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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 13:22          13,240 subscribers         November 21, 2013
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Is There a Writer on Your Holiday List?
by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, E-Readers and the Changing Nature of the
Story Experience, by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: How to Show Your Gratitude to Other Writers,
by Maria Chatzi
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Do Clips Age? by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf   
Novel, Too!  What if this year you could honestly call yourself 
an author because you could support yourself and your family?
Details Here: http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=592721
* FEEDBACK. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* CONTESTS. Over 50 contests are always open and free to enter.
* FUN! Get feedback, enter writing contests, and learn.
DON'T GET SCAMMED!  Choose the right Self Publishing Company for
your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing
company and the questions you should ask.
WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has over 60 online courses. Prices are low. If
you can reach our web site, you can take our courses. 
STEP INTO THE WINNER'S CIRCLE! Find more than 1600 contest 
opportunities in Moira Allen's "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide
to Writing Contests"!  Available in print and Kindle.  
Print: https://www.createspace.com/3778183
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007C98OUA/peregrine


Is There a Writer on Your Holiday List?
Since Maria Chatzi's feature article has done such a marvelous job
of covering the topic of "gratitude" for our near-Thanksgiving
issue, I thought I'd use this space to address the next major
holiday headed our way: The Season of Giving!  For many of us, this
translates, over the next few weeks, into "The Season of Shopping"
(and for some, "The Season of Frustration").  If you have writers
or writers-in-training on your gift list, perhaps we can help!

First, I'm happy to announce the third annual "Writer's Year"
planner.  This is the ONLY planner designed specifically for
writers, recognizing that most writers don't compose their prose on
a standard 8-5 schedule.  Some of us work in the early mornings;
some of us (like myself) stay up late at night.  Some of us must
handle other tasks during "normal" working hours.  So, once again,
Writing-World.com offers a planner for "writer's hours."

As with last year's planner, "A Writer's Year" offers a daily place
to plan your schedule or track your time -- especially useful if
you need to record billable hours for a client!  It provides a
place each day to record your achievements, or progress toward your
goals, as well as handy spots to make note of upcoming deadlines,
due dates, or general to-do lists.  And as always, each week
concludes with an inspirational quote about writing or writers.  

And, as always... It's F*R*E*E.  (Just putting that word into a
newsletter runs the risk of having spam filters automatically toss
this missive into the spam bin, so... read between the asterisks!) 
You can download the electronic edition in two formats: PDF and
Excel.  If you would like to purchase a hard-copy (and help support
Writing-World.com), this year I've made it available in two
formats.  The original spiral-bound version is available once again
from Lulu.com -- but a less expensive perfect-bound edition is
available this year from CreateSpace.com (or directly from Amazon).

For more info and links to each of the available editions, please
go to: http://www.writing-world.com/year/index.shtml

EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  (So How About 1800 of Them?)
It began as a "bright idea" when I was working on "A Writer's
Year."  Wouldn't it be cool, I thought, to put a list of holidays
in with every month?  So I began gathering lists of holidays,
observances, and awareness dates.  Before I quite knew what was
happening, I had nearly 2000, and the project had grown into a book
of its own: "The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and
Awareness Dates."

This is the ideal book for those days when you can't come up with a
single thing to write about.  It's the book that can help you out
when you need to pump some cash into your business account, but
can't think of a thing to "pitch."  Sometimes, the calendar may
seem like your worst enemy, but when it comes to ideas and
inspiration, it can also be your best friend!

I confess, I have a soft spot for writing about holidays, because
that's how I got my start.  Holidays offer writers a virtually
limitless supply of topics, from how-to articles on crafts,
cooking, décor, and entertaining, to profiles of artisans and
crafters or of folks who have "made a difference," to community
features, articles for kids, articles on health, and... well, the
list goes on and on.  Factor in such issues as age, gender, culture
and ethnicity, location, and you expand that list exponentially. 
Start mixing and matching topics (e.g., "kids... food...
multicultural...") and you could find that you have more article
ideas than you have time to write!

"The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates"
provides writers with a list of over 1800 "dates" throughout the
year and around the world.  Holidays include both traditional,
historic holidays and government-decreed dates.  Observances and
awareness dates include dates established by national governments,
international dates established by the UN and other worldwide
organizations, and dates set up by organizations and even
individuals.  The book is divided into two sections: Events by
Date, and Events by Theme, making it easy to come up with ideas
based on a time of year, or by a favorite topic (such as "food" or

To make this book even more useful to writers, I've done my best to
focus on observances that are, well, actually OBSERVED.  There IS
another guide to dates out there -- Chase's Calendar of Events. 
Unfortunately, almost anyone can "sponsor" an event for inclusion
in this guide, which leads to a host of rather spurious
"observances" such as (I'm not making this up) National Bittersweet
Chocolate with Almonds Day.  For writers, this isn't helpful;
you're not going to get much mileage (or money) out of a pitch for
an observance no one has heard of or pays attention to.  Hence,
like Santa, I can honestly say that I made my list and checked it
twice -- and if you're a writer, it's very, very nice! 

This book is currently available in print from CreateSpace or
directly from Amazon.com.  A Kindle edition will be available
shortly (probably within the next week).  For a complete list of
ordering links, please visit 

And finally, just for fun, I have yet another datebook available
this year.  Titled "Victorian Country Idylls," this is your basic,
52-week engagement calendar.  What's not so basic is the artwork;
each week is illustrated with a lovely black-and-white Victorian
engraving of the British countryside.  These gorgeous pictures come
from Victorian magazines from the 1880's, 1890's, and early 1900's.
If you can't afford to take a nice, restful holiday in the country,
flip through these images and relax!  (Need I mention that I think
this makes a fabulous gift?)  The datebook is available in US and
UK editions, with the appropriate holidays and calendar.  For more
details, ordering links for each version, and a free preview,
please visit my Victorian website at 

Speaking of my Victorian website, that brings me to the final topic
for this editorial: I'm looking for help.  I'm in the midst of
revamping and updating Mostly-Victorian.com with hundreds of new
articles, and... well, it's getting away from me.  (Actually, it's
been getting away from me for years.)  So I'm looking for someone
with HTML skills to give me a hand.  An interest in Victoriana
would be helpful (because frankly, without it, you're going to be
bored out of your skull), as well as a willingness to commit to
sporadic work throughout much of 2014, as this is an ongoing
project.  If you're interested, please send me an e-mail with
"Victorian Job" in the subject line, and let me know a bit about
yourself -- and I'll let you know more about what's involved.

And now, farewell for 2013!  Dawn will be handling the editorial in
December, so I'll be back in this space in 2014!  Please have a
wonderful holiday season, whatever your holidays of choice may be,
and a safe, warm winter.  

-- 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 


A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers!  It helps you plan your schedule, track your billable
hours, organize your tasks, keep track of important deadlines and
due-dates, and track your progress and achievements!  Each week
brings an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E.
To download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or information 
on how to order a hardcopy (this year in two formats!), visit 


Nature of the Story Experience
By Victoria Grossack

I was reluctant to attempt this column, partly because it means
contemplating current technology, for which I have little aptitude
(most of my fiction is set in the Bronze Age) but also because I
fear that whatever I write would soon be obsolete.  I want to
create classic columns that will be useful long after I am dead and
buried -- or at least not go stale within six months.  Nevertheless
e-readers, even though they are a moving target, merit discussion.

There are articles that focus on what e-publishing has done for the
marketplace, for authors yearning to see their work in print, and
for readers devoted to mid-list series that were no longer being
printed by the large publishing houses.  There are other articles
that bewail some of the dreck enabled by e-publishing (although I
think some is published by the traditional houses). I'm not going
to discuss these issues, or will mention them only tangentially.
Instead, the subject of this column is how e-readers impact your
readers' experience with your story -- and what, if anything, you
can consider doing to enhance that experience.

Snapshots from the History of Storytelling
Let's take a few snapshots of storytelling throughout the ages and
see how it has been influenced by the changing forms.  In the time
of Homer, very few people could read or write, yet storytelling was
still important.  Poets recited their works, and some extremely
long poems, such as "The Iliad," were very popular. Epic poetry
contained many repeated phrases, partly because only certain
phrases suited the meter, but also because they helped the reciter
and the hearers keep everything straight. The poems were also often
designed to remind the listeners of their heritage, so they
sometimes contained passages with lists of people and places.  An
example of this is Homer's catalogue of ships.  Some of today's
readers find these sections tedious, although they are still of
great interest to historians and archaeologists.  I imagine that it
was of intense interest to people several thousand years ago, who
were listening for the names of their own cities and local heroes. 
Perhaps they even stopped the bards with cheers.

