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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 10:14             11,178 subscribers          July 15, 2010
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for 
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THE WRITER'S DESK: Trademarks, by Moira Allen
FEATURE:  Virtual Book Tours:  A Five Step Planning Process, 
by Mohamed Mughal
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

Writing.Com is the online community for writers of all interests.
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* 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.


Slowly, slowly, getting there 
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who 
emailed me following my last editorial in which I announced I had 
suspected Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Your support has meant the 
world to me and made it easier to accept what I have and to take 
some slow, gentle steps towards recovery. 

I have found that by being very strict with myself about how much 
I can do in a day, my energy levels are starting to return.  I now 
can recognize when I'm about to get tired and so stop immediately 
whatever it is I am doing.  I feel lucky in that because so many 
of you have either been through this, or something similar, or 
know someone who has been through this, I have been able to tap 
into your combined wisdom and knowledge about how to deal with CFS.  
Thanks to all YOUR advice, I am slowly, but definitely, getting 

The CFS is still undiagnosed.  I've only had it for five months so 
far, so one more month to go.  However, when I last saw my doctor 
he asked me "What I hoped to achieve by getting a diagnosis of 

I'm not quite sure I have any idea what he meant by that!  What do 
I hope to achieve?  A diagnosis, that's what I would like; a 
confirmation that what I have is CFS, and if it isn't, then more 
tests please to tell me what it actually is.

Anyway, the upside is that I have been able to read more and do 
more stuff with my daughter. And again I stress, it's all down to 
YOU.  So thank you. 

I still have a long way to go.  Last issue I completely messed up 
my own email address! So if your replies to Inquiring Writer 
bounced it's all down to me and the brain fog - sorry! The correct 
email address is editorial"at"writing-world.com. I also managed to 
lose an entire folder on my laptop and yesterday I couldn't 
remember how to access eBay, which at least saved me some money!

Who knows, if the recovery continues at this pace, I might 
actually be able to start writing again soon. And to be honest, it 
can't come a day too soon. 

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter 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 EASIEST TIME TO GET MORE PUBLICITY is when the media is doing 
a story on your subject and wants to  interview somebody like you.  
Our free service  tells you what sources top journalists and 
producers need. http://www.reporterconnection.com/joinfree/?11798


THE WRITER'S DESK - Trademarks, by Moira Allen

Can I use product names in my fiction?
Q: I have been told that I cannot use names such as Mercedes, Coke 
etc. without including the trademark.  This makes no sense to me.  
Is it okay to use these without violating trademark laws?
A: Ah, the trademark bugaboo.  In fiction, these types of trade 
names are used all the time without the trademark symbol.  The 
primary issue relating to trademark laws is whether you are using 
a trademark "generically."  For example, when you say, "He grabbed 
a Kleenex," do you really mean "Kleenex" or could you have said 
"tissue"?  Perhaps a better example is the use of trademarks as 
verbs -- for example, Xerox gets bent out of shape over people 
saying, "I'll Xerox that document for you."  They say it's 
diluting the trademark, when what you mean is that you'll 
photocopy the document -- you may or may not be using a 
Xerox-brand photocopier.  So if possible, stay away from trade 
names used as verbs.  Don't say "I'll Scotch-tape it together" 
(though I'm not sure Scotch tape is still protected) -- just say 
"I'll tape it together."
However, if you want to say that your hero drove off in his 
Mercedes while sipping his Coke, which he then spilt over his 
Armani suit, you are free to do so without putting little "TMs" 
after each word -- or worse, saying that he "sipped his Coca-Cola 
(TM)-brand soft drink".
Purists will say that this is a violation of trademark laws -- 
however, those laws have no "bite."  In other words, no lawyer is 
going to come after you and sue you for having your hero drinking 
a Coke.  Other purists will point out that realistic details -- 
saying that someone drank a Coke vs. a "cola" -- add a great deal 
to a story, and I happen to agree with that side of the argument.  
But the main thing is, no, you won't get sued.  

Can I combine real and fictional characters in an account of a 
historical person?
Q: If I'm writing a book based on the life of someone -- 
historical drama --there are obviously going to be some fictional 
chapters involved. Can I still use the person's name, or must I 
change it?
A: As far as I know, if you're writing about a historical person, 
there are no "limits" on the extent to which you can use that 
person or fictionalize the account.  Libel and privacy laws apply 
only to living people; thus, you can pretty much write anything 
you like about anyone who is dead.
To turn the question around, look at the number of "historical 
fiction" novels that are written about completely fictional 
characters, but that include historical characters as supporting 
characters or to provide a historical context to the novel.
In short, yes, you can write about the historical person, without 
changing the name, even though you are adding fictional elements. 
The one thing you need to make clear is whether the book is 
intended as a work of fiction ("a novel based on the life of XXX")
or whether it is actually intended to be a nonfiction biography 
(in which case you would have to be very careful about the 
fictional elements).
Copyright (c) 2010 by Moira Allen 


BE YOUR OWN EDITOR, by Sigrid Macdonald, is a crash course in 
writing basics: everything from run-on sentences to character 
development to organizing essays and nonfiction articles is 
covered here. Buy it at Lulu http://tinyurl.com/yehze36 or 
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/be-your-own-editor



Italian Writers Fight for More Rights
Four young Italian writers have set up a protest group, Writers in 
Litigation, to protest what they see as unfair practices on the 
part of the Italian publishing industry.  It appears that authors 
in Italy do not always receive their fair share of royalties.  
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/36qvj67
Publishing Industry Unlikely to Return to Pre-Recession Heights
After eight out of ten publishers reported a fall in sales in 2010, 
the Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins, Victoria Barnsley, 
has warned that sales are not likely to return to pre-recession 
figures. HarperCollins saw sales fall by over 13% in 2010 and as a 
result have reduced the number of books they will publish by 20%.  
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/33bgx5s

Typewriters Are Cool Again
Many of you, like Moira and I, learned to type on typewriters.  
You can always tell people who did: they hit the keys much harder 
than is actually necessary, a kind of physical memory lodged into 
our hands of how hard it was to hit the a or ; key.  Well now, 
praise be, the typewriter is back again and what's more, it's cool.  
It seems that many iPad users cannot cope with the tiny keyboard, 
so now you can have a typewriter, an actual manual typewriter, 
connected to your iPad, or even, if you prefer, your PC.  For more 
on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/3296k8z


ALLBOOKS REVIEW is the review and author promo source for POD 
AUTHORS as well as traditionally  published authors.  Authors 
around the world use our service. Great coverage for your book 
for 12+ months. Our complete review and author promotional 
package is less than $50 and includes entry in the Allbooks 
Review Editor's Choice Award. http://www.allbookreviews.com.


CALL FOR ENTRIES: Dream Quest One Writing Contest! Write a poem, 
30 lines or fewer on any subject or write a short story, 5 pages 
maximum length, on any theme, for a chance to win cash awards! 
Prizes: Writing - $500, $250, $100. Poetry - $250, $125, $50. 
Entry fees: $5 per poem, $10 per story. Postmark deadline: July 31.
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and to enter!




Writers of 'How to' articles sought by UK publisher
Oxford based publisher 'How To' is seeking more freelance writers 
to write 'how to' articles for their website.  Articles should be 
between 300 and 500 words in length and accepted articles will 
receive royalties of 10% from the site. For more information visit: 

US Kids Open to Submissions
US Kids offers readers material in a variety of formats: fiction, 
nonfiction, poems, puzzles, crafts, recipes, games, and 
activities. They are most interested in wholesome, positive, 
light-hearted, and well written pieces that encourage and educate 
their readers. All material submitted should reflect good values 
and healthy living. 

Writers should be careful to present their material in a way that 
is appropriate for kids, but which does not talk down to them. 
Although their emphasis is on health, they also use material 
with more general themes, including holiday and seasonal poems.  
For more information visit: 

Raven Chronicles Open to Submissions 
The Raven Chronicles publishes work
which reflects the cultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and other
areas of America. They promote art, literature and The Raven Chronicles publishes
work which reflects the cultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and
other areas of America. They promote art, literature and the spoken word for an
audience that is hip, literate, funny, informed, and lives in a society that has a
multicultural sensibility. They publish fiction, talk art/spoken word, poetry,
essays, reflective articles, reviews, interviews and contemporary art. They look for
work that reflects the author's experiences, perceptions and insights. They accept
online submissions year-long for specific sections: 
All year around they are open to submissions in the following 
areas: Food and Culture, Book Reviews, Nature Writing, and 
Northwest  Writing. 

They are seeking submissions in the following areas with a 
deadline of August 1, 2010: Theme: Matters of the Spirit; Faith; 
Grace; Religious or Spiritual beliefs; Nature and Meaning of life. 
For more information visit: 

WRITE YOUR MEMOIR: The Soul Work of Telling Your Story from
Findhorn Press. Allan Hunter has been teaching writers the secrets
of authentic storytelling for decades. Unblock and be inspired
again. For more information go to: http://www.allanhunter.net.


FEATURE: Virtual Book Tours:  A Five Step Planning Process
By Mohamed Mughal 

I participated in an international virtual book tour the third 
week of March 2010.  The tour focused on my debut novel and on my 
overall approach to writing.  I had stops in Berlin, Germany; 
London, England; and Washington, D.C.  This being my first virtual 
book tour, I didn't quite know how to plan the event.  I took a 
deep breath, I planned what I thought made sense and then I took a 
head-first dive into the deep end.

Guess what? It was great!

Not only did I have the privilege of direct interactions with 
readers world-wide, but the depth, complexity, relevance and humor 
of the questions contributed to a number of compelling personal 
and literary revelations.

Want to try it yourself?  It's not difficult.  You can start by 
taking a look at the simple, five-step process that I used.

The Five Step Process
Steps 1 through 4 happen before the tour.  These steps don't 
necessarily follow a strict sequence of one-after-another.  Expect 
some overlap in the execution of them.  Step 5 happens after the 

Step 1  
Do web searches for literature blogs, particularly those who focus 
on your genre.  Contact as many as possible and briefly explain 
who you are, what you wrote and why they should be open to hosting 
you for a virtual book tour. 
Being a Maryland-based writer, I'm a member of our state's 
writers' association.  I went to that organization's website and 
contacted fellow members who maintain literary blogs.  One of my 
blog hosts came from these contacts.  I found another of my hosts 
through a web search on the terms "literary blogs" and 
"book blogs."  Not only did she host the tour, she also read the 
book and posted a review prior to the tour.  I found my third host 
by searching for writers with similar demographics as mine.  Be 
persistent.  I contacted three dozen blogs before finding three 
willing to host my virtual book tour.
Be creative.  Look around and see what's current and what fits 
your needs.  Sitting here drafting this article, I did a quick 
search on "book blogs."  The second item that came up lists 101 
book blogs with clickable links grouped into categories like 
Librarian Blogs, Fiction, Younger Readers, Science Fiction, 
Fantasy, and Adventure.

Step 2
Once you've gotten commitments from the number and the type of 
blogs that you want on your tour (I wanted three literary blogs), 
confirm tour dates with each host.

Here's sample text for an e-mail message that you can use to 
confirm your tour dates.  You're welcome to cut and paste the 
language.  Just make sure you change the names (smile):

   To:  Your Hosts
   Subject:  Proposed Dates, Mohamed's Virtual Book Tour

   Dear Inna, Imran and Austin,

   Thanks again to each of you for agreeing to host my virtual 
   book tour in March.  Let's do the tour the week of 21 March 
   2010. Proposed dates for each blog stop are:

   21-23 March 2010, "Onions and Tea" by Inna Selipanov, Germany

   22-24 March 2010, "Not-quite-a-blog" by Imran Ahmad, 
   United Kingdom

   23-25 March 2010, "Another Writer's Life" by Austin Camacho, 
   United States

   Are these dates good for you guys?

   By 10 March 2010, I'll e-mail each of you an announcement for 
   the tour.  The text will include a short blurb about my book 
   and a link to my author interview.  You're welcome to amend 
   the announcement to fit your own voice and style before you 
   post it.

   I'll answer up to three questions from visitors at each of 
   your  blogs during the dates noted above.  I'll try to answer 
   questions within a day or less.  The first person to post a 
   question at each blog receives a free signed copy of 
   "Resolution 786."  

   I plan to send out four press releases to publicize the tour.  
   Each release will have your blog URL and the dates of your 
   participation.  My aim is to generate good traffic to the 
   virtual book tour AND to your blogs in general.

   I think this will be fun!


In addition to setting dates for the tour, this message tells 
hosts to expect a prewritten tour announcement by a specific date; 
it reinforces the mechanics of the tour; and it informs the hosts 
of upcoming press releases.

Step 3
Pre-plan the mechanics of the tour and share this plan with each 
of your hosts.  Have your hosts share this information with their 
blog's readers prior to the tour.  

For my event, readers from each blog could ask up to three 
questions about my writing and/or book.  I developed and posted my 
answers in about a day.  To increase participation and interest, I 
gave a free signed copy of the novel to the first person to post a 
question at each blog.  I made sure that I included information on 
the giveaway in all my press releases and in all announcements 
that I posted to my web-site and to other social media sites.
I also wanted to make sure that the information that my hosts 
distributed to their readership was consistent and cross-linked.  
Here's an example of the text that I asked my hosts to post to 
their readers a few days before their portion of the tour began:

  Dear fans and readers,

  Want a free book signed by the author?

  I'm excited to host an international virtual book tour for 
  Resolution 786.  American author Mohamed Mughal will be joining 
  our blog from 21-23 March 2010 to answer questions about his novel 
  and about his approach to writing.  Mohamed will answer up to 
  three questions from blog visitors during the dates noted above.  
  The first visitor to ask a question receives a free signed copy 
  of Resolution 786!

  You can read more about the novel and the author in the 
  interview posted at http://tinyurl.com/369sjdk

  Remember, this is an international book tour so if you miss 
  Mohamed on my blog, you can still catch him in the U.K. or the 
  U.S. at:

  22-24 March 2010, "Not-quite-a-blog" by Imran Ahmad, 
  United Kingdom, http://unimagined.typepad.com/unimagined/

  23-25 March 2010, "Another Writer's Life" by Austin Camacho, 
  United States, http://ascamacho.blogspot.com

Providing this information and text to your hosts makes it easier 
on them.  All they need to do is cut and paste the content into a 
post on their blogs.  Doing this also allows you to maintain 
control over the mechanics of the tour while shaping its overall 
message.  Insert links to useful background information such as 
book reviews and author interviews.  Create an integrated set of 
tour segments from one blog to another by having each host post 
clickable links from their blog to each of the other participating 

Step 4  
Issue a series of press releases to publicize the tour.

You can issue these releases through a press release service, your 
website, local newspapers and through any other social media that 
you participate in such as Facebook and Twitter.  The idea is to 
drive as much traffic as possible to the host blogs and to make 
for a better attended virtual event.
I planned a series of four press releases.  I issued the first a 
month before the tour, the second about three weeks before, the 
third about a week before and the last one on the day before the 
tour.  Here's sample text from one of the press releases:

  Virtual Book Tour Puts God on Trial

  American literary cubist Mohamed Mughal will participate in an 
  international virtual book tour for his novel, Resolution 786, 
  in March 2010.  The novel's plot includes a trial of God for 
  crimes against humanity.

  The tour has stops in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United 
  States.  The following blogs are hosting the tour:

  21-23 March 2010, "Onions and Tea" by Inna Selipanov, Germany,

  22-24 March 2010, "Not-quite-a-blog" by Imran Ahmad, 
  United Kingdom, http://unimagined.typepad.com/unimagined/

  23-25 March 2010, "Another Writer's Life" by Austin Camacho, 
  United States, http://ascamacho.blogspot.com

  The author will answer up to three questions from visitors at 
  each blog during the dates noted above.  The first participant 
  to ask a  question at each blog receives a free signed copy of 
  Resolution  786.

  When asked about the virtual book tour, Mughal said, "The tour 
  has three blog hosts.  These three people collectively represent 
  three countries, three religions, three races and both genders.  
  What could be more appropriate for a novel whose central 
  character is a Jewish Muslim?  I couldn't be happier with the 
  tour's geographic and theological inclusivity.  It's a 
  celebration of and a testament to the multi-variant beauty of 
  the human race."

You get the idea.  In snappy, easy language, tell them who, what, 
where, when and why.  Make sure you throw in personal interest 
material, background information that you think and feel will 
resonate with the types of people who might read your books.  In 
my case, I think my readers will likely have a multicultural 
perspective.  I emphasize that element of the tour in the last 
paragraph of the press release.  Since I had an international tour, 
I opened the release with my national affiliation.  If at all 
possible, include clickable links in the press release.  Make it 
as easy as possible for potential participants to get to where you 
want them, posting questions and comments at your host blogs 
during the dates of the tour.  Finally, think hard about the 
titles of your press releases.  You want titles that are accurate, 
relevant and as compelling as possible.

Step 5  
Once the tour is done, post clickable links to each host's Q&A 
segments on your website and on all social media sites in which 
you participate.  

In addition to my web-site's blog, I posted my virtual book tour's 
links on Facebook, hubpages and squidoo.  Another idea to maintain 
the tour's utility and momentum is to write and publish articles 
that focus on various themes that emerged from the tour's 
discussions.  I have a full set of article topics directly 
attributable to the tour's discussions, things like how to develop 
believable characters, techniques for creating good dialogue and 
the application of different schools of literary expression such 
as cubism and absurdism.

There's an admitted simplicity and logic to the five-step process 
and to the implementing details associated with each step.  The 
art and inspiration come with the personal nuances that you imbue 
into the mechanical process.  Make it special.  Make it you.
Would I do another virtual book tour?  Absolutely!  Done right, 
the process yields increased visibility to an author while 
increasing traffic for the host blogs.  It's an ideal venue 
through which to create and leave behind a long-lasting 
cyber-trail of information about your book, about your writing and 
about yourself.  Most of all, a virtual book tour is a perfect 
vehicle through which to enjoy the benefits and revelations of a 
real-time, deep conversation with readers and literature 
enthusiasts the world over.

Mohamed Mughal writes in the schools of literary cubism and 
absurdism.  Learn more at http://www.mohamedmughal.com. 

Copyright (c) 2010 by Mohamed Mughal

For more advice on promoting your book online visit: 
http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/promote.shtml and


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.  



Aswiebe's Market List
A regularly updated market list of speculative fiction markets  
with a wonderful list of pending anthologies, something hard to 
find in other market resources.
Travel Writing Online Course
This is being run for a limited time only by the organisers of the 
Guide Gecko contest below.  It is a non-cost travel writing 
e-course. Worth a look at if you want to enter the contest or 
learn how to be a travel writer.

Novel Writing Advice from Caro Clarke
Caro Clarke, a published author, has written a series of 
informative articles offering advice to novelists. This would be 
a very handy site to bookmark if you are intending to enter 
NaNoWriMo or are struggling with your novel. 


WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories,
poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the
US and internationally. Newly updated for 2010, WRITING TO WIN
by Moira Allen is the one-stop resource you need for contests
and contest tips. Visit Writing-World.com's bookstore for details:


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 15, 2010
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS: Submit a piece of fantasy-themed (that is wizards, elves, 
orcs, and so on) short fiction for a chance to win. 3000 words max.  
PRIZE: 1st place wins a $50 Amazon.com gift card and 2nd wins a 
$25 gift card.  

DEADLINE: September 1, 2010
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: Submit a traditional sonnet. 
PRIZES:  $50, $35, $15, 3 honorable mentions, 3 special 
URL: http://www.illinoispoets.org/pdf/helen-schaible-2010.pdf

DEADLINE: September 15, 2010
GENRE: Books
DETAILS: Write and submit your own 32 page travel guide to Guide 
Gecko. Travel, food and lifestyle guidebooks can be submitted.
PRIZES:  1st, publication of your guide book and a trip to the 
Frankfurt Book Fair where your book will be showcased. 2nd and 
3rd prizes:  your book will be showcased at the fair. 
URL: http://www.guidegecko.com/writing-contest
DEADLINE:  September 15, 2010
GENRE:  Short Stories, nonfiction, poetry, young writers
DETAILS: Two age categories: adult and student. Storytelling, 
whether fiction or non-fiction or poetry, written specifically for 
delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, on the web, or via 
mobile phone. Could be thought of as a short story, a novel, a 
documentary, or poetry. However, "writing" and "literature" in the 
digital age now can include words, images, film, animation, and 
interactivity for the audience. 
PRIZE: 250 and an Apple i-pad for 1st prize winner in each age 
URL:   http://www.poolelitfest.com/new-media-prize.php   

DEADLINE:  November 13, 2010
GENRE: Books
OPEN TO: any writer, regardless of nationality, who has never been 
the author of a published novel.  Self-published writers may 
enter, as long as the entry has not itself been self-published.
DETAILS: Submit previously unpublished works of book length (no 
less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words).
PRIZE: $10,000 advance and a publishing contract from Minotaur 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/2vdc2u8

DEADLINE:  December 13, 2010
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: 200 - 350 words essay on the importance of good insurance 
coverage. The contest is open to anyone who has a true story to 
tell about how any type of insurance policy made a big impact on 
their lives and financial well being. Did adding extra coverage to 
your homeowners' policy save your house? Did a pet insurance plan 
save your beloved dog or cat? We want to know your story!
PRIZE:  $200, $100, $50 


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

Historic Genesee Country, by Rose O'Keefe

The Mystery of Fate: Common Coincidence or Divine Intervention?
by Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warnecka

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


Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com

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

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

Copyright 2010 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