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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 9:21           9,498 subscribers         November 5, 2009
SPECIAL NOTICE: Please DO NOT REPLY to this e-mail; any messages 
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Snail Mail Queries, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: It Might Not Happen, But... by Des Nnochiri 
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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Odds and Ends

Every year, I swear I won't allow myself to get bogged down in
"work" before the holidays.  And every year, I seem to end up with
a bunch of deadlines that simply must get done right before

This year is proving no exception: My publisher suddenly decided
that he'd like me to completely revise and update my book, "The
Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals."  Why am I
telling you this?  Because I need your help!

One thing I'd like to add to this new revision is a completely new,
up-to-date set of sample queries and proposals.  So I'm seeking
samples of queries, book proposals, synopses, etc. -- examples that
WORKED.  I'm looking for examples of queries to magazines,
newspapers, online publications, whatever... the primary criteria
being that the query MUST have resulted in a sale.  I am also
looking for "complete" queries (not the sort of "Hey, Joe, how
about an article on..." type of inquiry you might send to an editor
you've worked with many times).  I'd particularly like to see some
successful newspaper pitches.

I'm also looking for examples of novel queries (i.e., the sort of
query you might send to an agent to solicit interest in a complete
synopsis and proposal).  I'm looking for synopses as well -
preferably NOT in the romance field (as I already have several
samples of those).  I'd also like to see "successful cover letters"
- letters used to accompany an unsolicited manuscript submission. 
And finally, I'd love to see examples of successful BUSINESS or
COMMERCIAL queries or pitches.

There's no payment involved here, just glory, and the warm, glowing
feeling of knowing you've helped a fellow writer...  If you have a
query to send, please send it in an e-mail or as a Word attachment.
 I'll be able to let you know by the end of November whether I will
be using it or not.

And now, moving on...

In addition to updating my Queries book, I'm in the midst of
updating "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests." 
There are a lot of changes in the 2010 edition: many competitions
listed in the previous edition have changed deadlines, URLs, entry
fees, and prizes.  The good news is that a lot of the prizes have
gone UP in 2010.  The other good news is, that while a number of
contests have shut their doors (including some that have been
running for decades), I've found nearly 200 additional competitions
that didn't appear in last year's volume.  (Many of these aren't
"new" writing contests -- they're simply new to this edition.)

For a limited time, I am offering a pre-publication discount on the
2010 edition of "Writing to Win."  The retail price on Amazon for
this book will still be $16.95 plus shipping (no increase over the
2009 edition) - but if you pre-order the book before November 30,
you can get it for only $10.95 plus shipping.  The book will be
available no later than November 30, and may be available as soon
as November 15.  

To take advantage of this pre-publication offer, please go to 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/contests.shtml.  Be sure to
include your address in the order so that I'll know where to ship
the book! (If you live outside the US, please contact me so that I
can determine international shipping costs.)

And now, back to my holiday deadlines...

-- Moira Allen, Editor


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Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers offers tons of tips,
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practical." - Jan Irving, children's lit consultant. Available from
Amazon.com. http://www.crickhollowbooks.com/love_to_write_book.html


THE INQUIRING WRITER: Snail Mail Queries, by Dawn Copeman

Last month I asked if any of you still use postal or snail mail
queries.  The reason I asked this question was I remember one of
the first issues of Writing-World I responded to was asking if
anyone used email queries -- how times change!

Personally, I haven't sent a postal query for five years.  But I
wondered if any of you still used them or found markets that would
only accept queries by mail. 

Connie Martin is one writer who still gets out the paper and
envelopes for her queries.  She wrote: "Yes, Dawn, there is still
life in snail queries.  Six months ago I sent a snail to Antiques
and Collecting Magazine proposing an article with pictures about my
collection of antique keys. I waited the six months I thought
appropriate, and sat down at my computer to type a follow-up to my
query -- when suddenly on my screen an unfamiliar name in my 'From'
column told me ACM was interested in my article. Pix were swiftly
snailed and the article survived the copy and paste bit, since I
have been told to watch for it in early 2010.

"I also sent a query to Vegetarian Times but have heard nothing
about original query or second letter."

Jacqueline Dowling is another writer who finds that sometimes the
postal method is best, especially where photos are concerned.  She
writes: "In response to your question regarding hard copy, in South
Africa there are publishers who prefer hard copy and written
proposals for books.  I currently have a proposal for a series of
children's books awaiting assessment -- it'll take up to six months
as they have a high submission rate. 

"I also found an American site that requests hard copy for short
stories, and another which prefers transparencies (originals no
less) to digital images.  There are publications in the UK that
still prefer transparency material to digital.  I wonder whether
it's a question of 'honesty' of image, or simply that a good trannie 
still has the edge over its digital peer?"

So whilst postal queries do still have their uses, it would seem
that for most of us the traditional query is now a thing of the
past, with only a few of us using them for a very small group of

Now it's almost the end of 2009, the year that the economy was
supposed to go into meltdown, and I want to know how the year has
been for you.  Have you noticed any change in your writing
business?  Are you writing more to make up the bills?  Have you
moved into new areas of writing?  Have your fees gone down or up to
compensate?  I want to get a true idea of the state of the writing
world from our readers.  Let me know how your year has gone.  Email
me with your response to editorial"at"writing-world.com with the
subject line "Inquiring Writer."

Until next time, 


Copyright (c) 2009 Dawn Copeman

*Unpublished Guy* needs your help. I'd like to know more about 
other fiction writers, so I can improve my web site. The survey is 
anonymous. 1 in 50 fiction writers that complete the survey will
get a gift.Complete at http://www.unpublishedguy.com/survey/srv.aspx


COPY EDITOR - line-by-line editing for spelling, grammar, typos,
punctuation and repetitive words in fiction, nonfiction, short
stories, biographies, query letters and book proposals. Critiques
also available. $2 a page. Write to sigridmacdonald"at"rogers.com 
or visit http://sigridmacdonald.blogspot.com



Amazon threat to Author Royalties
Amazon is threatening author advances and royalties, or so claim
some authors and publishers.  They are concerned by the fact that
the online retailer is selling hardcover books at way below the
official cover price.  For more on this story visit:  

New Site to Track Threats to Free Speech
Did you know that 177 bloggers are either under arrest or under
investigation for their blogs? Neither did I until I visited
Threatened Voices.  The Threatened Voices Site, launched by the
Global Voices non-profit blogging community, features a world map
and tracks threats and arrests against bloggers around the world. 
For more on this story visit: 

Web Will Run Out of Addresses Next Year - Apparently 
According to the European Commission the internet has almost run
out of addresses.  They claim it has only a few tens or hundreds of
thousands of addresses left. To find out more on this strange story


building courses, creative process workshops, generative writing
classes, NaNoWriMo clinic. Flexible schedule, easy format,
affordable. Creativity coach, author and editor Tamara Sellman,
instructor. http://writersrainbow.wordpress.com/online-teaching.


ABBEY HILL LITERARY seeks short fiction submissions, most genres,
that incorporate one of the writing challenges listed on
http://www.ahliterary.com. Prizes total $425 USD, entry fee
is $10, or $20 for single entry PLUS critique. Length: up to 1500
words. Electronic entries preferred. Current deadline 11/30/09.




A 32-page Saturday magazine, which is part of a UK daily newspaper,
considers submissions for various regular features it runs.
Principal section is the centre-page 'Complete Guide' to one aspect
of travel, a readily understood concept that lends itself to the
question-and-answer format, and can acquire extra value with two or
three sidebars. Other sections include, '48 Hours in ...', 'Trail
of the Unexpected', 'Something to Declare' and a news brief
section. High-paying market. Guidelines:http://tinyurl.com/ybzv8c3

Freelance Writers Wanted  
UK based editorial specialists Wells Park Communications are always
on the lookout for talented writers and journalists to join their
team. They give work to individual freelancers on a regular basis.
If you'd like to be considered for work, visit the website for
details on how to apply. http://www.wellspark.co.uk/work.htm

Travel Writing Contest
Each week, The Telegraph offers you the chance to win 200 in the
currency of your choice in their travel writing competition, Just
Back. View website for details.

Draft Magazine Seeks Submissions
Draft prides itself on providing its audience with current,
accurate and creative coverage of beer and other areas of life
enjoyed by their reader. Though many pitches have merit, the
publication can only assign and publish the most tightly focused,
error-free queries that meet guidelines. Pitches need not be
beer-centric (Draft is about the lifestyle of beer), but those that
are should focus on beer/brewery news, trends and ideas, rather
than the technical aspects of brewing. Aside from beer, they
happily accept pitches on topics ranging from sports (both
professional and leisure), travel, and food. Visit website for more
info. http://www.draftmag.com/submissions/

Writing on Gardening Wanted
GreenPrints seeks personal garden writing. Expressive, thoughtful,
humorous, angry, contrite, flippant, searching, witty, observant,
sad, inviting -- whatever! They focus on the human, not how-to,
side of gardening. GreenPrints explores that relationship, not by
instructing, preaching, or lecturing about it, but by celebrating
it by sharing the stories and experiences. View website for
details. http://www.greenprints.com/wguidelines.html


AS YOUR WRITING COACH, I provide detailed and honest critiques,
access to a writers' resource forum, references to articles and
books specific to your individual needs, and written evaluations
of skills, Together we'll overcome challenges that interfere with
your writing progress. http://www.vickimtaylor.com/coach


Promote your latest book. Get feedback on your latest article.
Highlight your portfolio. We set up the site. You add content.
No web developer required. For more details, go to:


FEATURE:   It Might Not Happen, But...
By Des Nnochiri

It might not happen. But, then again, it might. 

You've just put the finishing touches to your masterpiece novel, or
that screenplay you just know that Fox will snap up in an instant.
And... it's gone. 
Your word processor locks up, unable to open the file. Or,
Microsoft Windows presents you with a monstrous Blue Screen of
Death (BSOD).
Try as hard as you might, you're unable to get the word processor
to open the document again. Or your computer just flatly refuses to
start up, no matter how many "fixes" you apply from Safe Mode.
What do you do?
Well, so long as your computer system isn't completely done for (or
"screwed," as a technician might put it), then your problem is one
of data loss and recovery. And there are several measures you can
take -- either to remedy the situation once it occurs, or to guard
against it in future.

I and my laptop never go anywhere without what I call my
Office-on-a-Stick. It's a USB flash drive holding all my essential
documents, and portable versions of the software necessary to open
If you haven't got a flash drive already, you may have to part with
around $20 to get one. For a selection of inexpensive units, check
out http://www.pricerunner.com/sp/usb_stick.html.

Got an iPod? With a little USB cable? Then you can use the device
for data storage. Copies of your essential data files may not show
up on your playlist, but they will be accessible to your desktop or
laptop system. So, your media player can serve as an alternative to
a dedicated flash drive.

Once you have a stick, you can load a selection of software on it
as well. The products described here are all free, and can be run
directly from a flash drive.

Floppy Office is a collection of tools, including a simple word
processor, spreadsheet (for tracking those submissions), PDF file
creator, and photo editor. It ships as a Zip file, from which the
individual components can be extracted onto the USB stick.

The download link from the developer's website is a bit dicey, so
you can get it from here (and tell them I sent you):

AbiWordPortable is a free word processor, similar to Microsoft
Word, but built specifically to run from a USB stick. There is a
minor quibble, in that its text display can look a little crowded
at first, depending on the screen resolution of your monitor. Try
setting it to Times New Roman, in 12-point type. AbiWord handles
text well, and opens most Microsoft Office-type text documents.

The download link for AbiWordPortable is

Your Inbox
Easy. Just mail stuff to yourself.

If it can be formatted as an attachment (by Yahoo!, GMail, or
whatever), then it can be sent to your inbox. Compose a meaningful
reminder as the body of the message, and use a provocative subject
line to inform you of what it is. Flag the message, if necessary.

The files you send will be there, on your mail server, ready to
download, if you need them.

Not only is this a useful fall-back in the event of a system
failure, it can also be convenient if you are on the road (sans
laptop), and need to make online submissions, or alterations to
your website. Speaking of which...

Your Website
You do have one, don't you? Assuming you do, your Web host should
have provided you with a generous capacity for storing files. It's
unlikely that you will use all of this space for your site content,
so you might as well upload copies of your vital documents there,
as well.

There may be some restrictions as to the file formats your host can
accommodate. But, with the diversity of site content these days,
you should be able to store most kinds of data online in this way.
[Editor's note: You can also usually upload almost any sort of file
that is saved in a zipped file, and store it on your server. 
However, Mac users should be cautious of this option, as zipped
files can destroy some types of Mac data.]

Online Data Storage
There are services on the Web dedicated to keeping copies of your
files online for you. Most will charge you for this privilege, but
some offer free storage plans.

eSnips storage gives you 5GB of free space. The site at
http://www.esnips.com also has a social networking and file sharing
aspect. You can upload photos of yourself, create a personal
profile, and flag the documents you store there for showcasing in
various communities, such as Writers, or Photography.

Social networking is also a feature of the humyo.com service. Their
site at http://www.humyo.com offers a free storage capacity of
10GB, along with the opportunity to set up secure shared folders
for documents that you want to collaborate on with others.

Save The Last 
Most word processors (and a number of other applications) will have
an AutoSave or Automatic Backup feature, which can usually be found
in the "Tools" or "Options" menu. You can specify the interval (5
minutes, 10 minutes etc.) at which backup copies are made of any
documents you currently have open.

In the event of a system crash (or if you make unwanted amendments
to a document that you wish to reverse), the "File" menu of the
program will give you the option to "Revert to Last Saved Version"
of the file, or something similar.

Laptop users are often warned to turn such features off, as they
impose an additional strain on the battery. But you should look at
this in light of the potential cost to you (and your livelihood) of
losing vital files. [Editor's Note: Pay attention to this one. I
actually wiped out the most recent version of an entire book
manuscript, after having spent several hours making final
formatting changes.  I hadn't backed it up to an external drive
yet.  I made a change that cut the document down to a single page
that I meant to save as a separate file -- and saved it as the
manuscript instead.  Thankfully I was able to track down the last
automatic backup and retrieve my manuscript.  You may never need to
use this -- but you will go down on your needs in thanks if you

Data Recovery
The Windows Recycle Bin holds onto your files once you delete them.
Assuming that you haven't emptied it out, you can restore them to
their original location. To do this, click on the Recycle Bin icon,
and choose "Restore" from the pop-up menu.

Even if you have emptied the Recycle Bin, all hope is not yet lost.
When files are deleted in this way, they do not disappear from your
hard disk entirely. Unless you perform a "secure delete", by
pressing [SHIFT]+[DELETE], or by using a data-shredding program,
the information still resides on a portion of the disk, under an
assumed name. It will stay there until it is overwritten by any new
data that you save to file. 

Undelete software works by reassembling this information into the
original files -- so long as no significant portion of it has been
overwritten. A major caveat, here. Once a file has been deleted,
the chances of fully restoring it with software alone are not that
high -- especially if you have performed other file operations
since the first files were lost. Having said this, there are
products available for data recovery.

MediaDoctor retrieves information from damaged CDs, DVDs, or
computer disk drives. It has a simple interface that gives you a
choice of which medium you want to read data from. Once you choose,
it does a quick scan, and presents a list of files that are
recoverable. MediaDoctor is free, and can be obtained from 

Pandora Recovery focuses on restoring deleted or corrupted data
from computer hard drives. The software includes a Wizard, to guide
you step-by-step through the scanning and recovery process. The
program does restore files quickly, but occasionally gets confused
with exact filenames. It can be downloaded from 

Pandora Recovery is freeware (ie., it costs you nothing). During
installation, the program will give you the option of a new toolbar
for your Web browser and / or setting your Internet homepage to one
of the major search engines (Ask.com). You can, of course, opt out
of both.
MediaDoctor and Pandora Recovery are also available from the
Freewarefiles website, at http://www.freewarefiles.com
You can enter the product name in the Search box on the
Freewarefiles homepage, or type "data recovery" as the basis for
your search, if you want a full listing of all the software
currently on offer.

Good Housekeeping
For Windows users (and there are a lot of us out there), the System
Restore service can also be a life-saver. As the name suggests, it
restores your system to a previous state (when, presumably,
everything worked). 

From your Start Menu, use the following sequence (Assuming you
don't already have a System Restore entry there):

Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore

When the service fires up, follow the guidelines to either "Create
a restore point", or Restore my computer to an earlier time".
I recommend creating at least one Restore Point each week. You can
do this on the same day you're diligently backing up essential
files to your iPod, uploading them to your Web host, or whatever.

The important thing is to have copies of your vital documents
somewhere other than where you (or your computer system) are - and
in a form that can be gotten at easily.

Incidentally, folks, my own laptop nearly expired, just as I was
laying the groundwork for this article. Monstrous BSOD, and all.
So, I know whereof I speak, and can vouch personally for each of
the recommendations I've made above.

Let's be careful out there.

For more information on backing up your work go to:   


WRITE FOR MAGAZINES! Order your copy of the eBook "The Weekend
Writer: Launch Your Writing Career (Part-time)" for only $11.99.
You'll learn to write query letters, juggle writing with other
work, & secrets from other weekend writers. Visit 
http://www.weekendwriter.net/ to order. Sign up for the free
newsletter and get a FREE essay markets report!


COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers - Free Delivery

By Aline Lechaye

You send a manuscript to a magazine, only to find out that it
folded six months ago. The $$$ listings in Writer's Market keep
rejecting your work because they prefer to work with writers with
more experience. You want to break into the greeting card market,
but you have no idea where to start. If any of these situations
sound like you, you should probably sign up for some writing

In case you stumbled on this article by accident or are reading
this as a printout, you'll want to know that this is part of a
Writing World newsletter column. Delivered to your inbox twice each
month, Writing World is packed with news and writing advice. Got a
writing-related question? Ask editor Moira Allen and get answers
through her Writing Desk column. Looking for free writing tools?
Keep an eye out for this column--Free Stuff for Writers. Sign up at 
http://www.writing-world.com/newsletter/index.shtml. By the way, if
you have time, you should also visit the Writing World website
http://www.writing-world.com: there are over 600 articles on every
aspect of writing, for writers of all expertise levels. 

Funds for Writers is a site that specializes in, um, funds for
writers: grants, contests, markets and much, much more. Funds for
Writers is a weekly newsletter that keeps you posted on paid
writing opportunities: there are more than 15 in each issue! If
you're looking to start from the smaller markets and work your way
up, FFW Small Markets is the newsletter for you. The format is
similar to that of Funds for Writers, but markets listed typically
have lower rates. Sign up for one or both at 

International writer? Get Worldwide Freelance Writer. There are
articles, markets, news, and eBook reviews, published in every
issue. Also, their website has an amazing database of international
markets -- they list markets in Asia and Europe that you would be
hard-put to find elsewhere. Bookmark the writing quotes and jokes
pages, and take a look round whenever you need a mini break from
writing! Sign up at: 

WritersWeekly brings you articles, news and market information each
week. It also has a great "Whispers and Warnings" section that
warns you of editors to avoid: those way behind on their payments,
or are paying lower amounts than promised, for example. Sign up at:
 http://www.writersweekly.com/ (type your email into the
subscription box to the left of the page.)

The Practicing Writer is a monthly newsletter that features writing
contests -- the non-fee-paying sort! Each issue also contains a web
resource that is useful for writers, as well as job opportunities
and highlights from the Practicing Writer blog. Oh, and you won't
want to miss the literary event calendar that keeps you posted on
festivals, exhibitions and much, much more. Sign up at: 

Advanced Fiction Writing Ezine is a monthly newsletter that's
primarily directed toward novelists. It contains interviews,
writing advice, and news from the Advanced Fiction Writing site. It
doesn't have as many job opportunities or contests as the other
newsletters listed here, but the advice given is always interesting
to read. Sign up at: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/ezine/ 

Note that you can check out back issues of the newsletters before
you sign up. If you don't like what you see, then you can just walk
away, no hard feelings. A few "free newsletter" sites I've run
across in the past promise to teach you the grand secret of
writing, refuse to let you read a sample, and then send
advertisements and other useless information to your inbox every
week. Let the subscriber beware -- if you come across such a site,
you should ask around before signing up!


Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye"at"gmail.com.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Aline Lechaye

Find more publications for writers at:



Query Wizard Blog 
Another site by Molli Nickel, the former Time-Life Editor. Got a
question about your query, synopsis, first page or book proposal or
any aspect of getting published? It may already have been addressed
by the Query Wizard. If not, ask away!

School for Champions: Make Money Writing Fiction
Useful article on how to make money out of fiction writing with
links to other articles on writing. 

This is a quirky site and I found it quite enjoyable.  A wide
variety of writing topics are covered in the hobbies section from
how to write a sentence, how to use a dash, to how to write love
poems and how to write an editorial. Click on Arts and
Entertainment and then Writing and Literature to get the full list.


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. _


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

From A-Bomb Juice to Zonked: Slangisms About Rotgut, Guzzling and
Puking Your Brains Out - by Randall Platt

Dying to Live: Confessions of a Suicide - by G.E. Wilson

The I Love To Write Book: Ideas & Tips for Young Writers
by Mary-Lane Kamberg

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - by Ruth Mossing

The Weekend Writer: Launch Your Freelance Writing Career
(Part-Time) - by Denene Brox

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.
Back issues archived at

Writing World is hosted by Aweber.com

Subscribers are welcome to re-circulate.

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