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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 13:06          13,220 subscribers            March 21, 2013
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Surviving Without a Computer, by Moira Allen 
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: The Order of Things, by Victoria
FEATURE: How Much Is that In Dollars? The Financial Side of Writing
for Foreign Publishers, by Audrey Faye Henderson  
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Getting a website, by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf   
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Surviving Without a Computer
I often wonder how we managed, back in the dark ages... You know,
those ages when one's household was "dark" because it wasn't
perpetually lit by the glow of one or more computer screens.  Well,
last week I got a chance to recall those ancient days.  It was
rather like being a guest on "Pioneer House" or "Victorian Manor,"
only without the interesting clothes and weird foods!

It began when my antivirus program -- a well-known, trusted program
-- informed me that a "new version" was ready to install and would
I be so kind as to download it now before it shut off my computer
and life-support and did it without me?  I complied, downloaded the
new version, declined to shut down my computer right that very
moment, and went on my way.  The next morning... wonder of wonders,
"The Beast" (which is my pet name for the computer) would not

Fortunately I was able to reboot in "last known good configuration"
and all went well. A week passed, and then, lo and behold, an
announcement came from my antivirus software, with yet ANOTHER "new
version" -- which suggested to me that they'd figured out there
were bugs with the previous version.  Joyfully, I installed that.

The next morning... well, what a surprise, "The Beast" would not
boot.  Only, this time, not only would it not reboot, a red-flagged
warning appeared upon my screen declaring that I needed to reset my
parameters in the BIOS as it could not boot from the current

Now, to me, "BIOS" is something I put at the end of my articles,
NOT something I muck about with on my computer -- which was now
doing a marvelous imitation of a very large paperweight.  Time to
call in an expert.  The expert poked, prodded, grunted, and made
noises about "maybe it's time you upgraded to Windows 7" -- but
reluctantly acceded to my request to put everything back just the
way it was.  And, miraculously (he honestly wasn't sure it would
happen), he did so.  But... it took almost a week.

A week without my key programs.  A week in which I couldn't update
web pages, or load them online even if I could.  A week in which my
scanners sat idle.  A week in which I kept wondering, "How on EARTH
did we cope?"

Granted, I had a lap-top, which enabled me to check e-mail and do
basic writing tasks, but most of my programs and hardware weren't
loaded. In addition, many of the programs I use are downloads, so I
couldn't even install them from a disk.  And granted, I did have
all my files, but I balked at trying to load them all onto the
laptop and then have to remember which ones I needed to copy back
onto the computer when (and if) it came home again.  On the bright
side, at least I had no trouble downloading my favorite games!!

Thankfully, "The Beast" is back home safe and sound, and I'm back
in action.  But the experience was a reminder that all of us who
depend upon computers for our livelihood -- and especially those of
us who keep our life's work stored on those computers -- are just
one bad software download away from catastrophe.  So let me take
this opportunity to leave you with my regular reminder and warning:


The one light of consolation in my valley of desolation was the
knowledge that, just a few days previously, I had completed one of
my massive backup jobs.  I'm a compulsive "backer-upper."  I have a
second, terabyte hard drive on "The Beast" itself, upon which I
back up new and changed files daily, basically as they happen. 
Once a week, I back up my collection of new and changed files onto
an external drive that lives in the desk drawer.  (To make this
simple, whenever I back something up onto the second computer
drive, I also toss a copy into a "Backup" folder on that same
drive, so that it's easy for me to locate for the weekly backup.)

I also prefer to keep a copy (or two) of materials off-site. 
Initially, I did this by burning DVDs and sending them off to my
mother-in-law to store.  Now I keep another terabyte external drive
in a safe deposit box at my credit union.  Once a month, I retrieve
it, back up everything that has accumulated, and then stick it

If you don't want to be bothered with the mechanics of keeping
track of your back-ups, managing external drives, or opening a safe
deposit box, consider a service that backs up to a "cloud" server. 
There are many available; the one that seems to offer the best deal
for large quantities of data is Carbonite.  (Most of the others
charge by volume -- and if you're like me, with tons of photos and
high-volume files, this could add up in a hurry.)  These services
load a program onto your computer that automatically backs up and
synchronizes your files.  If anything happens to your computer, you
can access the files from another computer or laptop.  

