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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 14:03          13,240 subscribers          February 6, 2014
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: The New Publishing Paradigm...Or Is It?
by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Fine-Tuning Your Author's Note,
by Victoria Grossack
FEATURE: Four Ways to Use Visitor Centers and Welcome Centers as
Sources of Information, by Barbara Weddle
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: The Smart Device Starter Kit,
by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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The New Publishing Paradigm -- Or Is It?

If you're a writer looking for a publisher (or a writer seeking to
be published, which is not necessarily the same thing), you've
probably seen plenty of buzz about today's "new publishing
paradigm."  Actually, such articles tend to talk about different
things; for one it might be online publishing, for another POD, and
for another the shift back to commercial publishing.  But
regardless of which paradigm one fancies, you'll always find a
pundit or three rhapsodizing about how the world of publishing is
finally shifting in favor of the author.  It's our turn, we're
told.  We're regaining control.  We have so many more options
available today -- how could things NOT be getting better?

Other articles tout more depressing statistics about the steady
decline in book sales (and, more recently, e-book sales).  People
SEEM to be buying fewer books every year, which many analysts
interpret to mean that people are reading less or are less
interested in reading (not necessarily the same thing).  So
actually things are getting worse, right?

It seems to me that one problem with these articles, whether of the
"happy days are here again" or "doom and gloom" school, is that
they are looking at the issue from the wrong direction.  Most
articles about declining sales look at statistics from major
publishers and book sellers -- and especially mega-outlets like
Amazon.  Conversely, most of the articles extolling a "new
paradigm" are written by advocates of the paradigm being extolled,
whether it's POD, Kindle, Smashwords or whatever.  In either case,
we writers keep asking the SAME questions: Why can't I find a
publisher?  Why are my books not selling?

To understand the answer to those questions, we need to step out of
our writer shoes for a few moments, and put on our comfy, fuzzy
reader slippers.  You know, the ones you slip on when you settle
back for a cuppa and your favorite mystery/romance/vampire novel
(or maybe mystery-romance with vampires).  So take a moment, get
comfortable, look around your living room or wherever you like to
read, and ask yourself... "Do I have enough books?"

Well, OK.  If you're like me, the answer is probably "There is no
such THING as 'enough books.'"  So let me change that slightly and
ask, instead, "Do you have anything handy to read?"

Again, if you're like me, I could probably change that question to
"Do you have a sufficient array of reading choices within easy
reach of wherever you're sitting?"  Next to my sofa is a bookshelf,
stuffed to the gills, with more stacks (usually my latest
acquisitions) on top.  Atop those stacks are two Kindles ("his and
hers"), also crammed to the gills. Mine is loaded with several
novels, a bunch of novellas by favorite authors -- and as many as a
hundred free public domain books.  (I have a fondness for G.K.
Chesterton, and have downloaded just about everything he ever
wrote.)  If I had to flee my home during an emergency and could
only grab the Kindle, I'd have enough reading material for months.

It seems to me that what we need to be asking is how the "paradigm"
has changed, not for author or for publishers, but for readers.
Publishers complain about declining sales, yet keep pushing up the
prices of books, which, in turn, drives more buyers away from
retail bookstores.  But alternatives have always existed for the
bookworm: Used bookstores, library booksales, thrift shops, garage
sales.  (I became an Agatha Christie fan after finding a bag full
of Christie books at a yard sale for $5.)

Today, those alternatives have expanded exponentially.  The "new
paradigm" for READERS is, of course, the Internet -- and the
endless opportunities we have to acquire books inexpensively (or
even at no cost whatever) online.  I'd say it started with
Half.com, but the world truly changed when Amazon got into the game
with its "New and Used Marketplace."  Now we readers were no longer
limited to the selection we could find at the used stores or thrift
shops; for the first time in the history of mankind (literally), it
became possible to order practically ANY book you wanted, old or
new, without going through a retail outlet.

