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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 6:11            16,850 subscribers         November 2, 2006
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From the Editor's Desk
NEWS from the World of Writing
    by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: Proofread Your Writing Professionally!
    by Janis Butler Holm
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
WRITING DESK:, by Moira Allen
BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO... Article Structure, Part 4 - Hooks
    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

Are You Doing What You Love?

Thank you once again, Dawn, for providing the perfect topic for
an editorial!  Last month, Dawn asked, "Are you writing what you
thought you would be?  Does the reality of your writing life live
up to the dream?  Is it better?" (And of course there is the
implied corollary: Is it worse?)

I suspect that a great many of us started out with the dream of
becoming novelists or poets or short story writers, but have
ended up doing something very different -- at least for now!
Why?  Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  Or is it, perhaps, a
bit of both?

One of the most common reasons for ending up on a path that isn't
quite what one dreamed of is what I call "The Siren Song of
'Doing What You Love'."  Years ago, someone wrote a book titled
"Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow."  I know very few
writers who haven't dreamed of chucking that boring day job for a
writing career -- and I know quite a few who actually have.  What
could be more rewarding than earning a living, or at least an
income, doing something you actually enjoy, something that taps
your creative abilities?

I made this decision in 1996.  Up to that point, I had freelanced
"off and on," which means, "when I felt like it."  But in 1996 my
husband got into a conversation with a gentleman who sold Amway
-- or rather, who sold people on the IDEA of selling Amway.  It
was clear that we needed to bring in a second income, but after
leafing through the catalogs and sitting through a couple of
rah-rah motivational videos, I concluded that if I had to do
something to bring in more money, it sure wasn't going to be
selling soap. So out came the Writer's Market and out went a
stack of query letters, and within a year I had regular
assignments (and regular checks) coming.

Along the way, however, I discovered what I'm sure just about
every other freelance writer has discovered: The money will
follow only if YOU learn how to follow the MONEY.  Doing what you
love is only half the equation; you also have to do what your
CUSTOMERS love. For some, that means nonfiction articles for
periodicals; for others, it means business and technical writing,
editing, ghostwriting, indexing, copywriting, and a host of other
activities to pay the bills.

And this is where one's path as a working writer begins to
diverge from the path of one's dreams.  I have yet to hear a
writer sigh, "Ever since I was a little girl, I've dreamed of
indexing computer manuals!"  The primary pitfall of "doing what
you love" for a living is that, eventually, what you love can
become "just another job."  The more dependent you are on your
writing income, the more focused you will become on projects that
bring in that income, to the exclusion of any sort of writing
that doesn't.  Consequently, those other projects -- the novel,
the poetry, the personal essays -- are constantly shoved to the
proverbial back burner, waiting for the day when you can "afford"
to work on them.  And tough as it is to find time to write when
you do something ELSE for a living, it's even tougher when
writing IS your day job!

Don't get me wrong: Writing IS a rewarding, exciting career.  As
long as I have to work at all, I wouldn't want to do anything
else.  And becoming a freelancer offers a number of benefits that
go far beyond money.  Freelancing teaches you how the writing
world works -- that acceptance and rejection aren't, for example,
mere whimsical events that depend on which side of the bed an
editor rolled out of that morning.  You learn what sells and what
doesn't, and why, and when something doesn't sell, you learn to
spend less time moaning and more time hitting the keyboard.  You
learn that one can't afford to wait for the "muse" to drop by
before you start to write -- and that, even if you don't feel the
least bit inspired, you CAN write whenever you force yourself to
sit down at that keyboard, and write well.  You learn not only
how to meet deadlines but how to set your own.  Over time, you
begin to build a name for yourself, and a portfolio -- both of
which can be helpful when you ARE ready to start that novel.  And
best of all, you see your writing skill improve, month by month
and piece by piece.  In short, you learn professionalism,
discipline and skill -- three essential ingredients for the
writing life.  When you DO decide that it's time to start
following your dreams, those ingredients won't guarantee success
-- but the lack of them will almost certainly guarantee failure!

Ah, yes, about those dreams...  It IS nice to get paid for doing
something you love, but I believe that's often only one reason
why many of us end up on the freelancing path rather than the
"dream" path -- at least for a time.  The other reason is that,
when we stand at the moment of choice -- the moment when we are
saying to ourselves and the world, "I am going to become a
writer!" -- we may realize that while we DO have a dream, we may
not be quite ready to FOLLOW that dream.  And this, too, may be
for several reasons.  It may be that we are not ready emotionally
-- or it may be that we are not ready professionally.

While 1996 was the year I became a full-time freelancer, 1995 was
the year in which I finally finished the novel that I had been
working on, off and on, since high school.  It was a grand
fantasy that had everything: Magic, dragons, princes, romance.
Unfortunately, as I discovered well before I finished the last
page, what it DIDN'T have was a coherent plot.  I also discovered
what I didn't have: The ability, at that point in my life, to do
that story justice.  And so I had to decide whether to keep on
struggling with a book that wasn't working and that I didn't have
the skill to complete -- or do something else.

And this, too, I believe, is an important decision to make.
Going for the dream when you're not READY for the dream is a good
way to kill that dream altogether.  I have seen the frustration
of writers who have struggled for years to perfect that
all-important dream novel, experiencing failure after failure,
rejection after rejection.  Choosing a different path even
temporarily, such a freelancing, offers several advantages.

First, as I said above, it gives a writer a chance to hone those
writing skills and learn the business.  But it also gives the
writer a chance to experience failure in manageable doses.  If I
spend a week preparing an article for Dog Walker's Monthly, and
it's rejected, I can cope.  I haven't invested a great deal of
time or emotion into that particular project.  The editor may
have killed an article, but he hasn't killed my hope. If,
however, I spend ten years laboring over my dream novel and IT is
rejected, I have lost a great deal more.  If it is rejected
repeatedly, no matter what I do to refine it, eventually I AM
likely to lose hope.  One of the quickest ways to kill a dream is
to chase it before you're able to catch it.

However, another way to kill a dream is to never chase it at all.
And that's the potential risk of choosing another path.  "Doing
something different" is a very GOOD idea if one is not yet
sufficiently skilled to follow the dream.  But what if skill
isn't what's lacking?  One reason I believe many of us continue
to pursue the freelance path is precisely BECAUSE it hurts so
much less to have those small, unimportant pieces fail. A dream
can never fail if it is never put to the test -- but it can never
succeed, either.

So, if you find yourself on a writing path that is somewhat
different from the path of your dreams, is this a good thing or a
not-so-good thing?  Since the answer could be either or even
both, the key is to determine which it is for you, at this time
(because the answer can and will CHANGE over time).  Here are
some questions that can help you find that answer:

1) Am I having fun, or am I bored?  Are my tasks challenging and
rewarding, or do I constantly have that "been there, done that"

2) Am I benefiting from this path or getting less from it than I
hoped?  Is it providing something useful in terms of skill,
reputation, or income -- or am I stuck in tasks that aren't
helping me grow much as a writer?

3) Is this path contributing to my ultimate ability to follow my
dream path, or leading me farther from my dreams?

4) Has my dream path changed?  Do I still want to follow the
dream I originally had, or have I discovered a new dream?

5) How long do I want to follow this path?  What do I still hope
to achieve on this path, and how will I know if and when it may
be time to change directions?

6) If I want to change paths in the future -- whether to return
to my original dream or to follow a new dream -- what is my exit
strategy?  What steps will I need to take, and what might I need
to change or give up?

As 2006 draws to a close, you can be sure I'll be taking a look
at these questions myself!

                                         -- Moira Allen, Editor


techniques successful authors use to sharpen, tighten, polish,
and strengthen their stories and articles so they will sell to
editors.  Unconditional 30-day FREE trial.


                     CONFERENCES AND CLASSES


DEADLY INK - Annual Mystery Conference for Mystery Writers and
Mystery Fans, Short Story Contest, Novel Contest, and announcing
Deadly Ink Press, a publisher of mysteries and suspense. Visit
our website http://www.deadlyink.com or email info"at"deadlyink.com

WRITE. LEARN. BELONG.  Creative Writing or Memoir Writing. Enjoy
online classes with a live teacher and gentle feedback. Join me
at: http://home.universalclass.com/i/crn/11087.htm Or stop by my
web page at: http://mywritingworkshop.com


writers to know about your upcoming conference, seminar or other
event, why not put the word out where more writers will see it?
Visit http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adcontract2.shtml or
contact Moira Allen at editors"at"writing-world.com



British Book Sales Still Declining
One of Britain's leading book sellers, WH Smith, reported a drop in
book sales of 5% in the past year, the only exception being Harry
Potter books, which continue to sell well across the world.  The
only growth area is travel books, sales of which are up 3%. For
more information visit:

Canadian Author Wins Copyright Case
Heather Robertson, a freelance writer from Canada, has won her
case against The Globe and Thomson Corp. Robertson submitted two
stories to The Globe and The Mail in 1995 but took action
against the company in 1996, when they were reprinted in three
digital databases.  She argued that they had not bought the
copyright to use them in this way. The Ontario Supreme Court
ruled in her favor in 2001 and that decision has been upheld by
the Appeal Court.  Despite this ruling, Robertson must now return
to court to discover whether her initial agreement to write for
the papers showed an implied consent by her to allow her work to
be published in electronic media. For more information visit:

Write as Part of a Team and Get Published
Bookhitch.com - a site where authors can advertise their books
has launched a new community book writing project. In this
project any author can write the next chapter of a book (the
community gets to vote which chapter comes next). The book will
be brought to market, with the names of each contributing author
included and 100% of all profits will go to educational
organizations. For more information visit:
http://www.bookhitch.com and click on "bookhitch community book

Vietnam Cracks Down on Freedom of the Press
It's been a bad month for the freedom of the press in Vietnam.
Earlier this month the Vietnamese government suspended the
publication of two newspapers, "Times" and "Justice", after they
ran stories criticizing the quality of the country's new
banknotes. Six further magazines and newspapers are also facing
sanctions after printing stories containing "falsehoods". On a
similar note the government has closed down the "Business and
Product Magazine" after it ran a story on how men can improve
their sexual performance.  The government is also threatening to
withdraw the press cards of all the reporters and editors at this
magazine. For more information visit:
http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/78542/ and


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

Last month I wanted to know if you are writing what you thought
you would be and if the reality of your writing life lives up to
the dream. Well, Gracie C McKeever is lucky as she is writing what
she wanted to write: "I've always dreamed of writing fiction
(short stories and novels) and I've been lucky enough to write
exactly what I've dreamed about. The end results have morphed
over the years (i.e., I've always loved the sci-fi, paranormal
and romance genres) and I'm writing these and crossing genres
with every book, novella or short story I've written or sold so
far. I try not to limit myself and I also write non-fiction
(articles, essays) and poetry, thought fiction is my 'bread and
butter.' The reality is that I'm doing what I've always loved,
and making some money at it (not a living, but I'm slowly and
surely building a career in the field I've always dreamed about).
It's better than I thought it would be, because I never THOUGHT I
could make a career of writing; I just did it, and still do it,
for the personal satisfaction."

However, for most of us, the reality of writing is somewhat
different from the dream. As Mimi Greenwood Knight notes: "I'm
certainly not writing what I thought I would be, at least not all
the time. I am an essayist but am doing much more article writing
because it pays the bills. I told myself at first that writing
begets writing and that whatever I write gets me writing and the
creative stuff will flow more easily because of it. But the truth
is there are only so many hours in the day and so much energy in
the old mom and usually the creative stuff never makes it onto
the page. I've had wonderful success in the past two years making
sales to anthologies. This month alone, I'm in three new ones.
But the stuff I'm selling (reselling) is ten, fifteen years old."

"As a teenager, I wrote stories and dreamed of writing the great
Canadian novel," wrote Joanne Marcom. "Well, that hasn't happened
(yet!) but I do write and publish haiku poetry and micro fiction,
as well as some journal articles.  I have a website, teach poetry
workshops and now have a publisher for my poetry chapbook.
(Until recently I've been self-publishing.) So today's reality is
quite different from yesterday's dream, but I'm pleased with (and
grateful for) my literary success, and look forward to tomorrow
with hope and enthusiasm."

Judy from New Jersey has had a similar change of direction: "I
love reading mysteries/suspense/thrillers... but lately find
myself writing children's stories!  I am beginning to think that
my inner child has more fun constructing these stories. I'm still
hoping to one day grow up enough so I can write a full length
novel of the sort I love to read!"

"As a female, I was and am quite fond of romances. I saw myself
as the next Nora Roberts," said Morgan Wyatt. "I have two full
length romances looking for a publisher. My success has come
through article writing. I am the queen of fillers. Most of my
work is either financial or inspirational. I write on line, book
reviews for Novelspot and travel nonfiction for several other
sites. I do get a few stories in anthologies every year, but
they're quirky--not romantic. I also write for our local
newspaper and denominational magazine. I do have a few books
inside me that aren't romance, so perhaps I should let them out."

Raelene Hall always knew she wanted to write, "but not what? I
never went down the journalist path of education and after I
married tried short story writing, poetry and children's writing.
Thanks to a wonderful mentor, Marg McAlister, I discovered my
forte was nonfiction articles and humour. From there I have gone
on to be published in numerous magazines and newspapers both in
Australia and overseas as well as on the web." (See Marg
McAlister's website at http://www.writing4success.com.)

Kathy Swann thought that after 30 years in the corporate world
she'd "wind up writing fiction -- mainly short stories or novels"
but "after reading over and over about writing what you know, I
decided to write How To e-books about what I've learned over the
years."  She is not disappointed about her writing reality, in
fact she says: "I found I enjoy this more than trying to put
together a plot for a story or novel, and I seem to get 'in the
flow' when I'm writing because they are topics I understand and
enjoy talking about."

Michelle Gardner also relishes the fact that her writing reality
is not what she expected it to be: "Way back, I originally wanted
to write scary stories with twisty endings because I loved
reading those. One story actually won a small scholarship, but I
didn't act on that opportunity. Instead, I ended up writing bad
poetry and even worse limericks."  She then moved to England,
wrote more limericks but was challenged by the leader of her
writing group to stretch herself. "She challenged me right into
getting my own column in the local newspaper that featured quirky
stories and local celebrities. My 'Ghost Pubs of Essex' landed me
on BBC radio."

Finally, here's a refreshing take on writing reality by Katherine
Huether: "I don't have a clear idea of what my 'writing reality'
was or even is. I started off by submitting poetry, stories, and
articles. Then I moved on to copywriting. Both didn't satisfy me.
Now I do all those things and then some. I really just set out to
be a writer and as long as I balance out my 'have to' writing
with my 'want to' writing I feel I am doing what I set out to

Now, on to this month's question, which I felt compelled to write
when I read Moira's editorial last month and when I received a
question from Tracy Voorheis about fitting writing in with other

When I started writing it was something I fitted in around my
young daughter; when she slept or was at nursery, I wrote.
Gradually her nursery hours were extended and I began to write
fulltime. But as I began to have more time to devote to writing,
other people began to make demands on my time too. Before
becoming a writer I was a teacher of Modern Languages.  Last year
an ex-colleague of mine who organizes home-schooling begged me to
please teach German to one of her home schoolers as she knew of
no-one else who could help.  Well, it was only an hour a week so
I agreed.  Then, a mom at my daughter's playgroup asked if I
would teach her daughter French.  This grew to teaching a group
of children for three hours a week. Okay, I thought, that's only
four hours a week and I am helping people. Then I was asked by
another ex-colleague if I would help her out by taking over her
slot teaching French for an hour a week at a primary school.
Well, I thought, it's only an hour.

Then I was asked to cover the French lessons at my daughter's
school for three hours a week.  And the parents of some of the
children to whomI'd been teaching French asked if I would please
teach THEM French too.  Before I knew it I'd lost fourteen hours
of writing time a week!

Yet writing is what I really want to do! If I'd wanted to be a
teacher, I'd still be working in a school.  By not wanting to let
people down I realized I was allowing my writing to be squeezed
out of my life.  This had to stop.

I ceased my French classes at the community centre and have told
my adult students I will only be able to take them so far with
their French.  I am reclaiming my writing time.  Interestingly, I
didn't notice a drop in my productivity during this squeeze, but
I know that if I allowed it to continue I wouldn't grow as a

So, what I want to know this month is have you felt the squeeze
on your writing time?  Did it creep up gradually on you, as it
did with me? When did you notice the squeeze and what did you do
about it?  Email your responses to me DawnCopeman"at"Write-Away.biz
with the subject line "Feeling the Squeeze".

Till next time,


If you're still working out what type of writer you want to be,
read this article for inspiration.


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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GREETINGMARKETS.COM offers a greeting card list of publishers,
their needs/requirements, website links, guidelines and mailing
addresses for writers, artists, illustrators and photographers.


                                           by Janis Butler Holm

It's no secret: editors want perfect copy. In the publishing
business, time is money, and no editor wants to spend time
correcting an author's careless mistakes. Consequently, the
impatient writer--the one who submits material before subjecting
it to a rigorous search for errors--can expect rejection after

Effective proofreading requires a substantial commitment of time,
and many writers find it hard to make that commitment. But when
we do, and when we use our time wisely, the result is
professional-looking copy that demands serious consideration.

If you feel it's time to give your work the chance it deserves,
consider these tried-and-true proofreading strategies.

1) Put the document in a readable, generously spaced font.

Many editors require Courier 10 or 12, as the characters in this
font are roughly the same size and so easier to isolate during
reading. When reading fonts with characters of different widths,
the eye tends to skip over the thinner forms.

When your editor does not specify a particular font, it still
makes sense to choose reader-friendly characters. If you don't
like Courier but aren't sure which of your favorite fonts to use,
type the word "minimum" in each one. Choose the font where the
letter "i" is clearest in relation to the letters around it.

2) If your work is in a word-processing program, check for hidden

In the process of composing, we sometimes insert invisible extra
spaces at the end of a sentence, or we tap in other hidden
characters that can later become a problem, especially in
electronically transmitted work.  To make sure that your
manuscript will not hold future formatting surprises, click on
the word-processing tool that makes invisible commands visible.
Scrutinize your text and delete potential troublemakers.

3) Make a print copy of your work.

Computer screens can be hard on the eyes, and some screens
distort the characters on the page. A hard copy will make viewing
easier, and its portability is a plus.

4) Use a ruler (or finger) to limit the eye's scope.

Wonderfully receptive organs, our eyes can absorb an astonishing
amount of information in a single glance. In proofreading,
however, they must focus on a very small field, and, over time,
that focus becomes hard to maintain. Keep your eyes from
wandering by covering the text below the line to be read.

5) After a general reading, read the document once for each
likely mistake.

Because it's hard to see all writing errors at once, it pays to
break proofreading down into discrete steps. For example, read
once to check only the spellings of compound words; read again to
test only pronoun agreement; read again to determine only whether
you've used quotation marks correctly.

Though this process may seem time-consuming, it usually proves
more efficient and more effective than repeated general readings.
When you read for particulars, you're less likely to be
distracted by the content of your work.

6) Make clear marks when correcting, and signal these in the

Many writers do a careful job of proofreading--only to miss the
mark (literally) at the point of correction. Margin signals make
it much more difficult to skip over marked copy.

First, make changes to your text in contrasting ink or pencil;
then put "reminder" dots (or checks, or whatever you choose) in
the margin, one for each correction to be made to each line. When
typing in corrections, cross through each margin dot as you go.
(To keep things simple, put all your margin signals in either the
right margin or the left.)

7) Space your readings.

Your chances of proofreading attentively increase when you rest
between readings. Try to plan your schedule so that you have time
for several shorter reading sessions instead of one grueling

8) Read the document aloud--letter by letter, space by space,
comma by comma--preferably with another person.

This process is tedious, and it may be hard to find someone who's
willing to suffer through it with you. But when copy must be
correct, reading aloud is the best method. Purists even advise
reading backward, from the end of the manuscript to the

9) Have one or more other persons proofread your final copy.

Hand your work over to a knowledgeable friend with an eye for
detail. When it comes to proofreading, two or more heads are
always better than one.  But learn to distinguish between matters
of taste and matters of correctness.  Your friend, who is only
human, may confuse personal preference and stylistic necessity.

10) Proofread your correspondence with the same care you've taken
with your manuscript.

Because proofreading is hard work, we're elated when we think
we've finally come to the end of our labor.  But elation can make
for recklessness and haste.

Resist the temptation to whip out a cover letter--take the time
to compose it carefully and to proofread it attentively.  Editors
make judgments based on presentation, and an immaculate letter is
far more persuasive than a sloppy one.  Like an immaculate
manuscript, it signals your ability to deliver.


Janis Butler Holm lives in Athens, Ohio, where she has served as
Associate Editor for Wide Angle, the film journal. Her poems and
prose have appeared most recently in Diagram, Tessera, English
Studies Forum and Chiron Review.

Copyright 2006 by Janis Butler Holm

For more advice on how to edit your work visit:


SHEILA BENDER'S WRITING IT REAL announces a personal essay
contest (http://www.writingitreal.com/contest.html) with cash
prizes, LifeJournal for Writers prizes
(http://www.lifejournal.com/writers) and ten honorable mentions
who receive Sheila's professional feedback. Deadline December 30.


COPYRIGHT COMPANION FOR WRITERS is a clear and concise survey of
copyright law written with the rights of writers in mind. It
answers your most pressing questions about copyright & includes
forms on CD-ROM. The perfect companion to have on your creative
journey. For more info, visit http://www.literarylawguide.com



Free Writing Software
Spacejock offer a free novel writing program and a free
submissions tracker.  Both are reliable and easy to use.

A comprehensive site for novice screenwriters.

Resources For Creative Writers
A series of useful prompts for fantasy and fiction writers and
guidelines on how to use them.

Language is a Virus.com
Writing games and tools to inspire creativity.  Especially useful
for Nanowrimo participants.

Beat Writer's Block
Tips and activities to help you get over writer's block and get
into writing again.

Web Writing That Works
We all know that the internet is one of the biggest markets for
writers.  This site will show you how to write for the web.


HTTP://WWW.WRITERSZOO.COM: A light-hearted site offers serious
stuff and not-so-serious stuff for writers.  All writers need
stuff and here's the place to find it.  Writer product reviews,
links to books, ebooks, CD, and more.  Check it out today.


SUBMISSION Guidelines/Leads for poetry, short prose, and book
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NEWSFLASH. Call toll-free (866) 405-3003 or Click Here
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                                                  by Moira Allen

Desperate to Be Published

Q: I desperately need to get my books published, but do not know
who to turn to for help. I could not afford to pay out the amount
of money I have been quoted to have my ongoing stories published.
I am just an ordinary married women with five grown up children,
who is trying to fulfill her dream before it's too late. I have
always had a dream to get my many children's stories published.

A: It depends on what you mean by "published."  There are
different ways to "get published."  The "traditional" way is to
submit your work to a commercial publisher, who pays YOU.  You
don't pay THEM.  What is a commercial publisher?  The answer is
simple -- walk into any bookstore, buy any book, and that book is
almost certainly produced by a "commercial" publisher.  If you
want people to be able to buy your books in bookstores or get
them at the library, this is really the only way to do it.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy to get children's stories
published, and one often needs an agent to do so.  There are,
however, many good websites and books that will help you learn
more about that process.  I recommend visiting our children's
writing section and our children's writing LINK section (see the
links at the end of this article).  Take a look at some of the
books we have listed at the bottom of each of those pages; they
can give you more help on "getting published" in this area.

If, however, you are more interested in producing a book of your
stories that you can share with your family and friends, but
aren't that concerned about having it sold in bookstores, there
IS a way to do it yourself that is very inexpensive.  There is a
site called "Lulu.com" that offers "self-publishing" at no cost.
You pay only for the books that you buy.  It's a process called
"print on demand," and they produce very lovely books; I've used
them several times myself. However, this is a process best used
for "personal" publishing; it is NOT the way to get your books
into bookstores.

The down-side of using a site like Lulu.com is that even though
their process is free, you may have to pay someone to format your
stories into a "book" format -- you can't just send them the
manuscript and have them put it together.  You can do that with
some of the other print-on-demand companies, like Xlibris and
iUniverse, but as you may have already found, the cost is huge.

Basically, when you pay someone else to publish your book, that
is "subsidy publishing."  It has its uses, but most of the
subsidy publishing firms out there are basically in the business
of making big bucks off ignorant writers. Subsidy-published books
rarely make it into bookstores or libraries, though some
companies may try to convince you otherwise.

So the bottom line rests upon the question of what you want for
your stories. If you want them assembled into a nice-looking book
that you can give your children and grandchildren, I'd recommend
going to Lulu.com.  They have a list of "vendors" who can help
you format your book attractively (and that should cost a lot
less than the other POD companies).  But if your dream is to have
your book REALLY published, in the sense that people can walk
into a bookstore and buy it, then you will need to learn more
about the commercial publishing process -- how to submit a
manuscript, and so forth.  That's where some of the books on our
children's writing page can help.

More Information:
Lulu.com - http://www.lulu.com

More Questions This Month:
Should I Let an Editor "Stockpile" My Reprints?
Can I Sell My Own Books at Talks?
Sic 'Em!
Making a Comeback

Read the answers at http://www.writing-world.com/desk/desk11.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


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THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO... Article Structure, Part 4: Hooks
                                                  by Dawn Copeman

Slowly, too slowly it might seem, your nonfiction article is
taking shape. You've sorted out the structure and the flow and
given it unity to ensure that it is not only readable but
un-putdownable. The final thing you need to sort out is to make
sure the editor will actually read it. So now we need to work on
the hook.

It might seem strange leaving the hook until last, especially
when one of the first things we learn as writers is to give our
articles a good hook. However, in order to write a good hook, one
that will 'catch' the reader's attention, you might find it
easier to wait until after you've written the first draft of your

There are very good reasons to do this. Once you've written your
first draft, you know the focus of your piece. You know what
topics are addressed and how they are dealt with. By writing your
hook after you've written your article, you can be sure that your
hook won't be a false one, the red herring lead that we dealt
with last time. You know that your hook won't mislead people into
reading your article (and cause them to be disappointed once
they've done so). Also, by writing your hook last you can ensure
it leads seamlessly into the rest of your article.

So, how do you write your hook?

To read the rest of this column, go to:


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Life at the National Association of Women Writers! Membership
includes books, teleseminars, legal advice, meetings, hotel
discounts, critiques, and much more! Plus, get two free eReports:
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The Writing Desk, by Moira Allen

The Beginner's Guide to... Article Structure, Part 4: Hooks
by Dawn Copeman

Writing for Young Readers, by Eugie Foster
An interview with Gisele LeBlanc, editor/publisher of
Dragonfly Spirit

A Field Guide to Genre Writers' Organizations, by Catherine Lundoff

It's Not What They Say... by Mary Cook

Writing Multicultural Fiction for Children, Part II: Nuts and Bolts
by Eugie Foster

Writing the Personal Essay, by Mridu Khullar


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: November 15, 2006
GENRE: Short Stories
OPEN TO:   All
THEME: A Mysterious Holiday
LENGTH: Original flash fiction of between 100 and 1500 words
PRIZE: $5.
ELECTRONIC ENTRY: Yes, only by email.
URL: http://www.mysteryauthors.com/submit.html
EMAIL: MysteryAuthors"at"verizon.net.

DEADLINE: November 15, 2006
GENRE: Short Stories, Poetry
THEME: Excellent touchy feel good holiday stories that warm the
heart and toast the soul.
PRIZE: $100, $50, $25
URL: http://www.cynicmag.com/
EMAIL: holidaycheer"at"cynicmag.com

DEADLINE: November 30, 2006
GENRE: Scripts/Screenplays
THEME:  Gay/lesbian issues;
LENGTH:  Full-length, a long one-act, or an evening-long
collection of related one-acts
PRIZE: $1000
URL: http://www.aabbfoundation.org/playwriting.htm

DEADLINE: November 30, 2006
GENRE: Short Stories, poetry (several prizes)
THEME: The Caribbean should be central to the work, or the work
should reflect a Caribbean heritage, experience or perspective.
LENGTH: 1-2 stories, maximum 15 pages each; poetry 1-5 poems
PRIZE: $400 for short stories, $300 for poetry
URL: http://www.thecaribbeanwriter.com/submit.html
EMAIL: submit"at"thecaribbeanwriter.com

DEADLINE: November 30, 2006
GENRE: Poetry
LENGTH: 1-5 poems, maximum 50 lines each.
PRIZE: $500
URL: http://www.poetrycmouse.com/contest.html
EMAIL: editors"at"poetrycmouse.com

DEADLINE: November 30, 2006
GENRE: Books
OPEN TO: Authors with a second novel published during the current
or preceding calendar year. Either the author must be a British
or Commonwealth citizen, or the submitted book must have been
first published in the UK.
PRIZE: 10,000
URL: http://www.societyofauthors.net/docs/encore.pdf
EMAIL: info"at"societyofauthors.org


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

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Diamonds in the Rough, by Julie Anne Thomas-Zucker

The Writer's Secret Weapon - The Best Free Internet Resources and
Strategies For Writers, by Louise Dop

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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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