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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 9:02            7,272 subscribers          January 15, 2009
SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages
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THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITING DESK - Finding New Markets, by Moira Allen
FEATURE:  Recharging the Writer's Battery, by Mindy Hardwick
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
WRITING CONTESTS with no entry fees
The Author's Bookshelf

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GREAT SELECTION! Save online at: http://www.MasterFreelancer.com
WRITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS. Break into this $3 billion market.  
Learn the secrets from an experienced professional. Online or by
mail. Free writing test. http://www.writingforchildren.com/G5092
AN EASY SIX FIGURE INCOME. WRITING Imagine a job in which you set
your own hours, and live where you please: at the beach, in the
mountains, in Paris. As a copywriter, you can. I know. I spend my
summers "working" from home in a picture-perfect Vermont country
village. Here's how I learned the secrets of this writing market:
* Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter.
* Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing.

Think Positively
Here in the UK many freelancers, myself included, have one thing on
their mind right now -- finding the money to pay their tax  bill,
which falls due at the end of the month.  Normally this isn't too
much of a problem; I work out my tax due and put money aside.  This
year, however, I found that as I've now been freelancing for four
years, I have to pay both last year's and next year's tax in one
go!  Next year's tax is based on what I earned last year.  The
thing is, with a recession on, how can I be sure of earning enough
throughout the year to pay the tax? Or to put it more accurately --
to make up the huge whole in my finances that the tax bill will
leave me with.

I could, at this point, give up and ask myself if the tax office is
aware of the recession and wail at the injustice of having to pay
two year's tax in one go, or I could sit back and, as a character
in one of my daughter's favourite shows does, think big. 

What we need to do during these hard times is explore every
possible avenue at our disposal to make the money to pay the bills.
We need to consider entering free contests, we need to up our query
rates and we need, more than ever before, to make sure our writing

We cannot do this if we are filled with a sense of despondency. We
need to think big, think differently and think positively. People
still need writers and if we've sold before, there's no reason why
we won't continue to sell our work in the recession.  

Here at Writing-World with our new bimonthly format we are
passionate about trying to help our readers maximise their writing
potential.  We won't offer instant fixes, but we will do our best
to provide you with links to jobs, with relevant writing news and
with articles to inspire and assist you to achieve your writing
goals this year. 

But you have to do your part too. Don't just read the articles or
the news about contests and jobs; act on them.  Think differently,
think big and think positively.  

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


And on That Note...

I'm happy to report that my new book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal
Guide to Writing Contests," is now available on Amazon.com's
"CreateSpace."  This is truly a huge and comprehensive guide to
writing contests, listing more than 1000 contests for poetry, short
fiction, nonfiction, book-length manuscripts, and scripts and
screenplays.  These are all prize-paying contests, and the book
includes dozens (if not hundreds) of no-fee competitions.  

At present the book only seems to be available through the
CreateSpace.com e-store (which is affiliated with Amazon.com), at
https://www.createspace.com/3364376. It should become available on
Amazon.com itself shortly (and I'm assured that my cover image will
be posted in a few days).  Books seem to ship very quickly; I've
received my proof copies in less than five days. 

-- Moira Allen, Editor


CHILDREN'S WRITERS COMPETITIVE EDGE: 12-page monthly newsletter 
of editors' current wants and needs - up to 50 each month. Plus
market studies and genre analyses loaded with editors' tips and
insights into subjects and writing styles they're looking for right
now. Get a FREE sample issue.


THE WRITING DESK - Finding Better Markets
by Moira Allen

How do I break out of my current market niche?
Q: I have been writing all of my life, but it is only in the past 3
years that I have taken on the challenge of freelancing. I am now
published in several news publications that serve the agricultural
industry, as well as a national agriculture magazine. My problem is
that I want to break out and write other things, such as life
experiences or fiction. I would love to finish my romance novel but
I feel like I am pigeonholed as an agricultural correspondent. When
I write query letters about a "heart warming" story or a warning
story for a mommy magazine, I have only these agriculture clips to
send. How do I get out of this? Do editors understand that writers
begin with what they know and can make money at -- but may have
many other talents?

A: I know what you mean.  Having written about pets for many years,
I found it hard to "break out" and write about other topics as well.

In the matter of clips, you may want to consider doing exactly what
you did to get started the first time: Go back to the beginning,
and build up some clips from smaller markets that focus on the type
of writing that interests you.

"Mommy" and women's magazines are some of the hardest to break into
(because so many people are trying).  Here, it's important to make
sure you can write the best possible query, even if you don't have
clips.  But again, to build those clips, why not look into some of
your local parenting publications -- every town has a parenting
magazine or "newspaper" that covers local parenting issues and more
general topics.  Look at your local bookstore, or at children's
stores -- e.g., children's clothing stores, curriculum stores, etc.
-- to find local parenting publications.  Also check out the local
women's medical centers; these usually have several baby magazines.
Build up some local clips, then move on to the bigger publications.

Finish your romance novel!  Don't wait to get "published" in other
areas; romance novels have no relationship (presumably) to
agriculture or parenting.  The publication process is completely
different, so you don't have to worry about clips (or lack

How can an "ordinary" person like me find better markets?
Q: I've submitted two articles to a small web site that have been
purchased, but unfortunately, the site will soon cease to exist. 
Being a beginner, I'm not quite sure how to find new opportunities.
I like your suggestion about seeking out smaller publications -- I
have been doing so, but am still unsure.  Part of the problem is
that I have story ideas that I'm unable to pursue since I'm just
"ordinary." My background is in the health field. The other
difficulty is that I obviously don't have much experience.  The
stories I wrote for the web site are people-based interviews.  I
was given the OK to approach celebrities for stories, but with the
site down and no prospective buyers, do you think it's at all
possible to somehow "get" these stories?

A: First of all, who says you're just "ordinary"?  Perhaps the very
first step you need to take is to stop thinking of yourself in such
a way.  I suspect this feeling grows out of the sense you have of
not being an "experienced" writer -- you probably have lofty ideas
of what a "real writer" is, and feel that you don't match this

While you may not have a great deal of experience with selling your
writing, you do have experience.  You have experience that counts.
When it comes to selling those first pieces, your experience in the
subject area often counts for far more than your experience as a
writer.  Many editors much prefer to work with someone who has
background knowledge in the field, over someone who will just be
doing "research" with no real subject knowledge.  Thus, you have an
edge.  Don't undervalue it.

Health is an excellent field to start writing in, as it is
something that everyone has an interest in.  You have a huge range
of markets from which to choose.  You can look at the "health
publications" themselves -- the magazines that focus almost
exclusively on health issues -- but also at a host of other
possibilities.  Women's magazines, lifestyle magazines, magazines
aimed at particular demographic groups (such as retirees, parents,
etc.), and many others all cover health topics.  Sports and
recreation magazines, for example, cover health issues related to
that field -- e.g., handling or preventing sports injuries,
developing fitness through nutrition and exercise, etc.  Even
religious magazines often cover health topics as part of their
general "lifestyle" coverage.

While these may not seem the most obvious directions to choose
given your background in public health, remember that any
background you can claim will give you "leverage" in selling
articles.  Start by thinking about the question, "Who cares about
health?"  When you have a list of potential readers (i.e.,
"audiences"), then move on to the question, "What do those readers
care about?"  Different readers will have different interests. 
Once you can start "slicing and dicing" your general subject area
(let's just call it "health") by reader group and group interest,
you'll be amazed at how many article ideas you begin to generate --
and how many publications you can find that will be interested in
those ideas.

When you pitch your ideas, remember that your working credentials
can be far more valuable than your writing credentials.  Read my
article, "No Clips? Don't Despair!" at
http://www.writing-world.com/basics/clips.html for more information.

Since you've already been given an "OK" to approach certain
celebrities for their stories, go ahead and approach them.  Get the
interviews.  Take a look at the market, and determine what
publications (online or off) might be interested in these stories,
now that your first market is closing.  Contact those markets, let
them know that you already have an "in" with these celebrities, and
see if you can get assignments.  Then, follow up with the
interviews once you have a paying market lined up.

The best source of market research is still The Writers Market,
even though it isn't always up to date.  There are also dozens of
health content sites online.  There are a couple of articles on
Writing-World.com that may be helpful as well - Rachel Newcombe's
"Writing for Health Markets in the U.S. and UK
(http://www.writing-world.com/international/health.html) and Jenna
Glatzer's "Here's to (Writing About) Your Health!"

So stop thinking of yourself as ordinary, and start thinking of
yourself as a writer with something unique to offer.  And get out
there and start selling!

Copyright (c) 2009 Moira Allen

WRITE MORE, WRITE BETTER by mastering the psychology of writing as
well as the craft. Jurgen Wolff's book, "Your Writing Coach"
Nicholas Brealey Publishing) takes you from idea through to
publication. Get it at Amazon, B&N or your local bookstore. For
more information, go to http://www.yourwritingcoach.com

RISE ABOVE THE REST. Working with a professional editor gives you a
polished, error-free manuscript. Books I've worked on have won
awards. See the difference editing makes--free sample edit (for
book-length MS). Details at http://www.scripta-word-services.com



Writers Needed for New Site
The self-publishing magazine "Self-Publishing Review" aims to  
"legitimize self-publishing - not just as a fallback plan, but as
an avenue that's increasingly necessary and useful in a competitive
publishing industry." They are looking for any writers who would be
interested in writing for the site, especially book reviewers.  All
genres and formats of self publishing will be covered on the site
and all writers will get their own RSS feed and a link and profile
picture at the bottom of each post and a listing in the
contributors section.  If you are interested, check out the site
at: http://www.selfpublishingreview.com

Writers Wanted for Cancer Book
ServantHeartProject.com is collecting story submissions on people
who are Beating Cancer. Their stories will be published in an
inspirational anthology and each author will receive a byline and a
f*ree digital copy of the book. Those who help get the word out get
a mention in the acknowledgments with a link to a site of their
choice as well as a free copy of the book. 
For more information visit:  http://www.servantheartproject.com

2008 mixed year for book sales in the UK
The first half of 2008 saw an increase in book sales of 3.7% on
2007, but from July onwards, things started to go wrong.  For 20 of
the last 26 weeks of the year, book sales dropped compared to 2007
and the loss to the industry was around $4.5 million or £3.1
million every week. By the end of 2008, total UK book sales were
down 0.4% on 2007. We now wait to see how the market in the US has
performed.  For more information on this story visit: 

ONLINE COURSES FOR WRITERS! Let 35-year-veteran writer Patricia Fry
help you increase your book sales or supplement your income.
Courses on Magazine Articles, Self-Publishing, Book Promotion and
Book Proposals, available "on demand" (when you're ready) at
http://www.matilijapress.com/courses.htm for more info, Click on
"how does an online course work" or contact PLFry620@yahoo.com


FEATURE:  Recharging the Writer Battery: 
Six Ways to Keep Going When Times Get Tough 
by Mindy Hardwick

When I boot up my computer, a warning message appears: "Your
battery is able to charge normally, but is soon nearing the end of
its usable life. Click here to find out more."  Sometimes in my
writing career, I feel as if it, too, is nearing the end of its
usable life. I'll find myself stalling out on a story and unable to
think of the next plot twist or character detail. Or I find myself
staring blankly at a screen with a half-written article or story
while wondering, where am I going? That's when I know that it is
time to recharge my writer battery! 

But how?  I love conferences and workshops, and who doesn't like a
good splurge at the local bookstore? But recharging with new books
and conferences can get expensive! So, unlike my computer battery,
which becomes pricey to replace, I need inexpensive ways to
recharge my writing! The following are six ideas that don't have to
cost a lot of money and help keep us going when our writing battery
needs charging:

There are many places to share our writing talents with others,
including: schools, youth mentorships, homeless shelters, and even
juvenile detention centers. Three years ago, I had just left an
eight-year teaching career and was finishing an MFA. Although I was
having some small writing successes with the publication of
articles, I was checking my e-mail too often and rushing to the
post office only to find another rejection for my novel.

A friend of mine volunteered at a juvenile detention center in
Seattle. She suggested that I try to find a volunteer job where I
could share my writing talents. So, I did a little searching in my
area and discovered that there was a juvenile detention center
nearby. Without thinking too much, I contacted the program manager
and said I was interested in volunteering for two hours a week and
could lead a writing workshop with the young people in detention. 

Each week, I spend two hours writing with a group of ten to twelve
teens. Usually, I work with a group of girls and then a group of
boys. During that time, we write poetry from the heart.  I ask them
to focus on their experience as we write poems about loss, family,
and home. At the end of the hour, the young writers are asked to
read their poems. Before I leave, I collect poems from any who will
give them to me, and keep them in a folder. At the end of the year,
I choose a small number of the poems to be published in a chapbook
funded by a grant.  

Many times I have been in a self-absorbed funk when I head to the
detention center. However, when I arrive and greet the kids who are
sitting at the 100-pound tables with the small, stubby pencils that
the detention center allows them to have, my mood always changes
and I remember why I write. The writer battery is charged!  

Participate in Weekly Free-Writing Sessions
Each week, I gather my writing notebook, favorite pen, and head off
to the library café to participate in a weekly, timed, free-writing
session.  Each writer brings one open-ended writing prompt written
on a small piece of paper. Our prompts include ideas such as: "I
opened the door and..."  or "Let me tell you my side of the
story..." We also use lines of poetry and picture prompts. We begin
by placing the prompts in the center of the table. Someone picks
one of the prompts and we all write quickly for five minutes. At
the end of five minutes, each of takes a turn sharing what we
wrote. Although it's not always comfortable to share "off the cuff"
writing, it's important to learn to listen for the raw voice. We
don't need to have perfect writing all the time. It's okay to have
bad writing, and with each of sharing, this allows us to hear that
sometimes there will be writing gems that emerge, but sometimes,
well, sometimes we all get a good laugh and move on!  

After the first session, we repeat the process again, only this
time, we write for ten minutes. Again, the sharing, and then the
process is repeated for a fifteen-minute free-write. Finally we end
with a last five-minute free-write. It's amazing to see what
happens by the second or third round of timed writing when the mind
is loosened and the words are flying! By the time the session is
over, I am always energized to dive back into my work-in-progress.

Get out there and explore somewhere you have never been. Sure, you
can plan an elaborate trip, but that's not really necessary.
Instead, go check out a museum you've never visited. Go to a part
of town you've never seen.  Take a hike on a trail you've never
explored, or go to a park where you've never been.  If you're stuck
for ideas, pretend you are a tourist in your city and check out
your city's Chamber of Commerce website.  Try one of those funky
tourist traps listed on the website. For example, in Seattle, we
have the Underground Tour in Pioneer Square.  This tour provides
many juicy tidbits about Seattle, and always puts me in the mood to
write something with ghosts!

Educate Yourself
Sign up for a class to learn something new. No, not a writing
class! Writing classes can be helpful, and if you really must take
a writing class, try a class in something you don't write on a
regular basis. For example, if you write romance, try a class in
children's writing.  

However, ideally, the type of class you want to recharge your
writer battery is something totally unrelated to writing. For
example, try an arts, sports, or even a cooking class. Check out
local community education listings, which are usually offered
through school districts, parks and recreation, or community
colleges. These are not-for-credit classes and are not expensive.
The classes usually only last a few hours or one afternoon, and
they're fun, get you moving and doing. I've taken classes in
weaving, tango dancing, stained glass, and artistic collage, just
to name a few.  All the classes have freed my writing brain, and
recharged me by doing something out of my comfort zone!

Participate in a Writer's Book Group
To be a writer, one must read! But we don't have to read alone! Try
participating in a book group with other writers. Once a month, I
meet with six women in a children's book group. Two of the women
are children's librarians, three are writers, and one enjoys
reading young adult and middle grade novels.  The children's book
group provides me not only with a place to discuss what I write
--children's books -- but also gives me a place to think about my
own writing, and most importantly, to hear the perspective of
others who are not children's writers, but are avid readers and
promoters of children's books. 

Our discussions encourage me to think about my audience. Will
librarians and teachers want to share my stories with young people?
Do I have a strong theme? Are my characters well developed? Do I
have tension? Whose voice is telling this story? Have I chosen the
right point of view for the story? At the end of book group, I am
always recharged and energized to return to my own writing!  

Host a Mini-Conference
We all love a good writing conference. However, let's face it, we
can't go to all of them. Plus, a conference can get expensive!  So,
if you're feeling the need for a little recharge and can't attend a
conference, gather together a group of local writers and ask each
person to bring a sixty-minute session on some aspect of craft
and/or the marketing/selling of writing.  

Reserve a small room at your local library, or meet at someone's
home -- you'll need to find somewhere you can meet for up to six
hours, so coffee shops and restaurants probably won't work! Once
the big day arrives, take turns presenting your sessions. This is
also a great way to get some ideas and practice for possible topics
to present at writing conferences! 

Copyright (c) 2009 by Mindy Hardwick

Mindy Hardwick is a published children's writer and teaches
educators about writing for children at Seattle Pacific University.
She runs a weekly poetry workshop with youth in a juvenile
detention center in Everett, WA. You can find out more about her at
http://www.mindyhardwick.com or 

For more information on rejuvenating your writing visit: 


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. http://www.worldwidefreelance.com



We are seriously impressed with this site, which is a fantastic
place for young writers to learn the craft.  If you know any teen
writers, refer them to this site today!

Bryant Smith has created a whole set of website templates that are
free to use.  He aims to add more templates in the near future. So
if you're thinking of setting up your own writer's website, check
them out. http://bryantsmith.com/template

A quite useful little blog full of thought-provoking quotes on
writing.  Dip into it at the start of each writing day or when you
have a spare five minutes.  

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



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

DEADLINE: February 15, 2009
GENRE:  Short stories
DETAILS:  This month's contest is all about flash 
fiction, and the theme is "the forest." Easy as that! Submit a
piece of fiction under 1000 words featuring a nice green and
foresty theme and show us what you've got!
PRIZE: 1st prize is a $50 Amazon.com gift card, 2nd prize is a $25
Amazon.com gift card
URL: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/

DEADLINE: February 9, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS:  Submit two poems of 750 words or less. We accept all
forms, themes, styles, and genres.
PRIZE: $100 
URL: http://www.trumbull.kent.edu/Arts/icon.cfm 

DEADLINE: February 15, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry/Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Memoirs, prose maximum of 10,000 words, poetry five poems
PRIZE: $500, $250. $100.
URL: http://memoirjournal.squarespace.com/contest

DEADLINE: March 31, 2009
GENRE:  Short stories
DETAILS: Stories (up to 2000 words) with murder theme   
PRIZE: £100
URL: http://www.wordsmag.com

DEADLINE: March 31, 2009
OPEN TO: All final year undergraduates, current postgraduates and
recent graduates of no more than 3 years from of any BA, MA or
international equivalent course.
GENRE:   Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Submissions must be on the topic of art. Your submission
may be as long as you like. If you are shortlisted it will be
edited with your approval to a length of 2000 words or less to fit
the publication. It will however be available to read at full
length on new-art-theory.org
PRIZE: £500 for first place. Shortlisted entries will be published
in a professional academic publication, distributed in the UK.
URL: http://www.new-art-theory.org/

DEADLINE: April 1, 2009
GENRE:   Poetry
DETAILS:   Find a vanity poetry contest, a contest with low
standards whose main purpose is to entice poets to buy expensive
products like anthologies, chapbooks, CDs, plaques and silver
bowls. Vanity contests will often praise remarkably bad poems in
their effort to sell as much stuff to as many people as possible. 
Make up a deliberately absurd, strange, laugh-out-loud humor poem.
Submit your parody poem to a vanity contest as a joke. Then when
you've submitted it to the vanity contest, submit it to us. 
PRIZE: $1,359 for first place. $3,336.40 in total prizes

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

The Paper Canvas: A Book of Poems, by Brett B. Anderson

Prayer is our Power, by Lonnie Pruitt

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 nearly 100,000 writers a month with your product,
service or book title, visit


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors@writing-world.com)

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

Copyright 2009 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor