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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 12:12         13,309 subscribers               June 21, 2012
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Be Careful Out There, by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITING DESK, Columns, by Moira Allen
FEATURE:  Digging for Gold: Researching Awards for Your Book,   
by Naomi C. Rose                                                   
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers   
The Author's Bookshelf
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Be Careful Out There
I know I'm showing my age here, but I always used to enjoy the part
at the beginning of Hill Street Blues when the sergeant used to
give the cops their patrols and then say "Be careful out there."  

I'm not sure experienced cops needing reminding of how dangerous
their job is, but I do think that as writers, we need to make sure
we are aware of the many dangers lurking out there.

In the old days, before the internet, it took longer to get jobs. 
You had to write and post your queries, then wait for a reply, then
post your article, wait and eventually you would receive a check in
the post. 

This took ages, but most of us always got paid.  True, there were
editors and magazines that wouldn't pay, but they were, gladly, few
and far between. 

Now we have the internet and getting writing work has never been
easier, or more risky.  

As a copywriter I have seen demand for copy grow enormously over
the past few years as everyone suddenly needs a website or a blog,
or articles to fill their site.  Whilst a large majority of these
jobs are legitimate, paying jobs, there are, sadly far too many
scams out there lying in wait for the unwary writer. 

Almost every week I hear of writers who have written articles, copy
or blog posts and then not been paid.  There are lots of
unscrupulous types out there who are out for all they can get and
who will, gladly, take advantage of unwary writers. 

Once you know the signs, however, you can protect yourself from
these people and only apply for and do paid for writing work. 

These then, are my top tips for avoiding writing scams and ensuring
you actually earn money from your writing. 

Never apply for a job that says: "This would be easy for someone
who knows what they're doing."  This means the 'employer' doesn't
actually think much of writers and is not going to pay a going rate
for the work.  They generally want lots of work for not a lot of
cash, if any cash at all.  Steer clear of these postings. 

Likewise, avoid any job that says payment will be royalties or pay
per click, or that won't pay a fee until the site has earned money.
 The site will never earn money; you will end up writing for free.
These sites will often also say that they will provide you with
valuable clips.  Really?  How valuable to an editor do you think a
clip on that particular site will be?  Unless it is a well-known
magazine or site, the clip is practically worthless. 

Even as a beginner, I never wrote for free.  I don't believe it is

Avoid all jobs that are packed full of spelling errors - these jobs
don't tend to pay. 

Avoid all jobs seeking "lots of writers" - again these jobs hardly
ever pay and if they do, they pay peanuts. 

Never, ever provide unique specific writing samples to apply for a
job.  The 'employer' will simply take your samples and use them.
You won't hear from them again and you won't get paid. 

If you bear these tips in mind when looking at 'writers wanted'
ads, you will save yourself a lot of heartache and trouble. 

You can make a living as a writer on the internet; you just need to
be careful out there.  
-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter Editor
Copyright 2012 Dawn Copeman 


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The Writing Desk: Columns
By Moira Allen
How do I get my current editor's permission to self-syndicate my

Q:  I've been writing a weekly 15-inch food column for our local
paper for two years now for $40/week. About a year ago they moved
me to the section front page with a color head shot and started
putting the column on the wire.  It has now gotten to the point
that not a day goes by without someone telling me how much they
enjoy reading the column. All this was very pleasant but I decided
that more money would be even nicer.  The food editor said I
certainly deserved it -- I asked for $80 -- and that he would
approach the managing editor, but it has now been two months and no
answer, not even the answer "no."  I stopped sending in the column
two weeks ago, hoping to force their hand, but they are apparently
prepared to live without it. 

So can this self-syndication work for me? When I first read your
article I figured I was screwed because they "owned" what I wrote
and were putting it out there on the wire for all and sundry, but
should I now offer them one-time rights for the same old $40 and
try to peddle it elsewhere?  I think the entire section front page
automatically goes to the wire service--can I make them delete the
column?  Or do all these eager, smaller papers perhaps not
subscribe to the service?  I can't remember ever signing any kind
of contract with the paper.

A:  The focus of your question is "rights" -- what do you own, and
what does the paper own?  It's not an easy question to answer, nor
is there an easy answer as to what you should "do" about your
situation.  But here are some ideas.
First, if you're not already familiar with the ruling on the Tasini
lawsuit over electronic rights, you need to and read up on this
landmark case.  This addresses some of the issues you're raising
regarding the automatic electronic use of your material. You may
discover that your newspaper does not, in fact, have the "right" to
post your material electronically.  However, if that material is
posted as a part of the entire newspaper, with little or no
alteration, such use may still be authorized.
Second, even though you do not recall signing a contract with the
paper, do not "assume" that they own your column.  Have you ever
had a discussion with the editor regarding copyright ownership? 
This would be an important "next step."  Your editor may also
"assume" that he owns your material outright, but just because both
of you have assumed this doesn't mean it's true.  In the absence of
a contract, material is generally considered to be sold on a
"one-time" or "first time" use basis.  This is what you want, and
this is what you may need to make a case for.  Even though your
editor may assume that the material is "work-for-hire" (and
therefore owned outright by the paper), this is not enforceable
without a contract to that effect, as you are a freelancer and not
an employee.
Third, you need to make a distinction between "past" columns and
"future" columns, because these will involve separate issues.  One
question you'll need to ask yourself is how much value your past
columns may have for you, if you are able to branch out into
syndication.  Most publications are only going to want your future
work; do you believe you'll have a significant market for those
older columns?  If not, you may want to focus on what you want from
this editor in the future, and how you want your future work
handled, and let the past go.  (Note that in any case, this will
only be an issue IF your editor really does think he "owns" your
past work.  If your editor believes that the columns were purchased
on a first- or one-time basis, you have no problems; this will give
you every right to resell them elsewhere.)
Next, you'll need to decide exactly what kind of relationship you
want with your current editor in the future.  Do you still want to
sell columns to this paper? Have you enjoyed your relationship with
this editor?  Is there a benefit to being a columnist for this
paper that goes beyond money (e.g., recognition, clips, and the
opportunity to write features)?  Will you lose those benefits if
you leave the paper or alienate the editor?
Consider taking another look at the financial issues involved.  If
you can bring in added income by syndicating your column, would you
be willing to live with a lower raise from your current paper? 
Right now, you'd like $80.  By syndicating your column to other
regional publications, you stand the opportunity to make
considerably more off every column you write -- even if some papers
only offer you $10 to $20 per column.  (Remember that many of the
smaller papers are on a very tight budget.)  Let me say here, by
the way, that your column sounds ideal for self-syndication; it's
the sort of topic that is not limited by regional boundaries, so
you would have the potential to sell it just about anywhere in the
country.  (Why stop there? Think about going world-wide!)
There's nothing wrong with wanting a raise, or asking for one.  To
be blunt, however, I'd be surprised by any editor who doesn't blink
(if not choke) at the thought of increasing a columnist's pay by
100%.  Also, I can't agree with the tactic of withholding your
column to "force their hand."  This sounds like non-communication
to me; what you really need to be doing at this point (after you've
worked out all the questions and issues herein) is to have a long,
honest, friendly telephone conversation with your editor.  Editors
rarely respond well to demands or "blackmail" -- but they do
respond well to writers who can discuss matters reasonably.
Can you make a counter-offer, since you've heard nothing on the
request for $80?  How about asking for $60?  Another approach might
be to rephrase your request in terms of the electronic rights issue
-- tell the editor that you don't have a big problem with the
electronic use of your column, as long as you are compensated for
that additional use.  Make sure the editor understands that
electronic use is an additional use.  (I.e., a publisher can't
claim that by buying "first rights," that gives him the right to
publish something "first" both in print and electronically.)  Since
the editor probably needs to be able to pass along the entire
newspaper, and since you could raise a stink over the unauthorized
electronic use of your material, linking a reasonable raise (e.g.,
50%) to that electronic use may be just the trump card you need to
make the deal.
As I said earlier, you may still want to just leave past columns
(and their electronic use) alone.  What you probably want to focus
on here is negotiating a contract (in writing) with your editor
about how future columns will be handled.  You want to make it
clear to your editor (again, nicely!) that future columns will be
considered "one-time use" only, so that you are free to syndicate
the column to other, non-competing publications.  (Be sure you
emphasize "non-competing.")  Also, make sure that any electronic
usage that the newspaper wants is non-exclusive, as other papers
may also want to post the column electronically.  You'll want the
same terms from any other paper that syndicates your material.
Can self-syndication work for you?  I see no reason why it can't. 
At the very worst, you can move forward from where you are by
dropping your relationship with your current paper and starting
afresh by syndicating to other publications.  You don't even have
to write a batch of "new" columns to pitch your idea, as you have a
wonderful set of clips to use to support your pitch.
The place to begin is with a conversation with your editor. Find
out what the editor's assumptions are regarding past and current
(and future) use of the column.  Find out what the editor's top
offer of a raise would be, and whether that's acceptable to you. 
Then, negotiate what you want for this relationship in the future
-- specifically, the rights that you are granting to the paper on
this column.  If the editor is willing to accept your terms (and
rights are more important than money in this instance), you can
continue your relationship with this newspaper and launch into the
syndication market at the same time.  If the editor decides to
insist that material is "work for hire", you can then simply say
(nicely) that you are sorry, but you are unable to continue
contributing a column on that basis, that you have very much
enjoyed working with the editor and hope to be considered for
future feature assignments, and discontinue the column for that
particular paper.

(Note: The writer in this instance was told by her editor that the
paper owned all rights -- but pointed out that the paper could not
back this up without a contract.  The paper then attempted to
convince the writer to sign an all-rights contract on future
columns; the writer refused.  Ultimately, the writer negotiated an
agreement in which the paper was able to have first use of her
columns, as well as several exclusive articles per year, whereupon
the column could be syndicated elsewhere.) 

Copyright 2012 Moira Allen


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E-Books Earn More Money than Printed Books
The Association of American Publishers has announced that the
revenue earned by E-books has topped that made by traditional
printed books. In the first quarter of this year, e-books brought
in $282.3 million and printed books earned $ 229.6 million.  For
more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/d8c8wqb

Erotica is the New 'Hot' Thing for Publishers
With Pan Macmillan publishing an erotic retelling of "Jane Eyre"
entitled "Jane Eyre Laid Bare" in August, it is, perhaps, no
surprise to discover that many publishers are leaping into the
erotica genre. Simon & Shuster and Orion have also recently signed
up erotic titles.  For more on this story visit: 

Only Two Publishers Supplying e-books to US Libraries
Only two of the big six publishing firms, Harper Collins and Random
House, still supply e-books to libraries in the US.  The others
refuse to do so and as such, there could be a court case in the
offing. Librarians want all publishers to supply them with e-books
and to end the current lending limit that applies to e-books.  For
more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/82k2shy


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Writing Jobs and Opportunities
E-The Environmental Magazine Open to Submissions
This environmental magazine pays $0.30 per word and is seeking
submissions in various departments.  Visit the website for writers'
guidelines. http://www.emagazine.com/writers-guidelines/

Per Contra Literary Journal Seeks Short Stories
The site makes no mention of what payment is offered, but this
literary magazine is seeking short stories of up to 3000 words.  
For more details visit: 

Less Than Three Seeking Submissions
Less Than Three Press is looking for creative gay, lesbian, and
trans romance stories in any genre. The primary focus of Less Than
Three Press is romance; as such, we want stories where the focus is
on the relationship and the story ends happily. They are seeking
submissions for E-books, anthologies and serials.  


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FEATURE: Digging for Gold: Researching Awards for Your Book
By Naomi C. Rose  

Your book is out! It's in bookstores and on retail websites. But
how do you attract readers? How do you make sure your book receives
the accolades it deserves?

Submit your book for honors and awards. 

Awards come in all shapes and sizes. We'd all love to win a
National Book Award or Newbery Medal, but many more opportunities

Small awards may have requirements that narrow the field, giving
your book a better chance to win.

Big or small, an award creates buzz about your book, encouraging
readers to pick it up. 

Many publishers will submit your book for appropriate awards.
However, they may not have the resources to find all the awards
that suit your book. Provide your publisher with suggestions of
award contests. If your publisher doesn't submit your book, or if
your book is self-published, you may be able to do it yourself.
Many award committees accept book submissions from the author and
if applicable, the illustrator. 

No matter who submits your book, you'll need to dig to find
suitable awards. To avoid missing submission deadlines, do this
research several months before your book's publication date.

Step One: Dig for Gold  
Many blogs and websites include award information. None of these
sites is definitive. None covers every award. Few are totally
up-to-date at all times. So check many sites and cross-check the

Begin your online search with general keywords, such as "book
awards" or "children's book awards." If your book is for children,
search for adult awards too - many adult book awards contain
children's categories.

Many awards exist for specific characteristics of the book,
author/illustrator, or publisher. Use keywords that call out these

-  Geographical. Search for sites that list awards for your
country, state and region. There are plenty to find. Try these
keywords: book awards [name of your state], book awards [your

Don't shy away from global awards. Many international organizations
bestow awards for both adult and children's literature. Key words:
international literary awards, children book awards international. 

-  Author/illustrator experience. Some awards honor first-,
second-, or third-time authors and illustrators. Key words: new
author awards, new illustrator awards.

-  Author/illustrator race or religion. Many awards honor books by
or about a person of a specific race or religion. Key words: book
awards Jewish author, book award African American.

-  Subject. Some awards focus on the book's subject, such as social
causes (feminism, ecology, gay/lesbian, etc.), multicultural, peace
and social justice, religion, race, animals, developmental
challenges, environment, and storytelling. Key words: book awards
multicultural, book awards Christian, book awards autism.

-  Genre. Some awards focus on the book's genre, such as fiction,
nonfiction, anthology, poetry, memoir, biography, short story,
science fiction, and children's books. Some awards are broken into
age-related genres, such as picture book, middle grade, and young
adult. Key words: book award nonfiction, book award young adult. 

-  Illustration. Many art and illustration organizations bestow
awards for book illustration. Keyword: illustration book awards. 

-  Publisher. Awards exist for self-published books and/or books
published by independent presses. Key words: independent book
awards, self published book awards.

Don't forget to mix and match key words and see what you find.
Keywords: book awards new writer science fiction, book awards
poetry children. 

Another way to find book awards is to peruse books and magazines
related to writing, art, and publishing. Many list book awards. 

Finally, read the news sections of professional and alumni
journals, such as The Author's Guild Bulletin. These sections
announce award winners along with the names of the awards. If you
see an applicable award, research it online.
Step Two: Sift Through the Nuggets 
Gather submission information, such as deadlines, procedures,
criteria, and fees from the award websites. Use this information to
further determine if your book is a fit.  

Step Three: Go for the Gold 
Send a list of suitable awards along with the submission
information to your publisher. If your publisher doesn't submit
your book for an award, you may be able to do it yourself. 

A word about fees. Some award organizations charge a fee for
submitting a book. This fee may range from $5 to over $100. You
and/or your publisher will need to decide if the cost is worth it.
There are several considerations when making this decision.

-  Does your book have a good chance of winning?  Does the award
organization honor 2nd and 3rd place winners, thereby giving your
book a greater chance of being honored? 

-  What kind of publicity does the award committee provide for
their award winning books? In other words, what does this fee
potentially buy for you in terms of publicity? 

-  How many categories exist in the book award? If there are many
categories, your book may get lost in the publicity even if it

-  Is your publisher sending a number of books to the award? If so,
you may be able to get a bulk discount.  

Step Four: Let the Gold Shine
When your book actually WINS an award, first bask in the glow and
the buzz. If it's a big award, you'll get plenty of publicity and
media attention. If it's a smaller award, you'll need to do more
work. Most awards organizations provide some publicity. They
announce their award-winning books to the media, on their website,
in e-announcements, and so on. Add to this by sending out your own
media releases, e-announcements, social networking, blog
announcements, and so on.  Notify your loyal bookstores and online
retailers. They may have a special section in their store and/or
website that will call out award-winning books.    

Finally, make sure your publisher buys the medallions from the
award organization and sticks them on your books. And be sure to
put "award-winning" in front of your name. 

Researching awards takes time and energy, but it's well worth the
effort. Imagine the wonderful feeling when the buzz for your book
gets louder. 

A shiny medallion on the cover to attract readers doesn't hurt

Useful Sites
American Library Association http://www.ala.org
The Horn Book http://www.hbook.com
Society of Illustrators http://www.societyillustrators.org
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 
The Authors' Guild http://www.authorsguild.org
Pen American Centre http://www.pen.org

Editor's Note: "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing
Contests" provides information on over 200 awards for published and
unpublished books, as well as a section on children's literature
awards and awards for published and unpublished romance novels. 
Get it now at https://www.createspace.com/3778183 or visit
Amazon.com for the Kindle edition.


Naomi C. Rose is an author, illustrator, and storyteller. Her first
two books have several shiny medals. Tibetan Tales for Little
Buddhas (2004) won the Nautilus Book Award (Gold Winner) and a
Storytelling World Honor. Tibetan Tales from the Top of the World
(2009) won the Nautilus Book Award (Silver Winner) and an
International Book Award honor. Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure
was released in Fall 2011 and has been submitted for lots of
awards. Find out more about her at http://www.naomicrose.com.
Copyright 2012 Naomi C. Rose  

For more advice on how to promote you book check out the advice in
this section:   


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


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This is a great blog for copywriters and would-be copywriters by
expert copywriter and SEO expert Heather Lloyd-Martin.  I learn
something from this every week!  

Dollars and Deadlines
I love this blog by experienced freelancer Kelly James-Enger. It is
packed full of advice for seasoned as well as new writers in most
freelance genres including ghostwriting.  

Book Publishers Accepting Submissions
A truly amazing compilation of links to book publishers in the US
and UK,
with direct links to their guidelines. The site also offers a
variety of
tips on finding a publisher.


"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 nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the 
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal 
Guide to Writing Contests" 

DEADLINE: June 30, 2012
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS:   2500 words or fewer.  Entries must fit into the
Slipstream genre, blending mainstream fiction and sci-fi/fantasy
genres, making the familiar strange by using sci-fi/fantasy
PRIZE:  $50
URL: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/summer-solstice-contest/

DEADLINE:  July 1, 2012
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS:  A short romance story of 6000 to 1000 words
PRIZES:  A publishing contract

DEADLINE: August 14, 2012
GENRE:    Short Stories, 
DETAILS:  1000 words max on the theme of dragons
PRIZES:  $50, $25, $15
URL: http://www.lvwonline.org/Shapshifters.html

DEADLINE: September 1, 2012
GENRE: Poetry
DETAILS:  Submit a 14 line traditional sonnet on any theme.
PRIZE: $50
URL:  http://poetsandpatrons.net/Schaibel11.html 

DEADLINE: September 17, 2012
GENRE: Young Writers
OPEN TO:   High school seniors and college and graduate students
DETAILS: Answer one of the three essay questions on the website
about Rand's novel 'Atlas Shrugged', 800 - 1600 words.   
PRIZE:   $10,000 

DEADLINE: September 30, 2012
GENRE: Short Stories
OPEN TO: Authors with No Published Books: The Contest is open only
to those who have not had professionally published a novel or short
novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short
stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be
payment, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits for online
DETAILS:  17,000 words. Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror: All types of
science fiction, fantasy and horror with fantastic elements, are
PRIZE: $1000
URL:   http://www.writersofthefuture.com/contest-rules


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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