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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 11:08           12,503 subscribers           April 21, 2011
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THE NEWLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Writing Advice from the Ancients, 
by Dawn Copeman 
THE WRITING DESK: Resubmitting Work, by Moira Allen
FEATURE: Doing Your Homework: Tips for Cracking the Educational
Market, by Christine Venzon
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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Writing Advice from the Ancients
As you know ,I'm under a bit of a black dog cloud at the moment and
not surprisingly this has affected my writing.  I reached one of
those stages that most writers reach, where they find it hard, no,
impossible to write. 

The words would not come.  Confidence sinks as you try yet again to
construct a basic sentence.  Then comes the fear that you'll never
manage to write again, coupled with the conclusion (everything is
black and white to depressives,) that you could never really write
in the first place. 

Add to this the fact that my other job as a teacher is in jeopardy
due to budget cuts, and it is not a healthy writing mix.  

So I took some time off. I decided to take a complete break from
writing and thinking about writing. I decided to do something I'd
always wanted to do and which would cost me nothing but time to do.
I decided to start to learn about the classics. 

I'm already learning Latin with my daughter and so I took a few
books from the library help me learn more about Ancient Greece and

I was more than a little surprised then, when reading Peter Jones'
"An Intelligent Person's Guide to the Classics" to find Aristotle
and Cicero giving advice on freelance writing! 

Okay, that's not what they were doing.  They were giving advice on
rhetoric, the art of persuasion, but it rang clear to me that this
advice is also tailor-made for writers. 

Aristotle advises us to be clear and specific in our writing. Use
simple words, keep sentences short and avoid vagueness.  Cicero
added that you should match the style of your writing to the
reader.  Both stress the importance of correct grammar; in fact,
using correct grammar was taken for granted. 

Then turning to the structure of the speech, or in our case,
article, the ancients stressed that the opening statement or
Exordium was the most important part of the speech.  A good opener
should make the audience want to read further.   Sounds like the
recipe for a hook to me.  They state that you should identify what
points you will be covering and tempt people to read on. 

The main body of the article, the Narratio, should be brief, clear
and logical and finish with a conclusion (conclusio) that proves
you have set out all you promised in the introduction. 

Wow! When I read this chapter I was flabbergasted.  Here I was
convinced I was finished with writing and discovered that writing
hasn't finished with me. 

I might be in a slump, but I still DO know what to do; I've just
got to take baby steps now to doing it again.  I'll let you know
how I get on.  

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor


CHILDREN'S WRITERS' PUBLISHING NEWS Over 1,000 children's editors
have it delivered to their desk each month. You can too - and get
your first two issues delivered FREE. Maximize your chances to get
published.  http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AJ876

The Writing Desk:  Resubmitting Work
Q: Can I revise a story and resubmit it to the same market that
rejected it?

Is it acceptable to revise a story and resubmit it to the same
magazine that rejected it?  Can it be sent to a different editor at
the same magazine?

A: The answer is generally "no."  Are you referring to a fiction
story or a magazine article?  In either case, most editors remember
what they have rejected, and don't appreciate seeing it a second
time, unless they have specifically asked for (or at least
encouraged) a resubmission.

Don't bother sending it to another editor.  One editor usually
handles submissions -- so if you send it to another, that person
will simply pass it on to the "right" editor, which, presumably, is
the person who already rejected it once.  You won't find a
situation where one editor accepts what another rejects; it doesn't
work that way.

It would be far better to polish the piece and try another market.

Q: If I rewrite a piece of fiction, would it be a "new" work?

Would you consider a piece of fiction that has been rewritten, from
a different point of view and/or in length, to be a 'new' work by
an author? I know of people who have done this and successfully
resold a story as a 'new' story. I'm considering it myself with one
of my stories that lends itself well to being elaborated on into a
longer story.

A: That depends a lot on how much it has been rewritten.  For
example, I doubt that you could submit it to the same publication
that either accepted or rejected an earlier version of the same
story -- to them, it would simply be a rewrite, it would never be
"new."  If the story is going to a market that reaches readers of
the first publication, again, you might have a problem here.
Rather than trying to think of it as "new," think of it as
"expanded."  That way, you could say that "portions of this story
originally appeared under the title 'XXXX' in Such-and-Such

Q: Should I send material to a different editor at the same

About a year ago I started sending my stories to various magazines.
The one I really want to get into is Guideposts. I have been
working with one editor, and while she has been polite and somewhat
encouraging I have yet to become published at Guideposts. My
question is... Would it be wrong to start sending things to a
different editor there? 