The world changed again when handheld reading devices such as the
Kindle at last made it possible (and comfortable) to read an
e-book.  Downloading e-books had been possible for years, but now
they no longer tied us to the computer screen; we could read them
on the couch, on the beach, in a plane -- anywhere we could read a
print book.   But convenience wasn't the only game-changer; the
Kindle marketplace, for example,  makes it possible to download
thousands of free public-domain books, so if G.K. Chesterton
happens to be your cup of tea, you can afford to buy the biscuits.

In the midst of this radically altered marketplace for readers has
arisen the "new paradigm" for writers: The ability to publish one's
own book, inexpensively or even at no cost at all.  Even the price
tag charged by the big POD companies is a pittance compared to what
it once cost to subsidy-publish or self-publish, and sites like
Lulu.com and CreateSpace have made it possible to publish in print
for free.  And while a wave of e-publishers surged and died during
the last decade of the 20th century, Kindle and its ilk opened up
yet another new, free medium for writers -- with thousands of
writers jumping in to exploit this "opportunity."

So let's go back to us readers, sitting in our cozy chair, sipping
a cuppa, and wondering, "What shall I read next?"  We are not
simply spoiled for choice.  We are inundated with choices.  We are
DROWNING in choices.  We have free books.  We have e-books.  We
have cheap books.  We have an infinite supply of used books
available online.  We still have our old sources: used bookstores,
thrift shops, library sales.  If we want something to read, we
don't have to (and often don't want to) pay publishers' inflated
prices for a new paperback.  We have but to stretch our hand -- or
tap a button.

This is the new paradigm for readers.  And, by extension, it is the
TRUE new paradigm that is faced by writers.  As writers, we tend to
forget that readers are "customers" -- and customers are people who
have been persuaded, somehow, to choose our product over the
competition.  The more competition, the greater the odds against a
customer choosing us.  The problem for writers is that readers
today are experiencing the ultimate "buyer's market" -- a market in
which supply far outstrips demand, enabling buyers to pick and
choose and, to a great degree, set their own price.

And we've done it to ourselves.  Thousands upon thousands of
writers -- and, well, to be blunt, people who'd like to think
they're writers -- have flocked to the siren call of the new
subsidy publishers, and churned out hundreds of thousands of new
books (most of which have sunk like stones).  Still more thousands
have turned to e-books and e-readers.  Go to the Kindle store today
(as of this writing), for example, and you will discover that there
are currently 2.4 million e-books available -- with 96,448 new
releases in the last 30 days and 286,024 in the last 90 days!

Obviously, there are writers -- thousands of them -- who have
beaten the odds.  And you may well become one of them.  But it's
hard to beat the odds if we're not aware of what the odds ARE.
Becoming a success doesn't just mean trying to figure out how to
appeal to your customer.  It means, as a writer, remembering the
key fact that you ARE a customer -- you're a reader.  To find out
how to win customers like yourself, sometimes it's necessary to
actually STOP thinking like a writer or a publisher -- and look at
the writing world from the perspective of your chair, your
bookshelf -- and your own book-buying paradigm.

-- 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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To download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or information
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By Victoria Grossack

This article will focus not on something that is within your story
or novel, but something often included with novels today.  I'm
talking about the Author's Note frequently found at the ends of
books. I have only written a few myself, but I have read many and I
believe it can enhance the reading experience for your audience.
If anything can enhance your audience's reading experience, it is
worth considering.

What to Include
What should you put into an author's note?  Well, of course, that
depends on what you have to say.  Here are some ideas.


In my Author's Note for "The Highbury Murders: A Mystery Set in the
Village of Jane Austen's Emma," I quote a couple of passages from
Jane Austen's "Emma."  These paragraphs would have been impossible
to include in the text of "The Highbury Murders" because the
characters have to behave as if they were not in a novel (or as if
they were in an earlier novel).  The passages from "Emma" are
important because they allow me to show readers what led me to
write a murder mystery based on that novel.


Readers often come to a story with certain expectations. You can
use the Author's Note to acknowledge their expectations and to
justify your choices, which may be either because you know of other
versions of the events or because you are taking poetic license.
This, by the way, can be very important in restoring credibility.
A reader may be enjoying your story but be niggled by the fact that
she knows that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492
but your story claims that he actually took the journey in 1452,
you MIGHT be forgiven if you acknowledge your poetic license in
your Author's Note.


