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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 10:18            11,529 subscribers      September 16, 2010
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK, What's So Wrong With Being Popular?
by Dawn Copeman 
THE WRITING DESK, Do I Need a Ghostwriter? by Moira Allen
FEATURE:  Let Them See Your Title: Publicizing Your Children's
Book, by Noelle Sterne
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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* Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing.

What's So Wrong With Being Popular?
Oh dear.  I seem to have done it again.  I've stirred up a hornet's
nest.  Last month I wrote about how I had met one of my favorite
authors, Robert Rankin, and how he was such a genuine, humble and
friendly man.  You may recall I said how pleased he was that not
only did I have all of his books but had re-read many of them too,
and he was astounded that someone would re-read his books in the
way he re-read works by his favorite authors. 

It seems that I upset many of you with my retelling of this
encounter.  I received many emails saying that they, the authors of
the e-mails, would not want to be known as a 'paperback' writer,
but are striving to create literature.  And I thought, 'here we go

What is wrong with popular fiction?  Why do some people feel the
need to look down upon it?  Personally, I would be delighted to be
a 'paperback' writer.  At least I would be published.  And if I
were to have just published my 32nd book I would be over the moon!
It would mean that lots of people out there liked my writing. 

But this argument is not new.  Charles Dickens, a novelist whose
works are now known as classics, was attacked by fellow authors for
being 'popular.' Henry James slammed him for being overly
sentimental and described his plots as implausible.  

Dickens was, according to a pamphlet issued on his death,
'England's most popular author.'  He strove for popularity.  His
novels were mainly serialized in the popular press and unlike many
other authors whose works were serialized, he wrote his
intentionally for serialization, ensuring each episode ended upon a
cliffhanger to make the readers want to

He wasn't striving for great literature; he was telling popular
tales. He was relating to his readers through his works, in which
he referred to the social conditions of the time.  He didn't set
out to be a 'literary' figure; he set out to write good stories
that people wanted to read.  Let's not forget, he wrote 'A
Christmas Carol' in the space of six weeks to raise money.  He
wrote what he knew would sell.  He was a popular author and he saw
nothing wrong with that and neither do I. 

I find it strange and a little disheartening that in this Writing
World, where there are many corners and niches, where every day,
every one of us is struggling to make a sale or to make our mark, 
where we all face similar challenges, that we should still turn on
one another in this petty way.  There is room out there for both
literary and popular fiction and I for one don't see why people who
write one form of fiction should be so hard on those of us who
choose to write the other. 

--Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


Monthly 12-page newsletter of editors' current wants and needs - up
to 50 each month.  Plus market studies and genre analyses loaded
with editors' tips and insights into   subjects and writing styles
they're looking for right now.  Get 2 FREE issues and see for
yourself.  http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/M8866 


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THE WRITING DESK: Should I Hire a Ghostwriter? 
by Moira Allen

Q: I have a novel in my mind, but don't know what to do next;
should I find a ghostwriter?

I have an idea for a book and/or movie that I have thought out
carefully from beginning to end.  I have the entire novel in my
mind, but am not certain as what I should do next.  Would a
ghostwriter be a solution?  If so, where do you suggest I look for
one?  Do I need to copyright my idea even before it is put on

A: If you have an idea for a book that you would like to write, but
have no idea where and how to start, perhaps a good place to start
would be by reading some books on the process of writing.  I'd
suggest going to your local bookstore and checking their shelves on
"writing" for some books that spark your interest.  See what you
can find that answers your specific questions (as the question of
"how do I write a book?" is really too long to answer by e-mail).
If you don't feel able to write the book yourself, and would prefer
to use a ghostwriter, you need to be aware that this costs money.
Unless you are a celebrity hoping to tell your life story, you
aren't going to find someone who is interested in writing down your
idea on the chance that it might get published.  Ghostwriters
require an upfront fee -- and I really don't know what types of
fees you'd be looking at, but I can tell you that it is likely to
be in the thousands of dollars. To find a ghostwriter, just try
searching online for "ghostwriters" or "ghostwriting services."
You cannot copyright an "idea."  You can only copyright the final,
written product.  That actually happens automatically: Whenever you
write something, it is protected by copyright the moment you write
it down.  But until you actually write down your idea in some form,
it is not copyrighted or copyrightable.
Nor is the idea itself ever "covered" by copyright.  The only thing
that copyright protects is the EXPRESSION of your idea.  For
example, suppose I had an idea to write a book about a princess who
is captured by pirates.  I can write a story or a book about that
idea, and the story or book are protected by copyright.  But the
idea itself is not.  Anyone else can write a story or book about
that same idea.  (They just can't copy mine.)
You would be surprised at how often different people have similar
ideas.  Even when we are absolutely sure that no one else could
possibly think of such an idea, someone does.  Your best bet is to
explore the possibilities of how to write up your idea in a form
that pleases you.  

So -- go to the bookstore or the library, and start doing your
homework on how to turn that idea into a book!

Copyright (c) 2010 by Moira Allen


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British Government Threaten to Stop Lending Fees to Authors
In an attempt to save money and balance the books, the British
government is considering scrapping the Public Lending Right (PLR),
which currently pays authors 6p each time one of their books is
borrowed from a library.  The maximum amount an author can earn
from PLR is £6000 per year. Crime writer PD James has written to
the government to ask them to reconsider.  For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/24ku859

New York Times to Stop Print Editions
Whilst at a media conference in London to discuss the structure of
charging for its online editions, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr, chairman
and publisher of The New York Times shocked the audience by saying
that he will stop printing the NYT at some point in the future. 
For more on this story visit:  http://tinyurl.com/29p9fyh

Apple's iBookstore in Canada under Federal Review
The Canadian Government has ordered a federal review into Apple
Canada's iBookstore under the country's cultural investment policy.
For more on this story visit: 


ALLBOOKS REVIEW is the review and author promo source for POD 
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Myriad Editions is Looking for Books to Publish
Based in the UK, this independent publisher publishes atlases,
graphic nonfiction and original fiction.  They do not publish
children's stories, poetry or plays.  For more information visit:

Grantville Gazette Wants Short Sci-Fi and Fantasy
This appears to be a good magazine to break into if you want to
write fantasy.  They have strict guidelines but a supportive
process. You need to submit your story as it progresses onto a
forum board where it will be discussed and problems with it ironed
out.  If they decide to purchase your story you will get paid 5
cents a word.  For more information visit: 

Timeline Wants History Articles on Ohio
The editors of Timeline, the publication of the Ohio Historical
Society, are accepting manuscripts of 1,500 to 6,000 words related
to the history, prehistory, and natural history of Ohio and to the
broader cultural and natural environments of which Ohio is a part.
Articles with a significant regional or national focus also will be
considered. Suitable topics include the traditional fields of
political, economic, military, and social history; biography; the
history of science and technology; archaeology and anthropology;
architecture; the fine and decorative arts; and the natural
sciences including botany, geology, zoology, ecology, and

In addition to full-length feature articles, shorter, more sharply
focused vignettes of 500 to 1,000 words will be considered.

For more information and writer's guidelines visit the website:

Delicious Living Call for Submissions                              
US-based healthy lifestyle magazine is open to submissions. 
Delicious Living was the first magazine of its kind, and it 
remains ahead of its time--a lifestyle magazine that meets new 
millennium needs with centuries-old health solutions, combined 
with contemporary natural health care methods and modalities.

Delicious Living articles are lively, informative, and
conversational in tone, and provide up-to-date health information
in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. Writers should consult
various sources for their stories, including health professionals
and research journals. They require that writers make every attempt
to reference current research. 

For more information visit: http://deliciouslivingmag.com/contact/


FEATURE: Let Them See Your Title: Publicizing Your Children's Book
By Noelle Sterne 
As a children's author, do you know you can use more resources to
publicize your book than mainstream authors? I discovered many of
these avenues after the publication of my children's book
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks: A Book of Dinosaur Riddles (HarperCollins).
This book, in print for eighteen years, was featured on the first
dinosaur show of PBS-TV's Reading Rainbow, which continues to air
and is now on DVD. 

Possibilities for broadcasting your book and extending its life are
expansive, and the four categories that follow should help you
organize your own ideas.
1. You in the Flesh
Kids -- and adults -- love to meet a real, live author. So load up
copies of your book, polish your press release (see #2), and work
up some ideas for a presentation. These may include how you came to
write the book, what it's like to write a book, what you DO to
write a book. You can also tie the book to a school theme unit,
hold a writing workshop related to the book's subject, or do
role-plays with the audience on characters in the book. Decide too
on your conditions -- length of presentation, materials needed, how
far you'll travel, and fees.

To get a feel for the many methods and presenter requirements,
study the presentation descriptions of your favorite children's
authors. I admire the websites of Barbara Seuling, Peter Lourie,
Deborah Morrison, and Josephine Nobisso. Convenient links to these
authors and others are posted at Children's Book Council (
and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
(http://www.scbwi.org/index.htm). Booktour is another great
resource: http://www.booktour.com/ 

You should also consider the following: 

* Schools, teachers' groups, PTA groups. 
Contact your local schools, matching grade levels with your book's
target age group. Start with the principal or president of the PTA
and work your way to individual teachers.

* Public libraries, school libraries, malls, bookstores. 
Children's librarians are always enthusiastic and love tie-ins.
Connect your presentation to national themes (Columbus Day,
President's Day, Black History Month). For malls and bookstores,
emphasize to the managers how much traffic you'll bring in. Your
presentation could be keyed to a special promotion for holidays or
children's story hours. 

* Church, synagogue, and other religions' children's groups. 
These are naturals if you're a spiritual or religious writer. Your
collection of heroes of the Old Testament or book on the Christmas
story told by a donkey in the manger can bring lessons alive to
children. Offer to be a guest speaker at children's or family
occasions or Sunday School classes. 

* Book fairs. 
Your publisher may want to feature your book at a big, fat book
fair (mine did with the New York City American Booksellers
Association and the special Tyrannosaurus balloons were flying
high). Offer to attend, babysit the table, and sign books.
Fair-weary editors may not only accept your offer but kiss you.

* Parent- and child-oriented talk radio and television shows. 
Judicious listening and research will show you whom to contact and
when, locally and nationally. Timing to seasonal or current events
can ease your entry for reading excerpts or talking about your
book. For many kids' radio stations, browse Kids' Music Planet
(http://www.kidsmusicplanet.com/), and for parents' radio, Mom
Writers' Talk Radio (http://www.momwriterstalkradio.com/)

* Donations. 
Give copies of your book to school and public libraries and
bookstores, specially autographed. The recipients will glow in your
instant celebrity status. And notify the local newspaper. When I
donated a copy of Tyrannosaurus Wrecks to a local library, the
community newspaper interviewed me and published a three-column
article and illustration from the book--compound publicity.

* Relatives, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, strangers. 
Carry a few copies of your book and talk to EVERYONE. Almost
everyone has a son, daughter, niece, nephew, or friend's kid whose
birthday is coming up, and maybe they don't want to shell out for a
pricey video game. You've just solved their dilemma.

2.        You in Print (Actual and Virtual)
Print and online opportunities to publicize your work are limited
only by your imagination. Here are some.

* Press releases. 
Your publisher may create a press release, which of course you can
use. Don't be shy; offer to enhance it. Blanket your local
newspapers and magazines. Send releases to editors of writing
magazines you've published in -- they often have "Good News"
features on authors' successes. Send your release to alumni
newsletters, even though you hate school reunions, and professional
organizations you belong to. Get your release out to writing
colleagues for their blogs; they're generally happy to announce
your book and may offer to interview you (and you can return the
favor when their book finally gets published). 

* Ads. 
Your publisher should place at least one, and you can too. To write
a good ad, ask yourself: If I were a child (or parent), what
feature(s) of the book would make me order it on Amazon or request
it at Borders? Polish your ad as carefully as anything else you
write, and consider the same venues as for press releases, as well
as parents' and children's magazines. 

* Book reviews. 
Publishers send review copies prior to official publication to
industry publications, such as Publishers Weekly and Kirkus
Reviews. Invest in a little postage yourself. Send copies of your
book to local editors, children's editors, and book review editors
of newspapers and magazines. Reviews in one publication often get
picked up by another. Give copies to librarians too, and ask them
to recommend your book to Booklist, the definitive book reviewing
publication for librarians. 

Check out online reviewing sites. Expore BookPage (
http://www.bookpage.com) and Booklist Online  (
http://www.booklistonline.com/). Book Reporter, part of The Book
Report, has separate sites for children's and teens' books
(http://www.bookreporter.com/). With your press release (see
above), offer your book for review to editors who've published you
and blogging writing colleagues and columnists. 

* Textbook references.
Textbooks used in graduate programs for education include lists of
books for classroom use in many content areas. Search out some
graduate programs and get a course syllabus of required and
recommended books. Talk to graduate students and English teachers
you know (look up your old ones -- they'll be proud of you). Once
you locate some titles, send the textbook publishers your press
release and endorsements from these teachers. Tyrannosaurus Wrecks
has been cited in repeated editions of language arts texts in
sections on wordplay and puns. 

* Teachers. 
Teachers use many children's books in classes, from
information-filled nonfiction to fiction to giggle-books. Boldly
approach local teachers with your book and point out its merits for
their children -- age group, instructional value, fun. Teachers may
also ask you to address their classes (see #1).

* Excerpts. 
Send excerpts of your book to many publications, especially
children's magazines (see the latest edition of Children's Writers'
and Illustrator's Market) -- a chapter, episodes, some poems.
Choice riddles from the dinosaur book were excerpted in Cricket,
Ranger Rick, and Highlights for Children. In the Reading Rainbow
episode I mentioned earlier, a cartoon stand-up dino comic (voice
by Jerry Stiller) rattled off selected riddles, and the
dino-audience threw rotten fruit at him -- a tribute I still

* Articles about your book. 
Almost any aspect of your book gives you great topics for articles
in writing magazines. For example, write about why your story takes
place in a certain region. Kate Decamillo confessed that, living in
Minnesota during the worst winter on record, she set Because of
Winn-Dixie (a Newbery Honor book) in Florida, where she'd grown up,
because she was "cold and lonely and homesick." 

Other topics: choosing your subject and plot, researching and
creating your characters, problems and glitches along the way,
priceless feedback from children, after-publication
episodes/events/escapades, how the series idea hit you. Over the
years, I've published and reprinted nine articles (not including
this one) on different aspects of the dinosaur riddle book:
techniques for creating the riddles, livening up clichés for
punning riddles, wrestling with the use of she/he to avoid
stereotyping the dinosaurs. Some publications for your  articles:
Children's Book Insider, Children's Writer, Institute of Children's
Writers Rx for Writers, Long Ridge Writers eNews, Society of
Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Bulletin, Women on
Writing, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, The Writer, and, of
course, Writing-World.com.

* Websites, blogs, links. 
Electronic possibilities grow more endless by the kb. You can
communicate with readers and sell books from your website. Look at
those of prominent children's authors (J. K. Rowling's is
fantastic.) You can also blog from your website and encourage
comments or respond to others on their sites or by email. To add
helpful information to your blog, study other authors' links to
organizations, newsletters, neighbor blogs, and books, and then
make your own list. Visitors will thank you for your generosity,
and they'll remember and buy your book. 

* Advance publicity in organizational newsletters. 
My presentations for Tyrannosaurus Wrecks at a New York City
bookstore were advertised four weeks in advance and packed the
house with eager little riddle-makers. 

3. Your Stuff
Everyone loves free stuff. Your publisher will probably supply
some, but suggest other things. And consider investing; it's worth
it. Give out your stuff everywhere -- at presentations, other
events, and every holiday dinner with relatives. 

* Announcements, postcards, bookmarks. 
Distribute announcements in kids' stores, libraries, markets, and
schools (with permission). Send or give postcards to everyone, for
any reason or none. I prize a beautiful, evocative postcard from a
writer/editor friend, Audrey Baird, of her book of poems for
children, Storm Coming! (Boyds Mills Press). And I've bought and
given her book to several small friends.

* Balloons, buttons, book covers, t-shirts, mugs, stickers,
pencils, crayons, ad infinitems. 
Other stuff has tremendous publicity value. When my publisher
produced the Tyrannosaurus balloons for the book fair I mentioned
earlier, as they floated above the table, not only did passers-by
crane and gawk but everyone at the table unashamedly grabbed
handfuls to give out to kids and adult-kids. For my puppet show
based on Wrecks (see #4), the producers had terrific buttons made.
We handed them out before, at, and after performances at schools
and regional malls in the Northeast--and sales increased. 

When you see an item that could work for your book, copy the
t-shirt label, turn that mug upside down, read the fine print on
the zebra-striped pen. Some companies give package deals for many
types of stuff: study Zazzle (http://www.zazzle.com/?ckt=t) or Your
Logo Work (http://www.yourlogoworks.com/).

4. Your Next Act . . . 
Spinoffs and sequels not only stretch your talents but broaden your
public. With one book done, you've probably already started
another, or at least dragged out your notes.

* Spinoffs and tie-ins. 
What other venues can extend your book? A school play, a song, a CD
or DVD, a blog by a character (the latest thing)? My dinosaur
puppet show was first produced in a summer playhouse before going
"on tour" to schools and suburban malls (I even wrote a few songs
for it). For the initial run, the director tied in ads in local
papers featuring a half-page dinosaur for kids to color, winner to
be announced at a performance. Of course, at all performances, the
book was displayed for sale and I demurely offered to autograph

You may also spin off with related talents. Writing the dinosaur
riddles, I discovered I could write riddles on any topic (a dubious
gift). So, between geological ages, I sold riddles on hounds, fowl,
rats, pizza, bugs, and bathtubs to the late, magnificent Muppet
Magazine. Think about related aspects. Following your novel of a
pioneer teenage girl, you could consider a fictional series of
letters between her and the pal she left in Boston, the secret
diary of the Indian boy watching her wagon train, a nonfiction book
on pioneer settlements or poems on the astounding Old West.

* Sequels and series. 
Sequels and series often follow naturally from your first book as
you extend the subject or picture your hero/heroine getting older
or getting into more scrapes. Margaret Wise Brown not only wrote
the classic Good Night, Moon but also A Child's Good Morning and A
Child's Good Night. Girl detective Nancy Drew, in the seventy years
since her birth in print, grew from age 16 to 18 and solved over
350 mysteries, written by several authors. In the most recent
books, she uses a cell phone and drives a hybrid car. And Rowling's
original ideas for Harry Potter included characters and situations
that peopled all seven novels of his wizardry journey as he grew

Taking my own advice, I'm working on a 21st-century sequel to
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks for computer-savvy dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus
Techs. A sample: "How does a dino communicate from her paw pilot?
By Rex messaging." 

This long list should help you see the many possibilities for
publicizing your children's book. Choose any combination that fit
your resources, time, and inclinations. Whatever mix you select
will get your name around, increase your writing credits, give you
practice in promoting yourself, and boost your book sales. 


Writer, editor, writing coach, and consultant, Noelle Sterne holds
the Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia
University and publishes in writers' and mainstream magazines. Her
articles have appeared in Archetype, Children's Book Insider, Pure
Inspiration, The Write Place At the Write Time, Writer's Digest
special issues, Writers' Journal, and The Writer. Her short story
about a boy with healing powers appeared in the Star Stepping
Anthology (2008). Noelle is currently working on a collection of
essays offering candid counsel and relentless support to writers:
First You Find Your Desk: Start Writing and Keep Writing with Less
Agony and More Joy. 