A: Generally, what you suggest is not a good idea.  In any
publication, editors are a close-knit bunch.  They talk to each
other, have lunch together, and pretty much all know what the
others are doing.  It's not as if different editors are separate
and independent -- that one will make a decision that another has
chosen not to make.

In addition, editors generally have different tasks.  It's not a
situation in which different editors all have the independent
ability to determine what goes into a publication.  Usually, one
editor has that responsibility.  I don't know what this editor's
title is, but if she's the editor you've been working with, she is
probably the only editor you should be working with.  Even if you
sent your material to another editor, it would most likely end up
back on the same editor's desk eventually.

May I suggest another approach?  Instead of focusing all your
energy on getting published in one particular magazine, look
around.  Look for other markets.  Look for ways to broaden your
skills and experience.  Yes, we all have a "favorite" market we'd
like to crack -- but our success as writers depends not on cracking
that one ideal market, but by making ourselves marketable across a
broad range of publications.  By focusing your efforts only on
Guideposts, you are robbing yourself of many other opportunities
for publication that could be more accessible.

Guideposts is a very difficult market to crack.  It accepts very
little original material from freelancers -- many of its
"freelance" stories are actually "as told to" pieces, in which the
writer works closely with an editor in the writing of the story. 
Guideposts is looking, in general, for a specific type of "idea"
that they can work up into a story that fits their format.  They
are very nearly as difficult to break into as Reader's Digest (and
that's a toughie).

However, if you choose to move on to other markets, and develop
your writing credentials by selling to other publications, you will
be able to come back to Guideposts one day with a much more
impressive resume -- and a better chance of breaking in.  You will
also have a chance to develop your writing skills, in the ongoing
process of learning and submitting to new markets.
Don't let the lack of response of a single publication discourage
you.  Putting all your eggs in one basket is literary death.  Move
on; leave them behind.  Let yourself grow.  And who knows?  One
day, Guideposts may come to you!
Copyright (c) 2011 by Moira Allen


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http://sigridmacdonald.blogspot.com (sigridmac"at"rogers.com). 


Australian Author Proposes In Debut Novel
Christopher Currie proposed to his girlfriend on the last page of
his debut novel, "The Ottoman Hotel."  After thanking his
publishers etc, Currie proposed to his girlfriend.  For more on
this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/6lf9wey

Twilight and Brave New World on Books to Ban List
The American Library Association has just published its list of the
top ten books that parents wanted banned in 2010.  Twilight made it
in at number ten, but Aldous Huxley's Brave New World made it in at
number three, the only classic title to remain on the list. To find
out more about the books people would like to ban, visit: 

Almost 50% of Americans Get News from Mobile Devices
The State of the Media Report for 2011 by the Project for
Excellence in Journalism shows that 47 percent of all Americans now
use their mobile devices, cell phones, ipads, netbooks etc as their
main method of obtaining the news.  This could explain why they are
predicting that newsrooms will be around 30 percent smaller than
they were in 2000. To read the full report visit: 


Finance Writers Needed for new Publication                         
Your Little Black Book International is a new magazine on 
finance, investment and money in all its forms.  They are 
looking for contributors with financial experience to write 
for them.  Articles will be around 1000 words in length and 
payment between $0.50 and $1 per word.  For more
information visit: http://tinyurl.com/67we2lw

Content Writers Needed 
London Brokers are seeking content writers to write on a wide
variety of topics.  They offer a choice of articles for you to
write and pay weekly by PayPal.  For more information visit: 

Experienced Copy Editors Needed
You must have a minimum of two years' copy editing experience and
pass the company's copyediting test.  They pay an average of $3.00
per page. For more information visit: 


Christian publisher offering excellent royalty rates to fresh &
seasoned authors of Christian theology, fiction and lifestyle, or
writers of fictions exploring faith and morality issues. For
details visit http://www.blueboxpublishing.co.uk


FEATURE:  Doing Your Homework: Tips for Cracking the Educational
By Christine Venzon

A teacher recently asked me for advice on breaking into educational
writing. It made sense -- I have 18 years experience in the
business. At the same time, I felt a little rusty, like a
middle-aged, married lady giving tips on picking up guys. Plus,
despite signs of returning health, the publishing world is still
weak-kneed from the recessionary flu.

But after recommending some resources (and checking them out
myself), I don't think my aspiring colleague will lack for
opportunities. Yes, a leaner industry is emerging from the
recession. Some jobs have been outsourced overseas. Some divisions
have met their demise. But the useful life of the printed textbook
is only about three years; like laying hens, replacements are
continually needed. Also, the drive to stay competitive in this age
of high-speed electronic information is opening doors in digital

Textbook writing 101
Schools don't buy textbooks -- they buy textbook programs. That
includes the student edition, plus a slew of supplemental material,
called ancillaries, to help teachers use it more effectively: a
workbook with review questions, enrichment booklets with articles
that further explore specific topics, and possibly a handbook with
lab activities. Teacher's editions are chock-full of classroom
strategies, suggested resources, and nuggets of information to
amuse and enlighten. (Did you know the tomato was once called mala
insana - "unhealthy apple"?) 

Add to that an expanding array of electronic components: test banks
that let teachers design their own tests; companion websites with
articles and self-check quizzes for students; Web-based lessons
that direct students to use selected Internet resources. 

All of this material employs an army of writers and editors. But
while options abound, the writing is in many ways restricted.
"Educational publishing, particularly among major publishers, is
highly structured," says Sue Scott, an editor in Peoria, IL. A
long-time editorial director for McGraw-Hill, Scott now freelances
in retirement. "Textbook and textbook programs usually are
carefully outlined before they are written. State curricula,
analysis of competitors, focus groups with teachers, educational
trends, and other factors are blended into the plan." 

In other words, you're told what to write, and how. Writing in
textbooks must be -- well, textbook, answerable to The Chicago
Manual of Style and written at a grade level that matches the
reading skills of your audience. Some topics must be covered to
meet standards set by local and state education boards. Other,
thorny issues are avoided according to the individual publisher's
sensibilities. Length margins are slim, as text competes with
headers, photos, and other space-eating elements that add appeal
and help with learning.

On the other hand, these dictates call for a kind of poetic
creativity. You're challenged to communicate effectively, to sound
fresh and say it all, without straying outside the lines (e.g.,
making molecular bonding relevant and understandable to seventh
graders in 250 words or less). They require the ability to shift
professional gears easily. You might write on decorating a bedroom
one day, avoiding drugs the next. 

You also need professional humility. Says Linda Perrin, a freelance
editor in Yardley, Pennsylvania: "It's useful... to have an
awareness that (your) work will often be heavily edited, and a
willingness to turn on a dime when the rules change." When, say,
the marketing team decides the student projects you're writing need
an Internet-based activity as well. 

Though not essential, teaching experience can help with writing
realistically. Cheryl Duksta, a school teacher turned editor living
in Austin, Texas, gives this example: "I remember hiring a writer
for an art book who wrote a great lesson on papier-mache for
kindergartners. Only problem was... no management information was
included. A first-year teacher trying to do papier-mache with a
room full of kindergartners following the writer's activity would
have had paste and soggy newspaper littering her room and chaos on
her hands."  

Analyzing the product
As with any market research, nothing beats a thorough, hands-on
inspection of the product. "It's useful," says Perrin "to determine
which books would interest them as writers -- subject matter,
reading level, and so on," so survey a variety of materials. If
you're a parent or know people who are, ask to borrow the kids'
books for a night. Otherwise, contact the nearest university with a
teacher education program. It likely has a teaching (or curriculum)
material center filled with a range of components, which may be
available to the public.

What should you look for as you peruse the pages? In particular

*        Subject matter. Most tables of contents are fairly detailed. In
the teacher's edition, also look at the scope and sequence and
correlations charts. Together they identify the topics and concepts
covered in the book and cite specific locations.

*        Organization. How is information organized? Depending on the
subject, it may be chronological (as in history), or from basic
concepts to more complex (as in science). How are units and
chapters within them arranged? For instance, some books are divided
in halves of theory first and then practical application. 

*        Visual elements. How are photos, charts, and other graphics used
to support and clarify written discussions?

*        Special features. Chapters sometimes include activities or
information with recurring themes set off in boxes or design. A
world cultures book might highlight historical figures in each
region covered and ask students to compare their contributions to
counterparts in the United States.

*        Voice. Textbook writers strive to "speak" authoritatively yet
still engage the reader. The voice used for third graders will
differ from the one used with junior high students. 

*        The ancillaries. How do articles build on the information in the
textbook? How do activities reinforce concepts?

Don't overlook teachers' opinions about a textbook program.
Teachers make most of the buying decisions regarding supplemental
materials. They know what works and what falls flat. Publisher
representatives solicit their advice. You should too.

Making first contact
Once you think you have a feel for this type of writing, whose door
do you knock on and how do you get your foot inside? For teachers,
Scott advises: "Attend conferences and talk with publishers'
representatives. Express an interest in becoming a reviewer, as
well as in writing, and ask whom to contact." It worked for Duksta:
"A friend told me about a textbook publisher that was looking for
teachers specifically to review some materials. I... completed the
reviews, and then they hired me to do some other projects. Things
took off from there."

For others, Perrin suggests visiting publishers' websites to get an
idea of where to offer your services, "to know which publishers
publish which kinds of materials."  

Besides the big-name companies (like the McGraw-Hill and Pearson
empires), check out smaller development houses and school library
publishers. Development houses are something like general
contractors. Publishers sometimes hire them to produce a textbook
program. They in turn hire writers, editors, illustrators, and
proofreaders to create it. School library publishers may produce
teacher's guides and other supplements for their books.

Approach possible clients by asking whether they work with
freelancers and if you might send your resume with a few writing
samples. If invited, submit handouts or activities rather than
chapter content. "Ancillary materials... are less heavily
scrutinized (than textbooks)," says Perrin, "and they give writers
exposure to the overall requirements of educational materials." You
might repurpose something from your portfolio. A poem on honeybees
might morph into a fill-in-the blank for first graders. Got an
argument between pre-teen wizards in your middle-grade fantasy
novel? Add critical thinking questions ("Why do you think...?
Imagine that, instead of...") for a small-group discussion on
conflict resolution. However, creating a new piece lets you
practice your research skills, which are as important as writing
ability. Either way, model the format after examples culled from
your research.

Improving your odds
Industry trends bode well for writers who are familiar with digital
formats and editing software. Publishers see digital products as
the growth area of the future, as schools see the advantages of
computerized materials in helping teachers customize lessons -- to
create supplemental materials that are tailored to advanced or
lagging students, for example.

Duksta recommends following trends in pedagogy, which can change
every few years, only as needed: "Often textbook publishers will
toss out the buzz words in writer's guidelines, and writers can
Google for more information." Also, "look at the front of recently
published teacher's editions for the types of theory the book is
addressing." Duksta taps her teacher friends to hear what new
instructional methods and materials they learn during in-service
training. She then researches those topics online.

Editors may give direction, adds Perrin, by "provid(ing) background
materials on learning styles, skills to be tested, (and) types of
questions to ask" for the project.

Writers who master the particularities of this field often earn a
steady client. "The company I worked for kept a list of
contributors who worked for us in the past," says Perrin, "and we
used those who worked out as regularly as we could." 

They get a respectable paycheck too. Flat, per-project fees are
common, which may help novices decide what to charge when given the
opportunity. To set competitive rates you need to weigh the size of
project and the publisher, and your own experience. "My rates are
kind of all over the place," says Duksta. "I think I do get more
project rates than hourly, but if I broke it down, I'd say I make
an average of $30 an hour for writing." 

Scott suggests an approach for newcomers, a proposal along the
lines of "my hourly rate is 'blank,' but since I have not worked
for you before, I would be willing to do this job, as a sample, for
On the other hand, as the ad says, making a positive impact on
kids' lives is priceless. Good educational writing encourages
enthusiastic learners. Perhaps more importantly, it reaches out to
those (Did you know yeast raises bread by burping and farting?) who
need convincing. 

Resources: Potential Employers and Others
http://www.the-efa.org. Website of the Editorial Freelancers
Association. Check the Resources page to buy books on writing and
editing, and for links to useful online references.
http://www.aepweb.org. The Internet home of the Association of
Educational Publishers. Check the "editorial" and "product
development" sections under the Industry Services Directory tab for
potential clients. (Many of the links are broken, but the URLs

http://educationwriting.blogspot.com. Laura Coulter and a dedicated
cast of contributors post leads on job openings in the educational
field and beyond.

http://abpaonline.org/mc/do?sitePageId=83298&orgId=abpa. The
American Book Producers Association is a trade group for book
packagers. The site includes an extensive membership list.

http://echristensen.atspace.com/markets.html Children's author Ev
Christensen's page of links to publishers of educational material,
including children's book publishers.


Christine Venzon is a freelance writer based in Peoria, IL. In
addition to countless high school textbooks, her credits include
short fiction in teens and kids magazines, and essays and articles
in Christian publications. She is a regular contributor to
HowStuffWorks.com. She is passionate about sustainable lifestyles,
fair trade, and flutter-nutter sandwiches. 

Copyright 2011 Christine Venzon

For more information on writing nonfiction for children visit: 


An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what
is happening and show you how to self-publish your own ebooks.


Concerned Journalist: Tools for Students
If you want to become a journalist or just want to learn some
journalist techniques, such as tips for better interviews, then
check out this set of tools for student journalists. 
Flash Fiction Chronicles
Flash Fiction Chronicles is a blogzine to help all writers and
potential writers of flash fiction.  They have a huge archive,
including such topics as twitter fiction, as well as market
listings and prompts.  

911 Writer's Block
This takes a while to load but it IS worth it.  Imagine a helpline
you could ring when you just can't think of what to write or when
you can't get started or when your plot just comes to a full stop.
This site by Webook provides just that. Make sure you have your
sound turned on. I've just found this site and am using it every
day right now.  http://www.webook.com/911writersblock


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: May 5, 2011
GENRE:    Short Stories
OPEN TO: UK nationals aged 18+ with some publication clips. 
DETAILS:  One story, 8000 words maximum.   
PRIZE:    15,000, 3000, 500 plus broadcast on BBC.
URL:  http://www.theshortstory.org.uk/nssp/2011.php 

DEADLINE: May 7, 2011  
GENRE:   Short Stories
DETAILS: 1-4 stories, maximum 3,500 words each on the theme of
"Last Contact".
PRIZE: $200, $100. $50 plus publication    
URL:  http://www.parsec-sff.org/contest/contest11.html 

DEADLINE: May 16, 2011
GENRE: Short Stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS: A distinguished original essay or work of short fiction
that embodies an implicit love of fly-fishing, respect for the
sport and the natural world in which it takes place, and high
literary values. 3,500 words maximum.
PRIZE:  $2000, $750, $250 plus publication. 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/63pkvn6

DEADLINE: May 31, 2011
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music,
social history, literature, politics, art, film and theatre,
particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-20th century
America. Your writing should appeal to a reader with these
characteristics. 1000 - 5000 words.
PRIZE: $100 plus publication 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/yeuyaah

DEADLINE:  May 31, 2011
GENRE: Books
DETAILS:  15,000 - 20,000 words mystery novella. See site for
detailed guidelines and suggestions. 
PRIZE:  $1000 and publication in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery
URL: http://tinyurl.com/6z23wps  

DEADLINE: June 1, 2011
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS:  Poetry on the theme of disability.  Two categories
competing: open and disabled entrants.  Entrants in the open
category must write a poem about disability.  Entrants in the
disabled category can write a poem on any theme. Maximum 75 lines
per poem; 1-2 poems per author for open contest, 1-3 poems for
disabled contest   
PRIZE: $50, $35, $20 in each category plus publication in an
URL: http://www.wordgathering.com/issue17/contestguidelines.html  


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AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women, 
by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Patty Ratty and her New Tap Shoes, 
by Marion McKibben

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer (Second Edition), 
by Moira Allen

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