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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 6:09          16,500 subscribers          September 7, 2006
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 From the Editor's Desk
 NEWS from the World of Writing
    by Dawn Copeman
 FEATURE: Bread and Butter Markets
    by Moira Allen.
 The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
 WRITING DESK: Where Do I Find Markets that Pay?
    by Moira Allen
 BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO... Article Structure, Part 2 - Focus
    by Dawn Copeman
 WHAT'S NEW at Writing World
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                     FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Prophets Without Honor

I confess that I haven't been diligent in coming up with
editorials for my "Coffee on the Deck" column.  However, it has,
um, "dawned" on me that I need look no farther than Dawn
Copeman's question of the month for inspiration!  Every time I
read one of her questions, I feel like shooting my hand up, like
Hermione in a Harry Potter movie: "Ooh, ooh, I know, I know!"
And I promise myself that I'll write a response and send it to
her -- a promise I invariably forget until the next issue and the
next question.

So I will try to do better!  For the issue Dawn raised this month
is one that I'm sure a great many of us have experienced, and
wonder how to handle.  Nor is the answer always straightforward,
as many of us may also have discovered.

Why is it so hard to convince our family and friends that our
writing is "serious business" rather than just a hobby or a
passing phase?  For starters, I suspect that many of us, without
realizing it, are suffering from the "prophet without honor"
syndrome.  This comes from the passage in Matthew (Matt 5:55-56)
in which Jesus is preaching in his hometown.  His listeners begin
to mutter, "Isn't this the carpenter's son?  Isn't his mother's
name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and
Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us?  Where then did this man
get all these things?"

In other words, prophets (and writers) are generally regarded as
extraordinary people.  They are exalted, special, unusual,
possibly rare and strange.  They are not like you and I; they
don't dwell upon the same plane.  Conversely, our nearest and
dearest (like Jesus' friends and townsfolk) know EXACTLY how
ordinary we are; they know that you and I are, in fact, JUST like
you and I.  We're not different or exalted; the air doesn't
shimmer around us as we speak.  Our families "knew us when;" as
my mother-in-law often sighs when my husband tries to explain
some aspect of his job, "I remember him in his blue pajamas."

It's hard to be impressed by someone that you keep visualizing in
blue pajamas!  I suspect that our families can't even imagine
"real writers" as ever having worn blue pajamas.  It's hard to
imagine a Great Author like Stephen King cleaning up cat puke, or
perhaps standing in front of the open refrigerator drinking milk
from the carton.  But our families have seen us doing things
every bit as mundane and humdrum.  They know where we live, and
how often we dust the furniture; they know what we drive and how
rarely we clean out the back seat; they know what we wear, what
we eat, and how often we belch.

In short, there can be a vast disconnect between your nonwriting
relatives' view of "A Real Writer" (extraordinary, exalted, not
like one of us) and "my sister who writes" (who, HER?).  They
simply can't make the mental leap between the kid in blue pajamas
and the next Stephen King.  My brother-in-law, for example,
occasionally tries to "compliment" me on my writing: When reading
my holiday newsletter, he will invariably turn to me, put on a
huge condescending smile, and exclaim, "You know, you write very
well, young lady!"  I think he imagines that I'm just going to
melt into a puddle of gratitude at the praise.  Instead, I have
to fight the urge to smack him!

But then, perhaps one reason I want to smack him is because, so
far as I know, the holiday newsletter is the only thing of mine
he has ever read -- and he's not the only member of my family who
hasn't bothered to crack the cover of one of my books.  And this
may be another cause for the lack of "honor" we find in our

Most of us who write are also readers -- often avid, voracious
readers.  We love to be swept away in a good book -- and as
writers, we understand how much effort goes into creating that
book.  We feel a certain respect, if not awe, toward our own
favorite authors, for even though we know that they, too,
probably have to clean up the cat puke, we also know what it
takes to do what they do.  In short, as readers, we admire
writers, because we understand what it takes to BE a writer.

But what if your family and friends aren't readers?  A friend
once came to my home and stared in awe, or perhaps horror, at our
floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.  "You don't actually READ all those
books, do you?" she asked.  I felt like replying, "Um, no, we
just keep them for insulation."  I knew that an honest answer --
yes, we've read many of them, and we've kept others for
reference, and there are others that we haven't read yet but will
someday -- wouldn't have made any sense to her.  And I wonder
what she would have thought if she could have seen a pile of all
the books that we HAVE read over the years.

But if a person doesn't regard books, or reading, as a
particularly important or worthwhile activity, then that person
isn't likely to regard WRITING as a particularly important or
worthwhile occupation.  If a person thinks of books as oddities,
things that appeal only to four-eyed nerds, then the fact that
you write them isn't going to cut any ice in your household.
You're going to get about the same reaction you'd be likely to
get if you introduced your latest boyfriend, the tattoo artist --
an occupation I confess to having held in some degree of scorn
until I realized that, whatever I may think of tattooing,
"artist" is indeed the operative term.

Whether our nearest and dearest are readers or nonreaders,
however, yet another issue many of us face is the question of
WHAT we write.  Whenever I tell someone that I'm a writer, almost
invariably the first question out of their mouths is "Oh, what
books have you written?"  By that, of course, they mean "what
famous novels have you written that I might have read?" --
because in my case, replying with titles like "Starting Your
Career as a Freelance Writer" or "Writing.com" just causes
peoples' eyes to glaze over.  And if you don't write books at all
-- if, instead, you must humbly admit, "Actually, I write
articles for magazines," you can actually see the person's
expression change as your status is downgraded from "possibly
slightly important" to "oh, a nobody."  I've had a few people
valiantly press on with a question like "Oh, you mean like
Woman's Day or Family Circle?"  At this point, I know it's time
to change the subject.

And that, of course, brings up the money issue.  While most of
our relatives aren't tactless enough to ask how much we're
actually earning as writers (though some may!), most also know
that our "scratchings and scribblings" probably aren't keeping
the roof over our heads or the food on the table.  Sadly, to most
families, a "real" job is one that involves a steady paycheck.
And so, by definition, we don't have "real" jobs -- not like our
sister the psychiatrist or our brother the auto mechanic.
Anything else is just a hobby, or worse, a childish game -- and
sadly, many of us have families that are wondering when we are
going to give up the games and grow up.

Finally, there is one sad dichotomy about being a writer, and
that is that no matter how exciting our writing may be, our real
lives tend to be monumentally boring.  Very few of us have
actually ridden dragons, danced with elves, or been abducted by a
stunningly handsome 14th-century Scottish Highlander.  (If you
have, please don't tell me about it.  I really, REALLY don't want
to know.)  So if someone asks us to "tell us how the writing is
going," what can we say?  "Um, well, it's going.  Fine.  How was
YOUR day?"

Even my brother-in-law can manage to come up with some mildly
amusing job-related stories involving inventories and airplane
parts (he works for Boeing).  My sister, a university professor,
can keep us in stitches with accounts of some of the answers her
students give to history test questions.  But my work day, like
that of most writers, involves... um... mumble, mumble... typing.
 And more typing.  And quite a lot of staring at the screen and
not typing.  Oh, yeah, and surfing. (The next time someone asks
me, "Where do you get your ideas?" I'm going to say, "Oh, I just
do a Google search for them.")  Since most writers work at home,
we can't even come up with funny stories about our coworkers,
unless you count the cats.  ("Hey, just yesterday, Tabitha tried
to knock the lamp off my computer desk again; isn't she a
scream?")  It's hard to impress people with what we "do" for a
living when it doesn't sound as if we actually DO much of

So what can we do about this lack of honor?  First, we can
recognize that some things are never going to change.  Families
always manage to find something to disapprove of, whether it's
the fact that you're not married yet or haven't given your
parents grandchildren or don't earn as much as your siblings.
Second, we can accept that, just as with any other profession, no
one really understands what a writer does except another writer;
after all, is anyone really that interested in hearing your
brother talk about transmissions or your sister discuss how to
conduct an appendectomy?

Third, we can become a bit more proactive.  Instead of just
telling our family, "I sold two articles last month," make copies
of your latest publications and send them to everyone.  Send out
your own holiday newsletter and make sure that it trumpets your
successes.  Send out postcards of your book covers.  Casually
mention how many hits your name gets these days on a Google

Finally, and perhaps most important, we may need to realize that
what our families say to US and what they say to OTHERS may be
two very different things.  My own family is, again, a good
example.  My niece is a very talented artist (you can check out
her work at http://www.monasmurals.com/), yet I've never heard
her mother actually praise her to her face.  However, when
talking about her to someone else (when she's not present), her
mother praises her talent to the skies.  I won't even try to get
into the family dynamic there (let's just say it could be
healthier), but the point is: Even when our families don't seem
to give us the respect for our work that we think we deserve,
they may actually be a lot prouder of us than we realize.

                                         -- Moira Allen, Editor


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Chinese Journalist Sent to Jail For Being A 'Spy'
Another Chinese journalist has been jailed as part of China's
crackdown on the media.  Ching Cheong, a Hong-Kong based reporter
for a Singapore newspaper, was accused of spying on behalf of
Taiwan.  He has been given a five-year sentence instead of the
death penalty, which is the normal punishment for spies. The
court was lenient after Mr Cheong apparently confessed to the
crime. For more information visit:

Wired News Removes Stories With Doubtful Sources
Three articles have been removed from the Wired News website
after doubts concerning the authenticity of the sources cited.
The articles, posted in June and July, were written by freelancer
Philip Chien. A similar situation occurred last year when Wired
could not confirm the sources used in some articles written by
Michelle Delio. For more information visit:

Reuters Grateful To Bloggers
In a similar story, Reuters' Editor Paul Holmes expressed his
gratitude to bloggers for exposing the faked photographs of
Lebanon that had been supplied to the news agency by Adnan Hajj.
Within 36 hours of being posted, the photos were denounced as
fakes and removed from Reuters photo library, along with another
920 photos supplied by Mr Hajj. For more information visit:

Britain's Top Three Magazine Publishers Suffer Falling Sales
Despite magazine circulation in Britain having increased by 3.5%
over the past twelve months, the top three publishers have all
suffered declining sales. IPC media, the top magazine publisher
in the UK, has suffered a loss in circulation of 9% over the past
year. Emap's circulation has dropped by almost 8% in the last
twelve months and Bauer's by 4.2%. The loss is blamed on new
entrants to the market and the rise of digital media. For more
information visit:  http://tinyurl.com/p8aeq and

And the Situation Doesn't Look Much Better in America
Figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation on August 21
show that a large proportion of lifestyle and fashion magazines
have suffered a fall in circulation over the past six months.
Sales of magazines at newsstands have fallen by 4% on average,
but some magazines have suffered more than others; Time
Magazine's newsstand sales have dropped by 24%.  Experts say the
decrease in sales is partly caused by the rise in the use of the
Internet and partly by the similarity of many magazines.  Despite
the drop in sales at newsstands, the sales of magazines as a
whole have increased by 2%. For more information visit:

But Book Sales Are Growing
According to figures released by the US Census Bureau, American
bookstores enjoyed a growth in sales of 4.2% in June 2006. This
was the largest month for sales since January. Book sales for
the first six months of 2006 are up 0.8% over the same period
last year. For more information visit:


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

So how do you motivate yourself to write when you just don't feel
like it?  That is what I wanted to know last month.  But maybe
too many of you are on vacation, suffering from Seasonal Writing
Disorder or just weren't motivated enough to reply!

I did have one reply, from Laura Palmerchuck, who wrote: "When I
am down and singing the "I can't write" blues, I check my email
and start reading all the great writing newsletters I receive.
They help brighten my spirits and give me the itch to write
again. I really appreciate them, yours included. Thanks a lot!"

Well thank you, Laura, for replying!  But I won't get too down
about the lack of responses this month.  As I said, maybe lots of
you are on vacation. I have been. This month I went to visit
friends and family I haven't seen for a while.  Almost all of
them asked me "So, are you still doing that writing thing then?"
I must say, this really bugs me.  I mean, I don't go up to
friends and say: "So, are you still doing that secretarial/
engineering/accountancy thing then?"  Yet people do seem to feel
it is okay to treat my writing just as a hobby, as something I
want to do just to avoid getting a 'real job'.

Sometimes people will say "Oh, are you still writing recipes
then?" As if that's the only thing I do.  And then I don't know
how to answer them.  Do I just say: "Yes." Or do I say, "well
actually I'm working on two books at the moment, have x number of
articles published this month and have been offered a new
copywriting job?"

Would that sound like boasting?  I'm in a real predicament here.
Do I just accept that for many people writing will never been
seen as a job, smile and say 'yes' whenever people ask me if I'm
still doing that writing thing? Or should I blow my own trumpet
about my writing career?  How do you deal with it? Do let me
know, please!

Email your responses to me DawnCopeman"at"Write-Away.biz with the
subject line "Writing is a real job."

Till next time,


For advice on motivational techniques visit:


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

When I teach freelance writing, one of my first assignments is to
ask students to choose a potential market for the article they
plan to develop in my class.  And every time, at least two thirds
of my students choose a major women's magazine that can be found
at every supermarket checkout counter.  I call it "The Redbook
Syndrome" -- the natural inclination to aim for a publication
with which the writer is probably most familiar, and which, of
course, is top of the line in terms of pay and popularity.

Unfortunately, Redbook and its checkout-stand cousins are far
beyond the reach of most first-time freelancers (and, indeed,
most of the rest of us).  Selling an article to a major women's
magazine is a goal many of us harbor -- but such sales are the
equivalent of cake to the average freelancer.  It's delicious and
rich, but not something you'll be able to enjoy that often, and
definitely not likely to sustain your writing career.

Instead, I urge writers to look beyond the checkout counters, and
seek out the hundreds of more specialized, less well-known
publications that are literally the bread and butter of the savvy
freelancer's career.  These magazines can be found in a number of
places; some, you'll discover just by wandering over to the
magazine rack in your local supermarket, or better, the racks of
a major bookstore.  Others can be found in places where you may
shop for the supplies that fuel your special interests or
hobbies: the pet shop, the sporting goods store, the Christian
bookstore, the hobby or fabric store.  Still others are available
to members of specific groups, such as publications put out by
insurance companies like AAA.

When my students declare their intention of writing for a major
women's magazine, my next question is "what makes you think that
you can break into such a magazine?" The answer is often a rather
vague "Well, it's for women, and I'm a woman, so I have a lot in
common with the readers..."

While this is hardly enough to get an editor's attention,
determining your area of "commonality" with a magazine's readers
is a good place to start in your quest to identify those
bread-and-butter magazines that might be right for you.  You can
start in one of two ways: either by scanning the magazine shelves
and selecting publications that look interesting, or by
identifying your areas of interest, experience and expertise and
then going hunting for magazines that match.

Either way, the point is finding a match, or more likely, many
matches.  The beauty of the special-interest marketplace is that
most of us have many areas of interest and experience.  Are you a
parent?  Do you own a cat or a dog, or a bird or a ferret?  Do
you love to ski, or look forward to taking to the road in your RV
every summer?  Do you knit or crochet, or build birdhouses in
your garage?  Are you drawn to your craft store's scrapbooking
aisle like a moth to the flame?  Are people beginning to wonder
if your digital camera has been grafted to your hand?  Does your
bookshelf groan under the weight of several dozen books on the
Civil War?

One of the most common complaints I hear from new freelancers is
"I can't think of anything to write about."  If you were able to
answer "yes" to any of the questions above, however -- or, better
yet, if my short list prompted you to start coming up with a list
of your own ("No, I don't knit, but I do make my own lace; I'd
rather die than own an RV but I love my motorboat...") -- then
you'll never have to worry about a shortage of ideas.  And that
means you'll never lack for articles.

Nor will you necessarily need a portfolio jammed with clips to
break into these markets.  In most cases, your personal
experience or expertise is of more interest to an editor than
your writing ability.  As the editor of Reptiles notes in their
guidelines, "experience is much preferred over an author who
simply scans a book or does some brief research on the Internet
before churning out an article."  The editor of Organic Gardening
seeks writers who have developed techniques that work in their
own gardens, and who have "the capacity to clearly describe what
you've learned to other gardeners in a simple but engaging

"But I'm not an expert," you might be thinking now.  "Sure, I
like to dabble in my hobby, but lots of other people are far
better at it than I am!"  Don't let that stop you!  I've made a
total of two quilts in my life, one of which was at least a foot
narrower at the bottom than the top -- yet I've sold three
articles to quilt magazines (and resold one of those articles
several times).  I'm just an "ordinary" pet owner, but I've sold
dozens of articles to cat magazines.  On the basis of running my
own business as a writer, I've managed to sell articles to
Entrepreneur and several of their subsidiary publications.  I've
even managed to sell an article to a Victorian decorating
publication based, not on my nonexistent knowledge of Victoriana,
but on my interest in the history of Christmas dˇcor.

Don't let this confession lull you into the belief that you don't
need any knowledge of a subject to pitch an article to these
publications.  Most special-interest magazines target an
experienced audience. While most pet magazines, for example, do
carry articles of interest to first-time pet owners, the majority
of their readers have owned pets for many years.  Thus, even if
you are a relative beginner, you need to seek out topics and
ideas that will appeal to readers who may, in fact, be far more
experienced than you are.

Start by reviewing several copies of a publication that interests
you, or at least try to review its back issue index.  Determine
what types of articles are offered in every issue.  For example,
a pet magazine is likely to offer at least one training article,
one health article, one breed article, and one general care
article per issue.  That gives you an insight into the types of
features it needs most often -- which is generally the best place
to break in.  Take a look, as well, at the types of seasonal
material that a publication features; most magazines need to
cover specific types of topics at different times of the year.  A
craft magazine, for example, might look for articles on easy
crafts for kids for a summer issue, but would prefer articles on
crafting gifts or seasonal decorations for its fall and winter

If this still hasn't sparked a glimmer of inspiration, try one of
these techniques for breaking in:


Is there a particular garden problem that has been plaguing you?
Chances are, it is plaguing others -- so go interview an expert
at your local nursery, get the answer, and write it up.


While no pet magazine wants to hear yet another account of "my
first puppy," if that first puppy had an unusual behavior problem
or health condition, this might be the source of a good article.
For example, when one of my cats was diagnosed with high blood
pressure, I realized that very few cat owners even knew that this
condition existed -- which led to an award-winning article!


So you're a parent -- and you love to ski.  How about developing
an article for a parenting magazine on how to introduce your
children to the sport of skiing?  Or an article for a ski
magazine on child safety tips?


When you take a vacation, look for people or places that relate
to some other area of interest.  Perhaps you love quilts, and
stumble across a unique, little-known quilt museum, or an artisan
who creates her own fabrics using local materials or patterns.
Such gems of discovery may serve several markets: You might be
able to sell such a piece to a quilt magazine, a travel
publication, and a regional publication that covers the area you


Even if you don't consider yourself an expert, you can always
interview someone who is.  And with the advantage of the
Internet, you no longer have to limit your interviews to "local"
experts -- you can easily locate, and speak with, experts around
the world.  Editors always love expert interviews!

So the next time you're in the local supermarket or bookstore,
put down that Woman's Day and step away from the checkout
counter.  If you really want to boost your writing career, and
see your name in dozens of high-paying markets (and on dozens of
checks), start hunting up your own selection of "bread and
butter" magazines.  There are literally hundreds of opportunities
awaiting you.

Copyright (c) 2006 by Moira Allen
This article originally appeared in The Writer

For more tips on finding markets for fiction or poetry buy our

For more advice on how to choose markets for your work, visit


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Fiction Flyer
With all the writing ezines out there, it's rare to find
something new and different.  This is it: Excellent articles, and
coverage of topics you don't often see (such as the status of
book publishing in China).

A site where authors can list their books for free (or pay a
small cost for a "premium" listing). Listings link to the
author's own site or book sale page.  A quick browse showed a
very interesting selection of titles.

The Muse Free Online Writers' Conference
Free online writers' conference running October 9-13. When you
register you get two free e-books.

Law Articles for Writers and Artists
A series of articles written by Ivan Hoffman, attorney at law,
covering such topics as contracts, copyright, internet
publishing, rights and self-publishing.

A very useful, free tool, that allows you to create your own
folder of sites and store them securely online.

The Burry Man Writers Center
Worldwide community of writers, both professional and beginners,
with job listings and articles on fiction and nonfiction writing.


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                                                  by Moira Allen
Where Do I Find Markets that Pay?

Q: I located several magazines that I would like to submit
queries to, but am unable to assess who best to contact. Can you
offer some advice on who at the magazine it is best to contact?
Second, is there any way to negotiate if a magazine pays
for their articles before sending in a query? It seems that some
magazines offer that information up easily, while others note
nothing or something vague like "a competitive price" or "top
rates."  Since I am only looking to get published in exchange for
payment I do not want to waste my time (or the editor's) sending
in queries to magazines that do not pay. Is it safe to assume
that all/most/very few magazines pay? Also, any ideas what a
"competitive price" of "top rate" would be in dollars?

A: What you need is a copy of The Writer's Market.  While this
isn't a perfect guide to paying markets, it's still the best
thing out there.  It's available from Writer's Digest Books, and
it definitely pays to get the most current version (the 2007
edition will probably be available by the end of September).

There are somewhere around 1500 and 2000 paying magazines in the
U.S. alone, and probably more that none of us who hunt for
markets have been able to track down.  When I put together
Writing-World.com's list of market guides in 2003, I came up with
1700 for which I was able to either locate online submission
guidelines or obtain guidelines by e-mail.  There are several
hundred more that don't have websites or post their guidelines
online; many of those still offer guidelines by mail with a SASE.

If a magazine posts its guidelines or makes them available by
mail or e-mail, these guidelines will usually tell you where to
address a query (i.e., "to Joan Smith, Managing Editor."  If the
guidelines don't tell you that information, check the magazine's
"contact" page or masthead (if you happen to have a copy of the
magazine itself). The first person I look for in that case is a
managing editor.  If there is no managing editor, try the Editor.

Writers' Market is the best place to check for pay rates, as it
will usually tell you the rate even if a magazine doesn't include
this in their guidelines.  I always check the guidelines first,
and then if they don't tell me the rate, I check Writers' Market
to see if they're listed.  You can also subscribe to the online
Writers' Market database.

While some magazines don't list their rates in their guidelines,
most will tell you if they are NOT a paying market, so if a
magazine doesn't specifically state that they do not pay, chances
are that they do.  However, you'll still need to do some research
to find out how much.  If you can't find it in the guidelines OR
in Writers' Market, the easiest thing to do is just send an
e-mail to the editor and ask what their payment rates are.  That
will save the time of querying a market that pays too little to
be worthwhile.

In terms of negotiating pay rates before you've sent a query,
this usually won't work.  You are an unknown quantity to a
magazine editor, so they're not about to start talking "money"
(especially in terms of trying to negotiate higher rates) until
they've seen your work.  It's generally pointless to approach a
magazine and ask for higher rates until you've already sold them
at least one or two articles and they are familiar with your work
(and presumably want more of it).  Going in talking about money
before you've made a reputation is the surest way to turn off an
editor before you've had a chance to make a good impression.

"Good" pay in the magazine business is anywhere from $200 to
$500. It's possible to break in at those rates, depending on the
type of publication you're trying to write for and other types of
credentials that can get you in the door.  (For example, if you
were trying to write for a dog magazine and you don't have any
writing clips but you are a professional dog trainer, you'd have
no difficulty "breaking in" with a first sale at that type of
rate.) "High" rates generally run from $500 to $800, with a very
small number of magazines going up as high as $1000.  It's VERY
hard to "break in" at that level of publication, as (obviously)
any publication that can afford to pay that kind of rate can also
afford to be selective about who writes for it, and will
generally not even look at a query that isn't supported by a
portfolio.  Beyond that are the top-level pubs, the ones that you
see at the checkout counters, that may pay $1000 to $3000, and
these are inaccessible to all but the absolute top-of-the-line
freelancers.  MOST of the major women's publications do most of
their material in house, and prefer to use articles written by
noted experts in the field.

If you're interested in the Writing World set of market guides,
they are still available with a purchase of How to Write for
Magazines (http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml)
but I no longer sell them separately as they are very out
of date at this point.  Even the latest Writers Market won't be
COMPLETELY up to date, but it's still a good resource, and there
are a number of other market sources online -- we covered this
topic in a recent article ("A Smorgasbord of Markets") at

More Questions This Month:
How Important are Educational Credentials?
Can I Protect My Privacy with a Pen Name?
When Do You Contact "Experts" for Interviews?
How Do I Set Up a Website?

Read the answers at http://www.writing-world.com/desk/desk09.shtml


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
FICTION AND POETRY, available in print and electronic formats
(see http://www.writing-world.com/bookstore/index.shtml.) For
information on reprinting Moira's articles on writing, visit

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


THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO... Article Structure, Part 2: Focus
                                                  by Dawn Copeman

Okay, so you've found a topic you want to write about and maybe
you've even had your query accepted and an editor wants to see
your piece.  That's fantastic!  But now the real work begins.
You see, not every accepted query leads to an accepted article.
As I said last time, there are many reasons for this, such as
failure to meet the house style and failing to deliver what was
promised in the query, to name but two. But one of the main
reasons an article is rejected is due to its lack of focus.

What Is Focus?
Focus is what makes your article unique.  It is what makes it
readable, enjoyable and worth publishing. Focus also takes

To read the rest of this column, go to:


ONLY 500 WRITERS ALLOWED   Be the first to claim the keywords
that describe you or your writing in the hot new "word cloud"
directory. Once you claim a word, it's yours and only yours. It's
a great marketing opportunity! http://500Writers.com/ww.php



The Writing Desk, by Moira Allen

The Beginner's Guide to... Article Structure, Part 2: Focus
by Dawn Copeman http://www.writing-world.com/dawn/dawn08.shtml

Writing for Young Readers, by Eugie Foster
An Interview with Deborah Vetter of the Cricket Magazine Group

Dreaming of Writer's Cramp: Signing at Bookstores and Beyond...
by Peter Bowerman

Eight TIps on Writing for the Web, by Victoria Groves

How to Pitch Your Book at a Writing Conference,
by Cynthia Gallagher

Ten Myths About Writing for Kids, by Eugie Foster

Your Story Outline: What It's All About, by Rekha Ambardar


Freelancing for Newspapers, by Sue Fagalde Lick.  8 weeks, $100;

Fundamentals of Fiction, by Marg Gilks. 8 weeks, $150; enroll at
any time! http://www.writing-world.com/classes/fiction.shtml


This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers.
For more contests, check our contests database.

DEADLINE: September 30, 2006
GENRE: Fiction
THEME: The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music,
social history, literature, politics, art, film and theatre,
particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-20th century
America. Your writing should appeal to a reader with these
characteristics. Word limit: 1,000-5,000 words
PRIZE: $200 and publication on website.
URL: http://tinyurl.com/z44cl
EMAIL: jm"at"jerryjazz.com

DEADLINE: September 30, 2006
GENRE: Nonfiction, Fiction, Youth and Poetry
THEME: Free contest for poetry, fiction and nonfiction, in
English or Gaelic (all genres compete together), see website for
specific themes. Maximum word limit 5000 words.
PRIZE: £1000 top prize in adult category, variety of other
URL:  http://www.killie.co.uk/killie200a.htm
EMAIL: competition"at"killie.co.uk

DEADLINE: September 30, 2006
GENRE: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror, Limit 17,000 words
OPEN TO: Writers with no published books.
PRIZE: $1000 each quarter, 2nd prize $750, top prize each year
ADDRESS: L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest, P.O. Box
1630, Los Angeles, CA 90078
URL:   http://www.writersofthefuture.com/index2.htm
EMAIL: etoth"at"galaxypress.com

DEADLINE: October 1, 2006
GENRE: Nonfiction
OPEN TO:   Active, reserve, retired, and former enlisted
personnel of all service branches and countries
THEME: Any subject relevant to military service. Maximum Length:
2,500 words
PRIZE: $1,500, $1,000, $500, and a one-year membership in
the Naval Institute
ADDRESS: Enlisted Essay Contest, U.S. Naval Institute, 291 Wood
Road, Annapolis, MD 21402-5034
URL: http://www.usni.org/contests/contests.html
EMAIL: essays"at"usni.org

DEADLINE: October 15, 2006
GENRE: Fiction
THEME:  Stories must be of a fantastical nature. This is a broad
description, but basically keep the nature of the stories magical
and not technological. A successful entry could be high fantasy
with elves and powerful wizards, a supernatural thriller set in
the modern day, a tale of magic in ancient Egypt, or any other
form of fantasy. Word limit: 10,000 words.
PRIZE: $150 and publication
ADDRESS: Fantasist Enterprises, Fantastical Visions V, PO Box
9381, Wilmington, DE 19809
URL: http://fantasistent.com/CONTESTS/StoryConRules.html

DEADLINE: October 12, 2006
GENRE: Original translations into English of writing from any
genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, poetry, screenplays.
LENGTH: 1 - 5 poems, 2500 words prose, 10 - 15 pages of novel excerpts.
PRIZES: $35 for each accepted submission plus a copy of the journal
URL:   http://www.catranslation.org/about.html
EMAIL: twolines"at"catranslation.org


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Copyright Companion for Writers, by Tonya Evans-Walls

Could You, Should You Self-Publish a Picture Book? by Anne Emerick

Stolen Heroes, by Myriam Onyeabor, Ph.D.

The Vampire Within: The Beginning, by Drew Silver

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher, by Peter Bowerman

Find these and more great books at

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


on how to reach 60,000 writers a month with your product, service
or book title, visit


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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