Writing World Newsletter Archive
Return to Newsletter Index · Home

                      W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 8:09          6,109 subscribers   September 4, 2008

SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages
sent in reply to the newsletter are deleted. See the bottom of this
newsletter for information on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or
contact the editors.

The Editor's Desk
FEATURE:  Targeting Enemy Words, by Sandra Miller
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
FEATURE: Motivation, by Hank Quense
THE WRITING DESK -- Skill building by Moira Allen
WRITING PRODUCT REVIEWS -- ResearchWizardPro, by Dawn Copeman
WRITING CONTESTS with no entry fees
The Author's Bookshelf

EARN AN MFA IN WRITING through the brief-residency program at
Spalding University in Louisville, KY. Call (800) 896-8941x2423or
email mfa"at"spalding.edu and request brochure FA90. For more info:
WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low.
If you can reach our web site, you can take our courses.
English Grammar, Spelling, & Writing Style in 1 Click! Write Like a
Pro. Limited Time Special Offer!
DramaticaPro,StoryCraft, WritePro, MovieMagic, StyleWriter, plus
many more.  HUGE SAVINGS! GREAT SELECTION! Save online at:
Break into this $3 billion market. Learn the secrets from an
experienced professional.  Online or by mail.  Free writing test. 
Last month, I strolled into my boss's office and quit a job that
pays $81,000 and offers great benefits. What can I say? I received
a better offer. In my new business, everyday people earn $50,000 to
$250,000 a year. Here's how:


                                  FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

The season of re-invigoration

Now it's probably got a lot to do with the fact that I used to be a
teacher and prior to that a student for many years, but I always
enjoy September. It is the most exciting time of year for me. 
Following the summer holiday, it is when I am most full of energy
and can clearly appraise my writing goals, review the progress I
have made and work out what I want to do next.  It is also the time
when I have more article ideas than any other, having had time to
think and ponder during my holiday. 

I know I keep going on about writing plans and goals but without
them you will find that your writing just drifts along and before
you know it a year has gone by and you're no closer to achieving
your goal or finishing your novel or having your work in print than
you were at the start of the year. 

Whatever your writing aims are, take some time now, after the
hustle and bustle of the vacation season to work out what you want
to achieve with your writing and what you need to do to achieve
your goals. Consider whether you need to take any classes, read any
books on writing or even join a writer's group to take your writing
to the next level.  Or it could be that you simply need to
re-evaluate where you are spending your writing time and whether it
is time to branch out into a new genre or area. 

And as you might, like me, be suddenly full of new ideas for
articles or books, then you might like to check out my review of
ResearchWizardPro.  I tried this out over the holiday and it is a
fantastic research tool. 

Treat yourself this month, and think seriously about your writing. 

Until next time, 

                       -- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


Read by most children's book and magazine editors in North America,
this monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of editor'
wants and needs, market tips, and professional insights to help you
see more manuscripts to publishers in this growing market segment. 
Get a Free issue.


Write more, earn more. Cut research time by 79%. Push-button
solution helps find key material on ANY SUBJECT fast. Expand
research across the Web; Produce better work, FASTER. Meet
deadlines with ease. Gain EXPERT status on any topic. New
high-speed research tool with sharpshooter precision places the
world's largest resource center at your command and control 24/7.
Get more time for your deadlines and make more money as a writer
today. Click below to claim your free video. 


                                        By Dawn Copeman

We had no replies to last month's question.  So here are another two
for you to ponder from readers who need advice on particular
writing career paths. Reader one wants to pursue this as a career
whilst writing her novel.  She writes: "I was wondering if you
might be able to point me in the right direction to find out about
making money from proof-reading? I've just spent a stint doing that
with a newspaper (in addition to writing advertorials/articles) and
found out I am very good at the proofing; which means I like doing
it. Any suggestions where I can go for such work?  Is it called
'proof reader' or is there another term?  Is it another form of

Reader two has a similar question.  She writes: "I would love to be
a copy editor, I have my Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, but to
get a job doing this, publications want you to have a portfolio of
what you have already had published, well there is the vicious
cycle. What would you suggest I could do to get my foot in the

I will be writing to these two readers myself, but as always I
welcome your responses to these fellow members of the Writing-World

If you have an answer for our readers, or if you have any questions
or problems to put to our writing community, email me at
editorial"at"writing-world.com with the subject line Inquiring Writer.




Have you written a great script, but can't get industry
professionals to read it? Stop being frustrated by agents, personal
managers and studio gatekeepers slamming the door in your face.
Film Literary Group will directly submit your screenplay to
independent production companies, looking to buy and produce new
scripts. For more information about our submission policy, contact
us at 310-556-2040 or visit our website at
http://www.FilmLiteraryGroup.com (A Side Note: FLG has four
literary services 1) Screenplay Submissions, 2) Script Doctoring,
3) Script Coverage 4). Four unique script packages all listed on
our website.) 


Hugo Award Winners Announced
The Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing 2008 have
been announced.  The winner of the Hugo Novel award was Michael
Chabbon with "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" whilst Connie Wills
won the Novella award with "All Seated on the Ground."  Doctor Who
writer and future executive producer, Steven Moffat, won his third
Hugo for his work on Doctor Who, for the episode "Blink". For
information on all the prize winners visit: 

Winners announced of Britain's Oldest Book Prize 
The James Tait Black Memorial Prize is the oldest book prize in
Britain, having been awarded to works of fiction and biography
since 1919.  The prize is also unique amongst literary awards in
that it is awarded according to the judgement of scholars and
students at the University of Edinburgh. This year's awards of
10,000 each have been won by unknown writers. The winner of the
fiction prize is "Our Horses in Egypt" by Rosalind Belben whilst
Rosemary Hill won the biography prize with her work "God's
Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain".  Previous
winners of the prize include Ian McEwan, E.M Forster, D.H. Lawrence
and Graham Greene. For more information on this story visit:

Microsoft plans increased privacy for users
Microsoft is working on a new privacy mode for the next version of
Internet Explorer.  This new mode will enable users to limit how
much information is recorded about where they go online and what
they do, what keystrokes they enter, etc, on sites that they visit.
 For more information on this story visit: 

Mills and Boon celebrates a century in publishing
Mills and Boon, known in the US as Harlequin Mills and Boon are
celebrating one hundred years of romance publishing.  The company
which was founded in 1908 by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon
originally published work by authors such as P.G Wodehouse and Jack
London, before moving into romance in the 1920's.  The company is
offering a series of centenary special offers at its UK site, and
if you want to see how the face of romantic fiction has changed
over the past one hundred years, take a look at this article by the

Attend a virtual audio-book festival
Following last month's news item on the death of the
audio-cassette, it seems that in the UK at least, the audio-book is
not dead. The Times Newspaper is currently running a virtual
audio-book festival from its website.  You are able to download a
variety of "talks" covering abridging, acting in audio-books,
audio-books role in education, audio-downloads as the future of the
audio-book and comedy in audio-books.  To listen in, go along to: 

Price controls needed on textbooks
Also following on from a news item we ran last month on the growth
in college textbook piracy, moves are afoot in the United States
for textbook publishers to release more information about their
pricing policies. The cost of textbooks tripled between 1986 and
2004 and it is estimated that the current market for college
textbooks is worth $3.6 billion. For more information on how
Congress is trying to cut the cost of textbooks and on what
measures individual states are taking, visit: 


your career. Become a screenwriter, or teach the craft, with
National University's MFA in Creative Writing. As a 10-course
online program, you can learn anytime from any computer.


The Author's Repair Kit is a NEW ebook designed to help you breathe
new life into your faltering or failing book. Use Patricia Fry's
post-publication book proposal system and heal your publishing
mistakes. The Author's Repair Kit, only 27 pages: $5.95.


FEATURE: Targeting Enemy Words

By Sandra Miller 

Writers are notorious for their love of words.  Because of that, we
often have a hard time learning to consider certain words as
enemies.  Here are some words that can suck the impact out of your

Watch out for empty words in your writing.  All forms of "to be"
are really empty words--my personal nemesis is the word "was".  The
word "was" is a sign of the dreaded passive voice.  It introduces a
distance between you and your reader, bumping them out of the story
and back into the chair.  Sometimes "was" is unavoidable, but use
it often and it becomes boring.  Look for stronger verbs that
impart some real meaning.  Instead of telling us "Shirley was
bored", show us Shirley yawning, checking her watch, even tapping a
foot.  Many times when editors tell you to "show, don't tell", you
can make a very good start by rewording all of your "was" sentences.

This is especially true in descriptive passages.  When we write
about physical characteristics of people or places, the "to be"
verbs start cropping up.  Is it a coincidence that place
descriptions are the passages we are most likely to skim when we
read?  Yet without a good solid setting, your work will suffer. 
How can you resolve this problem?

Let's look at an example.  Here is a description of a busy

The market was bustling that morning.  The town square was crammed
full of colorful tents, displaying every sort of thing a person
might need.  Fresh fruit and vegetables were arranged on wooden
tables.  The sounds and smells were overwhelming.

This is a definite example of telling.  In that short paragraph,
some form of "to be" appears four times; once in every sentence. 
What happens if we go back through that paragraph and replace all
of those empty verbs with stronger ones?

The market buzzed with activity that morning.  Colorful tents
crammed the town square, blazing red, purple, yellow, and green
against the sky.  The merchants sold every sort of thing a person
might need, from the crisp fruits nestled in bushel baskets, to the
fresh vegetables stacked in pyramids on the wooden tables.  

Another trick you can use to overcome the "to be" blues is to
involve your characters.  People make it interesting, and help us
relate to your setting.  If you can show the people in your
environment as part of your setting, you will find it easier to use
strong verbs.

Women in long skirts brushed past each other in the narrow aisles
of the marketplace.  Colorful tents crammed the town square,
blazing red, purple, yellow, and green against the sky.  Merchants
called to passers-by, holding up crisp apples and fresh-picked corn.

"Crutch" words are another enemy.  These are the words that you
fall back on when you can't find a better one--or when you are
hoping to dilute the force of what you are really saying. 
Especially when you write about a subject that you fear will upset
your readers, the crutch words will come out.  Every writer has
different crutch words they rely on.   I have three.  Everything is
"suddenly".  If it isn't "suddenly", then it's "slightly", or
"briefly".  "Very" is another commonly overused word, watch out for

You can easily determine which words are your crutches.  Go back
through the draft of the last thing you finished writing--perhaps
the last few drafts if you write very short pieces.  Read through
them, with an eye for words that appear frequently, especially in
the same paragraph.  Make a list of words that you use often.  They
will really stand out to you after you become aware of them.  A
word like "suddenly" should have impact.  You will lose that impact
if you don't save it for when you really need it.

The most common enemy words are adverbs.  90 percent of the time
they are unnecessary.  The awful thing about most adverbs is that
you can cut them from a sentence without changing its meaning. 
That is a classic definition of an empty word.  Save them for when
they are really needed, and they will still have impact.  Comb your
first drafts looking for sentences like "John nodded slightly." 
Talk about wishy-washy!  John either nodded or he didn't.  We often
put adverbs in a sentence thinking they will give it extra impact,
only to find that the sentence is more forceful without them.  

Putting It Into Practice
When you edit, use a red pen.  Circle all empty words you find,
especially "was".  Try rewriting those sentences with stronger
verbs.  This will often force you to restructure the sentence so
that it is more active. 
Next, target your crutch words.  Go through your list of words and
circle them whenever you find them in your draft.  Delete them or
replace them, as needed.

Circle all the adverbs you find, and check how the sentences would
sound without the adverbs.  If the meaning isn't changed, cut them.

When you finish, you'll have cleaner, more efficient prose.  And
that's something readers and editors both love.


Copyright (c) 2008 by Sandra Miller

Sandra Miller is an author whose work has appeared in Antiques &
Collecting Magazine, Writer's Forum, and Bewildering Stories.  She
has been writing since age 5 and playing violin almost as long.  In
her day job she is a software developer in Arkansas.  Her website
can be found at http://www.sandra-miller.com

For more information on editing visit: 

Meet over 100 national media at National Publicity 
Summit, October 22-25th in NYC. Only 100 attendees admitted. 



Jennifer Jackson's Et in Arcaedia, Ego Blog
A great site to find out what is really happening in the literary
world. Jennifer Jackson is a literary agent who is "saving the
world, one book at a time."  She provides news and a round-up of
queries.  Well worth a visit if you want to get published.  

This site hosts activities to help writers get and stay productive,
including weekly, timed flash-fiction contests, free quarterly
cash-prize writing contests, daily 100-word-or-less 'Drabble'
prompts, an ongoing surrealist haiku chain, and, coming soon, a
100-word-a-day novel-writing challenge. Their goal is simply to get
you writing, to help you produce more. The focus is literary
fiction, but they welcome entries with genre influences.  

Agent Query
We could have done with this site a few issues ago! Agent Query is
a free, searchable database of agents which enables you to find out
who represents your genre.

This site is a commercial venture to provide writers with fast and
friendly help with their plots. It also has free writing exercises,
frequently updated news about upcoming contests and events for
writers to participate in and a growing useful links section. 

This is a fantastic site that I've just come across.  Not only does
it offer advice on most areas of writing, it carries job postings,
contest and conference listings and advice on how to get grants if
you're a struggling writer. 

I know I mentioned this in the news section last time, but this is
a unique opportunity to help children with autism and write
alongside famous authors.  Check out the story so far and then
write your 35 words. 


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.


FEATURE:  Motivation
                                          By Hank Quense

How many times has this happened to you? You're in the middle of a
story and suddenly you stop to ask yourself: "why is the character
doing this?" The lack of motivation by the character has jerked you
out of the story and has you scratching your head.

Try watching a TV show with the sound turned off.  You can see the
actors moving around and performing but you can't understand what
motivates them. Why did that actor jump into a pool with his
clothes on?  Why did the woman slap the guy's face?  You don't know
and that lack of understanding limits your ability to enjoy the
show. So too with novels or short stories; without understanding
the motivation of the characters, the reader will never enjoy the

A character's motivation is a stealth trait.  Readers don't examine
stories looking for the motivational aspects.  However, they
instinctively know when they aren't there. They'll know the story
is flawed and will stop reading. 

Motivation isn't a visible trait like a character's physical
features but it is essential to supporting the reader's suspension
of belief. Motivation provides the rationale on why a character -
especially the protagonist - does the things he does in the story. 
This is never more important then when the protagonist deliberately
puts himself in harm's way. If the reader doesn't understand the
motivation driving the character to face the danger, the reader
won't believe in the story and they will conclude that the entire
episode is contrived. 

Motivation can be a straightforward desire to achieve a goal or it
can be a stew of complex and often competing beliefs and
moralities.  The longer the story, the more time must be spent
developing motives and the more complicated they can be.  
This article discusses two types of motivational issues.  One is
related to bits of action in a scene and the other is the
character's driving force that propels the story forward. 

Minor Motivational Issues
These are the character's reaction to the events within the scene. 
As an example of a minor motivational problem consider this scene: 
the protagonist, Jack, is walking along the street. 

"Jack!" Character B calls out.  "How you doing, Dude?"  This
character is new and hasn't been introduced to the reader. 

