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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 8:12          7,143 subscribers    December 4, 2008

SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages
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The Editor's Desk, by Moira Allen
FEATURE: POD from the Publisher's Point of View, by Sean McLachlan  
The Write Sites -- Online Resources for Writers
THE WRITING DESK - Credentials, by Moira Allen
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                                  FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK

Wish You Merry...

My mother-in-law has been in a dither this holiday. Even the
relatively simple task of choosing Christmas cards has become an
agonizing decision. "I don't want to send cards that say 'Merry
Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays,'" she tells me, "because for so many
people, it won't be..."

Indeed, I don't think there's anyone in our circle of friends and
family who hasn't been affected in some way by the recession --
particularly by the loss of investment funds in retirement
accounts, pensions, and just plain old "life savings." When money
is tight, jobs are harder to find, and that tends to be
particularly true for writers.

But we writers have an unusual edge in times of trouble -- because
adversity, tough as it may be to endure, can also be the best
source of material in the world.  The greatest authors have always
known this.  Can you imagine Dickens beginning "Tale of Two Cities"
with "It was the best of times..."? As readers it's those "worst of
times" that we want to hear about.  What if Tolstoy had chosen to
write about happy families, instead of noting in "Anna Karenina"
that while "All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy
family is unhappy in its own way"?

Think back on the stories you loved best growing up, or as a
grown-up, and I'm betting you'll find that they were stories of
ordinary people (like us) who manage to triumph over adversity. Of
course, there's a big difference between reading a story of
adversity in the warmth and comfort of one's hopefully not
over-mortgaged living-room, and finding oneself the protagonist of
such a tale. But the point I'm trying to make is simply that as
writers, we have a rare gift: for us, adversity may be a trial, but
it is also fuel and inspiration. It is something that we have the
ability to turn around, and turn into something better, something
worthwhile, and occasionally, something glorious.

This is not, I hope, simply a roundabout way of trying to say,
"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" (which was surely NOT
written by a Dickens or a Tolstoy). As a writer, however, when life
DOES hand you lemons, you have the means to make some uses of those
lemons that aren't available to just anyone.  As a writer, you know
that life is handing lemons to a lot of other people, too -- so
now's the time to think about articles like:

Twenty Things to Do with Lemons
How to Reap the Lemon Harvest
Ten Ways to Invest Your Lemons Wisely
Home Decorating with Lemons
Fifteen Lemon-Related Gifts to Make for the Holidays

... and of course, 100 Great Recipes for Lemonade!

In other words, times like these present writers with a unique
opportunity to HELP.  Thousands of people NEED help right now --
help with finances, help with job-hunting, help in finding ways to
feed the family for less, help in finding or creating low-cost
gifts for the holidays.  Articles that "help" have always been the
best sellers in the freelance marketplace, and today, more people
need more help than ever.  In our next issue, Dawn Copeman will
share tips on "writing in a recession," including a wealth of ideas
on how to provide the help that people need.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that when times are
tough, you need to put aside your dreams -- perhaps indefinitely --
because "now just isn't the time" and "you have to be practical."
Yes, you DO have to be practical -- but this may not be the time to
put your dreams on the shelf until things "get better."  Instead,
this may be the time to put your dreams to WORK -- and use those
dreams to start MAKING things better. 
Because, frankly, I don't expect the government to bail ME out
(possibly because I can't fly to Washington on a corporate jet to
ask them to) -- so I'd much rather rely on my dreams and what skill
I have at the keyboard to make those dreams a reality.

Bottom line -- I think my mother-in-law is wrong here (much as I
adore her!). I don't think there's anything wrong with wishing our
friends and relatives a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday. It's a
way of saying that if your holiday IS merry, then we rejoice with
you -- and if it isn't, then we fervently hope that things will get
better soon.

And so -- Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Writing-World.com!

-- Moira Allen, Editor

On a completely unrelated topic...  Anyone curious to see some of
my photos from England can check out my two calendars for 2009,
which are featured on our front page at
http://www.writing-world.com. If you'd like one to decorate your
wall, so much the better, but you can also simply take a peek at
the "preview" PDFs.  And if anyone is wondering what I'll be doing
for much of 2009 - well, I still have about 10,000 photos that I
haven't reviewed or "processed" yet!  -- Moira Allen

Monthly newsletter of editors' current wants and needs - up to 50
each month.  Plus market studies and genre analyzes loaded with
editors' tips and insights into subjects and writing styles they're
looking for right now.  Get a Free issue and see for yourself.  


                                     By Dawn Copeman

Last month our question came from Andrea Pflaumer, she wrote: "I
want to set up a simple website and don't like the tools offered by
my web hosting company (should have checked that first). Do the
readers have any suggestions for setting up an inexpensive, simple
website? I would like to include a short bio page, links to my
published articles and a blog. Also, I'd like to be able to manage
and update it myself."

"Andrea, that's an 'easy' task," Began Jan Whitaker. She continued:
"WordPress. It's a free open source blogging platform you can
install on your own webhost.

"Your bio can go on a link at the side, full pages can be included
as links from the blog, and there are heaps of widgets and
templates. The admin panel is excellent. Updating and adding posts
is a breeze. Plus there is a forum of users for lots of help."

This advice was rapidly seconded by Barb Rees.  She wrote: "I have
WordPress which is a blog that looks like a real web site. It's
fairly easy to set up and the best part is you can maintain it for
"I would look no further than WordPress."  Debra Broughton emailed.
"I've used a number of different tools to host blogs and websites
over the years and in my opinion you can't beat it.

"You simply sign up on http://www.WordPress.com to get your own
account and set up a blog. But it's much more than a blog - you can
add as many web pages as you like and choose whether you want your
blog or a web page as your homepage. 

"There are a whole host of templates so you can choose a design
that fits your needs, and the pages and blog posts are really
simple to make.

"And the best news is that it's all free, but if you want you can
choose from a range of inexpensive extras, like using your own
domain name.

"My blog http://www.debrabroughton.com is hosted at

Another popular suggestion was Tripod as recommended here by Ron
Kness.  He emailed: "I have used http://www.Tripod.com for years
for my website.  If Andrea would like to take a look at my website
created and updated using Tripod, she can go to
"Users can get various levels from free (with advertising) to a
more expensive plan (without advertising.  I also purchased my
domain through them for $12.95 per year.
"It is easy to both create and maintain a website."

Beryl Hall Bray, the co-Founder of WomenOnWriting.com emailed to
say: "I use http://www.websiteapproved.com
and I'm quite happy. http://www.BestOriginalWriter.info"
Meanwhile, Annastacia recommended http://www.homestead.com. She
wrote: "I've used it for years and it not only is wonderfully user
friendly, but its got lots of website plates to use where all she's
got to do is tweak it and in a couple of hours you're up and
running.  The technical support team is great and the monthly cost
is nominal.  It's fantastic...good luck!"

Mary Alice Murphy was the only respondent to consider Mac users in
her reply. She wrote: "When I purchased a new MacBook Pro last
year, I acquired iWeb. I had deleted it from prior Macs, thinking I
would never use it. However, when I applied for the communications
job, I started fiddling with iWeb to see what I could come up with.
I developed what a well respected Webmaster in our community called
a very professional-looking site. He also congratulated me on a job
well done on the redo of my personal site, which I am constantly

"I have found that iWeb has major limitations, because it's so
'helpful' in doing things for me that I would rather do myself. I
know a little bit of html code, so have usually been able to figure
out to get around some problems, but not all of them."

She continues with some excellent advice: "I did the prior version
of my Web site using an html code book. It was a great learning

"Links are easy to create using simple html code. You can also
'snitch' code from Web sites you like, by going to View and
clicking on View Source or View Code. With minimal knowledge of
html code and how to put your own personal information into the
code, you can come up with a good-looking, if basic page. Be sure
to use graphics and not too much text (unlike what I've just

Finally, she adds yet another vote of confidence for WordPress:
"For a blog, I recommend WordPress, which should be available
through a Web hosting package or using a template from

Only two of you recommended having someone else build the site for
you. Which either reflects our willingness to take on new skills
ourselves, or the fragile nature of our economy!  

