A “Pretty Ugly” story is an inspirational story about a time when something happened that changed the trajectory of your life. Maybe it was a nickname. Or an experience with a bully. Maybe it came from a parent. Or a teacher.
Whatever it was, it made you look at life a little differently from that point on. It may have made you stronger. Or it forced you to be more outgoing. Or perhaps it cause you to crawl into your shell and introduced a new fear of rejection into your life.
The point of your story is to show our kids that they aren’t alone. That whatever they are going through is normal. That we all have a similar story. And as the years went on, we triumphed because of it.
Childhood bullying, depression and suicide is at a ridiculous high. And it stems from kids feeling alone in what they are going through. Our stories will prove they are not.
How Should Your Story Be Written
These stories are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses.
Pretty Ugly stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a positive spin on whatever the challenge was growing up. They have heart, but also something extra—an element that makes us all feel more hopeful, more connected, more thankful, more passionate and better about life in general. A good story causes tears, laughter, goose bumps and any combination of these.
What if We Publish Your Story
If we publish your story, you will receive five free copies of the book your story appears in. You will also become part of the family and you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount.
Guidelines for a Pretty Ugly story
- Tell a heartwarming story about a difficult time in your life where something happened that you changed the trajectory of your life and you somehow triumphed over later in life.
- Your story should be written in the first person and should be about yourself.
- Tell your story in a way that will make the reader feel your pain and rejoice over your triumph.
- The story should start “in the action” and draw in the reader. Do not start your story with an introduction about what you are going to say, or end with a concluding paragraph about what you just said.
- Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Many people tell personal stories for the first time in our books, and they find it to be a cathartic and productive experience. We do let you use a pen name for your story if you do not want to use your real name.
- It’s best to keep your story to about 2,000 words or less although we don’t put a cap on it.
- Your story must be true. No fiction, no creative writing.
A few more tips about submitting
- The only way to submit your stories or poems to us is via our website. If you have any problems when trying to fill out the form and submit your work, please contact us at: [email protected]
- Please submit only stories or poems that have not been previously published. The only exception to this is if your work has only been published in a small local publication with limited circulation or on your own blog.
What happens after I submit my story or poem?
Please be patient after you press the SUBMIT button. Wait for the confirmation screen. This is your confirmation that we have received your story or poem and that it has been entered into our database. This is the only confirmation you will receive. There is no separate e-mail message from us. A very obvious “Error” message comes up if your submission does not go through.
How will you know if your story is selected? We do not send rejection letters, and we occasionally will save a submission for consideration for a future book. But in general, if you have not heard from us 60 days before the book’s on-sale date, that probably means we have decided not to use your story.
It may take months for the book to be completed. Please be patient, as the selection of stories is a time-consuming process. Please do not contact us to ask for an update about your story unless you need to know whether we are considering it because another publisher is interested in it too.