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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 9:12            8,131 subscribers            June 18, 2009
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THE WRITING DESK - Writing Abroad, by Moira Allen
FEATURE: There's No Free Lunch, But There Is Free Software! 
by Des Nnochiri
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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WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you 
can reach our web site, you can take our courses.
Learn to write like a professional author and sell what you write.
Train online or by mail.  Free Writing Test.  
You CAN Make a Great Full-Time Living As a Writer! Once you know
the simple secrets of writing for this little-known lucrative
market. You can work from home, be in control of your schedule and
earn an average of $75-$150 an hour. 
* 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.



Poetry to the Rescue...

I am still wounded by life block.  My writing skills are not what
they were and I still have writer's block. But having taken hints
from Donnell King's article on 'Facing Down Life Block,' I am
starting to recover. I am starting all over again. 

Following King's advice, I took up a new hobby - Warhammer.  I have
spent hours assembling and painting my miniature dwarf army while
my daughter has painted her Lizardmen.  The freedom felt amazing,
cathartic and healing.

But I haven't abandoned words either.  I have spent hours reading. 
I re-read all the Terry Pratchett novels and recently you would
have found me with my head in poetry books. 

It is hard not to be amazed by poetry, and in Britain at the moment
it is very hard to escape poetry.  The BBC is running a poetry
season and the television has been full of various poetry programs
covering the Poet Laureates and other famous British poets. We've
even had television and pop stars talking about how poetry has
influenced them.  The television has certainly influenced me. 

I've never read so much poetry before in my life.  Sure, I 'did'
poetry at school.  I learnt various poems by heart and spent hours
learning how to critique them, but I never read poetry for fun,
until now. 

I read somewhere, I believe it was in the Telegraph, that the art
of learning poetry was dying and it suggested that to maintain a
healthy brain and memory, people should attempt to learn a couplet
a day.  That's what I've been doing.  But whilst doing it, I have
also studied each poem in detail.  Not in the dull way I did at
school, but as a writer, albeit a wounded one, who is amazed at how
the poet can convey so much meaning in so few words. 

The simple act of reading a new poem each day has begun to reawaken
the writer in me and to re-ignite a passion for words.

If you're stuck on anything at the moment, can't form your opening
or closing paragraph of an article, or are unsure where to take
your story next, try something different for inspiration and read
some poetry.  You might just find the cure you need. 

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor

Donnell King's article on Life Block can be found here: 

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


HUMOR - Response To Last Issue's Editorial:
Directions for opening, reading, and writing correspondence
by Shauna Hess Viele

1. Use a letter opener (a plastic object which may have one sharp
metal edge or may be pointed at the business end) to open envelope. 

(Definition of envelope: a folded piece of paper which has your
name and street address or post office box in the center front.
Usually contains at least one piece of paper inside. Most
frequently we see numbers, dollar signs, and fine print requiring a
magnifying glass - this would explain why you didn't recognize the
letter at first, as it was not typed and handwriting is becoming
archaic as well.) Important: do NOT throw envelope away,
you need information from it for step 7.)

2. Obtain a cup or glass of your favorite beverage. (This can
precede step 1 if you receive another one and realize what it is
before you open it.)

3. Sit down in a comfortable spot.

4. Read and enjoy the contents of the letter.

5. Obtain a plain piece of paper (perhaps from your computer
printer drawer) and a writing utensil known as an ink pen. (Can use
pencil but this sometimes is difficult to read later.)

6. Compose a letter of your own responding to statements and
comments in the letter addressed to you.

7. Fold and place in an envelope:
a. In upper left hand corner, write your name, or at least your
initials, with your house number, street name or number below that,
and the name of your city, state, and your ZIP CODE. (You may have
to look on subscriptions, bills, or the envelope of the letter you
received for this information.)

b. In the center of the envelope, write the person's name to whom
you are sending the letter. Below that, write their address exactly
as it appears in the upper left hand corner of the envelope from

8. Close the envelope and seal (I buy self adhesive envelopes so I
don't have to lick them!)

9. Obtain a stamp from the post office if you don't already have
stamps; put the stamp in the upper right hand corner of the

10. If it is a nice day, walk to the post office to mail the
envelope - then you get some exercise as well.

Copyright(c) 2009 Shauna Hess Viele 


NEW WORKS OF MERIT PLAYWRITING CONTEST is accepting scripts through
July 15, 2009. For information and submission guidelines
please go to http://www.PlaywritingContest.cjb.net Join our
Facebook Group: New Works Of Merit Playwriting Contest. In its 7th
year, the contest is a project of Merit Theater and Film Group, Inc.


THE WRITING DESK - Writing Abroad, by Moira Allen
Is it legal to write and earn an income when traveling in another

Q: Suppose a freelance writer, without any contract, employer or
agency, earns royalties to write fiction stories for a publishing
house in his home country. He doesn't write news. Yet, he doesn't
write about the countries he visits. The publishing house doesn't
have any office abroad. Can this writer come to the USA as visitor
and keeps writing during his trip, sending his writing by mail or
e-mail to his editor abroad? While a writer is writing a book, for
example, can he make a trip to another country, keep writing and
earning his royalties? I know there is a special visa to
journalists, but what if the person is not journalist and just
writes fiction stories that have nothing with the countries he is
visiting? Is he allowed to write while he is travelling? If an
individual is a tourist, he/she is not allowed to work, so if this
individual is a writer and he sit down in his hotel room and writes
more one chapter of his novel, is he "working" and breaking some

A: Let's see if I can sum up your question.  You are a writer, and
your work is published in your country of origin.  You are planning
to visit another country (presumably the US), and you want to know
whether it is legal to continue writing, send your work back to
your regular publishers, and get paid WHILE you are visiting this
country as a "tourist."  

Since you haven't mentioned what country you are coming from and
getting paid from, let's say that you live in England. You are a
writer, and you have several editors in England who regularly buy
your work.  You decide to pay a visit to the U.S.  During your
visit, you plan to continue to write, and mail or e-mail your work
back to the UK for publication.  Your primary source of income is
your writing, and so you will be spending money in the U.S. that
came from your UK publishers, but that technically you "earned"
while writing in your hotel room in the U.S.  Is there a problem
here?  Are you "working" when, as a tourist, you're not supposed to?

The answer is no: There is no problem here.  The prohibition
against "working" while on a tourist visa applies to getting an
actual job with a U.S. company (or with an employer in whatever
country you are visiting).  You are not permitted to seek
"employment" -- and that would include freelance consulting-type
employment as well.  For example, it would probably be a problem if
you came to the U.S. as a tourist and set yourself up as, say, an
editor consulting for U.S. customers or companies. But note that
this form of "employment" would mean getting paid by a company in
the country that you are VISITING, not the country you call home.

This is not the same thing as being an independent, self-employed
person.  If you are a writer, you are self-employed.  The location
of your "employment" is your home, regardless of where you
physically happen to be.  Your home address is what you provide to
the tax authorities of your country as your place of employment. 
It doesn't matter if you travel away from your home, or write an
article somewhere other than your home; you are still "employed" in
your own country and ONLY in your own country.

So even if you go to another country, sit in a hotel room in that
country, and write a short story or a novel or an article, that
does not mean that you are "working" in that country.  Your place
of employment is still your home address in your own country.  Your
income is coming from sources in your own country.  (And spending
that income in America makes no difference whatsoever.)

By the way, even if you were to sell a story to a U.S. publication
that you wrote while visiting this country, that does not change
the fact that you are considered as self-employed only in your OWN
country.  Your "base" for tax purposes is your home country, not
the U.S., and so even if you wrote that article or story IN the
U.S., it does not constitute "working in the U.S." from a visa or
tax standpoint.

For tax purposes, any income that you earn from any source is
taxable in the country where you live, as long as you are
considered a resident of only that country.  As long as you are
only a "tourist" in America, you are not a "resident" and do not
have to worry about paying U.S. taxes on income that you earn while
you happen to be visiting this country, whether it is from a
publisher in your own country or any other country.  The only
difference is if you should happen to sell a book to a U.S.
publisher.  If you live outside the U.S., and sell a book to a U.S.
publisher, there is a chance that the publisher MAY deduct U.S.
taxes from your royalties.  In this case, you would need to make
sure that your publisher knows that you are not liable for U.S.
taxes -- but that's beyond the scope of this column!