These days, for many of us, our business, and a good portion of our
personal lives -- photos, letters, journals, etc. -- reside on our
hard drives.  If something happens to that hard drive, a big chunk
of your business could abruptly go down the electronic drain.  

So back it up.  Then, if the screen goes dark, you have the
consolation of knowing that, even if you have to buy a new computer
and start from scratch, you'll be able to pick up where you left
off.  In the meantime, you'll have the fun of rediscovering
whatever  it was we did when we didn't have computers!

-- Moira Allen, Editor

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 

Link to this article here:


purchased three volumes of "The Writer" from the 1890's and shared
some of the timeless insights with our readers.  Well, my
bookshelves are over-stressed as it is, so I've decided to pass
these classic volumes on.  And they truly are classics - much of
the advice is just as valid today as it was more than 100 years
ago.  Each volume also has loads of gossip and tidbits about the
writers of the day - Rudyard Kipling embarking on a voyage, etc. 
If you'd like to add these inspiring issues to your own writers'
bookshelf, you will find them on eBay this week at the links below:

The Writer - 1891

The Writer - 1894

The Writer - 1896


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 a 
FREE issue to start. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AY636


The Order of Things


Recently I had tea with the mother of a friend of mine. She told me
that she was working on a family history and that writing it was
proving more challenging than she anticipated. The difficulty, she
said, was figuring out in what order to put everything. 

The sequence of events for your story has several dimensions. One
aspect of this means the order of what happens to your characters.
But it also means deciding upon the order in which you TELL
everything to your readers. These are not always the same thing. 

We can call one type of order the "author's absolute time" within
the story. Certain events happen on Monday; other events happen on
Tuesday. But the reader does not necessarily experience the story
events in this order, for the story may not be told that way.
Events which occur on Monday may appear after Tuesday's events in
the novel. We'll call this second type of order the "reader's
relative time." (If someone knows better terms for these concepts,
please let me know.) 

There are many examples of stories not told in chronological order.
A novel may open with a frame story which is set at the "absolute
time" end of the story. For example, in our novel, "Jocasta: The
Mother-Wife of Oedipus," we start with a prologue in which
Jocasta's unnatural marriage to her son has been discovered. One of
their daughters wants to understand how such a thing could happen
-- and the rest of the novel answers that question, jumping back
forty years in absolute time and then continuing in chronological
order. It is only when we reach the end of the book that we catch
up with the absolute time of the prologue. 

Let's review some different ways in which you can order the events
of your story. 

The most straightforward sequence of your writing is to show what
happens chronologically, or the "absolute time" of the story. This
means that if the sun rises at seven and John breakfasts at eight,
your reader will read about the sunrise BEFORE she reads about
John's breakfast. 

Perhaps it's important for you to change the sequence of these
events. It's rather awkward (though not impossible, at least in
fiction) to change the time of the sunrise, so if you want to show
the reader John breakfasting before you show the reader the
sunrise, one solution is to make John get up and eat earlier. This
means changing the absolute sequence of the events in your story. 

Another solution is to start with John eating breakfast at eight,
but then to have him remember the sunrise that happened at seven.
This is called a flashback and is changing the reader's relative
time. Writers use flashbacks all the time, but they can confuse
your readers. If you're considering having John flash back to the
sunrise that happened only an hour before breakfast, well, then,
you'd better have good artistic reasons for doing so. In other
words, something significant to the story should be associated with
the sunrise. Otherwise, keep it in chronological order, or simply
ignore the sunrise -- or even ignore John's breakfast. 

Following a Character 
Perhaps you are writing about a couple of characters, Mary and
John, who will meet on page 200. You may want to follow the life of
Mary for the first 100 pages, up to the point where she is about to
open that door and find John. And then, just as she glimpses him in
the waiting room, you stop the story, back up and show the readers
John's life up to that point. 

This is not strictly chronological, because the readers first
experience Mary's life during the previous decade, and then
experience the life of John during the previous decade. However,
this type of organization may help your readers become really close
to Mary, and then later develop a bond to John. So this approach
can deepen your readers' reading experience. 

Perspective of a Character 
If you are working with a limited, intimate point of view (POV) --
and I hope to cover POV in other columns -- in which the reader
only experiences what your protagonist experiences, then your
readers will also experience something WHEN the protagonist
experiences it. 

