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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 7:09           16,300 subscribers         September 6, 2007
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The Editor's Desk
The Publisher's Desk: 
NEWS from the World of Writing
THE INQUIRING WRITER:  Busy Work, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: The Newspaper-Blog Connection, by Sue Fagalde Lick
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
FEATURE: Commercial Corner - Presenting Your Portfolio, by Mandy
WHAT'S NEW at Writing World
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                        FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

No More Excuses, Fiction Here I Come

It has been a funny month for me, August. Funny peculiar, not funny

One of the reasons it's been strange is that I took two vacations 
-- which is really unlike me. Last year I didn't take any.  But
this year I decided that not only would I no longer work weekends
-- which has had such a positive, revitalizing affect on my writing
-- but I would take actual vacations too.  I won't say it was easy;
in fact, not turning on the PC was very hard indeed.  Checking
emails is definitely addictive.  But this time away from work not
only gave me time for my family, time to chill out and just be, but
it also gave me breathing time; time away from the constant demands
of emails and deadlines to work out where I wanted my writing
career to go.  

And I decided that I wasn't happy with where I was career-wise. 
Sure, whenever people asked me 'how's your writing going?' I can
tell them it is going fine, I've got loads of work and I'm kept
pretty busy.  But my career is not developing in the way I had
planned.  I realized I had taken on too many 'paying' jobs, just
because they pay and not because I actually want to do them.  I'd
been working myself into the ground doing jobs I thought I should
be doing, rather than ones I actually wanted to do. It's an easy
trap to fall into.  Moira assures me that most writers go through
this stage. When you start off, you just want to get paid for your
writing, to make a name for yourself as a writer or to see your
name in print. Then as your skill develops and you start to get
more of these paying jobs, you carry on doing them, to build up
more clips and get more of a reputation as a reliable writer. 
However, if you're not careful, you can end up being stuck, to
borrow a gaming term, on this level forever.  

Yes, I was getting paid to write, but I wasn't growing as a writer.
 I was doing the easy stuff, the stuff that pays but doesn't
stretch me as a writer. But at the same time, you don't want to
stop these jobs out of fear that at some point the pay will stop
coming in.  The result: lots of clips, moderate pay, but no
development.  I thought that by now I'd have my glossy clips, my
national newspaper clips and even, maybe, have got further than
half-way on my novel.  I had to take action.  I had to cut down on
my writing jobs and make time to stretch myself as a writer.  I did
this last year when I took myself out of my 'comfort zone' (see
Writing-World Newsletters April and May 2006,) and got myself
established as a food and drink writer.  It was time to stretch
myself again.  But how to set about it?

I was mulling over this last point when I got back to my PC after
my vacation to discover I'd lost two jobs!  So, no need to mull
over which jobs to quit then!  Actually, that's not quite true; I
lost one job but quit the other. 

One job I lost due to market conditions.  I've lost three jobs over
the past year due to the increased competition in the magazines
market.  And I always feel blue when a magazine dies, even if it is
a small one, as someone's dream dies with each one.  The other job,
as I said, I walked out on.  The editor kept changing her mind as
to what she wanted from each piece, despite having discussed it in
advance via numerous emails. In the end I decided that this job was
just another one of those 'I need to do it, because they've asked
me to' jobs and not one that would enable me to progress as a

So now I've actually got some writing time back, I'm going to use
it. I've got no more excuses left.  I have the time. I will go back
and query those glossies.  I will work on getting higher quality
clips, and at long last I'm going to enter the scary but seductive
world of fiction. I'll let you know how I get on. 

                                         -- Dawn Copeman, Editor

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                     FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESK

No More Excuses, Fiction Here I Come
Hmm, this headline sounds vaguely familiar... Where have I read
it before?  Oh, um... ahem... Sorry, Dawn.  But there you go 
again, writing the perfect editorial and saying what I was
PLANNING to say!

Two weekends ago, I did something I have never done before in my
entire life: I wrote TWO short stories.  In one weekend.  That's
one story per day.  The motivation was the discovery that the local
Hastings writer's group was offering a fiction contest with a prize
of 500 -- and an August 31 deadline.  The only problem was, the
word limit was 2000, and my first story was well over that, so I
had to come up with another.  (Writing "short" short stories has
also never been my strong suit.)  One story is now on its way to
the contest, and the other to the UK story magazine The People's
Friend (to which I've become quite addicted, thanks to its serials).

And then there's the story I've already written, which just needs
to be polished up a bit before I send it to the Writers of the
Future Contest at the end of September.  And I've just noticed that
Writer's Digest has a genre fiction contest coming up in November. 
And... and...

And I'm starting to remember, like Dawn, why I chose to become a
writer in the first place.  I'm reasonably sure that when I first
dreamed of "being a writer," I wasn't envisioning long hours spent
HTMLing articles for my website.  I wasn't even dreaming of writing
yet another piece on "how to write the perfect query."  

In short, the "geographical cure" is working.  It isn't that
England, by itself, is magically conducive to writing.  Rather, as
my husband and I have agreed, having spent as much as we have to
COME to England, we're going to feel pretty silly if we don't take
the necessary steps toward achieving our dreams while we're here. 
As my husband said, it's not that we COULDN'T have done this in
Virginia, but now the stakes are higher.

So once again it's time to announce those year-end (or nearly
year-end) "changes to Writing-World.com."  In my ongoing efforts to
pry myself away from "The Terrible HTMLium" (see "The Inquiring
Writer," below), Dawn and I have come up with several plans for the
future of the site.  The first, and most important, is that as of
January 2008, this newsletter will belong entirely to Dawn.  It
will still be called "Writing World" and be archived on the
Writing-World.com site, but beyond that, it will be Dawn's baby.  I
think we can all agree that she has proven more than capable of
taking it to new levels.

Second, we will be discontinuing the Contest Database.  This could
be referred to as "Dawn's Bane" -- endless busy-work involved in
checking listings, correcting entries and updating the whole thing
each month.  It has been costly in time on her side and money on
mine, so as of January, it will no longer be available. (Listings
from September-December are posted at
http://www.writing-world.com/contests/index.shtml).  We're
considering putting the information out in book format instead, as
there is nothing out there with this volume of contest information
(more than 1000 listings and counting!).  

Third, as of January 2008, Writing-World.com will go quarterly. 
Articles will no longer be posted monthly.  Part of this decision
is influenced by the fact that we already have more than 600
articles on the site, and I keep wondering -- how many more do we
need?  But primarily, it's a step designed to keep the Terrible
HTMLium at bay.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go jot down a conversation
with a vampire...

                       -- Moira Allen (editors"at"writing-world.com)


NEW:  THE AUTHOR'S WORKBOOK Patricia Fry offers a prepublication
discount on her new Author's Workbook and the newly revised
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Your Book. Discount offer good through September 20, 2007.



Publishers in the UK sold 787 million books in 2006 at a value of
2,813 million. These figures are slightly down in volume over
2005, when 788 million books were sold, but do show an increase in
sales value of 45 million or 2.6%. Of these books, 472 million
were exported at a value of just over 1.8 billion pounds. The US
remains the biggest importer of British books, importing just over
two million pounds worth in 2006. According to Book Marketing
Limited, consumers ages 17 - 24 spent just over 2 billion on books
in 2006, an increase of 2% on 2005.For more information visit:

Books on religion and spirituality have seen sales growth of 50%
over the past three years, according to figures from Amazon.  The
best selling book in this genre at the moment is 'The God Delusion'
by Richard Dawkins, followed by 'God is not Great' by Christopher
Hitchens.  The Pope's book, 'Jesus of Nazareth' takes third place,
just ahead of 'The Alchemis' by Paolo Coehlo and the 'Dawkins
Delusion' by Alister and Joanna McGrath. Interestingly, when 'The
God Delusion' was published last year, sales of the Bible grew by
120%. Whilst other nonfiction areas have also seen growth in sales,
38% for history and 30% for politics, publishers and booksellers
believe that religion and spirituality will continue to be the
growth area for a few years to come. For more information visit:

For those authors who can't stop checking their sales rankings at
Amazon, author Aaron Shephard might have just created the very
thing you've been looking for.  His Sales Rank Express is free
rank-checker that delivers sales ranks, customer ratings,
availability info, stock figures, promotional pairings, and much
more, all in a compact and convenient display with up to 10 books
per page and 400 pages per search. Sales Rank Express can look up
books by author, publisher, title words, ISBN, or any combination
of the four. It can look up all formats of a single title, or
information on ten of that title's top competitors. Missing and
incorrect data is easy to spot, and Sales Rank Express provides a
button for each book to take you right to Amazon's correction form.
It also enables authors to check sales overseas too: it can check
sales rankings for the U.S.A., the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan
and all in English too. It also provides you with information not
available on Amazon itself. The number of copies in stock is drawn
from Amazon's own data, but you'll find it reported nowhere else on
the Web. For more information on Sales Rank Express visit:
New York City's Bellevue Hospital has caused a stir in the literary
and medical world by deciding to publish works of fiction. Whilst
other hospitals publish medical texts, none publishes novels.
Bellevue started its foray into literature in 2001 with the
Bellevue Literary Journal, a twice-yearly collection of works of
poetry, fiction and nonfiction.  The Bellevue Literary Press will
publish works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry has already
published four books and is publishing a further four next year. 
For more information visit: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20361951/
or http://www.blpress.org/about.html

In an attempt to control the content on its site, and to ensure the
accuracy of the information it contains, Wikipedia has now
developed the Wikiscanner software, to tell the site where the
changes have come from.  Vital information if the changes mean that
the content on display is then wrong, misleading or libellous. For
more information visit:

Google is testing a new system on its US sites to enable people
mentioned in news stories to be able to post comments on the story.
 Their comments would then be posted under the main story. Google
is placing a link to enable any person who is named in a story to
email them with a comment, plus contact information and a link to
the story in which they are mentioned, so that Google can ensure
the comments are authentic.  The comments could be published in
full, without being edited. For more information visit

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and pitch ideas, and much more. Perfect for classes or individual
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& SH


                    by Dawn Copeman (editorial"at"writing-world.com)

Last month Moira and I lamented that we are often kept from our
writing by 'busy' work. And I wanted to know if this affected you
in any way.  Apparently, it does!

As Perle Champion puts it: "You ask if 'busy-work' is widespread. 
My dear, Dawn, it's rampant.  It is the primary tool of
procrastinators everywhere.  I find myself coming up with ideas for
essays, listing possible titles, researching, reading magazines I'd
like to target, making a spreadsheet with the title, date, target
markets for my writing, rearranging my writing files, giving each
idea it's own folder, etc... Somehow all those great ideas with
their notes and research languish as bare-bones rough drafts in
their pretty colored folders in my newly, mostly organized file
drawer.  I'll get to them later, maybe tomorrow, but right now I
really must dust, or decide about dinner or pour a cup of tea and
sit and read what others have written and perhaps get some more
great ideas.  I'll write tomorrow; right now I'm just too busy... "

Yep, I think we all know that feeling, Perle.

I also asked for your definitions of 'busy' work.  I wanted to know
if what I consider 'busy' work is the same for you too.  And having
read your replies, I can say that it seems to come in different
disguises for each of us.  How many of us have the chameleon 'busy'
work of Mary Terzian getting in the way of their writing?  I'll let
Mary explain: "When I mention busywork, I am not talking about
housework and yardwork which I have delegated to others for pay,
nor a regular self maintenance schedule for having a massage or
nails done -- little luxuries jotted on my agenda for when I
retired. I dreamt then of all the leisure time in the world I would
have to write. I must have suffered from 'imagin-osis.' 
"I am busier than ever now, maintaining reasonable activities in
volunteer work, civility in acknowledging funerals, weddings,
friendly e-mails and such. Then comes the payment of bills, the
grocery shopping, filing (my nemesis, a job rarely done), tax
accounting on the occasional books I sell directly for which I have
to keep a running account, bank reconciliations and occasional
letters to redress misinterpretations. In the process I get caught
up in computer glitches which I try to bypass, or attempt to fix
and end up spending hours bringing the system back into operation.
Then my ink in the printer dries up or I run out of paper.
"I take on the additional task to concede to requests by friends
for a letter, press release, telephone call to the authorities etc.
because they can't manage the work themselves -- poor spelling, no
knowledge of the language, legalities, identification of proper
authorities etc. -- and I happen to be the only multi-talented
person who can fix all their ills. These are the side effects of my
shyness, the inability to say no.  
"Then there are the cold sales calls about fixing my house. As soon
as I yield to a patio enclosure estimate, I get an offer for
replacing my windows, fixing the lawn, updating my air-conditioner,
cutting down the trees or carpeting my house. Does my house look
like a shack? The burning food on the few occasions I cook, the
leaking air-conditioning system in the middle of a heat wave, the
parched houseplants that make me feel guilty, and if nothing else,
the calls of my cockatiel for attention keep me out of the writing
business. Oh yes, love takes time when my little twerp of a bird
graciously extends her neck to be scratched on the head, tilting it
in different directions to lead me to the spots that need loving
"I sit down to make sense of the pile of work on my desk, the
scribbles on new chapters in my forthcoming book, notes on some
internet research, compilation of annotations, bits and pieces of
information that leave no elbow room, the dust that accumulates
because my help is out in Guatemala for four months now and what
was that sound? Oh! The sprinkler is gushing out of line all over
the patio. Where's the screwdriver? Hell, I had taken a shower this
morning already! I come in dripping all over. 
"Oh my God! It is five p.m. already!"   

Wow.  Now, that's what I call 'busy' work!

For others of you, 'busy' work comes in more mundane, but still
time trapping ways.  Heiddi Zalamar writes: "My idea of busy work
tends to be checking my email everyday to read responses to my
queries." However, Heiddi also has a unique way of dealing with her
busy work: "I actually get a lot of writing and brainstorming done
on my commute to and from work and internship (3rd yr grad
student). I end up with a lot of time to think about my writing and
how I can add to different projects that I'm working on.  I also
tend to come up with a lot of ideas for projects. But, because my
schedule is so hectic with work, school, and home, completing a
project is a milestone after doing all of that!"

Marion Ottoway also sees a good side to busy work: "When I get an
attack of busy work going on, I can manipulate it so that I am
thinking through and acting out and hashing out the visual and
verbal details in my head for a scene I am not sure where to go
with. I write in my head and act out each scene in my imagination
while half of my mind is on whatever busy work I have chosen to use
as my cover. My family do not understand the compulsion I am
constantly under to write and to work on my writing ideas. Some
hide behind a paper to pretend not to hear whoever is talking to
them. When I do busy work, I am not interrupted just in case I make
them do what I am doing as well. So... there is a silver lining in
busy work if you use it wisely as a ruse to be obsessed with
writing without getting caught at it!"

Lawrence Schimel finds that busy work is an unavoidable part of
being a writer.  He explains: "as a full-time freelancer, I'm
constantly juggling different projects and deadlines anyway, and
lining up new work before I've finished my current projects is part
of that process.  Checking out writing market websites of freelance
job listings (and submitting queries for these same) is therefore
necessary 'busy work,' and is a part of my daily process. I've
found that I need to allow myself a certain amount of down time,
before I can actually start my 'writing day' day, whether it's
reading blogs or doing something more 'productive' like the
abovementioned 'busy work.' It's sort of like my warm up period;
the trick is not to let this period extend too long, since then I
wind up feeling all typed out for the day. 

"When I have a new book out, there's extra 'busy work' that
happens, in identifying places that might want to review the book
or interview me, sending out queries giving them the publicist's
info to ask for a review copy of the book, etc.  Sometimes this
"'usy work' can take over the day's typing or productive period and
I don't manage to get any writing done.  So while it's part of
being a writer, there's a danger in letting the business of being a
writer dominate and distract one too much from the actual writing."

And that, I think, is the big danger of busy work. It does stop us
from getting down to what we really should be doing.  To explain
further, I've called upon someone we all know well, in nature, if
not in name, the Terrible Trivium from Norton Juster's "The Phantom
Tollbooth."  The Terrible Trivium is the "demon of petty tasks and
worthless jobs, ogre of wasted effort and monster of habit." 

The Terrible Trivium is the one who keeps us checking emails and
doing other, mundane and non-essential tasks because, as he asks:
"what could be more important than doing unimportant things?  If
you stop to do enough of them, you'll never get to where you are

He also, in my case anyway, also explains why as writers, we find
it easy to get caught up in busy work: "If you do only the easy and
useless jobs, you'll never have to worry about the important ones
which are so difficult.  You just won't have the time.  For there's
always something to do to keep you from what you really should be

Hmmm.  Sobering thoughts. I'll try and bear that in mind when I
next get caught up in a day of emails and html work. 

And now onto this month's question which comes from Judith Munson. 
She emailed me with the following problem: "I've noticed something
about myself re: a health issue and my writing and wondered if
anyone else experienced this.
"I'm a diabetic, insulin dependent, four injections per day and
although I am able to keep my blood sugars under control, I've
noticed on the days that they aren't, especially when they are too
high, I find myself having a very difficult time concentrating and
I'm very irritable.  This frustrates me because I want to write,
even on those days, and I find it next to impossible to do this.  I
know the simple answer is to get the blood sugars under control,
and then to continue on, but it's not quite as simple as that.  
"Has anyone ever mentioned having a chronic illness that interferes
with their writing process and what they've done about it?  
"This is an area that really irritates me about myself and I would
like to be able to overcome it.  When I experience these days, how
can I still keep myself in the writing process, i.e.: thinking,
planning, research, etc, so I don't feel like I've lost a day of
"What are your thoughts?"
Well, what are your thoughts?  Have you gone through something
similar?  If you also suffer from a chronic illness, how do you
cope?  Email me with your thoughts and the subject line "Writing
and illness" to editorial"at"writing-world.com."

Okay, I'm off to do battle with the Terrible Trivium. 

Till next time,


For ideas on how to overcome 'busy' work visit 

And for reasons why you should try to avoid 'busy' work, visit: 


Dawn Copeman is a freelance writer based in England. She is the
author of over 100 articles and is the editor of Writing World
and also of Newbie Writers, http://www.newbie-writers.com, a site
for new and aspiring writers.  Dawn is also a copywriter as well
as a contributing editor and columnist at
http://www.timetravel-britain.com. Visit her website at

Copyright (c) 2007 by Dawn Copeman


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your copy, visit http://www.literarylawguide.com.


                                             by Sue Fagalde Lick

Do you have a blog yet? 

If you're one of those writers who says, "What the heck is a blog?"
it's time to catch up. The word blog is short for weblog,
essentially an online journal in which a writer can write anything
he wants, publish it on the Internet and invite readers to comment.
In short, it's an interactive website. A truly 21st-century
phenomenon, blogs have taken off faster than the last Harry Potter

In The New Influencers, a book about blogs, Paul Gillin writes that
as of mid-2006 the number of bloggers was up to 50 million and

What does this mean for writers? A lot, especially for those who
want to write for newspapers. Blogs can help us get published and
paid in three major ways:

* They provide an immediate forum for our writing. 
* They offer a valuable research source.
* They allow us a look into the newsrooms of papers for which we
want to write. 

Writing a blog
You can start a blog today and publish whatever you want to share
with the world. Many people who are not professional writers use
blogs to talk about their travels, their hobbies, or their
opinions. Companies use blogs to plug their products. As a writer,
you can use a blog to publish your thoughts, share links to other
sites, explore interest in books or articles you want to write, or
provide samples of your work. You can put clips on your blog,
posting either the entire article or the first few paragraphs with
a link to the complete published article. 

Blogs can lead to publication in newspapers and other media. In the
midst of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, for example, bloggers on
the scene became one of the best news sources, quoted by other
media. Some papers have begun using "citizen bloggers" to report
local activities their staff writers can't get to.

Occasionally a popular blog can lead to paid publication. In a
recent Mediabistro column, Natalie Bovis-Nelson described how her
blog about cocktails, The Liquid Muse, took off. "I crafted a
'weekend of wine' pitch for Northern Virginia Magazine and used my
blog as a clip. After seeing the body of work I had amassed on the
subject of alcoholic libations, an editor at the magazine offered
me a monthly cocktail column, which a year later I still write."
Bovis-Nelson says her blog has become the "cornerstone" of her
freelance career.

Blogging does not necessarily earn money, although there are
writers who are paid to ghost-blog for organizations and
corporations. It is also possible to publish advertising on your
blog. In fact, some blogs have become so popular that sponsors have
come to the bloggers asking for space on their sites. However, the
main goals of blogging are self-expression and calling attention to
your work. 

Writing a blog shares many of the same characteristics of writing
for other Internet venues. Blog entries are generally short. They
incorporate links to other sites, often trading links to bring in
more readers. They frequently include graphics and sound. 

The quality of blogs is often judged by how many people read and
comment on the postings. A successful blogger picks a niche and
sticks with it. You can't build an audience if you keep changing
topics. But you can start separate blogs on different topics.
Making use of keywords that get your blog listed on the major
search engines will help bring readers in.

The best bloggers write with a distinctive voice. Enjoy the freedom
of blogging to let your true self out, whether it's wise, warm or
witty. Think of it as a letter to a friend--or 50 million of them.

Avoid making the whole blog about yourself. Offer content of value
to readers. You may need to do some research and interviews to keep
the material fresh. As with other media, attribute any quotes you
use to their sources and don't use images or articles without

It's important to post often. The most popular bloggers write
something new every day and invite comments, keeping the
conversation going. For writers, blogging can be a good exercise to
start the day, and it's also a nice way to beat the rejection

Offering editors a link to your blog could entice them to offer you
paying assignments, especially if the reader comments show people
are interested in the subject. There's no guarantee, but blogging
may be a way to speed up the query-and-wait process, especially if
you're covering a niche no one else is writing about. Blogging
soldiers from Iraq have become correspondents, and experts on
specialized topics have been invited to submit articles, columns
and book proposals by editors who read their blogs.

Along with the advantages come some cautions:

* Just because it's quick and free doesn't mean you shouldn't write
as well as you can. Revise and polish your blog comments before you
post. You never know who might read them.
* A blog is public. Don't post anything that ought to be kept
personal, that might embarrass someone, or that might be considered
* If your goal is simply to write and have people read it, blog
freely. Have fun with it. But if you are looking to build a
freelance career writing for pay, don't give away your best
writing. Use the blog to offer samples, to toss around ideas, and
to bring attention to you and your expertise. Save the good stuff
for your articles and books.  

Blogs as research tools
Trolling the blogs can provide leads to stories that you might
pitch to a newspaper or other publication. They can also help you
keep up to date on the "beat" you cover and provide information you
need for your articles. 

Although most blogs are unedited and you have no proof of their
accuracy, they offer links to other resources, names of experts,
book and product reviews, and more. You might even find the perfect
source in the comments section.

The interactive quality of blogs means you can start a discussion
with the blogger, which may lead to more information. If the
blogger appears to be worth interviewing, you can then arrange to
talk. As with any other source, don't quote blog posts without
attribution, and ask permission if you plan to use more than a few
lines. Also, keep track of blog addresses and posting dates in case
you or your editor needs to verify what you write.

Fortunately you don't need to search through millions of blogs for
your research. Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogrankings and
Bloglines are among the sites that will locate blogs for you on the
subjects you're researching. 

Finding newspaper markets via blogs
These days editors and reporters from most major daily newspapers
and many smaller papers publish blogs. Why? They blog for the same
reason they developed web pages and started putting stories online:
to compete with broadcast and Internet media that offer instant
information. Blogging gives them a way to provide the latest
developments on breaking news, to publish topics that don't fit
into the newspaper, and to give their writers space to tell the
stories behind the articles they write. It also encourages reader

One writer on a terrific site called Blue Plate Special, published
by the New York University journalism department, compared
reporters' blogs to the extras you find on a movie DVD. In 2006,
the Blue Plate Special team surveyed the top blogging newspapers
and published a list of The Best Blogging Newspapers in the U.S.
Their list includes links to the newspapers' blogs, so you can see
exactly what they're talking about.

Reporters who are asked to blog without additional pay may not be
happy about the extra work, but newspaper blogs are a gold mine for
freelance writers. In reading about the decisions behind the
stories, writers learn what editors are looking for. For example,
when a reader complained recently about a show not being reviewed,
the Oregonian arts editor explained in his blog how he chooses what
exhibits and performances to review. His answer was much more
personal and explicit than the dry guidelines offered on the
newspaper's website. 

With some newspapers, you can search their websites for guidelines
until you're blind, but a newspaper's blog opens the window to the
newsroom and let's you eavesdrop on discussions that can help you
present exactly the stories they're looking for. Not only can you
listen in, but you can comment and perhaps provide a link to your
own blog on that very subject. 

Should You Blog?
Blogs are immediate, personal and interactive, but stop and think
before you blog. Will it boost your career or just polish your ego?
Will it steal valuable time away from your other writing projects? 
As an author with a new book to promote, I agreed with my publisher
that I should use a blog as part of the publicity campaign for
Freelancing for Newspapers. I enjoy being able to talk about my
freelance work and having a venue to offer tips and links to other
writers. I love it when readers write back. Blogging takes time,
but it's worth it to me.

It's easy to start a blog. Many companies offer free blogging
templates. All you have to do is fill in the blanks, and you can be
blogging within an hour. Popular hosts include The Diary,
Squarespace, Blogthing, and Blogger. Find other sites by searching
for "free blog hosting services." Also check your internet service
provider and your website hosts to see if they offer a blogging

Even if you decide you'd rather not write a blog, start reading
them. Otherwise, you're missing a gigantic worldwide conversation
and a chance to boost your freelance writing career. 

Blue Plate Special's list of top 100 blogging newspapers-- 
The Diary--http://www.thediary.org
Google Alerts--http://www.google.com/alerts
Google's Blogger service--http://www.blogger.com
The Liquid Muse--http://www.theliquidmuse.blogspot.com
Mediabistro article July 7, 2007--http://www.mediabistro.com
Paul Gillin's New Influencers
Sue Lick's web site--http://www.suelick.com
Sue Lick's Freelancing for Newspapers blog--


Sue Fagalde Lick is the author of Freelancing for Newspapers,
published by Quill Driver Books. In addition to many years as a
staff reporter and editor, she has published countless freelance
articles and three books on Portuguese Americans. She teaches
freelance writing workshops and offers individual coaching. 

Copyright (c) 2007 Sue Fagalde Lick

For more information on writing for newspapers visit these
additional articles by Sue Lick:

WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of writing
markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 2,000 writing
markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia.


CAN'T GET PUBLISHED? Be a Well-Fed Self-Publisher and make a
living! Control the process and timetable. Keep the rights AND
most of the profits.  Here's the step-by-step blueprint used to
create a full-time living from ONE book!  By the award-winning
author of The Well-Fed Writer. http://www.wellfedsp.com.



A virtual galaxy with over a million stars and solar  systems that
can be explored using a 2-dimensional map. Each star, each planet
and each moon represents one wiki page.  Galaxiki site members,
also called "Galaxicians", can name edit those pages (stars,
planets & moons) and write fictional histories about them.

Writing Tips & Tricks
A friendly blog full of writing advice from a stay at home mom and
freelance writer with 15 years' experience. 

An internet radio station broadcasting original short stories.  We
invite writers to submit previously unpublished stories and we
choose a selection of the best to be recorded and broadcast on our
website.  All our chosen stories are recorded by professional
actors; with music added for extra atmosphere.

Book Proposals - Your Ticket to Publication
This site offers free help to writers who are working on a book
proposal. It also helps you find a literary agent and write a query

Book Divas
The first online book community especially for young adults. We now
have expanded enormously with many new features like contests,
author interviews, and even a Writing Stars College Scholarship

International Internships
Search for internships around the world. Create a free online
profile for employers to find you. 


submission guidelines/leads for poetry, short prose, and book
projects. You'll receive your FREE report TODAY via email
NEWSFLASH. Visit http://www.writersrelief.com or call toll-free
(866) 405-3003.  Absolutely no subscription or purchase
necessary. We'll share our know-how with you. In our 14th Year!


five-step process for creating flawless written text.
Write It Right: The Ground Rules for Self-Editing Like The Pros
shows you how! $17.95 + s/h.

                                            By Mandy Hougland
Commercial freelance writers tackle a wide variety of assignments -
things like press releases, newsletters, resumes, flyers, sales
copy and brochures. We may write a procedure manual for a
manufacturing company in the morning and design a brochure for a
bridal shop in the afternoon. We're "specialized generalists". That
is, we know a whole lot about a multitude of subjects because of
our exposure to a broad range of clients.  
But sometimes potential clients choose to rely on in-house
resources to manage their writing projects because they're more
comfortable trusting someone who specifically knows their business.
 By the same token, companies might be reluctant to try the
services of a different or new writer when the one they usually
work with isn't available. The prospect of catching someone else up
to speed may seem exhausting to them. Or, it's simply too risky to
put an important project in the hands of a contractor with whom
they have no prior experience.
Here's where you, as an outsider, can dissolve those fears, get an
edge, and land more assignments. Develop a professional portfolio
showcasing your commercial writing experience. Fill it with the
most impressive samples of your work, and share it with potential
clients. Your portfolio should include a large sampling of projects
and illustrate your ability to tackle subjects previously
unfamiliar to you. This proves that though you may not be
completely knowledgeable just yet on the client's business, you can
certainly get to know it and turn out a useful product that suits
its purpose. 

To read the rest of this article go to: 


Mandy Hougland a freelance writer living in the Northwest 
Arkansas metro. She has published more than 150 articles for 
local, regional and national publications. Some of these 
include "River Hills Traveler", "Byline Magazine", "Connecting 
NorthwestArkansas", and "Women in the Outdoors". She also
handles commercial writing assignments such as marketing 
materials and copywriting projects for companies small and large. 
To learn more, visit her website:

Copyright (c) 2007 by Mandy Hougland

For more information on commercial and technical writing visit:


Writing for Young Readers:
Juggling Hamsters: Tips for the Busy Writer, by Eugie Foster

I Could Be a Writer, If Only I Had The Time, by Roberta Roesch

Other Letters a Writer Will Need, by Rose Ross Zediker             

Why Write for Newspapers? by Sue Fagalde Lick

Commercial Corner: Presenting Your Portfolio, by Mandy Hougland

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 21, 2007
GENRE: Poetry
THEME: post your poem on this group's wall. It must be unpublished,
your own work, and no more than 8 lines, and must begin with the
word Face and end with the word book.
PRIZE: $150
URL: http://www.facebookpoetry.com

DEADLINE: September 28, 2007
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: commemorating the 200th anniversary of Britain's abolition
of the slave trade, poems on the theme of slavery.
OPEN TO: UK writers with no published collections of poetry
PRIZE: 500
URL:  http://tinyurl.com/2ocoox

DEADLINE: September 30, 2007
GENRE: Short Stories
THEME: Unpublished original stories with heart, soul and chutzpah
illuminating issues in the lives of Jewish women. Contest is open
to both male and female authors, but entrants should familiarize
themselves with the magazine, which is geared toward Jewish women.
Stories need to have both feminist and Jewish content. Word limit:
3000 max (shorter stories preferred) 
PRIZE: $250 and publication in LILITH magazine.
URL: http://www.lilith.org/competition.htm

DEADLINE: October 1, 2007
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: Publication
URL: http://www.outsiderwriters.org

DEADLINE: October 15, 2007
GENRE: Young Writers
THEME:  A short essay response (max 250 words) to the scholarship
topic: "If you could say one thing to the entire world at once,
what would it be and why?"
OPEN TO: US citizens aged 13 and over.
PRIZE: $1000 scholarship cheque
URL: http://tinyurl.com/2m2k7y

DEADLINE: October 16, 2007
GENRE: Poetry/Short Stories
THEME: Entries must be submitted through the WRHAMMONS.COM's
Authors Who Want to Find a Literary Agent and Get Their Book
Published MySpace discussion group (signing up for MySpace is free
and only takes a few minutes).
PRIZE: $75, $50, and $25 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place, Respectively
URL: http://www.wrhammons.com/writing-contest-2007.htm


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
Become a Children's Writer: Insider Secrets, by Jill McDougall

Case Studies that Sell, by David Leland

Freelancing for Newspapers, by Sue Fagalde Lick

From the Heart of a Mother, by Sherri A Stanczak 

Moon Handbooks: London, by Sean McLachlan 
(with many photos by Moira Allen!)

Stories Grandma Never Told: Portuguese Women in California, 
by Sue Fagalde Lick

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

Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com)

Site/Newsletter Editor:
DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com)

Copyright 2007 Moira Allen
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