DeKalb United: Strength, Courage and Inspiration During the Coronavirus

DeKalb County Public Library is seeking local DeKalb stories, poems and pictures of your COVID-19 experiences for an anthology that will be printed December 2021. This anthology will consist of stories, pictures and poetry about family, life, wisdom, experience, ideas and inspiration. You do not have to be a writer to submit a body of work.

As the DeKalb community adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have created the initiative called, DeKalb United: Strength, Courage and Inspiration during the Coronavirus. The Library will be collecting pictures, short stories and poems to create an Anthology in stories and pictures.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Entries should be short stories, photos or poetry of your personal COVID-19 experience. Photos must be original and owned by submitter.
  2. Entries should be 200–2,000 words.
  3. Each entry must be accompanied by the writer’s name, mailing address, email address, phone number, library card number and title of story.
  4. Upload your entry as a MS Word document in Times New Roman or Arial font, size 12 point. No fancy fonts. 
  5. Page numbers are important. Make sure pages are numbered consecutively.
  6. Only online submissions accepted. No hard copies will be accepted.
  7. Only one picture (with caption description, submitter must own all rights to picture), story or poem per person will be accepted.
  8. Submissions must be original and unpublished.
  9. For questions email 
  10. All submissions must be received by August 1, 2021
  11. Please send your MS Word document to Make sure you include all the required information (listed below)

Required Information

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Library card number 
  • Title of story, poem or picture

By submitting your work to COVID Anthology you agree...

  • to grant DeKalb County Public Library first right to publish your story/or photo in print or online
  • to grant DeKalb County Public Library non-exclusive rights to your work, including the right to include your work in an anthology
  • to grant DeKalb County Public Library the right (but not the obligation) to store your work indefinitely
  • to grant DeKalb County Public Library first serial rights on any story/or photo we publish. This means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a picture, story or poem to us, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Note particularly that by submitting a work to us, you guarantee that this is your original work. You will retain ownership of your work; but by submitting a story or poem, you agree to grant DeKalb County Public Library rights to publish this work. Also, by submitting your story, poem or picture does not guarantee that your entry will be included in the Anthology.

Deadline August 1, 2021.  For more information call, 404.508.7190, ext. 2257 or email


We look forward to you sharing your COVID-19 stories within the DeKalb County community. Below are some questions that may assist you in creating your short story narrative or poem.

  • How has the DeKalb community changed based on your perception?
  • What words of wisdom would you give a person experiencing this event?
  • What is the toughest part of your days right now? The best?
  • What’s the biggest way your life has changed because of the pandemic? What has changed for you due to COVID-19? Is there anything positive that you will continue after the pandemic?
  • Are you afraid? What frightens you? What is your biggest fear during this time? What keeps you moving forward? 
  • What has given you comfort and hope during this time? 
  • Is there someone you can’t see right now who you really wish you could? 
  • Do you or have you had COVID-19? What is/was that experience like for you? 
  • Have you lost anyone due to COVID-19 and what was the most difficult part of experiencing this?
  • What have you learned from this experience?
  • Who do you most worry about in your family or circle of friends right now?
  • If the quarantine ended tomorrow, what’s the first thing you’d do?