For example, perhaps Mary cheats on John shortly after they are
married. John doesn't learn about it until forty years later, when
she's dying. For John the pain is fresh and new, as he's wondering
if his children are really his children and if his whole life is a
lie. In the reader's relative time -- and in John's -- the affair
JUST happened, even though in absolute time Mary cheated on John
occurred four decades earlier. 

Perhaps you are writing historical fiction in which many different
types of things are happening -- for example, World War II. Even
though the building of concentration camps and the fighting of
naval battles may occur in overlapping periods of time, you may
choose to concentrate on one and tell about it for a while before
moving to the other. This will help your readers understand your

Guiding Principles 
We've reviewed a few different ways you can order scenes and
chapters. There are many different options, and that no single way
is "right" all the time. So it is up to you, the author, to decide
how to order the events in both author absolute and reader relative
time. But how do you go about it? 

These decisions are very artistic and subjective, but in making
them myself I apply a few guiding principles: 

Which sequence will best please the reader? I try to minimize
reader confusion and maximize reader satisfaction. I will cover
these goals in other columns, so I won't expound more on them here. 

Which sequence is logical? I like to have things make sense, so I
don't play around with the time of the sunrise. In my own case, I'm
also following certain Greek myths, so I attempt to be consistent
with the myths and archaeological findings. Sometimes I can't
reconcile events completely -- the myths and the archaeology may
contradict each other -- and I return to the principle of doing my
best to entertain the reader. 

As writers we have to make two decisions with respect to order: the
order of how the events happen in the story (author absolute) and
the order in which we tell them (reader relative). These decisions
have a huge impact on your story.

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature at
Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
publications such as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats. 
Victoria is co-author with Alice Underwood of the Tapestry of 
Bronze series (Jocasta; Children of Tantalus; The Road to Thebes; 
Arrow of Artemis; and Antigone & Creon), based on Greek myths and 
set in the late Bronze Age. On her own she has written
The Highbury Murders, in which she did her best to channel the
spirits and styles of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. Besides all 
this, Victoria is married with kids, and (though American) spends 
much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, 
bird-watching and tutoring mathematics. 
Visit her website at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com,
or contact her at tapestry (at) tapestryofbronze (dot) com.

Copyright 2013 Victoria Grossack

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission of
the author.

Link to this article here:

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such as epub formatting, cover design, and promotional support.


Amazon to Pay Royalties Faster
Amazon has announced that it will be paying its authors royalties
within 60 days of the end of the month, every month.  This is a
marked improvement on their current practice of paying only
quarterly.  For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/blpy7y5

Bestselling eBooks of 2012 Revealed
Publishers Weekly has published the bestselling eBooks of 2012,
with some showing impressive sales in the millions. 
Unsurprisingly, most of the bestselling eBooks were published by
the major publishers.  For more details and to see the complete
list visit: http://tinyurl.com/cctjwvw

Report Shows More Books Being Sold Online
Bowker Market Research has released a study that shows that more of
us are buying books online rather than in physical book stores. 
The study shows that purchases in bookstores have dropped from 32%
to 19%.  For more on this visit: http://tinyurl.com/bmre8ab


WRITING A MYSTERY OR CRIME STORY? Forensic Science for Writers: A
Reference Guide can help. Based on a long-running course offered
in colleges and universities, this survey shows you how to create
believable plot twists and enhance your stories with realistic
forensic details.  Available from Amazon and other bookstores.
For details visit http://forensics4writers.com/the-book


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

URGENTLY NEEDED: Stories about how writing has helped you. 
I am a New York author with two books under my belt, and another 
print book in the process.  This new project requires your help. 
The book is called, "How writing can get you through tough times:
no experience necessary."  I have a publisher interested, and have
promised the finished manuscript within the next two months.  I am
looking for personal stories about how writing has been therapeutic
for you.

For instance, in my own life, I suffered from panic attacks in my
twenties and used writing to get me through the night panics, and
before going off to a social engagement where a panic attack was
sure to occur.  If you've suffered from PTSD, depression, anxiety,
a health crises, troubled relationships, job or financial concerns,
or anything that could create stress, and writing has been a solace
for you, then you should share your story and know that your
participation will help someone else in need.  The book will
feature quotes, scientific evidence, and essays from notable

All quotes received by me at  mjwrites 'at' optonline.net by April
15 will be considered.  ****Please use "journal writing" in the
subject line.

I am sorry to say that there will be no compensation for this book
because I will be putting in some of my own monies to get it
printed.  I will, however, provide everyone with one copy of the

MJ Goff 


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FEATURE:  How Much Is that In Dollars? 
The Financial Side of Writing for Foreign Publishers

By Audrey Faye Henderson

Back in the day, unless you were a travel writer or an
international affairs expert, you might never have occasion to work
with a foreign publisher. With the near omnipresence of the
Internet, it is increasingly common that you will encounter at
least one foreign publisher during your writing career.

As with domestic markets, the process of negotiating the
substantive details of contracts with foreign publishers varies
from client to client. This topic has been effectively covered in a
number of features on this website (see Writing-World.com's
"International Freelancing" section at 
http://www.writing-world.com/international/index.shtml).  This
piece will address aspects associated with receiving payment from
foreign publishers that are applicable to many circumstances that
you might encounter as a writer.

Disclaimer: This piece contains general information about financial
dealings with foreign publishers and does not represent legal or
financial advice. Please consult with the appropriate professional
(CPA, attorney agent, etc.) with specific questions you may have
about your particular circumstances.

Is the Publisher Legit?
It goes without saying that you should vet a foreign publisher
before you submit any work or provide sensitive data such as your
bank account information.  Fortunately, the Internet has made the
process easier than you might think. 

* One logical starting place is the publication's own website. Look
for an "About Us" link or page with a listed physical address and a
telephone number.

*Depending on the country where the website operates, the publisher
may be officially licensed, registered or incorporated. If you
can't find the information you're seeking, ask. A legit publisher
will be happy to cooperate.

*Check out the publisher's social media outlets, including
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. If a publisher has no social media
presence, proceed with caution. 

*Check foreign publication listings in online directories like All
You Can Read (http://www.allyoucanread.com/magazines/)
and the Open Directory Project (

Negotiating Foreign Payment Transactions
An important consideration working with a foreign publisher is
determining whether you will be paid in US Dollars or in the
publisher's currency.  In many cases, the publisher's website or
writer's guidelines will state the policy on dealing with foreign
writers. If that's not the case, ask BEFORE you begin any actual
work, even on spec.

If there's no set policy in place, the publisher may ask you
whether you prefer to be paid in US Dollars or in the currency for
its country. There are advantages and disadvantages to either
option.  If you're being paid in US Dollars, you avoid currency
conversion fees, which can be substantial. However, you may end up
receiving less pay than you would have if you were paid in the
publisher's currency, depending on the exchange rate your bank uses
for foreign currency versus the exchange rate the publisher uses.
Regardless of whether you or the publisher determines whether you
will be paid in US Dollars or in foreign currency, you'll need to
do some advance research:

*Check out the current exchange rate of the publisher's currency
against the US Dollar for yourself. The website XE.com (
http://www.xe.com/) is an excellent resource.

*If the publisher pays American writers with US Dollars, ask for
its current exchange rate.  Determine whether you or the publisher
will be responsible for paying currency conversion fees.

*If you'll be paid in foreign currency, consult with your bank to
determine its foreign currency exchange rate.  Determine what, if
any, fees your bank charges for depositing foreign checks or
currency. [Editor's Note: These are often two separate charges. 
You may be charged a percentage of the payment for the currency
exchange, as well as a flat fee of $15 or more to deposit a non-US

*If your research discloses a significant discrepancy between the
currency exchange rate offered either by your publisher, by your
bank, or both, ask what standard is used for foreign currency
conversion. You may discover hidden fees.  

If the discrepancy with foreign currency exchange rates originates
with the publisher, you'll have to gauge whether you can negotiate
higher payment for your work or convince the publisher to absorb
any fees. On the other hand, if the discrepancy originates with
your bank and is the result of bank fees, you may be able to
negotiate lower fees or a fee waiver if you're a long-term
customer.  [Editor's Note: You will often find a credit union to be
more flexible in this regard than a major bank.]

Depositing Foreign Checks into U.S. Bank Accounts
Remember paper checks? Some foreign (and domestic) publishers still
use them, and if you receive one as payment for services rendered,
you could wait more than six weeks to have access to your money.
Many banks have a policy of submitting large foreign checks (or all
checks drawn from banks in certain countries) to a process called
"collection for verification" before crediting your account.
Collection involves sending the actual check back to the
originating financial institution for payment. If the collection
process results in the check being returned unpaid, you're out of

To avoid a lengthy collection wait, request your publisher to issue
a foreign draft payable in US Dollars that is drawn on an American
bank. The publisher will often have to pay the fees involved with
drawing the draft, not you. Still another means to avoid lengthy
collection waits for foreign check payment is to ask your publisher
if its bank has a "corresponding" bank within the United States. If
so, ask to be paid by a check drawn from the "corresponding" bank.

Some banks offer global check clearing services through Fedwire or
Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS), which means that
you receive payment within days rather than weeks. Major banks like
Wells Fargo and Citibank are more likely to offer such services
than smaller community banks or even credit unions. If you deal
regularly with foreign publishers, it may be advantageous to open
an account in such a bank just to process payments, even if you
conduct the bulk of your banking business elsewhere.

If you're dealing with a Canadian publisher, inspect the check's
Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) line, the line that
appears near the bottom of the check.  If the number "45" appears
in the MICR line, the "check" is actually considered a Canadian
Postal Money Order, which many banks will credit to your bank

Wire Transfers
If your publisher pays foreign writers by wire transfer, you may
receive payment in US Dollars or in the currency of the publisher's
country. If you're given a choice, use the steps listed above to
determine your decision. Depending on the country from which your
publisher is sending payment, a wire transfer can be processed in a
single day or require several days to post to your account.
However, unlike foreign checks, once an international wire transfer
posts to your account, the funds are available immediately.

To process a foreign payment by a wire transfer, you will need to
obtain your bank's Society for Worldwide Financial
Telecommunication (SWIFT) Code. If your bank does not have its own
SWIFT Code, you will need to obtain the name and SWIFT code for the
intermediary bank, the bank within the United States to which your
publisher's bank will initially send your payment. You must also
provide the account number for the account your bank maintains with
the intermediary bank, your bank's routing number, your name as it
appears on your account, and your bank account number.  Your
publisher may also request your bank's International Bank Account
Number (IBAN).

If you or your publisher provide incorrect information, your
incoming wire can be delayed by days or even weeks. Worse, as the
receiver, you can only trace the wire as far as your bank or the
Intermediary bank.  Only the sender can initiate a formal trace. 

Receiving Payment by PayPal 
Many international publishers use PayPal to pay writers and other
contributors. This is especially true for publishers that operate
primarily or exclusively online.  If your publisher uses PayPal to
process foreign payments, you may be better off making a request to
be paid in US Dollars to avoid PayPal's foreign transaction fees.

To determine if such a request makes financial sense with a
particular publisher, compare your publisher's foreign currency
exchange rate with the foreign exchange rate used by PayPal. Don't
forget to include PayPal's currency conversion and transaction
fees. If your calculations don't favor being paid in US dollars, or
if the publisher only makes payments in its own currency, negotiate
your contract to receive larger payments at less frequent intervals
so that fees take as small a bite as possible.  [Editor's Note: If
you expect to do business frequently with the publisher AND you
have reason to spend the same foreign currency as used by the
publisher, you can set up one or more "foreign currency" funds
within your PayPal account.  This enables you to receive and spend
that specific currency -- e.g., British pounds -- without having to
convert them to US dollars and incur the conversion fee.]

Whether you opt for a personal, premier or business PayPal account
will also have an impact on the fees you pay. In many cases,
receiving funds in your personal PayPal account is free. However,
you will then have to wait for funds to transfer from PayPal to
your regular bank account, which takes several days. As an
alternative, you can request a check from PayPal, which can take
more than a week - and also carries a fee.  

If you need or want instant access to your funds, business and
premier accounts are eligible for the PayPal debit card, which
allows you to withdraw your PayPal funds immediately at an ATM.
However, PayPal charges higher fees for sending and receiving funds
from business or premier accounts. PayPal also charges $1 for every
ATM withdrawal, over and above any other ATM fees you pay. 
Online Payment Alternatives to PayPal
Several years ago, I worked with a client from Australia who
refused to deal with PayPal. I didn't want to wait days or weeks to
receive a check mailed from Australia, and my client didn't want to
use wire transfers. After researching payment alternatives, I
eventually settled on Moneybookers, with favorable results. 

However, as of this writing, Moneybookers is reconstituting itself
under the name Skrill, and BBB currently gives Moneybookers an F
rating. (PayPal presently holds an A+ rating from BBB.). If you
encounter a client, either domestic or international, that wishes
to pay you through Moneybookers/Skrill, inquire with the Attorney
General's office in your state for its recommendation before
agreeing to your publisher's request.  (For more information, visit

Other online payment alternatives to PayPal are listed below.
Available services offered by each payment platform vary, as well
as the applicable fees.  However, each payment platform accepts
international credit card payments, electronic bank deposit
payments, or both. Some services also allow you to incorporate
merchant services directly onto your website.  If you accept credit
cards for your services, or if you sell e-books or other services
directly from your website or blog, these features could be useful.

I have had no dealings with any of these services, so I cannot make
any recommendations. However, as of this writing; each service (or
in the cases of Amazon, Google and Intuit, their parent companies)
holds at least an A- rating from the BBB. 

*Amazon Payments - https://payments.amazon.com/sdui/sdui/home
*Google Checkout - https://wallet.google.com/  
*Intuit Merchant Service - http://payments.intuit.com/ 
*ProPay - http://www.propay.com/
*Xoom Corporation - https://www.xoom.com

When There's a Problem

Even if you perform all the necessary due diligence, and your
publisher is on the up and up, bad things occasionally happen.
Sometimes checks really are lost in the mail. Wire transfers or
online payments can go awry even if you and your publisher do
everything right.  If this happens to you, try not to panic.  If
you're dealing with a reputable publisher, odds are very good that
you will be paid. No legitimate publisher wants to risk its
reputation over a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars.

That said, your publisher may have more pressing problems than the
fact that you haven't actually been paid. You will likely have to
take the initiative if you have not received your money after a
reasonable period. Politely, and without making accusations,
approach your publisher with a request to track down your payment.  

If your publisher drags its heels on initiating a trace for your
missing funds, you may have to repeat your request more firmly. If
weeks pass with no indication that your publisher intends to pay,
you can file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center
or with econsumer.gov (http://www.econsumer.gov/english/), a
service provided by the International Consumer Protection and
Enforcement Network. This step should be viewed as a last resort,
and only if you never intend to work with that particular publisher


Audrey Faye Henderson is a writer, researcher, data analyst and
policy analyst based in the Chicago area. Her company, Knowledge
Empowerment (http://www.knowledge-empowerment.net/), specializes in
social policy analysis concerning fair housing, affordable housing,
higher education for nontraditional students, community development
with an asset based approach and sustainable development in the
built environment. 

Copyright 2013 Audrey Faye Henderson 

Link to this article here: 
For more advice on writing for international publications check out
our section on international freelancing: 


STUMPED BY YOUR PLOT?  Bored by your characters?  Wondering how to
craft a scene that sings?  "Fiction: From Writing to Publication"
offers a step-by-step guide to help you through all the perils and
pitfalls of writing a novel, drawn from the experience of the co-
authors of more than 40 published books. "The answer to a beginning
novelist's prayer, and a good refresher for others." Available on
Kindle (http://tinyurl.com/arfffct) and Smashwords


The Inquiring Writer: Getting a Writer's Website
By Dawn Copeman

Last month Jaime wrote to us to ask for our help in setting up a
writer's website.  Jaime wrote: "I've come to realise that I need a
website.  I know it will be easier to refer editors to a site with
all my clips, but I don't have a lot of money, only basic IT skills
and have no idea as to how to set up a site where I can showcase my
online and offline clips in one place. Does anyone have any ideas
to help me?"

Barbara G.Tarn was the first to come to Jaime's aide.  She wrote:
"If you want a very static website, Wix is very easy to use and
totally free
(here's the link http://www.wix.com/). 

"I used it for my other pseudonym who has just a window on the
internet - no Facebook, no Goodreads, no nothing, just a static web
page, although there's one page with the news and events (

"My main pen name has a blog on Wordpress http://wordpress.com/,
the alternative is Blogger www.blogger.com, but I prefer the
Wordpress interface. 

"The Dashboard is very user-friendly, and with less than $20 a year
you can buy your own domain - I haven't yet, and have been blogging
for 3 years already.

"When I'll eventually buy a domain for my indie imprint, I'll use
Wordpress.org free software, as I'll already know how it works from
the Wordpress blog.