While writing your book, you may have done some research that
really excited you.  You may have incorporated the results of your
research in your story but the story may not be the place to tell
your readers what is so special about this discovery.

While working on "Antigone & Creon," we realized we had the perfect
setting.  A little east of Thebes, Greece, are a pair of caves.
They are also ancient royal tombs and, according to what the local
director of archaeology told me, possibly even the tombs of
Eteokles and Polynikes -- the identical twin brothers whose war and
whose deaths precede the showdown between Antigone and her uncle
Creon.  They are not well known to visitors, nor are they really
worth a visit, as they have unfortunately have been used as a
dumping grounds for many years.  Still, discovering them was just
so cool and made us feel that we were digging up the story rather
than inventing it.


There may be some things that you have included for artistic
reasons which slip by the reader.  For example, in my Author's Note
to "The Highbury Murders," I point out some of the parallels to
"Emma" inserted deliberately into "The Highbury Murders."  "Emma,"
a romance, opens with the characters discussing a wedding; "The
Highbury Murders," a detective story, opens with the characters
discussing a death.  In an Author's Note you can mention these
sorts of relationships.  You can't do it in the story, because it
doesn't fit.

Students writing book reports should read the Author's Note, as
this act will improve the chances of getting good grades.  Serious
reviewers who want to do more than proclaim that they loved, hated,
or were indifferent to the book should also read the note.


Sometimes you want to share some of your own experiences that you
had while working on the book or the story.  It may be something
that inspired you to write the story in the first place.  It may be
something that impacted the writing process, such as my ski
accident that slowed down the work on "Antigone & Creon."  It may
be something which deepened your understanding of what you were
writing, from the crazy circle of Art imitating Life imitating Art.


You have probably done more research than 99.5% of your readers so
they will look to you to tell them what is true, what is made up,
and what you may have changed for the sake of the story.  In
historical fiction, may be portraying actual events but in most
cases the dialogue will be invented.  If you have reason to say
that a dialogue is based in reality, then that may interest your
readers too.

You may have changed some names because several are similar or
complicated -- consider "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves, in which
the names and titles of the actual historical personages are long
and complicated and need Roman brains to keep straight. You may
have invented characters, such as a bastard son that Sharon Kay
Penman admits to creating in her novel "When Christ and His Saints
Slept," because as a storyteller, you need another character to
simplify the storytelling.  Or you may have deleted significant
personages because your story simply did not have room for them.
Fiction is an abridgement of what happens in life; it has to be or
no writer and no reader would finish any novel.


You may anticipate other questions that readers will probably pose,
or if this is not your story's first edition, you may already know
the frequently asked questions.  An Author's Note gives you the
chance to answer them.  It is much easier to answer FAQs in one
spot than to discuss the same subject over and over with many
individual readers.


If your list of acknowledgments is long, you may want to give them
their own section.  On the other hand, if it's short, or if there
are particular acknowledgments that have anecdotes attached to them
-- in other words they are little stories themselves -- then they
may be worth including in your Author's Note.

Let me add a few caveats: do not write too much, and do not be too
self-indulgent in your Author's Note.

A Chance to Be Yourself
It can be pleasant, after telling a story of many thousands of
words, to take off the mask and to be yourself.  I'm in the rather
peculiar position of my first six novels not being written in my
own voice.  The books in my Tapestry of Bronze series were written
with a co-author, and although Alice Underwood and I are very
pleased by the results, the books don't sound like either of us.
"The Highbury Murders" is written in the style of Jane Austen, or
my best channeling of her, and I don't sound like her either.

Even if you are using your own voice, you still may want to let
your hair down and address readers directly, without the pretense
of fiction.  Besides being a relief and a release, it is a chance
to explicitly say what you wanted to inside your story, but could

Do Author's Notes Work?
Determining the success of an Author's Note depends a little on
what you wanted to achieve when you wrote it.  By the way, it helps
to have some idea of what you want to achieve when you write your
Author's Note -- or when you're writing anything.

I can say that after reading one historical novel, which will
remain unnamed, I was very angry with the author.  The
characterization was, in my opinion, extremely thin, and the plot
had too much in common with Harlequin romances.  I'm not bashing
Harlequin romances, for they serve a purpose, but I had expected a
different type of novel.  I felt as if I had been duped into
wasting time and money.

Her Author's Note, although it did not make me want to read more of
her books, did reduce my level of irritability.  She talked about
some of the tidbits she had used to create a mysterious character
and some of the research she had done into the times.  So even
though I'm not inclined to read any more of her novels, I respect
her more as a researcher and a person.

Several readers have also told me that they appreciate my Author's
Notes.  They said they understood the book better afterwards.  No
one has told me that they didn't like my Author's Note (but that
may be out of politeness).  As readers always have the option of
not reading them, there is very little downside -- unless you do
something offensive or silly in them.

So: should you include an Author's Note with your novel?  Do you
have anything to say and does your genre permit it?  If you have a
publisher, then what is their policy?  After you have answered
these questions, the decision is up to you.

The Author's Note is your last chance to make an impression on the
reader.  First impressions have a strong influence on readers --
but so do last impressions.  The feeling readers have after reading
your Author's Note may very well determine how they feel about the

Finally, in your Author's Note, you can thank your readers for
spending some time with your imagination -- just as I want to thank
you for taking the time to read this article.


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 2014 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:


WritingCareer.com is a free online resource to find paying markets
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Amazon Sales Growth Slows in the UK
Whilst sales at Amazon are still increasing, the amount of growth
of sales in the UK has slowed to 14%, down from 22% last year.
There is much speculation in the trade and financial press as to
why this might be.  Some think it is because of an Amazon boycott
by British tax payers who are annoyed over the fact that Amazon
does not pay corporation tax, whilst others see it as a reflection
of the fact that many book buyers are now choosing independent
bookstores. For more on this story visit:

13 Year Old Author Goes Direct to the Top to Get a Book Deal
I love this story!  13 year old Jake Marcionette wrote a book and
decided he wanted it to be published.  So he used Google and
contacted a top literary agent on the phone.  For most of us, that
would never work, but for him it did!  His book "Just Jake" was
published on February 4. For more on this story visit:

Two Authors Launch Publishing Company
Best-selling authors Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate
Billingsley have launched their own publishing company, Brown Girls
Publishing.  The two authors will continue to write for Simon and
Schuster, their original publisher, but are also looking to publish
books across a wide variety of genres.  For more on this story
visit: http://tinyurl.com/nf2dere


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Writing Jobs and Opportunities

The Best Women's Travel Writing Seeking Submissions
Lavinia Spalding is editing the tenth edition of "The Best Women's
Travel Writing" anthology and is actively seeking submissions.
She is seeking a wide range of travel tales and stories that vary
in length from 750 - 4000 words.  Work may have been previously
published as long as you hold the rights. Deadline is March 1. For
further details, read the full guidelines here:

Looking For Newbie Writers!
Beginnings Publishing Inc. is back!  The award-winning literary
journal is looking for fiction or poetry submissions!  We only
publish never-before published or minimally published writers.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted.

Please limit your fiction to 3,500 words. Up to thirty lines per
poem is accepted; please send only five poems per submission. Along
with your submission, please include a brief cover letter or your
work will not be considered. We'd also like a short biography of
the author for publication - no longer than 150 words. Please send
fiction and poetry in the body of the email.

If your work is not accepted, we try to offer a reason why - no
form letters here. Sometimes, if time permits, we like to offer a
review/critique, which might be used on the site.  Email editor
Jenine Boisits at beginnings2014@yahoo.com if you have any
questions not addressed here.

Arterra Writing Residency Open to Applications
Arterra is a private multidisciplinary rural artistic residency in
north/central Portugal. We are placed in a very green and quiet
village with good connections between the local community and
Tondela, the nearest city (5km distant.) Our residency has
different work rooms and possibilities.

