Writing World Newsletter Archive
Return to Newsletter Index · Home


                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World


Issue 12:11         13,285 subscribers               June 7, 2012
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
details on how to subscribe, unsubscribe, or contact the editors.

THE EDITOR'S DESK: Is Writing an Art or a Craft? by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER: New Technology, by Dawn Copeman
FEATURE: Is an MFA Program Right for You? By Amy White
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers: Making it Together, by Aline
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

BECOME A FICTION WRITER. Get published. Get paid. Create
manuscripts that are ready to submit to editors and publishers. 
Learn the techniques from an experienced professional writer -
online or by mail. Free Writing Test offered. 
* 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.
Novel, Too!  What if this year you could honestly call yourself an
author because you could support yourself and your family?
Details Here: http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=592721


Is Writing an Art or a Craft?

A friend asked me the other day whether I thought of my photography
as "art."  That, needless to say, led to a discussion of whether
WRITING should be classified as "art" -- or whether it is a
"craft." It's not a new question, and you'll find other writers
addressing it on the Web.  But it's the sort of question that often
comes up when we, as writers, try to explain to non-writers what it
is, exactly, that we do.  

The problem we so often encounter is that non-writers tend to
imagine that writing is rather like talking: Anyone can do it,
right?  I mean, talking is just putting words together in the right
order -- how is WRITING any different?  People with this attitude,
you've probably noticed, are often the same people who blithely
declare, "Oh, I think I'll write a novel one day," as if it's the
sort of thing one schedules like a dental appointment.  

Many visual artists, I'm told, have difficulty accepting "writing"
as an art, at least as an art that deserves to be considered right
up there with, say, painting and sculpture and such. Yet another
problem is that many writers themselves prefer not to think of
writing as an art.  James Chartrand, blogging on "Men with Pens"
(http://menwithpens.ca/is-writing-an-art-or-a-trade/), writes,
"Huh. I'm just a guy who can write for money."  In his view,
writing is a trade -- just another business, right up there with
brick-laying and flipping burgers.  And a trade is a craft.

So let's toss out some definitions here.  First of all, what is a
"craft," exactly?  There are two ways that one can define it.  One
is the definition of "crafts" as distinct from "arts" in an "arts
and crafts" show.  Artists fiercely defend the title of "art" and
quite often sneer at those who offer mere "crafts" -- beaded
jewelry, quilts made from pre-patterned fabric, cute candles, and
all the rest.  My sister got into this discussion with a relative,
trying to defend her work as a stained glass artist as "art" as
opposed to simply the "craft" of putting a bunch of glass pieces

The second definition of "craft" refers specifically to one's
"trade" -- one learns one's craft, until one is proficient enough
to make it a paying trade.  This is the definition that Chartrand
is using.  

Let's get back to the "arts and crafts" dichotomy, however.  When
you visit an arts and crafts show, I'm betting that you don't have
much difficulty distinguishing one from the other.  When you pass a
booth filled with oil paintings, or hand-made lamp-worked glass
beads, or bronze statuary, you probably think "artist."  When you
pass a booth filled with little dolls made from lace and
clothespins, you probably think "crafter."  

So here's my definition: First, a craft is something that can be
TAUGHT.  One can write down, or follow, a set of specific
instructions to produce a craft item.  For example, if you make
dolls out of clothespins, you could write an article telling me,
and hundreds of other people, how to make very similar dolls.  One
of my favorite crafts is to make Christmas angels out of seashells
-- and I could easily tell you how to do exactly the same thing.

Second, though this isn't ALWAYS the case, a craft typically
involves assembling items that already exist in one form or
another, often to a pattern.  For example, crafting a beaded
necklace means putting together an assembly of beads.  You may
choose the beads and the pattern, but you don't CREATE the beads. 
Many crafts come, literally, in kits, from which one can assemble a
finished product.  The quality of the product depends on the
individual's skill, which comes from practice -- but at the end of
the day, your kit and mine will probably look much the same.
(Except mine probably won't be finished.)

Craft as "trade" takes this concept to the next level -- more skill
is required, but it is obtained through practice and instruction. 
There is still the sense that, with the right instruction, nearly
anyone could achieve the same results.  A trade often involves a
great deal of repetitive work -- in the case of writing, for
instance, turning out copy, press releases, brochures, technical
manuals, documentation, etc. that follow fairly predictable

Now let's look at art.  To my mind, art is the process of creating
SOMETHING out of NOTHING.  That doesn't mean that tools and
supplies aren't required -- but art starts with the blank canvas. 
Whether it's a block of stone or wood, a lump of clay, an untouched
canvas, or the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, it starts out
formless.  The artist is one who looks at that "blank," and
conceives of a way to create something that did not exist before.

Second, it cannot be taught, packaged into a kit, or precisely
duplicated.  While an artist can teach the TECHNIQUES of a given
art to another artist, the student will not replicate the works of
the teacher.  Two artists will look at the same model, or
landscape, or still life, and come up with completely different
visions.  Your art will never look precisely like mine, and vice

Third... and here's a key factor... I believe that when you look at
a work of art, you don't instantly think, "Hey, no biggie, I could
do that."  When I look at a needlework kit, I know I could do that.
 When I look at a bead necklace, I know I could do that.  When I
look at a photograph, I know that I could PROBABLY do that.  When I
look at many other crafts, I know that I could probably accomplish
them if I followed the instructions or attended a class.

When I see someone painting a landscape or sketching a portrait, I
don't think "I could do that."  In my case, I would say that this
is not my "art."  I know that it would take a great deal more
instruction to enable me to create a passable portrait than it
would to learn how to craft even the most complex bead necklace. 
But even if I DID learn the techniques required, my landscape would
look nothing like your landscape, or my instructor's landscape, or
the landscape that inspired me to learn how to paint in the first
place.  It would be uniquely mine -- or, it would not be "art."

So how does this apply to writers?  In my opinion, writers are no
different from painters, sculptors, or whatever: They create
SOMETHING out of NOTHING.  They begin with the blank page, and on
that page they draw people who never existed and make us not only
BELIEVE they exist, but weep over their sorrows and laugh over
their joys.  They draw worlds that have never existed and could
never exist and make us yearn to move there.  They weave ideas that
change the way we view the world and treat our neighbors.

Further, each writer creates something uniquely his or her own. 
There are thousands of fictional detectives, but one will never
mistake Hercule Poirot for Sherlock Holmes.  Even in the
ever-expanding world of vampire novels, one wouldn't mistake
Twilight for Sookie Stackhouse.  We read novels, stories, poetry
and essays for the unique voice of that "artist," for the
opportunity to meet characters and visit worlds that only that
writer can create.  A writer who is an ARTIST is one who not only
creates something from nothing, but creates something UNIQUE from

But... a writer cannot accomplish this without, and here's that
pesky word again, having learned the CRAFT.  Brilliant writers are,
I believe, both born AND made.  Inspiration is only half the
battle.  If a writer doesn't learn to assemble the components, to
follow the instructions, then there is the risk that the blank page
will be filled with the literary equivalent of hotel art.  It may
look pretty, but it has no depth and moves no one.  

There's nothing wrong with crafting.  A lot of us are "crafting." 
We're putting food on the table by creating articles, copy, web
content, and whatever else pays the bills.  You're not alone;
Charles Dickens earned a living editing a magazine ("Household
Words," which morphed into "All the Year Round"). Most of us, like
Chartrand, don't kid ourselves into believing that these works are
"art."  What they are, however, is art's training ground.  The more
skilled and successful you become at your "craft," the better your
chances of turning that blank page into genuine art.  And when you
do, you have the right to call it what it is.
-- Moira Allen, Editor
Copyright 2012 Moira Allen 


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. 

Word book templates are a godsend for writers. Templates for
eBooks, Kindle, PDF, MOBI, printed books, and more. Available in
all popular sizes. See them now at: http://www.booktemplate.org/


The Inquiring Writer: New Technology
By Dawn Copeman

Last month we had two questions concerning using new technology as
a writing tool.  Bill Harris asked: "Do you use an iPad as a
writing tool?  I've seen lots of ads for iPad writing apps but
wasn't sure if they were any good or just gimmicks.  Do you know if
anyone uses them and what for?"

We only had one reply concerning the iPad, which came from Paul
Hakel. He wrote: "The iPad is IMPOSSIBLE to write on!  I can't
stand the typing interface, I can write at least double the speed
on my Macbook laptop keyboard vs. an Ipad."

He continues: "My favorite Mac app, hands down, is Butler -
http://manytricks.com/butler/ With it, I open up computer
applications, websites, etc. with combinations like
command+alt+(letter). For instance, my email is command+control+M,
or to open up a file folder of pictures is command+shift+P.
Insanely fast, hotkeys in general is something important for
speeding up computer usage, and therefore writing productivity."

We did, however, receive lots of replies for Summer Sheldon. She
said: "I am just in the process of starting out as a copywriter and
I noticed many of my clients want me to use things like DropBox and
online project management tools to keep track of projects and to
share files.  Do you use any of these Cloud-based tools and are
they safe to use?"

Barb wrote: "I recently moved all my documents to Dropbox - for my
own convenience, because I now have an old desktop that might die
at anytime and a brand new laptop, so I can access the documents
from both without having to use USB drives or CD-Rom or whatnot to
move files from one PC to the other. I admit I haven't tried the
file-sharing, but it looks simple enough. I tried to invite my
writers group members to join Dropbox so we could share the month's
piece(s), but nobody bothered. I guess they were scared about
security and prefer the old Yahoo groups mailing list, sigh."

"I use Dropbox and find it extremely helpful," wrote Amanda
Kelly-Goodhew. "Firstly, it makes me more comfortable because I
know if my extremely old computer suddenly crashes my work is still
safe somewhere out in cyberspace.  Also, I can access my work
anywhere I have access to the internet.  If I'm visiting friends,
etc. I don't have to take my work with me. I just log onto Dropbox
and it is waiting for me. 

"Secondly, it allows me to have beta-readers all over the world
read my work.  We can share files on Dropbox.  So, although I live
in Canada and my mother lives in the Caribbean and my cousin lives
in Ireland, they can all access my work."

Martha Winquist Emrey has some excellent advice for people
considering moving to Dropbox.  She wrote: "I have been using
Dropbox for several years, both for writing projects, as well as
for photo projects.  I've also done a fair amount of reading on
cloud-based technology.
"First, each user should take responsibility for understanding and
ensuring the security of her/his electronic information, even when
using cloud-based technology. Having said that, I believe many
operate on an assumption the data is secure.  In Dropbox, your
information may be safer than on your hard drive.  If you don't
backup your work and your hard drive crashes, your work may be
gone.  With Dropbox, they have backup systems so work will not be
"As mentioned, I have been using Dropbox for various projects.  So
far, I only use the free offering.  I have enough space because I
invite my clients to Dropbox to share a folder, which gives me
additional storage space.  Also, when a project is completed, I get
it out of Dropbox, freeing up that space for a new project.  I have
used it when some have Macs and some have PCs.
"The pros:  Great for sharing documents and photos.  Can discuss a
project while both are looking at the work and you can share it
with several folks.  Since Dropbox synchronizes to your computer,
as you make changes, Dropbox picks them up and has the newest
version.  A note here:  I keep Dropbox off until I am ready for it
to synch, as it slows my computer down if someone in a shared
folder or I am making changes and it is syncing to my computer
while I'm trying to do something else.
"The main con I have found:  I always make sure that those I share
folders with are in communication with me so only one of us is
making changes at a time.  If two are making changes
simultaneously, the first to save gets the document current.  The
second person creates a "conflicted" copy.  Dropbox says you need
to figure which you want and add any other changes to it.  Do you
remember all the changes you make when working in a document?  I
don't.  Therefore, I don't think Dropbox is a good solution for
sharing documents where different people will be making changes on
an ongoing basis, as the conflicted copies will just cause
"I will keep using Dropbox, as for my purposes it works quite well."

Chris, however, thinks we are all missing out some really useful
and free writers' tools and apps that are available as add-ons to
the Firefox browser. 

I have just added Firefox to my laptop as I use several of its
add-ons in my work maintaining the content on clients' sites. Never
having used Firefox before, I must admit, I love it!

Chris said: "When I changed to Firefox I decided to make my browser
a more useful tool to me as a writer.  I searched online and found
this article which gave me all the add-ons I could need. 
"Whilst I don't personally use all of the ones recommended here, I
have found Scrapbook and Zotero to be really useful in organising
my research for articles.  I also don't think I could work now
without Toodledo!"

Thanks for that, Chris, I'll make sure I add them to my Firefox! 

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Be sure to keep copies of any materials that you
store on a Cloud.  There was a recent court case in which a cloud
computing firm (Megaupload) was shut down because of copyright
infringement issues.  When the cloud was shut down, the servers
were shut down and ALL users lost access to their data.  There have
been several accounts of users who lost or did not have backup
copies of their data, but assumed all was well because it was
stored on the cloud -- only to find that they were cut off from
access.  So by all means use a cloud like DropBox to make your data
available to you (or others) from different locations or machines,
but don't rely upon it to store your data that isn't backed up

Now this month's question comes from Toni Becker.  Toni wrote:
"After a long break from freelance writing, I just resumed
submitting features/photos to newspapers.  My previous submissions
were hard copy and slides or negatives sent by snail mail, (tells
you how long it's been since I've last written!)

"What are the general format rules for electronic article
submissions to newspapers -- line spacing, headers, etc.  Also, is
it alright to e-mail a completed article without query?  

"And what are general rules for electronic submission of photos
taken by a digital camera?" 

If you can help Toni, or if you have a question, email me with the
subject line "Inquiring Writer" to editorial@writing-world.com.

Until next time, 

Copyright 2012 Dawn Copeman


AUTHOR SITES FOR LESS gives authors a virtual home without breaking
the bank.  Choose from a variety of author-specific, classy, and
tailor-made templates starting at $399.  We offer a choice of three
plans.  Our set-up enables you to update your site without needing
a developer.  Social media pages also available.  Please visit



CreateSpace Reduces Minimum Payout Rates
CreateSpace has reduced its direct deposit minimum payment
threshold amount to $10,(previously $20)and the new payment terms
will be effective for payments made in June 2012, for any royalties
earned through May.

In addition, with direct deposit, currency conversion is now
available. This means if you have a bank account in the U.S., U.K.,
Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, or the Netherlands you
can be paid in U.S. dollars, British pounds, or Euro.

Other payment changes have been made regarding checks. If you
choose not to select direct deposit for your royalty payments and
have checks sent to the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Spain,
Portugal, Belgium, or the Netherlands, then a check handling fee of
$8 will apply per payment. The payment by check will increase to a
minimum payment amount of $100.

For additional details, please see the Payments section at

Concerns over Literary Vandalism at Manchester City Library
A letter from an employee at Manchester City Library has been sent
to the press claiming that employees are being asked to 'pulp' over
300,000 books, including ones from the 19th Century.  For more on
this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/bnsh8wn

Debut Novel Wins Last Ever Orange Prize for Fiction
For the second year in a row, the Orange Prize for Fiction has been
won by a debut novelist. American author Madeline Miller won the
£30,000 award for her novel The Song of Achilles.  This is the last
ever Orange Prize for Fiction, as the mobile phone company has
pulled out of sponsoring future events. Many insiders think that
Apple might take over the prize. For more on this story visit:

FEELING PRESSURED TO PRICE A JOB? Follow the 3-step process in
Freelance Fee Setting: Quick Guide for When a Client Demands a Price
NOW. This brief e-book is by the author of the award-winning What
to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants.
Get it now at http://tinyurl.com/86qfupw


Writing Jobs and Opportunities
Got a Blog? This company is seeking ghost bloggers.
Bloggerinsiders.com is seeking ghost bloggers to write blog posts
for its clients.  Pay varies from $20 to $200 per post, depending
on complexity, topic matter and word count. 

Brew Your Own Open to Submissions
This magazine is aimed at home-brewers in the US and is open to
submissions from home-brewers. Pay ranges from $25 to $200, but be
aware that they buy all rights. 

Sorcerous Press Open to Submissions
Sorcerous Press publishes books on Adult and Young Adult fantastic
fiction. Royalties are paid on books they publish.  To see the full
range of genres they are looking for, word guidelines and
submission details visit: http://www.sorcerouspress.com/


Enrol FREE in a 14-part 'mini course' in short-story writing
success. This highly acclaimed Writers' Village 'Master Class'
shows you how to get published - profitably - and win cash prizes
in fiction contests. Discover how to open a chapter with 'wow'
impact, add new energy to a scene, build a character in moments,
sustain page-turning suspense even through long passages of
exposition... plus 97 additional powerful ideas you can use at
once. Enjoy the course without charge now at:


Need interviews or your book reviewed by national media, but
horrified by expensive publicists?  Read our important letter
at http://www.1waypr.com/WriterAuthor-B3.html

FEATURE:  Is an MFA Program Right for You?

By Amy White

In many writers' bios, you'll see three little letters -- MFA. The
Master of Fine Arts degree seems to be more popular than ever;
there are over 300 MFA programs in North America alone, and every
year, more universities in Europe, Asia, and Australia are offering
equivalent degrees. Writers from Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Harding
to bestselling author John Irving have obtained their MFAs in
creative writing, and it seems to be serving them well. It leads a
writer to believe that an MFA is the key to success. But on the
other end of the spectrum, Ernest Hemingway and T.S. Eliot didn't
have MFAs. Neither do Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. If these
writers could find success without MFAs, is the degree as valuable
as it seems? 

A Master of Fine Arts in creative writing is a graduate degree that
takes two to three years to complete. Unlike a Masters of Arts,
which focuses more on academic learning, an MFA focuses more on the
creation of work, typically short stories, novels or poetry. Those
enrolled in an MFA program attend writing workshops and seminars
about the craft of writing. They critique their fellow writers'
work, edit and revise their own work, and read and examine works
from published writers. The final term of the MFA program usually
consists of an independent study under the supervision of an
advisor, at the end of which a student completes a creative thesis
-- a writing project taking the form of a novel, short stories,
poems, or a portion of a nonfiction book. 

Though some programs offer concentrations in screenwriting and
children's fiction, the majority of MFA programs focus on fiction,
poetry, and nonfiction. The curriculum is intense, and the
deadlines are demanding. But students who put in the work will gain
a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as
writers. The MFA program aims to help students overcome those
weaknesses; through workshops, lectures, and presentations,
students will learn how to develop their voices, revise their rough
drafts, and incorporate writing techniques into their own works. 

In terms of career paths, anyone looking to teach creative writing
at the college level needs to have an MFA. Though some universities
now offer PhDs in creative writing, the MFA is still considered a
terminal degree, meaning writers with MFAs are qualified to teach
at a university level. But having an MFA does not guarantee a
teaching position. With hundreds of students graduating from MFA
programs each year, and only a handful of teaching positions
available, the numbers simply don't add up. Those lucky few who
receive tenure-track positions can typically list a few published
books as their credentials. Graduates of MFA programs should
consider landing a teaching position a long-term goal; their
short-term focus should be on getting their work published.

But what about those writers who don't want a teaching career? Will
an MFA alone land them a writing job? Chances are, the answer is
no. For the majority of writing-related careers, an MFA is not a
requirement. Search for a writing position in a job database, and
you'll find a few listings that require writers to have bachelor
degrees, a majority that require writers to have a few years of
writing experience -- and none that require writers to have an MFA. 

Editors and publishers, meanwhile, seem to value the quality of the
writing more than the quantity of a writer's education. Rebeca
Schiller, online editor of HAND/EYE Magazine, sums it up: "I don't
care if the writer has an MFA or not. It's the writing and how they
tell the story that matters." Paul Stenquist, editor of
EnergySmarts of Michigan and former managing editor at Hearst,
agrees: "I have never expressed any interest in the academic
credentials of the writers who wrote for my publications. The
quality of the copy is the only thing that matters." 

So why would any writer want to spend two years of their life
obtaining a degree that seems to have little to no value in the job
market? It's best to think of the MFA not as a practical degree,
but as a creative degree. You shouldn't attend an MFA program to
further your career; you should attend to improve your art. An MFA
alone won't get you a high-paying job after graduation, but it can
help you improve your writing to the point where you can land those
esteemed publication credits. 

There are other benefits of the MFA program beyond this most
obvious one. Take the instructors, for instance. Look at the list
of faculty for the top-rated MFA programs, and you'll find
award-winning novelists, poets, and writers. Having a Pulitzer
Prize-winning author critiquing your work is a rare opportunity
outside the MFA program, but a common occurrence inside it. Another
big advantage of attending an MFA program is the atmosphere.
Students are surrounded by writers who are just as enthusiastic
about the craft as they are. The energetic atmosphere can help
boost a writer's creativity.

Between work obligations and family commitments, many writers
cannot find the time to write. An MFA program offers writers just
that -- time. Students spend two years immersed in the world of
writing -- of creating, critiquing, and reading. In short, they
live the lives of writers. But two years of writing time often
means two years away from family, the comfort of home, and the
security of a higher-paying job. 

Two years of writing time also comes at the expense of a savings
account. The average cost of tuition for MFA programs ranges from
$30,000 to $70,000. Many students apply for assistantships, which
provide a stipend in exchange for teaching undergraduate courses.
Alternatively, low-residency MFA programs can help students save
money; they cost around $20,000 to $30,000. With a low-residency
program, students spend the majority of a semester at home, working
on projects and assignments. They travel to the university once a
semester for a week or two of intense course sessions, workshops,
and lectures. Neither option is cheap and both will take an
enormous time commitment. But for the thousands of writers applying
to MFA programs every year, the cost is worth the payoff.

If you're questioning the cost, you're not doomed to cliché- and
adverb-ridden writing forever. You can improve your writing without
attending an MFA program. You will spend just as much time writing
as you would in the program, and you will need a lot of
determination to stick with your self-education, but you can save
money. The key is to apply the best aspects of the MFA program to
your own writing routine.

If you attend an MFA program, you'll have to work your way through
a long reading list. After all, no one can learn to write without
reading. But you don't have to be enrolled in an MFA program to
read your way through the library. Compile your own reading list.
Include novels that focus on the same subject matter you would like
to explore, nonfiction written in a style you want to emulate, and
poetry that uses techniques you find interesting. Once you've
finished reading a novel, don't just move on to the next one. Ask
yourself what makes the novel successful, what techniques the
author employed, what made the characters come to life. This
critical analysis will help you develop your own writing style.

Attending an MFA program isn't the only way to improve your writing
technique. If you opt for the self-education route, you can still
learn all about plotting, research, and poetry forms by attending
workshops, enrolling in university night courses, and reading books
on the writing craft. To replicate the MFA workshop experience,
join a critique group. Your fellow group members will read your
work and comment on the elements that did and didn't work, giving
you a better understanding of what changes to make during the
editing process. Group members, however, are not being marked for
participation; chances are students in the MFA program both give
and receive more in-depth feedback. But a critique group can give
you a general impression of the effectiveness of your writing.

An MFA can help you land a teaching position, but an MFA alone
won't get you a high-paying writing job. An MFA program can help
you improve your writing, but so can writing workshops and critique
groups. Knowing the possibilities and limitations of an MFA degree,
should you apply to an MFA program? Susan Burmeister-Brown, editor
of the prestigious literary journal Glimmer Train, puts it

"It's critical that writers take their writing and education
seriously, and there are several ways to do that. The MFA program
is certainly one. Writing groups, reading good books about writing,
online classes, studying the publications where you'd like to be
published -- these can all be good avenues, and what's appropriate
for each writer is often a blend of these, and changes throughout a
writer's career and life circumstances."

The answer depends on your current lifestyle, your financial
situation, your career goals, and your level of determination. If
you decide the MFA program is right for you right now, you'll get
the most out of the program if you enter into it with realistic
expectations regarding your finances and your future career path.
If you decide that an MFA doesn't fit with your budget or your
future goals, be prepared to work hard to improve your writing
through other means. The MFA program is a valuable tool for writers
looking to improve their craft, but it isn't the only tool.


Amy White is a freelance writer based in Ontario, Canada. She
covers topics ranging from interior design to marketing practices
for national publications and websites. In her spare time, she
indulges in her addictions -- chocolate, episodes of Breaking Bad,
and the five-dollar discount table at her local bookstore.

Copyright 2012 Amy White  

For more advice on taking courses to improve your writing check out
and also this article on how to read "how to write" books: 


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


SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent
Writers and Editors, the professional association with a
career-building difference. We partner with you to create a
strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free
NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to
find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!


Free Stuff for Writers: Making It Together 
By Aline Lechaye

Over the past couple of months, we've covered email, Facebook and
Twitter. This month, we're turning our attention to websites
(specifically, wikis). 

Want to create a page for your fantasy world, explaining your
characters, locations and magical artefacts? A wiki website is
probably the best way to organize and display large amounts of
complicated information. 

Plus, you can have multiple users collaborate to edit the content
on your wiki site so as to include all the minor details that you
may not have thought of (or perhaps simply do not have time to

And if the word "website" is sending you into a panic thinking
about computer codes, be assured that setting up and editing with
the wiki building sites listed below are no more complex than
navigating through your email. 

Google Sites (https://sites.google.com/): Yes, Google can help you
set up a wiki. Who would have thought it? Google Sites allows you
to create new pages with one simple click, and you can invite as
many collaborators to your wiki as you like. 

You have the option to make the site public, or just accessible to
certain people. You can pick from several pre-made templates, or
build a page from scratch if you happen to be someone who's good at
that sort of thing. Add photos, videos, or podcasts as needed. You
don't even need to set up a new account; just log in using your
Gmail username and password. 

Learn more at 

Another great wiki builder is Wikispaces(
http://www.wikispaces.com/). This site is simple to use, and if you
need any help, you can check out tutorial videos that show you how
to do everything from creating new pages to organizing your wiki
pages. Upload up to 2GB of documents, videos, pictures and more to
share with your readers. You can allow visitors to post feedback
and discuss content you've posted. 
The Wiki statistics page also lets you know how many visitors and
views your Wiki has gotten over the past month, and it breaks
visitors down by country as well. 

Wikidot (http://www.wikidot.com/) lets you build up to 5 separate
wiki websites with storage of up to 300MB each. They also have a
breathtaking array of CSS templates for you to choose from. Best of
all, with Wikidot, you can add a forum for users to discuss
relevant issues and ask questions about the content you've posted. 

Remember that your wiki doesn't have to be just a collection of
information like Wikipedia. You can use wikis to set up online
writing courses, collaborate with other writers, host writing
competitions, or simply create a place for fellow writers to "brag"
and catch up. 

Be reminded, however, that most content posted on wikis is
published under Creative Commons licenses, which means that other
users are allowed to use and distribute your work as long as they
credit you as the author. Under the circumstances, you might want
to think twice before posting your current work-in-progress on your
wiki website. To learn more about Creative Commons licenses, go to


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

Copyright 2012 Aline Lechaye


A site designed to raise awareness about punctuation abuse has
already saved countless apostrophes, with hundreds of pledges
joining the cause per hour. Why don't you join too and save these
poor apostrophes from abuse?

Writing Links
A regularly updated list of links to UK-based writing resources,
including blogs and social networks, competitions, events, literary
agents, literary magazines, UK organizations for writers, UK book
publishers, and other resources.

Fiction Writer's Mentor.com
This is a comprehensive site that tackles every aspect of fiction
writing, written by experts in the field. Sign up to the newsletter
and get an eBook on beating writer's block. 


"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.


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

A Boy Loves a Man 1: Gypsy Heir to the Throne, by Aad Aandacht

Chalk Dustings, by Gloria MacKay

Creating Blockbusters! How to Generate and Market Hit Entertainment
for TV, Movies, Video Games, and Books, by Gene Del Vecchio

I Have Proof of a Higher Power, by Ioan Dirina

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 
product, service or book title, visit


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