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A new “Call for Personal Essays” Follows Successful Release of Bearing Up

By Randell Jones

Bearing Up has paid off for those members of the North Carolina Writers’ Network who participated in the “Personal Essay Publishing Project—Winter 2018,” which began last fall and was hosted by Daniel Boone Footsteps Publishing.

Forty authors from North Carolina and Kentucky crafted four-page, real-life stories about facing life challenges with grit, determination, and humor. Their stories of making do, bearing up, and overcoming adversity resonate with the experience of America’s pioneer hero Daniel Boone 250 years ago, when he was trapped by an early snow storm in 1767-68 and had to winter over with dwindling supplies and ammunition.

“A handful of the stories in Bearing Up are laugh-out-loud funny,” says editor and publisher Randell Jones, “but an equal number deal with the darker issues of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence. It is a remarkable collection of engaging writing.”

Both new and experienced writers submitted essays of 750-800 words.

“These writers brought to the page their honest passions for sharing stories they so deeply wanted to tell,” says Jones. “You can feel it throughout the forty-five stories. I think some of the writers really surprised themselves with what they wrote. I was honored to work them all.”

Based on the success of compiling Bearing Up, a new Call for Personal Essays is now open for the “Personal Essay Publishing Project-Spring 2019.”

The new theme is “Exploring: Discoveries. Challenges. Adventure.” It resonates with the 250th anniversary of Daniel Boone’s first excursion into Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap in May/June, 1769. Boone was living in North Carolina when he began this odyssey. That portal through the Appalachians became America’s first gateway to the West and began America’s Westward Movement with all its stories—good and bad.

“Exploring” as a theme opens wide the field of possibilities. Writers are invited to share personal accounts of discoveries, challenges, and adventure.

“We want writers to share their experiences of exploring the new, the different, the unknown, the unfamiliar,” says Jones. “What do we learn when we get outside our comfort zone? We want essays that reflect, consider, share, teach—stories for readers to ponder regarding their own explorations or to consider what they might have done or not done in a similar situation. Nobody is writing about Daniel Boone. We want the writer’s own experiences brought to their minds by this anniversary of America’s pioneer hero first passing through the Cumberland Gap into a new world.”

No fiction will be published.

North Carolina writers are invited to join with writers from other states connected to the life and times of Daniel Boone to participate in this special celebration of this turning point in America’s story.

More information about the Call for Personal Essays for the “Personal Essay Publishing Project-Spring 2019” is available online at

Copies of Bearing Up are available online, as well as several books about Daniel Boone: America’s remarkable, larger-than-life, pioneer hero well worth remembering—a life well worth exploring.