I've been working with one person who was responsible for several stories to get the permissions and agreements needed and on Friday received her final answer: no, I may not use the stories.
That's okay. All along I have prayed that God would get me the stories He wants in this book, so I am trusting He is doing just that.
I'm not as disappointed as you might think. In the past few days I had begun to think about what I might do if the answer was no (I was sure even at the time it was the Lord's prompting to do so), so when this answer came I was already in a mind to make the book work without these stories. Not having these stories means some of my current chapters will no longer work (too short or whatever). But I could combine some chapters. Or I might rearrange and revise what chapters I currently have the remaining stories placed in. I'll definitely find a way to make the book work, it's just a matter of how to do it.
In the mean time, in the last two days I've had two people asking if I could use more stories! God is providing. I'm praying He will provide me with even better stories to replace these that I loved but cannot use.
On the flip side, this means that I now have only SEVEN writers that I need Publishing Agreements from! I don't want to count my chicks before they hatch, but now having this one case resolved, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to get all of those that remain. Another whoo-hoo!
And the count continues...
Total Contributors (one deleted at her request): 40
Publishing Agreements received from: 33
Still need Publishing Agreements from: 7