"So, I suggest you start with a free window on the internet, and
then upgrade to a paid service when some money starts to come in! 
Good luck and happy writing!"
Pamela has a different solution, she wrote: "If Jaime wants a
professional looking site for clips for little expense, then she
might want to check out joining the NAIWE. The membership is $99 a
year, but for that you get access to resources and a hosted site
and blog which is ideal for clips."
Andrew, however, advises Jaime "to buy your own domain name as it
looks more professional than free sites at Wordpress or Wix and
isn't as expensive as you might think.  You can buy a domain name
from $1 a month.  

"You don't have to be an html expert anymore to create your own
website" Andrew is eager to reassure, noting that "most domain
providers also offer a site builder option too, from around $1 a

I would add, however, that if you are buying your own domain name,
you need to think long and hard about the domain you want and check
out what else is registered with similar names - you want to make
sure your editors and clients find you and not a completely
different or unsavoury business!  It is also a good idea to shop
around when buying domain names as prices vary widely.  

Also be sure to check out reviews of the domain provider and
hosting company you are thinking of using. 

This month our question comes from Ricky, who has the following
conundrum.  "I have written a few novels, had them edited and
submitted them to lots of agents, but have got nowhere with them.
One agent replied that my story was a bit simplistic for my chosen
genre (thriller) and I was wondering if I might be better of
rewriting them for YA or should I submit them as they are?"

Can you help Ricky?  Or do you have a question to put to the
Writing-World community?  Email me with the subject line "Inquiring
Writer" at editorial@writing-world.com

Until next time, 



Copyright Dawn Copeman 2013
Dawn Copeman is a UK-based freelance writer, copywriter and
ghost-writer who has published over 300 articles on the topics of
travel, cookery, history, health and writing. An experienced
commercial freelancer, Dawn contributed several chapters on
commercial writing to Moira Allen's Starting Your Career as a
Freelance Writer (2nd Edition). She edits the Writing World
newsletter and can be contacted at editorial "at" writing-world.com
and at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dawncopeman
This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained.  


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!


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




The Book Designer, by Joel Friedlander 
Though this blog is aimed more at the pro self-publisher, it's
absolutely packed with information on all forms of self-publishing,
subsidy publishing, print-on-demand and any other type of "DIY"
publishing. If you're thinking of handling your book yourself, this
is the place to start to find answers on what the best approach to
DIY publishing would be for your specific project. It's also a good
place to find out how not to get scammed by the many companies that
promise the moon - but simply want your money. 
(For that info,start here: 

To Win" features over 1600 contest listings for writers worldwide. 
The current edition has more than 450 NEW listings.  You won't find
a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere.  Available 
in print and Kindle editions.
Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine

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: April 30, 2013
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS:  The Tapestry of Bronze is sponsoring a series of
international poetry contests to celebrate Greek and Roman
mythology and the Olympian gods. The subject of the current contest
is Hephaestus (also known as Vulcan), the God of the Forge. 30
lines max.  There are two age ranges under 18 and adult.
PRIZE:  $50 in each category
URL:  http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/OdeForm.html

DEADLINE: May 31, 2013
GENRE: Novella
DETAILS:   Has the title of a song ever inspired you to write?
We're betting it has and that you can take that title and make it
your own. Submit your 25,000-40,000 word, completed novella based
on the title of a song.
PRIZE:  Publishing contract
URL: http://tinyurl.com/bzob2eb  

DEADLINE:  June 1, 2013
GENRE:  Poetry 
DETAILS:  5 pages of poetry
PRIZE:  Publication of poetry in a book
URL:  http://www.erbacce-press.com/#/erbacce-prize/4533449873

DEADLINE: June 30, 2013
GENRE:   Short stories, Nonfiction
DETAILS:  10,000 words maximum, no theme, both genres compete
PRIZE:  $250
URL: http://www.hofferaward.com/
DEADLINE: June 30, 2013
GENRE: Short stories
OPEN 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:  Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror: All types of science fiction,
fantasy and horror with fantastic elements, are welcome. 17,000
words max.
PRIZES:  $1,000 first prize awarded each quarter, 2nd Prize $750,
3rd Prize $500. One of the quarter winners also receives the $5,000
annual "Gold Award" grand prize.
URL:  http://www.writersofthefuture.com/contest-rules

AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

Fiction: From Writing to Publication, by Vickie Britton

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Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors"at"writing-world.com) 

Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial"at"writing-world.com) 

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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor