Submission Guidelines

Submission Guidelines
and FAQ


What we’re looking for: True stories of your experiences during the pandemic. This is your chance to reflect on a moment, an event, a realization that came to you over time, whatever it is that has shaped your state of mind, your outlook, your hope for the future, or the loss of hope. We know that some of the stories will be hilariously funny and others truly heartbreaking. Some will give us pause, others will make us nod in agreement and of course there will be the ones that warm our souls every time we read it. That’s why more than one submission is encouraged. We’re sure you have more than one story to tell, and we want to read them all.

Format: Short story, poem, limerick, haiku, the choice is up to you. 

Length: Maximum 1,200 words, no minimum 

Deadlines:  All submissions must be in by midnight March 28, 2021.  

Submit your story: On the How to Submit page, add your name and story title, then copy and paste your story into the body of the email. That’s all there is to it. 

Still have questions? Shoot us an email at:


Who can submit?  Anyone with a connection to Burlington. If you live here, work here, grew up here and still come to visit family, we want your story. If you have driven past a few times or stopped to use a bathroom, that’s not going to do it. 

Any restrictions?  Yes. Because children will be reading the book, we won’t accept stories with graphic depictions of sex, drugs or violence. 

How many books will be printed? 250 copies of the book will be printed. The authors of the stories that appear in the final collection will receive 2 copies each. The rest will be distributed to various locations throughout the city where they will be available free of charge.  

Will there be an e-book? Yes. A PDF version of the book will be available for download on this website for one year. 

Can I submit anonymously? Yes. You must have reasons for doing that and we will honour your choice. 

What if my story is chosen for the collection? You will be
notified by the end of April that your story will be in the book. Then
we will ask you to sign a contract giving us the right to print your
story in the book as well as the electronic PDF copy. We will also
ask you to send us a short bio for the book and the website with
links to any website or blogs you would like to include.

What if my story isn’t chosen? This project is about the process, not the product. The very act of writing requires you to examine your experience, see it in different lights and from different angles. Sharing your experience with others not only spreads light and understanding it also releases any power that experience may have over you, putting you firmly in charge of how that moment or event affects you from then on. If your submission isn’t chosen for the collection it is not a reflection on the writing, but rather our need to include a balanced mix of stories.  

What about copyright? You absolutely retain the rights to your story. We’ll be asking for first rights only for the printed book, and one year for the electronic copy. 

Where will I be able to find a copy of the book?  There will be distribution sites all over the city. The details will be posted on the website closer to the release date of the book. 

Are the books free? Absolutely, with love from Writing the Rollercoaster and the City of Burlington.