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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 12:02          12,981 subscribers         January 19, 2012
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THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Not Goals but Intentions, 
by Dawn Copeman 
THE WRITING DESK: Lead Time and When To Submit Queries, 
by Moira Allen
FEATURE: Writing About "Real" People, by Robert Moskowitz  
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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* Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing.
DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing
company and the questions you should ask.


Not Goals but Intentions
There has been a lot of traffic on the net recently to do with
resolutions, plans and how to make 2012 the best year ever.  Many
of these posts and articles deal with setting goals and plans, but
a few are now positing other ways of planning the year ahead: not
setting goals.

This sounds counter-intuitive and can take some time to get your
head around; I know it did for me. 

Not setting goals doesn't mean leaving everything to chance; it
means being more responsible for what you do on a day-to-day basis
and taking steps every day to achieve your dream. Every day you
need to ask yourself what you have done to take you closer to your

It is about resolving to take action now, not thinking about taking
steps in the future. It makes us think more clearly about how we
use our time and what we can achieve with it. 

My copy of "A Writer's Year 2012" from Moira arrived today.  Moira
had ordered me the paper version as she knows I'm quite
old-fashioned and prefer to work on pen and paper beside my laptop.
I got my copy this morning and I'm already using it; things I
needed to get done today, deadlines for the week and the very
important goals for the week section. 

In previous years I would have written down my writing business
plan by now and planned how many articles I wanted to write and
broken this plan down into months so that I knew how many queries I
needed to send out each month and each week to stand a chance of
meeting my annual goal. So in a typical year, the goals for the
week would have been something like "research five new markets,
submit five queries."  

This year, I'm creating smaller, different goals that will,
hopefully, over the course of the year, take me much closer to
being the writer I can be, instead of muddling along as the writer
I am.  

Instead of waiting a whole year or six months to review my progress
as a writer, I'm going to do this weekly.  I've been meaning to
learn about crime writing for ages; this week I have set myself the
goal of at least reading all the articles on crime writing we have
at Writing-World.com. If I have achieved this at the end of the
week, I will set myself a new goal to take my writing further the
following week.  It might be related to fiction or to blogging or
to learning more about new social media or to sending out queries.
I don't know yet.  What I do know is that I am feeling more excited
about the coming year than I have for a few years now.  It's like
being a new writer all over again.  I feel energised, excited and

With Moira's Planner I can accurately record everything I have done
to advance my writing week by week and see where I am going, and by
the end of the year, how far I have come.  I'm looking forward to
my new writing year.  I hope you are too. 


YOU WILL NETWORK WITH 30+ EDITORS Over 400 editors contribute their
unique news and views each year. That's news and views to improve
your chances to get published. Monthly newsletter. Get 2 issues
FREE. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AK254


The Writing Desk:  Lead Time and When to Submit Queries

By Moira Allen

What is "editorial lead time?"  
Q: What do publications mean when they refer to "editorial lead
time" on a submission?

A: Editorial lead time refers to the length of time before a
particular issue that articles must be received -- or, how long it
takes between receipt of an article and publication of an article.
For example, most magazines in the U.S. work at least three to four
months ahead, and some work five to six months ahead; some larger
ones may even work six to eight months ahead. This means that an
editor may be working on the December issue of a magazine in
August, or July, or even as early as June.  This is the "editorial
lead time" required to submit an article that would be appropriate
for the December issue.  If you wanted to submit a piece to that
publication on Christmas, you would need to get it to the editor by
August (or July or June) -- whatever is stated as the "editorial
lead time."  If your material is targeted toward a particular issue
or season, find out what the editorial lead time is for a
publication, and submit the material that far in advance of the
issue you're targeting.
If your material could go in "any" issue (it's not targeting a
particular event or season), editorial lead time isn't as
important. You can submit material any time, in that case. 
However, you need to be aware that if a magazine has an editorial
lead time of, say, six months, it will be at least six months
between the time you submit (and are accepted) and the time the
material might appear.  

In reality, however, most editors buy well in advance of their lead
time.   In September, an editor may be working on the December or
January issue of a publication -- but may be buying material for
the following spring or even summer.  Some magazines buy material
as much as a year ahead of an issue.  

When is the best time to send a query?
Q: When submitting a query to a publication, assuming it's a
monthly, when is the best time to send the query?  What about a
quarterly?  In other words, when is the query most likely to be
considered?  Are there certain key deadline dates that should be
avoided because editors are too busy wrapping up an issue? 
Likewise, are there certain times when editors may be seeking
material to assign?  

A: There are "windows" at most publications when queries are more
likely to be processed.  However, there's no real way to predict
from publication to publication just when those will be.  For
example, at Fancy publications, each magazine had a different
production schedule (so that the production department wasn't
trying to handle 11 different pubs at once).  It didn't really
relate to when the magazine came out; it was an in-house scheduling
process.  That meant each magazine EDITOR had a completely
different schedule, so one editor might be cleaning off her desk
and reviewing incoming manuscripts at a time when another was at
her busiest putting together an issue.
An editor is usually busiest from about two weeks before final
production to the point when an issue is sent to the printer.  That
 is when an editor is trying to edit the last articles, handle art
and  illustration issues, coordinate production, proofread galleys,
handle  last-minute changes, do the "letters" column and such, etc.
 During that time, incoming mail often gets stacked up and ignored
until the push was over.

However, since you don't know when that push is at any given
publication, you can't plan to "target" an editor's free time vs.
their busy time.  The best thing is to just send off your query and
understand why you may not hear anything for a few weeks.
This schedule has nothing to do with WHETHER queries are
considered.  It only affects WHEN.  Our decisions are the same,
regardless of when we make them.  The production schedule simply
affects when we have time to read queries, but it's not as if we
ignore the ones that come in when we're busy.  We just read them
two weeks later.  So it really makes no serious difference to you,
the writer.

Copyright 2012 Moira Allen


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. WRITING TO WIN by Moira Allen is THE
one-stop resource you need to find contests around the world. 
for $6 off the regular price - order by January 31 by visiting



Library in UK to introduce membership fees
Libraries are in for a rough ride in the UK at the moment.  On one
hand we have campaigns to empty libraries of stock so that they
cannot be closed down by councils trying to save money and on the
other we have libraries being taken over by charities, such as
Bexley Library.  When the charity takes over running a library they
intend to charge membership fees.  For more on this story visit:

Is Plagiarism Rife at Amazon?
This is the shocking news that it is easy for authors to
self-publish plagiarised work via Amazon's self-publishing system. 
As this is just breaking, we have no idea where this story will go,
but if you have published with Amazon or are considering doing so,
then this story could be of interest to you. 

Libraries Struggle to keep up with Demand for Ebooks
If you want to borrow the latest John Grisham novel, then you'd be
better off getting the hardback version, as there is a huge waiting
list for the eBook version at many US libraries.  And that's not
the only book in demand; many users are finding that they have to
wait weeks to get hold of the virtual copy of the book they want.
For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/78olzf7


how to negotiate agreements, choose pricing strategies, define
tasks, deal with difficult customers, and much more in the award-
winning "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

ARTErra Artistic Residence in Portugal
The ARTErra is a rural art residency structure that supports and
encourages artistic creation and production.  

ARTErra is a private structure offering incentive for artistic
creation in a small, quiet, green village.  It aims to facilitate
encounters between different writers, artists and aesthetic
disciplines. ARTErra is strongly committed to offering the
residents a cheerful and productive stay.

In addition to a house with several recreational areas and
facilities, the ARTErra has a "creation yard" area where there are
work spaces (sound studio and booth capturing, studio room, black &
white box, glass room and atelier) framed by a garden, a small
vegetable garden, an orchard and poultry yard.
There currently are open nominations for the 1st half of 2012. The
application process is simple. Do not hesitate to contact us.
Please visit our blog or our site at: http://arterra.weebly.com/
Contact us: arterra.geral"at"gmail.com
The Edge Magazine Open to Fiction and Nonfiction
The Edge is a quarterly magazine that publishes short fiction,
nonfiction reviews and interviews and is open to submissions. 
Please read the guidelines carefully. 

Big World Magazine Looking for Submissions
Big World Magazine is looking for stories about culture, ideas,
voyages, food, people and trends. Send us strong narrative,
provocative profiles, reported stories, investigative work, video,
photos and audio that evoke a sense of place. For complete
guidelines visit: 


Celebrating a decade of designing websites for authors that reflect
their unique style and personality. Other design services include
book designs, marketing materials, and email campaigns. Contact
Shaila Abdullah for your design needs at http://myhouseofdesign.com/


FEATURE: Writing About "Real" People    
By Robert Moskowitz

Good fiction tells stories about people. And some of the best
stories are real ones, actually lived by actual persons. Not only
are many real stories interesting, but audiences want to read about
"real" stories even more than they want to read pure fiction.
That's why so many stories -- and here we're talking exclusively
about fiction that takes time to write and to publish, and thus
generally reaches its audience weeks, months, or even years after
the "true story" has left the headlines, making the fiction subject
to more rigorous privacy laws in ways that "news" stories may not
be -- are sold as "ripped from the headlines" or "based on a true

The problem for a writer who wants to write about people is if you
write about a real person, you need their permission before you can
sell what you've written. And not everyone who lived a great story
wants you to write about it. They may want to sell it to another
writer, or they may not want anyone at all to write about them.

So what's a writer to do?

You have to take liberties with the truth.

The general rule is: If an average person who reads your story or
sees it on the screen has a good chance of identifying the people
you are writing about, then you need those people's written
permission. However, if the people in your story are not
recognizable as specific individuals, then logically you have no
need to obtain anyone's permission to write and sell your story.

For example:

1) What if Law and Order tells a story that's taken from the

Law and Order does change a "true" story by 50% or so, but often it
is still recognizable. However, Law and Order has a lot of money.
They may pay something for the rights to the story they want to
copy. Also, they usually allow the lawyers they have on staff to
vet the stories, so they're far less likely to be judged liable in
a court of law, and/or far more likely to be able to deflect or
defend any lawsuits that may come in. When you have billions, you
can do the same.

2) What if the story is from overseas?

Foreign stories carry less chance that people who lived it will see
what you do with their story. But anyone can sue at any time, so
why leave yourself exposed? If foreigners sue you over there, you
may never be able to travel to that country again without having to
pay the financial judgment against you!

3) What if you are writing about a serial killer. Do they have

Yes, they have rights. What's more, they're not allowed to profit
from their crimes, so the families of the victims are often
entitled to the killer's earnings and would probably come after you
for even more money. If your story is recognizable, you've got to
get the killer's permission and you've also got to deal with the
victims' families. Isn't it easier to change your story enough so
this is not a problem?

4) What about stories that are based on an unauthorized biography?

"Famous" people have fewer rights to their own stories. However,
the line is fuzzy. You can write about Brittany (or any celebrity)
all you want and she can't stop you, but if you say something too
offensive, she can sue you. "The truth" is a valid defense, of
course, but any celebrity has enough money to hire lawyers who can
cause you an expensive problem, even if he or she doesn't prevail
in court. If you want to write about a celebrity, be very sure you
don't step over the fuzzy line. Study what other people are writing
about other celebrities. Look at some of the lawsuits filed by
celebrities to see where the line might begin -- not just the cases
celebrities win, but the lawsuits they file. You don't want them
filing against you. If there is any doubt at all, have an
experienced attorney look over your story and make changes until
s/he feels strongly that you're not going to get sued for it.

Two key things to remember are:

1) Everyone gets married. Everyone has parents. Lots of people wear
glasses. Lots of people buy red cars. Those kinds of elements in
your story are generic and do not serve to identify particular
individuals. You can include them in your story without fear of
penalty. What's more, there are certain "required scenes" (called
"scenes a faire" in legal terminology) that must happen in any good
story. If your hero turns and confronts his attacker, it may echo
what happened in another story or what happened in real life to a
particular person. But a confrontation is a required scene when
writing drama, so the existence of the scene in your story is not
considered proof that you stole the idea. On the other hand, if
your story contains characters who grew up in a certain town at a
certain time, got married at a certain age in a certain location,
worked at a certain company, had certain special talents or
interests, had a certain number of children in specific years,
lived in a certain kind of house in a certain neighborhood, and so
forth, these are not "scenes a faire." Such details convey enough
specific material so a reader can easily identify a real individual
on whom you modeled your character, and now you need permission.

2) Successful novels and screenplays draw lawsuits. If you write a
good story, there's a good chance you'll get sued by someone
claiming you stole their idea, modeled your story after their life,
or both. Since you can't avoid this, don't try. And don't worry
about it. A portion of your profits will go to legal defense.
That's the nature of our society. Just make sure you document where
you get your ideas for your stories, so when the suits do come, you
can show they are without merit.

Good luck.

Robert Moskowitz is a successful author and editor with a knack for
conveying complex and difficult topics in a friendly, down-to-earth
style. He resides in Santa Monica with his wife, a novelist, where
they collaborate on writing stories. In addition to his countless
articles for dozens of popular magazines, his published non-fiction
books include How To Organize Your Work and Your Life, Small
Business Computing -- A Guide in Plain English, Out On Your Own,
and Parenting Your Aging Parents. Visit his website at 
Copyright 2012 Robert Moskowitz 

For more advice writing about fiction, visit our fiction section:  


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

This is a very useful site that I recently stumbled upon.  Written
as collaboration between eight writers, it is rich source of
articles, quotes for inspiration and links. 

I love this site!  Jeff Goins has a free eBook called "The Writer's
Manifesto" that makes for intriguing reading and will make you
challenge how you live your life as a writer.  The site is updated
daily with thought-provoking posts, and I'm intrigued by his way of
achieving things without setting a single goal.  

I'm not about to start talking about yoga and meditation, but this
site has some fantastic posts about how to be creative in today's
hectic world.  It is well worth a visit if you are feeling a little
over-whelmed with work and under-whelmed with ideas. 


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: January 30, 2012
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: Nature poetry. 1 - 3 poems, 30 lines max each.
PRIZE:  $350, $250, $150
URL: http://www.friendsofacadia.org/events/poetrycompetition.shtml
DEADLINE: January 30, 2012  
GENRE:  Short Stories
OPEN TO:  Canadian Authors under 35 with no published books.
DETAILS:   One story, 5-10 pages, maximum 2,500 words, 
PRIZE:  C$5,000, two runners up prizes of C$1000
URL:  http://tinyurl.com/2fsbfu9
DEADLINE: January 31, 2012
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS: One story, maximum 2,000 words on any subject, but must
feature either a purebred or mixed breed dog. 
PRIZES:  $500, $250, $100
URL:  http://www.akc.org/pubs/fictioncontest/

DEADLINE: February 1, 2012
GENRE:  Short Stories
OPEN TO: US Citizens aged 18+
DETAILS:  1-2 stories, maximum 10,000 words each 
PRIZE:  $5000, three runner-up prizes of $1,500 each; winners may
be published in the Chicago Tribune or on their website
URL:   http://tinyurl.com/5ufse9b

DEADLINE: February 14, 2012
GENRE:  Short stories 
DETAILS:  2,000 words maximum, theme is 'identity'. 
PRIZE:   500 plus Arvon Foundation residential writing course
worth 575 and publication on website. 
URL:  http://tinyurl.com/7q6ekvc (Scroll down past previous winning
entries for full guidelines)

DEADLINE:  February 15, 2012
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS: 1,000-3,000 words, creative travel essays about living and
working abroad.
PRIZES: $500, $150, $100 plus publication.
URL: http://tinyurl.com/2ez54cs

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Knight Sky, by Lee Henschel

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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 2012 Moira Allen

Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor