food bank

Volunteers from Bright Futures for Early Childhood helping out at the Telluride Food Bank in April. Local Glenn Steckler and his father Larry Steckler, who currently lives in Virginia Beach, are calling for an array of submissions for a collection of stories with the working title “Stories from the Age of Covid,” which will be published on Amazon with all proceeds benefitting food banks in San Miguel County and Virginia Beach. (Planet file photo)

Humans have always loved a good story. Whether it’s tales of epic fishing trips or chronicles of strife, the need to share experiences through the written word is at least as old as recorded history. The reader, as well as the writer, receives a certain sense of relief through the creative process. This therapeutic, shared empathy brings us together, especially during tough times.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships for many across the country, and everyone is coping with it differently.

Local Glenn Steckler and his father Larry Steckler, who currently lives in Virginia Beach, are calling for an array of submissions for a collection of stories with the working title “Stories from the Age of Covid,” which will be published on Amazon with all proceeds benefitting food banks in San Miguel County and Virginia Beach.

The call for content was announced a month ago and the word has been spread through the Virginian-Pilot and Yahoo! News.

“We are requesting submissions for a collection of stories about personal experiences in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of this project is to be therapeutic for the writer, informative, comforting and entertaining for the reader, and to raise money for local food banks in San Miguel County and Telluride Colorado and in Virginia Beach, Virginia,” the Stecklers announced. “We are open to a wide range of submissions. Submissions may be a paragraph or two, or can be 20 pages. It can be a text exchange, a tweet, a picture, a poem, or a story relating to the pandemic. Your contribution can be funny, it can be sad, it can be whatever you want it to be. Submissions must be original work of the author.

Examples of submissions include a short anecdote; story about a particular incident; your feelings, your worries, your thoughts; what you are hoping for once this is over, your view of the future; how the pandemic has changed your life, or affected your goals; how your relationships have been affected (parents, siblings, kids, grandparents, friends); what you have done to cope; or anything else you can think of, including health, athletics, hobbies, cooking, addiction, etc.

“We will need your submission as a word text file, along with the full name, address and contact info of the submitter. We will also need a completed release form. We look forward to receiving your contribution to this collection.”

Those interested in sending submissions can message Larry Steckler at lartronics@aol.com or Glenn Steckler at glennsteckler@hotmail.com, or on the Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/200720321540810. People will need to complete a release form for inclusion in the book, though they can remain anonymous if desired.

Larry Steckler is a former magazine editor and publisher of Radio-Electronics. He’s also a self-published author, including a biography of inventor and sci-fi author Hugo Gernsback, which is also available on Amazon.

Publication date and price points have yet to be determined. 

“The work continues. Several stories have been received and edited,” Larry Steckler wrote in the Facebook group Monday. “We are starting to set the type for the stories and place them into the pages of the book. More stories are needed. Please keep them coming. A few illustrations, photos or art work would certainly add to the project.”

Food banks have struggled keeping up with demand throughout the pandemic, including in the Telluride region. Angel Baskets, which oversees the county’s food banks, have previously reported

During a typical holiday season, Telluride Angel Baskets aids around 300 people across San Miguel County and the West End of Montrose County. This year, that number is almost double.

“This year we’re serving about 500 people,” Angels Baskets co-director Kathy Mahoney said in a previous interview with the Daily Planet.

The nonprofit’s food banks served approximately 13,360 people in 2020, which is more than triple as many as last year, according to the official website, tellurideangelbaskets.org, as food insecurity is “our new normal.”

Editor’s note: Works by Daily Planet writers may be included in the collection.