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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 9:04            7,460 subscribers         February 19, 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 - Writing Self Help Books,  by Moira Allen
FEATURE: Writing to Trends, by Susan Sundwall   
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

EARN AN MFA IN WRITING through the brief-residency program at
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email mfa"at"spalding.edu and request brochure FA90. For more info:
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the Write Way! English Grammar, Spelling and Writing Style in 1
click! Write Like a Pro! Limited Time Offer.
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.

Keeping an Open Mind

Whew! It was hard work getting Writing-World to you this month.
Why? Because we have just moved house for the third time in three

One of the perennial problems we have when moving house in the UK
is getting internet access. It can take anything from two weeks to
a month to get a connection here! We rent, and last year we got
around this problem by renting two properties at the same time for
a month so we still had internet access at our old property whilst
waiting for the internet to be connected at our new home. 

This year, however, with the crunch biting, such an option was out
of the question.  I was beginning to get seriously worried about
how to get the newsletter to Moira, and how to keep my sites up and
running without spending my entire life in Wi-Fi coffee shops and
McDonalds, when a friend mentioned mobile broadband to me. 

I'd never even considered this, thinking it was a slow method of
connecting to the net via your mobile. So, initially I brushed her

However, when faced with a possible connection date as late as the
end of February (the actual date has now been confirmed as 23 Feb),
I decided to investigate further. It turns out that there has been
a revolution in internet service providers in the UK when I wasn't
looking. All I had to do was go to a mobile (cell-phone) shop, buy
a pay-as-you-go dongle, stick it in my laptop and I'd be surfing
the web at broadband speeds.  It seemed too good to be true, but
for once, it wasn't -- it actually was as easy as that. 

This led me to think about how we can get stuck in our ways in
writing.  How often do we read articles in writing magazines about
how to break into new markets or write new types of articles and
think "No, I don't think it could be that easy," or "it's not for
me," without giving these suggestions some serious thought?  We
can, all too often and in too many ways, keep our minds closed to
new possibilities. As writers can we afford to do that, not just
financially, but also for the sake of our own development?

Having learned my lesson from the mobile dongle, one thing I'm
determined to do this year is to keep my mind open and not
instantly dismiss possible new markets or new ways of writing. How
about you?

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


New Section Added to Writing-World.com

Don't worry, I'll keep this short... I just wanted to let readers
know that we've added a new section to Writing-World.com: "The
Writing Life."  This is the section to turn to for answers on how
to cope with the various stresses, strains, and yes, even hazards
of the writing life -- including such topics as rejection, writer's
block, time management, and (under that "hazards" category) RSI. 
You'll find it at http://www.writing-world.com/life/index.shtml.

We've also updated our "Bookstore" section, where we offer a
selection of useful books and e-books for writers.  Check it out at

And now back to your regularly scheduled newsletter...

-- 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. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/M3834


THE WRITING DESK - Writing Self Help Books, by Moira Allen

Can I write a self-help book without formal credentials?
Q: I've an idea for a self help book. It's based on my own personal
experience and I believe it is fresh and relevant.  I want to write
it myself, using my experiences along with advice from medical and
therapeutic professionals (whom I will naturally credit in the
book). My problem is that I don't have formal qualifications in
psychology or any other discipline.  Can I confidently approach a
publisher? I have read of a number who declare that they "publish
only popular psychology and self-help materials written in
'everyday language' by professionals with advanced degrees and
significant experience in the human services."

A: Since you are planning to interview experts, you will probably
be able to substitute this for the "personal credentials"
qualification. The key to approaching publishers is to develop a
very strong proposal.  You'll have to work extra hard to come
across as the right kind of "professional" -- but don't give up
just because you don't have specific credentials.  Many self-help
books are published by people without degrees.

One key, in fact, might be to research your potential market and
competition.  Are there other books in the field, or related to the
field, that are written by folks who aren't psychologists or PhD's?
If so, cite those as precedent -- indications that books by
non-therapists do sell in that particular field.  Also, if you find
such books, check the publisher -- this would be a likely target
for your own proposal.  (This will all be part of the market
research you need to do to create an effective book proposal
anyway, so it won't be wasted work, regardless!)

Should I delay publication until I have the proper credentials?
Q: My book is about undertaking a research degree and, because I
have not completed my own degree yet, the publishers want me to
find a suitably qualified co-author, or to delay publication until
I receive my degree. What should I do?

A: Will you finish your degree in roughly the same amount of time
that you'd finish the book?  How long would it take the publisher
to bring the book out?  It often takes about 18 months or longer
from the time the contract is issued to actually publish a book --
and many publishers take even longer to bring out a book after the
manuscript is delivered. One thing to ask your publisher,
therefore, would be:

1) How long do you have to write the book? 
2) How long will it take, from delivery of the completed
manuscript, for them to actually bring out the book in print?
If the answer sums up to over two years, would you have your degree
completed by then?  If so, it might be worth undertaking the
project now rather than waiting (or get the contract and let them
determine the delay based on when your degree is finished).  

Copyright (c) 2009 Moira Allen

SPRING FEVER POETRY CONTEST: Online competition where poems are
viewed, commented & voted on. The site short list guarantees a
place on the Judge's short list. Prizes 50, 30, 20. Free copy of
Poetry Tenners, an e-book on how to publish a poetry anthology, for
all entrants. http://www.writelink.co.uk/springfever


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 



Nine Year Old Gets Three Book Deal 
A school essay has won a nine-year-old boy a three-book deal with
talk of his first book being turned into a film.  Alec Greven wrote
what has now been published as "How To Talk To Girls" as an project
for his school, Soaring Hawk Elementary, in Colorado.  His teachers
persuaded him to turn it into a pamphlet, which they sold to raise
school funds. This in turn came to the attention of HarperCollins,
who have not only published the book, but given him a deal to write
two follow-ups "How to Talk to Mums" and "How to Talk to Dads." 
Film rights for the first book are currently being discussed. For
more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/d2uukd

YouTube contest leads to job with Washington Times 
A runner-up in YouTube's first journalism contest has landed a job
with the Washington Times. Torrey Meeks, a self-taught freelance
journalist, has been given the job of Times correspondent in the
Southwest, focusing on the US-Mexico border issues.  For more on
this story visit: 
Slimmer Kindle launched by Amazon
In response to critics' claims that Kindle was clunky and unwieldy,
Amazon has launched the slimmer Kindle 2.  The new ebook reader
also has a longer battery life, faster page turning and can store
more books. It will retail for $349, the same as the original
Kindle. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/c43lwc 

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"at"yahoo.com


FEATURE: Writing to Trends: How to Do it Now   
by Susan Sundwall

Remember global warming? Sure you do, the issue hasn't gone away.
But there's been a subtle change in the language that's used to
define it. We're hearing less and less about global warming and
more about climate change and going green. Part of the reason for
this is the people who write about it. They've had their ears to
the ground, made note of the language trending in a new direction,
and fashioned their work accordingly. Global warming has been
around for a while and people may be tired of hearing about it. But
savvy writers have picked up on the new slant and have turned it to
their advantage, garnering a whole raft of fresh articles to sell.
Use some of their methods.

Trends come and go with the speed of light, and you really can't be
all over the map when it comes to writing about them. You have to
select an area of interest, employ laser-like focus, and stick with
it until it's a fait accompli. If you're thinking about all things
green as related to global warming, for instance, make it your
passion to find out everything you can about how and why "going
green" is so in vogue. For example, develop an eye for picking out
the word "green" in all the publications you see in the magazine
rack while you're piling your groceries on the check out counter.
Note the kinds of "green" that are being written about. Now, what
HASN'T been written about? That's where you come in.

When friends, family or co-workers talk about going green, ask them
what that means to them. Maybe it's a plan to buy a hybrid car the
next time around or organizing a neighborhood clean-up-the-roads
project. Write to those interests and concerns. If you can talk to
a real fanatic, so much the better; he or she may have access to an
expert who will give you an interview.

Search online for green technologies, green yard care, green
education, etc. Pick a topic that's of particular interest to you
and run with it. Look at current advertising for automobiles, paper
products, children's toys and the like. Note words and phrases that
are being used in an attempt to appeal to the environmentalist in
all of us. Use variations on those themes in your own work.

I'm using the green example because as I write this article it's a
trendy thing to be and do. But the same guidelines can be applied
to any subject. As soon as you have enough information about your
chosen trend, don't dither. Get your notes in order and do a first
draft. Make a target market list. If you need to query an editor,
do it. If not, work on your draft until it's ready to go, and send
it off. 

Time is of the essence when it comes to following and writing about
trends. A self-imposed sense of urgency will go a long way in
making you successful here. Being ahead of the curve is tricky, but
once you sharpen your skills the opportunities are limitless.

Trends and Their Relatives
You've probably heard the term "evergreen" when it comes to
writing. An "evergreen" piece is any article an editor may like
enough to hold for a future issue because the subject has eternal
appeal. It may see the light of day in six months or a year, so you
probably don't want to write too many of those. Trends, on the
other hand, exist under a wide umbrella of what we might consider
"evergreen" categories but with an inherent sense of being in the
moment. Here are three subject areas that aren't going away any
time soon.

Fashion -- Are you a fashion maven? Can you spot a coming fashion
trend a mile away? Get out your notepad and find out where it's
coming from, who's wearing it and where the average Jill can buy
it. Maybe the whole palette of lipstick and eye shadow is trending
to mauve next spring. Find out. If you can snag a few photos or a
word or two from a celebrity or popular makeup stylist -- go for
it. It all helps to sell the piece. Fashion is here to stay, so why
not be on the cutting edge of reporting what's in. 

Energy -- Gotta have it. And there will be more going on in the
energy and alternative energy fields for at least the next ten
years than you can imagine. Science and technology magazines need
good articles that will keep their readers enlightened, informed
and current. Many of these publications offer free subscriptions to
business owners who are also potential customers. I know a man who
is a high-level manager in the field of wind energy. He keeps me
informed on all things wind and the future promise of this
industry. He's helped me with several articles. Perhaps you have a
friend or acquaintance who'll lend you a copy or two of the
publications monitoring your area of interest. Or go online and
request a sample copy. Study the tone, layout and subject matter
and get that first draft going.

Food -- Don't care about fashion or energy? Then how about the
latest trend in cocktails? Or vegetables? Think about the last time
you saw a celebrity expound on the virtues of the acai berry or
pomegranate juice. Trends are set quickly with celebrity
endorsements, so keep tabs on them. Everybody eats and there are
myriad opportunities for writers to get out there and report to the
world about foods on the edge. Let your food snoop take the reins,
scoping out things like the end caps in the aisle of your favorite
supermarket or gourmet shop. That's where new products often appear
first. Talk to the store manager to see which items are catching on
with the public. Watch television food programs or infomercials
that tout new ways to prepare avocado, sandwiches, pasta, you name
Other subject areas include politics (there's always an election
somewhere), parenting, spirituality, home decor and pets, to name
just a few! 

Your Own Take on It
You're not going to be alone when it comes to writing to trends.
There's a ton of competition out there, so you'll need a unique
slant. Go back to the grocery store for a minute. Ask a cashier or
some shoppers about the "green bags" used for carry-home. They
could be interested in knowing what the bags are made of, how long
they last, how many variations there are and the weight they can
handle. Follow it up some demographics on what populations are
using them and add a trick or two on how to remember to bring them
to the store on shopping day. Write your article using short blocks
of information and add a picture or two of the various kinds of
bags. You'll have a killer article that any number of magazines
will be interested in. 

Now think about the energy category or fashion or food. Apply the
same thinking. Do wind turbines still kill birds? Will the next
American Idol winner be sporting pink sneakers with purple
shoelaces; will tofu put your local cattle rancher out of business
soon? Eager readers want to know. Your slant is your sale.

Editors love phrases like "new study shows," "learn the secret,"
"how to boost" and words like "surprise" and "amaze." Use them
whenever you can to show that the article you're selling is
current, interesting and well researched. Do your homework -- burn
the midnight oil if you have to -- and be ahead of other contenders
in winning a spot in those choice and lucrative publications you've
dreamed of conquering.


Copyright (c) 2009 by Susan Sundwall

Susan Sundwall freelances from her home in upstate New York. She's
written about trends in money management and green technologies.
She's working on her second novel, a cozy mystery.

For more ideas on how to write articles for specific markets 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



This is an online book lover's community whose goal is to bring
authors and readers together for the conversation of books.  As
well as creative, informed book reviews, readers can tune in to a
conversational weekly podcast "Coffee with an Author," and
participate in the "Featured Author" interactive interview on the
homepage. The site also offers active forums, reader profiles and a
weekly newsletter and a blog. 

This site is still under construction but already has a very active
forum. The aim is to increase the ways in which authors, both new
and established, can bring their work to the attention of the
public and other industry professionals such as agents.  
Moira found this site and it is a gem.  To join, you have to be
British and be published.  As a non-member, however, you can post
questions to the members of the blog and they will answer you. Well
worth a look and a post if there's some aspect about writing about
Britain or the Brits that you need cleared up. 


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: March 2, 2009
OPEN TO: All full-term undergraduates in US or Canadian colleges or
GENRE:   Short Stories.
DETAILS:  7500 words maximum.
PRIZE: $1000

DEADLINE: March 6, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry, Short Stories and Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Submit a freestanding entry such as a poem, a short story
or a self-contained section of a book, 20 pages max.
PRIZE: $1000

DEADLINE: March 6, 2009
GENRE:  Short Stories 
DETAILS:  20 pages maximum, double spaced.
PRIZE: $500

DEADLINE: March 20, 2009
GENRE:   Short Stories/Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Since the inception of television our society has become
increasingly more reliant on it with each generation. In his
prescient novel, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury anticipated this
trend in which reality programming impacts our daily lives. Respond
to this theme of social sedation/apathy brought on by the evolution
of television by entering the newly revised 25th Annual Ray
Bradbury Contest. Categories include responses through writing,
visual arts or multimedia.   
PRIZE: $200 in each category for Waukegan residents and $100 for
URL: http://www.waukeganpl.org/programs/bradcontest.html

DEADLINE: March 31, 2009
GENRE:  Scripts/Screenplays
DETAILS: Write a radio play of about 60 minutes in length on any
PRIZE: 2,500, a trip to London; the play will be aired by the BBC.
URL: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/indepth/radioplay2008.shtml

DEADLINE: April 1, 2009
GENRE:  Scripts/Screenplays
DETAILS: Entries must be full-length, unpublished comedy plays. 
Previously performed plays are allowed.   
PRIZE: $500 and publication 
EMAIL: 2009"at"cheshirecomedy.com 


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

The Anna-Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure, by Lillian Cauldwell

Beyond the Quiet, by Brenda Hill

Plot Your Way to Publication, by Brenda Hill

Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests, by Moira

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

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

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

Copyright 2009 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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All materials on this site are the property of their authors
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor