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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 14:06          13,240 subscribers            March 20, 2014
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THE EDITOR'S DESK:  It Looks So Easy, by Moira Allen
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Everybody Lies, by Victoria Grossack 
FEATURE: Your First Press Trip: A Survival Guide, by Lisette Allen 
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Tweeting for Money, by Dawn Copeman
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
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It Looks So Easy...
"They make it look so easy!" my sister sighed, as she watched the
Winter Olympics figure-skating competitions.  And indeed they do. 
They glide so effortlessly upon the ice, twirling and leaping and

Of course, we know it's not REALLY that easy.  When the camera
zooms in at the end of a performance, we see the skater struggling
to keep that smile in place while laboring for breath, exhausted. 
The little bio-documentaries give us some small hint of the hours
and days and months and years of training that brought each
competitor to the arena, the coaching and practice and sacrifices
that go into "making it look easy."  

While writing has yet to be nominated as an Olympic sport (though
some, I suspect, think it should be), it has something in common
with these elegant skaters: When done well, it looks SOOO easy! 
And that, for many, proves to be a pitfall.  Many would-be writers
are drawn to the sport -- er, I mean, profession -- precisely
BECAUSE it "looks easy."  Unlike many professions that require
training, certification, advanced degrees, and expensive equipment,
writing seems to require little more than a flat surface, an pen,
and a piece of paper.  (Twenty years ago, I often had to explain to
writers why a computer was an essential tool; today, it would be
hard to find a would-be writer without one -- or more!)  

And how hard could it be?  After all, if I can read a book in three
days, why should it take me three YEARS to write one?  Scientists
have demonstrated that women, on the average, may speak 20,000
words in a single day (see 
so how hard could it be to write down 100,000 of them?  (Men have a
bit of a disadvantage here; they speak, on average, only about
7,000 words per day.)

In fact, I sometimes wonder if there is any other profession so
likely to be chosen simply on the basis that one assumes it is
"easy."  I wonder if people approach professional auto mechanics
and say, "I could do that!"  Do people go up to airline pilots at
parties and declare, "You know, I'm going to fly a plane someday,
when I have the time..."?  Do would-be carpenters show up at a job
site, pick up a hammer and look around blankly, asking, "What's
this thing for?"

Hammering a nail looks pretty easy too, until you've tried it. 
Once you've hammered 100 nails, you'll have acquired a few bashed
thumbs, an impressive collection of hopelessly bent nails, quite
possibly (inevitably, in my case) a couple of holes in the wall --
and a great deal more respect for the art.  Hammering nails, you
will discover, isn't as easy as it looks -- but after hammering 100
of them, you may find that you have, in fact, become quite good at

The same is true of writing.  Every one of us, at some point,
undoubtedly assumed that writing would be "easy."  That's because
every one of us, at some point, was an amateur -- and believing
that a skill, any skill, is "easy" is a belief that only an amateur
can sustain.  The problem arises when one sits down and begins to

If you are lucky, you quickly discover that writing is not, in
fact, as easy as it looks.  It's not a matter of simply
transferring some portion of one's daily word quota to paper.  Very
quickly, one learns that writing, just like carpentry or mechanics,
involves a toolbox -- the difference being that this toolbox is
largely invisible. It may also be largely empty, until we fill it
up, by acquiring the tools that make the difference between
speaking 20,000 words today that will be forgotten tomorrow -- or
writing 20,000 words that will be read and remembered for, perhaps,
centuries.  The tools in our toolbox are what make the difference
between  "Like, I said, I say, she's, like, so cold, man, and, I
mean, DUDE, it's just, like so totally, like, well, you know what I
mean..."  and "It was the best of times, it was the worst of

But what if you're not so lucky -- or so wise?   Unfortunately,
there are many writers who never DO grasp that writing isn't as
easy as it looks -- or who continue to cling to the belief that it
SHOULD be easy.  Rather than building a writer's toolbox, these
writers go on jotting down jumbles of words, and then blame pretty
much everyone else in the universe for the fact that those words
are not "successful."  It's the fault of editors, of publishers, of
biased critiquers, of unfair instructors, of agents who are just
looking for the next mega-blockbuster (and who don't realize this
is it), of readers who don't recognize quality when they see it. 
The unwise writer is the one who goes on believing that writing is
easy -- it's just getting published that's hard!

The wise writer, of course, comes to realize that NEITHER are easy.
Getting published isn't quite as exclusive a sport as the
Olympics, but sometimes it seems a close second.  But the wise
writer also recognizes that while putting on a pair of skates may
be the first step on the road to the Olympics, it's ONLY the first
step -- it's the next few thousand steps, the practice and the
growth and the inevitable pratfalls -- that change that gold medal
from an impossible dream to a potentially attainable one.  Along
the way, the wise writer is also likely to ask, in tones of
bewilderment, "but doesn't it EVER get any easier?"

The answer, actually, is no.  You'd think, by filling up your
toolbox with such skills as spelling and grammar and punctuation
and research and plotting and outlining and marketing and... well,
ad infinitum... you'd eventually find writing "easier."  But think
about it a moment.  If you hammer 100 nails into oak planks, by the
end of the exercise, oak doesn't get any softer.  The last piece of
oak that you tackle is going to be every bit as tough as the first.
But by becoming a master (or mistress) of your TOOLS, hammering
that last nail is going to SEEM a great deal easier than it did at
the beginning.  It's going to go in smoothly, it won't get bent,
and your thumb has learned to stay out of the way.  Hammering
didn't get easier; you just got BETTER at it.

Perhaps that, in a nutshell is the "secret of success" that so many
writers seek and inquire about.  The higher you climb on the
writing ladder, the more saddened and frustrated you may become by
such questions, because you know that you can't give that person
the answer they're looking for.  Nothing ever makes writing "easy."
But many things -- many skills in our toolkit -- can make us
BETTER at it.  And one reason getting better at something doesn't
always make it seem easier is that the very process of getting
"better" often involves striving toward greater heights and greater

You know you're doing just that when would-be writers come to YOU
and ask, "what's your secret?"  They're asking, because... well,
because you MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY! 

*"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the
age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of
belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of
Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had
nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all
going direct the other way..." - Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two

-- 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
on how to order a hardcopy (this year in two formats!), visit



By Victoria Grossack

"Everybody lies."  This phrase was the motto of the television
series, "House MD," but how true is it? More importantly for the
fiction writer, how much truth should you incorporate inside your
story? How much should your characters lie and engage in deception?

To come at this from another angle, how much should your characters
trust each other? How much should they betray each other? Actions
based on trust and treachery can play huge roles in moving your
story forward. In this column we'll examine many of the
relationships that can be mapped in the reading experience --
characters to other characters, narrator and author -- and see how
lies and deception can be used to move your story forward.

Bird's-Eye View of Lies in Fiction
If you're writing fiction, then in a sense your entire opus is a
lie. There's a book on writing by Lawrence Block and Susan Grafton,
called "Telling Lies for Fun and Profit." I haven't read it, but
I've learned a lot from Block's articles, so it probably contains
useful information.  However, the idea that all of fiction is a lie
is a rather meta, bird's-eye approach to lies in fiction.  Let's
move on to the more practical issue of whether your characters
should lie to each other within the story.

As lying is, alas, pretty common among humans, having a story in
which no one lies would not be a particularly accurate portrayal of
reality. Nevertheless, there are certain times when the author of
fiction may want to avoid it. Lying may not be required by the
story. If you're writing something short, you may not have time and
space for lies. Some plots, for example in some romances, are based
more on misunderstandings than on actual lies. Lies complicate and
confuse, so fiction may contain fewer lies, in one sense, than real
life (OK, I'm a cynic).

There are some fiction genres in which lying is rare. Stories for
very young children and some religious-themed fiction may frown on
having liars among the characters. Occasionally in these stories
people DO lie, but in these cases the lie may be a very big deal.
In Rumer Godden's "In this House of Brede," a nun who has lied is
tormented by guilt.