Copyright (c) 2010 by Noelle Sterne

For more advice on getting publicity for your book, visit: 


WORLDWIDE FREELANCE WRITER - You can download a free list of 
writing markets if you subscribe this week. Discover almost 
2,000 writing markets from USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australasia. 



Frank Delaney's Daily Writing Tips
Get daily writing tips and prompts from Frank Delaney via Twitter,
plus announcements of regular Twitter writing challenges.

Free to join online short story writing group.  The site offers
prompts, daily contests and the option of working in a small group
at first to build your confidence.  Useful if you need a writing
group but don't have one near you or can't fit it in around your
work schedule. 

One of Us
This UK site provides a place for amateur and professional writers
from around the world to share their creative writing tips, hints,
and advice.  Check out the articles page for useful tips on such
topics as submitting to British women's magazines, developing
character and more. 


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: October 17, 2010
OPEN TO:  Undergraduates anywhere in the world
GENRE:  Poetry, Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Personal essays and narratives, travel pieces, feature
articles, and poems are accepted and all compete together for the
prize. Submit 1-4 poems or 1-2 prose pieces, maximum 3,000 words.
PRIZE:  $150
URL:  http://collision.honorscollege.pitt.edu/  

DEADLINE: October 20, 2010
OPEN TO: Students worldwide, attending public, private, or home
schools. Students must be in junior high/middle school or high
school in the U.S., or the equivalent grade level in their specific
international school system.
GENRE: Poetry, Short Stories and Nonfiction
DETAILS: Middle School: Poetry 20 lines maximum, Prose 750 words
maximum; High school: Poetry 30 lines, Prose 1,000 words 
PRIZES:  $100 grand prize for best entry in each of two age
categories (one prize across all genres) plus publication. 
URL:  http://newvoicesyoungwriters.com 

DEADLINE: October 31, 2010
OPEN TO: 18+
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: "When Writing Made a Difference".  We want to know how
someone's words made a difference. You could address another author
of years long past, whose writing affected you, a classroom or an
entire population. You might talk about a mentor's writing. Maybe
your writing impacted someone else and altered one person's life or
the lives of thousands. Did your writing finally sell and pay off
the wolf at the door or send you on a grand retreat or vacation?
Did your writing impact a child, a senior, a lover, a friend, or a
complete stranger? Here and now or sometime in the past? You or
another author? Did you read the words or write the words that made
a difference? You can take this topic and spin it in all sorts of
directions, but the point we want to make is that words impact
people. Let's hear your take on it. Maximum 750 words per essay.
PRIZEs: $50, $30, $20
URL:  http://www.fundsforwriters.com/annualcontest.htm  
DEADLINE:  October 31, 2010
OPEN TO: Authors over 40 with no previously published novels. 
GENRE:  Books
DETAILS: The work must either have been first published in the UK
in the current calendar year (and not first published abroad), or
be unpublished. If unpublished, the work must not have been
previously submitted for the McKitterick Prize. Submit the first 30
pages of unpublished book or 4 copies of the published book.
PRIZE: £4000
URL: http://www.societyofauthors.org/mckitterick      

Dzanc Prize
DEADLINE:  November 1, 2010
GENRE: Books
OPEN TO:  US Authors of a literary fiction work-in-progress (novel
or short story collection) who have a proposal for literary
community service.
DETAILS: All writers applying for the Dzanc Prize must have a
work-in-progress they can submit for review, and present the judges
with a Literary Community Service (LCS) Program they can
facilitate. Such programs may include anything deemed "educational"
in relation to writing. The author must be working on literary
fiction, and the community service must occur within the United
States of America.  
PRIZE: $5,000 to be distributed in two payments over the course of
a twelve-month period.
URL:  http://www.dzancbooks.org/dzancprize.html  

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


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