So, to summarize -- if you are self-employed in one country, and
you visit another, there are no laws against writing articles or
stories in your hotel room (or, for example, taking photographs
during your travels that you hope to sell when you get home).  This
does not constitute "employment" in the country that you are
visiting.  And there should be no problem with sending a story back
to your publisher, getting paid, and then spending that money in
the country you're visiting.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Moira Allen


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


Journalist Facing Death Threat from Real IRA
Dublin based journalist Suzanne Breen is facing a death threat from
the Real IRA if she hands over her notebooks to the police.  Breen
has taken her case to the European Court of Justice in an attempt
to hold onto her notebooks and protect her family and herself from
the IRA.  For more details on this story visit: 
Despite Recession American Journalism Graduates Find Jobs
Unlikely as this may seem, whilst many newspapers and magazines
have been making staff redundant, a majority of this year's
graduate students have found jobs in the media!  64% of graduates
at Columbia University and 60% of graduates of the City University
of New York have found work.  For more on this upbeat story visit:

Newspaper Wages Rise, Not Fall
Yes, I know, another unlikely headline given the economic climate. 
However, it seems that despite widescale redundancies, wages in the
newspaper sector have risen by on average 2.1% since last year. But
it's not all good news: reporters and editors had no pay raise at
all, whereas interactive producers saw an increase in their wages
of up to 13%. For more on this story visit: 


Stories Without Traveling, by Jack Adler, specialist in consumer
travel reporting. Examples of published articles, sample topics,
how to develop a specialty, write queries, use your background and
area plus much more. 288 pp, $14.95. 



Mixed Martial Arts Writers Wanted 
CONCEDE is looking for talented writers to provide high quality
commentary and reporting for our website network launching July 1st
2009. If you have good writing skills and are passionate about MMA,
please contact us for more details regarding this position. The
ideal person should have excellent communication skills, have a
solid writing ability, be self-motivated and be willing to come up
with innovative article ideas. This position will pay $25 -$50 per
article used. It will also be a great way to gain exposure to the
MMA community.

Please contact zach"at"concedefightgear.com or

Health Writers Wanted
EmpowHer.com is a unique online resource dedicated to helping women
improve their health and wellbeing. They provide up-to-date medical
information, access to leading medical experts and advocates, a
devoted community of women, and original articles created by a
dynamic team of HerWriters. They seek writers to create short but
compelling articles on a variety of women's health topics such as
cancer, heart conditions, and sexual, reproductive and mental
health. http://www.empowher.com/jobs

Abandoned Towers Seek Writers
Writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry are wanted by this online
and print magazine.  Please note that for online submissions you
don't get paid.  The writers' guidelines are very comprehensive and
include specific query letter rules.  Check out the guidelines


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.


FEATURE:  There's No Free Lunch, But There Is Free Software!
By Des Nnochiri

Yes, there IS such a thing as free software. It goes by the formal
name "freeware," and is developed and distributed by many more
people than you imagine -- if you know where to look.

Some freeware developers do it as a hobby, some as a driving
passion, others as a testing ground for products they hope will go
commercial. Many have a genuine dislike of the mainstream
"bloatware" offered by the Big Operating System Companies. You
know": Installation programs that run to hundreds of megabytes.
Prohibitive pricing. Drop-down menus that go on forever -- and
point to tools that you didn't want to use, anyway.

For writers, especially -- whose source of income is varied, and
often unsteady -- it's good to know that alternatives exist. Viable
ones that you don't have to pay for. I'd like to consider some of
them, now.

I'll start with the screenwriters, as they hold a special place in
my heart.

This is a word processor, with special settings for Prose, Radio
Plays, and Screenplays.

In Screenplay Mode, formatting is achieved by pre-set tabs: Scene
Heading (Slug Line), Character, Dialogue, Transition, or
Parenthetical. Just keep hitting the [TAB] key until you get the
setting you want, then type in your text. A Status Bar at the
bottom of the program window echoes the current tab setting.

Each document you create comes with an associated set of smaller
files, including a scratch pad for casual notes, a library of
special symbols, and a list of AutoWords. This last can be used to
store boilerplate text, such as names of main characters, principal
locations -- even DAY and NIGHT. You simply select the word or
phrase, right-click on it, and choose "Make AutoWord" from the
pop-up menu.

The software monitors words as you type, inserting AutoWords in a
similar fashion to the AutoComplete function of your Web browser.
You press the [TAB] key to accept, or continue typing, to overwrite
the word.

Capitalization of character names is done automatically. The
Dialogue tab set is selected by default, if you press [ENTER] at
the end of a character name. And, every half hour or so, the
program brews a pot of coffee. Well... perhaps not.

The software does have limitations. Chief among them is a lack of
support for the industry-standard Final Draft (FDR) file format.
RoughDraft only outputs to Rich Text Format (RTF). You will need
another tool to create files in Portable Document Format (PDF),
which is also widely accepted in film industry circles.

You can download RoughDraft 3.0 (the final version) from

CutePDF Writer
This converts Rich Text Format (RTF) files into Portable Document
Format (PDF). The program registers itself as a virtual printer,
and can be seen in your system's list of installed printing

Instead of printing to pages, CutePDF Writer creates a file, whose
name and directory location you will have to specify. Any changes
to the output (PDF) file for a given document must be made as
revisions to the original RTF, which you print again to the
designated PDF file.

At the CutePDF website http://www.CutePDF.com, they'll tell you
that you need to download a Converter in order for the software to
work. Don't worry; the download link is right there, and the
program is also free.

FoxIt Reader
An extremely slim alternative to Acrobat Reader. (Which is also
free, but a much bigger download. And slow. All those progress
indicators you get in your browser as Acrobat is loading? Doesn't
happen here. The PDF files pop up almost instantly.)

FoxIt presents you with a split window, with pages neatly
bookmarked in a panel on the left. Editing of PDF files is possible
-- but, in the free version, this leaves a watermark on every
amended page. To lose this, you have to upgrade to the Pro version,
and pay a fee.

You can get the free version at http://www.foxitsoftware.com

This is a word-processing package with an interface unlike most
other such programs. 
Rather than a menu system, there are buttons for grouped functions,
such as File, Font, Paragraph settings, and Spell-checking.
Clicking on a button brings up an array of icons in a panel on the
left of the program window. These drill down to specific functions.

An interesting feature is Jarte's "clickless operation." Depending
on the settings you choose, you can simply hover your mouse over an
icon or button to activate it.

Jarte can be downloaded from http://www.jarte.com

An excellent dictionary and thesaurus. WordWeb gives definitions,
examples of usage, synonyms, antonyms, and common phrases including
each word you enter.

There is an option to integrate WordWeb into the menu of several
mainstream word processors, and a number of the free ones (e.g.
Jarte), as well. Numerous language dictionaries are also on offer.

The program is available from http://wordweb.info/free

A program for storing your ideas and observations on a project. 

There are built-in themes for a Book, or a Movie. You can change
these to suit your needs.

Icons are used to represent different elements, such as Notes, Plot
Outline, Synopsis, or Character. You can move these around
onscreen, grouping them as you see fit. In essence, you create a
mind map.

Each icon points to a text file you create, containing information
on that particular element. You can view and print the output, or
export the files to a word processor.

A rare gem. This is very hard to find on the Web, these days. So
I'm hosting it, myself.

You can get it here:

Freeware Sites
There are several sites on the Web that give extensive listings of
free software. I recommend the following:

* Freeware Home http://www.freewarehome.comuses a framed, two-panel
display. The frame on the left lists software categories and
sub-categories: Business, Internet, Hobbies, etc. If you click on a
topic, the panel on the right shows the programs available, with
brief descriptions, and star ratings (out of a maximum of five).
Download links and the author websites are given for each.

*Freeware Files http://www.freewarefiles.com) adopts a more modern,
"Yahoo! homepage" type approach. There's a Top 20 of most popular
downloads, a section for recently added items, and listings by

It's worth spending some time to drill down to exactly what you
want, as the catalog of programs is vast.

There is a star rating system (best out of 5) here also, and
screenshots of the programs. Visitors are invited to submit their
own reviews. Don't ignore these, as they can point you towards the
better options -- or away from those to avoid.

I'll summarise those download links for you, in case you missed

RoughDraft screenplay editor

CutePDF Writer text to PDF converter

FoxIt Reader PDF viewer

Jarte word processor

WordWeb dictionary and thesaurus

Papel mindmapping software

Freeware Home website

Freeware Files website

As in all walks of life, good co-exists with bad. Be sure to scan
EVERYTHING you download, with up-to-date antivirus software. And
happy hunting. Still, it's good to know that, in these days of
economic uncertainty, you CAN get something for nothing.


Copyright (c) 2009 by Des Nnochiri

Desmond (Des) Nnochiri was born in 1965 to the family of Ambassador
Pascal Nnochiri, of the Nigerian Foreign Service. He spent his
early years traveling with his parents, and was educated in
England, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland. A film buff and avid
reader, he spent several years at the Architectural Association in
London, where multiple disciplines and mixed media are a way of
life. He writes freelance now, and has taken his first steps into
the world of screenwriting. In 2005, he won the BBC World Service
International Vocabulary Competition. He was also a Web designer,
and Information Technology (IT) consultant in a previous existence.

For more information on freebies, be sure to check out our new
column, "Free Stuff for Writers," which debuts next month.  

For information on how to earn some money during the current
economic climate check out:



This site, previously edited by me (newsletter editor Dawn
Copeman), now has a new owner and editor, a new look, a new domain
name, new content and a fantastic new forum. This is a great site
for all new and aspiring writers.  

Mystery Writers Forum
This site hosts an active forum and has loads of resources for the
novice, potential or actual mystery writer including police
procedures, forensics, law, plus finding agents and publishers. 
Poetry Season
This is the site that I've been visiting the most lately.  It won't
be there for long so catch it while you can.  The site has
information on most major British poets, readings (some set to
animation) as well as further links to other poetry sites.  



This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers.
For a guide to more than 1000 writing contests throughout the
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide
to Writing Contests"

DEADLINE: August 1, 2009
GENRE:   Short Stories
OPEN TO: US and Canadian citizens aged 16+
DETAILS: stories up to 4,000 words based on one of three titles
provided on website
PRIZE: $2,500 and publication
URL:   http://www.esquire.com/fiction/fiction-contest 

DEADLINE: August 10, 2009
OPEN TO: Anyone age 14+
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS:  Flash fiction, 50 words maximum. Submit 1 - 3 stories.
PRIZE: 250
URL: http://miniwords2009.sharedspace.org/faqs.php 

DEADLINE: August 15, 2009
GENRE:  Poetry/Short Stories
DETAILS: New magazine of personal essays offers good-sized prizes
and publication for "traditional and experimental prose, poetry,
graphic memoir, narrative photography, lies, and more." Memoir can
be biography, autobiography, autobiographical fiction, flash
memoir, essay, reportage, diary, etc., in either poetry or prose
format. 1-5 poems or one prose piece, maximum 10,000 words
PRIZE:  $500, $250, $100 and $100 prize for graphic memoirs.
URL: http://memoirjournal.squarespace.com/contest 

DEADLINE: August 30, 2009
GENRE:   Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Nonfiction reviews of anything you like. 600 words
maximum, enter as many times as you like.  Winner is to be chosen
by vote.
PRIZE: 250 (or dollar/Euro equivalent)
URL:   http://www.globalnewsbox.com/review_competition.html

DEADLINE: August 31, 2009
GENRE:   Short Stories, Novels, Scripts and Screenplays
DETAILS:  Free contest offers large prizes for mystery writing in
several genres: original plays, screenplays, teleplays, and short
stories for both adult and youth audiences.  All entries should be
able to be performed (read) in under an hour
PRIZES: $ 10,000 for "Best New Work" (one prize across all genres),
$ 5,000 for "Best New Writer", $2,500 for "Outstanding Screenplay
or Teleplay", $1,000 for "Best Work for Young Adults (12-18)",
$1,000 for "Best Short Mystery Play" (category includes one-act
plays, short screenplays, and short stories)
URL:  http://www.newmysteries.org/submission_guidelines/ 

DEADLINE: August 31, 2009
OPEN TO: US residents aged 21+
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS: Maximum two stories per person, 2,500 words per story
PRIZE: $750, publication in Family Circle, Gift Certificate to a
Mediabistro.com course, and one year Mediabistro.com AvantGuild
membership. Two runners up receive $250, 1 year Mediabistro.com
Avantguild membership and possible online publication. 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/nxphmr

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Don't Mess With Earth, by Cliff Ball

Make Steady Money as a Travel Writer, by Jack Adler

Out of Thin Air, by Peggy Bechko
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.


on 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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