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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 6:03          16,000 subscribers             March 2, 2006

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	From the Editor's Desk
	NEWS from the World of Writing
		by Dawn Copeman
	FEATURE: Seek and Ye Shall Find
		by Moira Allen
	The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
	WRITING DESK: What Is an Assignment and How Do I Get One?
		by Moira Allen
	FEATURE: The Beginner's Guide To... Show don't tell
		by Dawn Copeman
	WHAT'S NEW at Writing World
	WRITING CONTESTS with no entry fees
	The Author's Bookshelf

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                     FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Milestones and Achievements
We have two achievements to crow over this month: We've finally
reached 16,000 subscribers -- and we made it into the Writers'
Digest "Top 101 Websites for Writers" for 2005! The last time we
made the list was 2001.  I'd be cheering even harder, if it
weren't for the rather odd listing that we received: According
to WD, "This site makes it easy to take writing classes with its no
meeting/no schedule approach."  The same listing ran in 2001, and
made just about as much sense then.  So I'll make up my own blurb:

Writing-World.com is THE place for writers to start their search
for information on just about any aspect of the writing and
publishing business, with more than 600 free articles online,
nearly 1000 links to other writing-related sites and resources, a
database of writing contests, and a free monthly newsletter.
(Sorry, no writing classes!)

For information on the rest of WD's top 101 picks, visit

Looking for E-books?
We've just revamped our "electronic bookstore" and added a new
e-book: "The Freelancer's Guide to Finding Writing Markets," by
Gary McLaren, editor of Worldwide Freelance Writer.  This isn't
just a list of writing markets; it's a guide to how to locate
markets, and includes:

* 60 Online Market Databases and Directories
* 30 Writers' Newsletters With Regular Market Listings
* 60 Publication Directories, some listing over 100,000
* 24 Books (e.g. Writer's Market)
* 13 eBooks
* Plus magazines, columns, freelance marketplaces, sites with
  freelance writing job postings and more!

We're also listing, of course, my own new e-book, "How to Write
for Magazines."  This book is a complete "writing course in a
bottle," so to speak -- nine full-length lectures that are
designed to walk you through every step in the process of getting
that first magazine article published.  Don't know what to write
about? The chapter on finding and developing ideas will solve
that problem.  Don't know where to find the right market?  This
book shows you how to evaluate a market and how to determine
which of several seemingly similar publications may be the
"right" one for you.  Read an excerpt on how to conduct online
research below!

The "bookstore" also offers my "Writer's Guide to Queries,
Pitches and Proposals," and the first edition of "Writing.com:
Creative Internet Strategies to Advance Your Writing Career."  We
have officially discontinued the Writing-World.com market guides
and "2000 Online Resources for Writers," though both of these
resources are provided free with "How to Write for Magazines."

Stop by the bookstore at

                                         -- Moira Allen, Editor


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New Trademark Bill has implications for writers
A new bill, currently being considered by Congress, will prevent
your character from drinking Coke, Xeroxing documents or eating
Hershey bars.  According to the Author's Guild, this bill, known
as H.R. 683, would drop express protection for "noncommercial
use" of a trademark and would weaken the protections for those
who use trademarks in news commentary. Until now, writers and
journalists have had the ability to write about trademarked
products without incurring liability -- i.e., your character
could drink a Coke while revving his Harley with his Nikes,
without you, the author, risking being sued by any of the holders
of the trademarks for those products.  Should such protections be
removed, you'll have to imagine your character sipping a
"carbonated beverage" while revving his unidentified "hog" with
his "athletic shoes." The bill has already passed the House and
has now passed on to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  For more

Initiative to help reluctant readers
Today, March 2, is World Book Day in Britain and as well as
handing out the usual 1-off vouchers to schoolchildren, this
year the Brits are using the event to improve adult literacy.
Today sees the launch of Quick Reads - a series of twelve fiction
and nonfiction books, specially written or amended by their
authors, that are aimed at reluctant and emerging readers. It is
being billed as "one of the most exciting developments on the
literary scene for years." The authors who will be published in
Quick Reads in March are: Ruth Rendell, Minette Walters, Maeve
Binchy, Tom Holt, Joanna Trollope, John Bird, Richard Branson,
Matthew Reilly, Conn Iggulden, Rowan Coleman, Patrick Augustus,
and Mick Dennis and the Football Premier League. A further twelve
Quick Reads titles will be published in May and the authors
involved include Andy McNab, Val McDermid and Hunter Davies,
among others. Quick Reads will be supported with a massive
marketing campaign and five million 1-off discount vouchers are
being handed out to encourage reluctant readers to buy one of
the books. For more information visit:

Novelist Idol launched by the Arts Council of England
If you want to win a publishing contract, what do you do?  Write
your standard three chapters and a synopsis, send it out to
agents and wait, or take part in YouWriteOn? Many budding
novelists are now doing the latter.  They simply join the free
site, upload their chapters and wait for reviews. Each chapter is
sent randomly to another member to review and rate and the two
best rated works each month become 'bestsellers', which are then
sent to literary professionals to be critiqued.  The highest
rated book of the year will be published by YouWriteOn, which is
sponsored by the Arts Council of England, but all novelists
taking part can self-publish through the site. If you want to
join in the 'fun', visit http://www.youwriteon.com/

Canadian Books in Print Ceases Publication
At the end of January 2006, Canadian Books in Print ceased
publication with its 2006 edition.  In future, R.R. Bowker,
which produces the American edition of Books in Print, will
including information on Canadian publishers.  To have your
publishing information included, contact Tricia McCraney,
Bowker's Canadian contact person, at (416) 996-0672 or

E-Textbooks Slow to Catch On
According to a recent CNN article, college students aren't
embracing e-textbooks at the rate that many publishers expected.
Among the drawbacks: students can't highlight important points,
make marginal notes, or sell back the books at the end of the
term.  Many e-texts are even encrypted to prevent sharing; those
from Thomson Corp., for example, expire in one year and prohibit
the printing of more than 100 pages a week.  The high cost of
e-textbooks is also a disincentive for students.  "A lot of
people's perceptions is that e-books... can't cost publishers
anything," says Ginny Moffat of McGraw-Hill. "Most of the
publisher's cost is not in paper, printing and binding. Most of
it is in editorial, reviewing content, making sure it's
accurate." [Editor's note: This must come as a bit of a shock to
authors, who have always been told by publishers that the reason
for their puny royalties is the high cost of paper, printing,
binding and so forth...] Still, publishers hope that e-textbooks
will eventually catch on, as they offer a number of potential
features that can't be found in print books, such as the ability
to be quickly updated with new information, or the ability to
include built-in electronic tools such as calculators,
spreadsheets, or even videos. "Students are going to have to see
more value in e-textbooks before they take off," said Larry Carr,
director of bookstores and services for Brown University. For
more information, see http://tinyurl.com/aym6o


THE WRITE STUFF CONFERENCE in Allentown, PA, April 7-8, 2006.
Keynote: Award-winning investigative journalist Stephen Fried. 17
sessions: fiction, business writing, journalism, childrens.  Meet
agents, editors, authors. http://www.glvwg.org/conference.


                     by Dawn Copeman (DawnCopeman"at"Write-away.biz)

Last month, as you may recall, we were asked by our inquiring
writer for tips on how to conduct research quickly.  She wondered
if there were any "research tips, shortcuts or links that are
especially helpful to writers" as she seemed to be spending
"hours" to come up with the information she needed.

Not everyone was sympathetic towards this problem.  Many of you
wrote to say that the amount of time we have to devote to
research now is nothing compared to how long it took before the
Internet came to our aid.

E. Masters, who writes assigned topics for a group that provides
SATS, says that "The topics are often arcane and I have no
background for writing them. Google saves the day!

"Before Google, maybe even before the Internet, I took a half day
to drive to the library and pick out books, did some research at
the library on reference books that couldn't be taken home, then
drove home and read through the checked-out books. I typed out
what I'd found and went to the corner copy shop to copy the
pertinent pages for fact verification. Next day, I'd drive to the
library to return the books. So spending a few hours on the
Internet doing the research pales by comparison."

Many of you wrote in with tips on how to use the Internet more
effectively, but Moira covers this in great detail in her article
below, so I won't repeat them here.

An anonymous responder told me about a great research site where
you can search several encyclopedias, newspapers and periodicals,
and look for experts on your topic all at once.  I've listed it
in the Write Sites below.

But all of you said that you actually enjoyed your research.
Another respondent, who wishes to remain nameless, said:
"Research is fundamental to writing, whether fiction or
nonfiction. Personally, I love it, as whenever I'm researching
for one article, I find I soon have ideas for a few more."

Or as Masters puts it: "Just look at it as armchair travel. When
I wrote my three historical fictions, I spent weeks in the
library reading the 'oral histories' (monographs) collected by
various university students from those still alive from the era
when my books take place (1896). Fascinating! It opened up a
whole new world to me, which I put in my books."

And it is Masters' books that lead us onto this month's question,
which considers the writer/agent relationship. I know Peggy did a
series of columns on whether or not writers needed agents to sell
their work (see the newsletter archive at
http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/2005/WW05-24.shtml). But
these columns didn't address Masters' problem, which is thus:
"I've had bad experiences with three different literary agents.
Has anyone had a really good experience with an agent? Is the
agent taking on new authors? What's the name?"

There are three aspects to this request and I would be happy to
hear from you on any of them. Firstly, does anyone have any
positive tales to tell with regards to dealings with agents?
Secondly, what about the agents' side of the story; are there any
agents out there who would like to give tips to writers on how to
get the most from their relationship with their agent? Thirdly,
does anyone know of any agents who are actively seeking new

Send your responses to DawnCopeman"at"Write-Away.biz, subject line


Dawn Copeman is a freelance writer based in England.  She is the
editor of http://www.newbie-writers.com a site for new and
aspiring writers as well as a contributing editor and columnist
at http://www.timetravel-britain.com. Visit her website at

Copyright (c) 2006 by Dawn Copeman


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                                                   by Moira Allen

Thanks to the Internet, writers today have a huge advantage over
writers of a decade ago (or even of five years ago) when it comes
to conducting research.  The power of this tool to streamline
your research process should not be underestimated.  What might
have taken hours to find in a library (if you could find it at
all) may now be available in minutes with a well-planned online

The Internet also puts experts around the world at your
fingertips. Often, all you need to do is find an "official" site
on a particular topic, and look for names of people associated
with that site.  For example, when I was working on an article on
"Cancer in Cats", I searched for "animal cancer" centers, and was
able to locate the names of several specialists.  The fact that
they were on the opposite side of the country didn't matter, as I
could ask them questions via e-mail.

Search engines are marvelous tools.  Recently, I was retyping an
article that I'd written 20 years ago, and had just resold.  I
came across a quote that had no attribution.  I knew it came from
a book -- but what book?  The article was 20 years old!  On a
whim, I typed the first five words of the quote into Google, and
Whammo! Up popped the page from The Golden Bough (which can be
found on Bartleby.com) from which I'd taken that quote.
("Whammo" is a tech-term for "search term found.")

On the other hand, they can be frustrating.  Suppose you wanted
to write an article about "cat care."  What would you enter?
"Cats"? I'd hate to see what would come up in that case --
probably 25 million hits, most of them not useful.  "Cat care"
might be a bit better, but not much. A very big part of the
process is defining effective search terms.

Knowing How to Search
First, let me give you a quick course on how to search.  My
favorite search engine is Google.  You can search for single
words, phrases, or combinations of words on most search engines.
You can also exclude words.  Each search engine has its own
format for some of these tricks. Fortunately, where once you had
to actually indicate that you wanted all the words listed in your
search term, today's search engines assume this.  Thus, if you
enter a search for "cats nutrition kittens," you will receive
only those results that include all the terms you listed.  It is
also possible to exclude a term from your search results.  For
example, if you wanted to search for limericks (the poetic form)
and not receive results on the town of Limerick, Ireland, you
could enter (in Google) the search criteria "limerick -Ireland"
to exclude sites that include the word "Ireland."  (Of course,
that would also rule out Irish limericks...)

If you want to search on a specific term or phrase (more than one
word in a specific order), put that phrase in quotation marks.
Let's say you wanted to find the speech that included the phrase,
"Now is the time for all good men..."  You could easily put that
phrase in quotes and enter it.  (On Google, you could even put it
in without quotes and have a pretty good chance of finding what
you want, but quotes make it more certain.)

It's also possible to refine a search even further (at least on
some engines) by specifying where a term should be found.  You
can specify that you want it to be found in the URL, or in some
other part of the document.  You can often specify a range of
dates for your search -- that you want documents within a
particular time frame (e.g., December 2005) or no documents prior
to January 2004.  All of these tricks can help refine a search.

Choosing Search Terms
But the real trick is determining what to search for.  Choosing
effective search terms is half the battle (if not all the
battle). Your goal is to find the most relevant sites while
excluding as many sites as possible that are not relevant.

Another goal may be to find sites that fit a particular profile.
For example, when I was researching cancer in cats, I didn't want
to find personal websites about "my beloved cat who died of
cancer".  I wanted to find medical sites.  To do this, I asked
myself what how a veterinarian would refer to the subject -- and
the answer was "feline oncology."  I searched on "cancer" and
"cats" as well, but the veterinary term was more useful in
pulling up more professional sites.

Another way to look at a search term is to ask, "If I were
writing an article on this topic, how would I phrase it?"  In
this case, "cancer in cats" struck me as a likely phrase that
would be used in an article on this subject, so I searched on
that and found a great deal of useful information.  Similarly,
more recently I wanted to discover the "causes of seizures in
cats" and searched on that precise phrase, and immediately found
what I was looking for. If you are searching for "17th century
costumes," use exactly that term -- it's bound to turn up in any
article or site covering the topic.

If you have a very specific piece of information you're looking
for, try the most specific term you can think of.  If you want to
learn the planetary mass of Jupiter, try entering ["planetary
mass" Jupiter], where "planetary mass" is within the quotes to
indicate that you want these words to occur together, while
Jupiter is outside the quotes to indicate that you want this word
to appear in the same document.  Or, you could enter "planetary
mass of Jupiter" -- this will exclude sites about Jupiter that
don't give the technical information you want.

Keep in mind that search engines are specific.  They can't
"guess" or provide information that is "close." They can only
find exactly what you input. Spelling your search terms correctly
is important. (Google will sometimes ask you if you meant a
different spelling, if it finds a term that seems close to the
one you're searching on.)  Another thing to keep in mind is that
different countries have different spellings. If you're American,
consider using a British spelling for a search term to find
non-U.S. sites; conversely, if you use British spellings,
consider testing American variations.  If you're searching for
information on a particular date in history, remember that while
the U.S. usage would be "May 4, 2001," the European usage is more
likely to be "4 May 2001".  You can also search for information
in another language, and search for images.

Moving Beyond Search Engines
Search engines are not the only way to find information online.
Far from it!  They're just a great place to start.  I don't have
space (or energy) to get into all the different ways that you can
track down information online, but here are some other

1) Newspapers.  If you're researching a story or article that
relates to a particular area, or local events, or an area's
history, you might find it useful to check the newspaper archives
for that area. Some newspapers put only their current issues
online, but others are building extensive archives.  You'll find
a list of newspaper directory sites at

2) "Gateway" sites.  If you want to find the best references on a
topic, go find someone who has made that topic their specialty.
That site is likely to have the best links to the best references
-- far better than what you'll turn up on a search.  The way to
start your search is by plugging terms into a search engine;
typically, if you're lucky, that will take you to one or two
really good sites on the topic, from which you can explore the
links those site hosts have selected as "the best."  I've found
that many of the links I find on such sites never do turn up in
my search-engine search.

3) Webrings. You can find a lot of information through webrings.
When you find a useful site, scroll to the bottom of the page,
and see if it is linked into a webring that seems relevant to
your research topic.  Some webrings have a "list" link that lets
you view all the members of that ring. This gives you a way to
locate other sites on the same topic.

4) Databases.  Information in databases will not always turn up
on an ordinary search; database pages can't always be "spidered"
by web-search robots (though search engines are getting better at
this all the time).  Thus, there's a huge amount of information
online that can only be found if you know where to find the
databases.  What you can do is use a search engine to find
databases.  Try this by typing in a search term that you'd like
to find information on, plus the term "database."

Checking the Facts
While the Internet is a great source of information, it's also
important to make sure that the information you find is accurate.
No one is monitoring this stuff, and there's lots of false or
inaccurate information online.

The best guide to accuracy is common sense.  When you visit a
website, ask yourself if this appears to be a professional site
that seems reliable.  Is the material presented in a professional
manner? I'm very wary of sites in which text is presented in
huge, bold type, with lots of exclamation points or caps.  Which
would you feel was more reliable?

	Ernest Shackleton died on January 5, 1922.

	Shackleton DIED TRAGICALLY on January 5, 1922!!

Both statements are true, but I'd be more inclined to trust a
website that doesn't seem to be making some sort of emotional
point.  (If you search on "Shackleton" and "died", you'll find at
least one website that states that he died on January 4 -- a good
example of why it's wise to crosscheck information.  In this
case, since a dozen sites say "January 5," I'm inclined to
believe the majority.)

Is the site trying to push an agenda, prove a point, persuade you
to a particular view, or badmouth the opposition?  In any of
these cases, be cautious about the information you find there.
Is it obviously trying to sell a product?  I'm always wary of any
"medical" information that is associated with a site that is
trying to promote some sort of vitamin or supplement, or
someone's book on an "overlooked treatment," etc.

Early articles on "evaluating online information" used a sort of
conventional wisdom that recommended .org or .edu sites over
.coms, but this wisdom is flawed.  Anyone can get a .com, .org,
or .net site -- you don't have to prove that you are an
organization (or whatever) to use that suffix.  Many of the best
information sites on the web are .coms.  Conversely, many .org
sites belong to organizations with specific agendas -- which
means that their information may be biased or one-sided.  A .edu
site does not mean that a site is "sponsored" by a university
(and therefore, presumably, scrutinized for accuracy); it simply
means that the site is hosted by that university's server.  It
could be run by a student or a faculty member -- and it may have
no scrutiny whatsoever.  So site suffixes are not a way to judge
the value of a site's information.

The Bible tells us, "seek and ye shall find," and on the
Internet, if you seek, you're bound to find SOMETHING.  It may
not be precisely what you're looking for, but it's certain to be
interesting, and may lead you in directions you never imagined
when you started your research.  Of course, that's also one of
the Internet's biggest hazards; if we're not careful, we can get
sucked into the fascination of "seeking" and spend our entire day
"Googling" instead of writing!


Excerpted from "How to Write for Magazines," by Moira Allen.
Available http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml or


Moira Allen has been writing and editing professionally for more
than 20 years, and has written several books on writing,
including "Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer" and "The
Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals."  Her most
recent book is "How to Write for Magazines," now available in
print from  http://www.lulu.com/content/223245 or as an e-book at
http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml.  Download a sample
chapter at http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/magsample.pdf

Copyright (c) 2006 by Moira Allen

For more articles on how to conduct effective research go to:


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Radio Inteview Promotion Tips
A comprehensive selection of articles on radio interviews by
Bryan Farrish -- how to get them, prepare for them, conduct them,
and much more.

Bill Hammon's List of Literary Agents
A lengthy list of agents, with information on what books those
agents have represented.

Duotrope's Digest of Fiction Fields
A free, searchable database of over 500 fiction and poetry
markets. All listings are checked at least once a week to ensure
the database is as up-to-date as possible.  Also, it offers
deadline calendars, response time statistics, and submissions

Guide to Grammar and Writing
This site is an excellent, free way of improving your grammar.
It contains advice on grammar as well as many interactive
exercises for you to try.

BBC "Get Writing" Minicourses
A range of free, online, creative writing courses taught by
creative writing tutors from British universities.  The courses
run at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels and cover most
fiction genres.

This is a must-visit research source! This site not only offers
access to a wide range of encyclopedias and dictionaries, but
also enables you to search through thousands of newspapers and
periodicals, find quotations and even ask other people.


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                                                  by Moira Allen

What Is An Assignment and How Do I Get One?

Q: My question is this: how as a new freelance writer would I go
about getting an assignment and what is it?  Is it the result of
the query you'd send out to pitch an idea?

A: The term "assignment" can actually apply to several different
things. One way it can be applied is when you submit a query, and
the editor simply says "yes" to your article -- this constitutes
an "assignment."  In this case, you have initiated the job by
sending a query.

For a response to a query to actually be an "assignment,"
however, the editor has to really say YES -- as in, "Yes, if you
write this article, I will buy it."  The term "assignment" has a
certain contractual obligation -- the editor is guaranteeing to
purchase the "assigned" article.  Only if the article is really,
really bad or does not live up to the promise of the query can
the editor reject it.  For example, let's say that you promised
to interview three specific experts in your article, and that you
would deliver an article that was 2500 words long and covered
five specific points. When you actually submit the article, you
only interviewed one expert, the article was 1500 words long, and
it only covered two of the five topics you promised.  In that
situation, the editor could reject the article even if it was
"assigned."  If, however, you managed to interview two out of
three experts, got all the information you promised, and
delivered an article of about the length that you had promised,
an editor would be hard-put to reject the piece.

Because an "assignment" really IS a contractual agreement, many
editors won't actually give assignments to authors they haven't
worked with in the past.  Instead, they will respond to a query
with a "yes on speculation" request.  That is, they agree to look
at your article, but they are NOT guaranteeing to buy it.  They
can still reject it if they decide it doesn't meet their
standards.  Most editors (indeed, any editor with any sense at
all) will not give assignments to someone they've never worked
with, because we all know that many writers can promise a great
deal in a query -- but fail to deliver in the final article!

Another type of assignment, which may be the kind you are
thinking of, is the kind initiated by the editor rather than the
writer.  In this case, the editor comes up with an article idea
and "assigns" it to a writer.  In most cases, an editor will only
give this kind of assignment to writers they have worked with in
the past -- i.e., writers that they know are reliable, can
handle the assigned task, and who will deliver a good, solid

Again, this is a contractual agreement -- the editor is saying,
"I want you to write an article on THIS topic, and I guarantee to
pay for it."  Only if the writer REALLY fails to deliver can the
editor reject an assigned piece like this.  That, obviously, is
one reason why editors only give this type of assignments to
writers they know!

The way to get assignments like this is to develop a relationship
with an editor at a particular publication.  You start by sending
in queries and getting one or two articles accepted.  Look for a
publication that covers a subject that you feel you'd be able to
write about often.  For example, if your expertise is parenting,
start building a relationship with two or three parenting
magazines.  As soon as an editor accepts ONE idea from you,
query them on something else, so that you keep your name and your
work "in front of them."

When your work is accepted, watch to see what the editor does
with it.  Do you find that the editor comes back to you for lots
of revisions?  Does the article get substantially revised before
it is printed?  If the answer is no -- if your work is being run
pretty much as you wrote it -- then this means that you are the
sort of writer the editor will like working with.  The editor
knows that you're a "low-work" writer -- i.e., they don't have to
do a lot of work to your articles to "fix them."  That's EXACTLY
the sort of writer editors want for future assignments.

After you've sold two or three articles to an editor, let them
know that you would be interested in taking on assignments.  Send
a letter explaining that as the editor is familiar with your
work, you would like to be considered for article assignments
generated by the editor.  You might list a range of
qualifications or topic areas that you feel particularly
qualified to cover for the magazine.  Then -- sit back and wait!

Not all magazines do assignments.  Some just accept whatever
comes in from freelancers.  Other magazines, however, work almost
entirely with assignments, generating most of their article ideas
in-house. And some fall somewhere in between -- they may generate
two or three ideas per issue in-house, and pull the rest from the
freelance pile.

In some cases, you could actually get an assignment based on your
first query to a publication.  For example, you might send in a
query that impresses the editor and is very close to an idea
they'd like to cover -- but maybe they want something a little
different.  So they may write back and ask if you would like to
do the assigned idea instead. If at all possible, SAY YES!
Nothing helps build a relationship with an editor like being able
to take on assignments (especially on short notice).


Write from Life, but Change the Names!
Who Owns the Articles I Paid for?
What Happens to Review Copies?
How Long Should You Keep Supporting Material?


Copyright (c) 2006 by Moira Allen


     Spoken Books Publishing is now accepting submissions
     for inclusion in their audio book publishing program.
      For a complete explanation of how the program works
           visit http://www.spokenbookspublishing.com


                                                  by Dawn Copeman

Writing books always tell us that it is vital that we "show,
don't tell," but then they don't explain what that phrase
actually means. So here's a beginner's guide to "show, don't

"Show, don't tell" means just what it says.  Show the reader
through your words what you want them to see; don't just tell
them about it.

The idea is if you tell someone something, they might remember it
and they might believe it. If you show them it, so that they can
see it in their own mind's eye, they are more likely to remember
it and, more importantly, to believe it.

To learn how to use "show, don't tell." read the rest of the
article here:

For more advice on improving your fiction writing skills visit:


Freelancer's Guide to Finding Writing Markets", by Gary McLaren,
isn't just a list of markets, but a guide to how to find those
markets, including 60 online databases, 30 newsletters, 37 market
books and e-books, 60 publication directories and more!  Now
available through Writing-World.com at



The Writing Desk, by Moira Allen
	Write from Life, but Change the Names!
	Who Owns the Articles I Paid for?
	What Happens to Review Copies?
	How Long Should You Keep Supporting Material?

The Beginner's Guide to... by Dawn Copeman
	Showing, not Telling

Entitlement: Choosing the Right Name for Your Story
by John Floyd

Imagine "Boys' Life" billed as "Youth Experiences."  Or
"Nightline" as Ted's Late News Roundup." Loses a little
something, right?  And it's hard to picture 007 introducing
himself as "Dinkins.  Arnold Dinkins."

The same thing applies to story titles.  An enjoyable short story
or novel might never get read by the public (or, more to the
point, by an editor or agent) if the title doesn't do its job.
In the publishing world, a good title is like a good opening
paragraph: it should be interesting.  It should attract the
reader's attention.  At the very least, it should be appropriate
to the rest of the piece.

And remember this, too: the title will be what represents your
work to the rest of the world, now and forever.  When people see
your story in bookstores or in an anthology, take it the beach
with them, and talk about it to their friends the next day, the
first thing they'll read or speak will be the words in your
title.  Choose it wisely...

Read the rest of this article at


Sign Your Way to Sales: Maximizing Success at a Booksigning
by Carolyn Campbell

Holding a book signing is a way to both publicize and sell your
book. One first-time author used to think that when she became
well-known, bookstores would call her to ask her to sign books at
their stores. When she published her first book, she quickly
realized that she herself needed to schedule the signings in
hopes of becoming well-known and in demand sometime in the
future. There's no place for being shy in the book selling
business, says Richard Paul Evans, whose self-published book, The
Christmas Box, has sold more than eight million copies with the
help of his self-promotion efforts. The more proactive you are in
all aspects of holding a book signing, the more likely you are to
achieve success, receive free publicity and sell more books.

Read the rest of this article at


A Smorgasbord of Markets
by Penny Ehrenkranz

Are you hungry for fresh markets?  Are you tired of print
editions of market directories that are stale two months after
you purchase them?  If you have access to the Internet, then you
will be delighted to know that there is a smorgasbord of market
resources you can access online for free or relatively low cost.

Read the rest of this article at

RECOMMENDED WRITING CLASSES: Freelancing for Newspapers, by
Sue Fagalde Lick.  8 weeks, $100; enroll at any time!
	(This class is recommended by Writing-World.com)
RECOMMENDED WRITING CLASSES: Fundamentals of Fiction, by Marg
Gilks. 8 weeks, $150; enroll at any time!
	(This class is recommended by Writing-World.com)

This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. For more
contests, check our online contests section.


Food and Fiction Writing Contest

DEADLINE: April 21, 2006
GENRE: 	  Fiction
OPEN TO:  Subscribers to Food Writing - but this is free
LENGTH:  500 words
THEME:	 Food must play a central role.
PRIZE:   3 prizes of $50 plus publication
ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, submission by email only.
URL:   http://www.food-writing.com/pages/6/index.htm
EMAIL: FoodandFiction"at"yahoo.com


Celebrate Africa

DEADLINE: April 30, 2006
GENRE: 	   Nonfiction
LENGTH:   1000 - 1500 words
THEME:  Write about Africa. Don't be afraid to mention the
inadequacies but focus more on the best of Africa in Sports,
Nature, People, Economies, Success stories, anything you can
think of.
PRIZE: 25 winning entries to be published as a collection
URL:  http://jjafricanmedia.blog.co.uk
EMAIL: jjafricanmedia"at"yahoo.com


Cafe Poetica's Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: March 31, 2006
GENRE:  Poetry
OPEN TO: Cafe Poetica members, but membership is free.
PRIZES: $25.
URL: http://www.poemtrain.com


          National Press Club (NPC) Awards

DEADLINE: April 1, 2006
GENRE: Journalism
OPEN TO: Professional journalists
LENGTH: No word length requirements
THEME: For works published in the previous calendar year in
11 award categories
PRIZES: Awards range from $500-$2000
ADDRESS: General Manager's Office, National Press Club, National
Press Building, Washington, DC 20045
URL: http://npc.press.org/programs/npcawards.cfm


         Paterson Fiction Prize

DEADLINE: April 1, 2006
GENRE: Fiction novel, or collection
OPEN TO: Fiction published in 2005
LENGTH: No word length requirements
THEME: For a novel or collection of short fiction which, in the
opinion of the judges, is the strongest work of fiction published
in 2005.
PRIZE: $1000
ADDRESS: Maria Maziotti Gillan, Executive Director, Poetry
Center, Passaic County Community College, One College Boulevard,
Paterson, NJ 07505-1179
URL: http://www.pccc.cc.nj.us/poetry/Prize/index.html


          Wergle Flomp Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: April 1, 2006
GENRE: Humor poetry
LENGTH: No word limit

THEME: Find a vanity poetry contest, a contest whose main purpose
is to appeal to poets' egos and get them to buy expensive
products like anthologies, chapbooks, CDs, plaques, and silver
bowls.Make up a deliberately absurd, crazy, laugh-out-loud
parody poem that pokes fun at vanity contests and what they do.
Submit your parody poem to a vanity contest as a joke. After
you're done, submit your parody poem to us, and tell us which
vanity contest you sent it to as a joke.

PRIZES: 1st Prize: $1,190.70; 2nd Prize: $169; 3rd Prize: $60; 5
Honorable Mentions: $38 each; plus all winners and honorable
mentions will be published at WinningWriters.com
ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, use online entry form
EMAIL: flompcontest"at"winningwriters.com
URL: http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/we_guidelines.php


          Foley Poetry Award

DEADLINE: April 18, 2006
GENRE: Poetry
LENGTH: 30 lines or fewer
THEME: America, the National Catholic Weekly, sponsors the annual
contest in honor of William T. Foley, M.D. Submit only one poem.
PRIZE: $1,000
ADDRESS: Foley Poetry Contest, America, 106 West 56th Street,
New York, NY 10019-3803
URL: http://www.americamagazine.org/poetry.cfm



Have you just had a book published?  If so, let the readers of
Writing World know: just click on the link below to list your

by Saul Silas Fathi


MEDLEY OF MURDER, edited by Susan Budavan and Suzanne Flag

TEN YEARS RUNNING, by Mary Johnsen

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Editor/Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (writing-world"at"cox.net)
Newsletter Managing Editor:
DAWN COPEMAN (DawnCopeman"at"write-away.biz)

Copyright 2006 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.

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