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                    W R I T I N G  W O R L D

  A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 1:01              2500 subscribers           March 8, 2001
This issue sponsored by:
ROYALTYLOCK -- the secure, automatic eBook delivery system of the
future! Stops unauthorized copies while giving customers generous
free samples. Then it's click, buy, and unlock the complete book.
Never lose another cent of royalties with ROYALTYLOCK! For info,
visit http://www.joanbramsch.com/royaltylock.shtml.
EARN AN MFA IN WRITING through the brief-residency program at
Spalding University in Louisville, KY. Call (800) 896-8941x2105
or e-mail gradadmissions[at]spalding.edu and request brochure FA90.
For more info: http://www.spalding.edu/graduate/MFAinWriting
WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you
can reach our web site, you can take our courses.
HOW TO SELL YOUR WRITING OVERSEAS - Worldwide Freelance Writer
lists writer's guidelines for paying markets from all over the
world.  http://www.worldwidefreelance.com
WRITING.COM - by Moira Allen - Your guide to making the most of
online resources and information for writers.  Find new markets,
learn online research secrets, get the most from networking
opportunities. Includes 750 great sites for writers. Available as
an e-book from http://www.booklocker.com/bookpages/writing.html
       From the Editor's Desk
       The Write Sites
       COLUMN: The Writing Desk: Writers' Q&A
       FEATURE: Boiling Your Article Topic Down To Size
                by Lisa Beamer
       Market Roundup/Writing Contests

Welcome to the first issue of Writing World, the new biweekly
newsletter from Writing-World.com.  Before I say anything else,
I want to say a heartfelt "THANK YOU" to the 2500 people who
have already subscribed to this newsletter, sight unseen!  Your
support and encouragement has been a tremendous motivation, and
I sincerely hope you are not disappointed!

Writing-World.com has grown dramatically since its official
launch on February 14. It now offers more than 160 articles and
several regular columns, plus a host of other resources -- and I
have about 30 more articles waiting to be placed online.  (Some
nights, I actually dream in HTML, which can get very weird...)

Ironically, much of that growth is due to the unfortunate demise
of Inkspot, which leads me to:

The Latest News on Inkspot
Perhaps due to the negative publicity engendered by Xlibris's
decision to shut down the Inkspot website, Xlibris is now stating
that Inkspot is not actually closed, but only "suspended" while
a new home for it is sought.  In the meantime, here's where you
can find some of your favorite content:

Advice from a Caterpillar, by Peggy Tibbetts

Book Promotion on a Budget, by MaryJanice Davidson -

Children's Writer's Marketplace, by Margaret Shauers -

Debbie's Blatherings - find out what Debbie Ridpath Ohi is up
to on her new website at http://www.electricpenguin.com

E-Publishing Q&A - Karen Wiesner (who won the Inscriptions
Engraver award for Best Online Columnist) will be publishing her
archives as part of an e-book from Hard Shell Word Factory.

E-Publishing for Writers - Terje Johansen will be offering "The
E-Publishing Frontier," a monthly column on Writing-World.com -

Freelancing 101 - my monthly column, which has run since 1998,
has been discontinued, a decision I made before the Inkspot
"suspension."  Archives can be found on Writing-World.com, at

Inkprints - Bev Walton's book reviews and recommendations will
now be published in the Coffeehouse for Writers newsletter,
Fiction Fix - http://www.coffeehouseforwriters.com/news.html

Inkspot Forums - http://www.writersbbs.com/inkspot/

News from Themestream
If you're a Themestream contributor, you've probably learned of
the site's policy changes.  If you aren't, this may make you
think twice before signing up!

As of March 1, Themestream has reduced all payments to 2c. This
in itself only affects those authors who still had 10c articles
on the site.  The payment cap for individual articles has also
been reduced to $150. The kicker, however, is that Themestream
will no longer pay authors for just ANY hit -- a visitor must be
a registered Themestream member and subscriber for the hit to
generate revenue for the author.  This means that even if you've
been attracting hundreds or even thousands of "casual" visitors,
those hits are no longer worth tuppence.

Consequently, to generate revenue, an author would need to do
a hard-sell for Themestream, encouraging visitors to sign up,
subscribe, etc. -- something most authors aren't willing to do.
Which, in the long-term, is likely to create problems for
Themestream itself: while the site hosts plenty of amateurs who
like to believe that "posting" is equivalent to "publishing,"
professional authors are there to earn revenue.  With that
incentive gone, it's likely that many of Themestream's top names
and biggest draws will pack up their articles and move elsewhere.
I certainly will!

                              -- Moira Allen 


Beginning Writers: General Advice
This is a great site for answers to questions about getting
started, how to write/publish your first novel, how to find
markets, whether to quit your day job, and more. 

Council of Literary Magazines and Presses
If you'd like to find a literary magazine and/or small literary
press, check here first; this site offers an extensive member
directory, and also offers a larger directory for sale.

For Children's Art Directors, Editors, Writers, Illustrators...
Though this site focuses primarily on children's illustrating,
writers will find plenty of useful information as well, including
information on contracts, legal issues, agents, marketing --
and how to find an artist or illustrator.

How Much Should I Charge?
Tips on setting freelance fees for projects in advertising,
audiovisual & electronic communications, book publishing,
business, computer/technical work, editorial work, design,
and many other areas.

Sites that Publish Young Writers
If you're a young writer, or have a young writer in the family
who would like to be published, check this list of publications
(online and off) that use material from younger authors.


                        by Moira Allen (Moira Allen>)

When Should I Follow Up a Query?
Q: I sent my first-ever query to Woman's Day three months ago.
Although I included a SASE, I have not yet heard from them. The
Writers Market states that WD's lead time is one month. I know
that I should either write a follow-up letter or call to check on
the status. Which do you recommend? How long should one wait
before a follow up?

A: I usually wait six weeks -- longer if I already KNOW that a
market is slow. Two months is the longest I'll wait on an unknown
market. Since you have waited three months, a followup is

Your followup should be brief and courteous:

    Dear [Editor],

    On (date) I sent you a query regarding an article titled
    "XXXX" [or whatever you actually said, such as "regarding an
    article on the subject of XXXX"]. Since I have not received a
    response to that query, I am writing to make sure that you
    actually received it, and whether you've had a chance to
    consider it. In case the original query was lost in the mail,
    a copy is enclosed.

    If you are still considering the topic, could you let me know
    when I might expect a response? A SASE [or postcard] is
    enclosed for your convenience.

    Sincerely (blah, blah, blah)

I always send another copy of a query when doing a followup,
because this saves the editor the trouble of trying to relocate
the original in the files. If the editor HASN'T looked at the
query before, there's a better chance that s/he will look at it
when the followup comes in. If the editor IS considering the
query, the new copy won't do any harm.

Send a SASE with your followup, of course, and be prepared to
wait. The major women's magazines DO tend to take a long time to
respond, simply because they receive so many queries. However, in
some cases, a delay is good -- some magazines are more prompt on
rejections and take longer to consider acceptances. Hang in there!

Are Multiple Queries OK?
Q: I am a little hesitant about sending multiple queries,
although I'm aware that this is becoming more acceptable. Some
magazines clearly state their policy on this, while others make
no mention of it. My fear is that I will get two offers, although
that may be a bit presumptuous at this stage of the game. If the
writer's guidelines do not mention simultaneous submissions,
should we assume that it is OK to do so?

A: Different folks have different opinions on that topic. My own
opinion is that since most editors really do hate simultaneous
submissions, I still consider it a bad idea. Instead, I prefer to
work on several different article topics at once, so that I have
a lot of different ideas "out there" to different markets (rather
than trying to flog one idea sequentially OR simultaneously to
several different magazines). Most editors ASSUME that you know
that simultaneous submissions are still considered an etiquette
"no-no," so don't assume that just because simsubs aren't
specifically mentioned, they're OK.

I'm sure I'll get some disagreement here.  Many writers believe
that simsubs are well-justified by the slow response times of
most publications (and the fact that, these days, many editors
seem to have stopped bothering to respond at all if they don't
want a piece.  Some believe that simsubs are necessary to survive.
I understand this reasoning, but I still don't believe it's a good
idea. The ultimate goal is not to "shotgun" as many editors as you
can and hope for a hit. It is to find an editor who likes your
work and will want to work with you again, giving you assignments
over and over. Simsubs risks alienating editors, including those
who might otherwise have wanted to work with you, so, again, I
just can't recommend it.


Moira Allen has been writing professionally for more than 20
years, and has served as editor of a national consumer magazine
as well as several online publications (including Inklings). She
is the author of "Writing.com: Creative Internet Strategies to
Advance Your Writing Career" and the forthcoming "The Writer's
Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals." If you have a question,
e-mail it to Moira Allen. (Not all questions will
appear in the column, and Moira can't promise to answer all
questions personally.)

Copyright (c) 2001 Moira Allen

Boiling Your Article Topic Down to Size
                           by Lisa Beamer (lisab[at]lisabeamer.com)

A distillery in the back yard is a bad idea. A distillery in your
mind is a great idea, especially if you are a writer. Such a
distillery will help you take an overly broad article idea and
boil it down to a manageable topic that will meet the specific
needs of your target publication. Its byproducts are multiple
article ideas that will keep you busy writing queries for quite
a while.

Where to Begin
A lot of beginning writers get stuck on the question of what to
write. The old adage "write what you know" makes sense, but it
still isn't the exact advice these writers need. Either they
think they don't know enough about any one thing to write about
it, or they know a lot about several topics but aren't able to
see all the possibilities their cache of knowledge holds.

The best place to start is with a topic about which you feel
comfortable, regardless of how much you think you know about it.
Let's say you are the mother of three children, ages 6 years, 3
years and 9 months. It is safe to presume that parenting is an
area about which you feel comfortable. Congratulations! You just
found your starting point.

Boiling It Down
One look at the magazine racks will convince you that parenting
is a hot topic. The 2001 Writer's Market lists 37 publications in
their "Child Care & Parental Guidance" section, and that doesn't
include the myriad regional and online markets. However, our
mother of three needs to determine what, specifically, she can
offer each of these markets before she will be able to write for

To get her started, let's look at the material her 3-year-old can
provide. Writing a general article on 3-year-olds is an option,
but unless she can find a market that wants an overview of
specific ages and stages, it will probably be rejected on the
basis of being too broad. How can she boil it down to something
more appealing to editors?

Let's take this topic of 3-year-olds apart. What is it about them
that might be worth an article or two?

1. Many of them are potty-training.
2. Some of them are picky eaters.
3. Some are going to preschool for the first time.
4. Some are feeling jealous over a new brother or sister.
5. Some are developing new fears -- of animals, of the dark, etc.
6. A few of them might be showing an interest in wanting to read.

Now our writer has six topics at her disposal, all based on her
3-year-old. By breaking the subject down like this, she is
coming up with ideas that are going to be more appealing to the
editors. But she can still do better.

Digging Deeper
Let's work on that first idea: potty training. That's a well-
covered topic in the parenting market, so our writer needs to
slant it in a way that will make her idea different enough to
cause the editor to stop and consider it. To do this, we need to
boil the idea down even further. What are some questions we can
ask about potty training?

Idea #1 -- How do you know if a child is ready to potty train?
Idea #2 -- What are the best methods to encourage a child to
           learn to use the potty?
Idea #3 -- At what age should you worry if your child isn't using
           the potty, and what should you do about it?
Idea #4 -- What are the best books, videos, resources, etc.
           to help parents potty-train their child?

Do you see what we've done? We've taken that still broad idea of
potty training and broken it down into four smaller pieces, each
of which can stand on its own as an article. Depending on the
topic, you might be able to boil it down one more time and still
have a good article. Be careful, however, not to take it too far
and risk querying an article you won't be able to deliver because
there isn't enough to say about the subject.

Get What You Need
At this point, our writer might stop and say, "Wait! I don't know
enough about these specific areas to write about them!" This line
of thinking can paralyze new writers. No need to worry! You don't
need to know it all. You can get what you need by talking to those
who DO know. Research is a beautiful thing. Don't let your own
lack of knowledge keep you from pursuing hot article assignments.

As long as our writer is willing to interview experts who know
about potty training and talk to other parents who have dealt
with the related issues, she has four great ideas with which to
work. If she takes those original six article ideas and boils
each of them down to come up with four narrower article ideas
apiece, she will have 24 articles to research and query!
Moreover, she still has two other children to think about, not
to mention all of the other areas of her life!

Apply It
What is your topic of interest? What do you want to write about?
Take your topic, whatever it is, and run it through your mental
distillery to develop a multitude of viable article ideas. By
doing this, there will be no limit to what you can write!


Lisa Beamer is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She writes
extensively on family, parenting, and spiritual issues. Her work
has appeared in FamilyFun, Christian Home & School Magazine and
Parenting Today's Teen. She is also the editor of Christian
Families Online (http://christianfamiliesonline.com). Her column
on age-gap parenting, "Different Worlds," can be found at
GeoParent.com. Lisa can be reached via her web site at

Copyright (c) 2001 Lisa Beamer


Catherine Mambretti, Publisher
New World Outpost, Inc., 43 S. 7th Ave., La Grange, IL 60525-2504
(708) 352-3685; fax (708) 352-3690

GL: http://jamestowncolony.com/TheOutpost/guidelines.html
E-mail: editor[at]JamestownColony.com

THE OUTPOST is a quarterly e-zine that publishes mysteries and
cross-genre crime fiction.  According to the online guidelines,
"THE OUTPOST is a venue for imaginative, speculative mystery and
crime fiction. We seek high-quality stories (preferably 5,000 to
10,000 words).  THE OUTPOST is intended to fill a market gap by
providing a venue for historical, science fiction, and cross-
genre mysteries before they have been sold to a publisher.
Contemporary stories (police procedurals, hard-boiled, private
eye, and others) may be considered as well, but precedence will
be given to stories set in "other worlds" of the past, the
future, or the supernatural. [Seeks stories] in any of the
following genres, so long as the plot involves the solution of a
mystery or crime: Historical, science fiction, fantasy, horror,
supernatural and paranormal, alternative history, cross-cultural
(a STRONG dose of a non-US culture, other than English)."
Published authors may submit novel excerpts; other stories,
essays and book reviews are used with the permission of the
author or publisher. Queries and submissions accepted only via
e-mail. Query first by email with a one-sentence synopsis of the
story (something like a movie log line) and an approximate word
count. Instructions for electronic submission will be sent via
reply to your query. No other types of queries will be accepted.
"Visit our website and study archived issues.  Our readers are
all published authors."
  LENGTH:  5,000-10,000 words.
RIGHTS:  First world-wide serial rights, beginning with October
         2001 issue.
PAYMENT: 1/4 of 1c/word, up to 10,000 words -- or by permission.


Catherine Mambretti, Publisher
New World Outpost, Inc., 43 S. 7th Ave., La Grange, IL 60525-2504
(708) 352-3685; fax (708) 352-3690

GL: http://jamestowncolony.com/TheOutpost/guidelines.html
E-mail: editor[at]JamestownColony.com

NEW WORLD OUTPOST is an e-book publisher that publishes mysteries
in various formats, including (for select titles) trade paperback
and Print-on-Demand.  Plans to publish 1-2 short story
anthologies in 2001.  Accepts simultaneous submissions and
previously published stories if author owns all rights.  Responds
to queries within about one week and submissions in about one
month.  Needs: Mystery fiction only.  "We currently need mystery
short stories (2,000 to 10,000 words) for an anthology, 'The Art
of Crime.' Protagonist, antagonist or victim must be involved in
the arts. For detailed guidelines, visit our website." TIPS: "We
are committed to quality electronic fiction. Query only by e-mail.
[See listing above for more details.] We accept only electronic
submissions. We believe the market for electronic fiction to be
growing dramatically in coming years. Send us good stories, and
we'll help you find an audience for years to come."

LENGTH:  2,000 to 10,000 words
RIGHTS:  Not listed; however, website guidelines state that
         copyright remains with author.
PAYMENT: 50% of publisher's net (less wholesaler and distributor
         discounts) will be divided proportionately among all
         contributors (including cover artists and illustrators)


T.J. Griffin, Editor
Queries: Attn. Queries, Little Crow Toys, Inc., 2051 Main Ave.,
Durango, CO 81301
Submissions: Attn. Submissions, same address

E-mail: editor[at]littlecrowtoys.com
Queries: query[at]littlecrowtoys.com
Submissions: Submissions[at]littlecrowtoys.com
Guidelines: guidelines[at]littlecrowtoys.com

LITTLE CROW TOYS is a high-traffic, family-oriented website in
the process of a major expansion. All of our publishing is
electronic, via our website and e-mail newsletter. Our need for
content is varied. Our current primary content needs are:

For Children 3-13: Children's stories and poems - all lengths,
illustrations preferred but not required, open-minded,
multicultural, etc., most themes considered. Children's articles
- 300-1500 words, topics of interest to children, should be fun
and educational, scientific, offer a look into another place,
culture, historical time, etc. Interviews with interesting
people, [articles that] stimulate their imagination or speak to a
need or special interest. Children's projects and crafts -
multiple age ranges and degrees of difficulty, good descriptions,
illustrations or photos a big plus. Holiday theme, Gifts Kids Can
Make, also dollhouse miniature crafts, castle- and puppet-
related, etc.

For Parents: General interest articles: - 500-3000 words, most
topics considered with the theme of spending time with your kids,
parenting issues, parent support, improving "quality of life,"
etc. Interviews with professionals and interesting people. How To
Articles: - 500-3000 words, Again, themes listed above as well as
specific activities, projects, crafts etc.

We accept previously published materials; multiple submissions
are okay (if included in query). We do not accept simultaneous
submissions (except when the work is being submitted for print
publication in book form and does not infringe on our copyright
request.) We pay upon publication. Although we will always
remain open to new and unpublished authors and artists, we also
seek to develop ongoing relationships with some authors and
artists in both publication of their original works and in
developing our own projects, with pay increasing accordingly.
Submissions: Query preferred - Please send an e-mail query to
query[at]littlecrowtoys.com with a brief description of the work
you would like to submit, what accompanying materials you will
provide (i.e. photos, illustrations, etc.), the ages it is most
suitable for, its publication history, and a brief bio about
yourself. Pre-queried submissions get priority response, usually
within 10-20 days; unsolicited submissions are reviewed as time
allows and may or may not be read.  Preferred formats are Word,
WordPerfect, HTML and PDF. Preferred format for images is 72dpi
JPEG for photos, GIF files for art. Copyright permission is
solely the author's responsibility. Please make sure you own
complete copyright to all materials you submit, or have express
written permission (and can submit that to us upon request) of
any other copyright holders for the works you are submitting.

LENGTH:  See specific categories above.
RIGHTS:  Little Crow Toys requests exclusive rights on the we,
         to publish each work for 90 days from first date of web
         publication, and exclusive rights for 30 days from date
         of issue publication for electronic newsletter
         publication. Little Crow Toys also requests the right to
         archive all materials published on our website or in our
         electronic newsletter, for 27 months from the date of
         first publication.
PAYMENT: We pay $5-$50 per work depending on the type of work,
         the length, the degree of editing it requires, etc. We
         recognize that this pay rate, though consistent with the
         "going rate," is basically a "token." What we really
         provide is an opportunity to showcase your work to a
         vast audience. We also provide artist bios and contact
         information on the site, and will gladly work with you
         and your publisher to promote your book on our site if
         you already have a published work or if you find a
         publisher as a result of your exposure on our site.
         Payment is on publication.


"FNASR": First North American Serial Rights, "SASE":
self-addressed, stamped envelope, "simsubs": simultaneous
submissions, "mss": manuscript, "RT": response time, "GL":
guidelines, "cc": contributors' copies.

Please send market news to Moira Allen, moira[at]inkspot.com.

This section lists U.S.-based contests that are open to all
writers (around the world) and charge no entry fees (unless
otherwise noted). Unless otherwise noted, subject matter/theme
is open, and contests accept electronic entries (check contest
website for details).  For information on international contests.
see http://www.writing-world.com/international/contests.html


                     THINGS MOTHER TAUGHT ME

DEADLINE: March 31
GENRE: Short nonfiction
LENGTH: 3,000 words maximum
PRIZES: 1st $500, 2nd $250, 3rd $100, 4th $50, plus publication.
Qualified submissions will be published as a book by the title of
Things Mother Taught Me. Half the profits from the sale of the
book will be donated to shelters for abused women. **To maintain
the rights and fundraising potential of this book, all submissions
become the property of Tillicum Books. Contributors give up all
claim to profits from sale of this book, but may republish their
submissions elsewhere without prior permission of Tillicum Books.
THEME: Life's lessons learned from one's mother, regarding values,
ethics, relationships. Should be generally positive, but may
explore areas of disagreement or conflict.
CONTACT: Tillicum Books, 5933 Longdin Road, Ferndale, WA 98248.
See Website for full entry criteria. Entries may be submitted via
regular mail, e-mail, or at website.
URL: http://www.tillicumbooks.com/Topics/index.html
E-MAIL: ejbowen[at]tillicumbooks.com



DEADLINE: March 31
GENRES: Short fiction/nonfiction article
LENGTH: 10,000 words maximum
PRIZES: 1st $500
ONLINE ENTRY: Yes-refer Website for details
CONTACT: Eaton Literary Associates, P.O Box 49795, Sarasota, FL
34230-6795; PH: 941-366-6589 FAX: 941-365-4679
URL: http://www.eatonliterary.com



GENRE: Short fiction
LENGTH: 500 words maximum
THEME: Imitation Hemingway that mentions Harry's Bar, nicely,
reads like Hemingway, sounds like Hemingway, and is funny... show
the judges grace and daring. Show them scholarship. Most of all,
show them funny.
PRIZES: 1st: Dinner for 2 at Harry's Bar & American Grill in
Florence, Italy, flying United Airlines (If your home is Europe,
we'll fly you to Harry's Bar & American Grill in Los Angeles)
ONLINE ENTRY: Yes-refer Website
CONTACT: PEN Center USA West, 672 S. Lafayette Park Place #41,
Los Angeles, CA 90057; PH: 213-365-8500 FAX: 213-365-9616
URL: http://www.pen-usa-west.org/hemingway.html
E-MAIL: hemingway[at]pen-usa-west.org



GENRE: Essay
LENGTH: 3,000 words maximum
THEME: Essays must discuss combat readiness in a joint context
[key issues involving two or more services]. Essays may be heavy
in uniservice detail, but must have joint application in terms of
tactics, strategy, weaponry, combat training, force structure,
doctrine, operations, organization for combat, or interoperability
of hardware, software, and procedures. Essays may not have been
previously submitted or published elsewhere.
PRIZES: 1st $2,500, 2nd $2,000, 3rd 1,000, plus publication
CONTACT: Colin L. Powell Joint Warfighting Essay Contest, US Naval
Institute, 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402-5034;
PH: 410-268-6110 FAX: 410-269-7940
URL: http://www.usni.org/Membership/CONTESTS.htm
E-MAIL: kclarke[at]usni.org

Writing World's Contest Listings are sponsored by THE WORLD'S
BIGGEST BOOK OF WRITING CONTESTS - http://www.ult-media.com

                       C L A S S I F I E D S

"If you can dream it, you can do it!" Congratulations, Moira.
from Joan Bramsch, Empowered Parent Ezine and EmpoweredParent.com
For display and classified advertising rates and details, visit
                 Copyright (c) 2001 Moira Allen
         Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.

                      WRITING-WORLD.COM STAFF

Editor/Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (Moira Allen)
Assistant Editor/Researcher: NOAH CHINN (mossfoot[at]lycos.com)
Columnists: MaryJanice Davidson (Book Promotion on a Budget)
            Terje Johansen (The E-Publishing Frontier)
            Lawrence Schimel (Poetic License)
            Peggy Tibbetts (Advice from a Caterpillar)

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