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Telling Your Story: a Call for Personal Essays

by Randell Jones

Personal Essay Publishing Project

Everybody loves a good story; everybody has a story to tell. Some folks just need the right opportunity and perhaps a little encouragement to share it.

That is the mission of the Personal Essay Publishing Project, a chance for both new and experienced writers to craft a story from their own lives around a common theme and then to see their creative efforts shared in print in an anthology.

The current project, through mid-February 2018, takes its theme from the life of America’s pioneer hero, Daniel Boone, during an episode of his adventures 250 years ago in the winter of 1767-68.

Snowbound in the Wilderness

After the fall harvest in 1767, Daniel Boone left his Wilkes County home on Beaver Creek in North Carolina for a winter hunt. Boone and his companions passed through the Appalachian Mountains along the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River. That water gap is today in Breaks Interstate Park, straddling the border between Virginia and Kentucky near Elkhorn City, Kentucky. The hunters were caught in the wilderness by an early and heavy snow storm; they had to winter over.

The men’s supplies ran low, especially shot and powder for their rifles. Rather than exhaust themselves and squander their ammunition by chasing scarce game through the deep snow, they camped at a salt spring near today’s David, Kentucky. They conserved their resources by waiting to shoot the wild game that came their way seeking the salt lick. Boone and his fellow hunters survived the winter through their woodsman skills, making do. Enduring the monotony of being snowbound, they kept their spirits high, and their resolve to overcome their adverse circumstances never waned. After surviving a long, harsh winter, the men returned home in the spring, having had quite an adventure and delighting their families with their long-awaited return.

Telling Your Own Story

In the spirit of finding oneself in a challenging circumstance and persevering by making do, you are invited to write a personal essay about some experience of your own life in which you made do, kept your spirits high, or your resolve strong. Or perhaps your experience did not end so positively. In any case, you are invited to share your story in 750 words in a personal essay.

Only North Carolina and Kentucky authors will be included in the final collection, as it pays tribute to the resourcefulness and the character of Daniel Boone and his colleagues on the 250th anniversary of their experience hunting in the wilderness.

You may write about your own experience or share the story of a family member or someone you know personally. These are short, personal essays of real-life experiences. No fiction will be considered.

For more information about this “Call for Personal Essays,” visit Click “Classroom” in the main menu and scroll down to “Personal Essay Publishing Project.”

Make your own history; share your good story with everybody.