also considered anthologies? You were inspiring people to write even then.


  • Heidi Smith Luedtke May 3, 2011, 10:43 am

    I can’t wait to visit these writers’ websites and learn more about them — what a great group! I’ve submitted two stories to anthologies. One of them “Growing Up and Old Together” was printed in Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog. I wrote this story, about my beloved dog Houston, as his life was coming to an end. He was 14 years old, severely arthritic, and his muscle control was diminishing. It was cathartic to tell the story of the love we shared and how my dog baby helped me through very rough times in my life. Getting Houston’s story published was just the icing on the cake.

  • Mindi Anderson May 3, 2011, 12:05 pm

    I contributed to an anthology of poems when I was in High School…one of those types where you have to purchase the book if you want to see it in print. I must admit that I was quite proud of myself at the time, though. I think an anthology might be a good place for me to start. Thanks for the tips from the ladies, today!

    Are there any recommended anthologies where a beginning essayist could submit for feedback or critique?

  • Tracy Revalee May 3, 2011, 1:22 pm

    One of my essays was published in a college literary magazine but I haven’t pursued other anthologies since. I’m glad you collected and interviewed these authors for today’s post because I think their courage in submitting to these publications is admirable. Since the sincerest form of flattery is imitation, I’m going to do some research about submitting some of my work to anthologies.

    I loved Samantha Waltz’s “must publish gene” comment. My mother authored four books and it was said between my siblings that “publication is equal to deification” in our household. For years, I didn’t mind so much that my sister had a PhD and I hadn’t yet graduated college, because I at least was writing and publishing, so I reasoned that I couldn’t be a total dunce.

  • Brooke Randolph May 3, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’ve never submitted my writing to an anthology – maybe someday

  • Karen Lange May 3, 2011, 1:59 pm

    Thanks for all this great info! I love hearing about other writers – what makes them tick, how they work, and other fun tidbits. 🙂

    I’ve not submitted to an anthology yet, but would like to soon. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

  • Rdschneiter May 3, 2011, 3:37 pm

    This was great to read! Great to see Emily get some notice for all her hard work. Melanie Mock and I edited the anthology, Just Moms. It was a joy project for me. A joy of three years! I learned so much about writing and editing. I discovered how much I love to edit! I love helping writers make their writing great. Now that Just Moms has recently been released I am loving our next stage, the conversation stage. It is great to hear moms talk about what chapters spoke to them and then for others mothers to hear why. I think it really is an act of peacemaking, to hear other points of view and respect those.

  • sewa mobil May 3, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Nice article, thanks for the information.

  • Pattie May 3, 2011, 4:49 pm

    I’ve had my work published in four different anthologies: the anthology from my class with the Greater Kansas City Writing Project Summer Invitational; Missouri Teachers Write; Water and Rock (anthology from my writers’ group in Missouri); and the anthology my community college creative writing class put out last spring as part of the class I took. Anthologies are a good way to publish informally or formally, because they’re a good wrap-up final project for a course for teachers and for students, and a nice way to collect everyone’s best work as a group.

  • Beth K. Vogt May 3, 2011, 4:54 pm

    I was published in Chicken Soup’s A Tribute to Moms (2008). And it was so rewarding because I’d wanted to land this particular story somewhere for years!! Now when I talk to women’s groups, it’s one of my favorite books to give away.

  • MaribethPGraham May 3, 2011, 5:00 pm

    I entered a story about my father passing away and how I connected with him after he died through a world known medium. I submitted it to one of the Chicken Soup anthologies but never heard anything. It is an amazing story so I was sad that it wouldn’t be shared.


  • Nancy May 3, 2011, 5:22 pm

    I have not submitted to an anthology yet, but I would like to. I’ve thought about rewriting a piece I wrote in 2008 to send to the Chicken Soup series. I’ve also got a few short stories I’d like to send to a couple of literary anthologies. I guess I just need to do it and stop talking about it!

  • Cara Holman May 3, 2011, 5:42 pm

    I have a special fondness for anthologies because that’s where I got my start. My first published story was “Mrs. Schwarz”, and it appeared in the anthology “Cupcakes on the Counter: The Stoves & Stories of our Families”, put together by Oregonian author RaeAnn Proost. Since then, I have had stories appear in the Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup of Comfort, and Voices of Series. But anthologies are not only for prose! I’ve also had several haiku appear in haiku anthologies over the last year, and that’s really where I’m focusing my efforts these days.

  • Jjewelsea May 3, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Never have submitted to an anthology. To be honest, I don’t read anthologies much, so I guess it never occurred to me. I’ll be interested to hear about others’ experiences with submitting to and being published in anthologies. Is it possibly a good “breaking in” strategy? Would you recommend it to beginning-to-be-published writers?