Now let's fast-forward to look at storytelling during the era of
the Victorians, in the 1800s.  At this point, several centuries had
passed since the invention of the printing press, so plenty of
people were literate.  It was still well before film, television
and even radio, so unless you were going to the theatre, or the
pastor of your local parish was unusually entertaining, reading was
one of the few sources of storytelling.  At that time many novels
were published serially, with the new installments of the most
popular authors, such as Charles Dickens and Alexandre Dumas,
anticipated with bated breath.  The most successful of these
authors adapted their styles and structures to suit the limitations
of the medium.  Dickens used weird quirks, especially in his
second-tier characters, to help readers recall them even if those
characters had not appeared in the story for several months. 
Authors used cliffhangers, so that readers would not just turn the
page of the magazine that they had in their hands but want to buy
the next installment.  Memorable characters and gripping plotlines
are traits worth keeping today, but these aspects were even more
important back then -- and were best included in a way that
complemented the medium.

E-readers and Stories
Since the days of Dickens, the different ways of getting our
stories have proliferated: film, TV, audiobooks and graphic novels.
 I won't discuss the other media, but just e-readers and what they
mean for readers and storytellers today.

Some features make reading easier.  The ability to change the font
size is fabulous for people who used to be restricted to whatever
was available in "large print books."  The fact that e-readers
weigh so little yet can contain many, many books has been a boon
for travelers and the arthritic.  Readers can also download many
books almost anywhere, allowing them instant gratification.  All
these features may have expanded the reading market -- or at least
stopped it from shrinking as quickly.

Besides being convenient and making many books more accessible, how
do the features of e-readers change the reader's experience of the

One issue concerns paragraphs. If a paragraph spans more than two
screens, readers may not get its point.  Therefore you may want to
limit the length of your paragraphs so that this is less likely to
happen.  Of course, screens can be miniscule and font gigantic, so
you won't be able to accommodate everyone. 

In fact, readers losing their place may be more of a concern in
other respects as well, because with some e-readers, flipping or
scrolling back to check something earlier in the text is not easy. 
Therefore you may want to give more attention to tics and tags, so
that your readers can keep your characters straight, and pay more
attention to dialogue attribution.  Some e-readers include
information about the chapter number, possibly its title, and how
far the readers have to go to reach the end of the chapter and/or
the book.  Other reading devices do not, so some of this
information may be lost to the reader. Of course readers can lose
their place and the thread of the story in hard copies too, but
e-readers exacerbate the problem.

The tendency to surf has also influenced how some people read.  It
has been documented that some people now have shorter attention
spans.  This, by the way, is not really a good thing -- many
scientists argue that darting from one subject to another lowers
the IQ, as concentrated thought is actually good for brains. 
Nevertheless, many people are accustomed to surfing, and so you may
want to change some aspects of your story so that reading mimics
surfing.  You may choose to go with shorter scenes and to follow
more characters and threads.

Some of the features now available in e-readers are similar to
surfing or other habits formed on the internet. With many
electronic readers, passages can be highlighted, so that they can
be easily found again.  (The inability to flip through pages is
reserved mostly for the technologically challenged.)  My research
into what electronic readers can do with respect to footnotes and
cross-references indicates that the functionality in this area is
changing swiftly.  If you have hard-to-pronounce names, or
characters who are hard to remember, or other digressions that
might assist your readers but don't belong in the story proper, you
may be able to use pop-ups or links.  Gradually these will become
more common within the text itself, implemented by authors and
publishers who are technologically capable for the readers of their

Because of the ease with which e-books can be published -- there
are virtually no gatekeepers and no waiting times -- it is possible
for a lot of bad stuff to be published.  Even good stuff can be
published too soon.  I once gave a one-star rating to a Pulitzer
prize-winning novel, because the e-version was laced with typos. 
It looked as if the publisher had scanned the print version, and
had never bothered with even a cursory copy-edit of the e-version.
I was especially annoyed because the price for the e-version was
significantly higher than the print version and yet the product was
much worse.  So if you publish an e-version, you need to proof it.
And if you publish multiple variations of e-versions for different
devices, you should not assume that the formatting that worked on
one machine will work on the next.  

