Stories that Talk, the read-aloud story book produced
as part of HEARTLINES' first phase programme, has been extremely
successful. It has been welcomed in homes as a powerful tool for
discussing values with children; it has been used by pre-schools,
and in primary school assemblies; it has been purchased by libraries;
it has been reprinted in all 11 languages and distributed to all
primary schools in South Africa by the Department of Education.
In light of this success, HEARTLINES feels that a follow-up story
book for use in families and schools is needed. Stories that Talk,
the first book, was designed as a read-aloud book, so that it would
be mediated by parents, teachers or care-givers. It was aimed at
ages 3-8, although we know that it has been used also with older
We are now compiling a book for children to read to themselves.
Stories that Talk 2 will have a range of stories aimed at children
between the ages of 8 and 13.
HEARTLINES invites you to submit a story for consideration for
this new compilation. We are looking for stories about values in
action, good stories first and foremost - that show children taking
action, individually, with their families, or in groups. HEARTLINES
has launched a movement, forgood, which encourages people to take
action. See the website www.forgood.co.za. The HEARTLINES vision
statement, see final page of this document, will inform our selection
Deadline - draft of your story to Sally
Howes by 31st August 2008.
Please email a covering letter and your story to Sally Howes
Or post it to:
Sally Howes, Watermark Publishing, PO Box 21700, Mayor's Walk,
3208, South Africa
If you are posting it, include a self-addressed envelope.
Please phone 0027 33 3442478 if you have any further queries.
NB. Please do not consider this a commission - it is merely an
invitation to submit a story for consideration. We have sent this
invitation to many people, networks of authors and related people
throughout the country and beyond - so we will be processing a huge
volume of submissions. This means we will unfortunately not have
time to provide you with detailed critical feedback on your manuscript
- unless it is accepted.
Details of stories required:
- book description
Stories the Talk 2 will include 10 stories for children that
have recently begun to read to themselves. The book will include
stories in a
range of subject matter, style, genre and reading levels.
The collection will be extensively illustrated. Each story
will be illustrated by a different artist.
To be read by children aged 8 to 13 year olds. The book will
stories that range in length and difficulty, so to suit the
different reading abilities and interests within this age group.
Stories should range from 100 - 1000 words.
- the values
Values that you might consider exploring include:
- compassion and caring
- perseverance and endurance
- taking responsibility in difficult circumstances
- acceptance of difference
- the stories
Each story should have a central protagonist with whom the
reader can identify. This protagonist will have to explore the
value issue in the story and take some action that sees that
value being lived out in a practical way. Though the stories
should not be didactic, our pilot testing has shown that parents,
teachers etc were happy if the value is explicit.
- target audience
The stories should not present stereotypical racial or gender
roles. We will try to balance girls and boys as protagonists.
17x22cm; 112 pps; full-colour illustrations.
- story testing
An initial draft of the story which will be reviewed by HEARTLINES.
Page proofs of the story will be tested by HEARTLINES with
children - the approach and content (particularly the value
issue) will be tested. Authors will need to agree to review
and rework stories in light of this testing.
The books will be contracted by HEARTLINES through Sally Howes.
The author will be paid a flat amount of R10 000 once the story
has been received in its final form, acceptable to HEARTLINES.
The author will retain copyright of the story text but the
illustrated version of the story will belong to HEARTLINES.
Further contract details are in the contract itself which will
be forwarded to the author if a story is accepted.
Please send a draft of your story to Sally Howes by 31st August
The intention is to have the books in schools in 2010, so the
development printing and distribution would take place during
This is a tentative schedule - and could change in the course
of the development of the broader forgood project.
HEARTLINES is an initiative of the Mass Media Project, a not-for-profit
donor funded organisation formed in 2002. The project therefore
relies on receiving the level of donations required to fund
it, and could be delayed or cancelled at any point. However,
once your story has been formally accepted, HEARTLINES will
be liable for payment for your story, even if the printing and
distribution does not take place as scheduled.
The Heartlines Vision Statement
The vision statement will give you an idea of the broad spirit
of the campaign - it should not restrict your choice of subject
matter or the context of your story. It was drawn up for the broader
campaign aimed primarily at adults.
HEARTLINES' vision encompasses the following:
- A belief that change for good is possible and that behaviour
and actions, driven by underlying values, are the key to this
- A sense of community, in which people feel they are joined with
others, so that they feel that the ripples created by even their
smallest acts of goodness are not pointless, but contribute to
a groundswell of change.
- An intervention to connect and magnify the existing good work
done in our society.
- An intervention to mobilise and organise the thousands of formal
and informal groups, such as savings groups and faith groups,
for social action.
- The tools and framework for practical actions that can translate
beliefs into behaviour and behaviour into habits.
- A vision that can move people from hopelessness to hope, from
hope to action and from action to change "for good".
- While the move "for good," should impact broadly on
the fabric of society
- HEARTLINES will be specifically promoting actions that will
impact on the following issues:
- Safety and security (the opposite of crime, violence and
- Support for education and youth
- Support for the family and social cohesion
- The environment