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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 11:14           12,712 subscribers            July 21, 2011
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Scrabbling for Work, by Dawn Copeman 
THE WRITING DESK: Invoices, by Moira Allen
FEATURE:  The Flash Fiction Market, by C.M. Saunders
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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Scrabbling for Work 

In the interests of trying to find information to help our
inquiring writer, I have been looking into the world of content
writing.  It is a strange and competitive world.  I thought getting
into normal freelance writing was hard enough, but from what I've
seen so far, the world of online writing is a lot more vicious and
for a lot less money. 

I know we are in a recession, regardless of what the politicians
say.  I know my earnings have gone down and the cost of living has
gone up. So I know that in an area such as freelance writing, we
can expect a sudden surge in people wanting to give it a go, people
looking for any extra way of making money.  What I didn't realise,
until very recently, is the sheer numbers of people scrabbling
around for work that pays, well, peanuts.  

True, we live in a virtual world where we are competing with
writers from countries with lower costs of living, but how can
anyone write 100 articles for $5?  And what's more, why are so many
writers willing to bid and compete for such work?  Is this
considered normal? Or do we just have an awful lot of badly
informed would-be writers out there who think that this is the only
way to become a writer? 

When I started writing in 2004 it was expected that some of your
first clips would probably be non-paying, but then you could work
your way up to paying clips.  No one objected to that and for those
of us who persevered, it worked. We gained experience and
eventually gained paying work. But how do these beginners move on?
What can they expect to move on to? 

Maybe they can move onto Search Engine Optimization (SEO) articles;
surely they pay better?  Not necessarily. I've seen sites that ask
not only for one article but three versions of one article for the
princely sum of $3 and all with SEO words embedded in them.  But
I'm sure I'm not getting to see the whole picture. 

One respondent has said she does make a very good wage from SEO. 
Many, however, spend their time scrabbling away at the bottom
before giving up disillusioned with the world of writing.  

If I were starting out today and was told this was the only way to
become a writer, I know I would give up. I really need your help
here.  What have your experiences been?  Is this the new way of
getting into freelance writing?  Is this the shape of things to
come?  Will we all soon be scrabbling around for work in this

Personally, I hope not. 

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor

P.S.  On Seeing The Light
Just to add my personal experiences to Moira's editorial. 

We have had the 100 watt light bulb ban in the UK for a few years
now and now our 60 watt bulbs have also recently disappeared.  We
have to wait ages for our energy-saving bulbs to warm up and light
the room. We've had to buy more lamps to place around the house so
that we can read, write or sew on an evening.  I do all my
daughter's homeschooling in the one room that gets a lot of natural
light; it's impossible to work with just artificial light.  If you
want to live like we do in the UK, then let them ban your 100 watt


Over 1,000 children's editors have it delivered to their desk each
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Maximize your chances to get published.


BEGINNERS! LEARN THE BASICS of writing for magazines and online
publishers FREE from an experienced freelancer. Learn how to find
ideas & markets, write queries that sell and get paid for your
writing. Sign-up for free weekly writing tips.


The Writing Desk: Invoices 

By Moira Allen

What is an invoice?  How do I submit one?
Q: I've recently been contacted via email concerning a travel piece
I submitted to a publication.  The editor liked it and would like
me to submit another article.  My question is, what is an invoice? 
Is it the same thing as a cover letter?  She asked me to submit an
invoice with this next submission, but I'm not sure what she's
asking for.  

A: An "invoice" is a bill.  Often, publishers want a writer to
submit a bill for their work (even though you may already have
signed a contract) because it provides a vital piece of
documentation for the accounting department.
Your invoice can be very simple.  It needs to contain the following

INVOICE (put the word "invoice" at the top so that the recipient
knows exactly what this is)
FROM: Your name, address, telephone, other contact (e.g., fax,
e-mail), Social Security Number (important!)
TO: Name of publication Attn: (editor's name) Address of publication
FOR: (title of article)
AMOUNT: (The amount you agreed upon with the editor)

And that's it!

You can create your invoice to look like a letter, or you can
design an easy form -- for example, if you have spreadsheet
software, it's easy to make up a simple invoice form. Your software
may even provide an invoice template.  Another option is to
purchase a package of blank invoice forms at an office supply
store.  You can get these in a variety of sizes, and they come with
multiple carbons.  The invoice forms make it easy for you to see
what information is required.  (Most include a space for "purchase
order," but this is rarely relevant to writers.)  Be sure to keep a
copy for yourself!
The social security number is important (if you're a U.S. Citizen)
because the publication will send a form to the IRS declaring any
monies paid to you, if they are over a certain amount. (Some send
in the form no matter how little is paid, but it's only required if
the amount is over $599 within one year). You'll receive a copy of
that form for your own records.  Many publications won't pay a
writer until they receive the social security number, regardless of
how much your payment actually is (i.e., even if it's well under
Now my question to you:  Has the editor agreed to purchase your
first article?  What agreements have you entered into regarding the
first piece, before submitting the second?  While being asked to
submit another article is great, be sure that you've worked out all
the necessary details regarding rights, payment, etc., on piece #1
before you commit to piece #2. Also, find out if the editor wants
to be invoiced for the first article as well -- you may be able to
do that on the same invoice, or you might want to submit two
separate invoices.
Does the editor want you to e-mail the invoice?  In that case,
you'd use a very simple format like I've shown above.  My
preference, however, is to fax or mail invoices whenever possible,
as this gives both sides a better-quality hard-copy.  (I reserve
this type of negotiations by e-mail to publications that I already
know well and trust.)

How do I create an invoice?  Also, can I "nudge up" the pay rate?
Q: A newspaper that printed a feature article of mine has since
told me that I need to invoice them in order to be paid. As I have
done most of my writing overseas, I have never been asked to
invoice before. The features editor told me, via the telephone,
that $100 was all the paper could pay.  I really have two
questions, then: the first one being -- how do I compose an
invoice? Secondly, after reading some inspiring words from a
writers' fair pay advocate (hear, hear!), may I nudge the pay up to

A: See the previous question for an answer on "what is an
As to the second question, I think it is probably unlikely that
you'll be able to "nudge up" payment, as you have already
"accepted" the quoted fee of $100 by permitting your material to be
published. If the material had not been published yet, you would
still be in a bargaining position, but having once said "yes" to a
quoted fee, you are bound by that.  The editor has no reason to
give you more, because the piece has already run (it's not like if
she says no, she's not going to have the material).
The time to start nudging is the next time you submit a piece to
the publication.  It would also help if you could track the
response to the last one; if you get a lot of positive feedback,
you can point out that your last article was very popular and so
another article by you would also be a "draw" and therefore worth a
bit more.

Copyright 2011 Moira Allen


Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines
or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max.
on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed
or typed for a chance to win cash prizes. Postmark deadline: July 31
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details!


Amazon offers textbook rental
Amazon.com is offering students in the US with Kindles the
opportunity to rent their textbooks.  Students can rent the books
from thirty days to a full year and can buy the book at any time
they wish.  Renting the textbook will only cost 20% of the purchase
price.  For more on this story visit:  http://tinyurl.com/4y88o2a

Radio 4 Cuts Short Story Purchases
In the United Kingdom, Radio 4 was one of the last places where you
could hear a short story.  They used to air three a week, many from
new authors.  Now, however, they have cut their output to one story
a week, causing much distress amongst literary circles.  For more
on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/3ueds6r

Non-Profit Newsrooms Lead to Biased Reporting
A study by the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism has
found that in the current economic climate a new type of newsroom
is emerging: one that makes no profits.  They say that this type of
newsroom tends to be less impartial in reporting. For more on this
story visit: 


how to negotiate agreements, choose pricing strategies, define
tasks, deal with difficult customers, and much more in "What
to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants"
(2nd Edition) by Laurie Lewis. In print and Kindle from Amazon
at http://tinyurl.com/setyourfees


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Writers Wanted at eHow Money
This is part of the demand studios group and payment is around $15
for a 300-word article.  They need more finance, money and business
writer.  See website for more details:  

Punk Publishing Seeking Nonfiction Books
Punk Publishing is looking for books on travel, the outdoors or
quirky things. Submit a synopsis and a sample chapter.

Romance Novels Wanted
Sourcebooks are looking for new or experienced romance writers. 
They will accept unagented submissions in the romance genre. For
detailed guidelines visit: http://tinyurl.com/3mfnh36


This inspiring, practical new book will help you write
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FEATURE:  The Flash Fiction Market
By C.M. Saunders

Flash fiction has been with us in one form or another for
millennia. One could even go so far as to say that people have
always written very short stories. However, it wasn't until around
a decade ago that it first began to be recognized as a genre unto
itself. The problem then was that the parameters governing what can
safely be called 'flash' fiction and what can't were never firmly
established. The rules were as ambiguous as fiction itself. Indeed,
the question is still hotly debated, but now that everything has
settled down a little, most people are agreed that the term 'flash
fiction' should refer to complete pieces of fiction amounting to a
total of no more than 1000 words in length, usually considerably

As Lori Titus, editor of the acclaimed Flashes in the Dark,
succinctly explains: "Our ezine was conceptualized as a place that
helps introduce new writers to readers who enjoy a good story but
do not have a lot of time to read. With the demands of life always
increasing, and our time to get things done always shrinking, flash
provides a great respite, a vehicle for the imagination. We want
fiction that reaches out and grabs. It can be a gut punch or a
passionate kiss, but the reader must feel something." 

Flashes in the Dark. 

On the subject of what, exactly, constitutes flash fiction,
Mslexia, which champions writing by women from all over the world,
says: "This is a new literary form that is growing in popularity,
especially on the web. The ideal piece of flash fiction tells a
complete story in as few words as possible." Mslexia is one of a
growing band of publications that provide potential contributors
with a theme or 'prompt' on which the submission is to be based. 

Mslexia. http://www.mslexia.co.uk/info/submit.php

If the notion of contributor-friendly prompts inspires you, then
you may want to check out Flash Fiction Friday, an innovative new
web-based community writing project. You are given a bi-weekly
prompt in the form of a photograph or the first sentence of a story
and the rest is up to you.

Flash Fiction Friday. http://www.flashfictionfriday.com/

Traditionally, flash fiction tends to be minimalist in nature and
has relied heavily on surprise endings and clever plot twists, an
ethos to which some purists still adhere. When writing flash, don't
forget that to make your story work there are some hard and fast
rules you would be ill-advised to stray from. As we all know most
good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end, yet this feat
can be extraordinarily hard to accomplish in 1000 words or less.
It's comparatively easy to blather on and on, painting gloriously
lush landscapes with your visionary words, but what flash does is
eliminate all the filler and trappings. You are brought right back
to basics, to arrive in a place where every single word counts.
This makes many writers think about the craft in a different way.
You are forced to re-evaluate your natural style, and come to
realize that making sacrifices is all part of the game. Writing
flash fiction is good practice for any writer, but it can be an
especially useful exercise for new and emerging scribes. It teaches
you to prioritize and get right to the essence of your story
quickly. Once the essentials are in place you can 'hang meat off
the bones' to your heart's content. Or at least as much as your
wordcount allows!

Reflecting the changing tastes of the reading public, there are now
a multitude of publications, both print and web-based, that either
deal exclusively in the flash medium or generally lean in that
direction. Some are genre-specific, while others accept pieces from
across the spectrum, purely on the basis of length.

Though virtually every conceivable genre and sub-genre is served by
various publications, flash lends itself especially well to
contemporary experimental and speculative fiction, and this is
reflected by the sheer quantity (and quality) of titles currently
available. All those listed below are paying markets.

Untied Shoelaces of the Mind. 
Liquid Imagination. 
Dreams and Nightmares. 

It is only a short hop (perhaps through a worm hole or time-warp?)
from experimental and speculative fiction to Sci-fi, which would
explain why this is also such a prominent genre among readers of
flash fiction. Again, all those listed below are paying markets.

Daily Science Fiction. http://dailysciencefiction.com/submit
Residential Aliens. http://www.resaliens.com/submissions/
Space Squid. 

The romance market also appears to be... blossoming. Though for
some reason the majority of romance titles appear less keen to
actually pay for stories of the heart!

Romance Flash. 
Moon Washed Kisses. 

Perhaps surprisingly there are an increasing number of publications
aimed exclusively at young children, and they are open to

Highlights for Children. 
Fun for Kidz, Hopscotch and Boys Quest. 

Finally, don't forget there are a multitude of regular flash
fiction contests and competitions that are open to entries. Many of
these events are organized and judged by influential bodies like
well- established literary societies and offer the opportunity for
massive exposure as well as very good prize money. 

Subscribe to an industry newsletter or set up a Google alert to get
wind of the very latest ones. Make no mistake, writing effective
and successful flash fiction is an art form in itself. It is
certainly a challenge. But it can also be rewarding, and darn good

C.M. Saunders began writing in Wales in 1997 and hasn't stopped. He
has written countless freelance articles as well as three books. 
Visit his website at: http://www.christiansaunders.co.uk/

Copyright 2011 C.M. Saunders

For more information on writing flash fiction visit: 
http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/flash.shtml and 


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


Women of Mystery
The list of topics covered by this blog must be seen to be
believed. It covers writing, reading, true-life crime and much
more. A link of
particular interest is their list of other writing blogs, at

A free critique partner match-making service for female writers. 
Right now they're looking for writers to sign up; the site will
officially open later this summer when enough interested writers
have joined.

This is an amazing site for anyone who wants to write
science-fiction, horror, fantasy, steampunk or young adult. It has
lots of tips written by successful authors in these fields.  They
each have a blog. Have a look around, check out the visiting
authors' posts and then if you have something specific in mind, use
the search box towards the bottom right-hand side of the page. 


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-WorldCom'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 1, 2011
GENRE:    Poetry
DETAILS: Unpublished poems reflecting Irish or Irish-American
poetic traditions. One poem, no length limit.
PRIZE: $100    

DEADLINE: August 1, 2011  
GENRE:  Short Stories  
DETAILS:  Contest seeks fiction that uses alternative literary
genres to explore anthropological concerns. These concerns may be
any of those associated with the fields of anthropology:
Archaeological, Biological, Linguistic, Sociocultural, and Applied
Anthropology.  20 pages maximum.
PRIZE:  $100
URL:  http://sochumanthro.org/category/announcements/ 
DEADLINE: August 15 2011
OPEN TO: US female citizens aged 18+
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS:  "Every woman has an inspiring true story inside her, and
we want to hear yours. Is it about time you tested your own courage
or found your passion?"  Submit one essay, 2,500 - 3,500 words. 
PRIZE:  $5000

DEADLINE: August 15, 2011
GENRE: Short stories and nonfiction
DETAILS:  Fiction and essays that illustrate intergeneration needs,
connections and understanding, and feature characters from at least
two generations. (Both genres compete together.) 750 words maximum.
PRIZE:  $500, $250, $150 and ten honorable mentions.   
URL: http://www.intergenerationday.org/storyboard.html  

DEADLINE:  August 15, 2011
GENRE: Poetry, Short stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Submissions should engage readers' understanding of the
"humanistic apprehension," bringing to light "real men and women
having to make their way" in the face of "changes and loss,
triumphs and disappointments." Entries are expected to draw on
particular North Carolina connections and/or memories. Out of state
authors eligible. 2,000 - 2, 500 words maximum. 
PRIZE: $500
URL:  http://tinyurl.com/4xq4vrt
DEADLINE: August 15, 2011
GENRE:  Short stories
DETAILS: Christian-themed fiction for children aged 8 - 12. 750 -
1000 words. Guidelines for the contest are essentially the same as
for regularly submitted material.  
PRIZE:  $500 and publication in Pockets
URL:  http://pockets.upperroom.org/annual-fiction-contest/ 


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Lady Father, by Susan Bowman

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just click on the link below to list your book.


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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 2011 Moira Allen
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
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Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor