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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 12:06          13,632 subscribers            March 15, 2012
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Spring Cleaning, by Moira Allen
THE WRITING DESK: Rights, by Moira Allen
FEATURE: When the Writing's Going Well, by Noelle Sterne  
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you 
can reach our web site, you can take our courses. 
WRITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS. Ever dreamed of being a published author? 
Writing for children is a great place to start.  Learn the
techniques from an experienced writer. This unique program has
helped 1000's like you become published. Free qualifying test
offered. http://www.writingforchildren.com/H0639
* Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter.
* 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.



Spring Cleaning
While I realize that some folks are still looking at snow, rain,
sleet, and tornadoes, on my own deck today it felt more like summer
than spring.  Trees are starting to blossom, daffodils are
blooming, birds are singing -- and a squirrel looked totally
shocked to reach the top of the steps and find a HUMAN sitting on
"his" deck.  

Dawn is amongst the "snowed under," not with cold, white stuff but
with work -- so I offered to take on the editorial this week.  And
what with all that sunshine and birdsong and pollen -- er, I mean,
lovely blossoms -- it seems the perfect time to talk about spring

Specifically, I'm finding it's time to "spring clean" my "to-do"
list.  To say my list is "cluttered" is an understatement.  It
isn't just cluttered, it's clogged -- with projects that never seem
to go away.  They just hang on the list, month after month and, in
some cases, year after year.  

It would be nice to be able to say, "Well, just dump them," but
it's not always that simple.  Many of these projects actually mean
a lot to me; they are things that I really WANT to accomplish.  But
for one reason or another, they repeatedly take the back burner,
every time something more urgent or more profitable or... OK, let's
admit it, something EASIER comes along.  

So this spring, I'm making a commitment to clean off major sections
of my perpetual to-do list.  Instead of putting the more minor,
short-term projects on hold again and again, I've decided to take
what might seem the counter-intuitive step of putting some
longer-term, more important tasks on hold instead.  Not forever,
not even for a long time -- but long ENOUGH to clean off some of
those other tasks, once and for all.  

The concept that has been motivating me is the idea that I would
like some of these projects to be BEHIND me, not AHEAD of me.  I
want to move them into the category of "achievements," rather than
mere wishful thinking.  Many of these projects are more personal in
nature -- not so much profitable as fun, or meaningful to ME -- and
that seems to be the sort of project that ALWAYS gets shelved in
favor of "important" work.  Quite simply, I've grown tired of
having some of these projects "hanging over my head" -- I want them
to be in my past, not my future.  

My first step is to get organized.  Now, normally, I tend to be, if
anything, OVER-organized -- I actually ENJOY tasks like sorting
files!  But these projects have piled up, so to speak, all over my
computer; pictures in this file, notes in another section,
references in a third, and so on.  I came to realize that one
reason so many of these projects never got done (or rather, never
got STARTED) was the sheer overwhelming prospect of trying to pull
everything together in one place.  

So I'm setting up a directory of "project" bins on my computer, by
going through my files and simply dumping everything that relates
to a specific project into its designated "bin" (i.e., folder). In
theory, when I reach the point of sitting down and tackling a
specific project, all the elements I need SHOULD be in one place. 
Also in theory, that should be true of ALL the projects on the
list, so that I can choose any one I wish, based on its interest or
importance rather than on its level of difficulty.

Will it work?  Well, spring has only just begun, and so has my
spring-cleaning.  But it seems well worth a try.  And if you, like
so many writers, find yourself with a to-do list that persistently
resists becoming a "well done" list, maybe it's time to try a bit
of spring-cleaning of your own! 

Just don't forget to take some time to go listen to the birds and
enjoy the daffodils! 

-- Moira Allen, Editor


Spring Cleaning the Cupboards
While much of my spring-cleaning is metaphorical, I'm also tackling
some physical housekeeping -- once again, cleaning out my
cupboards.  And once again I have a couple of giveaways for our

First, I have two print copies of our "Writer's Year" planner. 
Don't ask me why I ordered extras, but there they are, and I wish
they weren't.  If you'd like one of them, just send me an e-mail
with the word "PLANNER" in the subject line, and I'll draw two
lucky winners.  Since I'm going to foot the bill on shipping on
this one, I'm sorry to say that this offer is limited to readers
within the U.S. -- but remember, anyone, anywhere, can download the
free electronic version of the planner (see 
http://www.writing-world.com for the links).  

Second, I have a nice, new copy of Writer's Digest's 2011 edition
of "Writing for Kids & YA".  Just one.  If you'd like a chance at
it, send an e-mail with "Writing for Kids" in the subject line. 
Again, this offer is limited to readers within the U.S.

Happy spring!
Copyright 2012 Moira Allen 


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/AK304


The Writing Desk:  Rights   

By Moira Allen

Will I lose my rights if I send my poem for publication?
Q:  The teacher of a class I attend asked if I would consider
publishing a poem I wrote.  Giving up rights to this poem is not
something I want to do.  I have no clue as to what may happen if I
send my poem off to some magazine.  

A: There is a simple answer to your concern about "not knowing what
may happen":  Nothing can happen unless you permit it to happen.
Sending off a poem or story to a magazine will not cost you the
rights to that work.  You are simply submitting it for
consideration for publication.  If the publication is interested,
it will then contact you and discuss what rights are to be licensed.
The choice is always yours.  It is illegal (a violation of
copyright law) for a magazine to publish your work without your
permission.  In the process of giving that permission, you
determine what rights you are willing to give up.  If you aren't
willing to give the magazine the rights it asks for (e.g., if it
asks for all rights, or more rights than you want to sell), then
you simply say "no" to that publication and move on.  Most
magazines spell out the rights they are looking for either in their
contract or in their writers' guidelines.
Hopefully your teacher knows this as well; if not, make sure s/he
is educated on rights before suggesting to students that they seek

Does a company own material you write for them as an employee?
Q: I've heard that if you write something for a company while you
are their salaried employee, they typically take all rights. Is
that true?

A: You're correct.  If you work for a company as a salaried
employee, usually that company regards anything you write while in
their employ as "work for hire," which means that it is owned by
the company from the beginning.  For example, if you were a
magazine editor, and wrote editorials or other copy for the
magazine, the magazine would own those materials, and you would not
be able to resell them elsewhere.
This isn't quite the same as "all rights," because in this
situation, you never actually owned any rights to begin with.  In a
work-for-hire situation, the company is the copyright holder, not
you -- so you don't actually have the right to claim "copyright" to
your own material.  In an all-rights situation, you are the
copyright holder (and continue to hold copyright) -- you just give
up the right to ever use or sell that piece again.
One major difference is that if you sell all rights to something,
but remain the copyright holder, you could write a similar (but
rewritten) piece and sell it somewhere else, and not be in
violation of your agreement.  Your license of rights protects only
the actual form in which your words appeared.  However, if you were
in a work-for-hire situation and sold a "revised" version of your
article, you could actually be considered as infringing on the
company's copyright, if the article were sufficiently similar.

Two of my poems were published, but not paid for.  Can I submit
them to another journal?
Q: A publication published two of my poems.  I was not paid for
them and signed away no publication rights.  May I submit those
same works to a different print journal?

A: As long as you signed no contract giving up any rights, yes, you
can resell the material anywhere.  Payment (or lack of payment)
isn't really an issue; the issue is whether an agreement actually
exists. Since the poems have been published once, you've used up
"first" rights but can offer reprint or second serial rights (or
one-time rights) anywhere.  You can also sell first electronic
rights if you choose to have the poems published online.

Copyright 2012 Moira Allen


Teenage Books are Now Part of Inflation Calculation
Apparently, teenagers' love for all things vampire, and in
particular the Stephanie Meyer Twilight series of books, has led to
the British Office for National Statistics to include all books
aimed at teenagers in their 'basket' of goods that they use to
calculate inflation.  Teenage books replaced the cost of developing
35mm film.  For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/7zveel9

Erotic EBook Gains Massive Publishing Deal
E.L.James first published her erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey"
via Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House.  Demand for the title
grew when it was referred to on Twitter and in a deal on Saturday
March 10, Vantage House paid a seven figure sum for the rights to
publish not only this book, but the next two in the trilogy.  For
more on this story visit: 

Book of Typos to be published
Unbelievably, Sceptre publishing has signed a deal to publish a
book full of typos in time for the Christmas rush.  "Just my Typo"
will be a collection of typos, which editor Drummond Moir is still
collecting.  For more on this bizarre story visit: 


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
Literary Agency LBA Searching for Next Crime Fiction Bestseller
Circalit, the crowd-sourcing platform for writers, has teamed up
with literary agency Luigi Bonomi Associates to find talented new
crime fiction writers online. LBA is one of the UK's top literary
agencies and well known for representing authors such as David
Gibbins, Alan Titchmarsh, James May, and Richard Hammond, among
others. Now Thomas Stofer, an agent at LBA, is on the lookout for
crime fiction novels to turn into international best sellers.

Raoul Tawadey, Circalit CEO, commented, "Online platforms are
gradually becoming accepted as a means of finding quality writers.
At Circalit we use a combination of professional opinion and peer
review to find books which have a proven commercial viability.
We're excited to be using our platform to assist LBA in finding the
next crime bestseller."

Writers can upload their crime fiction novels at

The deadline for entries is 30th April, 2012.

FEATURE:  When the Writing's Going Well:
Ten Remedies to Demolish an Unexpected Block

By Noelle Sterne

Your fingers play the computer keyboard like a concert pianist,
your pens run dry with astounding speed, your pages pile up like
gold. "Wow," you think, "this is how it should be! I'm gonna go all
But then, faster than a form rejection, more powerful than an
editor's frown, able to freeze you in a single flash, a horrible
thought zaps you: I can't stand it anymore!  
What! Why? Your writing's going just TOO well.
When we're blocked in the usual ways, the reasons are pretty clear
-- the infinitesimal progress, the search for the ever-elusive
perfect word, the unshakable suspicion that, despite all our sweat,
what we've written is still no good. But why, in heaven's name,
can't we stand it when our words are surging? 

The answers aren't easy. For one thing, the more we write, finding
our voice and feeling our oats, the more this paradox can strike,
and its irrationality throws us. For another, the emotion itself is
hard to pin down. In a "normal" block, we recognize depression,
frustration, anger, anxiety, sugar cravings. But what's going on
when the work is going well? 

Psychologist and personal growth specialist Gay Hendricks offers
insight in his book, "The Big Leap." We all have borders,
boundaries of joy, like pain. Each of us has set "an inner
thermostat . . . of the 'upper limits'" of success, happiness, and
creativity we allow ourselves.

Hendricks admits with candor that he discovered his own
"Upper-Limit Problem" early in his career. Happy with his work as a
research psychologist at a well-known university, he found the work
going well, as were his relationships. "I felt great. A few seconds
later, though, I found myself worrying about my daughter, who was
away from home on a summer program." After assuring himself she was
all right, he wondered why he had gone from feeling so good to
feeling so anxious. His realization applies to us all: "I
manufactured the stream of painful images because I was feeling
good! Some part of me was afraid of enjoying positive energy for
any extended period of time. . . . The thoughts I manufactured were
guaranteed to make me return to a state I was more familiar with:
not feeling so good."

And so with our writing. When we bump up against our upper limits
of joy or exhilaration that it's going so well, we activate, often
unconsciously, ways to shut down. One writer admitted, "When my
writing flows, I shake all over." Another said, "I avoid it because
it's too delicious." Another confessed, "When I'm stuck, I get
depressed, and that I can handle. But when my creativity explodes,
I get nervous, itchy, elated, giggly, and panicky, all at once. And
I hit the chips, or booze."

Familiar with this strange writers' malady, psychologist and
writing therapist Rachel Ballon gives us a logical explanation (in
"The Writer's Portable Therapist"). "You may get so overwhelmed by
the burst of creativity that you respond the same way that you do
to frustration -- by turning to a substance or activity that calms
you down and relaxes you from your excitement." So we tamp down our
excitement and tell ourselves, "I can't get through all these
chapters." "This novel is so bad I should stop now." "I'll never
get it published." 

But if in this state we quit, we're only defeating ourselves and
our writing goals. Now, when I feel myself shutting down because my
writing is taking off, I take action. First, I promise myself to
keep writing. Second, I do one or more of the ten things listed
below. These remedies have worked for many writers who feel the
paradox of the unexpected block. Try a few.
The first five will shake up your body:

1.        Get up
Get out of your chair and away from your desk. Run in place. Do ten
situps. Jump up and down ten times. If you have an indoor exercise
machine, use it. Take a walk -- around the room, the house, the
block, up and down the driveway.

2.        Dance
Put on your favorite upbeat music and dance for twelve minutes.

3.        Do one household task
Clean the bathroom sink, take out the garbage, windex the mirrors.
Water the plants, pet your pet. Pet the plants, water your pet.

4.        Cook
Put together a dish that can be completed quickly (like sauteed
vegetables or scrambled eggs) or a dish that needs little attention
after initial assembly (like spaghetti sauce or soup).

5.        Buy Something
Run out to the local office supply store and buy one writing
supply. Choose something you don't really need, something that may
cost too much, and something you've always yearned for and haven't
allowed yourself. (You know exactly what it is.)

The second five remedies will shake up your mind and feelings: 
6.        Feel all those fear-anxiety-panic-terror feelings. 
Acknowledge them. You won't get destroyed or punished, the other
shoe won't drop, your inspiration and creativity won't run dry.

7.        Grab a piece of paper and a pen. 
Pour out your feelings and thoughts right now. No censoring. 

8.        Identify whose "voice" is talking you down.
Whose "voice" is intoning that you don't deserve this exhilaration?
Who is telling you that you don't deserve to do what gives you the
greatest pleasure? Whose choice is it? Whose life? No one else is
living it but you. You have the strength to shake off those old
voices. Like ropes made of glue, they grab at you to conform, to be
what they want you to or think you should be. 

9.        Remember the wise words of the great philosopher Dr. Seuss:
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't
matter and those who matter don't mind."  And fortify the directive
with this chaser from life and career coach Tama Kieves: "I allow
myself to be uncorked, unabashed, and showered with delicious good
in every facet of my life." 

10.        Shout to yourself. 
Take a deep breath. Open your arms wide. Repeat out loud: "I can
stand this. It's not too good to be true. I've dreamed and worked
all my life for this." 

And every time the anxiety demons hover and sting, repeat this
single self-booster, "I deserve joy in my writing!"

With these methods, you'll break through, in Hendricks' term, your
upper limits and vastly extend your joy boundaries. You'll soar
right through your scribbling ceiling and allow your writing to go
well -- and fabulously, as it should. And then, faster than a
fifteen-minute break, you'll be back at work and rarin' to go all


Author, editor, ghostwriter, writing coach, and spiritual
counselor, Noelle Sterne writes fiction and nonfiction and has
published over 250 pieces in print and online venues. In her new
book, Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams
(Unity Books), using
"practical spirituality" she draws examples from her practice,
writing, and other aspects of life to help readers let go of
regrets, relabel their past, and reach their lifelong yearnings.
See Noelle's website, http://www.trustyourlifenow.com.

Copyright 2012 Noelle Sterne

For more tips on handling the stresses and strains and ups and
downs of a writer's life, check out our section:  


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



This site has a set of visual prompts, a variety of photographs of
all sorts of things, people and places to inspire you to get

I found this site courtesy of Felicia Day, who posted one of their
blogs on Facebook.  This site is excellent at providing thought
provoking blogs on how to improve your productivity and creativity
and how to over-come mental mind blocks. 

Plot Whisperer
Haven't you always wanted one of these to exist?  I know I have. 
Anyway, this plot whisperer, Martha Alderson, gives you help with
all your plotting dilemmas.  


"Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" is now
available.  This is the largest, most comprehensive guide to
writing competitions available in print (and Kindle). The 2012
edition features over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide -
including over 450 listings new to this edition.  No matter where
you live or what you write, you'll find a competition that's right
for you! The guide is updated with the latest deadlines, entry 
fees and prizes. Get it now at https://www.createspace.com/3778183
or visit Amazon.com to order the Kindle edition.


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: March 31
GENRE: Short Stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS: Entries must be about personified animals in some way,
shape, or form.  Beyond that, there are no limits! 2500 words or
PRIZES: $50 first prize, $25 second prize 
URL:  http://www.scribophile.com/contests/mad-as-a-hare-contest/

DEADLINE: April 30, 2012
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS: The subject of the eighth contest is Ares (also known as
Mars), the God of War. 30 lines max. 
PRIZES: $50 
URL: http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/OdeForm.html 

DEADLINE: March 31, 2012
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS:  Submit an unpublished poem of 30 lines or fewer that is
not under consideration elsewhere.
PRIZES: $1000 and publication
DEADLINE: April 15, 2012
GENRE: Short stories
DETAILS: The worst opening line in any genre of fiction. Sentences
BEYOND 50 OR 60 WORDS, and entries must be "original" (as it were)
and previously unpublished.
PRIZES:  A Pittance
URL: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/ 

DEADLINE: May 1, 2012
DETAILS:  Fiction must be limited to 8,000 words or less. Poetry
must be limited to five poems.   All entries must be completely
original, must never have been published, must be in manuscript
form, and must not be involved in other competitions.
PRIZES: Awarded in categories, 1st $150, 2nd $100.
URL: http://www.barton.edu/academics/english/crucible.htm  
DEADLINE: May 31, 2012
GENRE: Books
DETAILS:  Novellas from 15,000 - 20,000 words that conform to the
tradition of the Nero Wolfe series.  No overt sex or violence;
stories may not include characters from the original series. 
PRIZES:  $1000 and publication in Alfred Hitchcock Magazine

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

The Legend of Rachel Peterson, by J. T. Baroni

When Youth Fades: Don't Wither on the Vine - How to Celebrate Life
After 60, by Lillian Rhoades

The Magic of the Wolves, by Faye Stine

Find these and more great books at

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.


on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
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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