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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 10:22          11,923 subscribers         November 18, 2010
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THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK, That's Alright Then, I'm Just Getting
It Out Of My System, by Dawn Copeman 
THE WRITING DESK, Interviews, by Moira Allen,
FEATURE: Marketing Your First Nonfiction Book, by Ann Brandt
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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That's Alright Then, I'm Just Getting It Out of my System. 

I have had a bad time of it lately, writing wise.  Ideas for
fiction come to a full-stop half-way down a page.  Stories shine
brilliantly for a paragraph or two, then dwindle into stuff that I
don't want to type, never mind read and as for my novels; well,
let's say I haven't touched them for so long even I've forgotten
the plot points.  But all, it seems is not lost. 

Every year I say that I will complete NaNoWriMo.  Every year I
start and then after a few days I stop.  The reason I stop is that
my fiction writing is just sooo bad.  Apparently, however, this is
how it should be. 

According to Whiting Awards Winner, Elif Batuman, who won the
$50,000 nonfiction prize for her book, 'Possessed: Adventures with
Russian Books and the People Who Read Them', "Everyone has a
certain amount of bad writing to get out of their system. It's
important not to censor yourself and not to get upset or
demoralized when you write bad stuff."

I guess that makes sense.  I've just started to learn to knit; yes
at 40. I seem to spend most of my time unravelling the knotted mess
I've managed to create so that I can start again and hopefully,
this time, actually finish the scarf I'm trying to make.  I don't
see why I thought that fiction writing would be any different. 

I spent ages, hours and hours and weeks and weeks honing my
nonfiction skills. I didn't expect to get that right first time,
but for some reason, maybe because I can do nonfiction, I expected
fiction writing to flow much more easily. The bottom line is
because it isn't working as well as nonfiction I give up on it. Yet
to be honest with myself, I know I haven't put in the necessary
hours of training yet. 

So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to write a mass of drivel in the
hope I can get all the bad writing out and finally start to make
headway with fiction.  

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


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looking for right now.  Get 2 FREE sample issues. 


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THE WRITING DESK: Interviews, by Moira Allen
How do you "ask" for an interview?
Q: This might seem like a dumb question, but what do you actually
say when you ask someone if you can interview them?

A: I say: "Hi, my name is Moira Allen, and I'm working on an
article about (topic) for (X publication).  I'd like to interview
you for the article; would this be a good time, or could we set up
another time when I could call you?"

If I don't actually have an assignment for a particular
publication, but am hoping to get it into a specific magazine, I'll
say, "which I'm hoping to sell to X publication" -- or I'll just
say that I'm working on an article on the specific topic.

If I'm doing the interview by e-mail, I'll introduce myself in an
e-mail letter much the same way (without the "hi" and "my name is"
part), and ask if I may send an e-mail interview.

Should I contact an interviewee before pitching a project, or vice
Q: I have a book project in mind, a nonfiction book that would
include interviews with a rock band. There seems to be a question
of the egg and the hen kind! Should I first contact the band,
asking them if they would agree to my "bothering" them without even
knowing if the book will ever get published, or should I first try
to get publisher interested in my book?

A: In this case, I'd contact the band first.  You won't be able to
get a publisher interested until you can state with confidence that
you'll be able to get the information you want.  You will have a
lot more options once you know that you have the band's
cooperation.  You don't have to have a publisher lined up before
you contact them -- after all, you might even choose in the end to
have the book self-published.

Can I approach someone for an interview before I have an assignment?
Q: How do I approach a specialist for an interview before I even
get the assignment?  I'm sure there's a simple technique, but this
catch-22 has me stuck.

A: What I do in this case is simply tell the expert that I am
working on an article about "whatever" that I'm hoping to market to
"preferred magazine," and would that person be willing to grant me
an interview once I receive an assignment?  I've done this on
several occasions, and it has worked fine.  I don't actually
conduct the interview until I have a firm assignment, but I can
approach the editor of a publication with a commitment from the
expert -- which helps get the assignment.

Can I edit or "clean up" the responses in an e-mail interview?
Q: I'm a freelance writer and have just run into the interview by
e-mail phenomenon. My question is this -- can/should I edit the
interviewee's responses in any way, or do I leave them as is with a
specification on my site that they are unedited responses? My gut
feeling says to leave the interview as is, but I'm not certain. I
just received a short interview response yesterday that's peppered
with incomplete sentences and abbreviations.

A: If you're posting the interview as a Q&A, then you really do
need to leave the responses "as is."  That being said, I usually
clean up spelling and the worst of grammatical errors.  However, I
wouldn't try to change or complete sentences.  You might be able to
justify spelling out abbreviations, simply to make the text easier
for the reader, as it doesn't change what the person is actually

I also rationalize "cleaning up" spelling and grammar in this way:
If I were taking the interview by phone, I would be doing the
typing -- and thus, the one doing the spelling, punctuation, etc. 
So, that interview would be as "clean" as I could type it.  I would
not know whether the interviewee could spell, punctuate, etc. --
and it wouldn't matter.  I feel, therefore, that when doing an
interview by e-mail, it's justifiable to treat it as if I HAD typed
it -- rather than possibly embarrass the interviewee simply because
that person doesn't have an editor's grasp of grammar and

Copyright (c) 2010 by Moira Allen


FISH SHORT STORY PRIZE 2010. Ten best stories published in #11 
Fish Anthology. Closes 30 Nov. Judge: Simon Mawer. 5000 word max
1st Prize 3000. 2nd - a week at Anam Cara + 300.
3rd - 300
Entry 20 online or 25 by post: Fish Publishing, Durrus, Bantry, 
Co Cork, Ireland. Critique 50/story. http://www.fishpublishing.com


British Writer Jailed For His Book in Singapore
76 year old, Alan Shadrake, has been jailed for six weeks in
Singapore and fined over $15,000 because Singapore magistrates
thought his book to be a contempt of court.  Shadrake's book, "Once
a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock," is a criticism of
the Singapore Justice system.  For more on this story visit:

Oprah Sued for Plagiarism
Charles Harris, a Philadelphia writer, has filed a plagiarism
lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey, who, he claims, read aloud passages
from his booklet without permission.  Harris says he sent several
copies of his political booklet, "How American Elects Her
Presidents" to the show in 2008 hoping for some publicity during
the presidential election campaign. For more on this story visit: 

Amazon Offers Publishers 70% of Retail Price on Kindle
Amazon is extending its offer of giving publishers 70% of the
retail price of their book to book publishers in the UK and to
newspaper and magazine publishers in the US. To earn 70% of the
price of each book, newspaper or magazine published the publisher
must ensure that their title can be read on all Kindle readers in
all geographies for which the publisher has rights. For more on
this story visit: 


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 Manuscripts For Upcoming Book
Do you have an essay or poem to submit for consideration in an
upcoming edition of the Reflections from Women book series? We want
to hear from you!

Sugati Publications is now accepting manuscripts for consideration
in upcoming editions of the "Reflections from Women" book series.

We are currently soliciting short essays and poems for a book by
women and for women on significant events in their lives. The theme
of the next anthology in the series is "The Moment I Knew." This
upcoming book will be a collection of true, short stories and poems
highlighting moments of significance or clarity in women's lives.
Deadline for submissions for the next edition is December 1, 2010.

Themes for upcoming books in the series:
"The Moment I Knew" - deadline December 1, 2010
"Reflections from Women at Midlife" - deadline May 1, 2011
"Lessons to my Children"- open call
Manuscripts will be accepted based on appropriate fit for this
series as well as other selection considerations. We look forward
to reading your non-fiction essay or poem for consideration in a
future edition of the "Reflections from Women" series. For more
information about submission guidelines go to: 
Terri Spahr Nelson, Editor, Sugati Publications
E-mail: tsnelson"at"reflectionsfromwomen.com

Nile Guide Seeks Travel Writers
Nile Guide wants writers who are passionate about their hometown to
write travel guides for them and become their Local Experts. You
need to be web-savvy and able to write in the distinctive Nile
Guide voice.  Local Experts receive a monthly sum of $250 for the
first two months while they;re getting their destination up to
speed. After two months, performance will be assessed and Local
Experts will move to a traffic-based payment structure. Their hope
is that Local Experts will be able to earn far more money than at
current work-for-hire rates. View website for details.

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine is Open to Submissions
This is an established market for science fiction stories. They pay
on acceptance, and beginners get 6.0 cents a word to 7,500 words,
5.0 cents a word for stories longer than 12,500 words, and $450 for
stories between those lengths. View website for guidelines.