Other genres practically require characters to lie. In nearly all
detective stories, at least one of the characters will be
dishonest. In other stories, lying is a more haphazard occurrence,
based on what is required for the plot and consistent with

Your Network of Lies
Lies and liars can be studied on many levels, but in this little
column I want to look at lies in terms of characters. Who lies to
whom, and how can you use that in your story?

frequent or at least obvious type of lie that occurs in stories.
The lie may not be obvious at first, because frequently the
protagonist (and the reader, depending on the POV) may or may not
realize that Dr. X is lying.

AUTHORITY LIES TO EVERYONE.  When the government lies, or lies
through the media, it is called propaganda.  Note that when the
authorities -- and they could be educators, religious
organizations, and corporations -- in your stories lie, you create
a tense backdrop for your plot.  When society, or the powers
controlling society, are untrustworthy, even malevolent, then your
protagonist will most likely be the underdog and will have an
uphill fight.  This sort of situation can be unpleasant, even
dangerous, if you experience it in real life, but it can be
thrilling to read.

PROTAGONIST LIES TO OTHERS.  When your protagonist starts lying to
other characters in the story and scheming in a way that the
readers can perceive, how your readers feel about the character may
change.  As mentioned earlier, in some genres a protagonist who
lies may not be acceptable. In other genres it is not as forbidden
but still can be risky. On the other hand it can be extremely

Nevertheless, as lying is generally considered morally ambiguous,
you probably want to ask why your hero is bending, or even
breaking, the truth.  Is it for survival?  To protect others?  For
gain?  Is the lie, perhaps, really the lesser of two evils or does
it make your hero a bad person?  Notice that Harry Potter, despite
being the hero of that series, lies frequently, for many reasons.

PROTAGONIST LIES TO SELF.  Protagonists (and any other characters)
may lie to themselves. These are generally considered
rationalizations. They happen because the character may want to
seem richer or more powerful or even more beautiful than she is.
They may lie to themselves to justify actions that they know are
bad at one level. They may lie to themselves because the truth is
simply too painful or has too many consequences.  For example, a
man may not want to admit that his much younger wife is cheating on
him. A woman may be too horrified to admit that her husband is a
gangster. Parents -- or children -- may refuse to know that their
nearest and dearest are terrible criminals, such as embezzlers, or
serial killers, or pedophiles.

NARRATOR LIES TO AUDIENCE.  Sometimes the narrator is lying and/or
deliberately misleading.  There are several famous instances of
this, including an Agatha Christie novel in which the narrator
turned out to be the murderer.

AUTHOR LIES TO AUDIENCE. This is different from the narrator lying.
 When the narrator lies, it is generally done in first person in a
voice belonging to the story, and the lies are generally discovered
within the story - or it is otherwise made obvious to the readers,
as may be the case in a first person story with a self-deluded

The author who lies to the audience often does so outside the
story.  There could be a deliberate falsehood in the Author's Note.
 Perhaps the author has gone on a talk show and claimed that the
novel is based on a true story, even when it was not.  This REALLY
annoys me; however, as novels allegedly based on true stories tend
to sell better, I can understand why the authors are tempted to do
it -- as was the case with James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces." 
(When this happens, I make a point of not buying their works, but I
seem to be in the minority.)  

Who Believes the Lies?  Who Doesn't?
This is where it gets rather complicated: Who believes the lies
being told, and who doesn't?

Let's start with the category in which most of the characters do
NOT believe the lies. If others do not believe the lies, you may
well wonder why they are being told at all.  However, there are
instances.  A character could be giving a necessary compliment,
such as; "Your Majesty, I hope you live forever!" when everyone
knows that's impossible and the person saying it clearly hopes the
opposite.  The lie could be propaganda, not meant for those in
authority or even those being repressed but for posterity. (Some of
the hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt laud the victory of the king,
but those victories keep taking place closer and closer to home,
suspiciously similar to retreats and defeats.)  The untruth could
be a code, as when Spock says two days but means two hours in "The
Wrath of Khan."  

Let's move on to another category: the protagonist doesn't believe
the lie, but everyone around her does.  If the protagonist is
working hard to convince her friends that Lady W is a corrupt liar
but no one believes her -- instead they believe Lady W -- the
tension grows.

Let's consider the situation in which your protagonist believes the
lie.  Then you need to figure out if and when your protagonist
learns the truth.  How is the truth revealed?  How does the
character change or grow as a result?

The revelation of the truth is a turning point in many stories. 
Perhaps it is a terrible realization, as the character discovers
that he has based dreadful actions on a lie, as in Shakespeare's
"Othello."  Perhaps it is provides an opportunity, as when Mr.
Darcy, in "Pride and Prejudice," contradicts the lies told about
him and so becomes a suitable suitor for Elizabeth Bennet.  Perhaps
it takes the narrator in an unexpected direction, as when the
second Mrs. de Winter learns the truth about her husband's feelings
for his first wife in "Rebecca."

Lies and Your Readers
In this section we'll discuss the impact of the lies within your
story on your readers.  Note that I do not mean the lies that I
discussed above, those told by authors to burnish their image and
to beef up their sales, but the lies told within the text.  Do you
expect your readers to believe these lies or not?  

I believe there are three categories.  In the first, you expect and
intend for nearly all of your readers to believe the Dr. Z's lies.
I say nearly all, because some readers, depending on their
experience of life and literature, will always be suspicious.  In
the second category you expect your readers to realize that Dr. Z
is lying and will be increasing tension as they wait for the hero
to discover it too.  In the third category, you're going for the
middle ground.  You want some readers to get it and others not to
get it -- this might be considered fair play in a detective story.

Note that there is another category of reader, the readers who know
everything because they are not reading your story for the first
time.  They are seeing everything again!  Perhaps you don't think
it's worth considering them; you would be happy just to get someone
to read your story once.  But I think that if a story is worth
reading once, it is worth reading twice.  When I learn that someone
is reading a novel of mine again, simply for the pleasure of it, I
feel especially gratified, and I try to write in such a way that
they will discover more if they make the journey through my
imaginary a second time.  Have you seen the movie "The Sixth
Sense"?  It is fascinating to re-watch, because you interpret
everything differently.

The Greeks -- at least some of them -- admired liars so much that
they made Hermes the god of them.  Odysseus, who came up with the
deceptive ruse (the horse) that enabled the Greeks to win the
Trojan War, was lauded by the Greeks for his cleverness.  Certainly
his lie saved the Greeks more losses in war -- but of course the
Trojans felt differently.  But for our purpose we can state that
lies have been a staple of entertainment for millennia.

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.

Link to this article here: 

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

WritingCareer.com is a free online resource to find paying markets
for your poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Updated daily, we report
on current needs of editors and publishers who are open for
submissions, pay competitive rates, and do not charge reading fees.



Literary Agent Criticizes Amazon Publishing
Andrew Wylie has lambasted Amazon Publishing in an interview with a
German newspaper.  Talking to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung he
said that Amazon publishing stands out for its 'idiocy'. To read
more on this story visit:http://tinyurl.com/pm4evry

Library Use High in America
A new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has shown
that nearly a third of Americans are regular users of their
libraries and that 10% of all Americans are heavy users not only of
their local library, but also of their local bookstore.  For more
on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/p6uz7fn

Pressure Grows to End Book Stereotyping
A huge campaign has been building in the UK to stop labelling
children's books as 'for boys' or 'for girls'.  The Let Books Be
Books Campaign has attracted the support of two publishers, Paragon
and Usborne, as well as many children's authors.  To find out more
about this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/lhfs6w5


Conceptual & thematic approach
Copy editing, line editing, full reads
For details, email A. Franco:  afranco.afranco@yahoo.com


Writing Jobs and Opportunities
YA Stories Sought by Inaccurate Realities
Inaccurate Realities are seeking YA stories with the theme
'Superpowers' for their July anthology. They are looking for an
original story of superpowers in the real world, not comic book
reality.  Submissions deadline May 15, 2014. 

For full guidelines visit the website.

Christian Children's Magazine Seeking Stories
The Kid's Ark is a quarterly Christian children's magazine for
children aged 4 - 12.  They are seeking submissions on the theme of
change for their September issue.  They pay $100 for original
submissions and $25 for reprints.  Submissions for this issue due
by April 11, 2014.  

Science Fiction Romance Open to Submissions
Science Fiction Romance magazine is currently open for submissions
of romantic science fiction short stories between 1000 and 7,500
words. Stories must include science fiction as well as romance; all
SF genres considered. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2014. They
pay $25 on publication.  


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:  Your First Press Trip: A Survival Guide

By Lisette Allen 

Press trips are one of the most sought-after perks of travel
writing. Having spent several years fighting my way up the
freelance food chain, I was delighted when I scored my first
all-expenses paid tour. 

Once the plane tickets arrived in the post, my initial excitement
gave way to anxiety. This wasn't a free vacation. What essential
tools should I pack in order to do my job properly? Would the other
writers look down on someone with less prestigious bylines? How
could I ensure that I came across as an experienced professional? 

In order to prevent you from stressing out in a similar fashion,
here are some practical tips on how to survive your first press

If you want to maximise your chances of getting an article in print
based on the tour, research the destination meticulously before you
arrive. See what angles have already been covered in the media and
be on the alert for any fresh or quirky approaches. As an editor I
work with is fond of saying, what makes this place now and wow?

Get a copy of the itinerary in advance. Study it carefully and
don't be afraid to ask if there's anything additional you'd like to
do or see. Great quotes can make all the difference between a flat
feature and a fantastic one, so if there's someone specific you
want to interview, see if your hosts can set that up for you. After
all, it's in their interests to give you all the support they can.

When you arrive, you should receive a media pack with press
releases and background information on the destination. Read
through this at the earliest opportunity as it might be a source of
potential feature angles worth exploring - and will at the very
least, give you something to talk about with your hosts.

What to take
It's well worth investing in having a set of business cards
printed, as you'll be doing plenty of meeting and greeting. 

Most attendees will have a decent digital camera - these days most
publications expect freelancers to provide images and they may even
request shots of you doing some of the activities you describe in
your feature - so make sure you squeeze one in your suitcase. An
SLR is best if you're hoping to place work with a glossy print
publication, as the editors will require top quality
high-resolution images.

A digital dictaphone is another must, although an IPhone with a
voice recorder app will do the job just as well. A small notebook
is essential too. I'm a fan of the Moleskine brand because of that
handy paper pocket inside the back cover where you can stash any
business cards you collect. 

I wasn't sure whether to take my laptop, didn't bother, and ended
up regretting it - especially as I didn't have Internet access on
my phone. It would have been helpful to be able to get online
during our rare downtimes and look up more information on some of
the bars and cafes we'd passed on our orientation tour to see
whether they'd be worth a solo visit. I took notes while on our
excursions, but these were obviously hurried: I would have
appreciated the chance to type up my impressions immediately in a
more organised form while they were fresh. If you're a travel
blogger, then there'll be no debate, especially if you've agreed
with your hosts that you'll be posting during the trip itself.

Don't forget to take a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Your
hosts will want you to see as much as possible during your stay, so
expect to be covering a lot of ground - literally. Rather
obviously, you should also make sure you have some cash in the
local currency even if the trip is all-expenses-paid. You might
want to do some solo exploring once the official itinerary is
finished - indeed, if you have any energy left, investigating off
the beaten track is an excellent use of your limited free time.
Although it can't be stressed enough that this isn't a classic
vacation, you'll still be allowed to buy yourself a souvenir or
two. A mouthwatering description of that local artisanal plum jelly
you bought at the Sunday farmer's market could even add colour to
your copy!

It goes without saying that you should never lie about your
credentials to secure a place on a press trip. Make sure it's clear
exactly what's expected of you in return for your participation,
and that you keep to your side of the deal. If you're a journalist
and you don't have a definite commission, who exactly will you
pitch to? 

As for bloggers, how many posts will you write about the press
tour? Do you plan to write updates during the trip itself? Keeping
your online audience informed about what you're up to in real time
via Twitter and Instagram is a simple way of giving your hosts some
additional publicity.

It's hard to be objective about the quality of the food if someone
else is paying for your lunch. Still, don't feel obliged to write
gushing copy about every single part of the programme. Try to view
your experiences through the eyes of your readers and keep their
interests in mind at all times.

Having said that, trashing everything in print goes against the
spirit of a sponsored tour. As far as possible, strike a balance
between making your copy an honest appraisal of what you've seen
and done, and not sounding so overly enthusiastic that you might as
well have cut and pasted from the tourism board's PR materials. 

Don't forget that you'll need to inform any editors you pitch to
that the piece will be based on a press tour, as some publications
do not accept any material based on sponsored travel of any kind.
Cover every angle: Remember that from the moment you arrive, every
aspect of the trip, however apparently mundane, might serve as a
worthwhile point to include in your feature. For example, if your
airport transfer was by local bus, was it inexpensive and
convenient enough for you to recommend it to readers? If you have
positive experience of navigating a city by public transport -
especially if it's particularly iconic like Prague's trams or
London's buses -- then that could be something to mention too. 

What about your accommodation? Press guests are usually given the
best rooms, but what is your overall impression of the hotel? How
would you rate the service and facilities? Find out what the
typical cost of a room is - if you're given a separate hotel press
pack, the information will be included there - and decide whether
you think it would be good value for money for the market you're
catering to. Consider also pitching a hotel review to a publication
that runs that particular feature section: in-flight magazines
often do so, for example.    

It's not often that you end up in the same room with a dozen or
more fellow freelance writers. While making the current trip into a
feature article is obviously your first priority, don't overlook
the opportunity to make it a springboard for future assignments by
networking with other journalists, bloggers and PRs. Hand out
plenty of those business cards you brought along and collect those
of others too. Send an email to people you connected with when you
get home; after all, you never know when that freelancer you once
met might land an editorial post at a major newspaper or magazine.

I found it helpful to check out the websites of my peers when I
returned home to see what I could do to improve my own profile. It
was also useful to find out which markets other travel journalists
had tapped into and to exchange tips on how to promote my work
through blogging and social media. 

Don't reveal too much: It's the job of PRs to be friendly and
approachable, but beware of letting your guard down. A journalist
friend was once on a press trip sponsored by a major luxury brand.
An apparently charming PR, obviously keen to discover whether her
company should bother buying any advertising space in the
publication, plied her with alcohol to try and get her to reveal
its current circulation figures - sensitive information her editor
expected to keep top secret. She made her excuses and hit the sack
early without giving anything away; make sure you're equally

And finally
Once you're back home, be sure to send your hosts an email thanking
you for inviting you along. As soon as your article or blog post is
published, let the organisers know, while reminding them that you'd
be more than happy to come along on any future press trips,
especially if - as often happens - someone drops out at short
notice. Show that you can deliver the goods and you'll soon be
invited along on your next sponsored tour!


Lisette Allen is a Prague-based freelance journalist who has
written extensively on travel, food and culture for a broad range
of publications including The Guardian, EasyJet Magazine and The
Prague Post. Her favourite freelance gig, though, is being
Expats.cz's cafe reviewer: as Marie Antoinette might have said, let
her eat cake! Visit her website at
(https://lisetteallen.contently.com/) or contact her at
lisette_allen 'at' hotmail.com.
To find out how to get a press trip or paid to travel somewhere,
check out our travel-writing section:

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

Link to this article here: 

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

THE INQUIRING WRITER:  Tweeting For Money  
By Dawn Copeman

Our question last month came from Paul, who wrote: "I've heard that
some companies are paying people to write tweets for them; do you
know if this is true?  If so, how to you get to be a tweet writer
and does it pay well?"

If any of our readers do get paid to write tweets, no-one wrote in
to say so. I do know that you can, if you have a large enough
Twitter following, get paid by some companies to tweet about their
products or services.  But I don't suppose this is what Paul was
asking about.  

But as a copywriter I have been paid to write tweets for companies.
So yes, you can get paid to do so - but only as part of a 'social
media writing package'.  In fact, it is now standard practice for
most copywriters who create content for sites, update sites or
write blogs for companies to also write tweets for their clients as
well as manage or update their social media pages. 

I have done this for several companies and I charge them a 'social
media package fee' based on my hourly rate.  

Generally, I write the blog post, post it online, write a piece for
each of their social media pages and then either write a tweet
about it, or in the case of some of my clients, press a button on
the blog to automatically create a tweet!  For push-button tweet
creation (and editing) I charge a very, very low fee (only 5
minutes of billable time).

If, however, I am asked to ghost-tweet to build a following, or to
write a marketing copy tweet, I charge much more.  It is harder to
get good copy across in 140 characters and it takes much more time.
It is not my favourite job, and as such I will provide a
quote based on so many tweets per week.  It is generally easier to
set aside two to three hours to write all the tweets and get in the
flow of tweet writing, than to write them on an ad-hoc basis.  But
you will generally only get asked to tweet marketing copy if you
are already known to the client as a copywriter and have already
worked with them and are familiar with their style and voice.  Yes,
voice still counts even in 140 characters!

So yes, Paul, you can get paid to tweet but only as part of a
general copywriting service. I hope this helps. 

Our question this month comes from Jules, who wants to know how to
go about submitting poems to publications.  Jules writes "Do I send
in a query letter, or do I just send in my poems?  Can I send in
more than one at a time, say three, or do I just send in one?"

Have you submitted poems to magazines or ezines for publication? If
so, can you advise Jules?  Email your replies to
editorial@writing-world.com and email me your questions too. 

Until next time, 



Copyright Dawn Copeman 2014

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.  


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!



Social Triggers
This is a very informative blog if you are looking at writing
social media or tweets to either promote your own writing or to
learn the skills needed by today's copywriters. 

Positive Writer
This has become a must-visit site for me; it is full of guidance on
how to beat writer's doubt and become more confident and positive
as a writer. 

Terrible Minds
I love the format of this blog; it looks like a comic book store! 
It also contains some great articles on writing novels, scripts,
short stories and comics as well as thousands of tips on how to
become a better writer. 



This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 
For a guide to nearly 1600 writing contests throughout the 
world, see Moira Allen's book, "Writing to Win: The Colossal 
Guide to Writing Contests"
DEADLINE:  March 31, 2014
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS: Submit up to three previously unpublished short stories of
1000 words maximum in length.  Full guidelines on website. 
PRIZES: $1000 and publication in Shenandoah magazine
URL:  http://shenandoahliterary.org/submissions/

DEADLINE: March 31, 2014
GENRE: Nonfiction
DETAILS:  Submit an essay of up to 5000 words on a subject of your
choice.  You must also include a 100 word biography, a photo and a
note of thanks to the Woods family. 
PRIZE: $250 and publication in Lunch Ticket
URL: http://lunchticket.org/the-diana-woods-memorial-award/

DEADLINE: April 27, 2014
GENRE:  Short Stories
DETAILS:   Spanish is something that united us and we like to teach
Spanish as a foreign language. This is why the theme of this year
is learn Spanish). This contest is open to people that are
interested in the Spanish and Hispanic language and culture.
Winners will receive a free Spanish class in our school. Submit a
100 character story in English, Italian, French, German or Spanish.
PRIZE: 2 week intensive Spanish course
URL: http://tinyurl.com/oja3urb

DEADLINE: May 5, 2014
OPEN TO: Unagented debut authors born or resident in UK or Ireland
GENRE: Books
DETAILS:  Submit the first 15,000 words of your crime/thriller
novel and a synopsis of a maximum 800 words.  
PRIZE:  1000 and chance to meet with AM Heath agents.
URL: http://amheath.com/blog/criminal-lines/

DEADLINE: May 31, 2014 
GENRE:   Books
DETAILS:  Each entry must be an original unpublished work of 
Fiction of between 15,000 - 20,000 words that conforms to the
tradition of the Nero Wolfe series.   
PRIZE: $1000 and publication in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. 
URL: http://tinyurl.com/ne2mfvh


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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ENTIRETY.  This newsletter may not be reposted or republished in
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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

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For more information please contact Moira Allen, Editor