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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 10:03     10,317 subscribers             February 4, 2010
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for 
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER - Open Office, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: Make an Extra $1,000 a Month, by Mridu Khullar 
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers, by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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Seeking the Muse

It amazes me how often we -- or perhaps I should be honest here and 
say "I" -- need to relearn the same lessons.  That bit about 
bite-size resolutions that I talked about in the previous issue, for 
example, is a lesson I've had to relearn many times.  And that 
resolution is part of the reason I've had to relearn yet another 
writing lesson.

I learned it the first time in my first "real-world" editorial job, 
at Fancy Publications, some (mumble mumble) years ago.  I'd just 
landed the post of "Associate Editor" at Dog Fancy, and to say that 
I was green would be like saying water is wet.  I don't recall if it 
was my first day on the job, but it was close enough, when one of 
the other editors came in and informed me, "I need you to write an 
article on flea control products."  

Sounds great, I thought.  Let me at it.  Flea control... "All the 
notes are in here," she added, putting a bulging file folder on my 
desk.  (This, by the way, was also my introduction to writing 
"product pieces," but that's another story.)  "When do you need it?" 
I asked.  "This afternoon," was the answer.

This AFTERNOON?  My approach to "writing an article" up to this 
point had been the study-your-notes, stare-into-space, and most of 
all, "wait for inspiration to strike" mode.  I don't think it had 
ever taken me less than a week to compose a full-length article, and 
sometimes it took longer.  The idea of writing an entire 2000-word 
article between, approximately, ten in the morning and two in the 
afternoon made about as much sense as attempting to follow up with a 
bit of brain surgery in the evening.

And yet... This was my JOB.  (As on "on the line.")  So I started 
going through the notes, and pounding on the typewriter (yes, 
typewriter), and by afternoon I had a respectable article in hand.  
The editor read it, made a few marks with a red pencil, and it was
good to go.  And so, as they say, I learned a valuable lesson about 
(the writing) life: You do not have to "wait for inspiration" to 
actually write.

Yet "waiting for inspiration" has been exactly what I've been doing 
with respect to my novel for... well, let's just say a bit longer 
than I like to admit.  I've always had great excuses -- starting 
a new website, working on an article assignment that actually pays, 
and so forth. But the real, rock-bottom reason for "waiting for 
inspiration" is fear: Fear that, if you sit down in that chair and 
apply the fingers to the keyboard, the inspiration won't, in fact, 
come.  And if it doesn't, you'll either churn out garbage -- or 
nothing at all.

But the end of 2009 found me with something very unusual: Time on my 
hands.  The book edit was finished; all my articles were written; 
and I couldn't come up with any plausible mind-numbing job that 
absolutely needed doing on one of my websites.  In short, I was out 
of excuses.  So I decided to give it a shot.

And as soon as I sat down and applied fingers to keys, I found 
something: Inspiration.  Ideas began to flow -- ideas I hadn't even 
contemplated when working out the outline to this particular novel.  
Scenes fell into place; twists sprang like magic into the plot. 
Characters not only came to life but deigned to share some of the 
inner workings of those lives with me.  Now, I can hardly stand to 
LEAVE that chair; everything else goes on hold while I find out 
"what happens next."  To say "it's a rush" is an understatement.

Once again, I've learned: You don't have to "wait" for the muse in 
order to write.  I'd been seeking inspiration in every place but the 
right place to find it: In front of the keyboard.  Now that I've 
found it, I don't plan to let it slip away.

The bottom line is this: If you're waiting for the muse, try what I 
tried.  Sit down at the keyboard, and start writing.  You may find 
that the MUSE has actually been there all along, waiting for YOU.  

-- Moira Allen, Editor


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 2 FREE issues. 


THE INQUIRING WRITER: Open Office, by Dawn Copeman

Last month Helen wanted to know if you had used Open Office and if 
so, had you had any problems with it, particularly regarding 
submitting work to editors.  We had a LOT of responses on this one! 
And the responses were quite mixed too.  

Many of you use Open Office and love it, like Murray Anderson.  He 
wrote: "You can tell Helen that at least from my perspective she has 
nothing to worry about when making the switch from Word to Open 
Office. I made the switch from Microsoft Office to Open Office over 
a year ago and neither I nor any of my clients have had any 
problems. While there are some minor differences in the way Open 
Office looks, there is nothing that takes more than a few minutes to 
figure out. Plus, you can save your work in a number of formats 
(including Microsoft Word) and open any docs you receive that were 
written using Word. In fact, you can even open 'docx' formats using 
Open Office, a format Microsoft added to Word (in I believe Word 
2000) that requires a special download if you are trying to open 
them in older versions of Word.

"As well, Open Office also includes a program (Calc) that can be 
used to replace Excel. I now use Calc for all my spread sheets to 
track submissions, create invoices and accumulate revenues. Calc can 
open spreadsheets created in Excel and you can save your 
spreadsheets (such as invoices) as Excel docs as well. As a result, 
you can submit them without being concerned a customer will have 
trouble opening them. Calc does have some differences between it and 
Excel but nothing insurmountable.

"From my perspective the switch to Open Office was virtually 
painless and I can't see ever going back to using Microsoft Office. 
(and how can you beat that price!)"

Mary Scarborough is another satisfied Open Office user.  She wrote: 
"I have used Open Office or Neo Office for at least two years. I 
can't complain at all, and editors haven't even noticed, to my 
knowledge. I haven't had any say they couldn't open a document, nor 
have I had a problem opening documents that come to me in Word. My 
one complaint is that once in a while it's hard to figure out how to 
do something. (I am having trouble remembering examples though, 
which tells you this isn't a huge problem. I think one problem was 
how to number every page but the first one.)"

It hasn't all been plain sailing though.  She continued: "I recently 
had one problem with a document a client sent. I expected it to have 
pictures in it, but when I opened it I found only text. My printer 
wasn't working, so I e-mailed the document to UPS and printed there. 
When they opened it in Word, the pictures were there. I don't know 
how to explain it and haven't really investigated why that happened. 
Perhaps there is an easy fix. About the time of that incident, we 
were given a free copy of Word, so now I have both."

"I love Open Office. When I got my laptop a couple of years ago, I 
downloaded Open Office right away and avoided MS. I haven't 
regretted it for a minute," wrote Margaret. "I use Open Office on 
Linux and on Windows XP and Vista and have never had any 
compatibility problems with it. Open Office supports a number of 
formats, including MS doc."

Again, she has also had some problems with it. She offers the 
following advice: "Check formatting by reopening the document if you 
save your own document in '.doc' format. When I turn on 'FIRST LINE
 AUTOMATIC' in '.doc' format, it hasn't been on when I reopen the 
document. Other than this, I've had no problems with either opening 
existing documents or saving my own in '.doc' format and sending 
them on."

Another happy Open Office user is Fiona Chapman.  She writes: "I am 
a new writer and have not yet had anything published or submitted 
anything for publication. 

"I can confirm, however, that I use Open Office and have sent things 
from my home computer to myself at work where we use Microsoft 
Office and was unable to open a particular text document. I got 
round this by changing the file type, I think you can actually 
choose which file type when you initially save the document (such as 

Jerry Buerge knows how to get around this problem.  He writes:  
"While I have not been sending numerous communications to any 
editor, as such, I'd learned several years ago that Microsoft '.doc' 
files are actually '.rtf' files for all practical purposes, and I 
have been using that designation whenever I've saved a file that 
might be sent to anybody else. 

"If you wish to supply the specific file format requested by a 
particular editor, you'll also find that the Open Office Writer 
application does provide a wide range of Microsoft file formats, as 
well as the standard .rtf version."

Sahki has some reassuring words for Helen also: "Using Open Office 
will not harm your chances of selling or make it difficult for 
people to read your documents, even if they use Word. Open Office 
has the feature for you to save documents in the same file extension 
that is used for Word, which means that if you to 'save as' in Open 
Office and choose the .doc file extension your file can be opened in 
Word by all Word users. So no, you don't have to pay extra for Word, 
just use Open Office. I've found it easy to use and quite 

"Except for personal preference, there's no reason to continue to 
use Microsoft Word," writes Daniel G. Taylor.  "Both Open Office and 
GoogleDocs are easily saved in any format (my preference is 
Open Office), so they don't affect sales in any way. They do take 
getting used to -- as any new program does -- and I still use Word 
on my desktop, but I wouldn't buy it again with so many excellent 
free choices."

But not everyone is so keen on this Microsoft rival. "I don't use 
Open Office," wrote Janet Ann Collins. "But when a member of our 
critique group started using it most other members couldn't open her 

Joe Allison is not a fan either.  He wrote: "As a writer and editor 
who's dabbled with some open-source Word processing programs, I keep 
coming back to the Office Suite for my daily work because it offers 
collaborative features that I don't find in the others.

"Word 'tracking' is a feature that I use every day, on either side 
of the publishing desk. It allows me (as a writer) to reveal or hide 
my edits as I work, to restore some or all of the original text, and 
to show my editor exactly what I've done in response to his/her 
requests for changes. As an editor, I can use 'tracking' to show a 
writer exactly the revisions I'm proposing in his/her text. The 
writer can then respond by making further edits, rejecting or 
accepting some of mine, etc. Each successive collaborator's work 
appears in a different color, so that each participant knows who did 
what. I've not found this feature in the open source programs.

"I have found the 'commenting' feature in some other programs, but 
not with the robust features that Office Word offers me. 
'Commenting' is the Word-processing tool that I use almost as 
frequently as 'tracking.'

"Word's screen capture feature allows me to capture an image of a 
web page or a screen in some other program (press Alt-PrintScr), 
then drop it into a Word document (press Ctrl-V). There I can resize 
or edit the image and run my text around it as I please. If I then 
convert the Word document to a PDF, the image is captured in place. 

"Much the same could be said of Excel (which I use more than most 
writers). I just haven't found this kind of versatility in the open 
source imitators of Microsoft's Office suite."

Colin wants to know why Helen feels she needs to make the change at 
all.  He writes: "Why bother to change from Word if you are familiar 
with it? I bought a new laptop just before Christmas and had the 
store load it with MS Office Professional  [includes Word] from the 
disc that came with my former PC. No problems. So, I ask again, why 

Or you could use both, as Marilyn Noble does.  She writes: "Please 
tell Helen that I use both -- Word on my desktop and Open Office on 
my laptop.  I have no problems going back and forth, as long as I 
remember to save the Open Office files with the .doc extension.  I 
still prefer Word, probably because that's what I use the most, but 
Open Office is functional and shouldn't create any problems as far 
as submissions go."

And the last word on this topic goes to Kevin Walsh, who offered 
some sensible and practical advice: "Although I've never used the 
programme 'Open Office,' I have used other free or cheaper than 
Microsoft Office, Word processing software. In most cases Word is 
able to open the files, but if Helen wants to check it out all she
 has to do is install Open Office on her computer, create a file and 
then try to open the file with the version of Word she is already 
using. The programme might even give her the option of saving the 
document in a Word compatible file. She has nothing to lose by 
installing it and trying it out and, if she doesn't like it, 
uninstall it."

On a personal note, I was so intrigued by Open Office that I used it 
to create this edition of the newsletter. It took a while to get 
used to, but seems to offer all the same services as Word. I will 
keep you posted. [Editor's note: having RECEIVED this newsletter in 
Open Office and attempted to do my usual edits, proofreads, 
additions etc. in Word, I can attest that we still have a ways to go 
before this is going to be viable.-- Moira A.] 
I guess I'll keep on using Word then. 

Sticking with software, our last respondent, Kevin Walsh, has a 
question to put to you.  He would like to know "if any of your 
readers use creative writing software such as WritePro or 
FictionMaster and if it helped their writing?"

Email me your responses with the subject line Inquiring Writer to 

Until next time, 


Copyright (c) 2010 Dawn Copeman


ABBEY HILL LITERARY seeks short story submissions, most genres, 
that incorporates one of the writing challenges listed on   
http://www.ahliterary.com. Prizes total $525, contest entry fee 
is $10, or $20 for single entry PLUS critique. NEW! Separate 750
word Flash Fiction contest-no prompt required!  Deadline 02/28/10


UNPUBLISHED GUY - Where Fiction Writers Go to Procrastinate.
*Nearly serious* diversions with a healthy dose of educational 
schadenfreude. Discover a few Xtreme writing styles. 



Amazon and Macmillan at War
As of March Amazon will no longer stock or sell any titles published 
by Macmillan publishers, it has been revealed.  Amazon decided to 
stop stocking Macmillan books after it was issued with a new terms 
of sale for e-books.  Macmillan wanted to sell the books through an 
agency model, which would have meant that Amazon would have had to 
charge between $5.99 and $14.99 for the e-books.  At the moment, 
Amazon charges whatever it likes.  For more on this story visit: 

And Amazon Has Also Had Some Problems With Booklocker
Booklocker, run by Writers-Weekly editor Angela Hoy, has reached an 
agreement with Amazon in the antitrust class action lawsuit it filed 
against the online retailer in 2008.  Amazon wanted to force all 
print-on-demand publishers to use BookSurge, or, in other words, pay 
Amazon to print their books.  Amazon also threatened to remove the 
'buy-it-now' buttons from these publishers if they didn't comply.  
Amazon has backed down from this and also paid $300,000  towards 
Booklocker's legal fees. For more on this story visit: 

School Bans Dictionary
A California school district  pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster's 
Collegiate Dictionary from its libraries after a parent complained 
that the dictionary was being used to look up "age-inappropriate" 
words by pupils at Oak Meadows Elementary School.  At this school, 
however, the dictionary will be available to children whose parents 
have signed consent forms. For more on this story visit: 


focus on creative process, blog building, the writer's platform 
(new!) and generative writing.  Flexible schedule, easy format, 
affordable.  Taught by creativity coach, author and editor Tamara 
Sellman. http://www.writersrainbow.com


practice, feedback and revisions.  Hone your skills through 
online courses, personal mentoring, free lessons and loads of 
tips on developing original,well-crafted writing from novelist/
university instructor/ mentor Pearl Luke.  




Seeking Fantasy Authors
JoRi Publications is a new traditional publishing house. Our first 
publication will be an anthology of fifteen to seventeen short 
stories in the Fantasy genre. If you would like your Fantasy tale 
considered for our new publication, read the following guidelines 
and submit your entry by March 1st 2010.

-        All submissions must be in the Fantasy genre
-        Stories must not have been previously published
-        Your story must be 5000 words or less in length
-        Stories cannot contain erotic content or hard core                
-        All work must be edited prior to submission.
-        Electronic submissions should be made in .doc,.wpd or                
        .txt format
-        Hard copy submissions must be typed and double spaced                
        with 1" margins
-        Each submission must have a cover page with the title of                
        the story, the author's name and contact information. 
-        Subsequent pages should only have the page number and                
        title of the story in the header
Stories that fail to meet the above criteria will not be considered 
for publication.

Mail Submissions to:
JoRi Publications
850 S. Boulder Hwy., Suite 436
Henderson, NV 89015-7564 

or submit electronically to: JoRi"at"joripublications.com

-        JoRi Publications will pay $25.00 USD for each short                        
        story (1 story per author) selected for publication in        
the anthology.
-        Authors selected for this collection will have the                                opportunity to purchase the
collection at $10.00* per                        
        copy prior to printing and $12.00* after printing.  The
retail price will range from $17.95 to $19.95 depending on the size 
of the book. Authors may sell pre-purchased copies at the retail 
price for additional compensation.
-        JoRi Publications will place the collection online to 
generate book sales.  A short author-supplied bio will be requested 
upon acceptance for publication in order to recognize their 
contribution to the project. JoRi Publications will also handle 
coordinating distribution to other outlets. 

*Plus shipping and handling costs which will vary based on the 
number of books ordered and destination.

Content Writers Wanted for AOL Seed
I can't get much information on how much you'll get paid, (they're 
only hiring US writers so I don't get to know,) but AOL IS setting 
up their own content site and needs writers to provide content for 
80+ AOL channels. If you are interested in this type of work, and 
many do find it a useful sideline, then visit: 


published author Peggy Bechko's just-released e-book, "Out of 
Thin Air: A New Writer's Guide for New and Young Writers" - 
filled with writing tips, how-tos and helpful weblinks for the 
serious new writer. Just $15 from http://www.newwriterguide.com/


FEATURE: Make an Extra $1,000 a Month

By Mridu Khullar

The economic outlook is grim. Publications that have been around for 
decades are closing their doors. Journalism is facing a crisis. 

So what else is new?

As freelancers, we're used to market ups and downs, we're constantly 
reinventing ourselves, and we engage in "job" searches on a daily 
basis. And that's why, on message boards, in writers forums, and in 
conversations, some freelancers have been reporting more work than 
ever before. 

The market may have changed, but the opportunities haven't. If 
you've been feeling the pinch, take a look at what these successful 
freelancers are doing, and how you, too, might increase your income 
this month.

Write for online sites that provide news and other information. 
To give your income a quick and easy boost, pitch one or two of 
these types of sites. Examples include http://Orato.com, which 
describes itself as a "citizen journalism" site featuring stories 
from around the world; http://Mahalo.com, which calls itself a 
handcrafted search engine; and The Women's International Perspective 
(http://www.thewip.net), which calls itself "the global source for 
women's perspectives."

While they're usually low payers, such online publications need 
content on a daily or biweekly basis, they can be great to work 
with, and they're known to publish quickly, pay promptly, and 
require minimal or no edits.

While you'll miss out on the prestige of the nationals, you'll also 
be spared the grueling edits, the constant to-and-fro on 
fact-checking, editing by committee, and other problems that plague 

The deadlines for the type of online sites I've mentioned tend to be 
short, and while some have a focus on service features, you'll 
mostly find news pieces and opinions to be popular. Even better, 
because they are typically small outfits and need freelancers, 
they're nice to their writers and will respond within days to your 

A caution: It's easy to get sucked into writing regularly for these 
publications because of the ease of effort, but remember your bottom 
line. Use research from older articles, sell them reprints, or write 
op-eds. Use these publications to add that extra $250 or $500 per 
month, but don't focus on all your energy here.

Add value to your stories. 
When I used to teach magazine writers how to sell their stories, I 
used to ask them to visualize that published article on the page -- 
what the headline would look like, the art, the cover tease. They 
didn't have to produce the graphic or design the cover, but just by 
thinking of it, they were seeing whether or not the article would 
fit into a magazine's lineup. 

As focus shifts online, publications are putting money and energy 
into the Web. The New York Times does extensive slide shows, The 
Christian Science Monitor likes to publish audio interviews with 
reporters, and several news magazines have new video sections. Are 
you pitching any of these elements?

Despite the bad economy, the basis of good pitching is unchanged: 
Learn what the editor wants, and package your idea in the way that 
fits it.

"Now is the time to learn new skills and tools," says Erik Sherman, 
a journalist and author who has written for The New York Times 
Magazine, Newsweek, and USA Weekend. If you're thinking only about 
tomorrow, he says, you'll forever be stuck in a rut. "You have to 
start looking farther ahead. Take a class in video or audio editing. 
Volunteer at a community radio or video station to get hands-on 
time. Try putting together your own videos and put them on You-Tube 
to hone your skills and maybe even start developing an audience."

You don't always have to be skilled at all of these added elements, 
but it's a good idea to pitch them. Start offering complete packages 
to your editors, which can include multimedia aspects like photo 
slide shows, videos or graphic elements, and ask whom you might work 
with to integrate them into your stories. Many editors will pay you 
more simply for coming up with these ideas. Start learning, though 
-- more and more, freelancers are being asked to provide full 
packages. If you can, you're gold. 

"On one hand, it's all storytelling," Sherman says. "On the other, 
the ways in which you tell stories change significantly."

Check out new media projects. 
Because the old markets seem to be drying up, a lot of new media 
projects have come up, either as new companies or as entirely 
different approaches to journalism. Whether or not you decide to 
write for them, it's in your interest to make note of them and see 
where they end up. 

Consider the fact that there's little to lose. I recently pitched a 
story to a new Web site, http://Spot.Us, which is experimenting with 
a "crowd-funding" concept -- asking users what they want to read and 
having them donate to the story.

Global Post,(http://www.globalpost.com) another new media venture, 
hires reporters around the world and pays them a monthly retainer. 
And then there are the many blog networks that need writers 

The negatives to getting involved with these projects can be that 
they're still in the testing phase. But if they take off and you 
walked in at the ground level, that can be very beneficial. I'd 
recommend looking at the various new projects that are out there, 
seeing where your work and vision might be the best fit, and taking 
a bet on them.

Pitch the online editions and editors of the nationals. 
Because the traditional print story is very different in format and 
style than the typical online story, and because publishers want to 
offer fresh content to their online readers, it's not uncommon for 
magazines and newspapers to have online-only content or sections.

While there are a few, such as The Christian Science Monitor, that 
have taken most of their operation online, for now at least, 
publications are keeping their print editions as well as putting 
original content online. What does this mean for you? Added 

Here's the interesting part: Most of these publications have 
separate editors and departments dealing with online content. While 
there will be an overlap in editors and often, discussions about 
content, the assigning editor for online is likely to be a different 
person than the assigning editor for the print version. So pitch the 
online editors! 

As with the online dailies, the work you do for the online editions 
of magazines and newspapers is typically done faster, edited quicker, 
and posted online within days, if not hours. That means, of course,
 that it pays less. For newspapers and news magazines, you can 
expect anything from $150 a day and up, but for magazines, try 
negotiating a per-word rate. 

Write the blogs of the nationals. 
In addition to taking their articles online, magazines and 
newspapers are finally joining the ranks of bloggers. Almost all 
major magazines are now adding blogs to their Web sites, sometimes 
by editors, but mostly by freelancers who specialize in certain 
subjects. The most popular topics so far include health, 
relationship advice and personal finance. Even The New York Times 
has blogs. Who says you can't write for one?

"Blogs are really where it's at right now," says Jane Boursaw, a 
freelancer for 25 years. She blogs for AOL's http://TVSquad.com, has 
blogged for http://People.com, and teaches an online blogging class. 

"I still write some feature stories for consumer print magazines, 
but that portion of my income has dropped off in the past few years, 
mainly because magazines -- the ones that are still around -- are 
using more in-house writers and assigning less. It's easier to get a 
blogging gig on a magazine's Web site than a feature story in their 
print magazine."

How do you do it? Boursaw recommends starting your own blog first to 
get a feel for it, learn the ins and outs, and then start applying 
for jobs on writers' and bloggers' job boards. 

If you do it right, become known as an expert in a certain area, and 
develop a following, it's quite possible editors will find you, not 
the other way around.

As for income, Boursaw says, "Blogging can definitely supplement a 
writer's income, and even replace it, if that's what you want." Like 
anything else in the industry, rates vary greatly, but, Boursaw says, 
a friend of hers earns $1,200 a month blogging three times a week 
for a consumer magazine on a topic she specializes in, parenting. 
Some blogs pay per post -- anywhere from $5 to $300. 

Apply for grants, fellowships and other opportunities. 
When I was living in India in 2007, working on social injustice and 
human-rights issues, I found an African media group that wanted 
journalists from around the globe to go report on child labor in 
Ghana. I spent two months working in the capital city, Accra. In the 
meantime, I'd applied for a visiting scholar position at the 
University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism -- and 
received it. 

Freelancers often get lost in the querying and submission process 
and fail to look at other options. Grants and fellowships are 
available to writers for specific projects, for travel, and even to 
cover certain beats.

"I think of a grant as permission to go research and write an 
article that I want to write, but have not necessarily been able to 
find an editor to give me that paying assignment," says freelance 
writer Yvonne Pesquera. 

To find grants, she suggests looking at nonprofit groups. But you 
won't find them all on Google. "Their Web presence isn't necessarily 
the strongest or best," Pesquera says, and notes that writers need 
to do legwork -- talk to your librarian, make some calls to local 
foundations, ask around, do it the old-fashioned way. Subscribe to 
the free Funds for Writers newsletter 
(http://www.fundsforwriters.com) as a jumping point. Also, check out 
local ethnic, veterans and alumni groups. There's free money to be 
had, and all you need to do is look for it.

Since she has diversified as a writer, Pesquera says, not all her 
writing pursuits are journalistic. "I use some of my time for 
short-story writing, essay writing, poetry, and to work on my novel. 
As we writers are painfully aware, that is, by and large, 
unpaid time. A grant makes it paid time."

Freelance journalist Mridu Khullar is currently based in New Delhi, 
India, and has lived in Asia, Africa, and North America. Her work 
appears in Time, Glamour, Vogue, Elle, and other publications. 
Web: http://www.mridukhullar.com. 

Copyright (c)  Mridu Khullar 2010   
For more information on boosting your income visit: 
http://www.writing-world.com/rights/fry.shtml and


FROM A-BOMB JUICE TO ZONKED - 1813 Slangisms about Rotgut, 
Guzzling, and Puking Your Brains Out (plus a few nice drinking 
toasts). Randall Platt presents the first Slangmaster e-book. 
Why? Because we don't speak in black and white. Learn more about 
the color of our language at http://www.slangmaster.com.  Use 
the right word, for the right era and occasion, every time!


Free Stuff for Writers:Finding Inspiration

By Aline Lechaye

Ever had one of those days where you just can't write? You sit at 
your desk for hours on end but all you have to show for it is a 
blank screen or a blank piece of paper with little doodles all over 

What do you do when that happens? Go look for inspiration. 

A truly impressive writing prompts website is 
http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/. They have hundreds of 
writing ideas just waiting to be used: simply run your cursor over 
the numbers displayed. The ideas are fairly original, and most of 
them are quite amusing. One of my favorites: "Put Shaggy 
(from Scooby-Doo) and Batgirl in an elevator and write a 200 word 
scene about what happens." Let's hope Spiderman isn't waiting on the 
first floor...

For more writing prompts, go to 
http://languageisavirus.com/writing_prompts.html and click on the 
writing prompt generator button. The "prompts" given are mostly fun 
activities that will hopefully kick-start your brain into creative 
gear. Examples include poem rewriting and sentence diagramming. A 
title generator and many other idea-generators can be found in the 
"Writing Games" section of the site. 

Speaking of titles, you can get five random book/short story titles 
by going to http://www.kitt.net/php/title.php. The titles are ones 
that already exist, and they tend to be a little on the fantasy and 
sci-fi side, but you can always modify them to suit your own 
purposes. Titles are just words, after all. 

As if you didn't have enough of your own.... 
http://www.archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/problems.htm is an 
everyday problems generator. The generator provides characters with 
obsessions, hatreds, hidden pasts, and strange likes. This is useful 
for rounding out cardboard characters, and the phobias listed can 
make for hilarious scenes. If you're into visual writing prompts, 
head on over to http://archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/DA.htm 
to see some great examples of muse-inspiring art. The main Archetype 
Writing website (http://archetypewriting.com/) is worth a visit as 
you can find in-depth information on psychology to apply to your 
protagonists, as well as articles and tips on writing and overcoming 
writer's block. 

The Writer's Block Archive is located on a LiveJournal blog page, 
http://www.livejournal.com/misc/qotdarchive.bml. The site not only 
posts a thought-provoking question every day, it also allows you to 
read the answers submitted by other people who have read the post 
before you. Try to answer the questions from your characters' 
points of view: you might learn something new about them. 

If you're one of those writers who keep coming up with excuses not 
to write, you should take a look at the Time to Write blog: 
http://timetowrite.blogs.com/weblog. Blogger Jurgen Wolff lists ways 
to beat writer's block, reasons you don't write, and offers tips to 
enhance your creativity. There are some interesting success stories, 
as well as posts on how to increase writing motivation -- we could 
all do with some of that! 

You've got the talent, and you've probably got the ambition. Don't 
let the writing blues get you down. Sometimes all that stands 
between you and the Next Big Thing is that cool idea...and the actual 
writing, of course. 

Bonus for Mac users: Okay, this isn't really writing-related, but it 
is free. http://www.freemacware.com/ is a website that posts a free 
Mac software every day. It offers games and widgets, along with 
"regular" software--there are over 30 writing software listed. What's 
more, there are freeware for iPods, iPhones, and iTunes too. Enjoy!


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

Copyright (c) Aline Lechaye 2010  



Top 100 Blogs To Improve Your Writing
A handy little site from Universities and Colleges.org that lists 
100 blogs that will help you improve your writing by providing 
inspiration, motivation, creativity and new techniques from experts, 
freelancers, and editors from every genre. 

Word Count for Novels and Children's Books
A great article to help you determine the appropriate word count 
for different types of books, and the dangers of going too long 
or too short. And while you're there, check out the rest of this 
HUGE collection of articles, agent interviews and advice on 
getting published. 

Journaling as a Way of Life
This site has lots of useful information on journals, journaling, 
different types of journals (e.g., electronic vs. paper), purposes 
of journaling, writing styles, prompts and more.  A good place to 
get started, especially if you're new to journaling. 


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. 


SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent 
Writers and Editors, the professional association with a career-
building difference. We partner with you to create a strategic 
online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free NAIWE-
linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to find 
writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Breaking Faith, by Stuart Aken

Portraits in Lavender, by Connie Torrisi

Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests - 2010 
by Moira Allen

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just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
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Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

Copyright 2010 Moira Allen
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