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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 2:24           11,525 subscribers         November 28, 2002

SPECIAL NOTICE:  Please do not "reply" to this e-mail.  Due to
changes in the listbox mailing program, messages that are sent
in response to this newsletter may be deleted automatically. If
you wish to contact the editor, e-mail Moira Allen.


         From the Editor's Desk
         News from the World of Writing
         FEATURE: Five Fiction Mistakes that Spell Rejection
             by Moira Allen
         The Write Sites - Online Resources for Writers
         From the Managing Editor's Mind
         WHAT'S NEW at Writing World/Prize Drawings
         MARKET ROUNDUP/Writing Contests
         Writing Events

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                     FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Give Thanks -- for a Short Editorial!
For much of this week, I've been ruminating over what sort of
meaningful, pithy editorial to offer in our "Thanksgiving" issue.
Something heartfelt about counting our blessings as writers, I
thought -- and certainly I do give thanks for the fact that I
AM a writer.  Plus, I have many blessings to count this holiday,
all of you being among them.

However, as it came time to actually sit down and start typing,
it dawned on me -- hey, folks, we're all getting ready for
Thanksgiving here.  I've got a pie to bake, some of you are no
doubt about to head out on the road.  There's turkeys to thaw
and cranberries to sort.  It also looks like snow.

So rather than wax poetic and poignant and all that, let me
leave you with a mercifully short message this issue:

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, and a great holiday!

See you in December.

                         -- Moira Allen (Moira Allen)


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Free ebooks for kids
The International Children's Digital Library has launched a web
site that will eventually offer about 10,000 ebooks from 100
different cultures, for kids aged 3 to 13 -- for free. It's
designed by the non-profit Internet Archive and the University of
Maryland. Children were consulted while the site was developed.
Some titles are public domain, and publishers such as Random,
Scholastic, and Harper have contributed new works.
For more information: http://www.icdlbooks.org

Library of Congress opens annex
The Library of Congress is so over-crowded that many books are
said to sit on the floor for lack of shelf space. On November 18,
they opened a storage center at Maryland's Fort Meade that will
ultimately house over a million books. The 50-year project moves
part of the library's overflowing collection into high density,
climate-controlled storage, something the library couldn't build
at its Capitol Hill site. Drivers will go back and forth between
the two facilities twice a day so that patrons still have ready
access to the relocated books.

Libraries can now lend ebooks
Overdrive has announced a new secure, turnkey service for
libraries that allows the lending of ebooks to patrons over the
Internet. Electronic magazines and newspapers are also included
in the program. Their Content Reserve already contains over
35,000 ebooks and materials. Librarians can also integrate
digital media into their existing collection from a variety of
sources. The Digital Library Reserve was developed with Adobe to
use their Content Server and PDF formats, though Overdrive notes
the system will incorporate other formats and elements in a
digital media collection, including audio books and PDA titles.

Gemstar willing to ditch ebooks
At a meeting of shareholders at Gemstar-TV Guide's California
headquarters, Jeff Shell, an executive sent in to turn the ailing
company around, said sales of both its SkyMall catalog business
and its electronic book operation were possible. He noted that
such a deal would be more complicated because of the difficulty
in valuing the technology assets involved. Not to mention another
small detail -- no one has offered to buy.

JK Rowling's words expected to fetch $100 each
Billed as a "sneak peak" into the next Harry Potter book, a
93-word autographed plot sample of "The Order of the Phoenix"
will be auctioned at Sotheby's on December 12. According to the
online auction listing, the top expected bid is 6000 British
pounds (9500 USD), or more than $100 per word. The words, which
are random and handwritten in a four line spiral, include:
"thirty-eight ... chapters ... might change ... longest volume
... Ron ... broom ... sacked ... house-elf ... new ... teacher
... dies ... sorry." Donated by the Society of Authors and
JK Rowling, the card's proceeds will go to Book Aid
International, an agency that provides books to developing

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                        by Moira Allen (Moira Allen)

Ask most fiction editors how to avoid rejection, and you'll hear
the same thing: Read the guidelines. Review the publication.
Don't send a science fiction story to a literary magazine, and
vice versa. Don't send a 10,000-word manuscript to a magazine
that never publishes anything longer than 5,000 words. Spell
check. Proofread. Check your grammar. Format your manuscript
correctly. Be professional. Failure to observe these basics, many
editors say, accounts for more than 80% of all short fiction

But what if you've done all that, and your stories are still
coming back with polite, form rejection letters? I asked nearly
50 fiction editors -- from traditional literary publications to
flash fiction ezines -- what types of problems resulted in the
other 20% of rejections. These are the problems that plague
stories that meet all the basic requirements, but still don't
quite "make the grade."

Bad Beginnings
"A story needs a beginning that grabs the reader and pulls him
into the story," says Lida Quillen of Twilight Times. If you
can't hook the editor with your opening line or first paragraph,
the editor will assume it won't hook the reader either. "You
simply must grab me in those first few sentences," says Ian
Randall Strock of Artemis. Dave Switzer of Challenging Destiny
looks for "something new -- something I haven't seen before -- on
the first page. Something unique about the character or situation
that makes me want to continue reading."

One source of weak beginnings is "taking too long to cut to the
chase," according to Diane Walton of ON SPEC. "When the writer
spends three pages explaining the entire history of the planet,
we know we are in trouble." Doyle Wilmoth Jr. of SpecFicWorld.com
agrees, defining a slow-starting story as one in which "the
writer feels that she/he needs to explain every little detail for
the reader to understand."

A story must do more than begin well; it must also fulfill the
promise of that beginning. "Some new fiction writers create a
very good beginning, but then do not fulfill the expectations of
the reader," says Lida Quillen. "As a writer, you want to raise
the reader's expectations, create a need to know what happens
next and then satisfactorily fulfill that need." Once you've
"grabbed" the editor with your first sentence, your second has to
keep him reading -- right on to the end of the story. Andrew Gulli
of The Strand Magazine notes: "The writers I resent are those who
hook you with first sentence then whole stories turn out to be
boring. Often writers will write something with a beginning and
ending. There is no middle." Anne Simpson of Antigonish Review
feels that "Generally speaking, a weak opening is more forgivable
than a weak ending, but both should be strong for the story to

Another pervasive problem editors cited was too many words. Many
suggested that new writers learn to cut their stories by 10 to 50
percent. "The most obvious error we encounter in fiction is
overwriting," say Anthony Brown and Darrin English of Stickman
Review. "Young writers, full of energy, throw everything and the
kitchen sink into their work to impress editors."

Excess verbiage can result from several fundamental writing

* Too many adjectives and adverbs: "When the yellow, round orb of
the sun stealthily and smoothly creeps into the azure blue early
morning sky, one may wonder why the sun didn't simply rise; it
would have saved a good deal of trouble for all concerned," says
Max Keele of Fiction Inferno. If you feel the need to modify
every verb with an adverb (or two), or every noun with an
adjective, chances are you're not picking the right words. Look
for strong nouns and stand alone verbs that convey your meaning
without modification.

* Using "big" words when simple ones would do: "To me, 'ascended'
sounds inappropriate to describe a man walking up a few steps,"
says Adam Golaski of New Genre. Seeking alternatives to "said"
is another common error; too often, characters "expostulate" or

* Too much detail or backstory: Many writers fall into the trap
of adding too much detail or description. "Describing the color
and length of a protagonist's hair is great if it's relevant;
otherwise it's fluff you can cut," says Don Muchow of Would That
It Were. Diane Walton of ON SPEC deplores "long exposition
'lumps' that stop the action dead in its tracks, so one character
can explain to another that their society has been operating in a
certain way for centuries, or the long speech where the bad guy
explains why he has to kill the good guy."

The solution? Put your story aside for at least a week after
writing it; then go back over it and search for "flab." "Every
word has to do a job; if it's goldbricking, out it goes," says
Robbie Matthews of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. Hunt
down those excess adverbs and adjectives. Look for stronger nouns
and verbs. Set a goal of trimming your final draft by at least

Undeveloped Characters
Your story may begin with an interesting idea (e.g., "What would
happen if?"), but the characters keep people reading. Most
editors agreed they look for stories driven by interesting,
believable characters. "Could you imagine the movie Gladiator
without the scene where Maximus loses his family?" asks Doyle
Wilmoth Jr. "Gladiator has action, but we also have a character
that moves us deeply. Someone we want to cheer for."

Problems with characters include:

* Characters the reader won't care about. "It is especially bad
news when the protagonist is someone with no redeeming social
value, because we have to care about what happens to someone in
the story, or why bother to read it?" says Diane Walton.

* Characters who do not grow or learn. Several editors complained
of "cardboard" characters whose motivations were unclear, or who
simply reacted to story events rather than being the source of
the story's plot or conflict. "Ultimately the main character must
decide his or her own fate; it can't be decided for them," says
David Felts, former editor of Maelstrom Speculative Fiction and
current editor of SFReader.com. Skylar Burns of Ancient Paths
notes that "an even greater problem is the character that
undergoes a rapid and unrealistic transformation in a very short
span of prose." Marcia Preston of Byline notes that too many
stories feature characters who lack any apparent goal, or a
compelling reason to want a particular goal -- a flaw that
results in stories with no significant conflict.

* Stereotypes. "Why can't a rich business man be kind and
compassionate? Why are unemployed men always lazy and sit around
in their vests swigging out of cans? Why can't one or two learn
Latin or take up line-dancing?" asks Sally Zigmond of QWF
Magazine. Rhonna Robbins-Sponaas of Net Author notes that when a
character is a stereotype, the story often needs a complete
rewrite to turn the character into a living, breathing, three
dimensional being.

The solution? "Know your characters, particularly the narrator,"
suggests Victoria Esposito-Shea of HandHeldCrime. You don't have
to give the reader every detail of your character's history, but
you should know the history yourself. "That's where voice is
going to come from, and should also drive the plot to a large

"Remember that each person on this planet is an individual,
possessing a separate combination of traits that distinguish him
or her from everyone else," says Bill Glose of Virginia
Adversaria. "Be specific. Instead of saying, 'The bar patron was
obnoxious,' say, 'The skin around his mouth glowed, gin blossoms
reddening his puffy cheeks and seeping into the overlapping chins.
When he spoke, his speech was slurred and the words had an edge
to them.'" Glose recommends using action to illustrate a
character's traits.

Poor Plots
Editors complained of two basic plot problems: Trite, hackneyed
plots, or no plot. Ian Randall Strock says many of his rejections
are the result of "the author sending me a really old, lame idea
that's been done to death for decades, and the author hasn't done
anything new with it." Many felt too many writers were deriving
their plots from television rather than real life. "We don't want
last week's Buffy plot," says Diane Walton.

David Ingle of The Georgia Review says at best, only ten stories
in a thousand that cross his desk manage to escape "the doldrums
of convention." The most beautiful prose in the world, he notes,
can't compensate for stock characters and plots. "My main gripe
is with the so-called 'domestic' story -- stories of bad
childhoods, bad parents, abusive or straying spouses." He asks
writers to make their stories stand out from the pile on the
editor's desk. "Instead of another divorce story narrated by a
despondent spouse, how about one narrated by the couple's
favorite chair?"

While some stories have bad plots, others have no plot. "One I
received was about a woman shopping for a hat. That was it,"
bemoans Paul Taylor of Cenotaph. Alejandro Gutierrez of
Conversely complains of "stories that just begin and end with
nothing important happening or being resolved by the main
characters." Some plotless stories ramble from one event to
another; others are a hodgepodge of action with no emotional
content to involve the readers.

The solution? Ironically, most editors felt the way to resolve
"plotless" or "hackneyed" stories was to focus on characters. If
the characters are believable, with interesting goals and
motivations, their interactions will drive the plot. "Most of the
ideas for stories have already been used; it's up to the writer
to put a new spin on it to make it fresh," says David Felts. "If
the characters are real enough then a recycled plot can work,
because if the character is new, the story is too."

No Point
Editors -- and readers -- aren't just looking for great action
and strong characters. They also want a sense of "why." Why
should I read this? Why did you write it?

"This is not to say every work should address an Aesopish moral
or a grand theme, but rather every story should contain at its
core a reason to be," says Max Keele. "In fact, that is my single
personal demand from a story: That it add up to something. That
it shock me, scare me, unnerve me, make me think, or cry, or
vomit. Something."

Ellen Datlow of SciFi.com says she reads far too many stories
with no apparent reason for being. "I have no idea why the writer
bothered to write the story -- no passion, no unusual take on the
subject, dull, unbelievable characters. A story has to have
something special to make me want to buy it."

A story without a point tends to be "flat," according to Rhonna
Robbins-Sponaas. "If we come away with the peculiar feeling that
we don't really know why we've just read what we've read, or our
first thought is that the washer has finished and the clothes are
ready to be put in the dryer, then the writer hasn't conveyed the
'why' of the story as strongly as she could have and should have."

The solution? "Were I to tell a writer one thing, I'd tell her to
go back and be certain what her story is, then be sure that she's
answered the 'why' of the story so that the reader comes away
from the experience with as much a sense of its importance as the
writer had," says Robbins-Sponaas. Brown and English of Stickman
Review urge writers to "Write sincerely. Write stories about
those things that matter the most to you. If you're writing about
something you don't really care about, it'll be obvious to your
readers, and they won't care either."

What Can You Do?
The one piece of advice nearly every editor had to offer was
"Read, read, read." Read the authors who have won awards in your
genre or field. Read classic literature to find out what has
been done, so you don't offer up old, trite plots without
realizing it. "Study the work of authors whose fiction you love
and respect and admire and try to figure out what it is about
that author's fiction that works and why," suggests Ellen Datlow.
"Read about three tons of short stories by different authors
who've written in the past 50 years, until you find someone whose
work and style turns you on and you'd like to emulate and do it!"
says Ray Foreman of Clark Street Review.

"Write!" says Max Keele. "And keep writing. And write some more.
Rejected? So what. Write another story. Rejected again? Who cares,
write two this time."

When you're finished, "Let the story sit for a few days or a
week," says Richard Freeborn of Oceans of the Mind. "Come back to
it and read it aloud to yourself. I am still surprised at all the
inconsistencies and bad transitions I catch when I do that."

Once your story has "aged" a bit, seek someone else's opinion.
"Find an educated reader who can provide valuable feedback as to
how they feel as the story unfolds," urges Lida Quillen. "Find a
reader who can mention segments that were unbelievable, let you
know where the story left them cold and sections where they were
pulled into the story."

Finally, make sure you don't make the ultimate fatal mistake,
cited by Tony Venables of Ad Hoc: "Thinking that people should
read what you write simply because you write it. Writers need to
understand that they have to earn their audience, to make their
audience feel it's worthwhile to read their work. This does not
mean pandering to populist ideas or sugar coating what you have
to say -- it means not choosing to be boring."

NOTE: This article originally appeared in The Writer.  The
online version includes the two sidebars that appeared with
the print article, as well as links to the publications cited
in the article:


Moira Allen is the author of "The Writer's Guide to Queries,
Pitches and Proposals," "Writing.com: Creative Internet
Strategies to Advance Your Writing Career" (second edition
forthcoming in May 2003), and "1500 Online Resources for
Writers." For details, visit:

Copyright (c) 2002 by Moira Allen

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The Italian-American Press
Promotes Italian Americans and other self-published authors,
providing them with resources and information.

The Moth
Reviving the art of storytelling, Stories at the Moth offers
writers the chance to perform their work.

This is Kevin Spacey's baby. Not only can screenwriters and
filmmakers upload their work and have it reviewed by peers, but
it's also a once in a lifetime chance to see their screenplay
picked up for production.

Grammar and Usage for the Non-Expert
Loads of brief, useful articles on grammar and how to use it.

UK Patent Office
In the UK, it's not possible to "register" your copyright with
the official government patent office; you can find out more
about UK copyright laws, plus links to private copyright
registries, on this site.

For the Love of Horror
Critique group for horror writers.

ASPIRE2WRITE.com is an exciting new website, online magazine and
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November is a big month for book awards. The 2002 Independent
e-Book Award winners were announced at the Digital Literature
Festival on November 2. Each of the three authors in the Best of
Fiction, Best of Non-Fiction, and Best Creative Use of the Medium
categories received a cash prize of $1,000.

For a complete list of winners go to: http://www.ebookawards.org

This year I had the honor and privilege of serving as a
preliminary reader for the Indie e-Book Awards committee. The
experience was both challenging and enlightening. Judging a
contest is time consuming and usually doesn't pay, but you can
learn a lot about analyzing your own work more objectively by
judging the work of others. Unlike a critique group, or reading a
friend's work, you can be brutally honest due to the anonymity.
Which is not to say all entries are bad. Having judged a variety
of writing contests in the past 25 years, the one constant I
always find so remarkable is how a good story sparkles like a gem
among stones. If you're ever asked to judge a contest, be sure to
say yes.

I didn't get to attend either ceremony but the National Book
Awards sounded like fun with comedian author Steve Martin hosting
on November 20. He joked that winner Robert Caro brought the
"total number of nominated authors I've actually heard of to
two." Of course he could get away with that in a roomful of
authors -- no big egos.

And the winners are (drum roll please):
Nonfiction: Master of the Senate, by Robert Caro (Knopf)
Fiction: Three Junes, by Julia Glass (Pantheon)
Poetry: In the Next Galaxy, by Ruth Stone (Copper Canyon)
Young People's Literature: The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy
Farmer (S&S)

Even the winners, who received $10,000 each, joined in with a few
quips of their own. My personal favorite was 87-year old poet
Ruth Stone. "I think you probably gave [this award] to me because
I'm old," she said. "I'd like to thank my editor -- whose name I
can't remember right now!"

For a recap of the laughs go to:

Hmm, I wonder how I can get on the NBA judging committee ...

                         -- Peggy Tibbetts (peggyt[at]siltnet.net)

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Press Kit, by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Writing For Free: Good Or Bad Promotion?

The Screening Room, by Laura Brennan
Should I Produce My Own Films?

Advice from a Caterpillar, by Peggy Tibbetts
Submitting a Book Proposal; Getting a Grant; Finding a Religious

Self-Publishing Success, by Brian Jud
Monkey Traps and Marketing

How to Play the Agent Game, by Chris Gavaler

How to Write a Competitive Analysis, by Michael Knowles

How to Write a White Paper, by Michael Knowles

Local History: A Lucrative Niche Market, by Patricia Fry

Marketing the Wily Technical Writer, by Michael Knowles

Partly Cloudy, Scattered Showers: Setting the Scene with Weather,
by Larissa Estell

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Nancy Radke, Executive Editor
PO Box 354, Kirkland, WA 98083-0354
EMAIL: rom.author[at]juno.com

We're a new publisher opening a new type of market, not an
internet company. Sales will be through retail stores. We are
looking for first-time authors, but will take published authors
who wish to send unencumbered manuscripts. Looking for romances
of all types, also westerns, mysteries, crime, horror,
paranormal, sci-fi, historical, suspense, thrillers, and blends.
The majority of books purchased will be romances, but we are
interested in books that have fallen through the cracks, that
don't meet normal guidelines. If you have a book that is a good
read we would like to see it. We do not need a query letter
first. Simultaneous submissions considered.

LENGTH: 60,000 words or more
PAYMENT: $5,000 advances and $.50/per copy royalties
RIGHTS: Exclusive rights
SUBMISSIONS: By mail only: First two chapters plus a synopsis,
SASE, and short letter indicating your experience, whether you
are a member of a writing organization, the length and type of
book(s). No email submissions please. If your book is not yet
finished, say so.


Darrell Schweitzer, Editor
123 Crooked Lane, King of Prussia, PA 19406-2570
EMAIL: info[at]dnapublications.com
URL: http://www.dnapublications.com/wt/index.htm

Please keep in mind our magazine's title. We almost never buy a
story or a poem that has no fantasy content; we hardly ever buy
SF that lacks fantasy elements. But this leaves room for an
extraordinary range of fiction and poetry.

Most stories rejected by any fiction editor are rejected for one
or more of these flaws:
1. Lack of a clear, consistent POV.
2. Too much exposition and too little narration.
3. Failure to establish the characters' identity and setting.
4. Characters so uninteresting, unpleasant, or unconvincing that
the reader simply doesn't care whether or not those characters get
eaten alive (or worse) on stage.
5. Plots that fail to resolve (tragically, happily, or otherwise)
problems or conflicts, but just present them. Plots with neither
problems nor conflicts. Plots based on ideas so old and tired that
the ending is obvious halfway down page.
6. Plots that cheat readers by holding back information for a
"surprise ending."

LENGTH: Up to 10,000 words
PAYMENT: 3-6 cents per word
RIGHTS: FNASR with anthology option
SUBMISSIONS: No email subs. By surface mail with SASE.
GUIDELINES: http://www.dnapublications.com/info/guide.htm


Ronald D. Hardcastle, Editor
PO Box 3362, Dana Point, CA 92629-8362
URL: http://danaliterary.org/index.html

The Dana Literary Society, founded in 1996, is devoted to the
skillful application of the written word. We are searching for
people with something to say -- fiction, non-fiction or poetry
-- for display in the Online Journal, and we will reward those
contributors who provide it. Our requirements are twofold: that
the works be both well-crafted and thought-provoking. Please
review the web site to read what we're buying.

LENGTH: Fiction: 2,500 words max; Non-fiction: 1,200 words max;
Poetry: 1 to 3 poems, maximum 120 lines each
PAYMENT: Fiction: $50; Non-fiction or poems: $25
RIGHTS: One month exclusive rights on web site, all rights revert
to author thereafter.
SUBMISSIONS: By mail only with #10 SASE, no cover letter required
GUIDELINES: http://danaliterary.org/guide.htm


"FNASR": First North American Serial Rights, "SASE":
self-addressed, stamped envelope, "GL": guidelines.
If you have questions about rights, please see
"Rights: What They Mean and Why They're Important"

Please send Market News to Moira Allen

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book now! http://www.WideThinkerBooks.com/publishing.html
your MS.  Critiquing, Line Editing, Submission Assistance.
info[at]writersconsultant.com, http://www.writersconsultant.com

This section lists contests that charge no entry fees.  For more
contests (December contests will be added later this week) visit:


                  Marketing Ideas Contest

DEADLINE: December 15, 2002
GENRE: Marketing Tips
LENGTH: brief tips

THEME: Best, Inexpensive Marketing Ideas Needed. Win a $50 cash
prize plus $150 in prizes by submitting your Best, Inexpensive
Marketing Ideas to www.ultimatebizmarketing.com. The contest is
free and multiple ideas/entries are allowed. The grand winner
will receive 10 free passes to their local movie theatre, an
exquisite gift basket, and the Ultimate Biz Marketing System.

PRIZE: $50 in cash plus $150 in prizes

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes; please use online submission form

CONTACT: Sharon E. Buck, (386) 328-3743

EMAIL: Sharon[at]ultimatebizmarketing.com
URL: http://www.ultimatebizmarketing.com


              AD/HD Child -- Seeing the Face of God

DEADLINE: December 26, 2002
GENRE: Essay
LENGTH: 1200 words or less

THEME: Alaine Benard is seeking positive stories about ADHD
children from writers, parents, teachers, coaches, and family
members. The purpose of the anthology is to share the loving
hearts and actions of these special gifts from God and to give
hope and inspiration to all, as we change the overwhelming
negatives the label brings. Help dispel the myths by submitting
your story, poem, or essay. Together, we will bring the Face of
God reflected in these children more clearly into focus. Profits
from the book are earmarked for educational funds/scholarships
for special needs students.

PRIZE: $100

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, please use online submission form

EMAIL: ADHD_Soaring[at]yahoo.com
URL: http://www.dixiesky.com/adhd_soaring/


            	Donard Publishing Short Story Competition

DEADLINE: December 31, 2002
GENRE: Fiction
LENGTH: 5,000 words or less

THEME: The stories may have any theme or subject. They must be
original, the author's own work and should not have been
previously published. Entries must be in English. Winners assign
non-exclusive publishing rights for one year to Donard
Publishing, authors retain copyright. May enter more than one
piece. DP reserves the right to disqualify any entrant for any
of, but not limited to the following: content that encourages
acts of violence or other discriminatory or illegal actions
against any individual or group. (UK contest)

PRIZES: 1st Prize: 1500; 2nd Prize: 750;
2 Runner-up Prizes: 250; plus 90 Donard Gift Certificate Awards

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, as an email attachment or in body of

EMAIL: submissions[at]donardpublishing.com
URL: http://www.donardpublishing.com/sstandc.html


            Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Contest

DEADLINE: December 31, 2002
GENRE: Poetry
LENGTH: 100 lines or less

THEME: Stanley Kunitz, the immediate past US Poet Laureate, will
be the judge. Winning poems will be published in The Merton
Seasonal, a publication of scholarly articles about noted
spiritual leader Thomas Merton and will be posted on the Merton
Foundation web site. Poems will be judged on literary excellence,
spiritual tenor, and human authenticity. Winners will be
announced in March 2003. Please visit the web site to read past

PRIZE: 1st Prize: $500; Three Honorable Mention Prizes: $50 each

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: No, by mail or fax to: 502-899-1907

ADDRESS: The Thomas Merton Foundation, 2117 Payne Street,
Louisville, KY 40206

EMAIL: info[at]mertonfoundation.org
URL: http://www.mertonfoundation.org
(Poetry of the Sacred contest)


         The Preservation Foundation 2002 Writing Contests

DEADLINE: December 31, 2002
GENRE: Non-fiction
OPEN TO: Unpublished writers
LENGTH: 1500 - 5000 words

THEME: We have two categories of nonfiction contests. Writers
may have up to three entries in each contest. No story may be
entered in both contests. For purposes of this contest,
unpublished writers are defined as those whose works have not
produced revenues of over $500 in any single year.

Nonfiction story: Any appropriate nonfiction topic is eligible.
Think biography and autobiography. Tell us a personal story about
yourself or someone you know well. Nonfiction stories entered in
our previous contests are not eligible for the new contest unless
they have been extensively revised.

Travel story: Think about that trip to Sri Lanka and the night
you got locked outside the hotel in your underwear. Or how about
the time you went to Aunt Bitty's house for Thanksgiving and the
dog ate the turkey and the cat crawled into the vent pipe and
howled all night?

PRIZES: First prize in each category: $100

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, in body of email, or send disk by mail

ADDRESS: The Preservation Foundation, Inc., Attn: Richard Loller,
3102 West End Avenue, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37203

EMAIL: preserve[at]storyhouse.org
URL: http://www.storyhouse.org/contest.html

Buy This Book and I'll Wash Your Car: How to--and not to--Get a
Literary Agent. The ultimate guide to non-fee charging agents
looking for new literary talent. Features email addresses, Web
sites, agent interviews and surveys, and more! Read a free
excerpt at: http://www.nataliercollins.com/agentbook.html


Anything for a Buck, by Gayle Trent

The Cave Woman Diet Plan, by Coty Fowler

The Crisis in America's Nursing Homes, by Guy Seaton

Write Now! What ARE You Waiting for? by Kimberly Ripley

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