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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 14:15          13,892 subscribers            August 7, 2014
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
     Writing Time: A Vital Luxury
FEATURE ARTICLE, by Sandy Forbes
     Boost Your Income by Writing & Selling Greeting Card Ideas
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack	
     Writing under the Influence: Inspiration, 
     Plagiarism and Homage
NO-FEE WRITING CONTESTS FOR SEPTEMBER
PLUS: NEWS FOR WRITERS; OPPORTUNITIES; THE WRITE SITES
                           
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THE TRUE LIFE STORY OF A NEW MEXICO MOM BURIED IN BILLS ...
Who Stumbled on the Secret of Making 6-Figures from Home as a
Writer! Click Here for Free Video
http://www.awaionline.com/go/index.php?ad=672737
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GET FEEDBACK AND ENTER WRITING CONTESTS AT FANSTORY.COM:
* FEEDBACK. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write.
* CONTESTS. Over 50 contests are always open and free to enter.
* FUN! Get feedback, enter writing contests, and learn.
http://www.fanstory.com
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A WRITER'S YEAR is the ONLY 365-day planner designed specifically
for writers! Plan your schedule, track billable hours, organize
tasks, and track your progress and achievements.  Each week brings
you an inspirational writing quote.  Best of all, it's F*R*E*E!
Download an electronic version in PDF or Excel, or access the print
edition: http://www.writing-world.com/year/index.shtml
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EVERY WRITER NEEDS A HOLIDAY!  "The Writer's Guide to Holidays, 
Observances and Awareness Dates" offers 1800 events worldwide --
Instant inspiration for those days when you can't think of anything
to write about!  Holiday topics are a favorite of editors, so fuel
your inspiration and jumpstart your articles today!  Available in 
print and Kindle editions; for more information visit
http://www.writing-world.com/year/holidays.shtml
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK, by Moira Allen
=================================================================

Writing Time: A Vital Luxury
----------------------------
It's that time of year again -- the point at which I realize that
while more than half the year is behind me, I can't say the same
about my project goals.  I wrote about this last July in the
editorial "Mid-Year Course Adjustments" 
(http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee67.shtml), and began this
editorial with the goal of saying something meaningful about time
management.

At the same time, lurking in the back of my mind was a
guilt-inducing phrase many of us have heard: "If something is
REALLY important to you, you'll FIND a way to make time for it." 
The corollary, of course, is that if you haven't found a way to
make more time for writing, it must not be "really" important to
you!  And the obvious follow-up is that if writing isn't "that"
important to me, perhaps I'm not cut out to be a writer in the
first place!

But is that true?  Consider "time management" as a pie chart. 
Start by blocking out the hours allocated to sleep.  Then block out
the sections devoted to work (if you have a day job), childcare (if
you have kids), education (if you're in school), home maintenance,
meals, cooking those meals, errands, etc. Those are the
necessities.  Sometimes we can trim and prune the hours allocated
to those necessities, but we can't remove them from the equation. 
What's left over, after we've blocked out all hours for required
tasks ("required" being a key word) is the time available for
"everything else."  That's the part of the pie we have left for
recreation, socializing, exercise, learning -- and writing.

As I sketched that chart in my mind, it struck me: Writing is a
LUXURY.  I know, that sounds terrible.  It sounds sacrilegious! 
But for most of us, it happens to be true.

Unless you are actually earning your living by writing (and
statistics indicate that fewer and fewer of us are doing so),
writing is a luxury.  If you earn your living by writing press
releases and business brochures, writing your novel is a luxury. 
"Necessities" are those tasks that keep you and your family fed,
clothed, and healthy.  

So let's look at that mental pie chart again.  Start by blocking
out the hours of each 24-hour period that are given to sleep --
let's assume an average of 8 hours.  Add another hour divided
between preparing for bed and "getting up" -- the sort of
peripheral time-consumers that are easy to overlook.

That leaves about 15 hours for other purposes.  If you have a
full-time job, that's another 8-9 hours.  Even a relatively short
commute can consume an hour each day, and many commutes are much
longer.  Meals are something of an essential, and most of us eat
three of them -- requiring additional prep time.  Shopping, picking
up the dry-cleaning, getting gas, dropping packages at the post
office, filling prescriptions -- all of these eat up our
non-optional hours. Keeping house (even if, like me, you wait until
you can write your name in the dust) takes another chunk of the
pie.  As for taking care of kids -- well, I don't have any, but I'm
reliably informed that those tasks consume at least 12 of your
remaining 8 hours.

These necessities are tasks you can't put off until you're "in the
mood" or "have a bit of spare time."  They're daily requirements. 
Anything left over is what we laughingly dub "leisure time."  Most
of us, I suspect, use very little of it for "leisure."  No matter
how many hours we have in a day, we'll find ways to use them all
and beg for more.  

Writing is one of those tasks that can, and is, relegated to those
"free" hours that are left over when the daily requirements are
fulfilled.  And that's why I say it's a "luxury."  Unless your
writing is actually putting the bread on the table and keeping the
roof over your head, it is not part of the necessities that claim
the bulk of your hours.

I'm not saying this to trivialize the importance of writing. 
Rather, I am saying it to minimize the burden of guilt we feel when
we are unable to budget as much time to writing as we wish, or feel
it deserves.  That guilt multiplies as the year winds down and our
projects remain unfinished, our goals unmet.  Statements like "if
it's important to you, you'll find time for it" just make us feel
all the more guilty.  

Recognizing that writing is actually an option is the key to less
guilt and more effective time management.  Once you've realized
that writing is a luxury, you realize that you're not somehow a
failure for not having carved out more hours to devote to it.  The
only slice you have to work with is that slice labeled "free" time
-- the time available for "optional" rather than required tasks.  

Now here's where it gets sticky, because we live in an age of
luxuries, all competing for a piece of our time.  Free time is a
precious commodity, and not just to its owner.  Another popular
adage is "time is money," and it is.  YOUR time is in hot demand
because it makes money for OTHER people.  Thousands of businesses
are trying to capitalize on that thin slice of your time pie. 
Every app, every web game, every video, every music download, every
TV show that clamors for your attention is seeking to turn your
time into someone else's profit.  Did you catch that latest
celebrity gossip?  Bet you saw half a dozen ads on the screen when
you did.  Did you see that cute video about the playful armadillo?
(I'm not making that one up!)  Quite possibly you had to play an ad
first.  Social media has its place, but Facebook and Twitter don't
want you to spend hours on their sites just because they love you.

Writing is a luxury, and real luxuries are precious.  They are
valuable.  True luxuries are sought after and cherished.  That
should be true of our writing time.  The first step in developing a
realistic understanding of how precious that time is lies in
realizing just how limited it is -- because it IS limited to our
"optional" hours.  Recognizing this fact is the first step in time
management -- and the second is deciding which of the many
"luxuries" competing for our time should have the top priority.

I'm not suggesting that one give up entertainment, toss out the TV,
block YouTube, cut off all your Facebook friends and Twitter
followers, and vow to never play another computer game.  But as we
weigh the options competing for our "free" time, I think it helps
to consider which options contribute to our personal or
professional gain -- and which options line the pockets of others. 
Free games, apps, videos and what-not aren't really free if they
rob us of the opportunity to create something worthwhile.  I can
use my time to put money in the pockets of some hungry corporation
-- or I can use it to create something that might put more money
back in MY pocket, and possibly make the world a better place at
the same time.  Writing may be a luxury -- but it's one that
deserves to be indulged in as often as possible!


-- 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 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/reprints.shtml)

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee82.shtml


=================================================================
VICTORIANA LOVERS:
------------------
The August issue of Victorian Times is now available!  In this
issue, 
learn how to fold serviettes, discover Japanese embroidery motifs,
meet a friendly owl, learn about some curious Bible misprints, 
find more flower lore, travel along with a British lady's journey
to Texas -- plus recipes, crafts, fashions and more.  Visit
http://www.mostly-victorian.com/VT/issues/2014-08-August.shtml to
download the free electronic edition or access the print version on
Amazon.
=================================================================

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FREE CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
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.
http://www.writingcareer.com

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BOOST YOUR INCOME BY WRITING & SELLING GREETING CARD IDEAS 
by Sandy Forbes

================================================================

The Income Booster
------------------
Have you ever considered writing greeting cards?  Perhaps you
thought it was out of your league or maybe a little too
complicated.  Well, think again!  Writing greeting cards may be
right up your alley!  In fact, if you can write a creative letter
or relay a thoughtful sentiment to a family member or friend, then
it is possible that you can write greeting card verses that will
generate check after check after check!  According to the Greeting
Card Association, the greeting card industry yields a whopping
seven to eight billion dollars in annual retail sales.  In light of
phenomenal figures like that, there are more than enough
opportunities for you to get your share of the pie.    

Types of Greeting Cards
-----------------------
The first order of business is to understand that there are
different types of greeting cards.  Traditional greeting cards have
verses that have a rhyming pattern, while contemporary verses do
not rhyme and are generally longer in length.  Alternative greeting
cards are humorous and range from birthday jokes to encouragement
and Get Well verses.  

Some greeting card companies accept artwork or suggested images
with ideas submitted.  Most greeting card publishers, however, do
not require an ability to draw.  They instead request that a writer
briefly describe the type of picture that will correlate with the
verses submitted for review.  

After choosing the type of card you want to focus on, you need to
select whether you want to start with Birthday cards, New Year's,
Easter, Christmas, Friendship, Love, I Miss you, Mother's Day or
Father's Day -- just for starters!  There are many categories to
choose from and the list is forever growing.  In addition, it is
more than okay to select more than one genre, as versatility will
strengthen your abilities.  

Greeting card publishers are selective as to the type and styles of
cards they prefer, so it is essential to request guidelines for
each individual publisher.  The more you read about a publisher's
preferences, the better decisions you will make on your submission
ideas. Now, are you ready to make some money? 

How To Please Greeting Card Publishers
--------------------------------------
Most people think of Hallmark or American Greetings when it comes
to greeting card publishers.  However, these giants rarely accept
greeting card ideas from freelance writers.  They may offer a
writing contest from time to time, but they have their own staff of
writers to create greeting cards.  But don't despair!  There are
many other greeting card companies that DO accept freelance
submissions, and guess what?  It is free to submit!   

Some companies prefer that you submit 10 to 20 ideas at one time,
while others prefer fewer than 10 or more than 20.  It is of utmost
importance to read the guidelines of each publisher.  For example,
Oatmeal Studios prefers short humorous verses, while Blue Mountain
Arts prefers longer non-humorous verses.  Moonlighting Cards has a
host of options for you to choose from, but prefers short, quick
verses.  

Requesting the "Must Read" Writer's Guidelines
----------------------------------------------
Making a request to a publisher for the writer's guidelines is
easy. First, make sure that the guidelines are not on the
publisher's website -- check for links to "for writers," "about
us," "contact us," and so forth.  You may find a notice advising
that an email or postal letter request is required to receive the
writer's guidelines.  

Whether through email or post, your request should be general and
to the point.  For example:

Dear (name of publisher), 

My name is (your name) and I am a (career title).  My expertise
consists of (state your expertise, i.e. greeting card writing or
other), which I have been doing for (X months or years).   As per
your website, please send me a copy of your writer's guidelines. 
Thank you in advance and have a wonderful day! 

Sincerely, 
(your signature, name in print, address, phone number and email
address) 
  
Keep in mind that your letter does not have to match this sample
verbatim.  The key is to politely introduce yourself and state your
request.  Be sure to include a SASE if you are mailing your
request.  Now, wait for a response. 
Once you receive the writer's guidelines, read them thoroughly and
begin to tailor your ideas around the guidelines.  Allow the
guidelines to lead you to success!  

Stay Versatile & Disciplined
----------------------------
John Steinbeck once said, "Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a
couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a
dozen."  Map out a plan as to how many greeting cards you want to
submit per day or per week and stay faithful to that number until
you are ready to increase it.  Being disciplined on a quota will
keep income flowing through your mailbox.  If you set a quota of 25
card ideas per week, then do at least five per day -- or more if
you are doing well!  

In addition, whatever you do, do not get stuck writing only
birthday or Christmas cards.  Broaden your horizons and write a few
"Get Well" or "Happy Anniversary" cards as well -- mix it up!  By
doing this, you become more versatile and will be able to adapt to
different publishers.  If you are stuck, go back to the basics.
Think about how you feel about a loved one such as your mother,
sister, brother, friend or spouse; then incorporate those feelings
in a greeting card idea.  If you are writing a humorous card, think
about the funny things people do and say that make you laugh!  Keep
your funny ideas general enough to please your target audience. 
Stay focused and you will succeed!
	
Keep Track of Your Ideas
------------------------
Technology has provided many advantages to a greeting card writer. 
Some companies still request ideas on index cards or plain white
paper via postal mail; however, many now accept email submissions. 
It is important to keep a reference system to identify each
individual idea.  Start by creating short abbreviations to assist
you in identifying the type of card you have written and where it
is located in your files.  Microsoft Excel is an excellent program
to use for writing greeting cards because it allows you to create a
sheet for each writing category, i.e. Mother’s Day, Father's Day,
Christmas, Get Well and more.  

Label each file with a category, i.e. New Year’s Day (NYD),
Valentine's Day (VD) and so on. You may list the holidays
alphabetically or in order as they occur during the year. Label
each idea with a number, i.e., for Mother's Day, MD01, MD20, MD40,
MD60.  Whenever work is sent to a publisher, be sure to note below
each idea the name of the publisher as well as the date submitted. 
When a publisher responds with a rejection or an acceptance,
reference the idea in question with the identifying number and post
the name of the publisher, the date accepted or rejected.  If you
are not familiar with Excel, Microsoft Word will suffice as well.   

How To Submit Your Verses
-------------------------
Are you ready to submit a few verses?  Let us assume that you will
send your verses via email.  Simply open a blank email, enter the
address stipulated for submissions in the guidelines, and in the
subject line, enter the subject suggested in the guidelines.  If
the guidelines did not provide a specific subject, simply enter
"Happy Birthday Greeting Card Submissions" (or whichever topic you
have selected).  

The greeting line and body of the email should be simple and to the
point, indicating that you are submitting a few Happy Birthday
Greeting Card ideas for review.  Cut and paste your ideas from
Excel into your email (including each identifying idea number).  DO
NOT send your ideas as an attachment unless that is requested in
the guidelines. Close the email with your name, address, phone
number and email address.  Your BIG moment has now arrived -- hit
SEND!        

Payment
-------
Payment for a greeting card idea ranges from $15 to $300 depending
on the publisher.  Once an idea is accepted, the publisher will
send you a buy letter requesting that you sign over exclusive
rights. Once you sign the buy letter, the publisher will issue a
check.  Some publishers will inform you that they are interested in
your idea but that it will have to undergo marketing review before
a decision is made.  If that occurs, the waiting period could be
from a couple of months to a couple of years.  Be sure to read any
contracts sent to you before signing. 

Study the Market and Be Original!
---------------------------------
One of the best ways to understand a market is to research
previously published works.  So, do your homework by reading some
of the greeting cards that a company has already purchased (check
their website).  By doing this, you will begin to digest what is
expected of you and recognize the strategies other writers utilized
in creating their verses and making a sale!  Be creative and avoid
copycat versions.  And don't forget, if another writer can make a
sale, you can too!  

Now, get busy writing and boost your income! 

Below is a list of greeting card publishers to help you get started.

Blue Mountain Arts - http://www.sps.com
Oatmeal Studios - http://www.oatmealstudios.com
Moonlighting Cards - http://www.moonlightingcards.com
Gallant Greetings - http://www.gallantgreetings.com
Avanti Press - http://ww.avantipress.com
P.S. Greetings, Inc. - http://www.psgreetings.com

=================================================================
Copyright 2014 - Sandy Forbes

Sandy Forbes has been a published writer and novelist for most of
her life.  Sandy's writing talent was initially discovered by her
middle school teacher when assigned to write a story based on a
picture from a magazine.  Her teacher gave rave reviews and
encouraged Sandy to keep on writing.  Sandy has since written for a
variety of magazines, including "The Dollar Stretcher," and is the
author of the young adult fiction novel, "Sinking Sam."  Sandy's
love for writing ranges from greeting cards, articles, novels and
poetry.  She is multifaceted and truly enjoys sharing all the
information that she has learned to help other writers succeed!  

=================================================================

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

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/poetry/forbes.shtml

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SPEAK UP AND SELL MORE BOOKS! The most powerful tool in your book
promotion toolkit is your personality. personality sells books! 
Readers want a relationship with authors, and it's up to you to 
create that relationship. Finally, here's a book that tells you 
how to develop a greater rapport with your readers. Patricia Fry's 
Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, 
Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More will help you
sell more books through more effective presentations. Available in
Print, Kindle & audio from Amazon; for details visit
http://www.matilijapress.com/TalkUpYourBook.html

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

OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS
================================================================= 

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 offers a
comfortable house and garden with different workrooms provided with
facilities and tools to allow you to develop your art.  We aim to
supply to our residents an enriching experience, providing
conditions and information for the stay and the creative process.

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.
http://arterra.weebly.com/index.html
http://arterra-residencias.blogspot.pt/

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

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
================================================================= 

Students May Learn Less with EBooks, Study Shows
------------------------------------------------
A study presented in April to the American Education Research
Association indicates that young students who use e-books as
textbooks may read less (and learn less) than students who use
print textbooks.  The study showed that "young readers often
skipped over the text altogether, engaging instead with the books'
interactive features." The study focused on students in
kindergarten through sixth grade, and found that the "richness" of
the multimedia environment may actually overwhelm children's
working memory.  Children also spent less time actually reading and
more time playing games embedded in text.  The study advises that
while there are good e-book texts available, parents and teachers
should look for those that "enhance and extend interactions with
the text" rather than those that provide distractions.  For more on
the study, visit
http://tinyurl.com/kzy7ydx

