Welcome to

Harvard College Children's Stories

We are a public-service student organization at Harvard College that makes personalized children's books for under-served children in the US and abroad. It is our hope that by presenting each child with a book written, illustrated, and bound especially for them, we will inspire a love of reading.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard College Children’s Stories is creating an anthology to educate, support, and inspire kids. We are looking for submissions of art and writing from people of all ages, from all over the world, in order to create this anthology.

For any children interested in participating, parents and care-givers can find more information and a child-friendly submission link here.

For older students and adults, you can find more information about guidelines and suggested topics in the submission link here.

We are hoping to gather all of the submissions before May 15th, but we will keep the forms open until June 15th. More detailed information about the guidelines can be found here.

All appropriate submissions will be posted to this website so that everyone can access all the amazing submissions from around the world! We will also be compiling an anthology of selected works to be published on Amazon.com, with all proceeds donated to UNICEF to help with COVID-19 relief. This book will be available for free in digital form on this website.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Who are the editors and what is their experience relevant to this publication?

The HCCS Editorial Board consists of:

Editors: Mythri Ambatipudi, Maggie Chen, Nensi Gjata, John LaVelle, and Jude T. Okonkwo

Our editorial board has years of experience in the selection and creation of child-appropriate literature and art for our associated club, Harvard College Children's Stories. As a part of our preparation for this COVID-19-centered anthology, the Editorial Board, with support from Harvard-affiliated professors, clinicians, and psychiatrists, has developed specific guidelines for the final selections to promote the growth and creativity of children and their families during this trying time.

Who will publish the book and how will it be made available (print/e-book/free/fee)?

This book will be published by Harvard College Children's Stories through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. We’ll display it on our website for free, in line with our club’s mission to promote literacy among under-served children and this project’s specific mission to support families. It will also be available on amazon.com as both a purchasable e-book and paperback. The final price will be dependent on the number of accepted submissions and final page count with affordability in mind. Any profits will be donated to UNICEF as part of our partnership with Harvard’s on-campus UNICEF club.

What is the advertising/distribution plan for the finished publication?

After the book is finalized, the anthology will be released on harvardchildrensstories.com and uploaded to amazon.com for purchase. During this time, a press release will be sent out announcing the anthology’s release.

Additionally, funds have been secured for 200 paperback copies of the anthology to be distributed to disadvantaged family households in the Boston area. This distribution will be coordinated through the Harvard PBHA Service Network.

How will writers whose works are chosen be compensated (pay/copy/other)?

As a public service non-profit organization, our ultimate aim is to provide COVID-19 relief and as such, writers and illustrators will only be compensated by the visibility their work will accrue as we promote the project and sell the anthology to help fundraise for UNICEF coronavirus fund. All creators will be acknowledged and thanked in the final anthology, and their work will be displayed on our website. Ultimately, we are asking adults (and kids!) to contribute to the support of children during this pandemic period by volunteering their creative energies to this project.

What rights do authors retain in the process from submission to publication?

In publishing the Anthology, HCCS reserves the right to first publication. Once the anthology is published, contributors retain the right to use their contributed work as they choose. Authors and Illustrators will retain the copyright to the particular pieces they contributed to the anthology.

By completing the form and uploading their contribution, authors and illustrators confirm that HCCS is allowed to publish their work both in the final anthology (if selected) and on our website. The editorial board may also make changes to submitted pieces but only in consultation with creators.

Examples from past years!