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)


FEATURE: Marketing Your First Nonfiction Book 
by Ann Brandt 

Writing a book is just the beginning of an author's adventure.
Whether you have self published or your book has been produced with
a traditional publishing house, you must work at marketing your
book. In addition to writing the manuscript, sending out proposals,
and talking to prospective agents and editors, you should memorize
a one sentence statement telling what your book is about. Think of
this crucial tool as a marketing statement, the most important tool
you will use in attracting readers and building publicity -- the
basis for selling books.
Begin with the three Ws: What, Who, Why. For example, a book on
caregiving might look like this: ( Title of your book) offers
information and encouragement for people caring for seriously ill
patients. Notice the use of the active verb "offers." Prospective
readers want to know what they will be getting for their money.
Applying those three elements, you could say, "'A Caregiver's
Story' is a how-to book that informs and encourages anyone caring
for a seriously ill patient." 

Another tool when creating your marketing statement involves
playing with various sentences and scenes. For example: "_____(Your
book)______what you have always wanted to know."  This
fill-in-the-blank exercise could translate into "'Raising
Teenagers' shares secrets that you have always wanted to know."

Or, try "________explains how you can______." This exercise could
read, "'Raising Teenagers' explains how you can cope with the
emotional roller coasters of teenage emotions." Try filling in the
blanks and perhaps creating new patterns to try. You will find
yourself getting better with each example. This exercise serves two
purposes: crafting an effective marketing statement, and pulling
you more deeply into the purpose of your book and the needs of your
readers. Write down all the exercises and practice saying them. Try
various versions out on your family and friends, watching their
reactions. The object is to catch the interest of prospective
readers in 30 seconds. 
Take your time forming your statement. First, brainstorm as many
one- or two-sentence statements as you can. Set them aside for a
while, and then look at them with a clear eye and mind. Pick out
one statement to pare and improve. Try it out on friends, family,
and whoever can give you valuable and honest feedback. If you
participate in a writing group, members can help. Have your
potential readers ask questions about the book's content. Nothing
brings out your book's focus like hearing prospective readers ask
questions about what they can learn from reading your work. Once
you have settled on a useful statement, memorize it so it's as
familiar as your own name.  

To analyze your book a step further, ask yourself these types of
questions. What approach do you take in your book? Is it your
purpose to entertain? Amuse? Inform? Or do you strive for a
combination of all three? It's helpful to know when you've made
someone laugh or cry -- feel happy or sad. What are you giving your
readers? How will reading your book change someone's life? This
feedback lets you know you will be reaching readers and how you
will affect them. You succeed when you take your reader to a deeper
emotional and intellectual level.

Again using the example of a book on caregiving, think how you make
that topic come alive in the mind of your reader. Will you talk
about the pain and the joy of the experience? Or do you take a
clinical approach with facts and figures about current research on
caregiving? Imagine your readers and what you can teach them about
your topic. What encouragement and inspiration will they take away
from reading your book?

Endorsements are another important aspect of selling your book.
Even with self-publishing, you can usually get at least several
short endorsements for the back cover. Most self-publishers and all
traditional publishers send you what is called a galley. A galley
is an unbound copy of your book for you to proofread. If you are
self-publishing, send back the corrected galley along with the
endorsements you've collected to the design team for them to
include on the back cover. 

Most royalty houses take care of the endorsements, but it's a good
idea to have a couple of endorsements ready in case editors want
them. To prepare for this part of promoting your book, browse the
section of the bookstore or library in which your book will appear.
Check the back covers or front section for names of endorsers and
what they say about a particular book. Make a list of those you
might ask to write comments on your book. Try to include at least
one name that is widely known to readers.

If you have endorsements or a foreword written by an expert on your
topic, be sure to include them with your book proposal. If, for
example, your book's topic is health care, you might approach a
health care professional who specializes in the same field of
medicine as the topic of your book. Of course, each of these
individuals gets a complimentary copy of the book when it comes off
the press. 

Many times you will find that you have filled the needs of readers
when you least expect it. You might get fan mail. Treasure these
messages and return the correspondence, especially if you plan to
publish another book on the same kind of topic. You will be
building a readership, the most solid way to build a base for
selling. One satisfied reader will tell others about your book,
thereby triggering interest which will result in sales. Operating a
successful business in any field involves satisfied customers
recommending your service or product. Writing is no exception. 

In writing a book, you are telling a story to one imaginary reader.
In selling a book, you are reaching for a broad audience with a
marketing statement containing universal appeal. Once you have
mastered that tool you are ready to offer your book in any
situation in which you are trying to attract readers. 

Ann Brandt's latest book, "A Caregiver's Story: Coping with a Loved
One's Life-Threatening Illness", is available in ebook format.
Visit her website at http://www.annkbrandt.com

Copyright (c) 2010 by Ann Brandt

For more information on writing successful nonfiction book
proposals check out all our articles at: 


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. 


Writer's Block Help
Don't be fooled by the title: This site has tons of material on
just about every aspect of creative writing, plus a free newsletter.

This is a crisp, easy-to-ready, friendly and informative blog by
freelance writer and accredited teacher Suzannah Windsor Freeman.
Full of useful articles on such things as productivity, fiction
writing, dealing with self-doubt and measuring your progress as a
writer, this site has something for everyone. Subscribers to the
free monthly newsletter also get a copy of her book, "Read Better,
Write Better."

This is another blog with tonnes of useful information from you.
Write to Done is all about the craft and the art of writing, and
covers many topics : journalism, blog writing, freelance writing,
fiction, non-fiction, getting a book deal, the business of writing
and the habit of writing. 


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:  December 31, 2010
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS: Short fiction inspired by Arnold Jansen op de Haar's novel
'King of Tuzla'.  You are asked to write a short story set in a
conflict zone. The story can take place anywhere in the world and
be set in the past or present but not in the future. Your tale
could unfold, for example, during the troubles in Northern Ireland.
It could just as well describe life in a refugee camp during the
genocide in Rwanda in 1994, or take place in the present time
inside a remote village in Afghanistan. Yet, a story about a
terrorist, a Somali pirate or a victim of the bombing of the London
Underground will provide equally valid settings. The key
requirement is that the story is told from the perspective of one
main character. You can find examples of life in the war zone in
'King of Tuzla', a novel recently published by Holland Park Press.
See website for excerpts and purchasing information.  1000 words
PRIZE:  100
URL:  http://tinyurl.com/3xl2xzy

DEADLINE:  January 15, 2011
GENRE:    Nonfiction
DETAILS:   Entrants are challenged to write a complete, 12+
chapters e-book in 2 months - and get as much feedback on their
writing as possible! Choose a topic you're passionate about - you
keep FULL copyright - AND YOU CAN SELL YOUR EBOOK at the end of it
PRIZE:  $200
URL: http://publishizer.com/chapters

DEADLINE:  January 15, 2011
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: Contest for an essay about teaching and/or writing,
published in the previous calendar year. 
PRIZE: $500
URL:  http://www.ncte.org/awards/alphaawardslist 

DEADLINE:  January 15, 2011
OPEN TO: Canadian citizens or landed immigrants attending junior
high or high school. Grades 7 - 12. 
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS:  1-2 poems, no more than 50 lines each
PRIZE: C$350 in each category. 2nd prizes of C$300 and 3rd prizes
of C$250 in each age category. Winners will be published in the
League's poetry e-zine for youth and receive a one year membership.
URL: http://www.youngpoets.ca/markets_and_contests 

DEADLINE: January 31, 2011
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: Entries should be an original, previously unpublished
story of exactly 100 words (excluding title). There is no limit to
the number of entries you can make. All stories should be submitted
under the writer's real name. 
PRIZE: School children aged 11 and under: 
The prize shall consist of 1,000 for the winner and 1,000 for
their school.  School children aged 12-18:
The prize shall consist of 1,000 for the winner and 1,000 for
their school.  Competition for adults aged 18 and over: The prize
shall consist of a cheque for 5,000. 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/2duj8xd

DEADLINE: February 28, 2011
GENRE: Books
DETAILS:  From Dumfries to Dundee, Glasgow to Aberdeen and
everywhere in between, we are looking for Scottish children's
novels with a difference. Fantastic fantasies, awesome adventures,
and sensational sci-fi - the Kelpies range of Scottish children's
novels has them all. But we are still looking for more. Do you have
a cracking story, with strong characters and believable dialogue
which children won't be able to put down? Then we want to read it!
Manuscripts must be set wholly, or mainly, in Scotland and
incorporate subject matter to which today's children can relate. 
Manuscripts should be suitable for children aged roughly between
eight and twelve years old. 40,000 - 70,000 words. 
PRIZES:  2000 and publication
URL: http://www.florisbooks.co.uk/kelpiesprize/enter.html


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
What's the Story? Try Your Hand at Fiction and Learn the Art of
Writing, by Rudolph Weingartner

The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals
(Second Edition), By Moira Allen

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.
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor