The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


Writer’s Guidelines

By Susan M. Thigpen © 2012

Online: 2012

How to contribute a story to The Mountain Laurel...

Over the years, one thing we have found is that our readers have the most interesting stories in the world!

Don't worry if you have never written before. We have published many first stories. Some of the most powerful and wonderful stories we ever received were written by elderly people without margins, paragraph breaks or punctuation. Just write the story as if you were telling it to someone. We will do the spell checking add the occasional comma and put them in story order, if necessary. We do not change the stories. It is important to us that the voice, the "flavor," of the storyteller comes through to the reader.

If you have a good story about any mountain/country subject, especially if it is an old time story, passed down through your family, or your memories of your parents or grandparents, please share. To jog your memory, some good subjects are mountain weddings; a family recipe; holiday stories - July 4th Celebrations, Halloween, Christmas, etc.; stories dealing with pet farm animals; quilting; canning and cooking; school stories; ghost stories; coal mining; moonshining; humorous stories; tall tales, practical jokes; work stories; gardening stories - in short, stories that inspire, stories that are tragic, happy or just plain funny.

The story could be about a place (community or small town) instead of a person. Many places in the mountains have interesting stories in their history. There wasn't usually an abundance of money; so many times necessity was the mother of invention.

History books record the big things, but the small, day-to-day events that shaped life in the mountains or country is often neglected and lost. Those are the stories we cherish.

If your story has been shared, on social media such as Facebook that's great. Our goal is to preserve stories forever in The Mountain Laurel Archive. A place where future generations can find a way of life that they can never experience except through your shared memories and archives like The Mountain Laurel's.

This is the criteria for new submissions:

1 - Must be an original story by you or a story handed down through your family.
2 - Must fit the editorial format of The Mountain Laurel.
3 - Must portray mountain people with "Honor and Distinction."

Please copy and paste your submission directly into your email and attach any pertinent photographs or graphics you wish to have included.

Upon receipt of your emailed story we will reply with a copy of the edited story. If the final edited story meets with you approval; simply reply back with your permission to publish. You will still own the copyright to your story. All we ask is a right to include it on The Mountain Laurel website and for possible inclusion in a future collection.

Send your story to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please include your full name, address and telephone number.

Updated: 2014