Jack frowns and doesn't reply right away.  Finally he says, "I'm
okay."  Jack turns and stomps off without looking back. 
The motivational issue here is that the reader doesn't understand
why Jack acted the way he did.  No rationale is given for the
reaction; consequently, the reader is perplexed, wondering why Jack
doesn't like B.  This type of situation occurs quite frequently in
stories written by inexperienced writers.  As son as Jack frowns,
the author has to fill the reader in on the situation.  
These bits of the scene involve two elements: action and reaction. 
The action doesn't always need a motive to be believable and
sometimes the reaction doesn't either.  If a character sees a
runaway car heading for him and the character reacts by diving out
of the way, his motivation will be assumed by the reader; he's
trying to save his lie.  However, if the character stands his
ground, pulls out a gun and blasts away at the car, the reader will
want to know why he's risking his life and why he's trying to kill
the driver.  It is the author's responsibility to ensure motivation
is provided where necessary. 
Major Motivational Issues
The motivation that makes the story tick is the rationale on why
the protagonist attempts to solve the plot problem. When faced with
a difficult and possibly life-threatening problem, the reader
demands the protagonist show a strong motive for risking his life. 
If the protagonist puts himself in danger because he has nothing
better to do, the story won't hold a reader's interest. For that
matter, it won't hold an editor's interest either. 

Suppose someone shoots the protagonist who jumps behind a forklift,
the reader will understand why he did that, but the reader also has
to understand the more basic motivations.  These include:  Why was
the character in the warehouse with the shooter? Did he go there
deliberately or accidentally?  Is he trying to provoke the shooter?
 These issues go to the reasons or situations that drive the
character not just in the scene, but throughout the entire story,
whether it is a short story or a novel. 

The reasons that the protagonist undertakes to solve the plot
problem goes to his inner character.  Something deep inside drives
the character to strive to rescue the kidnapped woman, slay the
dragon, challenge the alien invaders or track down the mass

There are several aspects of the inner characterization that must
be addressed if the motivation is to convincing. 
Consistency with character's persona
Motivation is more complex than telling the reader why a character
acted in a particular fashion: the reason must fit the character's
persona.  In other words, a character's motivation has to be
consistent with the character's personal belief system and internal
disposition.  Suppose a timid, shy character is in love with a
woman and wants to marry her.  The author can't have the man charge
into a crowded restaurant and sweep the girl off her feet with a
display of wit and charm.  No matter how much he loves the girl and
wants to marry her, his nature will prevent him from using such
public methods.  He will have to use subtlety in a quite,
un-crowded place in order to keep the reader turning pages.  In
this way, his motivation and his persona are consistent. 

Another aspect of consistency is the value of the reward versus the
cost to achieve the reward.  Expending vast resources to achieve a
modest goal is difficult for the reader to believe in unless the
author makes a convincing case on how important the goal is to the
While a character can (and should) change over the course of a
story, the change must be accompanied by suitable motivation.  This
change must result from the internal conflict between two opposing
aspects of the character, such as fear and courage.  If a character
displays indecisive, weak-kneed behaviour throughout the story,  
he can't, at the end, become decisive and strong-willed unless the
reader is shown a healthy does of inner anguish as the character's
competing aspects slug it out.   
Philosophical Outlook
A character's personal philosophy affects her reactions to events
in the story.  The reaction must be consistent with this philosophy
or it won't be believable.  Suppose the main character has been
shown to be a world-class pessimist throughout the story.  As this
pessimist protagonist mulls over a serious problem, her sidekick
approaches and says, "I've got a great idea!"  After he elaborates
the idea the protagonist jumps up and yells, "That's it! Let's do
She has responded in a way that is inconsistent with her
pessimistic persona.  She responded the way an optimist would.  As
a pessimist she should sneer, "What a dumb idea.  That'll never
work."  When a pessimist responds as an optimist, the reader will
most likely groan and shut the book. 

Inner and Outer Motives
A complex character, the kind readers love, should have both outer
and inner motives.  The outer motive is fairly easy to develop; it
is usually based on solving the plot problem.  Once this problem is
resolved, the outer motive has been met.  The inner motive is more
complicated.  It can be almost anything and doesn't have to be
related to the plot problem.  The best combinations of motives are
a pair of mutually exclusive ones; the protagonist can't achieve
one without giving up the other. This constraint sets up natural
internal conflict in the character and can lead to unexpected plot
twists that will keep the reader involved. In effect, the author
has constructed and engine of motivation and anti-motivation.
As an example of conflicting inner and outer motives, consider this
situation; the protagonist has to rescue a man trapped on a
mountain.  He does this because it is his job. That's the
protagonist's outer motive.  But once saved, the rescued man will
marry the woman the protagonist loves.  That is the protagonist's
inner motive; to marry the woman of his dreams who he'll lose if he
succeeds with his outer motive.  It is easy to see the great
internal conflict that will harass this protagonist.  Should he let
the guy die and marry the woman? Should he rescue the guy and lose
the woman? 

This combination of competing inner and outer motives can draw
readers into the story and hold them.  Will the character murder
for love or selflessly lose the woman?  Whatever he does it must be
consistent with his persona.  If he is narcissistic, he may choose
murder.  If he is law-abiding, he may elect to save the guy. 
Whatever he chooses to do, his motivation must be made clear to the
Antagonist's motivation
Successful stories need conflict, tension and emotions to hold a
reader's interest.  If a properly motivated protagonist strives to
solve the plot problem and doesn't encounter an equally motivated
antagonist, the story will lack the conflict that produces the
tension that leads to emotional outbursts.  Thus the author must
develop strong motives for the bad guy to keep the struggle equal. 
The stronger the bad guy's motives, the stronger the story will be.
 It won't do to have a strongly motivated protagonist fighting
against a bored antagonist. 
Motivation is the core of the story and must be delineated for the
reader. It is the engine that drives the characters.  To be
convincing the author must be so familiar with the characters to
have a genuine comprehension of how they will react to stimuli. 
Without this understanding the author will be unable to develop
full-rounded and believable characters. 

Copyright (c) 2008 by Hank Quense.

Hank -- assisted by his faithful mutt, Manny -- writes Science
Fiction and Fantasy stories (along with an occasional fiction
writing article) from Bergenfield, NJ.  All of these stories are
humorous or satiric because he refuses to write serious genre
stories.  He feels that folks who crave serious Fantasy and SF can
get a full measure in any daily newspaper. In the spirit of
disclosure, Hank reports that all of the story ideas (the good ones
anyway) come from Manny. Hank merely translates the dog's ideas
into a manuscript. Hank can be reached via e-mail at:
hanque99"at"verizon.net while Manny refuses to get an internet address
until someone develops a paw-friendly keyboard. The pair of them
have sold stories to Andromeda Spaceways, Cyberpulp, Fantastical
Visions, Neo-opsis, Afterburner SF, Faeries (France), Electric
Spec, Scyweb Bem, Glassfire, Darker Matter Flash Fiction Online as
well as several anthologies. Visit their website at

For more information and advice on fiction writing visit:

LitMatch - Literary Agent Search and Submission Tracking
Take the confusion out of finding an agent with our comprehensive
agent search. Track and compare response times with other users.
Always 100% FREE: http://www.litmatch.net?ref=ww

THE WRITING DESK - Skill building 
                                by Moira Allen

Q: My journalism instructor says I write poorly, but won't tell me
what I need to do to improve.  What can I do?

I am 43 and getting my first degree. I am taking a basic journalism
course and have no clue what my instructor wants from me. He is a
part-time professor, not a regular instructor. I have always been
complemented on my writing ability, and he says I am doing very
poorly, write like I am writing for the television, and will not go
into detail as to what he means or how I can improve. My grammar is
above-average, and I certainly have the intelligence to put two or
three sentences together. But he does not teach out of a book,
preferring to bring in xeroxed copies of articles and circle parts
of them, describing the "lead" or "body" or whatever. Are you aware
of any internet assistance as to the terms and definitions of
journalism, or any basic book that might benefit me? 

A: It sounds like you're in a frustrating situation.  Perhaps the
best thing you can do is ascribe the problem to the professor,
rather than yourself.  It sounds as if he is an adjunct professor,
brought in to handle a course because there were not enough
"regular" professors to go around.

Part of your problem may be that you do not write in what this
professor considers a journalistic style.  That does not mean that
you cannot write, or write poorly; however, journalism is very
different from many other types of writing.  It is not at all
similar to fiction writing, for example, and it also differs from
the basic skills that go into magazine freelancing (e.g., writing
feature-length articles).  So, it may be that your skills are
ideally suited for these other fields, but that you have not yet
mastered a journalistic style.

If you find that your skills and interests don't completely mesh
with those of the journalistic school of writing, you may want to
consider pursuing goals that converge more closely with your style
(rather than the style someone else tries to impose on you).  For
example, you may find that you are much happier working for
magazines, or writing book-length material (fiction or nonfiction)
than trying to pursue "journalism."

If, however, you are trying to get a degree in journalism
specifically, obviously every course counts.  Is it too late to
drop this course and sign up for another instructor in the next
semester? If it is too late, and your goal is to get a good grade
in the course (regardless of what you have to do to get it), then
I'd suggest listening closely to what the professor has to say
(whether or not you agree), and attempting to "imitate" the styles
that he seems to think are appropriate.  It's a frustrating
approach to a class, but sometimes it is the only way to "make the

I'm not much for "teaching out of a book" myself, but also prefer
to use "living" examples.  There may be things you can learn from
these examples, even if you aren't being offered a
chapter-and-verse approach to journalism.  Take a look at the parts
he has circled and try to figure out how you would approach the
same topic -- would you do it the same way, or differently?  If
differently, how and why? Even if this is not how you write now,
can you tackle this approach as an "exercise"?


Summer 2008
Fiction Tips from Shaunna Privratsky:

Becoming a Fiction Aficionado, by Shaunna Privratsky

Do Werewolves Wear Shoes? Building Successful Horror Characters, by
Shaunna Privratsky 

Fewer Words Mean Bigger Bucks, by Shaunna Privratsky

From Beginning to End, A Fiction Format to Your Next Sale, by
Shaunna Privratsky

How to Read 'How To Write' Books, by Sean McLachlan

How Writers Can Score Press Trips, by Roy A. Barnes

Internet Want Ads: Finding Writing Jobs Online, by Julie Bloss

Using Footpower to Boost Your Brainpower:
How Walking Away Can Improve Your Writing, by Leigh Anne

Writing and the Cosmic Shopping Mall (or how to access
your creative mind and silence the inner critic), by Emily Hanlon 

Writing the World: Ten Tips to Breaking into the Guidebook Market,
by Sean McLachlan 

Three Classic Welsh Poetry Forms, by Tami Krueger


WRITING PRODUCT REVIEWS: Research Wizard Pro, By Dawn Copeman
I can remember the early days of the internet, when in order to
search the web you had to use 'search strings' and parameters. Oh,
how I rejoiced when Google came along! The problem with Google,
however, is that many of us never search any further than this. The
web is much bigger than even Google's mighty search engine and if
we use just this one research tool, we are missing out on pages and
pages of resources.  I found this out for myself when I tried

I am currently working on some new article ideas, feeling refreshed
after my summer break, so I tried researching them with Research
Wizard Pro.  This tool sends your search terms to dozens of search
engines, specialist as well as general, and turns up all sorts of
results.  I found more academic papers, articles and sites than I'd
ever turned up on a Google search.  In twenty minutes I had found
more than enough material to write not only the article I'd
planned, but a number or other related articles too. Plus you can
fine-tune your search, very easily, to provide you with how to's,
videos, webcasts, articles, research papers or e-books or a
combination of the above. This came in very handy for another
article I am planning. 

Thanks to the downloadable user-guide it only took me fifteen
minutes to get to grips with Research Wizard Pro and it saved me
hours in research time. I now use it for all my searches and
couldn't imagine searching the net without it. 

Do you have a review of a writing book or product? Do you agree or
disagree with my reviews? If you want to share your reviews with
others then email me with the subject line 'reviews' to


Sean McLachlan teaches us how to get into the history market,
whilst Tami Krueger talks us through Poetry Forms.
We'll also have some fiction writing advice from Moira in the
Writing Desk. 

Your next issue will appear in your inboxes on October 2nd.



TheFictionWritersJourney.com is the website of writing coach and
novelist, Emily Hanlon. Emily demystifies the writing process with
her two pronged approach of teaching technique and unleashing
creativity. She offers coaching, workshops, and TeleSeminars and is
holding a weekend retreat in Litchfield, CT May 2-4. Emily also
offers two Mentoring Programs: Creativity as A Wellspring of Life
and Writing Your Story, Creating a Tapestry of Your Life: Memoir
Writing as a Healing Journey. If you are looking for help on
writing technique or unleashing your creativity, explore these
TeleSeminars from Emily Hanlon, now 50% off.



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

DEADLINE: September 30, 2008
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: Take any literary work with a sad, disturbing or negative
ending and supply a happy, affirmative, uplifting, humorous ending.
 The new ending must parody the idiom, style, atmosphere etc of the
original. No more than ten pages in length.  
PRIZE:  $200 and the Nahum Tate Cup
URL: http://tinyurl.com/5baejj
EMAIL:  info"at"humanitiesmontana.org

DEADLINE: September 30, 2008
GENRE: Books
OPEN TO: Any writer who has not previously published a volume of
prose fiction.
DETAILS: Manuscript must be a collection of short stories in
English of at last 150 pages.
PRIZE: Publication and standard royalty agreement.
URL:   http://tinyurl.com/6hp2yr

DEADLINE: September 30, 2008
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: Submit up to three tanka or one tanka sequence of any
length.  Tanka should be in English, written in five lines
containing 31 or fewer syllables, preferably without titles.   
PRIZE:  Publication and $20 gift certificate
URL:   http://www.ahapoetry.com/TScontes.htm
EMAIL: ahabooks"at"mcn.org

DEADLINE: September 30, 2008
GENRE:  Short Stories
OPEN TO: Writers who have not had professionally published a novel
or short novel or more than one novelette or more than three short
stories in any medium.
DETAILS: 17,000 words max all types of science fiction, fantasy or
PRIZE:  $1000, $750, $500 plus chance to win annual grand prize of
URL: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/rules.htm

DEADLINE: October 10, 2008
GENRE:  Novels
DETAILS:  Over 18's only. Any genre accepted, unpublished or
self-published works. Simultaneous submissions accepted. All
entries must be complete, novel length manuscripts. Entries are
submitted via online form. See site for full details. 
PRIZE:  $1000
URL:    https://www.zirdland.com/contest.php
EMAIL:  pbj"at"zirdland.com

DEADLINE: October 31, 2008
GENRE:  Nonfiction
THEME:  The Best Advice I Ever Had, 750 words max.
PRIZE: $10 for no fee contest.
URL:   http://www.fundsforwriters.com/annualcontest.htm
EMAIL: hope"at"fundsforwriters.com


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers


A Book About Pub Names, by Elaine Saunders

Omnibus, by Sheri McGathy

Out of Time, by Cliff Ball

Unleash Your Writing Muse, by Tamara Hanson

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.


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

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

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

Copyright 2008 Dawn Copeman
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Back issues archived at

Writing World is hosted by Aweber.com

Subscribers are welcome to recirculate Writing World to
friends, discussion lists, etc., as long as the ENTIRE text of the
newsletter is included and appropriate credit is given. Writing
World may not be circulated for profit purposes.


Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor