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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 13:20           13,240 subscribers         October 17, 2013
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: So Many Dreams, So Little Time, by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, Satisfaction Through Frustration, 
by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: Filing Works in Progress, by Barbara Weddle
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Standing Desks, by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
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So Many Dreams, So Little Time...
I've written before about the myths that surround the idea of
"being a writer."  All too often, we imagine that a "writer" is so
many things that we are not -- and because we don't measure up to
our own idealized view of "what a writer is," we assume we aren't
REALLY writers.  This problem tends to plague us no matter how much
we've actually written; even experienced writers tend to measure
themselves against myths rather than realities!

One myth that plagues writers is the myth of the "One Dream."  Real
writers, we often assume, are driven by this "one dream" -- the
dream of BEING a writer.  That dream is more important, more
powerful, more motivating than any other force or desire in a
writer's life.  It's the dream that keeps you writing, no matter
what.  It's the desire that outweighs all other desires, the
burning  hunger, the aching need, the... well, you get my drift. 
It's a bit like Frodo's "One Ring" -- the ring that rules, and
binds, them all.

The flip side of this myth, of course, is the notion that if you
AREN'T driven by this single, all-encompassing dream, you aren't
really a 100% motivated writer.  Oh, sure, you may WRITE, but
you're not consumed by the passion for writing -- you're not giving
it your all.  If you've bought into the one-dream myth, you may
assume that if writing isn't the most important thing in your life
(as measured by your devotion to it), you don't "have what it
takes," and you're doomed to failure.  (Or, at least, to the

There may certainly be writers out there who have one dream, and
one dream only.  But in talking to writers from all walks of life
and from all around the world, I've begun to see how dangerous this
myth is.  Because MOST of us are, let's face it, basically
"ordinary" people.  We aren't starving artists laboring by
candle-light in a garret on the Left Bank, swilling absinthe to
fuel the muse.  We're spouses.  We're parents.  We're employees. 
We're homemakers.  We're students. We're teachers.  We run
businesses, volunteer, work out.  We have cats, dogs, budgies,
hobbies.  We have many hats.  And we have many dreams.  

For example, one dear friend has, after years of striving, found
herself achieving her dream of a successful illustrating career. 
Suddenly, she says, she has more offers than she can handle.  This
is the fulfillment of a dream -- but ironically, she says, it means
her dream of becoming a novelist must go on hold.  "People are
surprised to hear that I'm also a writer!" she tells me.

As another example, our intrepid newsletter editor put her writing
dreams on hold for a couple of years so that she could focus on
home-schooling her daughter.  For her, the dream of ensuring that
her daughter had the best possible education -- which, in turn,
involves the dream of giving her daughter the best possible chances
for the future -- took precedence over the dream of writing that

For many, the dream of making a better life for oneself or one's
family -- or, in these troubled times, just ensuring that one keeps
a roof overhead and food on the table -- outweighs the dream of
"being a writer."  If we have families and loved ones, our dreams
typically focus on their well-being and happiness as well as our
own goals and desires.  Often, those dreams are time-sensitive: We
can't put a child's future "on hold" while writing a novel, so more
often than not, it's the novel that goes on hold while we give our
children the love, skills, and support they'll need to be able to
pursue their OWN dreams down the road.

Besides having dreams, we also have what Patricia Fry describes in
her new newsletter as "passions."  (Find out more about Patricia's
new newsletter, "Publishing/Marketing News and Views," at 
Passions are a bit different from dreams, as they tend to involve
the here-and-now, rather than long-term goals.  But they are no
less important.  Fry mentions her passion for cats, walking, and
writing.  My husband has a passion for archaeology; I have a
passion for photography.  He plays computer games; I collect
Victorian magazines.  We're both just a wee bit obsessive about our
cat.  Most writers have a passion for reading (when my sister asked
how I "found so much time for reading," I thought, if I had to
explain it, she'd never understand!).  Passions are a part of what
defines us.  Like dreams, they help us define what "matters" in
life, and where we're willing to invest our time, energy and

But there are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a year. 
Having multiple dreams and multiple passions means making multiple
trade-offs.  Inevitably, that means that some dreams (and perhaps
some passions) get postponed, put on hold, shifted to the back
burner.  Some dreams (like raising a child) are time-sensitive;
when their window is gone, it's gone.  Other dreams may be
unattainable until more time has passed -- until one has learned a
skill, overcome an obstacle, or just reached a different place in

And here's where it gets sticky for writers.  Too often, when our
career isn't where we want it to be, or where we think it ought to
be, we assume the fault is "lack of motivation."  If I really,
REALLY wanted to be a writer, more than anything else in the world,
I'd be writing more.  I'd be farther along in my novel.  I'd be
published by now.  I'd... well, I'd be somewhere I'm not.  And once
we assume that we WOULD be "somewhere else" in our writing career
if writing were truly that important to us, it's easy to assume
that, because we're NOT "there" yet (wherever "there" is), that
must mean writing ISN'T that important.  And if it isn't -- if it's
not our all-consuming dream, desire and passion -- then perhaps
that means we're not cut out to be "real" writers.

If this sounds at all like you, then perhaps it's time to take a
step back and look seriously at your dreams -- ALL of them. 
Perhaps you haven't even thought of what you're doing as pursuing a
dream -- educating your child, for example.  You just know that
it's important, perhaps more important than anything else.  Or,
perhaps, you'll find that you're pursuing dreams that no longer
have as much meaning, that have become a habit, and that could be
put aside for something else.  But you're certainly going to find
out that you have, not just one, but many dreams -- and many that
are truly important and worthwhile.

The myth of the single-minded writer who lives to pursue one dream
and one only may indeed apply to some.  Most of us, however, are
not so much single-minded as "multi-faceted."  And I can't help but
believe that, though it can be frustrating at times, it's also a
useful quality.  A writer who has many dreams, many passions, and
many things going on in life is one who will, ultimately, have a
great deal to say! 

-- 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:


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COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Satisfaction through Frustration
By Victoria Grossack

What gives your readers a sense of satisfaction? Much of this is
genre-dependent. If you are writing a romance, by the end, the
couple should be happily planning their future together. If you are
writing a mystery, by the end, questions of who- and how-done-it
should all be resolved, and in most cases the criminals should have
been punished (or at least apprehended). If you are writing almost
anything, by the end, the loose plot threads should be tied up
neatly, for the bit characters as well as for the protagonists.
Readers shouldn't be able to scratch their heads and wonder, hey,
what happened to Mary Jane? 

But this is when your readers reach the end. The rest of the book
has to come before the end, and what do you do then? How do you
give the readers satisfaction while they're flipping or scrolling
through pages? Perversely, satisfaction can be achieved by
frustrating them -- or at least frustrating the protagonists --
throughout much of the rest of the book. 

Frustration Fundamentals
Frustration is vital to your story. Imagine a novel that goes: 

Scott and Isabel met when they were in college. They fell in love
with each other at once, married, and then had two children. 

If this is the entire novel, with some dialogue and description to
round it out, few readers will be satisfied. Or imagine a story
like the following: 

The murderer was caught by the store's cameras. When Detective
Marshall showed him the videotape, he confessed at once and was
sent to jail for life. 

Again, if that is all there is to the story -- even if it's fleshed
out with lots of talk -- I doubt it will give your readers the
satisfied reading experience that they want to have. So frustration
is necessary, at least in fiction. How can you create it?

Your characters are better situated to experience frustration if
there is something that they want in the first place. They could
want love or money, to discover the murderer or to save the planet.
Whether their motives are selfish or altruistic, there should be
something that they want very badly.  

After that, it's up to you, the author, to come up with new and
imaginative ways to thwart the fulfillment of your characters'
desires. It is the frequent and unusual frustration of your
characters' wants that makes your story entertaining.  Let's look
at some broad categories of frustration, in no particular order.
Character Thwarted by External Event 
Perhaps your protagonist, Isabel, wants to communicate important
information to another character, Scott. As she tries to do so,
many external events could intervene: 

WEATHER AND WEATHER-RELATED EVENTS: hurricanes, and after the
hurricane, trees across the road; floods, and the bridge being out;
earthquakes (not exactly weather); snow; ice; tornados -- you get
the picture. 

MECHANICAL FAILURES: flat tires; airplane problems; dead cell phone
batteries; or else something appropriate to the setting of your
story. If you are writing high-tech science fiction, the mechanical
failure might have something to do with a rocket; if you are
writing about pioneer days; your characters could have problems
with a wagon wheel. In fact, this is a great way to work in the
setting -- to make it come alive. 

LARGE GROUP EVENTS: perhaps there is a parade, and Isabel can't get
across the street; perhaps there is a union strike, and Isabel
can't take the subway.
Character Thwarted by Another Character 
This is where it helps to have characters with DIFFERING wants and
desires. You can have a very traditional approach, in which there
are both heroes and villains, so that the hero's attempts are
frustrated by someone with evil intent. 

Or, perhaps Scott and Isabel are would-be lovers, but Scott wants
to build a highway and Isabel wants to keep her cottage intact.
Neither character is evil, but they have opposing wants. 

Or, you can have characters who both want what we consider the
"right" thing, but they disagree on how to attain it. Perhaps both
Scott and Isabel want to reach the castle. Scott believes they
should go through the woods while Isabel believes they should take
a boat down the river. 

You don't have to limit yourself to only two characters with only
two sets of wants. You can have many, with multiple viewpoints on
what should happen next, and the combination of these conflicting
wants can lead to a frustrating situation which only you, the
author, foresee! 

Character Does the Wrong Thing 
Perhaps your character, despite good intentions, does the wrong
thing. Perhaps the right thing costs a lot of money and he doesn't
have the money. Or perhaps to get the money she does another wrong
thing -- like embezzling from her employer -- which leads to other
Or perhaps he decides to take a course of action because he doesn't
have the right information. He doesn't know that the bridge is out
and so drives that way. 

Perhaps your main character has prejudices or flaws which prevent
him from doing the right thing (often known as the "fatal flaw"). I
recently read James Michener's "Journey," in which the hero
receives excellent advice, but because he's a nobleman and the
others are not, he persists in foolhardy actions, and people die. 

Foreshadowing Frustration 
Frustrating events, even though they may take your characters by
surprise, should not always take the readers by surprise. This is
where you, as the story's creator, must make artistic choices.
make a bad decision because of his pride, the reader needs to see
this pride before John makes the bad decision. Perhaps John's pride
has served him well in the past. We should not see John making a
bad decision that is out of character. 

LITTLE CLUES. If some external event is going to thwart the
character, for example, a hurricane washing out a bridge, you may
want to show the reader the bad condition of the bridge beforehand.
You don't need to emphasize the condition of the bridge; you can
hide it in plain view among similar items -- for example: 

Kelly noticed that everything needed repair: the gravel road was
full of ruts; the old bridge shook as her car crossed it; and the
sign that was supposed to tell her where she needed to go was so
faded that she had to squint to read it. 

Notice how the bridge's condition is mentioned -- but Kelly is
focused on reading the sign, and so probably is the reader, at
least on the first perusal. But the clue has been given, and so
when the bridge is washed away, it has been planned for. 

BIG CLUES. If there's a theater piece with a shotgun hung
prominently over the mantelpiece in Act One, something better
happen with that shotgun by Act Three (this rule, articulated by
Anton Chekhov, is known as "Chekhov's gun"). If you set up major
sources of frustration, you should use them, or be prepared to
explain why. Note that you don't have to use them conventionally --
in fact it might be more interesting if the shotgun is actually the
hiding place for some lost pearls -- but major potential sources of
frustration should not go unused. 

Rest Stops of Hope 
I believe that there should be some hope along the way. Every now
and then your characters deserve a break; they should be permitted
to rest and even to wash and to eat. Now, not every author has this
attitude -- in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," I'm not sure that
the protagonist ever has a pit-stop -- but even Frodo, in Tolkien's
"The Lord of the Rings," was allowed to recover from his injuries
at Rivendell. 

These rest stops don't have to be limited to the physical. They can
be emotional, or perhaps there can be some sense of progress toward
a goal. At some point your hero can be satisfied, thinking, "Aha!
Mission accomplished!" -- only to have his contentment shattered by
something unexpected (although not un-foreshadowed) in the
subsequent scene.
There are at least three reasons for these bits of hope. The first
is because it makes the book more interesting. Unmitigated
frustration is almost as dull as unmitigated satisfaction. 

The second reason is because, if you are aiming at a happy ending,
it will seem more realistic if there are some episodes of happiness
within the story. 

The third reason is because it keeps the reader guessing. If there
are rest stops of hope as well as pits of despair, then the reader
doesn't know what is going to happen next. Will it be good, or will
it be bad? Not knowing makes the experience much more exciting. 

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), 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. A version of this article
appeared in Fiction Fix.  
This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at: 

Link to this article here: 

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Americans Reading More if They Have Digital Devices
Americans who own a digital reading device are reading more books
than those who don't own a device.  The number of Americans who now
have a digital reading device has grown sharply from 18% in 2011 to
40% and they report on average, reading nine books a year more than
adults without reading devices.  For more on this story visit: 

Neil Gaiman Says Adults Can Destroy Children's Love of Reading
Author Neil Gaiman used the second annual Reading Agency Lecture in
the UK to warn adults of the dangers of turning children off
reading. He said: "Well meaning adults can easily destroy a child's
love of reading - do not discourage children from reading because
you feel they're reading the wrong thing. There is no such thing as
the wrong thing to be reading and no bad fiction for kids."  He
goes to say why childhood reading is so important.  Read the
highlights of his lecture here: http://tinyurl.com/ngsxfsm

Is Iceland The Perfect Place for Writers?
According to this article by the BBC, 1 in 10 Icelander publishes a
book.  This country is apparently the most writer-friendly,
book-loving country in the world.  What do you think?  To find out
more visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24399599


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


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Pudding Magazine Seeking Poems
Pudding Magazine is open to submissions of poetry.  They prefer new
work but occasionally print previously published work.  For more
details visit: http://puddingmagazine.com/submissions

Pavilion Magazine Open to Submissions
Pavilion is a literary magazine that is only open to submissions
twice a year.  Pavilion publishes poetry, literary fiction and
nonfiction by current and former expats of any country.  
For full submission guidelines visit: 

Great Weather for MEDIA Seeking Submissions for Anthology
Great weather for MEDIA seeks poetry, flash fiction, short stories,
dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction for their annual print
anthology. Their focus is on edgy and experimental themes and
styles. Open to previously unpublished work by authors based
anywhere.  For detailed guidelines visit: 


FEATURE:  Filing Works in Progress
By Barbara Weddle

When I started freelance writing, I would write only one article at
a time, working on that one thing until it was done to the best of
my ability.  Only then would I submit it and move on to something

There were problems with this work method, however.  It was not
very productive, and I usually had more ideas for potential
articles running around in my head than I could effectively keep
track of.  I wrote those article ideas down, of course, but as each
waited its turn, any relevant information that presented itself
during the interim was often lost by the time I got around to
writing the article.  I needed to get my trainload of article
ideas, along with their entourage of jumbled bits and pieces, all
in one place.  

Hence, my works-in-progress (WIP) filing system.   Here is how it

I get an idea.  
When I visited Amsterdam in 2008, I came home with a trunk full of
photos, videos, journal notes, cruise guides and other
informational materials.  I was determined to write my first
logistics travel piece.    

I open a folder.
I write a working title (in this case, Amsterdam) on a manila file
folder tab and place the folder, with any initial information I
might have -- in this case my trip photos, videos, journal notes,
cruise guides, etc. -- in one of the pockets of a larger expandable
file folder and place it in a file cabinet in my office.  (I use a
manual file system because it is more readily accessible than a
computer filing system and I often add bulky items -- cruise
guides, for example -- to the mix.)  Over time, as I come up with
ideas for spin-off articles from the main article, the additional
pockets of the expandable file folder allow me to keep these
separate from one another and the main article while still allowing
me to use all interchangeably.      

I file the folder by relevance and/or observance to time pegs.
As I did not intend to start my Amsterdam article immediately, and
had several works ahead of it with deadlines, I filed it behind all
the other expandable WIP folders.  For example, LIFE IN ACTION, a
publication of the United Spinal Association, had agreed to publish
an article I wrote about my son's spinal injury; however, the
editor wanted me to make some revisions first.  As the revisions
needed to be completed as soon as possible, this folder remained in
front of all the others until the article was re-submitted.  Once
an article has been published or I feel doubtful that it ever will
be, I close that particular WIP folder file and store it in the
basement.  In this case, however, as I intended to write an
inspirational article about my son's injury using some of the
information from the main article, I simply placed the WIP folder
last in the drawer, adding to it over time other information that
might be of use for the newer article -- instructions on how to
write an inspirational, examples to follow, etc.

What goes inside an expandable or WIP folder will vary, of course,
depending on your article, or, if any, its subsidiary articles. 
When I decide to do a spin-off article (or articles) from a main
article, I separate all the information I have accumulated for my
original article (all of which is in a smaller manila folder inside
the larger expandable folder) into individual manila folders, but
keep all the manila folders in the same expandable folder.  How I
separate the information from the main article depends on which
possible spin-off article it pertains to.  Keep in mind, however,
that all the information in a particular WIP folder can be used
interchangeably.  A WIP folder on an article on saving money when
renting a car that I wrote for THE DOLLAR STRETCHER, for example,
contained only one manila folder because I had very little to put
inside it -- my original car-rental receipt, notes from an
interview with a rental-car employee, and research I gleaned from
the Internet.  There were never any spin-offs from that article, so
I never used more than one pocket of the larger folder.    

Sometimes a WIP file folder becomes so crowded that you may find it
necessary to store it in a special container.  A road trip through
Big Bend National Park and its surrounding areas found me lugging
home an inordinate amount of not only article ideas, but stacks of
travel guides, maps, informational guides, newspapers and magazines
as well.  I keep this WIP folder in a cardboard box in the
basement, even though it is technically an "open" file.           
I add to the folder.
As I acquire additional information or materials relating to a
particular article in one of my WIP folders -- research, notes,
possible markets and their guidelines, correspondence, possible
interviewees, expert authorities, first or second drafts -- I
simply add it to the appropriate manila folder inside the
appropriate pocket in the expandable folder.  

I sort through my WIP folders from time to time.
By occasionally sorting through my WIP folders, I often discover
other spin-off articles.  Once my logistics article on Amsterdam
sold, for example, I did another for the same magazine on
Lexington, Kentucky.  As this article was twice as long as the one
on Amsterdam, I was not only left with an enormously stuffed WIP
folder, but with nearly everything needed for more than 20
additional articles.  So I set up individual manila files for each
within the expandable WIP folder.

During this sorting-through stage, I clean out some of my WIP
folders.  For various reasons, many of my article ideas never come
to fruition; thus, during this stage, I extract those particular
article ideas, along with all the extraneous information pertaining
to them, from their WIP folder and store the materials in a
cardboard box in my basement to possibly use for other articles.  I
seldom actually throw any information away. 

I decide to work on one of my article ideas.
I begin a new article idea in my WIP folder by first sorting
through all the bits and pieces in the manila folder pertaining to
the idea, determining what I will or will not use.  Thanks to my
WIP system and the fact that I have been adding additional
information to a particular article idea all along, a great deal of
the prep work is mostly there.  This gives me a good head start on
my new undertaking.  It also gives me enough information on a
particular subject so that I can begin sending out query letters.  

There may be times, however, when another more immediate assignment
crops up ahead of one from your WIP files.  It may then be
necessary to temporarily leave a WIP-file article waiting and go
with the new assignment.  That is okay.  The fundamental purpose of
a works-in-progress system is to keep your article ideas and all
their pertinent parts in one place.  

I close the file.
When I am finished with a WIP folder, I tie it and all its contents
securely together and store it on a shelf in my basement.  (Some of
the contents might be used for future articles.)  I keep a hard
copy of every completed article I write, whether I have a
contributor's copy or not, and whether I have a computer copy or
not, in a folder all its own at the back of my closed WIP folders
in the basement.  This way I know exactly where to find a
particular article if I decide to send it out to another market.

There are many advantages to using a WIP system.  One, as I
previously mentioned, is that it automatically sets up future
projects.  Another is flexibility.  If, for example, some part of
an article I am currently working on has me stymied or has brought
my work to a complete stand-still, I can work on something else
temporarily.  Most important, however, is that a WIP system permits
me to keep track of all my bits and pieces of an article idea until
such time I need them or decide not to go with the idea at all.  


Barbara Weddle is a freelance writer living in Wisconsin.  She
writes travel articles about her road trips throughout the South
and articles about the writing life.  

Link to this article here: 
For more advice on how to become a more prolific freelancer read
these articles: 



By Dawn Copeman

Last month our question came from Suzanne.  Suzanne wrote: "I've
been working with computers since the 80's, so I've worked with
glaring screens, new 'developments' in ergonomics, and new gadgets
to combat RSI over the years.  I can't say that I was affected much
by eye strain or RSI, but now I find that my eyes are getting tired
more quickly and that no matter how I adjust my work-station, I get
a backache and aching shoulders.  

"I've read that many bloggers are now using standing desks.  Do
they really work?  Is it worth while changing my entire workspace
or is this yet another 'gadget' or 'fad' like we've seen before? 

"Any tips other writers might have for how they keep themselves
healthy while they work would be appreciated."

Helen Gazeley can appreciate what Suzanne is going through.  She
wrote: "I also have a bad back and researched standing desks. As I
also practise massage therapy, I decided to get an adjustable
massage couch and, because I'm not very tall, I can also cover it
and use it as a standing desk. I wouldn't wholly recommend a
massage table, though, as it's harder to get a chair up close and
anyone taller would find it too low. 
"I'd highly recommend a standing table, though. Standing a lot can
make you stiff, but the ability to change between sitting and
standing made a huge difference when my back was particularly bad.
You automatically move around more, and can even strengthen core
muscles by practising Pilates as you type. 
"If going for a standing desk, I'd say you must get one with
hydraulics, so that it's easy to change the height (even wearing
different shoes can mean you want to move it up or down slightly),
and if you're tall make sure it rises high enough so that the
computer screen is at the right level. 
"I'd also recommend a really good chair. I haven't yet scraped
together the money to pay for it, but my sights are on a Herman
Miller Aeron. It's worth seeking one out and trying it as it makes
you realise how much we usually end up adjusting ourselves to a
chair, rather than the other way round."
Kitty emailed in to say that "standing desks have been around as
long as people have written... I wouldn't consider them a fad at

"Personally, I've had one for years and always preferred the
standing working position to the sitting one, back-wise. But it's
really a matter of preference.

"As to having to change your entire workspace: in my ideal setup, I 
simply had two work stations, one for standing, and one for
sitting. That way, if you get tired of standing, you can always sit

Kitty does have a suggestion for a potentially lower-cost option to
a standing desk: "Another alternative is to have a high bar stool
for the standing desk height for occasional use - it easily slips
out of the way under the desk.

"When I lived in Sweden for while, I was impressed with seeing many 
offices equipped with desks that had adjustable heights (either by
hand crank or with a small motor) so it was easy to switch between
working positions. I bet those babies aren't cheap, though!"

I bet they aren't either.  Thanks for your advice, Kitty, I think I
will try the bar stool option for a while myself.
This month's question comes from another Kitty.  This Kitty wrote:
"How long are clips relevant? I have some clips from 10 years ago,
when I did a lot of freelance writing.  I took a break to have my
kids and now they're at school, I want to start again - are my
clips still useful or do I have to start again from the beginning?"

What do you think?  Do writing clips age well or do they become
dated?  Have you successfully used clips from the past when
querying? Email your replies with the subject line "Inquiring
Writer" to editorial "at" writing-world.com 

Also email me if you have a question to put to our worldwide
community of writers. 

Until next time, 



Copyright Dawn Copeman 2013

Dawn Copeman is a British freelance writer, copywriter and eBook
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.  

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For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the 
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DEADLINE: November 29, 2013
GENRE: Short Stories
DETAILS:  One story, maximum 8,000 words.  Looking for carefully
crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in
everyday settings--we want to see who, in the age we live in, might
have one foot in this world and one in the next. 
PRIZE:  $500 
URL:  https://dappledthings.submittable.com/submit/24212  

DEADLINE: November 30, 2013
GENRE:  Poetry
DETAILS: 1 poem, maximum of 30 lines about Dionysus/Bacchus. 
PRIZE: $50 and publication 
URL:  http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/OdeForm.html 

DEADLINE:  December 1, 2013
GENRE:  Books
OPEN TO: Book must have been published during the two years
preceding the deadline (e.g. books published in 2011-12 may be
submitted for the December 1, 2013 deadline)
DETAILS: The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or
illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the
disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The book
must emphasize the artistic expression of the disability experience
for children and or adolescent audiences. The book must portray
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PRIZE:  $5,000 in each of three categories: books for ages 0-10,
11-13, and 14-18
URL:   http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/schneider-family-book-award
DEADLINE: December 1, 2013
GENRE: Poetry
OPEN TO: Undergraduates enrolled full-time in a US or Canadian
college or university
DETAILS: Up to 6 poems, maximum 39 lines per poem   
PRIZE:  $500 and publication
URL:  http://www.thelyricmagazine.com/colleage_all.html
DEADLINE: December 16, 2013 
GENRE:   Books
OPEN TO: Authors with No Published Books
DETAILS: Submit at least 220 double-spaced pages (60,000 words)
"murder or another serious crime or crimes"  must be at the heart
of the story.  
PRIZES: $10,000 advance against royalties

DEADLINE: December 20, 2013
GENRE: Young Writers, Poetry, Nonfiction, Short Stories
OPEN TO:   Writers aged  11-14 (middle school) or 15-18 (high
DETAILS:  Middle School: Poetry 20 lines maximum, Prose 750 words
maximum; High school: Poetry 30 lines, Prose 1,000 words.
PRIZES:  Two $100 Grand Prizes awarded (one for Junior and one for
Senior Division)


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