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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 11:17           12,722 subscribers        September 1, 2011
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: The Best Laid Plans, by Moira Allen 
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Submitting Online Work to Contests, 
by Dawn Copeman 
FEATURE: I Love You, My Little Cabbage: Using Foreign Words in 
Your Fiction, by Cora Bresciano
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers: Summer's Over... I Hope, 
by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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The Best Laid Plans...

This wasn't the editorial I PLANNED to write.  But then, it hasn't
been the week I planned to have.  

On Tuesday, for example, I planned a day dedicated to writing.
(Well, OK, plus a few games of "Jewel Quest Heritage, expert level"
-- but MOSTLY writing.)  That plan fell apart when the house began
to shake.  And shake.  As I calmly strolled outdoors to watch my
plants doing a little dance on the deck, I could hear things
toppling from shelves throughout the house.  Fortunately, only my
nerves were shattered!

Now, I'm a California girl, so I'm no stranger to quakes. 
Unfortunately, that means I know that if a quake keeps going (or
worse, pauses and then starts up stronger than before), that could
mean trouble.  Fortunately, it didn't.  And since this was the
worst quake on the East Coast since 1897, I wasn't too worried
about a recurrence.  But I found it tough to focus on writing for
the rest of the day.

Thursday, I meant to write when we came home from dinner at Don
Pablo's -- and found myself, instead, waiting in the car for the
AAA truck to come along and jumpstart our battery, while hoping
that the ominous clouds wouldn't cut loose JUST yet because we'd
managed to roll down the windows and now couldn't roll them up

Today I'm pulling patio furniture off the deck to prepare for a
possible hurricane.  (Though, in all fairness, it looks like we may
only get hit by a "severe tropical storm...")

Granted, most of my weeks aren't like this, and I hope yours aren't
either!  But it doesn't take earthquakes and hurricanes to disrupt
our lives.  My sister, for example, has been plagued for two weeks
with equipment failures that are preventing her from running her
own home business; each new "fix" seems to bring a new set of

What does this have to do with writing, other than the admission
that I haven't been doing a lot of that this week?  Simply this: I
know too many folks who are waiting to START writing when their
PLANS come together.  As soon as I do this... As soon as I get that
project squared away... When I get all those things marked off my
to-do list... When I'm past this difficult stage/phase/era of my
life... When the kids are gone... When I retire...

But as the commercial says, "Life comes at you fast."  One minute
you look like Fabio and the next... Well, like Fabio in old-man
makeup.  The problem with plans is that something ALWAYS manages to
make things take longer than you planned.  That set of errands that
you thought would take one hour ends up taking three.  A child gets
sick and you spend the day in a waiting room.  The car breaks down.
 The computer breaks down.  Or you get to the keyboard at the end
of the day and realize YOU'RE about to break down.

The problem is two-fold.  First, we have a tendency to "plan" to
write AFTER something else.  I'll write AFTER I finish this
project, help my child with her homework, do the floors, do the
dishes, do the shopping, have a cup of coffee, do my exercise. 
(Well, admittedly, since it's as easy for me to postpone exercise
as writing, I do make an effort to put that FIRST.)  The point is,
we are forever putting writing SECOND.

The other half of the problem is a mirror of the first: We are
experts at finding something, anything to do INSTEAD of writing. 
After all, we need to eat, so the grocery shopping must get done,
right?  My child's homework is due tomorrow.  My paying assignment
is due tomorrow.  I need to exercise.  The floor is a mess.  It's
true that there will always be something else that needs doing. 
Conversely, there will ALWAYS be something else that needs doing. 
(I know, that sounded like the same statement, but it isn't. 

In short, we always plan to write "after" -- but we always manage
to find something else to do "before."

Here's another way to visualize the problem.  Imagine you have two
boxes on your desk, "A" and "B."  In Box A is a single sheet of
paper describing the writing project you want to tackle: A story, a
poem, a novel, whatever.  In Box B is everything else -- a sheet of
paper for every task, project, distraction and recreational
activity in your day or week.  Needless to say, THAT stack is
pretty tall!  Chances are, when you look at the two boxes, Box A
seems "optional" compared to all the tasks clamoring from Box B. 
I'll get to it, you tell yourself, just as soon as Box B is
whittled to a manageable size.  Only Box B never "whittles."  No
matter what you subtract, things are always being added.  But the
only thing getting added to Box A is a growing layer of dust.

It's easy to dismiss this as a "classic definition of
procrastination," but it's also life.  Box B will never, ever be
empty.  If it were, you'd be dead.  Since dying is not an effective
writing strategy, something else needs to change.

The only approach I know of is to change one word in your
vocabulary: Change "after" to "before."  Instead of saying, "I'll
get to my writing AFTER I do X," say "before."  I will write BEFORE
I start the laundry.  I will write BEFORE I go to the grocery
store.  (The food will still be there!)  I will write BEFORE
playing Jewel Quest.  I will record that TV show and write BEFORE I
watch it.

It doesn't mean that the tasks in Box B get postponed forever.  But
imagine what would happen if, instead of "planning" to spend an
hour on Box B and then, "afterwards," start to write, you wrote for
an hour first?  All that other stuff would still get done.  But by
switching to writing "before" rather than "after," your story might
actually get done as well!

-- Moira Allen, Editor

The Editor extends heartfelt wishes to readers who have 
experienced outages or damage from Hurricane Irene.  She is 
happy to report that she emerged unscathed, but suspects 
many of our readers  may not be able to say the same.


Read by over 1,000 children's book and magazine editors, this
monthly newsletter can be your own personal source of editors'
wants and needs, market tips, and professional insights.  Get 2
FREE issues to start. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AK114 


The Inquiring Writer: Submitting Online Work to Contests 
By Dawn Copeman

Last month our question came from Barb Joy.  She wrote: "I was
thinking about submitting a short story or two to a writing contest
but hesitated because I already have them on my website, although I
haven't sold any yet.

"Would it be unethical to send off a story I had on my website?"

Hmm, this is a tricky one.  I remember when I ran NewbieWriters we
had a forum where you could post work in progress for review and
critique.  One member was most indignant to learn that because he
had posted his work on the site it had been thrown out of a contest
he had entered.  But this isn't always the case.

"It depends on the rules of the contest," advised Derek Thompson.
"Sometimes the rules specifically state that any entry cannot have
been published before either in print or online. That takes care of

"However, there is nothing to prevent you taking a story you've
posted online (especially one that you've received constructive
feedback for) and rewriting it as something new. Bear in mind that
if you enter a contest it is possible that the judges may do a
quick web search for the finalists."

Connie Berridge writes: "As a writer with several of my works on my
website I think it would be perfectly okay to submit anything on
your site. 

"You are the author and it is your site, which you have purchased.
You may want to write to ask the contest site for guidance. It is
like the case of SIMSUBS (simultaneous submissions). Some sites do
not care as long as you report to them if the item has been picked
up by another. A simple note to that effect is much appreciated.

"If you have not sold the particular story, and used it primarily
only on your site I do not see a problem. But it is just my
opinion. I would ask the site their view before submitting or
include a note with the submission that the story has not been sold
and is only in print on your website.

"Each site may vary in its decision."

I would advise anyone who is entering their work into a contest to
first of all find out if they will or won't accept work that has
been published anywhere online, on your site or on a critique site.
If they won't accept that piece, then rework it into something new.
Don't think that just because it's hidden away in a huge blog or
critique site that the contest judges won't find it -- if the work
is online when it shouldn't be, they will find out. Personally,
this is why I would only ever put excerpts of work onto sites for

Now, onto this month's question, which comes from Vanessa.  She is
intrigued by the whole idea of using a pseudonym for her writing
and wants to know how other writers do it.  She wrote: "How do you
pay the taxes with different names?  Must they be separate?  How do
you keep your identity private and separate when you are sending
things via e-mail?  Do you have different e-mail accounts in
different pseudonyms? How do you keep it all straight with different
pseudonym e-mail addresses?"

So if you're a writer who uses a pseudonym Vanessa could use your
help.  Email your replies with the subject line: "Inquiring Writer"
to editorial@writing-world.com.

Also, I am running out of questions too. So if you want to put a
question to our community, email me that to the same address.

Until next time, 


Copyright 2011 Dawn Copeman


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.



Forbes Lists World's Richest Authors
Even though sales of hardcover books are falling, the top-earning
authors are continuing to rake in the money, mainly due to
increased e-book sales.  To find out who is on the 'rich' list,

Debut Author Joins Kindle Million Club
Kathryn Stockett, whose first novel "The Help" is currently in the
New York Bestseller list, has now also joined the Kindle Million
club. The Kindle Million club is only for authors who have sold
over 1 million copies in Amazon's Kindle Store.  For more on this
story visit: http://tinyurl.com/3uuhdhl 

Amazon Launches Daily Kindle Deal
Visitors to the sites Kindle page will find a different book on
offer every day.  The page lists the title, a brief description of
the book, the full price, the discounted price and how many hours
are left until the deal ends. 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
Fellowship Opportunities at Vermont Studio Center 
We are excited to announce the following fellowship awards
available at our upcoming October 3rd deadline. All are welcome to
**applications must be received by October 3, 2011**.
[NOTE: We have posted only those fellowships open to writers, and 
that are not limited to a small regional area; other fellowships for
visual artists and regional writers are also available.--Editor]

Vermont Studio Center Fellowships
Sixteen merit-based fellowships open to all visual artists and

Educational Foundation of America Fellowships
Three merit-based fellowships available to emerging and mid-career
artists and writers of color from the United States.

Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship
One fellowship for an emerging woman writer who will be a first-time
resident at VSC.  This award includes a stipend of $1250 to help
cover expenses associated with taking the residency, including but
not limited to travel, rent, childcare or to replace lost income.

Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship
One fellowship for an artist or writer who is raising young
children; this award includes a $2,000 stipend to cover lost
income, travel, child care, or other costs related to taking time
away from the family. In addition to the VSC application form,
applicants should submit a copy of a tax return (or other
documentation) showing dependents under the age of 18.

John Pavlis Fellowships
Three awards for African-American visual artists and writers, with
preference given to current students and recent graduates of Fisk
University, Spelman or Morehouse Colleges.

PenTales is collecting 119 original perspectives on 9/11.

10 years later we want to know: How do you remember it? Do you
remember? Where were you when it happened? Does the day matter,
then or now? Does remembering do any good? What does the day say
about America and Americans? How has it shaped the first decade of
the new millennium? How has it shaped you?

We're accepting:
-video (max. 1 minute)
-photography (max. 2 images with short caption)
-text (max. 500 words)

Send in your submission to writepentales@gmail.com with the
following in the subject line: "9/11, your name and location."
We're accepting works until September 11, 2011 midnight.

We'll present works in numerical order as they come in. Each
featured piece will be introduced by our editors and the most
original submissions compiled into a larger collection.

New Literary Press Open to Submissions
Big Wonderful Press accepts many different types of submissions.
Some categories have reading fees and some do not. This helps us
support the website and author services/promotion. We often offer
feedback on submissions, but cannot guarantee that we always will
have comments for every manuscript.

Before submitting, please read the About Big Wonderful Press page.


This inspiring, practical new book will help you write
your best story and improve your chances to get published.
These are the most durable, successful, and time-tested tips,
techniques, and examples of best practices used by great writers.


I Love You, My Little Cabbage: Using Foreign Words in Your Fiction

By Cora Bresciano

When I was a child, my French-Canadian mother called me her little
chou (pronounced "shoe"). In the summers, when we visited our
French-speaking family in Quebec, my cousins were called chou or
chou-chou by their mothers, as well. One summer evening, though, my
aunt used the word chou as she was enticing us with the menu for
that evening's dinner. I understood that haricots verts were green
beans and pommes de terre were potatoes, but chou? Which food was
her darling? I turned to my mother, who smiled wryly. "The
cabbage," she replied. "Chou means 'cabbage.'" All that time, I had
been my mother's little cabbage.  

This episode comes back to me whenever I set out to infuse my
writing with a taste of the foreign. When our fiction is set in
another country or our characters speak other languages, we have
the opportunity to use foreign words and phrases to enhance our
writing, to establish a real sense of place, to create an
atmosphere that is distinctly not American. But how much do we
include? How much do we translate? And what do we do with
expressions like "my little cabbage" that are authentic in another
language, but sound awfully strange in English? We want our readers
to know that a foreign language is being spoken; we want to impart
the flavor and rhythms of the foreign tongue. But we need to be
understood, as well. We don't want readers to lose anything or to
become irritated with a story because they're stumped by our use of
foreign words.

Let's say you've set your story in Italy. Your fictional heroine,
Jennifer, is an American sculptor who's been living in Rome for the
past ten years. She speaks Italian in her everyday life. When you
write her dialogue, when you capture her neighbors chatting over
the fence or the baker selling her bread, how do you remind your
readers that these characters are speaking Italian?  Here are six
ways to do it:

1.        Write some key words and phrases in the foreign language, but
offer the English translation.

Here's the scenario: Jennifer's favorite baker finds something
sticking out of the fresh loaf of bread that he's about to hand
her. You can capture the atmosphere of the scene by having him
utter a short phrase in Italian. Then translate it for those
readers who won't understand it.

"C'é una chiave!" Sergio cried out in disbelief.  It's a key! He
held it up to the light.

This approach offers the best of both worlds: authenticity and
clarity. We get the real thing with the Italian, but if we can't
understand what it means, we need only to read on a little further
to find it translated for us. The reader gets to have the
experience of the Italian language without feeling inadequate or

2. Write some words and phrases in the foreign language, and don't
translate them.

Some simple foreign words are well-known to many English speakers.
Hello, goodbye, thank you -- most of us remember these from our
high school language classes. Consider sprinkling them through your
chapters just as they are:

"Buon giorno!" Jennifer's landlord called out a hearty greeting as
he passed her on the stairs.

Your reader will almost surely understand this brief bit of
Italian, if only from all the Scorcese films she's seen. And even
if you were writing in a less common language than Italian, your
description of the phrase as a "hearty greeting" would clue the
reader in.

3. Translate literally some unusual foreign expressions.

This strategy needs to be handled carefully, though, to avoid
sounding comical when you don't mean to. If I were to write a
tender scene, in English, between my five-year old self and my
French-speaking mother, I probably wouldn't have her call me her
little cabbage and just leave it at that. Who could read that
without laughing? What I might do is explain the use of the term
earlier in the story, so that at the tender moment, I could write
something like:

She tousled my hair and tucked me into bed. "Goodnight, my little
cabbage," she whispered as she turned off the light.

This use of an unusual word that has already been explained would
let the readers see it as a sweet endearment rather than as a
strange epithet. It might, therefore, evoke smiles rather than
guffaws, while reminding us that Maman is actually speaking

4. Infuse the cadence and the syntax of the foreign language into
the dialogue that you write in English.

Even when creating long stretches of dialogue that need to be
written completely in English, you can keep the feel of the foreign
language by incorporating some of its differences into the English.
For example, the French usually use the pronoun on, or "one,"
rather than ils/elles ("they") or nous ("we"). So when Jennifer
attends an opening of her work in Paris, the gallery owner might
say to her at the celebratory dinner:

"Does one eat head of veal in the United States?"

This captures the cadence of the French and emphasizes that it is
not really English that's being spoken. Asking "does one eat" in
French doesn't have the formality that it does in English -- it's a
perfectly casual expression. (And "head of veal" is a direct
translation of tête de veau, one of the more exotic French dishes.) 

The simple practice of omitting contractions -- which other
languages tend not to have -- from the dialogue that's supposed to
be in another language also can make it sound "foreign." 

"Jennifer, do not cry!" Giuseppina hugged the sobbing sculptor.
"This critic, he knows nothing about art!" 

Substituting "do not" for "don't" gives these lines an Italian
feel. And in English, we would more likely say "This critic
knows..." Saying "This critic, he knows..." mimics the Italian
syntax. Though we're reading in English, this sort of phrasing
reminds us that we're not in Kansas anymore.  

5. Enhance the dialogue with descriptions of non-verbal

Being half Italian, I'm well acquainted with the Italian need to
use hand gestures to communicate. Other cultures have similar
propensities -- gestures, facial expressions, ways of moving the
body that express what words cannot and that mark their exhibitors
as being of a particular nationality. Include these non-verbal cues
when you write dialogue in order to paint a clearer -- and more
colorful -- picture of the foreign scene. For example, Jennifer's
next-door neighbor might show his appreciation of the red wine she
brings him like this:

"He tasted the wine, then closed his eyes and brought the
fingertips of his right hand together, touched them to his lips,
gave them a kiss and let them burst apart from each other. The
classic Italian gesture of deep appreciation, for food, for beauty,
for love."

As you can see, the non-verbal communication does a good job of
substituting for a spoken line of dialogue. And it imparts a very
Italian feel at the same time.
6. Write long passages in the foreign tongue; translate nothing.

Okay, this is not a method I condone as a writer. Or appreciate as
a reader. But it's precisely what Umberto Eco does. The author of
The Name of the Rose regularly includes in his books passages
written in Latin, Hebrew, and Greek -- and offers no translations.
Of course, he is Umberto Eco, world-famous author and scholar, and
he can pretty much do what he wants in print -- but I always find
myself frustrated by his indifference to those of us who don't
speak all the languages he does. For example, he ends the
introduction to his famous book with a quotation in untranslated
Latin: "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in
angulo cum libro."  
Today, with the help of the Internet, you can find this quotation
by Thomas à Kempis online. When I read the novel for the first
time, though, in the late eighties, I had no idea what it meant,
and no way to find out. And that's a shame, because when you do
know, it ends the section nicely and it's also important and
pertinent to the rest of the novel. The translation is: "I have
searched for peace everywhere, but have not found it anywhere
except in a corner with a book." 

Like Eco, you could, if you really wanted, leave things like this
untranslated -- it is your story, after all, and if you want to be
ornery or experimental, go ahead -- but as a general rule, I
wouldn't suggest it. Hopefully our use of foreign words, phrases,
and references to dear little cabbages will provide our readers
with enjoyment, if not peace -- and at the very least, won't cause
them confusion or frustration when they curl up in a corner with
our books.

Cora is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Blue Planet
Writers' Room, a non-profit organization that integrates the arts,
technology, and international collaboration into the teaching of
writing. Cora's own writing encompasses both fiction and
non-fiction; her children's musicals have been produced in Florida
and New York, and her short story, "The Mermaid," won the 2008
Brogan Award in Fiction. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing
from Florida Atlantic University. Having grown up in a family of
immigrants from two different countries, in a house where three
languages were spoken, Cora has a special interest in writing about
the spaces where cultures and languages meet.

Copyright 2011 Cora Bresciano

For more information on writing dialogue visit: 


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


Free Stuff for Writers: Summer's Over... I Hope

By Aline Lechaye
I'm glad that autumn is coming. 

Inspiration-wise, summer is probably the worst season for me. It's
hot, the sun is shining, and all I want to do is hang out at the
beach and read some book someone else has written. (Yeah, yeah, any

A tip for anyone out there who hates writing in summer: paste one
of your writing samples into the analyzer at http://iwl.me/ and see
which famous writer you write like. I don't know how accurate the
results actually are, but it's hard not to feel inspired when it
says you write like, say, Ernest Hemmingway. 

If you thought that you could only read "old" books for free on the
internet, think again. I was surprised too when I stumbled across
http://www.readanybook.com, a site that lets you read books for
free online. Offerings include "The Host" by Stephenie Meyer, "The
Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, and the entire "Harry Potter" series.
The site has its own online e-reader device (it looks like a
miniature Kindle, but you can widen it to full screen) for
displaying books. The main drawback of the e-reader is that it
seems to mess up the page layouts, making words and sentences run
together or end awkwardly. 

Hey Publisher sounds like the name of a writer created rock band,
but it's actually a website that connects writers with publishers.
Signing up for a writer account is free and once you have your
writer's profile set up, you can upload your work (Hey Publisher
uses Amazon-provided servers, and they have a 100% guarantee that
no uploaded work will ever be lost -- impressive!), browse
publishers, and submit your work. You'll receive email updates on
the status of your submitted manuscripts, so you don't have to
worry about accidentally missing an acceptance letter. Get started
at http://heypublisher.com/ 

Backing up files has become more important in recent years,
especially for writers. There's nothing more painful or frustrating
than staying up all night working on an article and then coming
back in the morning to find that your hard drive has decided not to
work. Mozy (say it nice and slow and just enjoy how that sounds!)
provides you with 2GB of space for free, and encrypts your files
during backup and storage so that other users can't access them.
The iPhone/Android app makes it easy to access your files anywhere.
You can also schedule automatic backups. Find out more at

Author Lisa Angelettie's website has three marketing-related
freebies that you'll want to look at if you're an article writer: A
marketing e-course, an article success toolkit, and "The 3 Simple
Secrets to Making Money Using Articles" report. Download at

A friend sent me a link to http://www.the39dollarexperiment.com/. I
confess I find the blogger's approach to getting free stuff novel.
Basically, the $39 dollar experiment is a guy using thirty-nine
dollars' worth of stamps to send a hundred letters to various
companies asking for free stuff. Freebies he's received back
include coupons, compressed air, teabags, and lip balm. He
estimates that in total he's gotten about $272 in free products
from companies like Carmex, Campbell's and Nestle. Interesting, but
not something you'd quit your day job for! 


Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye@gmail.com.

Copyright 2011 Aline Lechaye


A Blogger's Books
This is a great site for all bloggers and would-be bloggers.  It
includes tips and hints on how to blog, resources and tutorials as
well as advice as to where to submit your blogs.

Down the Tubes - How to write graphic novels
Tips and advice on how to write for graphic novels from a former
editor at Marvel UK. 

Worldbuilder Projects
A site for fantasy novelists, this site helps you to find the tools
you need to create your fantasy worlds.


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:


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.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
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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.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor