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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2016 > Subscriber spotlight

Subscriber spotlight

Share your writing success stories. If you subscribe to Writing Magazine and would like to feature here, email Tina Jackson,


A soupy success with less

‘If you’re American (I’m not) you’re bound to have heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series – the company has produced over 200 titles in the last twenty years,’ writes subscriber Denise Barnes.

‘The original Chicken Soup for the Soul book sold close to 10 million copies! They aim to publish a handful of new books every year.

‘In Writing Magazine several months ago I spotted they were asking for submissions for their latest book, to be called:

The Joy of Less. They wanted true stories of people cutting down in their lifestyle. Could be downsizing your house, not eating out in restaurants, giving stuff to charities – that sort of thing. I rarely respond to anything like this but I’d taken up my sister’s challenge in 2014 not to buy any new clothes, shoes, handbags, jewellery and makeup for a whole year. To her astonishment I managed it, so I thought this would make a perfect subject for the Chicken Soup requirement. I called my story The Challenge and duly sent it off.

‘After months (I’d completely forgotten about it) I was congratulated that I was in the final round, but there was still no guarantee I would make it into the book, so I suppressed any excitement and didn’t tell anyone. They wished me luck and several more weeks rolled by. To my amazement I had an email from them in February saying I’m definitely going to be included in the book, they didn’t need to change a word, I’ll be paid $200, and they will send me ten free copies! They congratulated me again, saying they’d received thousands of submissions! If that didn’t give me a boost… The Joy of Less will be published in May.

‘I see via their website that Chicken Soup are planning to venture into TV and film. If they need any stars, well, I’d be delighted to oblige!

‘If you fancy taking a look at my other works – I write novels as well as nonfiction – please visit my

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Handling heroes: Learn from the Bard New series: An insider's view of publishing Written your book? We'll help you sell it! How to: • Write better features • Sell and re-sell your writing overseas • Create a screenplay from your novel Pen pushers: Ideas and exercises to inspire your writing Star interview: Scandalous historian Halle Rubenhold WIN! A 6-day Arvon writer's retreat worth £600

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