Can I Sit with You?

Don’t Touch That Dial!
September 28, 2007, 5:46 pm
Filed under: "Can I Sit With You"

See you Monday, with our very first story post!

(You can’t see us, but we’re wiggling in our chairs with excitement. If you were our teacher, you’d ask us VERY LOUDLY AND IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS if we needed to use the restroom.)

You Will Submit
September 27, 2007, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We’re thrilled that Can I Sit With You has so many people riled and rarin’ to go. Now we just need you to transform your ire and enthusiasm into a nice, tidy submission of 1000 words or less.

The earlier you get your efforts to us, the better; do you really want to be competing with all the other talented procrastinators trying to squeak in under our book submissions deadline at the end of October when our kids are all hopped up on Halloween candy and generally getting widgy as the holidays approach and schedules get exploded and our tempers erupt while our patience declines? Hmmm?

September 26, 2007, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

While we won’t be posting stories until Monday, October 1st, you should know that we’ve already received some excellent entries. And we have more promised from some of our favorite preternaturally talented writers, some of whom happen to be bloggers as well.

Don’t forget that this is all happening through the power of the blogosphere and the internet. If you think one of your favorite bloggers should submit a story to us, go ahead and give them a poke; tell them about the site. It’s for the kids, after all. The fact that we’ll also get a daily dose of righteous indignation inspiration is just a bonus.

Any Questions?
September 25, 2007, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Let us know.

Can I Sit With You?
September 24, 2007, 7:01 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Could more stress be crammed into fewer words? Though to some people this phrase means merely, “Yay, new friends,” to a lot of us it means instant school anxiety flashbacks. And possibly an intense need to crawl into a hole, or vomit.

Dealing with the other kids at school was complicated even if you didn’t have a label. For those of us who were socially awkward, culturally juxtaposed, same-sex attracted, gender-cocooned, income-challenged, “weird” sibling-saddled, differently abled, atypical looking, religiously isolated, on the autism spectrum, or who somehow just didn’t fit in, it could be brutal. Even though most of us eventually developed coping strategies, grew up, left school behind, and tried not to think about how much that time in our life sucked.

Until some of us starting having our own kids. And saw those kids start to flounder, saw them start fretting about how to fit in. Aiigh! What to do?

Well, we don’t know what most people would do, but we’ve decided to take action. We want to help our kids. We want to give them some ammunition, or at least some mental armor. We want to show them that almost everyone has been mystified or terrorized by the schoolyard social scene, though for different reasons and in different ways. We want them to see that their angst is both universal and timeless. We want them to know that other people totally understand.

So, we are asking you to send us your most memorable stories about surviving, succeeding, or sucking it up while dealing with the other kids at school. We’re going to post one of your stories on this blog every week day, starting October 1st. We’ll keep posting as long as the stories keep coming.

Once we’ve got at least twenty good stories, we’ll compile them into a book, which will be called (duh) “Can I Sit With You?” You’ll be able to buy the book via in mid-November, at which point you can crow to your friends and relatives about your success as a published writer. (And convince everyone you’ve ever known to buy one as a holiday gift.)

The catch? Well, we’re not going to pay you. Heh. Didn’t we mention that? Sorry. We’re hoping that the glory of your name in pixels and print will be compensation enough to donate your writing to some kids who could really use it, in more ways than one: the books’ proceeds will directly benefit our local, income-challenged special needs PTA, SEPTAR. (Here’s where we mention that we’re both parents of special needs as well as typical kids, and on the board of said PTA.) If nothing else, you’ll have a warm, do-gooder feeling in your belly, and an ISBN# under your belt.

We’re hoping to get a lot of good, very different stories. We’d especially appreciate autism and other special needs perspectives, but we want whatever you’ve got … to get off your chest.

Come on! Everyone’s doing it. You know you want to. Please don’t make us snitch on you for not sharing.

-Shan & Jen

P.S. If you have a great story to submit, thank you! Please check out our cheeky yet legally binding submission guidelines.

Submission Guidelines
September 24, 2007, 4:48 am
Filed under: submission guidelines

Can I Sit with You? (CISWY) does not assume responsibility for any information submitted by authors or readers. By submitting any work, each author/reader is stating they have properly followed all legal rules and regulations for writing and publishing.

CISWY does not ask for nor retain exclusive rights to any work. We request the right to publish your work on our website indefinitely and on any future related websites or other platforms in whole or in part and for your work to be archived indefinitely. Chosen submissions will be incorporated into a printed book and sold for profit. You will be notified if your submission is chosen for the print publication. You will receive no compensation for any submission other than the glory of your name in print. You may publish your piece elsewhere at any time. We may use a portion of your work to advertise our website or book (by using a quote or summary, for example). This means that other websites may freely link to your story, but no one has the right to reprint your particular story without the prior express written permission from both of us.

CISWY reserves the right to edit work before publishing, for length, spelling, grammar, style and clarity. You may submit changes to your story, or request its removal from our website at any time. If your submission appears in the print copy you will not be able to re-call your work for any reason. All submissions are reviewed before going live on the public site and therefore, may not be available immediately. We may choose not to publish foul or derogatory language, photographs or references we deem offensive with regard to race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or for any other reason we decide. Your submission will not be made public if it doesn’t meet our criteria for appropriate submission. CISWY is not able to provide feedback on stories accepted or rejected.

Published pieces are not necessarily the opinion of CISWY.

Personal Information:
Your full, real name will be required so that your copyright release is valid. This information will not be released to any third party. If you choose to publish with your real name you do so with the understanding that the Internet is a very big place and that information you reveal may be used against you by former spouses or friends, identity thieves, the media, current or future employers and lawyers of course. CISWY will not be held liable.

To comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), we do not collect information from children under the age of 13. If you are age 18 or younger, you must have the permission of your parent or guardian to complete your submission.

Story Type and Theme:
CISWY publishes personal accounts and anecdotes about the writers’ most memorable experiences navigating the stormy social seas of elementary and middle school from people all over the world. (For non-Americans, this would be up to age 13.) The book’s intended audience is children of elementary and middle school age, which means that the writing needs to be relatively straightforward. This does not mean dumb and simple and boring.

CISWY reviews and prefers stories between 800 and 1000 words (about 4 printed pages). Submissions may be an attachment in email or in the body text of an email. All stories must be submitted in plain text so that we may format for the website. Anyone from any country may submit their story, but at this time all stories must be in English or translated into English before submission.

Please email submissions to

Your email subject line should read:

SUBMISSION: The Title of Your Story

In the body of the email please include your information:

My Title About How No One Ate Lunch With Me
By A. Kewl Pursin
(the name under which you would like to be published)
Age # at the time

Your full name
Your preferred contact email

Your text up to 1000 words (or attach plain text document).

Other Legal Issues:
When writing about others, please state explicitly in your submission to us that you have obtained permission from those in the story, or you have changed names or places for anonymity. By submitting you agree that your submission is your own work. You are liable for the content. We will not tolerate any plagiarism or copyright infringement.