The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Call for submissions for PROPOSAL for Chicken Soup/Illness Book

Chickensoup I am currently working on a proposal to pitch a book to Chicken Soup for those with chronic illness. I am looking for the “best of the best” stories to include with my proposal You may submitt a story (or 2 or 3.. however many you want, just be selective) for possibly inclusion with the proposal. Even if it doesn’t end up with the proposal it could end up in the book if it comes to be.

If you know of anyone who is an excellent writer who has a chronic illness or experience in that area, such as a caregiver, please forward this to them too!

I am pitching soon!

Personally, I don’t believe Chicken soup books are the answer to people’s hole in their lives that only God can fill. Reading nice stories can cheer a person up or make them take a second look at their own lives and decisions, but ultimately they still need God.

But the truth is, the chicken soup series has reached millions of people (108,000,000 the last I heard) and there are over 100 million people who live with illness in the USA. As part of Rest Ministries goal to REACH those who do not know Jesus, if I can write/edit a Chicken Soup book for these people and it has the potential to lead them to Rest Ministries and ULITMATELY GOD… than it’s a wonderful tool for evangelism.

That said, if you’ve read the Chicken Soup books you know that the term “God” is used somewhat loosely except in the specific Christian books. I don’t “endorse” this, but I do believe that God can use anything.

So… for the 3 stories I submit I need 2 to not be spiritual. I don’t like that fact, but I need to convince those in charge that I understand it’s not specifically a Christian book. Since my background is specifically in Christians with chronic illness area, they are going to be looking closely to see if I will try to slant the book in this way.

If the proposal is accepted, then I can find out what a suitable amount of stories can flat out mention God in the book. So keep that in mind when you are writing.

If your story is really spiritually related, try to tell the STORY and all the specifics and emotions involved and then sum it up as your “answer to prayer” or “how God brought the pieces together.” Does that make sense?


Recipe for A Winning Chicken Soup for the Soul® Story –

I’ve adapted this from the Chicken soup web site for the kind of stories I am looking for.

A Chicken Soup for the Soul® story is an inspirational, true story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is a story that opens the heart and rekindles the spirit. It is a simple, inter-denominational, living art piece that touches the soul of the readers and helps them discover basic principles they can use in their own lives. They are personal and often filled with emotion and drama. They are filled with vivid images created by using the five senses. In some stories, the readers feel that they are actually in the scene with the people.

>>>> My very loose chapter ideas are as follows (if you have ideas, let me know – it’s hard to form themes when the stories don’t exist yet)


· Making choices about living despite facing a diagnosis (attitude choices and adjustments, events that led you to make them)

· Finding comfort or joy in unexpected places (surprises you found through this less than desireable experience)

· It’s a family affair (how illness impacts your family, questions kids ask, struggles about feeling like a parent who is not fulfilling the “job requirement”, etc.)

· Surviving the daily-ness of illness (what gets you up in the morning, etc. Little things that keep you going)

· Grief that pops up and creative ways to respond

· Waiting rooms that change lives (things that happen in the medial world/hospital/waiting room/interactions with nurses, etc.)

· Spirituality that provides hope in the darkness (BIG time GOD stories here… there’s no other explanation!)

· It’s the little things that make the difference (things people did that helped or encouraged you)

· Sharing the journey (ways you’ve reached out to others, made a difference, found your calling, etc.)

Chicken Soup stories have a beginning, middle and an ending that often closes with a punch, creating emotion rather than simply talking about it. Chicken Soup for the Soul® stories 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 story that causes tears, laughter, goosebumps or any combination of these. A good story covers the range of human emotions. >>>> this is the most important part of the submission. Give me those WILD moments you saw God-“coincidences”

The most powerful stories are about people extending themselves, or performing an act of love, service or courage for another person.

Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul® Story

1. Tell an exciting, sad or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Make sure that you introduce the character(s).

2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh or get goose bumps (the good kind!) Don’t leave anything out — how did you feel?

3. The story should start with action; it should include a problem, issue or situation. It should include dialogue and the character should express their feelings though the conflict or situation. It should end in a result, such as a lesson learned, a positive change or pay-off.

4. Above all, let it come from your HEART! Your story is important!

What a Chicken Soup for the Soul® story IS NOT:

1. A sermon, an essay or eulogy.

2. A term paper, thesis, letter or journal entry.

3. About politics or controversial issues.

4. A “My Grandma Just Died, and Let Me Tell You What A Wonderful Person She Was” or “Let Me Tell You About My Disease or Operation” or “I Gave a Bum Some Money, Aren’t I Incredible?” or “Why My Mother Is the Best Mother” or a personal testimony that may mean nothing to the reader.

Story Specifications

· Email them back to me via email or as a “Word” document (not Word Perfect please) to REST@RESTMINISTRIES.ORG

· Please be sure to type the author’s name and contact information, including a postal address, phone and email

· Stories should be non-fiction, ranging in length between 300-1200 words.

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