Scholastic Shuts Down Storia
----------------------------
Scholastic is closing down its children's book platform app Storia,
and is launching instead a new subscription-based platform titled
"Storia School Edition."  The new platform launches on September 1.
 Readers who already have e-books based on the old Storia platform
must open those e-books at least once by October 15, or lose them. 
Readers can also request a refund for unused e-books on the old
platform; to do so, they must call customer service (1-855-STORIA1)
by August 1, 2015.  For more details, visit 
http://www.scholastic.com/storia-update/

News Corp/HarperCollins Purchases Harlequin
-------------------------------------------
News Corp, the parent company of HarperCollins, has acquired
Harlequin Enterprises for C$455 million.  Harlequin, known for its
romances, will now operate as a subdivision and standalone
subsidiary of HarperCollins.  Harlequin will continue to operate
out of Toronto, Canada, under the auspices of CEO and publisher
Craig Swinwood.  For more on this story, visit 
http://tinyurl.com/o79q5cn

Free Ebooks from NASA
---------------------
If you're interested in aeronautics, or the history of aeronautics,
you might be interested in the selection of free e-books on these
topics being made available from NASA. Check out the collection at
http://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/

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

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40% off a monthly membership for the first 3 months with code
WR-WRLD. Learn more: https://www.inkedvoices.com/pricing.

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CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Writing under the Influence: 
Inspiration, Plagiarism and Homage 

by Victoria Grossack

=================================================================

In this article I'd like to cover some of the issues to consider
when your writing is definitely inspired by another story.  There
are different types of inspiration.  Some are considered admirable;
others can lead to lawsuits.  This article is not the last word on
legal issues, but it will hopefully make you aware of them.

Inspiration
-----------
There is nothing wrong with being inspired to write by another
author's story; in fact I believe that nearly all creative writers
begin as readers of stories.  Reading experiences can be so strong
-- so enthralling -- that the readers want to continue the
experience even after the story ends.  A person may read a romance
and think: I want to do that!  If you do not enjoy, or have never
enjoyed, reading fiction, then you should ask yourself why you want
to write it.  For fame and fortune?  Sure, some authors manage
this, but most do not.  There are easier, far more reliable ways to
gain money and celebrity.

Many stories have similar elements.  In fact, some people, such as
Christopher Booker, maintain that all stories are built on one of
seven basic plots (the numbers and descriptions of the plots
differ).  If this is true, it is not surprising that many stories
resemble each other, sometimes obviously, and sometimes less
obviously.  We'll cover instances of obvious resemblance --
plagiarism and homage -- and then move on to examples that are a
little less obvious.

Plagiarism
----------
Plagiarism is bad.  It can refer to copying something verbatim and
putting your name on it, something which has happened all too often
in schools and universities and is considered so great a violation
that it can be cause for dismissal.  Sometimes it is not verbatim
copying, but nevertheless a copying of ideas.  Here's what
Wikipedia says about plagiarism:

PLAGIARISM is the "wrongful appropriation" and "purloining and
publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or
expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original
work.  ...Plagiarism is not a crime per se but in academia and
industry it is a serious ethical offense, and cases of plagiarism
can constitute copyright infringement.

Plagiarism happens, even among well-known authors.  There was a
famous case in which the prolific romance writer Janet Dailey
borrowed passages from the even more prolific romance writer Nora
Roberts and published these passages in "Aspen Gold" (oddly enough,
it is the only book "by" Janet Dailey that I ever read -- and I
guess that means that I still haven't read any by her).  A
settlement was reached, but it seems to prove that plagiarism is
tempting to everyone, even to successful writers.  The reason why
is clear: it's a matter of getting credit and possibly money for no
work.

My adamant advice: do not plagiarize.  If you quote another author,
give credit where credit is due.  Check to see what the limits are
with respect to fair use.

Homage
------
By paying homage, you are supposed to be showing your respect and
admiration for another author or artist by alluding to their work. 
The homage could be direct, such as when the geeks in "The Big Bang
Theory" make references to "Star Wars" and "Star Trek."  It could
be oblique, as when characters in one story behave similarly to
characters in another story, perhaps by having a similar
conversation or by doing a technique that echoes another.

The boundary between homage that flatters the original artist and a
level that the original artist considers stealing is not always
clear.  From the commentaries accompanying the DVDs I learned that
one particular episode of Star Trek's "Deep Space Nine," "Our Man
Bashir," was supposed to honor, that is, pay homage to, the James
Bond franchise.  The episode was extremely similar to James Bond;
for example in James Bond there is a "Dr. No," while in the "Deep
Space Nine" episode there is a "Dr. Noah."  Evidently the creators
of "Deep Space Nine" thought they were paying a compliment to the
James Bond franchise, but the owners of the James Bond franchise
were not pleased.  "Deep Space Nine" was told to desist.  The next
time that Bashir visited the holodeck wearing a tux, the scene was
very short.  So, homage can be in the eye of the beholder.

Inspirations with Twists
------------------------
There are many famous examples of stories inspired by other
stories.  "West Side Story," the musical by Leonard Bernstein, is
based on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."  Bernstein made many
changes to the original: the setting is New York City, instead of
Verona; Bernstein's factions are the Jets and the Puerto Rican
Sharks, rather poor groups fighting for power in New York City
instead of Verona's two rich houses of Capulets and Montagues; the
character Maria who takes the role of Juliet does not die (which
somehow makes it sadder at the end).  And of course "West Side
Story" is full of music and dancing.

Bernstein did not have to worry about offending the original
author, as Shakespeare had been dead for centuries before Bernstein
wrote "West Side Story."  Besides, there's certainly plenty of
originality in "West Side Story."  Even though one can see the
outline of "Romeo and Juliet" inside it, Bernstein has made the
familiar story his own.

Here are some ways to take familiar stories and develop them
differently:

DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW.  You could tell Cinderella from the point
of view of one of the ugly stepsisters.  

DIFFERENT MEDIUM.  You can take a story that is a play and turn it
into a novel, as Alice Underwood and I did with "Jocasta: The
Mother-Wife of Oedipus," which tells the story of Sophocles'
"Oedipus Rex" (we also changed the point of view).  "West Side
Story" took a play and made it into a musical.

DIFFERENT TIME AND SETTING.  A recent, extremely popular example is
Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games," which has many points in
common with the story of the ancient Greek hero Theseus and the
groups of Athenian youths and maids sent as offerings to Crete's
Minotaur.

DIFFERENT ENDING.  It is possible to take a story with a happy
ending and make it sad; or take a sad or depressing ending and make
it happy.  Sometimes the version with the changed ending becomes
more popular than the original.  For example, in the original
version of "Little Red Riding Hood," the scarlet-clad lass was
eaten by the wolf; the story served to warn children of the dangers
of wandering into the woods.  However, these days and in fact for
many years, most people only know the version of "Little Red Riding
Hood" in which the little girl survives, usually rescued by a
lumberjack or a hunter.

DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THE CHARACTERS.  Perhaps you will change the
genders, or the ages, or even the species of the original
characters.

DIFFERENT VIBRATION.  You can take a story that is usually serious
and make it funny.  An example of this is the parody of "The Lord
of the Rings," known as "Bored of the Rings," by the Harvard
Lampoon.

Combining Influences
--------------------
Another possibility is to let your writing be influenced by two or
more different sources.  When she started writing "Harry Potter,"
J. K. Rowling MUST have been inspired by the endless Enid Blyton
books about boarding schools.  However, Rowling brought in magic
(and a lot of other things), making the story her own.  In her
novels even she paid homage to others, such as in calling the
favorite drink "butterbeer" after one of the characters in "The
Lord of the Rings," the innkeeper Butterbur.

Combining influences can lead to completely new subgenres.  Romance
has been combined with fantasy and horror to create love stories
with vampires.  Other examples of combined influences include time
travel romances, paranormal romances, mysteries featuring cats, and
historical mysteries.  If you are a great fan of two genres or two
particular stories, why not mix them together and see what comes
out?

Conclusion
----------
The creation of stories does not happen in a vacuum.  You can
create something new and wonderful if you let yourself be inspired
by other works; you can create a richer reading experience for your
audience if you incorporate some of these influences.  

In general, you should not plagiarize and you should create your
own story.  However, there is one important exception.  In the next
article, we'll look at some of the issues that you will encounter
when writing fan fiction; that is, if you choose to write a work
completely in a world created by another.


References
----------
Christopher Booker, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories,
Bloomsbury Academic, January 2006.

Wikipedia on plagiarism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

=================================================================

Copyright 2014 Victoria Grossack. 

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 she did her best to channel the spirits and
styles of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. Her newest novel is
Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin Mystery) – available now on
Amazon in print and Kindle editions. Her latest release is Crafting
Fabulous Fiction, a compendium of her columns (currently available
for Kindle; 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.

=================================================================

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/crafting48.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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THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

Referencing and Citation Style Guides
-------------------------------------
This is the mother of guides to online style guides, citation
guides, and other useful tools from universities and other websites
around the world.  It has dozens of links to style guides,
reference guides, formatting information and more. Huge!
http://tinyurl.com/ko3pf5m

Plagiarism
----------
Lots of good resources on understanding, preventing, avoiding, and
detecting plagiarism.
http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/teacher-resources/plagiarism/
http://tinyurl.com/lyfk3b3

Pinterest: Enabling Copyright Theft on a Global Scale
-----------------------------------------------------
And while we're on the subject, here's a detailed discussion of why
"pinning" on Pinterest is not only a copyright violation but
actively harms artists, photographers and other image owners.
http://tinyurl.com/n3o2gcq

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

WIN PRIZES FOR YOUR WRITING WITH THE LARGEST GUIDE TO WRITING 
CONTESTS, from Writing-World.com!  "Writing to Win" brings you 
more than 1600 contest listings from around the world.  You won't 
find a more comprehensive guide to writing contests anywhere.  
Available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1470025825/peregrine
*****************************************************************

NO-FEE WRITING CONTESTS FOR SEPTEMBER
================================================================= 
This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 

CREATIVE WRITING INSTITUTE'S INTERNATIONAL SHORT STORY CONTEST
--------------------------------------------------------------
DEADLINE: August 9
PRIZES: $200, $100, $50, OR free writing course/credit toward 
Writing course, plus publication in anthology and eBook.
DETAILS: Write a story containing the following sentence: "I have a
list and a map. What could possibly go wrong?"  Max. 2000 words.
Any genre: Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Humor, Romance, Children, etc.
No erotica, profanity, swearing, or gore. This is a "G" rated
contest.
WEBSITE: http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SHORT STORY COMPETITION
-----------------------------------------
DEADLINE: September 1
PRIZES: $2,000 and possible publication
DETAILS: This year's competition is a nonfiction memoir on the 
theme "All About Love."  The entry must be a non-fiction story
inspired by love for someone or something, and must be between 2,500
and 3,000 words in length. Open to legal residents of the US and 
Canada, age 21 or over.
CONTACT: Good Housekeeping, Short Story Competition, Hearst
Communications, Inc., 300 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019,
fictioncontest@goodhousekeeping.com (online entries only)
WEBSITE: http://tinyurl.com/nzeznqg

HELEN SCHAIBLE SHAKESPEAREAN/PETRARCHAN SONNET CONTEST
------------------------------------------------------
DEADLINE: September 1 
PRIZES: $50, $35, $15
DETAILS: Sonnets using Shakespearean or Petrarchan rhyme-scheme. 
CONTACT: Barbara Eaton, 416 Gierz St., Downers Grove, IL 60515
WEBSITE: http://poetsandpatrons.net/Schaibel.html

CABELL FIRST NOVELIST AWARD
---------------------------
DEADLINE: September 14 (based on publication date)
PRIZES: $5,000 and meetings with editors, agents, etc.
DETAILS: Created to recognize a rising new talent in the literary
world who has successfully published a first novel, nominations are
solicited from MFA programs nationwide as well as from publishers,
editors, agents, and writers. Submission must be the author's first
novel, published within the calendar year and first published in
the US.  No self-published or e-book-only novels.  No children's/YA
fiction.  Author must agree to attend award event.
CONTACT: VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, Department of English,
900 Park Avenue, Hibbs Hall, Room 306, P.O. Box 842005, Richmond,
VA 23284-2005
WEBSITE: http://firstnovelist.vcu.edu/

REAL SIMPLE LIFE LESSONS ESSAY CONTEST
--------------------------------------
DEADLINE: September 18
PRIZES: $3,000 and publication, plus round-trip tickets to New York
and other prizes
DETAILS: Have you ever had a Eureka moment? Tell us about it. Think
back on the instant when everything became clear. The split second
when you realized that you had chosen the right career. Or the
moment when you knew that your dearest friendship would last
forever. Whether your epiphany changed your life or just made your
day, write it down and share it with us.
CONTACT: Essay Contest, Real Simple, 1271 Avenue of the Americas,
9th floor, New York, NY 10020, lifelessons@realsimple.com
WEBSITE: http://tinyurl.com/qpvatn

THREE CHEERS AND A TIGER SF/FANTASY CONTEST
-------------------------------------------
DEADLINE: September 19 (held the weekend closest to September 21)
PRIZES: Amazon gift cards; 1st place is $35-$50 depending on # of
entries
DETAILS: A 48-hour story contest; entries must be posted within the
contest time-frame. The theme and word-count will be provided at
the opening of the contest.  
E-MAIL: editors@toasted-cheese.com
WEBSITE: http://tclj.toasted-cheese.com/three-cheers-and-a-tiger/

ERIC HOFFER AWARD FOR PROSE
---------------------------
QUARTERLY: September 30
ENTRY FEE: NONE
PRIZES: $250
DETAILS: Open to short works of fiction and creative nonfiction, to
10,000 words, unpublished (do not submit if published online).
CONTACT: The Eric Hoffer Award, P.O. Box 11, Titusville, NJ 08560,
info@hofferaward.com
WEBSITE: http://www.hofferaward.com/HAprose.html

IOWA SHORT FICTION AWARD 
------------------------
DEADLINE: September 30 
PRIZES: Publication/ standard royalty agreement
DETAILS: Any writer who has not previously published a volume of
prose fiction. Manuscript must be a collection of short stories in
English of at least 150 pages.
CONTACT: Iowa Short Fiction Award, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, 507 N.
Clinton St., 102 Dey House, Iowa City, IA 52242, uipress@uiowa.edu
WEBSITE: http://uipress.uiowa.edu/authors/iowa-short-fiction.htm

L. RON HUBBARD'S WRITERS OF THE FUTURE CONTEST
----------------------------------------------
QUARTERLY: September 30
PRIZES: $1,000, $750, $500, plus $5,000 grand prize for best story
of year
DETAILS: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror: All types of science fiction,
fantasy and horror with fantastic elements, 17,000 words max. Open
only to those who have not had professionally published a novel or
short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short
stories, in any medium. 
CONTACT: Writers of the Future Contest, P.O. Box 1630, Los Angeles,
CA 90072
WEBSITE: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/contest-rules

LEE AND LOW NEW VOICES AWARD
----------------------------
DEADLINE: September 30
PRIZES: $1,000 and publishing contract; Honor Award of $500
DETAILS: Open to writers of color who are residents of the US and
have not previously had a children’s picture book published.
Writers who have published in other venues are eligible.
Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color by
providing stories with which they can identify and relate, and
which promote a greater understanding of one another. Submissions
may be fiction, nonfiction or poetry for ages 5-12. No folklore or
animal stories. Max. 1500 words. 
CONTACT: Lee & Low Books, Attn: New Voices Award, 95 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10016, general@leeandlow.com
WEBSITE: http://www.leeandlow.com/p/new_voices_award.mhtml

PRESIDIO LA BAHIA AWARD
-----------------------
DEADLINE: September 30 
PRIZES: $1,200; a second place may be awarded
DETAILS: To promote suitable preservation of relics, appropriate
dissemination of data, and research into our Texas heritage, with
particular attention to the Spanish Colonial period. Material may
be submitted concerning the influence on Texas culture of our
Spanish Colonial heritage in laws, customs, language, religion,
architecture, art, and other related fields.  Though this is
primarily a book prize, there is also a separate category with a
prize for the best published paper, article published in a
periodical, or project of a non-literary nature.
CONTACT: SRT Headquarters, 1717 8th St., Bay City, TX 77414 
WEBSITE: http://www.srttexas.org/#!presidio-la-bahia/c6ns


MONTHLY/RECURRING COMPETITIONS:
===============================
The competitions below are offered monthly unless otherwise noted;
all require electronic submissions.

FANSTORY.COM
------------
PRIZES: $100 and other prizes
DETAILS: Various monthly fiction, nonfiction and poetry contests;
for some, you must become a member of the site.
WEBSITE: http://www.fanstory.com/contests.jsp

THE NEXT BIG WRITER
-------------------
PRIZES: $100, $50, $25, plus review and membership
DETAILS: Must be a member. Competitions throughout the year,
including novels and flash fiction. 
WEBSITE: http://www.thenextbigwriter.com/competition/index.html

SCRIBOPHILE WRITING CONTESTS
----------------------------
Bimonthly/Quarterly
PRIZES: $50 to $100 Amazon gift certificates
DETAILS: Short stories, flash fiction, poetry, on themes posted on
website.
WEBSITE: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/ 

WHIDBEY MFA STUDENT COMMUNITY AT NILA
-------------------------------------
PRIZES: $50
DETAILS: Submit fiction, creative nonfiction, prose poetry, and
writing for children/young adults to 1,000 words. The first story
that "knocks the judges' socks off" each month is declared the
winner.
WEBSITE: 
http://whidbeystudents.com/student-choice-contest/student-choice-contest-rules/
 
WRITER'S DIGEST YOUR STORY COMPETITION
--------------------------------------
Bimonthly
PRIZES: $100 in WD books
DETAILS: We'll provide a short, open-ended prompt. In turn, you'll
submit a short story of 750 words or fewer based on that prompt.
You can be funny, poignant, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your
story. 
WEBSITE: http://www.writersdigest.com/your-story-competition

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

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

Crafting Fabulous Fiction, by Victoria Grossack

Here, There, Everywhere: A Travel Writer's Memories, 
by Peter Dunkley

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