Artists can apply to our residency by sending an email to:
arterra.geral 'at' gmail.com and sending the requested materials and
application forms. To learn more about us visit our website, blog
and facebook page.


EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  Moira Allen's new "The Writer's
Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 of
them for instant inspiration on those days when you can't think of
a thing to write about!  Holiday topics are a perennial favorite of
magazine editors around the world -- so fuel your inspiration and
jumpstart your articles today!  Available in print and Kindle
editions; visit http://www.writing-world.com/year/holidays.shtml


FEATURE: Four Ways to Use Visitor Centers and Welcome Centers as
Sources of Information
By Barbara Weddle

While the web and other conventional sources -- magazines,
newspapers, books -- supply needed information for a freelance
writer, perhaps even the bulk of it, the visitor centers and
chambers of commerce in a town or city and the welcome centers just
across state lines have much to offer in that regard also.  The
free printed travel materials at these public facilities can
provide not only literature on travel, but useful information on
the environment, green living, social issues, health and wellness
and even entrepreneurship.

You may also discover:

1)  Nuggets for an article often not found elsewhere.
Nuggets are the unique particles of information you discover inside
these printed roadside materials that accessorize and take your
article beyond all that is ordinary; it is sort of like finding the
prize in a Cracker Jack box.

Discovering little-known data about people, places and things, or
"nuggets," may very well be the most valuable service visitor
centers and welcome centers offer to freelance writers.  If you
have a definite subject for an article in mind -- how Lexington,
Kentucky, was so named, for example -- finding this information on
the Internet should not be a problem. The Internet will tell you
that it was named for the first shots fired in the American
Revolution at Lexington, Massachusetts.  I stumbled across an
article in a travel guide I picked up at a visitors center in
Kentucky, however, that states otherwise.  According to the
article, Lexington, Kentucky, was named for a racehorse.  The
article went on to say that the skeleton of Lexington (the
racehorse), housed at the Smithsonian since his death in 1875, had
been recently returned to Lexington (the city) on long-term loan.
Now, you not only have conflicting information for your article
subject, but little-known information as well.  You also have
another possible article subject entirely -- one about Lexington's
namesake, the racehorse.

Similarly, in Alpine, Texas, a professor at Sul Ross University
carried a desk up a hill and placed it on a rock outcropping
overlooking a mountain vista, where the desk became a study nook
for students seeking solitude.  I found this bit of information in
a local newsletter at a visitors center in West Texas.  Now, say
you are doing an article on Sul Ross University.  Again, the
statistics you will need for your article are likely all online,
but if you want more -- that nugget or prize in the box -- you will
likely only find it, as I did, in a newsy little piece in a local
newsletter found at the local visitor center.

Discovering such little-known facts would not have been likely
using the Internet alone, because, well, why would you think to
look for such topics in the first place?

2)  A more accessible or easier way of uncovering themed materials.
If you are contemplating writing a themed travel piece for a family
magazine (FAMILY FUN, for example), but have no earthly idea what
to write about, or, for that matter, what is even out there TO
write about, the printed materials at visitor centers and welcome
centers can provide you, not only with ideas for themed pieces, but
an easier way of structuring your pieces.  For example, suppose
that glancing through some brochures you picked up at a welcome
center in Vermont, you see a promotional statue of a goofy gorilla
holding a Volkswagen Beetle (real) aloft in his left hand.  The
goofy gorilla gives you the idea for a themed travel article on
wacky roadside attractions for kids.  Without having seen the photo
of the statue in the brochure, it probably would not have occurred
to you to write such an article.

To structure this same article, all you need to do now is sort
through the other printed brochures stashed in your basement (more
about these stashes later) that you picked up at various other
roadsides across the country.  As you do, you may discover that
there is a beer-can house in Houston, some half-buried-in-the-earth
upended cars in Amarillo, and so on and so on.

Likewise, say, in sorting through some brochures you picked up at a
welcome center in Kentucky, you come across one on the Kentucky
Horse Park.  Mention is made of a new kids' attraction at the Park
-- an interactive Kids' Barn.  This gives you the idea for a travel
roundup on kids' educational adventures.  Now, check through your
stash again.  You will come up with things like Bodies Revealed, an
exhibition that explores the human body in a unique way, to star
parties in West Texas to Junior Ranger Programs in national parks.

And again, while you might stumble upon all this by browsing the
web, it is not likely, for why would you think to look for it in
the first place?

3)  Leads.
The printed materials found at visitor centers and welcome centers
often steer you to subjects for articles you otherwise would not
have thought of (as with Lexington the racehorse in #1).  The
mention of a little gem of a theater in one of these printed
materials you picked up in a small Mississippi town, for example,
can lead you to an idea for an article on playhouses in the South.

The ads in these printed materials are not to be overlooked either.
 Figuring on putting together a "Weekend Getaway" article on
eastern Wisconsin, I picked up a small local magazine while
visiting Sheboygan.  There was a small ad for the John Michael
Kohler Arts Center inside; however, as a long-time Wisconsin
transplant, I knew this museum had been covered many times.  I was
excited, however, by a small notice in the ad on an upcoming
exhibit at the museum, however, "The Wisconsin Project," on how two
Wisconsin natives, both associate professors of art, were
challenging the notion that Wisconsin is a lackluster region
through their own postcard photos and vintage postcards.  I got in
touch with the senior curator at the museum, told him I was a
freelance writer, and asked if he would pave the way for me to
interview both professors.  In the same magazine I discovered an ad
announcing the launch of a Little Free Library in Appleton,
Wisconsin.  As I had never heard of Little Free Libraries, I
contacted the editor of the magazine, explained who I was and that
I was considering an article.  The editor not only explained what
they were, but that the concept had originated in Hudson,
Wisconsin.  She then put me in contact with the high school
principal who had placed the ad and knew all about Little Free

To uncover the nuggets in the advertisements in these printed
roadside materials, you must be extremely observant; they are not
always obvious.  As with the Kohler Arts Center ad, which I might
have ignored because it had been covered so often, the topics the
ad led me TO were much more promising as article topics.

The ads contained within printed materials of a particular locale
can also supply you with a general feel for the demographic,
cultural, and geographic characteristics of a particular region.
You cannot always directly visit all the people and places in a
certain state that you may wish to write about, and the ads found
in these printed materials are representative of the particular
region.  By reading them you can gain insight into the
personalities, lifestyles, educational backgrounds, landscapes and
more that bring a certain locale to life.  It is difficult for the
Internet to give this same sort of insight.

4)  Market sources.
A pamphlet or other publication picked up at a visitor center or
welcome center can provide you new markets.  I picked up an
outdoors newspaper in my home state thinking I might find a home
for an essay I had written about some Canada geese.  I not only
found a home for my essay, but received a nifty little check for

Potential markets can also be found in the full-size glossies at
many of these roadside locations.  These bona-fide full-length
magazines contain the same columns, back page essays, and feature
articles as those displayed in book stores.  Many, in fact, ARE the
same as those found in bookstores.  The only difference is they are
free at visitor centers and welcome centers.  And the editors of
these magazines are always looking for freelance submissions.

So, what are you waiting for?  Each time you cross a state line,
including your own, pick up every single pamphlet, brochure, travel
guide, newsletter, and magazine you can lay your hands on.  None
are too insignificant.  I have accumulated enough of these
materials to open my own magazine stand (not really).  I keep them
stacked on wire shelves in my basement, organized in neat piles
according to state.  I refer to them often, and I replenish and/or
update them yearly.  If you are not on the road often enough to
pick them up personally, just write or call the visitor center or
welcome center in the state for which you would like materials.
They will mail them to you.  Be sure it is understood that you want
a copy of every single publication they have, however; otherwise,
they may only send the basic travel guides, brochures, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, you do not necessarily have to be a travel
writer to make use of these materials.  They are filled to the brim
with ideas and information on everything from astronomy to pet
care.  No kidding.  Using these free materials is only one more
method of uncovering article subjects, information for those
articles, and markets to send your completed manuscripts to.


