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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 2:25           11,650 subscribers         December 12, 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: Work Smarter, Not Harder
             by Shelley Divnich Haggert
         The Write Sites - Online Resources for Writers
         WRITING DESK: How do I get my poetry book into
             bookstores? by Moira Allen
         JUST FOR FUN: The Poet to the Peon
             by Stephanie Scarborough
         From the Managing Editor's Mind
         WHAT'S NEW at Writing World/Prize Drawings
         MARKET ROUNDUP/Writing Contests
         Writing Events

Get published! Get published! Get published! Get published!
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or e-mail gradadmissions[at]spalding.edu and request brochure FA90.
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If you can reach our web site, you can take our courses.
DISCOUNTED WRITERS' SOFTWARE -- PowerStructure, DramaticaPro,
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is a weekly ezine for business and technical writers featuring
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extensive North American jobs list, and Guerilla WriteFare!
Subscribe at http://www.writethinking.net/

HELP SUPPORT WRITING-WORLD.COM! Your $5 contribution helps us pay
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"Writer's Guide to Rights, Contracts, Copyright & Permissions."
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                     FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I admit it: I'm a sucker for Christmas.  I love the glitter --
the chance to fill my house with sparkling lights and beautiful
shiny baubles.  I love Christmas shopping (usually because I have
it done by August!), as well as Christmas crafting.  (This year,
relatives are getting knitted scarves, thanks to the fact that I
got a "learn how to knit kit" last year).

I also love snow, which we received in abundance last week -- and
it's still on the ground.  Yesterday's ice storm gave it an
interesting glaze; talk about glitter!  Today, alas, it's all
finally beginning to melt away.  (I know this probably sounds
like "nothing" to folks who live further north, but here in
Virginia, it's "cool."

What I don't love is fighting the crowds at the airport, which is
why we're traveling early this year.  (BTW, for those of you
traveling for Christmas, the airlines are telling us not to carry
wrapped packages, even in checked baggage.)  I'll be away from my
desk, and my e-mail, from the 18th through whenever, as in, don't
count on me checking e-mail on Christmas!

This year, I've even managed to avoid a new, and not-so-favorite,
tradition of "frantically finishing a book manuscript over the
holidays."  I dodged it by "frantically finishing a book
manuscript over Thanksgiving" instead.  More on that next

This will be the last issue of Writing World for 2002; we'll be
back on January 9.  We'll be announcing the spring class lineup
in that issue; we're running two "semesters" next year, the first
beginning in March, the second in August.  Both are already full;
we have a great lineup ahead.

To promote the classes, we'll be running double issues of the
newsletter in January and February.  The first half will be your
"normal" newsletter; the second will be packed with useful
articles and lecture excerpts from our instructors.  New class
listings will be posted by the end of December.  So why not make
a New Year's resolution to learn a new skill or find out how to
break into a new market?

In the meantime, the staff of Writing-World.com wishes you all
the best for the holiday season! See you in January!

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


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Random House and RosettaBooks settle lawsuit
On December 4, Random House, the largest English-language trade
publisher, announced a settlement of their lawsuit against
RosettaBooks, a leading publisher of ebooks. The deal allows
RosettaBooks to continue publishing the disputed works and to
collaborate with Random House on other books. The titles included
Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle," William Styron's "Sophie's
Choice," and six others. Random House said in a statement that it
was "very glad to be able to put our differences behind us."
Senior vice president and general counsel Katherine Trager added
that the collaboration would enhance both firms' commitment to

FriendGreetings.com ecards install spyware
A new card company, FriendGreetings.com is not what it seems.
When you get a card notification from them and click on the link
to their site, you will be notified that you have to install an
ActiveX control in order to view the card. When the installment
begins, the first thing that pops up is a EULA, or End User
License Agreement. When you click on "Accept," you agree to the
terms of the EULA. Part of the agreement is to have
monitoring/spyware software installed on your computer which will
periodically report data back to the card company. The other part
allows the software to send email to everyone in your address
book. In short, it's a voluntary agreement to install a
virus-type product on your machine -- and it's legal. Since there
is no virus in the email, your virus checker can't warn you.For
more information: http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/friend.htm

Boston Globe freelancers lose battle
In June 2000, a group of freelancers founded the Boston Globe
Freelancers Association (BGFA) in response to the newspaper's new
contract that "seeks rights to re-publish freelancers' work for
the duration of a copyright -- the lifetime of the creator plus
seventy years." On November 26, Suffolk (MA) Superior Court Judge
Ralph Gants ruled against the Boston Globe freelancers by
concluding that "there was nothing that prevented the Globe from
seeking to renegotiate" its relationship with freelancers. BGFA
attorney Indira Talwani said, "We haven't yet decided whether
we're appealing. There is nothing in Judge Gants's decision
condoning what the Globe has done here. The question that remains
is how do we protect the work of freelancers?" For more
information: http://www.bgfa.net

Book awards don't guarantee bestseller status
The Best and Worst of Times: The Changing Business of Trade
Books, 1975-2000, was issued by Publishers Weekly contributing
editor Gayle Feldman and sponsored by the National Arts
Journalism Program at Columbia University. The report considers
340 books that made annual lists of bestsellers or were nominated
for literary prizes during the period. No award-winning book made
the top bestseller lists in 2000, though some made weekly lists.
By comparison, in 1975, one Pulitzer Prize winner and one
National Book Award Winner made the annual list. The number of
bestsellers sold had increased dramatically in 25 years. For
example, in 1975, the bestseller, "Ragtime" by E.L. Doctorow sold
232,000 copies while in 2000, "The Brethren" by John Grisham sold
nearly 2.9 million copies, over a 1,000% increase. Some other
findings: winning a prize is helpful to lesser-known or new
writers but has little impact on the sales of established
authors, and bestselling books remain celebrity autobiography,
religious works, business, beauty, television tie-ins, self-help
and personal fulfillment books -- just as they were 25 years ago.
For more information: http://www.najp.org

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          by Shelley Divnich Haggert (shelley[at]thewritesideup.com)

Every day smart freelance writers answer the phone and hear those
magical words: "I have an article in mind, and I think you're the
person to write it; do you want the assignment?"

What would you rather write? Queries that may never go anywhere,
or articles that you know have a home waiting for them?

Writers can work smarter by being creative in their approach to
publications. Most editors have long lists of articles they'd
like to publish. But none of the queries coming over the transom
match those ideas. Where do editors find capable, competent
writers willing to work on assignment?

Writers who emphasize their flexibility and willingness to write
what the editors want written are far more likely to get
assignments than writers who rely on queries alone.

As the editor of a local magazine for the last nine months, I've
received at least a dozen queries -- and used two of them. I've
also received several letters of introduction, accompanied by one
or two clips, and now I have four writers getting regular work
from me. They presented themselves on paper and said, "This is
who I am, what I do, and what I've done. Now, what would you like
to do with me?"

During the month of April, for example, I was thinking about the
September issue and school lunches. I received several queries
and reprints, but no one was pitching ideas about school lunches.
I called a writer who had sent an introduction, and whose clips I
had examined, and asked her to write about school lunches. She
had indicated she was comfortable writing on health and nutrition
topics, so I knew she was the person to ask.

Find a smaller haystack
Where and how do you send letters of introduction, and what
information should they contain? While individual styles may
vary, there are standards writers can follow.

National glossy magazines usually have at least a few staff
writers working on assignment, and openings are rare. They are
bombarded daily with hundreds of queries and submissions. Don't
waste your letters of introduction here. You'll end up being the
proverbial needle in a haystack.

Local or regional publications, including the local newspaper,
offer more opportunities for assignments. These publications have
small staffs and a need for freelancers. The pay rate is lower
than national print magazines, but consider the work to profit
ratio. It may take 30 queries to land one acceptance that pays 50
cents per word, while it may take only one letter of introduction
to land a $75 article, with the promise of future assignments.

Look for clues in market listings
Writer's Market listings include information on how much of a
publication is freelance written, but may also indicate how many
unsolicited queries they accept each year. For example, the 2002
entry for Cleveland Magazine says it is 60% freelance written
and, "written mostly by assignment."

The smart writer will conclude that those assignments are going
to freelancers. Look for markets that indicate different rates
for unsolicited pieces and assigned pieces. That's your clue the
publication works with writers on assignment.

With only one or two published clips, you have the basis for a
letter of introduction. You know you are publishable -- often
that's all an editor needs to know.

Write a letter
Simply tell the editor who you are, what you've done, and what
you're willing to do. For example:

   Dear Ms. Editor,

   My name is Brilliant Writer, and I've been freelancing for
   more than two years. My articles have appeared in local,
   regional, and national publications, both in print and online.

   I'd love the opportunity to write for Your Great Magazine. I'm
   enclosing two clips to give you an idea of my voice and style,
   as well as a resume detailing my writing experience. I'm more
   than willing to work on assignment, and look forward to
   discussing the possibilities with you.

   To learn more about me, you can visit my web site at
   www.myname.com. Please feel free to contact me if you have any
   questions, or to discuss possible assignments.

Letters of introduction have worked well for Georgia writer
Apryl Chapman Thomas. She targets her letters to publications
unique to her area. During May 2002, she sent out 5 letters of
introduction, and received two assignments by June.

Pam Cook had ten articles published in 2002. Five of them came
from assignments. In all she sent 22 queries; five received
positive replies. As is often the case, one article led to three
more assignments for the same publication. Queries are still
necessary, but they're not the only route to steady work.

This method shows an editor that you are more interested in what
he wants for his publication than what you want for your
portfolio. You won't presume to know what's good for his
publication -- you want him to tell you what he thinks is
suitable. While it's great to write the things we want to write
about, it's far more profitable to be writing what the editors

Letters of introduction are great marketing practice. Freelance
writers quickly learn that writing is only half of their job;
marketing and promotion are just as important. Your willingness
to approach editors with confidence will come in handy later,
when you find yourself searching for an agent or writing press
releases to promote your book.

You may not completely replace your querying efforts, especially
at first. You may be asked to write on spec, or write about
obscure topics. My first assignment was local sports history, a
topic that didn't interest me in the least. But if you embrace
the challenge, work hard to sell your skills, and take the time
to develop relationships with editors, you'll find that sending
out those query letters becomes increasingly unnecessary to
ensure regular work and income.


Shelley Divnich Haggert is a freelance writer and the editor of
Windsor Parent Magazine. Her ebook, "Writing Lessons Learned,"
co-authored by Linda Sherwood, was published in 2002. Visit her
web site at: http://www.sherwoodcom.com/book.html

Copyright (c) 2002 by Shelley Divnich Haggert

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Writers Manual
Published authors can get free interviews and promo tips here.

Wordiness, Wordiness, Wordiness List
Find out how to cut the fat in your writing.

The Writer's Room
An e-magazine for writers to submit their work, featuring
resources, reviews, and interviews.

Stock Photo Price Calculator
A good calculator to help you determine what price to set on your

RWA Chapters Online
Looking for a Romance Writers chapter in your area? Start here!

Association Central.com
A good place to look for associations and organizations in just
about any field -- including writing.

ASPIRE2WRITE.com is an exciting new website, online magazine and
writing community packed with articles, interviews, regular
columns, writer services, and more! Members receive FREE EBOOKS,

                         by Moira Allen (Moira Allen)

How Do I Get My Poetry Book Into Bookstores?

Q: I have a poetry book coming out soon. Unfortunately, I have to
do all the marketing myself. How do I go about selling my books
to independent bookstores and giant chain bookstores? Are there
any strategies/pointers/guidelines to this? Do I hire someone to
do this?

A: It's difficult to answer this question -- because there is no
answer that's going to make you happy. The sad truth is that
"giant chain bookstores" do not, repeat, do not buy books from
individual publishers or sellers. They buy only from distributors
that can provide a wide range of titles; this makes the process
of ordering, shipping, billing, etc. much less expensive.

If you are the publisher of the book, you may have a shot at
getting it into independent bookstores. To do this, you're going
to have to research INDIVIDUAL bookstores and target them one at
a time.

There are a couple of groups you can join (SPAN and PMA) that
help self-publishers in their marketing efforts. These groups
sometimes have "marketing" mailings that target independent
bookstores. For these mailings, you get a coupla' thousand flyers
printed (at your expense), ship them to PMA (also at your
expense), and then pay them a fee to include your flyer in a
packet of 30 to 50 other flyers that are going out to bookstores.
It's expensive, and for the type of book you're selling, quite
honestly I doubt that you'll see enough return to make it

If your book is published by a subsidy publisher (i.e., you paid
a publisher to print your book), your chances of getting into
bookstores are even slimmer. Subsidy publishers have such a bad
reputation among booksellers (and consumers) that any title is
tainted by association, no matter how good it may be.

You would probably do best to pursue online opportunities for
marketing: Explore the various poetry sites on the web, find out
where you can do readings or "chats" on poetry, and make yourself
known there. Make sure your book is listed in Amazon.com. Look for
alternative places to market your book -- would it make an
interesting gift item for a card store?

Poetry is, unfortunately, perhaps the most difficult type of book
to sell in the first place, and if your book has not been
published by a major commercial house, that makes it all the
more difficult. For more advice (and perhaps more encouragement),
again, visit some of the poetry sites online, or join a poetry
discussion group, and talk to other poets about what marketing
techniques they've used.

For more information:
PMA - http://www.pma.org
SPAN - http://www.spannet.org
Poetry Resources - http://www.writing-world.com/links/poetry.html


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

Are you a Freelance Writer?
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information can be listed in the database so that clients and
editors will have your information at the touch of a button. Go
to: http://www.freelancewriters.com/writers_faqs.cfm

JUST FOR FUN: The Poet to the Peon
                   by Stephanie Scarborough (the_cube82[at]mac.com)

Bow to me, O worthless slime --
Do you not know who I am?
Hast thou been locked inside a tin
Like a worthless loaf of Spam?

I am of celebrated fame --
My name's Mystik, don't you know it?
I am an artisan of words;
In layman's terms -- a poet.

I have been published far and wide
In the lowest caliber of places,
Angst Bi-Monthly, to name one,
Which my face the cover graces.

My name will live forever;
I'll be in textbooks when I'm dead.
I write the best poems ever written --
At least that's what my mother said.

You want to read one of my poems?
Oh, why? You wouldn't get it.
For my great verbosity'd
Confuse you if you read it.

Be gone now, peon, run along
And tell your friends about me.
My name is Mystik with a K,
And I write for Angst Bi-Monthly.


Stephanie Scarborough has had poetry published in Bovine Free
Wyoming!, Love Words, Whistling Shade, Bathtub Gin, The Next
Voice You Hear, and others. Her fiction is published in Planet
Relish and Rant-O-Rama.

Copyright (c) 2002 by Stephanie Scarborough

'Write Again!' is the perfect material, market, submission and
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This year the winter solstice occurs on Saturday, December 21,
sometime between 8:00 pm and 8:15 pm EST -- depending on which
reference you use. For those of us in the northern hemisphere,
winter solstice is either the shortest day, or the longest night,
whichever your perspective.

I always look on it as the shortest day. I'm not sure what that
says about me, other than I usually think in terms of how much
time I have, or don't have, to get everything done. For too many
of us the holiday season is spelled B-U-S-Y.

Instead, why not take some time off your busy schedules and
celebrate the winter solstice -- quietly. Creative Minds
Unlimited web site is an excellent reference for winter solstice
activities, including suggestions for ceremonies, symbolic herbs
and greenery, and meditations. Be sure to read the 15 Questions
to Ask During Winter Solstice. They're especially thought-
provoking. Planning and carrying out a winter solstice
celebration is a good way to calm and renew your creative spirit.

Winter Solstice

Here's wishing you all a peaceful solstice, a joyous holiday
season, and a very happy new year!

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

IMPROVE YOUR ACCEPTANCE RATE! Tips to lower your rejection stats;
a questionnaire to craft irresistible queries; secrets for
writing online, and more. E-booklets and narrated workshops on
CD-ROMs. Visit http://www.beaconlit.com/beaconli/writerstools.htm



Imagination's Edge, by Paula Fleming
Giving Thanks for Good Markets


Building a Customer Mailing List, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Five Fiction Mistakes that Can Spell Rejection, by Moira Allen
(Expanded from newsletter version)

Negotiating the World of Words, by Brenda Ross

School Bookfairs: A Great Opportunity for Market Research,
by Carol Baldwin

What's Missing in Your Story? by Lynne Remick

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Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, Editor
PO Box 1027, Corvallis, OR 97339-1027
EMAIL: Use online email submission form:
URL: http://www.growingedge.com

The Growing Edge magazine and web site provide the latest news &
information for indoor & outdoor growers, including hobbyists,
educators, researchers, and commercial growers. A moderate to
high level of experience and knowledge is necessary for
successful articles. Some research may be necessary. Actively
seeking writers and photographers. Freelance article inquiries
are encouraged.

Articles should be directly related to high-tech indoor or
outdoor soilless cultivation, including hydroponics, aquaponics,
greenhouse growing, and other related subject areas. Traditional,
soil-based gardening articles will not be considered for
publication. All content-related queries should be addressed to
the editor. New contributors should include two writing samples
(preferably published) and a resume.

LENGTH: No word limit
PAYMENT & RIGHTS: First world serial: 10 cents/word; First
anthology rights: 5 cents/word; Nonexclusive electronic rights: 5
cents/word Total of 20 cents/word possible
SUBMISSIONS: Manuscript format: double-spaced typed; final,
accepted manuscript must be on computer disk (include hard copy);
e-mail is acceptable.
GUIDELINES: http://www.growingedge.com/contributors_info.html


John Amen, Editor-in-Chief
Charlotte, NC
EMAIL: pedestalmagazine[at]aol.com
URL: http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com

As editors of The Pedestal Magazine, we intend to support both
established and burgeoning writers. We are committed to promoting
diversity and celebrating the voice of the individual. We are
currently receiving submissions in the following areas:

Poetry: We are open to a wide variety of poetry, ranging from the
highly experimental to the traditionally formal.

Fiction: We are receptive to fiction of all sorts, including
literary, experimental, science fiction, and fantasy; however our
interests do lean towards works that cross genres, works that do
not readily fall into one specific category.

Non-Fiction: We are open to academic/scholarly works, as well as
works that focus on issues of aesthetics, psychology, philosophy,
and religion.

Submissions are closed during specific periods of the month.
Please see submission guidelines at web site for the dates.

LENGTH: Fiction and nonfiction: up to 6,000 words;
Poetry: No word limit
PAYMENT: Fiction and nonfiction: 5 cents/word;
Poetry: $30 - $60 per poem
RIGHTS: One time rights, all rights revert to author after
REPRINTS: By request only
SUBMISSIONS: Use online submission form:
GUIDELINES: http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/Submit1.asp


Mike Allen, Editor
PO Box 13511, Roanoke, VA 24034-3511
EMAIL: info[at]dnapublications.com
URL: http://www.dnapublications.com/delirium/index.htm

Mythic Delirium uses SF, fantasy, horror and cross-genre poetry.
While any style of poem is fair game, Mythic Delirium is unusual
in that well-done rhymes and/or traditional forms score big with
us. There are no real limitations on length, though most of what
we buy is under 40 lines. We like narrative poetry (which most
genre poetry seems to be anyway) but will happily buy the strange
and surreal so long as meaning doesn't elude us. We also have a
soft spot for dark humor, though that's certainly not a

LENGTH: No word limit
PAYMENT: $5 for poems up to 40 lines, $10 for poems over 40 lines
RIGHTS: FNASR with anthology option
SUBMISSIONS: No email subs. By surface mail with SASE.
GUIDELINES: http://www.dnapublications.com/info/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

Publishing for writers by writers. Fast turnaround, great
service, affordable prices. Payment plan available. Publish your
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your MS.  Critiquing, Line Editing, Submission Assistance.
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This section lists contests that charge no entry fees.  For more
contests (December contests will be added later this week) visit:


                  Brooklyn Short Fiction Contest

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

THEME: Entries must be original, unpublished stories, any genre.
Please, only one entry per author; multiple entries will
disqualify all entries by that author. Do not send duplicate or
"corrected" manuscripts once your entry has been submitted.
Winners and top stories will be published in our, as of now,
untitled and mostly imaginary magazine.

Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, in standard format
except that no identification of the author should appear on the
manuscript pages. Include a 25-word biography of yourself with
contact information (name and email address).

PRIZE: First prize: $100

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Preferred, as a file attachment either plain
text (.txt) or MS Word (.doc) format

ADDRESS: Short Fiction Contest, c/o Jon and Steve, 429 Sterling
Place #3L, Brooklyn, NY 11238

EMAIL: sterling3l[at]yahoo.com
URL: http://www.geocities.com/sterling3l/


          L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest

DEADLINE: December 31, 2002 (Quarterly competition)
GENRE: Short fiction, novelette
OPEN TO: All who have not professionally published [more than
5,000 copies] a novel or short novel, or more than 3 short
stories, or more than 1 novelette in any medium.
LENGTH: 17,000 words maximum

THEME: All types of science-fiction, fantasy and horror with
fantastic elements are welcome [but]... we regret we cannot
consider poetry or works intended for children. Excessive
violence or sex will result in disqualification.

PRIZES: Quarterly prizes - 1st $1,000; 2nd $750; 3rd $500; annual
grand prize of $4,000; all winners published in annual anthology.


ADDRESS: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of The Future Contest,
PO Box 1630, Los Angeles, CA 90078

E-MAIL: contests[at]authorservicesinc.com

URL: http://www.writersofthefuture.com


            7th Annual Erma Bombeck Writing Competition

DEADLINE: January 13, 2003
GENRE: Humourous essay
LENGTH: 450 words or less

THEME: Erma Bombeck inspired people worldwide with her columns
and books about life's trials and tribulations. What is a
personal essay? According to Phillip Lopate in The Art of the
Personal Essay, the personal essay "deals lightly, often
humorously, with personal experiences, opinions, and prejudices,
stressing especially the unusual or novel in attitude and having
to do with the various aspects of everyday life." See web site
for previous year's winning essays.

Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Humor and Human

PRIZE:  First prizes: $100 and publication in Dayton Daily News,
Centerville-Bellbrook Times, and online on Washington-Centerville
Public Library and University of Dayton Web sites; Second prizes:
$50; Third prizes: $25

ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, please use online entry form:

URL: http://www.wcpl.lib.oh.us/adults/erma.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


The Business of Conquest, by Tom Maurer

The Complete Guide to Writing Fantasy, edited by Tom Dullemond
   and Darin Parks

Heir Apparent, by Twist Phelan

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