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special needs overseas

We are glad to publish this call for essays for a book on adapting to special needs overseas edited by Tales from a Small Planet. Thanks Kathleen for introducing this beautiful opportunity.


Tales from a Small Planet began almost 20 years ago by a group of U.S. Foreign Service spouses. It is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit that  collects and freely shares honest, unbiased information, in the form of city reports, school reviews and essays from volunteer contributors, about “what it’s really like to live there” in cities and countries around the world, with the aim of helping international workers and family members (including diplomats, business people, educators, international development workers, and others) as they decide where to live or prepare for an assignment.

Currently, we are working on our second book focused on expats and special needs and are soliciting personal accounts from people who have stories to tell about adapting with special needs while overseas. We think this is an important book that will help many expats (or future expats) through inspiration, example, and simply seeing through the eyes of others.  If you or someone you know is dealing with special needs abroad, please consider joining or recommending our project. Writing experience isn’t obligatory – our editors will be happy to help you tell your unique story. Please take a moment to read or attached Call for Essays for more details.

Adapting to Special Needs Overseas Call for Essays Guide

Travel guidebooks provide information about wheelchair accessible tourist sites or services for disabled travelers. But it is much harder to get a feel for how a foreign culture might perceive someone with a disability, or how disabilities invisible to the naked eye, such as autism, are accommodated abroad. Tales from a Small Planet is soliciting essays for a new book with personal accounts of experiences overseas managing one’s own special needs, a child’s special needs, or even observing how host cultures treats their special needs citizens. Essays should provide honest accounts without being harshly judgmental. Ideally, we are looking for uplifting stories – finding resources or kindness and support in unexpected places, seeing positive changes in attitudes, experiencing creative and ingenious ways of adapting to difficult circumstances, and lessons learned.

The target audience for this book will be anyone living outside of their home country and dealing with special needs, including anyone employed in a field that provides special needs services.

Please send a query, outline or rough draft by July 1, 2017 to mrswhistle@hotmail.com or to editor@talesmag.com. The editors will assist in revisions. Drafts will be due from authors August 1, and September 1, 2017, with final revisions complete by September 30. Inclusion is subject to editor selection in order to create a coherent and diverse collection of high-quality essays. All proceeds will go to Tales from a Small Planet, a registered non-profit organization.

Strong essays should include the following:

  • A fully developed, organized essay with a beginning, middle, and end;
  • The writer is part of the story and is discovering something new or surprising about their expat experience with special needs;
  • Interesting details about the country and culture where the story takes place.


Kathleen Silva
Tales from a Small Planet
June 2017



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