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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 7:10           16,300 subscribers           October 4, 2007
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The Editor's Desk
The Publisher's Desk: 
NEWS from the World of Writing
THE INQUIRING WRITER:  Writing and Illness, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: Can I make a living as a novelist? by Marilyn Henderson
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
FEATURE: Short Stuff, by Marie E. Cecchini
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                        FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK
If It Isn't One Thing; It's Another
So, when I left you last month, it was with the words, "No more
excuses, fiction here I come!"

And I really did mean it.  But then, as it will, life got in the
way.  First of all my daughter was back at school for three whole
days and then came down with an ear-infection, which then spread to
her chest, made her asthma worse and meant she was at home for a
week.  Okay, not much writing time there then.  Then, just as she
went back to school; I got the chest infection. Fantastic! But
actually, it was.  

When I was laid up in bed, laptop across my knees, struggling to
clear my foggy head for long-enough to meet deadlines, I did
something strange when I'd finished my work. Instead of switching
it off and going back to sleep; I clicked on to a blank screen and
began typing.  I began to write a story. I wrote solidly for four
hours! Since getting back to full-health and back to work, I
haven't been able to spare it that much time, but whenever I get a
spare moment, my eyes glaze over and I'm off. I'm in the world in
my head, working things out for the story and it's fantastic!

So, do please excuse me if the editorial is short this month.  I'm
itching to get back to my novel and find out what's going to happen
next.  Besides which, we've got a packed enough issue for you as it
is, with loads of useful information and do check out the website,
we've loaded it with four online only articles this month.

Also, I've got a feeling Moira has one or two things to say. So
I'll leave her plenty of space in which to do it. 

Till next time, 

                                        -- Dawn Copeman, Editor

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                     FROM THE PUBLISHER'S DESK

A Lame Excuse for an Editorial....
Actually, right now I have a lame excuse for just about anything:
I'm lame!  Somehow, three weeks ago come Sunday, coming down the
stairs right here in my own house, I managed to miss the bottom
step.  I swear that I heard something snap as I went down, and
OOOH, the pain.  For a few minutes I was convinced I'd broken my
ankle, but finally managed to wiggle my foot and put some weight on
it.  Patrick insisted, however, that we get an x-ray to be sure, so
we set off on Monday for our first foray into the National Health

I'm happy to report that it was actually a good experience (despite
the horror stories we'd heard) -- we only sat in the emergency room
for two hours, start to finish.  And, sure enough, I HAD broken a
bone, though not, thankfully, the main weight-bearing ankle bone.
(I'm pretty sure the snap I heard was actually a ligament or
three.)  So I hobbled out of ER (excuse me, "A&E," as in "accident
and emergency") with a cast and crutches.  Three days later I went
back for the "permanent" cast, which, also thankfully, is a walking
cast, so I could at least put my foot on the floor and didn't need
to crawl upstairs on my backside.  (We have, BTW, 19 stone steps
leading up to the front door, and that's the ONLY way in and out of
this house.)

All this occurred just after we got home from a wonderful vacation
in Winchester -- one week, 2000 photos! I'm getting a bit
superstitious about "wonderful vacations," though -- the last time
I sprained my ankle was on a wonderful vacation to Salisbury, in
2003. Fortunately that was a very minor twist, and I was able to
limp through the rest of my holiday fairly easily.  I was, in fact,
congratulating myself on getting through the Winchester trip
without incident (on one occasion I actually did miss a step, but
landed on my feet.)  At least we got the holiday in while the sun
shone (most of the time).

Despite having to keep my foot up about 75% of the time, I still
managed to finish off a short story and get it out the door for the
Writers of the Future contest.  And October marks another landmark
event: 20 years ago this month, I wrote my first book!

So this seemed the ideal time to bring out a third edition of
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet, written in 1987 and
never out of print. Ironically, the book was originally
self-published, then sold to a commercial publisher, and now
(thanks to the Internet, Amazon and all that) it's self-published
again.  (Hmm, that points to another pattern in my life; when I
first self-published the book, I promptly ended up overseas in
Germany and had to handle sales long-distance; now here I am in

Unfortunately I still don't have the new books in hand, but will
report on their progress (hopefully) next month!  And now it's time
to limp back to the sofa and put my foot up!
                       -- Moira Allen (editors"at"writing-world.com)


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By the time you read this, Banned Book Week - Celebrating the
Freedom to Read will be well and truly underway. It is an annual
event that has been running since 1982 and exists to remind
Americans not to take for granted their democratic right to read
whatever books they please. Many bookstores and libraries across
the nation join in the celebration with displays and readings of
books that have been banned or threatened throughout history.  
These include works ranging from the Bible to John Steinbeck's "Of
Mice and Men."  Each year, the American Library Association's (ALA)
Office for Intellectual Freedom receives hundreds of reports on
books and other materials that were "challenged" (their removal
from school or library shelves was requested). Last year they
received 546 challenges, but "the number of challenges reflects
only incidents reported," said Judith F. Krug, director of the ALA
Office for Intellectual Freedom. "For each reported challenge, four
or five likely remain unreported."   "Most Challenged" titles
include the popular "Harry Potter" series of fantasy books for
children by J.K. Rowling.   The series drew complaints from parents
and others who believe the books promote witchcraft to children.
Other "Most Challenged" titles include "The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, for its use of language,
particularly references to race; "It's Perfectly Normal," a sex
education book by Robie Harris, for being too explicit, especially
for children; and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya
Angelou, for the description of rape she suffered as a child.  
To see the most challenged books of 2006 visit:
For more information on Banned Book Week visit:

The military regime in Burma has come under attack by the
International Federation of Journalists for apparently targeting
foreign journalists and the Burmese media. Police have intimidated
foreign journalists in hotels where internet access and phone lines
are still working and threatened them for refusing to follow the
demands of the regime.  The ruling junta have also ordered the
closure of several privately owned newspapers that had refused to
print government propaganda.  This follows the murder of Japanese
cameraman, Kenji Nagai, who was shot when the military fired into a
crowd to disperse them. The regime has also started to restrict
internet access and has closed down several blogs.  
For more information on this story visit:
http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=5362&Language=EN and

The Writers Guild of America have picketed the offices of Fremantle
Media in protest over the pay and working condition of writers on a
TV game show, Temptation. The trouble began last month when
Fremantle refused to negotiate a contract with the WGAW for
Temptation writers. Game show writers are covered in the WGAW's
Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), but Fremantle refused to honor the
terms of the MBA. The writers then walked off the job until
Fremantle agreed to negotiate with the WGAW.   For more information

Meanwhile in Canada, the Writers Union is calling for public sector
workers to end their strike, which has left citizens in Vancouver
without access to public libraries for nine weeks and forced the
cancellation of some events in the Word on the Street Festival.
"Nine weeks is far too long for citizens of a major Canadian city
to be denied access to library books, research materials, and
literary readings," says Susan Swan, chair of The Writers' Union of
Canada. "We urge the two sides in this dispute to return to the
bargaining table, negotiate an equitable agreement, and allow the
libraries to reopen. Writers and their readers are being hurt by
this strike." For more information visit:

The Irish Times is putting every edition of its newspaper from its
very first edition on March 29 1859 online. To digitize the archive
took 1,100 reels of microfilm; each of those reels consisted of 700
page images. Access to the archive will not be free, but will cost
10 for 24 hours.  In a similar story, the British Library has
announced that it will digitize all 19th century newspapers in its
collection. This will give researchers access to over two million
pages from 43 different newspapers including national, regional and
specialist titles such as Chartist newspapers.  The Library is
hoping to offer some access for free with perhaps a paid-for
service for repeated access. For more information on these stories
http://tinyurl.com/2qph8j and 

LitMatch.net is a free service that enables authors to contact
literary agents and to track their submissions. When a user records
a submission, LitMatch keeps track of key information, including
when the query was sent, whether it was sent by mail or email, and
which agent it was sent to.  When the user gets a reply, LitMatch
keeps track of any follow-ups and reports back on how agents are
responding to his or her work.Users can also compare response times
against those reported by other users, and use reported statistics
to determine which agents they want to approach next. Reassuringly,
LitMatch will not list any agents that charge reading fees.  For
more information visit:
http:// www.litmatch.net

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

Last month I asked if you could help me to help Judith Munson, an
insulin-dependant diabetic who is finding it difficult to write
with a chronic illness.  She wanted to know if any other writers
have chronic illnesses and how they cope.
We had a lot of responses to this one. Judith's questions seems to
have hit a chord with a lot of you.

Lesley O'Brian Hoff wrote in to say: "When I saw Judith's question,
I got my usual punch-in-the-gut reaction. I was diagnosed with
Fibromyalgia about 11 years ago. Since that time, my ability to
write has deteriorated to the point that I grab those times when I
can write, but mostly I'm resolved to edit because that's what my
attention span and body can handle. Shorter spurts of work time
followed by longer breaks. What I've had to do is reset my
expectation bar of what I can and cannot do and just get over the
fact that I've had to make these changes. Of course, it's taken
8-10 years to do so and some really good doctors along the way.

"That said, I had to make changes in my life and to find a schedule
that works and when I get off it, it not only affects me physically
(health), but also my writing. So I sneak it in where I can. I run
story lines in my head when I'm walking the dogs, carry a notebook
whenever we are out in case something comes to mind and I don't
want to forget it. And should I forget my notebook, I record it on
my cell phone or leave a message on my voicemail and transcribe it
later. It's been an adjustment and when it gets just plain too
frustrating, we take a day off and seek out a change of scenery and
start out fresh later."

Marion Ottaway can also understand Judith's frustrations. She
writes: "I have the same problem but a different kind of illness. I
have chronic high blood pressure. When I am focused for too long on
my writing, I end up with my blood pressure rising because I've
been sitting too long, all the blood has been pumped to my brain to
keep it working, and the rest of my body gets ignored. 

"When I write I will get caught up in it from twelve to fourteen
hours a day. I have begun to pace myself because what I was doing
is ridiculous! I make myself get up and exercise to move the blood
somewhere else which means healthy busy work like sweeping a floor
or taking a long walk or a shower, maybe watch some mindless
entertainment... whatever it takes to relax. 

"The other thing I tend to forget is to eat. We've all had times
when we are so involved in what we are doing that the real world
recedes into nothingness as we become our characters. Health is
more important than making sure you get that recently written
chapter edited. As an obsessed and too-motivated writer, I have to
put the brakes on and remember I exist and my body needs its share
of attention as well. The best thing to do is pace yourself and
know when you're pushing the envelope. What does it matter if you
write for three hours or ten? You're writing and that's what it is
all about! Don't turn your writing into a marathon of endurance
just to prove you are motivated. 

"Don't let yourself get over-tired, or forget to eat. Using brain
energy uses up calories in the body. If you are a diabetic, stress
and how you eat to compensate for it as well as how you exercise is
key to overcoming that particular difficulty. It just means that
you have to get focused to structure your work day with alternating
spells of sitting and exercising to get the blood moving and the
body working on other things besides brain power. If you don't get
focused on that, you will burn out."

Someone else who fully understands what Judith is going through is
Anne Watkins. She wrote:" Like Judith Munson, I'm an
insulin-dependent diabetic on four injections a day. I also have to
deal with several other serious health issues along with the
diabetes--and I'm a full-time freelance writer. I completely
understand where Judith's coming from! 

"It can be extremely difficult to deal with work when my diabetes
or other health issues interfere. Fortunately, though, I've found a
few things that help. I take breaks when I need to--if I'm feeling
sick, I take a few hours to rest and try to get things under
control. The good thing about being a freelancer is that I can set
my own hours!

"Another thing that really helps me is having a laptop computer to
work on. If I'm feeling too sick to sit at my desk, I'm able to
crash in the recliner and keep right on working.

"Conducting interviews via telephone or e-mail and digging up
research online are wonderful ways to accomplish huge chunks of
work. But when it gets down to actually having to put all that info
into article form, sick days can bring on 'brain cramps' that
really make things difficult. 

"I try to schedule my time so that I have a 'cushion' in case I
need to take a few days off. A white board comes in handy to remind
myself of assignments, interviews, deadlines and other work-related
things I need to stay on top of. I also keep detailed notes in a
day planner.

"I'm proud to say that I've never missed a deadline because of
illness and I've been working like this for many years. It hasn't
been easy (oh, boy, it hasn't been easy!) but being a freelancer
enables me to do the work I love, on a schedule I can handle, while
earning a decent income at the same time."

Deb Hockenberry is another writer struggling with a chronic
illness. She writes: "I have Multiple Sclerosis.  I have the pain,
fatigue, spasms, relapses and other things to contend with. Chronic
illness, as Judith can tell you, can really get in the way of your
writing.  When it does, it's very frustrating!
"Because of the fatigue and pain, I haven't been able to write for
a full day for years.  Some times I can't write at all.  I haven't
been able to write for the past two years because of MS.  I'm just
now able to get back into it.
"I've tried to keep writing through my MS symptoms but that just
makes the MS worse.
"What seems to work (for me anyway) is writing for four hours a day
when my health allows it.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Much of the time
I don't make it to four hours!  I try to work around my MS issues.
"I have to say that I cheer Judith for stepping up to the plate and
asking for ideas or suggestions.  I've been asking myself the same
question for years! I really hope that someone has ideas or
suggestions so Judith, myself and others can keep writing.  As for
myself all I can think of is to work around it. Any more ideas?"
Janis Soucie has to deal with a lot of illnesses, including
environmental allergies, asthma, food allergies, and adrenal
fatigue.  She has some useful, practical advice for Judith and Deb
and anyone else dealing with chronic illness: "Before I became so
ill, I would be up at about 8AM and writing by about 10AM and would
write all day. I could write about ten poems a day or a few
chapters. Now it is a whole new story. I struggle to complete a
poem or two, or even a full article. With adrenal fatigue not only
comes fatigue that is not resolved with sleep (no matter how much
you get), but there is the foggy brain which I also get with
allergies. Headaches come and go. 

"Frustration has played a large part. I still get ideas for poems,
short stories and articles, and I jot these down as quick as
possible. I may sit down and start writing on something but if I
just can't concentrate I get frustrated and angry with myself and
usually end up crying. I feel that no matter how deep and strong my
passion to write is...I  just can't do it. At least not to the
extent I would like. I have had to do a lot of self-talk and train
myself to relax... take it easy because getting frustrated and
upset is not going to help. I have learned to first care for my
health and if I feel like writing to do so but not to push myself.
I've had to learn to listen to and work with my body's signals in
telling me if I should rest, or if I could sit a spell and work on
a project. If I don't feel up to writing, then I find something
relaxing to do and don't get upset about it. I still may think
about the current project I am on, and I'll jot down any ideas I
have, and put them with my project. I figure what little writing I
do is better than none at all. I have learned to have patience with
myself and to do what I must to help my body, mind, emotions and
spirit heal in order to get back to optimal health and to that full
writing career I have always dreamed of.

"Judith, don't give up. Chronic illness is no fun to deal with but
it doesn't have to control your life. Write when you feel you can
with little trouble. That's all that can really be expected. I know
about diabetes as my mother, 
two grandmothers and brother have it. I sympathize, but know that
you can work through your diabetes and still accomplish your

Thank you to everyone else who sent in replies to this question; I
passed them all onto Judith. 

Now, onto this month's question.  You might remember last month, I
took some advice from a children's book "The Phantom Tollbooth" to
help me to deal with the terrible trivium.  It helped me to realize
I was wasting precious writing time doing unimportant things,
because: "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 doing."  

So having taken his advice on board, and yes, thank you, I am now
actually writing fiction, I wondered whether you've ever taken
writing advice from unusual sources. If so, what were these sources
and what was the advice? More importantly, did the advice work? 
Email me with the subject line: Writing Advice to

Till next time,


As most of our respondents stressed the importance of having a
writing routine and managing the time you write, check this
articles on how to best manage your writing time and get organised:


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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                                             by Marilyn Henderson

If you ask yourself that question, you probably have written, are
writing or want to write a novel. Good for you.  Novelist is
definitely high on the list of "Fab" careers, but like any other
major decision in your life, there are some important things to
consider before you compose that resignation letter to your current

Writing a novel is 5% talent and 95% hard work. The fact that you
are writing a novel is a pretty good indication that you have the
talent that can be developed for a successful career.  A stronger
indication is having finished and sold the novel you began. The
best and safest indication is having written and sold several

A first sale is thrilling, but unless you can continue selling, you
don't have a career. Agents and editors want writers who produce
books regularly. Agents and editors will help build your career,
but it's up to you to keep them supplied with the building blocks.

There are thousands of unfinished and unsold novels in computers
and desks around the world. They wind up there because beginning
writers often neglect or skim over the most important first step in
the 95% hard work.

The First Step
Like any career, becoming a novelist requires mastering the skills
you need to do the job well. Recognizing an idea that will sell,
writing the story so it hooks the reader, and keeps him hooked all
the way through, then drawing it all to a satisfying finale, are
skills that take time and practice to master.

Many writers get what seem like great ideas and rush to their
computers to begin chapter one. That can be a fatal mistake.  Few,
if any, great ideas come developed ready to sustain a novel that
will grab an editor's interest and make her eager to read your
manuscript. Your idea will only accomplish that if it creates an
emotional reaction when the editor reads your description, query,
or sample pages. Agents and editors know that emotional buttons
sell books. It's up to you to create them throughout your work.    

Creating an emotional button means choosing words for your
description or plot statement, as well as in the pages of your
novel, that make the reader form a mental picture from his own
experience or imagination so he reacts emotionally. You create the
mood you want him to feel, be it suspenseful, romantic, sympathetic
light-hearted, or terrifying.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that editors and agents
are always looking for something new and different. They reject
most manuscripts because they aren't different enough from the
hundreds of others they receive.

As you build a career, your creativity must grow with it.  The
unwary writer often gets caught up in writing the novel, and
doesn't give much thought to marketing until the book is completed.
The career novelist knows marketability begins with the idea, and
is planned and written into every page of the book. Marketability
is measured by emotional impact. 

The publisher's marketing ideas and plans evolve from the content
of the story, and how the author presents it. If you don't write
your novel so an editor sees its market potential the first time
she reads it, she won't recommend that the company buy it.
Marketability must be written into your novel--it can't be added

Step 2
Every novel, be it mainstream or any genre, must generate suspense
and dramatic tension to hold the readers' interest, and stir an
emotional response. The elements that build and escalate suspense
and dramatic tension should be planned before you start writing.
Suspense doesn't happen by accident, or grow by itself. As the
writer, you need to master how to create and build it. 

Suspense must begin on page one and build steadily from there to
the climax. Suspense keeps the reader reading.  Planning ahead also
keeps your story from ending with a fizzle. Identifying the
dramatic or tension-building elements before you write lets you
save the biggest emotional button for the final scene. Each
suspense element should be able to support a scene that moves the
story forward. And, each must create more dramatic tension or
suspense as the story progresses. 

Whether you outline or use some other method, planning your book
before you begin Chapter one also helps you determine whether or
not you have enough scenes and action to fill an entire novel.
Running out of story when the book needs 100 more pages can leave
you floundering. And, more than likely, you'll have a hard time
coming up with scenes that continue building the suspense you need.

Many writers abandon their novels half way through because they
don't know where the story should go next. If a story is worth
writing, it's worth planning. 

Step 3
Like any other career, writing demands your best effort and
attention. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to work eight
hours a day, five days a week, but you must set aside a definite
amount of time on a regular schedule for actual writing. This isn't
thinking time, it's writing time. You can think about the book
while you do the laundry, walk the dog, or ride the bus to work.

No matter how long it took you to write your first book, once it is
accepted, you will be required to adhere to a time frame set out in
your contracts. Agents and editors want writers who have a new book
ready in 12 to 18 months after acceptance of the first one.
Publishing schedules are planned that far in advance. If you don't
meet your schedule, your "slot" will go to another writer. If you
don't publish a new book every year, you may also lose your
audience. Readers who purchased your first novel may forget you and
move on to other authors.

Step 4 
There are several questions you should also ask yourself if you are
considering a career as a novelist. If you answer "yes" to all of
them, you will probably have a good chance of success.

1.  Are you a self-starter who can work well alone for long periods
of time? Do you stick to a writing schedule?

2.   Can you accept criticism and use it constructively?  Not all
criticism is valid.  Can you tell the difference between valid
criticism and reader reaction?

3.  Do you have good skills in grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
If not, are you steadily acquiring them?

4.  Have you learned to self-edit your writing? Can you spot scenes
that don't move your story forward, or holes where you left
something out, or didn't develop it fully? Can you recognize
unnecessary words that don't add to the meaning or flow of the

5.  Are you willing to work your way up the career ladder with
respect to income and name recognition? Novelists rarely hit the
big time on their first sales. 

6.  Are you financially able to sustain yourself until your writing
career can support you?  Do a reality check by investigating how
much starting writers get for novels at the houses where you plan
to send your work.

Last but far from least, consider this advice from singer Tony
Bennett in an interview on his 80th birthday about his long career:
"If you're going to do something all your life, make sure you like

So the answer to the question, "Can I make a living as a novelist?"
is yes. You can do it, but it isn't easy.  Nor will you get rich
and famous quickly, if at all. How far you go depends completely on

Being a successful writer takes determination, self-discipline,
persistence, and the ability to handle disappointments as well as

Being a novelist is a lifetime learning process. It is also a
richly rewarding career where you determine your own level of
success or failure. It's a tough journey, but worth every step.


Marilyn Henderson decided to be a writer when she made a career
change so she could work from home. She had no idea how hard it was
to make that first sale then keep selling, but she soon learned the
difference between writing a novel she hoped would sell and what
agents and editors wanted.  Now after more than 60 novels
published, she shares that expertise with writers who want to build
careers or make those first sales.  Visit her website at:

Copyright (c) 2006 Marilyn Henderson

For more information on writing novels, (and boy, do we have a lot
of information on this) visit: 

WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of writing
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markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia.


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Club 100 For Writers
A fabulous method for increasing your writing output! Try it for
yourself and see.

Shelfari is a free site that lets you share book ratings and
reviews with friends and meet people who have similar tastes in
books. It also lets you build an online bookshelf, join book clubs,
and get good book recommendations from friends.

Inspiration for Writers.com
Useful site for writers of all levels of experience. Writing tips
and techniques, editing and critiquing services, and plenty of

This shiny new site will cover all aspects of reading and writing -
from book reviews, bestseller lists, breaking news to tips and
tricks from the writing trade. We hope to have a little something
for everybody - new writers, voracious readers and anybody else
with a love for words.

Cute Baby Names
A useful site listing names of all sorts of origins, plus their
definitions.  Check it out when you're trying to find just the
right name for that elusive character.

South Bay Branch, California Writers Club
A San Jose group that exists to assist published, nascent and
aspiring writers in the pursuit of their muse and the honing of
their craft through conferences, educational workshops, lectures,
opportunity alerts and networking.
http://www.myspace.com/southbaywriters / 

If you don't live near San Jose, the group does have other
locations throughout California; check out the main site to find
out your nearest club. http://www.southbaywriters.com.


submission guidelines/leads for poetry, short prose, and book
projects. You'll receive your FREE report TODAY via email
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Write It Right: The Ground Rules for Self-Editing Like The Pros
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                                            By Marie E. Cecchini 

Even if you've never given it much thought, venturing into the
children's market could add dollars to your income. And, if you
give it a chance, you'll find it can be a lot of fun.

The children's market is chock-full of possibilities, in addition
to traditional fiction and non-fiction stories. This market also
includes poetry, songs (new words written to familiar children's
tunes), kid-friendly recipes, how-to projects and games, and
puzzles. There is a wealth of opportunity for both creativity and
additional income.

Poetry and Songs
Younger children have a limited range of experience, so you will
need to use concrete images and write about common experiences.
Children also love sing-song rhyme and rhythm. Your work should
flow naturally. Poems with action and movement are easy for
children to visualize, even imitate, and humor is always a plus.
Some publishers look for poems that teach some sort of lesson, such
as good manners or counting. Last, but not least, poems for
children need to be simple, simple, simple -- kind of like reducing
to the lowest common denominator in math. 

Songs for children are simply poems set to familiar tunes. Think of
the tune "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". Create new lyrics to that
tune and you have a song. One caution, though most familiar tunes
are in the public domain, some are not, "Happy Birthday" being one
of them. One website you can check to see if the tune is free to
use is http://www.kididdles.com. Tunes listed on this site should
be fine to use.

Kid-Friendly Recipes
All it takes is a quick trip to the children's section of your
local library to see how popular recipes are with kids. Not only
will you find an entire shelf of books on the subject, but you'll
get an idea of what kinds of foods kids like to prepare. Many
children's and family publications also publish recipes for kids
and do so on a monthly basis. If this is something that appeals to
you, start by asking or observing what kids like to eat and what is
easy to prepare. As you begin to develop an original recipe, keep
nutrition in mind. Many publishers prefer recipes that encourage
children to eat healthy foods. When you are ready to begin,
remember that ingredients should be listed in order of use, and the
directions should be very specific. Don't leave out a single word
of explanation thinking that it's self-explanatory because for
kids, it's not. For all measurements and cooking times use
numerals, not words. Finally, always try out your recipe with
children before sending it to a publisher. This will help you
determine whether or not the recipe will work, if it was easy to
prepare, and if the kids enjoyed eating the finished product. If
you don't have kids of your own, borrow your neighbors or call on
your nieces and nephews.

How-To Projects and Games 
This is a very popular area and you will be able to sell your
creations to both print and online publications. How-to articles
include things like arts and crafts, woodworking projects, and
science experiments. Obviously your topic needs to be kid-friendly
and all safety precautions should be included. Materials needed
should be listed in order of use and nothing should be left out.
For instance, if you need to line your working surface with
newspapers, then newspapers should be listed in "What you need."
Step-by-step directions should be very specific and use words kids
can understand. Use numerals, not words, for all quantities and
measurements. You can increase your chances of publication by doing
a little research and re-creating a craft made or game played by
children of other nations or eras. Keep in mind that each
publication has its own form of presentation, so it's wise to check
this out by reading samples before you begin to write. You will
also need to check publication guidelines, as many editors will
want to see either a photograph or prototype of the finished
project along with the instructions.

If you love to work puzzles, this could be right up your alley.
Educational as well as traditional publishers use puzzles for the
simple reason that kids love the challenge. You can develop a
kid-friendly crossword, word search or mind-bending math puzzle.
Publications like Jigsaw, put out by the Highlights Corporation,
publish only puzzles, which increases your chances of a sale. 

Best Bets
If you're looking to get the best "bang for your buck", the
following websites would be the places to start.

http://www.Highlights.com  - guidelines on website. They take
games, puzzles, craft projects, and some poetry.

http://www.craftideas.com - guidelines on website. They take all
kinds of projects, games and recipes.

http://www.cricketmag.com - guidelines on website. Carus Publishing
has several magazines on the market each month, for all different
age groups. They take craft projects, games, and recipes.

It's easy to see that the children's market, though not as simple
as it may seem, holds tremendous possibilities. It could be the
perfect addition to your normal fare. If you have any doubts
remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. 


Marie E Cecchini is the author of five books. She writes
informational articles for writers, parents, teachers, and
children. She also writes children's poetry and designs children's
craft projects.  

Copyright (c) 2007 by Marie E Cecchini

For more information on writing for children visit: 


Writing for Young Readers, An Interview with Dallas Woodburn, by
Eugie Foster

The Review Process: How a Book Gets Reviewed, by Sally Murphy 

So You Got a Review -- Now What? by Sally Murphy 

Who Reads Book Reviews Anyway? by Sally Murphy 

The Newspaper/Blog Connection by Sue Fagalde-Lick

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. Please note, we are
no longer updating the contests database and will be replacing it
with an annually updated book.

DEADLINE: October 31, 2007
GENRE: Books
DETAILS: For completed, unpublished, full-length manuscripts.
PRIZE: $100 and publication
URL: http://www.crescentmoonpress.com/contests.html

DEADLINE: October 31, 2007
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: Four themes to choose from. Up to 750 words in essay form.
This year they are very common sense topics. Your assignment, if
you choose to accept it, is to write about common sense in such a
creative way as to entice the rest of us to follow your lead.
Impress us.
URL:  http://www.fundsforwriters.com/annualcontest.htm

DEADLINE: October 31, 2007
GENRE: Scripts/Screenplays
DETAILS: Open to all playwrights. No musicals or one-act plays. Any
theme or genre.
PRIZE: $2000 and production.
URL: http://www.nmu.edu/theatre/award2.html

DEADLINE: November 1, 2007
GENRE: Poetry, Short Stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS: Entrants must be full-time undergraduate or graduate
students currently enrolled in an accredited degree-granting U.S.
institution. Should not exceed three poems or 7,500 words of prose.
PRIZE: $1000, $500, $250
URL: http://www.theatlantic.com/a/contest.mhtml

DEADLINE: November 15, 2007
GENRE: Short Stories 
THEME:  Original flash fiction of between 100 and 1500 words.
Theme: A Mysterious Holiday. Email submissions only. No attachments.
PRIZE: $5 and publication
URL: http://www.mysteryauthors.com/submit.html

DEADLINE: November 23, 2007
GENRE: Young Writers/Nonfiction
THEME: See website for details
PRIZE: $1,000 for first place. Honorary PhD
URL: http://littlephilosophers.com/


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