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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

                  http://www.writing-world.com

Issue 14:07          13,240 subscribers            April 3, 2014
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

THE NEWSLETTER EDITOR'S DESK: Quality or Quantity, by Dawn Copeman 
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: A Story, B Story (Part One: Why Use
Subplots), by Victoria Grossack 
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
WRITING JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES
FEATURE: Blogging for Business, by Dawn Copeman 
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: The Smart Device Writer Kit (Part 2), by
Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf   
                           
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK: 
=================================================================

Quality or Quantity
-------------------
I've been reading a lot of work recently by writers who only list
being a writer as their secondary occupation.  

A former colleague of mine lists his profession as teacher, not
writer, on his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, yet he is currently
having a screenplay optioned and has started to create beautiful
poetry.  

In a book of science fiction short stories I've been reading this
month, I've read intriguing, well-crafted short stories that were
penned by astrologers, physicists and medical doctors, who all
class themselves as a writer as a secondary profession. Some of
these writers have had writing careers that cover two decades,
others are just beginning.

They choose not to class themselves as writers as this is not
something they do every day or even every week but something that
they do when they can. 

Personally, I think they are wrong; they are writers, but writers
who have chosen quality over quantity. They write only when they
have something to share with the world and they take the time to
perfect their work before submitting it. 

In these days it is a hard and unpopular choice to make.  In
today's world of instant information, instant updates and seemingly
constant contact via emails and text messages from work that invade
every aspect of our time, the decision not to produce lots of work
is a conscious one that bears thinking about.

In my job as a copywriter, however, the opposite is true; my
clients want new content, new blog posts, new articles, and they
want them regularly - usually two to three new articles or posts a
week.  That is a situation where quantity is king.  Don't get me
wrong, I still produce high quality work for these clients, but is
it the same standard as when writing a long piece for a magazine?
No. 

What many clients and writers don't understand is that there is a
trade-off between quantity and quality.  You can't effectively do
both, not for a long period of time. 

Yet many writers feel that if they can't do both, they are failing.
 You're not, you are human. 

If you want to craft a beautiful article, it takes time.  If you
want to write a short story, it takes time.  If you rush it, if you
try to do it as quickly as possible, you end up feeling
disillusioned and misjudging your worth as a writer.  

There is a world of difference between creating a short article for
a website for a client and creating a short article for a literary
magazine or a print magazine.  If you try and approach them both
the same way, you will only fail.  

What I'm trying to say is that not everything can be instant in
today's world, and good writing takes time.  What you, as a writer,
need to do, is to decide which one is most important for you and
your career right now.  

-- Dawn Copeman, Newsletter 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 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/reprints.shtml)

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COLUMN: CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: 
A Story, B Story (Part One: Why Use Subplots)  

==================================================================
By Victoria Grossack

You may have heard or read people talking about the "A story," and
then also discussing the "B story," if it exists, and then maybe
even a "C story."  These terms are used by screenwriters. In
novels, the equivalent terms are main plot and subplot(s). I admit
that I have a preference for the terms A story, B story, C story
and so on, as this way of speaking helps distinguish the different
storylines from one another.

History
-------
Storytellers have been using this technique for millennia. Homer,
for example, used multiple storylines in "The Odyssey."  He first
follows the adventures of Telemachus, Odysseus' son, who is
suffering because his father has been absent for so long. Only
after several "books" does he go to Odysseus. In "The Iliad," Homer
treats us to the Trojan War from the perspectives of the Greeks,
the Trojans, and even some of the gods.

Although the technique has been around for a while, it is not
something that has met with universal approval. With respect to
tragedy as performed in the theaters, Aristotle in his "Poetics"
described three unities, the first being "The UNITY OF ACTION: a
play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few
subplots." Of course Aristotle was opining about drama, as opposed
to, say, epic poetry, the type of storytelling in his time that
most closely resembles the type of storytelling found in novels in
ours. Partly because of Aristotle, critics and storytellers have
debated the merits of additional storylines for thousands of years.
Nevertheless, many storytellers use multiple storylines; this
column covers some of the reasons why.

Not Enough Story. 
-----------------
One reason, frankly, is there may not always be enough plot to keep
the A Story interesting and credible for a 200-page novel or for 45
minutes (the actual non-commercial time of an "hour" of television
in the United States) or for whatever strikes you as a reasonable
length for your opus. If you're writing a romance -- let's consider
"Pride & Prejudice" -- how many words, paragraphs and scenes can be
devoted to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy misunderstanding each
other before the storytelling shifts from realistic to ridiculous? 
Therefore, in "Pride & Prejudice," Jane Austen sensibly includes
the histories of other pairings: Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas,
Mr. Wickham and Lydia Bennet, and Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennet.
 
Action Doesn't Happen In A Vacuum. 
----------------------------------
Aristotle also maintained that drama should occur in a 24-hour
period, with everything happening in the same place (and certainly
not having to do much in the way of scene changes would be
considered useful to those putting on a play). Although the "one
day, one place" restrictions may be OK for a short story or a play,
these conditions may be too limiting for a novel. If your
protagonist is moving around in space and time, it is logical that
other things will happen and interfere with the rest of the story.

Plot Thickeners. 
----------------
Related to the last two reasons, but building upon them: with the
addition of more storylines, you increase your options in nearly
every way. For example, you cannot have a triangle without putting
three people in a relationship. This extra scope lends itself to
all sorts of surprises and helps you add complexity to your novel.

Ensemble Cast. 
--------------
In some stories, it may not be possible to give all of the regular
characters meaningful roles in the main plot; however, your
audience will still want and expect to get updates on all the
characters. This is especially true in television when you have
contracts with multiple actors, but can also apply to series of
novels.

Storylines That Go Well Together. 
---------------------------------
You may need multiple storylines in order to do justice to a great
event. For example, consider Herman Wouk's "The Winds of War" and
"War and Remembrance."  These novels hop around the globe as they
show how World War II began, was fought, and then ended. It would
be impossible to have a single person involved in all the major
events of World War II. Instead, Wouk starts with a particular
naval officer, Victor Henry, then branches out to Henry's family,
and spreads out to following the lovers and even the ex-lovers of
the Henry family in order to show scenes such as Pearl Harbor, the
fight for Warsaw, the wars in India, North Africa and Manila, and
even the horrors of the concentration camps.

Perhaps your storylines are different aspects of a theme that you
are exploring in your book. In Jane Austen's "Sense and
Sensibility," she showcases a pair of sisters who both have the
same goal in life: to marry happily. However, they are very
different characters and approach life from opposite directions.
Elinor Dashwood believes in good sense and in restraining one's
emotions, while Marianne thinks that you are only truly alive if
you give your emotions free rein (this was being debated seriously
when Austen wrote this book). For the most part, Austen ends up
supporting "sense" over "sensibility" (in Austen's day, the word
"sensible" meant "sensitive") but the argument is not clear-cut and
her novel shows both sides. The two storylines are part of a
greater whole.

Here are some additional examples of connected plots. You might
show the upper class and lower class sides of a situation. You
might base your storylines on the lives of two lovers before they
meet. You might choose your storylines to reflect a tense situation
in which you show a crime from the perspective of both the
perpetrator and the police. You might even choose a pair of
storylines that both involve the same character. For example, in
Lawrence Block's "Sins of the Fathers," the main character, Matthew
Scudder, is attempting both to solve a crime and to come to terms
with his alcoholism.

All the examples in the preceding paragraph are storylines that
could be considered closely related in terms of plot, but even that
is not always necessary. Some novels contain stories that take
place one after the other, such as those in the books by James
Michener and Edward Rutherford and some of those by Steven Saylor,
which follow events in a particular setting over hundreds or even
thousands of years.

Taking a Break. 
----------------
If Story A is full of unremitting gloom and terror and is extremely
serious, it can be helpful to have a comic break by switching to
Story B. Changing the storyline can also be a means of increasing
suspense. You may put your Story A characters into a dangerous
situation and then skip to Story B, compelling your readers to go
through many pages before they learn whether the characters in
Story A survive.

In this article we've covered some of the many reasons that
storytellers use multiple stories when creating novels or series.
In the next column, "Story A, Story B (Part Two)" we'll cover some
of the challenges that arise when you are working with multiple
storylines.

You can read "Poetics" here: 
http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.html

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

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: 
http://www.writing-world.com/victoria/crafting40.shtml

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Victoria now
offers one-on-one writing classes; find out more at: 
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/VictoriasWritingClasses.html. 
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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
================================================================ 

English Ban on Sending Books to Prisoners Could be Illegal
-----------------------------------------------------------
English PEN, a freedom of speech charity, is challenging a decision
made by the British government last November that banned the
sending of books, stationery and specialist magazines to prisoners
in England. For more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/opvc2wu

Social Reading App Sold to Dropbox
----------------------------------
The social reading app Readmill has been sold to Dropbox, which has
announced plans to close the app down. It is seen as an odd
acquisition by Dropbox, and one wonders where they are going to go
with it.  For more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/pyqw8xx


Rowling to Write 3 Films Based on Potter
----------------------------------------
J.K Rowling has confirmed that she is writing three new films set
in the Harry Potter universe for Warner Bros.  They will not be
sequels or prequels, but merely be set in the same Potter universe.
 For more on this story visit: 
http://tinyurl.com/pg7zeue

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Writing Jobs and Opportunities
=================================================================

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----------------------------- 
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Dark Regions Open to Novel Submissions
--------------------------------------
Dark Regions Horror, Dark Regions Fantasy and Dark Regions Science
Fiction are open to submissions. All work must be 100% original and
completely unpublished - that is, not having appeared even on your
own website or blog. For full information check out the guidelines
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FEATURE:  Blogging for Business

====================================================================
By Dawn Copeman
I am a prolific blogger. In an average week I write and post
between five and twenty blog posts. Don't bother going looking for
them via Google; you won't find any blog posts with my name
attached. This is because I am a ghost blogger.  I ghost-write blog
posts for businesses.

Ghost blogging is a growing but hidden writing niche.  A ghost
blogger gets paid by businesses to write and post blogs for their
websites and their own company blogs.  Blogging for business is a
perfect combination of copywriting and writing nonfiction articles.
It is a regular and recurring writing gig and a niche you can
easily get into. 

Why Blog for Businesses
-----------------------
Businesses know that their website is their shop-window 24/7. They
also know that to get a good Google ranking, they need to have
frequently updated, unique and relevant content. The easiest way to
do this is to have a blog. However, most business owners and
managers are too busy actually running their business to write the
blog posts they need. When they do find the time to write them,
they often don't really know what to write, and their blog gets
populated by unread and quite often unreadable posts. These posts
don't provide the customer with any real content or value, and
because they generate no visitor interest, they get ignored by
Google. 

This is where you come in. 

Even if you've never written a blog post before, you have one very
big advantage over the business owner: you are a writer. If you can
write nonfiction articles, you can blog for businesses. 

Finding Clients
---------------
There are three ways you can find clients: 
1. Cold Call
2. Job Boards
3. Advertise Your Services

Cold Call
---------
Take a look at websites run by local companies or by companies in a
field you are interested in and see if they have a blog.   

If they don't have a blog, check their Google ranking. Simply
search for the type of business and the geographical area they are
in and see where the company comes in the rankings. If they are
coming up low, you can suggest to the owner that a blog will help
improve their Google ratings. I did this for a client. When I first
Googled them they were originally hidden halfway down page 2, but
with a regularly updated blog full of relevant content, they made
it to the top 5 on page 1.  

If they have a blog, take a good look at the posts: are they
interesting? Do they tell you anything new? Do they make you think
that the company is knowledgeable in its field and you can trust
it?   
If not, make notes on what you found. Then view blogs belonging to
other businesses in their field, note what they do differently, and
you have a case to put to the owner as to why they should pay you
to write their blogs. 

You then need to cold-call the business owner or manager. You can
do this via a phone call, but I usually send an email or letter
first and then follow with a phone call or Skype chat. I have
blogged for many businesses and with their permission, I can refer
potential clients to links so they can see my work. But if you
haven't written a blog post before and don't feel comfortable about
this type of marketing just yet, you need to hit the job boards. 

Job Boards
----------
Job Boards have a lot of bad press. It can be incredibly hard to
find a decent client and to earn a decent wage on some of these job
sites. However, if you are just starting out in a new field, they
also offer you a way to hone your skills, build up a portfolio of
work and earn some money at the same time. 

When I first started blogging for businesses, I earned a massive
$10 per blog post! Wow! However, it took me around an hour and a
half at first to write a post. Now some people will get angry here
and bemoan that rate of pay. But let's compare it to some rates
I've seen recently from established print magazines: $50 per 1000
words, $40 per completed article of up to 2000 words. Now that $10
per 500 word post doesn't look so bad! Plus, the more blog posts
you write for a client, the quicker you get and the more you earn
per hour. 
 
Also with most of the job sites there is a guarantee that you'll
get paid, which is a bonus. Plus, you will visibly build up your
expertise and experience, which means you can then start to look
for the $50 blog post gigs. 

When looking for blogging jobs, be wary of jobs that ask for
bloggers but then say that you need to get the blog posted on
several sites. This is not real blogging. This is more like
spamming. Some clients will not only want you to write a blog post,
but also to somehow, magically, get it posted as a guest post on a
variety of sites. Now, I can't say that many sites that welcome
guest posts would be interested in, say, 'how to preserve your
garden tools over winter', but some owners seem to think you should
be able to get that post onto The Oprah Blog. If you see a job like
this posted or if a client asks you to do this, run - or at least
politely decline. 

Advertise Your Services
-----------------------
Mention on your website that you write blog posts for businesses.
Mention it to business owners if you attend your local business
networking group and tell everyone you know that you provide this
service. Word of mouth is still a very effective marketing method. 

So, you've found a client, now you need to write the post. 

Writing the Post
----------------
To write a successful blog post, you need to approach it as you
would an article. You also have to bear in mind that, just as with
article writing, there is nothing new under the sun.  You need to
make your blog post unique by looking at the slant you will take on
the topic. To do this you need to work out who the audience is,  
what they need to know and, crucially, what your client wants to
communicate. 

You then need to research your blog topic to ensure you can write a
blog post that meets your client's needs. You need to write an
engaging hook and ensure, just as in an article, that each
paragraph builds upon the former and that you deliver all you
promised to do in your header and hook. The only differences are
that you will need to write in your client's voice, research often
quite obscure topics, and think about SEO (Search Engine
Optimization).

Finding Your Client's Voice
---------------------------
This is easier than it sounds; it's just like matching your article
to the style of a magazine. You need to talk to your client to get
a feel for how they speak and write, and look at the style and
language used on the website or in their emails. Some clients have
no grasp of written English and are keen for you to be the 'voice'
of the business - professional yet warm. Talk to your client and
ask if they have a particular style they would like to use in the
posts. 

Research
--------
The good news is that when you blog for businesses you find that a
little research goes a long way. You might need to spend a few
hours at first getting to grips with the field and gathering
material for a post; however, you can always use that research in
following blog posts. You might need to subscribe to obscure trade
bulletins (a monthly newsletter on drink bottle fastenings ) or do
detailed Google searches, but as with all writing, no research need
ever go to waste. 

SEO 
---
Search Engine Optimisation hasn't gone away; it is still a key part
in attaining a high Google ranking. What has, thankfully, gone away
are the web pages and 'articles' so stuffed full of keywords that
they were almost unreadable.  

When you write a blog post for business, the main aim is to attain
or maintain a high Google ranking. To do this, it most provide
content (value) to the reader and it must also contain SEO key
words.  It must not, however, be stuffed with them. 

You need to ensure that your title, in particular, has keywords
that are likely to be searched for on Google so that Google can
find and pick up on your blog page. "How to Maintain Your Garden
Equipment"  is a boring but effective SEO title for a blog post. 
"Keep them Clean and Pristine" is a more attractive title, but will
do nothing for Google! 

Most blog publishers such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupl have
'widgets' that enable you to choose the most relevant SEO keywords 
related to your post and to select them as the ones to use in the
'tags' and 'metatags' for your blog post.  

So if you've written a blog post on English Wine Winning Awards,
then it is likely in your blog post you've written the words
English wine, English Vineyards and English Winemakers. All you
need to do is select those words as the SEO words and the 'widget'
will tell you how many you have, and red-mark it if you have
'stuffed' your text with them. This enables you to either re-define
your keywords or rewrite your text so it doesn't appear to be
keyword-stuffed. 

Publishing the Blog
-------------------
Most clients will at least initially want to see the blog post
before it goes live. I send blog posts via email for checking and
approval. If any amendments are requested, I will make them and
then send back to the client. Once the client is satisfied, I will
publish them onto the blog.

Some clients will do the posting for you. Others will provide you
with login details and expect you to schedule the blog posts.  If
you've never used that blogging platform before, ask for written
instructions. However, once you've used one system you will find it
easy to switch to another. 

In particular, look out for the keyword widget and the section that
asks for a summary of the text for Google purposes.  Do not leave
any of these SEO sections blank. If you are unsure, ask your
client. 

And that's all there is to this hidden niche. Once you've
successfully blogged for one client, you can expand. Find more
clients and write more blog posts or maybe consider the related
field of ghost 'tweeting' or ghosting for businesses on social
media sites. As with all writing, the more you do it, the easier it
becomes - and with blogging for business, the more you do it, the
more you can earn from it.  

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

Dawn Copeman is a UK-based freelance 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.

To find out more about copywriting read our archives at:
http://www.writing-world.com/tech/index.shtml

Or to find out more about blogging, check out this section of our
archive:  
http://www.writing-world.com/promotion/index.shtml

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

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/dawn/ghostblog.shtml

*****************************************************************

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FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: The Smart Device Writer Kit (Part 2)

=================================================================
By Aline Lechaye

"There's an app for that?" Chances are, no matter what kind of app
you're talking about, the answer's probably yes. Apps are being
developed and improved upon for just about everything we do in our
daily lives, and apps for writers are no exception: there are a ton
of writing-relating apps, for every aspect of writing from
outlining to recording submissions sent. 

Last month, we looked at dictionary and thesaurus apps, a
collaborative language learning app, and a novel outlining app.
This month, we'll continue to look at some cool apps for writers,
including a poetry app, a collaborative writing app, and a
writing/drawing app. 

Poetreat is one app that poets and songwriters will definitely want
to check out. Not only does the app give you rhyme suggestions as
you type, it also shows the syllable count for each line in your
poem. And you can change the rhyming scheme of the poem to suit
your needs so that the app will know which lines need to rhyme.
Currently, Poetreat is available for iPhones and iPads only.
Download or learn more about the app at http://poetreatapp.com/. 

Working with other writers? Quip is an app that makes collaborative
writing "immediate and easy". I like that all revisions to a
document are made in the same document so you can instantly see
what part of the document was changed and which one of your
collaborators made the changes. The Quip inbox shows all changes
made to all of your documents and folders on an interface similar
to Twitter. Just like on Twitter, you can use the @ symbol to
reference someone (on Quip, you can also use the @ symbol to link
to documents and upload photos and tables). The Quip shared folder
feature is useful for collaboration on multiple documents within a
team. Quip works on a variety of platforms (including desktops
(both PCs and Macs), iPads, iPhones, and Android phones), so you
can work on your documents no matter which device you're using.
Note that you can also use Quip even when your device is offline -
the app simply waits until you have internet access to sync the
changes you made. To download or learn more about the app, go to
https://quip.com/. 

Technology may have advanced in leaps and bounds over the past
decade, but when it comes to things like drawing story arcs or
brainstorming, a lot of writers still like to get their thoughts
out on pen and paper rather than on a computer. INKredible,
however, might just change that. "Just like paper, but better," the
INKredible website proudly proclaims. The app's interface is
distraction-free to simulate creativity, most of the time simply
displaying as a blank piece of paper, although additional features
can be accessed by swiping the screen. INKredible runs on iPhones,
iPads, and Android phones and tablets. I'd recommend using it on
tablets and iPads rather than phones as smaller phone screens are a
bit harder to work on. To download or learn more about the app, go
to http://inkredibleapp.com/. 

>>--------------------------------------------------<<

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. 

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find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com!

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THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================
Complete Planet
---------------
This is an incredibly useful list of over 70,000 databases to
enable you to research articles more thoroughly.  After all, a
Google search isn't always enough. 
http://aip.completeplanet.com/

Creative Writing Now
--------------------
This is a useful site if you need some help with plotting your
novel or short story.  It not only has articles but also
downloadable worksheets to help you practice what you have learned. 
http://aip.completeplanet.com/

SA Writers Org
--------------
SA Writers Inc is a not-for-profit writers group based in Adelaide,
Australia with a very informative website and blog.  This site has
advice and articles on most forms of writing.  
http://sawriters.org.au/

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AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers
=================================================================

Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, 
by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko


Find these and more great books at
http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml

Have you just had a book published?  If so, let our readers know: 
just click on the link below to list your book.
http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml

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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
http://www.writing-world.com

Readers are welcome to forward this newsletter by e-mail IN ITS
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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