A New Contest to Change Hearts and Minds about Treatment of Horses

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The pros and cons of horse racing are being hotly debated because of Eight Belles' tragic death after this year's Kentucky Derby. Allen and Linda Anderson, authors of a popular anthology series that includes Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope (New World Library, 2006), are looking for true stories about equines that inspire rather than outrage animal lovers.

The pros and cons of horse racing are being hotly debated because of Eight Belles' tragic death after this year's Kentucky Derby. Allen and Linda Anderson, authors of a popular anthology series that includes Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope (New World Library, 2006), are looking for true stories about equines that inspire rather than outrage animal lovers.

The Andersons' Angel Animals Network (http://www.angelanimals.net) is sponsoring the 2008 Angel Horses Contest to find the most thought-provoking horse stories and consider them for publication in Angel Horses with a Mission (New World Library, Fall 2009). Contest grand prize is $250 with five second-place prizewinners of $25.00 each. Stories should be no more than 2,000 words in length. There is no entry fee. Submissions must be postmarked by October 15, 2008. Complete contest rules and a downloadable entry form are at http://www.angelanimals.net/awards.html or write with SASE to 2008 Angel Horses Contest, POB 26354, Minneapolis, MN 55426.

Allen Anderson says, "By showing how the immense spirit, heart, and intelligence of horses enables them to fulfill a higher purpose, we hope the power of true stories will persuade people to challenge brutality and the practice of treating horses as disposable possessions."

The Andersons suggest considering the following questions and entering the contest by writing about profound experiences: "Has a horse performed an act of compassion, protection, healing, or heroic courage? Have you had a miraculous or mystical experience with a horse? Did a horse lead you to finding your purpose in life? Do you know a horse who has taken on the mission of giving service?"

Linda Anderson says, "Each year before we write the next book in our ongoing Angel Animals series, we hold a contest. Many times the winners and entrants become published in the new book. We are happy to offer the contest as an incentive for bringing their wonderful experiences to the attention of our readers around the world."

By reading the Andersons' previous horse book, Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope (New World Library, 2006), and other books in their series, contestants can get a better of idea of the types of stories that get published. The following questions are an aid to selecting which experiences to write about for the 2008 Angel Horses Contest:

  • Has a horse brought you a message of love, acceptance, gratitude, or inner direction?
  • Has your relationship with a horse been a catalyst for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing?
  • Have you felt a connection showing that horses are sentient, caring souls?
  • Have you ever had the impression that a horse was meant to be in your life at a certain time for a special purpose?
  • Have horses helped when you were suffering or protected you or others from danger?
  • Did it seem that a horse chose you as much as you chose him or her?
  • How has a relationship with a horse changed your views about others or yourself or shown how your experiences fit into the bigger picture of your life?
  • Are there spiritual qualities -- unconditional love, hope, kindness, compassion, patience, joy, gratitude -- that horses have either taught or increased in you
  • Has the example of a horse caused you to become a better friend, spouse, parent, or family member?
  • How have you learned to serve people and animals better or pursue a greater good by observing and listening to horses?
  • Are there examples horses have shown you for how to handle life's challenges, deal with change, heal, trust, or creatively solve problems?
  • What ways have you observed horses communicating with you? How have you communicated with horses?
  • How has a horse's ability to live in the now helped you become present to your own life?
  • Has a horse been a mirror to your life, health, or attitudes by reflecting them back to you in some way?
  • Has a horse communicated with you from heaven or after death?
  • What have horses taught you about death, dying, grieving, and the afterlife?
  • Has the soul of a horse returned to be with you again as another horse or another animal?

Allen and Linda Anderson are a husband and wife writing team, founders of the Angel Animals Network, and inspirational speakers (http://www.angelanimals.net). They offer a free newsletter, "Angel Animals Story of the Week" for thousands of subscribers worldwide. The Andersons share their home in Minneapolis with animal family members that include a dog, two cats, and a cockatiel. They donate a portion of their book revenues to support animal shelters and and often speak at fundraisers for animal organizations.

The Andersons are writing instructors at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. In 2004 they were recipients of a Certificate of Commendation from Governor Tim Pawlenty in recognition of their contributions as authors in the State of Minnesota. Their work has been featured twice on NBC's The Today Show and on ABC's Peter Jennings Nightly News. They have been the subject of numerous national magazine and wire service articles and have been interviewed for London newspapers and BBC Radio. They write a Reader Blog for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and host the Angel Pets Fan Club at beliefnet.com.

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