New Writing Contest: Animals Helping Special-Needs and At-Risk Kids Through the Worst of Times

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Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling, award-winning authors and founders of the Angel Animals Network, are sponsoring the contest to find stories for their next new book to be published by New World Library in Fall 2011.

A new contest is calling for inspiring true stories of pets or animals in nature helping children, parents, and families deal with life's toughest challenges and issues -- divorce and loss, learning disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity, congenital birth defects, cancer, deafness or blindness, bullying, peer pressure, and depression or mental health issues. Full description, rules, prizes, and entry form for this free contest are at The deadline for entering is September 15, 2010. Early entries are considered first for inclusion in an upcoming book.

Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling, award-winning authors and founders of the Angel Animals Network, are sponsoring the contest to find stories for their next new book to be published by New World Library in Fall 2011. Stories can be about any house pet, animal in nature, or therapy animal. Parents, teachers, staff of organizations, schools, or hospitals, writers, child-care specialists, social workers, animal advocates, animal-assisted therapy volunteers, and children or teens are encouraged to submit stories.

Allen Anderson says, "We're looking forward to receiving heartwarming true stories from parents, grandparents, and guardians of children who have turned to animals for comfort. Maybe you remember from your childhood or teenage years a special animal who made it easier to cope with a chronic condition or with a devastating loss. Or an animal might have saved a child's life. Send us your stories so we can consider sharing them with our readers around the world."

The Andersons have sold over a quarter-million books. Their books are available all over the world in bookstores, online, and in libraries. They have editions published in the United States, Japan, Italy, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. They donate a portion of proceeds to animal welfare organizations. Their newest book in an ongoing series will be Dogs and the Women Who Love Them (New World Library, November 10, 2010).

The Andersons work has been featured in USA Today, Washington Post, national wire service articles, NPR, Today Show, Montel Williams Show, Animal Planet, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, BBC Radio, London Sunday Times, Beliefnet, ivillage, and numerous national publications and radio and television shows. For more information go to

People who have entered previous Angel Animals contests found that submitting a story is one of the best ways to ultimately be published in the Andersons' upcoming books. By reading the Andersons' previous anthologies, contestants can get a better of idea of the types of stories that have the best chance of success. Their books are available at,, in bookstores nationwide, and in online bookstores, libraries, gift shops, and catalogs.

Previous books that include true story contest winning submissions include:

Angel Cats: Divine Messengers of Comfort
Angel Dogs: Divine Messengers of Love
Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope
Angel Dogs with a Mission: Divine Messengers in Service to All Life
Horses with a Mission: Extraordinary True Stories of Equine Service

The following questions can serve as aids for selecting which experiences to write about for the contest.

Has an animal helped a child:
--endure long-term or catastrophic illnesses and chronic conditions?
--who has learning disorders, attention-deficit disorders, or hyperactivity?
--who is blind or deaf or has physical/motor, mental, or emotional problems?
--function better with autism or Asperger's syndrome?
--with everyday ups and downs?
--with unexpected difficult situations and circumstances?
--through traumatic events such as divorce, death, or other losses?
--cope with stress, bullying, or peer pressure?
--by being a hero and saving his or her life?

Other questions to ask when considering stories to enter in the contest are:
--Has an animal brought a child a message of love, acceptance, gratitude, or inner direction?
--Has a relationship with an animal been a catalyst for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing for a child?
--Has a child felt a connection showing that animals are sentient, caring souls?
--Have animals helped a child through suffering or offered protection from danger?
--Has an animal made a child laugh and see the humor in upsetting situations?
--Has the example of an animal caused a child to become a better son, daughter, parent, or family member?
--Has a child learned how to handle life's challenges, deal with change, or heal, trust, and creatively solve problems with the help of an animal?
--Has an animal been a mirror for a child to reflect on his or her life, health, or attitudes?


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