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 unusual places to seek out article ideas check
out these articles from our archive:


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

FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS:   The Smart Device Starter Kit

By Aline Lechaye

It's 2014. With the rise of smart mobile devices such as
smartphones and tablet computers, working on the go has now become
a natural part of our everyday lives (and not, as it used to be,
something people only did in emergencies). Most smartphone and
tablet users would probably agree that apps are the best part of
smart devices -- searching for them, downloading them, and showing
them off to friends and family. "Look! My phone can [fill in the
blank]!" is now a legitimate conversation starter, one that has
convinced many non-smartphone users to join the ranks of smartphone

Next month, we'll be looking at some free apps geared to writers,
for tasks such as collaborative writing, jotting down ideas,
language learning, and more. This month, however, we'll be looking
at a few general apps that everyone should have on their
smartphones or tablets -- a "starter" kit for the smartphone or
tablet user, if you will.

The chances are fairly high that a smartphone or tablet computer
isn't the only digital device you own. You've probably got a
desktop at home, another at the office, and possibly you've got a
laptop as well. With multiple devices on your hands, you need an
app that can back up your files and allow you access to the files
anytime and anywhere, on any device you own. (There's nothing more
frustrating than showing up at a meeting and finding out that the
files you need are on your home computer!) Three cloud storage/sync
apps to consider are: Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com), SugarSync
(https://www.sugarsync.com), and Box (http://www.box.com), with
free storage spaces of 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB, respectively -- although
on Dropbox you can refer friends to add free storage space. All
three apps run on both Android phones and iPhones. Box and
SugarSync also run on Windows phones. SugarSync also runs on
BlackBerry phones.

Most smartphones and tablet computers come with built-in cameras,
but surprisingly few come with good pre-installed photo-editing
apps. If you take a lot of photos, you might want to consider
installing the Adobe Photoshop Express (
http://www.photoshop.com/products/photoshopexpress).  This is an
app made by the company that made Photoshop. Adjusting color,
brightness, and exposure, as well as cropping and flipping photos,
are just some of the tweaks you can make using the Photoshop
Express. Plus, the app comes with some cool filters to better
showcase your photos. Adobe Photoshop Express runs on Android
phones, iPhones, and Windows phones.

It happens to the best of us. Your phone goes missing, or it gets
stolen. Getting a friend to call your phone is an option, but
unfortunately one that only works when you're within hearing range
of your phone's ringtone. iPhone users can use their Find My iPhone
app to locate missing or stolen iPhones, but what about Android
users? Plan B is an Android app that can be used to locate your
missing phone after it's been stolen. Using a computer, download
and install the app from the Google Play Store. Your phone's
location will then be emailed to you. For more information on the
app, go to


Copyright Aline Lechaye 2014

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

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


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!


The Creative Penn
I first came across this site when looking for a guide to writing
fantasy. (I need to write the next instalment of Game of Thrones
because I need to know what happens next!) This site is packed full
of advice for writing fiction, writing in general and getting
published.  It is well worth a visit, even if I've decided to hang
back on writing my own fantasy sequel!

This is a comprehensive site that has been put together by writers
and editors and looks at writing for mass markets but in a more
scholarly way.  If you want to learn more about plot and structure,
form and genre, or maybe just brush up your style guide skills,
this site is worth a visit.

AndrewLownie is a British literary agency with a very useful
website for authors on both sides of the pond.  Scroll down the
homepage to view the latest articles and you will see two that
might be of some use:  "What UK Editors Want in 2014" and What US
Editors Want in 2014."


AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers

The Writer's Guide to Holidays, Observances and Awareness Dates,
by Moira Allen

The Writer's Year: 2014, by Moira Allen

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just click on the link below to list your book.


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

Copyright 2014 Moira Allen


Copyright © 2017 by Moira Allen. All rights reserved.
All materials on this site are the property of their authors
and may not be reprinted without the author's written permission,
unless otherwise indicated.
For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor