WANTED: Breast Cancer Survivors!

We want your story about how breast cancer changed your life – for the better.

I am a 40-year-old breast cancer survivor. My friend Susan is an editor and a volunteer in a support organization for cancer patients and their families. We have both seen how this terrible disease can be a source of unexpected blessings.

We are writing a book about life after breast cancer. We need stories full of love, hope and inspiration to let others know that there is life after breast cancer. If you are a breast cancer survivor or if your life has been touched by breast cancer—as a partner, child, parent or friend, we’d like to hear from you.

Please email us for more information. If you know someone who might be interested in contributing to this book, please feel free to forward this ad to them.

Thank you,



Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor since 2002! said...
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Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor since 2002! said...

Thanks so much for your interest in our AFTER book project. First we’d like to give you an idea of who we are and why we’re putting this book together. Hayley was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. She went through a lumpectomy, 7 out of 12 nodes positive, chemo and radiation. Now, four years later, she looks back and sees how much her life has changed—how this terrible disease blessed her in ways she never thought possible, how she is better, AFTER breast cancer

Susan is an editor and writer with over 20 years of experience (and a good friend of Hayley’s). She’s also a volunteer with ChemoAngels, a cancer support organization, and her life has been touched by cancer several times through family members and friends. She, too, has seen the mixed blessing that cancer can be. Her experiences, while indirect, have changed her life, making her a better mother, friend and person.

Hayley lost her mother to breast cancer. When Hayley was diagnosed, she desperately needed reassurance that there could be life AFTER cancer. We hope to fill the need for an uplifting book that encourages and supports those who have been recently diagnosed, are undergoing treatment, or are just coming out on the other side, as well as their loved ones. The idea is to inspire them to reach deep down within themselves and know that they can get past this—and, most importantly, to know that there is an “AFTER breast cancer.”

Our goal is to collect stories in a wide range of voices—younger survivors, older ones, partners, children, family, friends. We would love to hear your story and we thank you for considering sharing it with us.

This project is a labor of love for us both, which we work on late into the night after our “real” work is done. We are currently building a collection of stories so that we can approach publishers with a strong proposal. At this point we are not able to offer compensation for contributions other than the promise that part of any proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

We realize that we’re asking you to give us something with no guarantee of anything in return. We both own our own businesses and know what it’s like to be asked to work for free. We hope that you, especially budding or professional writers, will not see this as a writing gig, but rather as a chance to share your experience and support with others who need it. For us, this is first and foremost a project of hope.

As far as rules go, there aren't any. We welcome all contributions—long or short, in whatever style suits you best. If you have a story to tell but don’t feel comfortable writing it yourself, we can help you, either by helping you put your thoughts together or by interviewing you.

A few technical details: We prefer to receive stories as Word or Works documents, but—typed, handwritten or scrawled on the back of an envelope—if it’s a possible story for our book, we’d like to see it! Please include your name, age, address and phone number on your submission. These are for our records only and will not be shared with anyone. Please also include a short bio.

If your story is chosen, we will contact you about the proper release waivers. If not, all rights remain yours. We assure you that we will never use stories without permission.

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor since 2002! said...

We'd like to have stories in by the end of January, so if you want to participate, please plan accordingly! Have a great day!

Robin said...

My name is Robin and i will be a 2 year cancer survivor in april. having cancer has made me realize how much my husband and family mean to me. little things are not so important anymore. i just started a blog about my experience and it has been hard to write and brought back a lot of things i never thought i would forget. but it definately changes your life .

Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor since 2002! said...

Thank you so much for your interest in contributing to the AFTER book project. We’ve had a fantastic response and we’re looking forward to receiving your submission!

We will be making our selections for the book proposal in February, so please have your piece in by January 31. The proposal will contain a sample showing potential publishers the variety and strength of the contributions, so we would like to have a large pool from which to choose.

Because we are aiming our call at breast cancer survivors and their loved ones, rather than at professional writers, we don’t expect all of our contributors to have stellar writing skills. If you’re having trouble with your story but feel it would be a good addition to our book, please concentrate just on getting the main ideas across to us. Susan has a lot of experience working with first-time writers and, if we choose your story, she can help you turn your ideas into a piece of prose.

Please feel free to pass information about our book to anyone you know who might be interested. While we hope to have the majority of submissions in by January 31, we will accept them after that date, either for a later round of selections or for possible inclusion in our already-planned second volume.