  • Ann May 3, 2011, 6:44 pm

    I’ve never knowingly submitted anything to an anthology. However I discoverd that when an anthology of stories connected to the second Lebanon War in 2006 was published, I was told that an email I circulated,inviting anyone from the North of Israel ( which was under contstant fire from the Lebanese) who needed temporary shelter, to stay at our home in the quieter center of the country, had been included in the book – but that’s as close as I’ve come to an anthology.
    Although I often publish essays I think the reason I’ve kept away from anthologies is because the publishing proces is so long and it can be years until you know if a piece will be published – I guess I’m just impatient☺

  • Kathleen Whitman Plucker May 3, 2011, 6:54 pm

    I love submitting to anthologies and have been published in a few, including “Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul 2,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul Campus Chronicles,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul . . . Teens Talk Getting into College,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul Twins and More,” and “Christmas Is a Season 2008.” I wish that I could more readily find opportunities to submit to anthologies.

  • Bethany Dykman May 3, 2011, 8:18 pm

    I haven’t yet submitted any work to an anthology, and, like Jjewelsea, I don’t really read anthologies much either. But I haven’t discounted it as a possibility, so it was nice to see three examples of writers who have found success in this area. Because I enjoy writing essays, I just might be going this route in the very near future.

  • Carol J. Alexander May 3, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Is a literary magazine an anthology? If yes, then I have been included in my junior college’s literary magazine waaay back when. After having poems published in there and our local newspaper, and serving a year as editor of said magazine, my creative writing instructor told me I wrote “second rate poetry.” I promptly switched to a journalism major and haven’t written a poem since.

  • Sarah Joyce Bryant May 3, 2011, 9:27 pm

    I just recently submitted an essay for an anthology about women and the changes their bodies go through after giving birth. I received the essay back from the editor with suggestions for revision and resubmission for reconsideration. I love reading anthologies because it gives me the opportunity to see a specific topic from several different perspectives in one resource.

  • Amie May 3, 2011, 9:44 pm

    After college I encouraged friends to contribute to a collection of essays and poetry. It’s been over 10 years since then and I would love to revisit the project – reflecting on the paths our lives have taken and learn from their collective wisdom. I would also like to submit something to an anthology – these interviews have been inspiring.

  • Cindy Hudson May 4, 2011, 12:04 am

    I love the idea of writing for anthologies, but I haven’t actually submitted to one yet. It seems that stories in anthologies have particular power to inspire and influence people’s lives, as shown by the comments Samantha shared about her stories.

  • patricia May 4, 2011, 12:40 am

    YES! In fact to ‘Rhapsody In Writing’! After taking Christina’s fantastic class “writing for pleasure”! What a pleasure it was to discover writers and writings and how that fit into my personality and life. I am not a member of the club however, and trying to find time in retired life to put writing in the forefront. Why is it that you find time for lots of things that matter little and those that you enjoy the most often get pushed aside?

    I think I shall start again “writing for pleasure”… Thanks Christina for inspiration of a lifetime.

  • Mar May 4, 2011, 4:36 am

    Christina, once again your contest is my inspiration! My first published essay was in an anthology. Going forward I want to create an anthology of my best work and that of my three children. I’ll start with a few of their elementary school stories that are so profound in their simplicity. Add some high school essay angst. Top it off with work they’re doing now and stories yet to be told. I’m a fortunate Writer Mama. My MBA-grad school daughter writes essays about her love life that are funny, yet poignant. Every year she enters NaNoWriMo with me, so I’ll have lots of material from which to choose. My middle daughter, a CU Boulder sorority princess rugby player, swears she didn’t inherit my writer gene, but her FaceBook posts tell quite a tale. (If she finds out I’m saving them she’ll probably unfriend me.) And my son is a Creative Writing major at U of A. I’m looking forward to years of swapping manuscripts with him. Plus I’ll include a few of my husband’s love letters so he doesn’t feel left out. Since our last name is Junge (pronounced Young) the anthology title will be “Forever Junge.”

  • Laural Ringler May 4, 2011, 5:00 am

    I too was a part of Christina’s Rhapsody in Writing way back when. My only other experience with anthology was last year, when I submitted to what I thought was an anthology, but it turned out the author wanted to re-write people’s stories along her themes. I submitted work, and heard nothing until I got an e -mail saying “the book will be published next month and you’re in it.” I was disappointed not to get my work published as I presented it, along with the writer credit. She did portray my ideas accurately and quoted my exact words when she used them, but attributed them to me only by first name, as though I had contributed something that needed an anonymous byline. I wish her call for submissions had been more up front. A live and learn moment for sure.

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:45 pm

    Mindi, it sounds like you are a candidate for Abigail Green’s Personal Essays That Get Published, have you checked it out? Click on the classes page for more info. 🙂

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:49 pm

    I think there are fewer well-known markets to submit to with the shuttering of Cup of Comfort. But I think if you are serious at getting essays published, taking aim at Chicken Soup is a great idea. What a great way to practice!

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:50 pm

    Way to go, Kathleen!

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:51 pm

    That’s a good question, Carol. An anthology is not exactly a literary magazine. But an anthology could be literary in theme or content. 🙂

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Mar, I was a rugby player and co-captain of the scrum for two years. I’ve got the tattoo on my hip to prove it. Better keep an eye on that one!

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 10:54 pm

    Wow. That’s terrible, Laural. Thanks for sharing a cautionary tale that’s a good reminder to opt for established anthologies by reputable editors. 🙂

  • Anonymous May 4, 2011, 11:58 pm

    The Swing… 😉