Bill Green wrote: "I had no time or inclination to design my own
but have what is technically called a 'postcard' website for my
books, bio and contact details It also has a link to my blog site,
and a link to buy my books on Amazon. The cost was under $US500.
For the style of it (hey, is this a free ad?) my site is
http://www.billgreenbooks.com. If it's the sort of thing she likes,
it takes a very short time once the copy is supplied - days only
for me. They will change content without charge."

And Maralyn Dennis Hill wrote in to recommend her own website
designer.  "I have used Timothy Lack
twlack"at"charlottecountywebsites.com  for many, many years.
"Tim is reasonable, creative and stays current. I have 3 blogs set
up on the site http://www.BooksByHills.com. Our site is quite
complicated, but Tim has done work and developed easier sites. He
has a long list of references. The biggest thing, he listens to
what you want. I would certainly suggest e-mailing him and stating
what you are looking for. I believe you would be happy with his
"Sometimes, the least expensive sites that people do themselves end
up being more expensive in the long run. One needs to take into
account all the key words, search engines, etc. and trends. Tim
does this."

Thank you to everyone who replied and a special thank you for
letting us look at your sites. I hope these replies will help not
only Andrea, but everyone else who emailed me in the past month
asking for the same help. 
And now, for the first time, we have a question from our editor
herself. Moira would like to know "if any of our readers have had
any experience with Amazon.com's 'Createspace' publishing program?  

"Apparently it has no up-front fees and your book will be carried
on Amazon.com. I'm considering looking into it myself but would
certainly like to know if any of our readers have had good or bad
experiences here, as I think it's relatively new."

Can you help Moira?  If so, email me your response to 
editorial"at"writing-world.com with the subject line Inquiring Writer.



RISE ABOVE THE REST. Working with a professional editor gives you a
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Internet Privacy under Threat in the UK
This is a piece of disturbing news that came to light just after
November's newsletter had gone out. The British Government is in
discussion with Internet Service Providers to find a way to view
every page visited by British citizens and to read the content of
every email sent and received in the UK. The Interception
Modernisation Program (IMP) has been drawn up by the Home Office
and is expected to go before Parliament next year. 
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/57l4cz

China to Ease Press Restrictions
China is considering allowing its press more reporting freedoms in
an attempt to divert peoples' attention from the troubles in the
economy, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.  The new
'press law' currently being drafted would free reporters from the
control of the ministry of propaganda. For more information on this
story visit: http://tinyurl.com/5md245

The End of the Line for Misery Lit?
Misery Lit, the other name for true life inspirational memoirs,
that just happen to involve childhood trauma of one sort or
another, seems to be falling in popularity. After a series of
high-profile court cases, the latest of which was only settled this
week in the UK, it seems that publishers are concerned that the
public might start to doubt whether any of the memoirs are true. 
Last year the genre accounted for sales of 10 million but this
year sales have dropped by 35%.  Many publishers have now withdrawn
from the market completely, whilst others are cutting back their
investments in this area.  With a recession on the way, who really
wants to read about anyone else's problems anyway?  For more on
this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/5ms9ta  

Amazon buys Abebooks
AbeBooks, the online bookstore with over 110 million books listed
by independent booksellers has been purchased by Amazon.  Amazon
intends to keep the site running as a separate entity to its main
online bookstore.
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/5an8dc

Thanksgiving lifts book sales slightly
Many independent booksellers in the US had a lot to be thankful for
this Thanksgiving in that they had their best trading week in a
long, long time.  The booksellers have had a terrible fall so far
and despite the relatively good week last week they are expecting a
not so merry Christmas this year.  In fact many are already
returning piles of unsold stock back to publishers; something they
don't normally do until January. Whilst we shall have to wait for
the New Year to obtain sales figures from the larger, bookstores,
the news from the independent booksellers is that the recession is
already biting deeply into the publishing sector. 
Facebook Now More Popular Than BBC
Another late breaking story from last month was the fact that
Facebook now receives more visitors than bbc.co.uk. Facebook
received 18.4 million unique visitors in September alone and its
popularity, in the UK at least, shows no signs of abating. For more
on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/6gq2mr


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Book Proposals, available "on demand" (when you're ready) at
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FEATURE:  POD from the Publisher's Point of View 

                                        By Sean McLachlan

This is the second of a two-part article, the first of which,
"Ebooks from the Publisher's Point of View" was published in a
previous issue of Writing World.

In this election year we've heard a lot about "game changers." The
banking crisis was a game changer for economic policy. Iran getting
nuclear weapons would be a game changer for foreign policy. At
times it seems the game changes so much that there aren't any rules!

But the publishing industry has its very own game changer--Print on
Demand technology. Now publishers don't have to invest in a print
run of thousands of copies; they can program a Print on Demand
(POD) machine to print only as many copies as are ordered, saving a
fortune on print runs and storage costs.

Most articles about POD focus on how it gives self publishers an
alternative to churning out huge numbers of copies that may not
sell. But what do publishers think of POD? This article is from
their point of view.

As publishers have become more familiar with the technology, it's
gone from the purview of vanity presses into the independent press
and is beginning to make inroads into the mainstream houses.

Small presses like the lowered risk that comes with POD. They can
print books as needed, or a small run of 50 or 200 to keep on hand.
The initial outlay is lower, freeing up limited funds for marketing
and production. 

Academic presses have also taken on POD technology as a way to keep
their backlists in print and for cutting costs on highly
specialized titles that may sell only a few hundred copies.

Backlist sales are important for fiction publishers as well.
Ellora's Cave Publisher Raelene Gorlinsky said, "New readers
continually discover an author and buy not only their new release
but also their previous books. Backlist revenues can add
tremendously to an author's royalty income."

Also, POD books don't have to go out of print. When a traditional
publisher gets through their initial print run, it may not be
fiscally viable to print several thousand more copies. A POD
publisher can take advantage of small but continuous sales for
years to come. Spread over dozens or hundreds of titles, this can
add up to significant revenue.

Also, POD publishers don't need large warehouses to keep their
stock, with the attendant costs of rent, insurance, and employees.
This doesn't mean POD publishers don't keep a stock; many do.
Gorlinsky said, "When a new book is released, we print sufficient
to have available to fill the anticipated orders and have a small
stock in our warehouse. If orders exceed available stock, we do
another small print run. That way, we always have some quantity of
the book on hand to fill orders."

An added bonus is the knowledge that they're helping the

Kristofer Stamp, owner of StoneGarden.net Publishing said, "The
decision to use Print-On-Demand technology stemmed from our desire
to limit the impact we have on the earth. Rather than produce
10,000 copies of a single title, with the possibility that only one
to two thousand of those will be sold, we would rather produce
those titles as they are needed."

POD does have some disadvantages. Per-unit cost is higher than
traditional methods, cutting into profit margins, and some POD
suppliers have been accused of shoddy product, with customer
complaints of slow delivery time, missing pages, pages in improper
order, and cover art being off center.

One major barrier for POD publishers is getting books into stores.
Many stores assume the publishers don't have a return policy, and
they've developed a bad impression from a number of small and
vanity presses churning out frankly inferior work. 

While the barrier to getting on bookstore shelves is a major
handicap, it does save smaller publishers from one major
headache--returns. A large percentage of print books will sit on
shelves for a few weeks or months and if they don't sell, they're
returned. This appallingly wasteful practice costs publishers a
huge amount of money every year. Perhaps being barred from
bookshelves is a blessing in disguise, although most struggling
independents don't see it that way.

Some publishers opt not to try. Steven Womack, publisher of Whiskey
Creek Press, decided against using traditional distribution
channels, "which carry huge distributor costs and volumes of unsold
book returns that are very costly. Our books are featured at our
two website bookstores, third party resellers like Amazon, and any
bookstore in the world can order directly from us."

Treva Hart, co-owner and editor-in-chief of Loose-ID, says the
problems faced by POD publishers are the same as any small press.
Production and distribution costs are steep for those with limited
budgets, and it's hard to get noticed by bookstores and readers.
With tens of thousands of titles from hundreds of companies, it's
very much a reader's market.

While the industry as a whole is becoming more accepting of POD
technology, it still bears a stigma in some circles.
"The quality of production does vary wildly from one
Print-On-Demand publisher to another, and is really a reflection of
the printer that they have chosen. It may sound like a paid plug,
but the quality of titles coming from the Lightningsource, Inc.
printers is as good, or better, than many traditionally published
works. As Print-On-Demand technology becomes more prevalent, we are
seeing more and more acceptance of our titles. This is a direct
reflection of the attitude of Print-On-Demand publishers. Initially
this was the realm of the vanity press. Companies (I won't say
their names) used it as a way to bilk hard working authors out of
their money. Now we are seeing smaller presses using it as a way to
get a foothold in the industry," Stamp said. 

While POD publishing is well within the means of most small
presses, it's far from free. Operations such as Booksurge and
LightningSource offer a wide variety of options with costs ranging
from the hundreds to the thousands. Some publishers charge the
author this fee, or give them the option to only publish their book
electronically. While this saves money on the publisher's end, it
can also drive away some potential authors. The charges tend to be
relatively low, however, since the publishers do the layout and
editing themselves, and the author only pays for the POD
availability itself. Writer's Exchange, for example, uses Booksurge
and their authors have to pay $99 for the setup fee. This practice
has become less common in recent years because many in the industry
think it smacks of vanity publishing.

Many small presses using POD are epublishers who decided to move
into print.

In November 2007, Lida Quillen, publisher of Twilight Times,
interviewed thirteen ebook publishers who offer some or all of
their titles in print. Seven said they still made 60 percent or
more of their income from ebooks. The remainder said they made more
on print or didn't answer the question, but it appears this is more
due to how much of a focus publishers put on print, whether they
get them in stores or not, and whether they offer all, most, or
only some of their list in print. The full survey may be found

Quillen's experience with Twilight Times is interesting. The
company started in 1999 as an epublisher and switched to also
offering all their new titles in print in 2004. Within that year 70
percent of their sales revenue came from print. They tend to do a
print run of 750 to 2500 copies and have managed to get reviewed by
top magazines such as Library Journal and Booklist. Unlike most
other publishers offering ebooks, they do not use POD, instead
preferring traditional print runs. This may partly explain their
success with getting into bookstores and major review magazines.

Some publishers planned to do print from the beginning. Ellora's
Cave, despite being the quintessential ebook success story, soon
bought their own POD equipment and offers much of their list in
print. Others made deals with traditional publishers, such as
Samhain's deal with Kensington, in which Kensington puts up to a
dozen of Samhain's books a year in bookstores nationwide.

But epublishers have to think about whether their titles are
suitable for print. Erotica, the bread and butter of many
epublishers, isn't stocked by many bookshops. And while it's
perfectly acceptable to have shorter ebooks, with word counts of
thirty or twenty thousand, these tend to get lost on shelves
between the latest magnum opera. Although there are some fine ebook
writers out there, there's also a lot of work that wouldn't be
picked up by a major house. The tolerance for diamonds in the rough
is higher with ebooks because the investment for both the publisher
and the reader is smaller.

The decision to put an ebook into print varies from publisher to
publisher. Harte said, "From time to time, we do publish selected
titles in print. But we're an e-publishing company first. Print is
expensive and doesn't provide a good return on investment. We've
elected not to jeopardize our financial status by putting every
book into print."

Gorlinsky of Ellora's Cave echoed many publishers' sentiments when
she said there was no set formula for what titles are put into

In general, publishers tend to follow the money, so if a book looks
likely to profit from being put into print, then it will be.

Mainstream publishers follow the money too, and the big houses are
looking into POD now, especially for their backlists.
This makes smaller presses go head to head with some serious
competition, but most editors don't think it's much of a threat.
"The large publishers will muscle their way into the Small Press
POD and ebook universe. When they do, because of their higher
overhead, prices will rise considerably, which will continue to
leave room for successful Small Presses like Whiskey Creek Press
with smaller overhead costs," Womack said.

But even the game changer of the publishing industry is having its
rules changed. In early 2008, Amazon told publishers that if they
didn't switch to using Booksurge, which Amazon owns, the "buy"
buttons on their sales pages would be turned off.

The issue is too complicated to cover in this article, but
WritersWeekly offers in-depth coverage at
http://www.writersweekly.com/amazon.php. It should be noted that
WritersWeekly is run by Angela Hoy. She and her husband own
Booklocker.com, which is currently in an antitrust suit with Amazon
over this matter. Publisher's Weekly, which has no vested interest
in the lawsuit, also covers the issue at

The move has been a major shakeup to the POD industry. Changing POD
providers is a costly process, but most publishers don't want to be
barred from the world's largest online bookseller.

Steve Womack said the move has affected Whiskey Creek Press, "but
not as bad as some, since we offer our books through Amazon
Marketplace, where books are sold by our printer, instead of Amazon
Advantage, where they made this change and we have just a few books
listed. We have been told that our books will remain available at
Amazon Marketplace for sale."

Whatever the result of the Amazon/Booksurge fracas, POD is
certainly here to stay. As mainstream houses move into the scene,
small publishers have to think of ways to compete.

Quillen said, "We need to find a way to bring the books produced by
small press publishers to the attention of the general public.

Sandy Cummins of Writers Exchange started Reader's Eden Online
Bookstore and handles distribution of ebooks for various
epublishers. Maybe someone can set up a similar system for print
books. Perhaps an online semi-annual book fair or a small
publishers' co-op could be a start in the right direction?"

Stamp noted that, "As more companies come to realize that printing
with economies of scale in mind is not the only way to run a
'traditional' publishing house, we will see more and more companies
only printing what is ordered. Print-On-Demand kiosks, which have
already been developed, will become more prominent, and may help
bring reading to places no one wants to build a store. How easy is
it to simply wait one or two minutes for a book to be printed while
waiting for the train?"

While the relationship between ebooks and print is still
developing, most small presses are seeing advantages to offering
both. Ebooks are steadily rising in popularity, but most readers
still prefer print, and it's by browsing through bookstores that
most people find what they'll read next. It would appear that for
small publishers, POD offers a happy medium without the huge outlay
that even a moderate print run entails, while academic presses and
even major New York houses are seeing the financial advantages to
the new technology. POD will continue to change the publishing game
for years to come.


Copyright (c) 2008 by Sean McLachlan

Sean McLachlan is a full time freelance writer specializing in
history and travel. He is the author of Byzantium: An Illustrated
History and It Happened in Missouri, among others. He blogs about
the writer's life at midlistwriter.blogspot.com. 

For more information and advice on ebook publishing and POD visit:


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A short collection of some useful writing tips in easy-to-read,
humorous articles.

This is the site you need when you're searching for that elusive
quote to put the finishing touch to your article. Unlike other
quote sites, this offers search options via topic, via author or
via author type - e.g. scientist, poet, priest etc.

"The Tongue Untied provides instruction in basic grammar, sentence
structure and word choice, as well as rules for punctuation,
including practice exercises and quizzes.

This new website is aimed at the writing - and reading - community.
It's a small sanctuary of daily contemplation in a busy world. It
invites submissions of 75 word paragraphs on any topic. It is a
virtual writing group and also offers a free blog option to writers
who want to publicise their work.  

This is an online science-fiction and fantasy magazine. Dip into to
read what's currently being bought in this genre, or just for

Never be stuck for something to write about again!  This site has a
fantastic selection of daily writing prompts that relate to the
actual date.  This is a fantastic resource.

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.

                                          By Moira Allen

Q: How can one sell one's work with no credentials?

I am working on becoming a freelance writer as a second career.
I've been busy researching the market (mostly magazine articles)
and sending out a few query letters and submissions.  The one thing
I've very uncomfortable about is my bio.  There just isn't too much
to it right now. How can beginning writers sell their work with
such a slim bio?

A: If there isn't much in the way of writing experience to your bio
at this time, consider what you can add from your nonwriting
experience that would be relevant to what you are writing.  If
you're just starting out, then what you should probably be
emphasizing at this point are the non-writing credentials that
qualify you to write about whatever topics you are pitching.  I.e.,
if you're an avid gardener, and you want to write for gardening
magazines, emphasize your gardening experience.  Same for any other
subject.  Then, as you accumulate credits, you'll be able to expand
the writing side of the bio as well.

Q: How do I use a publication credit if the article hasn't been
published yet?

If you are going to be published in a national publication but the
issue won't be out for several months, should you mentioned you
will be published there or not use that credit until actual

A: Yes, you can use the credit.  You simply list it as
"forthcoming" -- e.g., "Tips for Travelers," in RV Digest,
forthcoming...  If you know the issue in which it is scheduled to
appear, you can say "forthcoming May 2002" -- but often, schedules

Q: Will "small" credits help me break into larger markets?

I've been published on a few Web sites so far and in a small
newspaper so far, and am seeking to acquire more lucrative and
prestigious assignments. Am I correct in believing that the more
"smaller" credits I get, the better my chances are for more success
in bigger markets?

A: That depends on the credits.  Small-time credits will show that
you've sold material, but they may not gain you an "entree" to a
better market.

One approach is to focus on smaller publications that are in a
direct "line" with the type of larger publications you'd like to
target later.  For example, if you'd like to write for travel
publications, look for small travel magazines and websites to write
for at first. Continually attempt to work your way up -- for
example, if you sell to a market that pays $25 the first time, look
for one that pays $50 the next time, and $100 the next.  This
pattern of upward progression will move you fairly quickly into
markets that are "recognized" by the better magazines as being
"good clips."

Of course, at the same time, it's also important to be sure that
you are constantly improving your skills.  Some writers never break
out of the smallest markets because, for whatever reason, their
skills never improve to the level of "acceptance" of better

Copyright (c) 2008 Moira Allen



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

DEADLINE: December 31, 2008
GENRE:  Short stories
OPEN TO: Those who have not had a previously published novel or
short novel or more than one novelette or more than three short
stories in any medium.
DETAILS:  17000 words max unpublished stories in the science
fiction, fantasy or horror with fantastical elements genres.
PRIZE: $1000, $750, $500 plus chance to win $5000 grand prize.
URL: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/rules.htm

DEADLINE: January 31, 2009
GENRE:  Short stories
DETAILS:   2000 words max short story on any subject but must
feature an American Kennel Club registered breed. "No talking dogs
PRIZE: $750, $500, $250; stories may be published in the magazines
AKC Gazette and Family Dog 
URL: http://www.akc.org/pubs/fictioncontest/ 

DEADLINE: January 31, 2009
GENRE:  Scripts/Screenplays
DETAILS:  Submit your original, unpublished one-act play, but
please be aware that budgets for sets and costumes/props are
limited and, as we showcase 4-6 plays, set changes need to be
PRIZE: 150 over 18, 100 under 18. 

DEADLINE: February 1, 2009
GENRE:  Young Writers
OPEN TO: Fifth grade students 
DETAILS:  Essays, poems, letters or diary entries on the theme "Why
I'm Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants".     
PRIZE: $6500 
URL:  http://www.ailf.org/awards/essaycontest/

DEADLINE: February 15, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS:   Poems under 100 words in length.  
URL:  http://www.mattia.ca

DEADLINE: February 28, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry 
DETAILS: Everyday something around you happens that is poetic if
you notice. We want your best poems (up to 6 entries) covering life
in a daily setting. All forms and styles of poetry will be
PRIZE: 1st $50.00, 2nd $25.00, 3rd $10.00. The top 35 - 50 poems
will be published in a poetry chapbook to be published in June of
URL: http://www.readme.us.com/contest.html


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers


How to Make $250 or More a Day by Writing Simple 500 Word Articles,
by Yuwanda Black

Five Days in Babylon, by P.L. Reiter

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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
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