The ease with which you can publish allows for stories of different
lengths. Novels have to be a certain length to be acceptable to
most traditional print publishers, who sometimes even specify
ranges for genres.  E-books, however, can be any length, which
gives more freedom to the storyteller to choose a word count that
suits the story instead of a story that suits a word count.
Furthermore, now you can publish stories in lengths that were
considered unsuitable before.  Some authors even publish chapters
of books, selling them for small amounts, reverting to the
serialization techniques used by Dickens and Dumas.

I'm sure there are features to e-readers which I have not touched,
as well as many others that have not yet been invented or are still
in their infancies. Although there is much that I do not know, I
believe that these changes in technology can influence how readers
read.  If you become aware of them, you can take advantage of them
to improve how your readers experience your stories.  


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 channeled the spirits and styles of Jane Austen
and Agatha Christie.  Her newest novel is Academic Assassination (A
Zofia Martin Mystery) - available now on Kindle and coming soon in
print.  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 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: 

Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines
or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max.,
on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed
or typed, for a chance to win cash prizes. Deadline: 01-16-2014.
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter now!


Google Wins Lawsuit Against Authors' Guild
Over 8 years ago, the Authors' Guild brought a lawsuit against
Google over its book-scanning program.  Now, however, the court has
found in favour of Google, claiming that the book-scanning project
provides "significant benefits."  For more on this story visit:

Woman Fined for Writing Bad Review of a Business
Jen Palmer from Utah is facing a fine of $3,500 for writing a bad
review about an online business.  She'd ordered some products, paid
for them by PayPal and when they hadn't turned up a month later,
she got refunded and wrote a bad review on a review site.  Now she
is facing a legal fine.  To find out why read the rest of the story
here: http://tinyurl.com/jezebel1113

Reality Show For Authors Launched in Italy
Masterpiece is a new reality TV show being aired in Italy where
authors have to compete with each other for a book deal. The
authors have to complete a variety of literary challenges live on
air each week. To find out more read the full NY Times story here: 


FREELANCE WRITER. A complete manual on how to sell your articles
to magazines, newspapers, in-flights, websites. I've sold more
than 800 articles globally in six years using this innovative
system. Freelancing success all comes down to sales and marketing
because selling your stories is just as important as writing well.
My marketing system will help you sell more articles than you can
write! For more information please go to:


Writing Jobs and Opportunities

Alaska Parent is Open to Submissions
The editorial calendar for this free parenting magazine is now up. 
The magazine is only published four times a year.  They are a
paying market and are always keen to hear from new writers. 
However, they will only respond to new writers who write a polished
query that meets their needs. For full guidelines visit: 

Reprints of Sci-Fi Stories by Women Authors Wanted for Anthology
The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, which will be published in
2014, is seeking reprints of sci-fi and fantasy stories by women
authors.  Payment is 2 cents a word plus a copy of the book. 
Maximum word count is 10,000 words.  Deadline is Soon: 30 November. 

Visit editor Alex MacFarlane's blog for full details: 

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


FEATURE: How to Show Your Gratitude to Other Writers
By Maria Chatzi
It has taken you years, but you've finally become the writer you
wanted to be.  Where you are standing today is the result of your
passionate persistence, your hard work, your devotion, your
ever-lasting belief in a dream.  But is it really all a result of
your personal efforts only?  Before setting out, you had made sure
you had a GPS with you or some handy maps (and you probably bought
some more of them during the journey).  Also, all along the roads,
and on crossroads too, there were sign posts and traffic lights to
inform and guide you. Your maps, GPS,  sign posts and traffic
lights were the people who helped you succeed, including the
community of your fellow writers. This article is about showing
gratitude to other writers, and the writing community in general,
who helped you achieve what you've achieved.

Benefits of showing your gratitude
Showing your gratitude benefits all -- you (as a person and a
professional writer), and the writing community as well -- in the
following ways: 

* It builds you a good profile for your writing business. A
healthy, thriving business is a business that cares not only for
its customers but for the people of the "trade" in general, as well
as the broader community, both offline (the neighborhood or town
you live and/or work in) and online (local and global). 

* It sets the foundation of a supportive, creative culture, where
no one feels left out and alone. Throughout history, writers have
always been influential people.  It is our duty and part of the
writer's mission to help develop strong ties within the writing
community, based on appreciation, harmony, unanimity, solidarity
and cooperation.

* It broadens the writing community's circle. By helping new
writers with their writing craft problems you are, at the same
time, being inviting to more newcomers.  The more writer voices
join the community, the stronger that community is and the greater
its social impact. 

* It brings personal satisfaction, joy and fulfillment to know you
are doing what you were meant to do: contribute, with your talent,
toward a better global future.  

How to show your gratitude
A.   "Paying it back" and "Paying it forward"

There are two ways to show gratitude to other writers and the
writing community: "Paying it back" and "Paying it Forward".  

We "pay back" a good deed someone has done to us: skills we have
learned, knowledge or experiences we have acquired, empowerment and
encouragement we have been offered, interesting social contacts we
have had, etc, due to the help of a particular writer or a
team/group of writers. In the case of an individual, it could be a
writer of the past (not alive any more) or a living writer. It
could also be a writer who is active in the craft or a retired one. 

We "pay forward" a good deed to an individual writer or a team or
group of writers, by offering to support and help them out. We can
do good to writers whom we may or may not be acquainted with, who
have not supported or helped us in the past, and who may or may not
support or help us later on in the future. Obviously, you can "pay
forward" only to living writers!

B.    How to get started and what to do next  

The first thing to do is make a list of those to whom you would
like to "give back" to or "pay it forward." Then, write down a plan
on how to do it. There are various ways of showing your gratitude
to your fellow writers (and writers of the past), and you'll have
to make decisions on what suits you best. 

If it is a writer of the past, the best way to show gratitude is to
keep his/her memory alive by teaching the value of his/her works to
new writers. However it is not only new writers who would benefit
from your showing gratitude to a past writer. In a way, you are
"paying it back" to a writer of the past by "paying it forward" to
new writers. Get creative and show experienced fellow writers the
connections that could be made between the appreciated writer's
works and modern issues. Perhaps there is room for innovative
writing ideas in such an approach. Follow the same route if there
is more than one past writer to whom you believe you owe part of
your successful writing career, or a community of historical
writers (e.g. Greek philosophers) that you have been influenced by.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the help of a
living writer, or a community of living writers, one of the best
ways is through a donation.  You might choose to donate part of
your income, give away some of your products (e.g., offer some
ebooks that you sell on your website), or offer part of your time
(by providing a free service).  Of course, it could be all or a
combination of the above!  Your final choices also depend on your
personality and character, as well as your knowledge, skills and
expertise in other fields outside the writing craft. 

Some ways to show your gratitude by donating your time and
expertise include the following:

* Contribute guest posts, articles, stories to blogs and websites
for writers.

* If you are good with SEO work, look through these websites and/or
blogs and do some "content remake," to help them rank higher with
the search engines. 

* If you are a website designer, as well as being a writer,
volunteer to modernize the site's design. 

* If you happen to be a marketer or a journalist, offer to do some
promotion work for them.  Of course, even if you don't know much
about marketing, you could send visitors to other writers' blogs,
or websites, by word of mouth -- let people know about the
excellent services offered by a specific writer, or the writing
community, that helped you succeed.

* Organize and lead a series of free reading and writing workshops
for aspiring writers. These could be online (like webinars) or
offline (for example, at a public library). 

* Participate in forums to answer questions new writers have -- be
encouraging and empowering.

* Participate in speaker events organized by the writing community.

* Host a networking event on your blog, or (why not?) your home,
for writers, publishers and agents.

* Volunteer for collaborative projects (e.g., like building pools
of resources) that benefit both new and experienced writers.

* Do some great work for the Public Domain -- publish your book on
the writing craft with a Creative Commons License. 

You could certainly find a bunch of other ideas too. However,
perhaps you are short of money to donate, or have not made your own
products yet, or have no other knowledge, skills, or expertise. Or,
perhaps you may be a new writer benefiting from the wealth of
knowledge and help offered by experienced fellow writers, online or
offline, but you cannot think of a service you could offer them to
express your gratitude.  Send a simple email of appreciation to
them, praising the writers for their great work and thanking them
for their generosity and kindness.

C.    What to keep in mind
Giving is an act of a big heart. However, do not perceive it as a
one-way communication act. There is a receiver: the writer or the
writing community you are showing your gratitude to.  It takes an
equally big heart, at the other end, to receive graciously.  Not
all people are good receivers and it is not always their fault for
not being ready to respond graciously to your offer -- there may be
other factors at play, like bad timing. 

If you stumble upon an unwilling (or poorly timed) recipient, do
not let your disappointment discourage you.  Move on to the next
person (or group) on your list. If you really care about showing
your appreciation to the previous person or group with whom you
didn't get a chance to connect,  prepare yourself to come back to
that person (or group) with another offer to donate your time and
expertise in the future. Remember, however, never to attempt to
"force" your gift upon anyone -- just as you have a choice as to
what to offer, others have a choice about whether they wish to
receive.  The desire to give should never be considered an
obligation upon the recipient, or worse, to make THEM feel indebted
to YOU!

Always make sure you are contributing the right service to the
right place (whether it is to an individual writer or a community
of writers). An offer to donate an article or two may be welcome
and much appreciated by a website for writers, but it is not the
best choice for a writing forum.  Similarly, offering to write a
book with beginner tips for a community of established only writers
is also useless. So make sure you offer what is actually needed and
could be put to good use.

Finally, whatever it is you do to "pay it back" or "pay it
forward", put your heart in it.  Make it a meaningful offer, one
that matters -- do work of quality for those you are indebted to.   

The world expects writers to achieve greatness and leave a legacy. 
The first step towards achieving this is to show your gratitude to
other writers whose writings have had an impact on your work and
who helped you get where you are standing today.  


Maria Chatzi is a teacher, writer, self-taught artist, and craft
designer. Her goal is to help children and adults acknowledge their
creative identity and discover their potential, so they can play an
active part in the new creative culture.  Her teaching and writings
aim at equipping people with the techniques they need to acquire
self-knowledge, be creative thinkers, build their self-esteem and
succeed.  She does a great deal of volunteering, especially for
public libraries, leading Arts and Crafts Workshops (for adults and
children) and Creative Writing Workshops (mainly for children).
Find out more about her work (including articles and craft
projects) at http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/a/maria-chatzi/ 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is Maria's gift to the
Writing-World.com community in appreciation of the knowledge she
has gained from this newsletter and website.

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

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By Dawn Copeman

Last month's question came from Kitty, who wanted to know: "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?"

This question comes up more often that you would think.  The main
advantage of freelance writing is that it can be fitted in around
our jobs or families, but sometimes life gets in the way and we
have to put our writing career on hold for a while. Then when we
come back to it, we feel like we're absolute newbies again -- but
we're not. 

If you have been published in the past, you can get published
again.  You have already proved that you can write.

Christine Venzon has this advice for Kitty: "What you're trying to
demonstrate in your clip influences whether it's still relevant. 
If you want to show your research skills or ability to weave quotes
with other information, then older clips might still be useful.
Ditto for essays or other creative writing. 

"If you're including clips with a resume or cover letter, be sure
to stress recent relevant experience, even if you can't supply
clips -- teaching or travel, for instance -- or personal contacts
that you could use as sources." 

Katherine from Houston wrote in with this reply.  "This exact
question was addressed this very week at the MakeALivingWriting.com

"Condensed version of the writer's answer: No, it doesn't matter if
your most recent clip date was years ago. Editors care only THAT
you can write (and were dependable enough for another publisher."

I agree with Katherine.  It doesn't matter how old your clips are
-- they are proof you can write.  You don't need new clips, nor
even to prove you have recent relevant experience.  

What you do need is, as always, to have a killer query, with a
well-thought out article proposal.  Your clips are there to
reassure the editor that you can deliver on what you promise. 

My advice to Kitty would be to scan her clips and get them up on
her website as pdfs for potential editors to see. (Yes, Kitty, you
will need a website -- it is not a luxury but a necessity these

I would also advise her to brush up on her query-writing skills
(check out our archive) to ensure a query is as good as it can be. 
 Then mention your clips in your well-crafted query and provide a
link to your site so the editors can get an idea of your style and
your skills. You'll be racking up new clips in no time.  Do write
and let us know how you got on. 

This month's question came from Marcia.  She wrote: "I submitted a
query, then an article to a magazine for seniors.  They want to
know how much I want for them to publish the self help/motivational
article. It's about 525 words. Is there an industry standard rate

Have you been in this situation?  Can you help Marcia? If so,
please send your answer to me at editorial 'at' writing-world.com
with the subject line "Inquiring Writer".  You can also send me
questions to put to our writing community at the same address.

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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