Book Editorial Submission Guidelines

Story Elements

A title
An inspirational quote from the story at the top of the chapter
500-word story
A 100-word author biography

 

GUIDELINES:

Elements:

  • Write in first person. Your chapter should be a personal story of yours, written in first person (ex. I went to the park instead of Mary went to the park).
  • Choose a theme. Before you start writing, choose an overall theme to your story that reflects your overall lesson. For example, “Never give up”. This will shape the way you present your story and your wisdom as you begin to write.
  • Please avoid profanity.

 

Organization of the Story:

Think about your story in three different pieces:

 

  • INTRODUCTION will provide the setting for the main event, lesson, inspiration, or turning point including an explanation of the time the action took place. The introduction to the story can begin in the thick of the action, as a flashback, or begin as a chronological explanation of events up until the time of the main life lesson, inspiration, event, or turning point.

 

  • MIDDLE of the story should explain the ACTION you experienced, including the challenges faced, and how you conquered them, over the respective period. The action should cover the influences in your life (people, places, things) that helped you overcome the challenges, and how they related to the action of the story.

 

  • CONCLUSION of the story should reveal the LESSON LEARNED for the reader. The ending should be happy, motivating, and inspiring – what makes you a Hispanic Star!

 

Any other hints on writing the story?

  • Answer the reader’s questions, especially why! After you read your story, try to read it again through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you. Would they understand what you mean? Would they have questions about what you just wrote? Make sure you are communicating clearly.

 

Ex. This journey I was taking was as happy as the best day of my life. (Readers would want to know what the best day of your life was; why is this an important reference?)

 

If you are making decisions, changing jobs, making a move, ending a relationship, etc. within the story, tell us why! Be specific. That provides complete information to the story and readers will want to know.

 

Ex. After I moved to Chicago, I moved from job to job for five years.

Better: After I moved to Chicago, I moved from job to job for five years, trying to find something full-time where I could be home in time to get Jacky from school.

 

  • Keep it simple. For the sake of the reader, it is often more impactful to concentrate on a single, major event/ journey/lesson. Consider doing a thorough job focusing on one life event and filling in details of the past as needed to tell the story. Including too many events can make your story seem unfocused and scattered unless each event is unified by a strong, central theme.

 

  • Embrace emotion. Tell us how you felt as the action took place. What did you do because of those emotions? Cry? Bang your fist on the table? What did you want to do? Run away? Quit? These little details can add a lot to your story and help readers understand you and your worldview.

 

  • Describe it to us. Tell us what your setting looked, sounded, and felt like. Was the room scary? How did it make you feel? What about the people in your story? Are they severe, welcoming, warm? Bring the reader into the setting with you!

 

  • Include your personal philosophy. Share your thoughts and worldview as much as you can throughout the story. This is the wonderful, unique part of your chapter that is personally yours! The reader is interested in your opinions, reasons, objectives. Let them shine through as you describe your action.

 

Title:

The title should hint at the main lesson within the story. Try to aim for a title with fewer than 10 words.

 

What kind of information should go in my biography?

You will have the opportunity to include a 50-word biography at the end of your chapter. We will include contact information and a headshot of you. Include any information about you, your business, your background, and/or your personal life that you would like to include. Ideally, the biography should not be a summary of your story but rather, teach the readers something new about you that you did not include in your story. Everyone’s biography must be uniform so please be sure to heed the word count limit of 50 words.

 

Don’t worry about not including everything about you in your bio. You can make your bio as personal or professional as you want.  Remember that readers can learn more about you by reading your chapter, visiting your website, etc. Also, remember that some readers will thumb through the book and read your bio before your story so make sure you reveal the most important things about you in case they do not read your chapter.

 

Is there anything I can’t include in my story?

  • Blatant advertising of your business. You will be able to do that in your biography, which will appear at the end of the story. You can certainly refer to your business, its launch, what you do, etc. but do not launch into a detailed menu of your services that is unrelated to the action of your story.
  • Please avoid profanity or material that would be deemed offensive.
  • Avoid incomplete sentences. Our editor cannot guess at what you mean at the end of your sentence.

Ex. Suddenly, the decline, losses, investments, loans.

     (What about them?)

 

  • Excessive Internal Dialogue. Use sparingly but summarize to save word count.

Ex: As I walked to the store I thought, “Why am I doing this? Is this the right thing? I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do!”

Better: As I walked to the store, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

 

Am I supposed to submit in a certain format?

You must submit in a Microsoft word document. Preferable format is double spaced, indented paragraphs in Times New Roman or other easy to read serif font.

 

How long will it take for my story to be edited?

Please allow 7-10 days for preliminary editing after you submit your story. If you will not be available to review the editing in that time, please inform the project manager of your departure and if there is anyone who can review your story to keep the process moving in your absence.

 

Will I see my story before publication?

You will see all editing and will have to give written permission before publication.