Reclaiming Judaism Press
Full Submission Guidelines for
"A Family Treasury of Mitzvah Stories"
in Honor of Danny Siegel
Deadline for Submissions: May 31
Juried story review process: June 2013-July 2013
Notifications to authors: August 1, 2013
Story edits to authors: November 1, 2013
Response to edits by authors: December 1, 2013
Stories finalized: February 1, 2014
Book design: Spring 2014
Book release: Fall 2014
e-mail stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite previously unpublished, tales written for Jewish family reading, taking the form of engaging, tellable stories of good literary quality that inspire and support a mitzvah-centered life. (Be sure to read the example stories before crafting your own, they appear below. We are not looking for vignettes or news reports, rather read-aloud and read-together tales for a time such as a Shabbat family dinner or bedtime or for camp or school. (A free downloadable discussion guide will also be provided, so feel free to suggest questions with your story).
Honoree: The esteemed educator and beloved mitzvah maven Danny Siegel
So many of us have been guided and inspired by Danny Siegel – his Ziv Foundation mitzvah projects and books, teachings at conferences worldwide, his poetry volume Soulstoned that opened up the world of Jewish spirituality for yearning Jews of the 60's, and his new volume of love poems, From the Heart. This juried mitzvah story competition allows you to honor Danny, whether you know him yet or not, while making an important contribution to Jewish lore and family learning.
Criteria and Author Rights:
1. Story submissions should not exceed 3000 words. Please submit by e-mail to Rabbi Goldie Milgram, editor-in-chief, Reclaiming Judaism Press, email@example.com. Double-space with 1" margins, 12 point Times Roman. Acceptable document formats are: .doc, docx, and .rtf.
Please craft your submission as an original literary tale - a story such as a storyteller or parent might tell and appreciate, too. We are looking for high quality writing with good pacing; writing that draws the family in and engages their curiosity in the plot; where character development and imagery touch the senses- stories that delight while communicating the meaning and relevance of one or more mitzvot.
While most storytelling genres can work for this volume, be aware that we are not looking for mitzvah news stories or reporting. We mean to generate a genre of new, inclusive Jewish folktales. While some revisioned classical folktales may be accepted into the volume (the examples include these only to show types of story "styles"), completely original stories will be considered first.
We expect these new stories will embody such 21st century values as gender and age inclusivity, environmentalism, justice, listening and awareness skills, care for our people and all peoples, etc.
Help is available: Many distinguished authors contribute to Reclaiming Judaism publications, and also volunteer to assist unpublished authors with polishing selected stories for inclusion.
2. Which mitzvot? Consider incorporating mitzvot such as lo tikom, lo titur, shmirat haguf, hiddur zkeinim, geveivat daat, ahavat & yirat hashem, lo tachmod, lo titeyn mikhshol, tzaar baalei chayyim and many more. More mitzvot in this article "Appreciating Mitzvah as the Core of Jewish Practice" from Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning, the first volume in the Mitzvah-Centered Life Initiative. The wording of those mitzvot will help you grasp the orientation of this initiative, your submission need not be limited to those mitzvot; all mitzvot are welcome.
Any mitzvah in our deck of mitzvah cards can work as well.
3. There will be a juried process to select stories for inclusion in the print, e-book & podcast/audio versions of this collection, provisionally titled A Family Treasury of Mitzvah Stories. Stories chosen for inclusion in the volume may also appear on the ReclaimingJudaism.org website and in the media.
4. What is the Jury looking for? Successful submissions will capture the imagination of family readers/listeners, by offering memorable situations, settings and characters, dramatic tension, and successful narrative flow. We hope stories will stimulate curiosity, learning and practice, and have the potential be valued and retold for generations to come. Keep in mind this guidance from Peninnah Schram: "I do know that any story I tell for children, I also tell for adults."
5. Links to example stories appear at the end of these guidelines.
Note: This volume will be the second major book in the Reclaiming Judaism "Mitzvah-Centered Life Initiative", which includes a first volume in honor of Peninnah Schram, Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning (available at this link through ReclaimingJudaism.org and also through Amazon.com), a Mitzvah Stories Discussion Guide by Shoshana Silberman and matching, professionally illustrated decks of Mitzvah Cards. Our contributing authors are invited to co-create and participate in Reclaiming Judaism Mitzvah-Centered Life workshops, trainings & storytelling programs for all ages. Here is a link to the glowing Jewish Book Council Review of our first volume in this series.
All income from sales is applied to providing program support and educator scholarships, in this case the Danny Siegel Fund for Mitzvah-Centered Living to bring this initiative's resources, programs, in-service trainings and contributing authors to communities world-wide.
Contributing Author Rights:
a. If your submission is accepted by the Advisory Committee, you retain copyright to your work, as well as the non-exclusive right to republish your offering, so long as you credit or footnote this volume as the first point of publication. The credit line should read as follows: "Originally published in [Final Title], Reclaiming Judaism Press, 2013. Reprinted with permission."
b. Be aware that readers and professional storytellers will be advised that they have the right to tell your offering wherever and whenever, to re-craft or adapt it as the see fit, so long as they credit you as the author of the original story.
c. Copies: No free copies will be available for contributing authors, you will be able to purchase a minimum of 10 copies to gift, or sell on the road, at a 15% discount. This project is a volunteer labor of love, unfunded and Reclaiming Judaism Press is a 501(c)(3) non-profit publishing house. Sales Outlets:Books and resources from Reclaiming Judaism Press are sold through all major booksellers and on-line at ReclaimingJudaism.org and Amazon.com.
d. Promotion: All major reviewers and newspapers receive press releases and other marketing materials. Our first volume of mitzvah stories received a wonderful review from Jewish Book World: "Exceptional, vibrant anthology."
Volume Advisors: Ellen Frankel, Arthur Kurzweil, Peninnah Schram, Batya Podros, Arthur Strimling, Mindy Shapiro, and Shoshana Silberman.
Publisher: Reclaiming Judaism Press is a non-denominational, non-profit subsidiary of Reclaiming Judaism. We create inclusive, innovative resources for meaningful Jewish living. Our editors and writers are leading educators, authors & clergy from across the full spectrum of Jewish practice, all of whom volunteer their services, skills and guidance. Each volume is created in honor of a gadol, a great Jewish teacher of our generation.
Send stories to: Goldie Milgram, Editor-in-Chief, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for participating in the
Reclaiming Judaism Mitzvah-Centered Life Initiative
Note: We have many mitzvah-centered family ed and in-service programs available too!