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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 15:05          13,300 subscribers             March 5, 2015
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EDITORIAL, by Moira Allen
     The Perils of the Paperless Office
     Plus - a Question for our Readership
FEATURE ARTICLE, by Devyani Borade
     KISS -- Keep It Simple, Sweetheart! 
     How to Write About a Complex Subject in a Simple Way
Who Stumbled on the Secret of Making 6-Figures from Home as a
Writer! Click Here for Free Video
choose the best pricing method for the job, negotiate if the 
client balks, keep useful records, and more in the award-winning 
"What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers & Consultants." 
In print and ebook formats. http://tinyurl.com/obo5c2o 
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/store/year/index.shtml
readers) on your gift list?  Then check out our new line of "mugs 
for writers and readers," designed by Writing-World.com editor 
Moira Allen! Our gorgeous mugs (the kind you drink from, we mean) 
are designed especially for folks who love books -- who can't get 
enough books -- who can't stop writing books -- you know.  
Folks like you!  See our growing line-up at 



A Reader Has a Question for All of You...
A reader responded to last month's "Feeling like a Fraud" editorial
with a question for our readership:

Hello, Moira

I have a question for your readership that may seem a bit
depressing, but is rarely asked in the writing community - at what
point should an author give up writing?  

I can hear gasps and immediate response of 'never,' but let me
elaborate a bit.  I make a living as a professional nonfiction
writer.  But what I LOVE writing is fiction - adult and children's
stories, poetry, even a novel that earned a bit of local media play
and good reviews. Yet, despite a social media presence, website,
and word of mouth, it's almost impossible to reach a wide net of
readers (unless your book happens to be a soft porn phenomenon and
gets mainstream media attention that leads to a movie deal).
Yes, authors can keep on writing because they have a passion for
it, but when does it become an exercise in futility?

-- Shiela J. 

Readers, do you have any thoughts to share with Shiela?  Should she
press on or give up?  What would you do?  Please send your comments
to editors@writing-world.com with "Giving Up" in the subject line. 


The Perils of the Paperless Office

Over the years, I've often written in this space about the benefits
of a "paperless" filing system.  I've extolled the joys of scanning
one's clips and records and storing them electronically, rather
than filling one's closet or basement with boxes of old records. 
I've mentioned the ease with which one can send off an electronic
"clip" once that clip has been converted to PDF.

I confess that in the early years of the so-called paperless
office, I was skeptical.  I can still recall the days when, yes, I
actually printed out all my e-mails!  And there are still many
things I prefer to do on paper, such a proofread.  But in the last
decade I've become a wholehearted convert to the concept of going
paperless.  All my important records are electronic, along with
copies of all my writers, correspondence, and contracts.

Which is all well and good, until technology turns around and bites
one in the hard drive!  My first inkling that all was not perfect
in paperless land was when a customer from my distant past suddenly
made contact and asked if I would be interested in re-issuing a
book I'd self-published back in 1992!

Now think back, if you can, to 1992.  There was no Internet.  I was
contemplating updating my music collection from tapes to those
newfangled CDs!  I had a Macintosh, because Macs made it possible,
for the very first time, for a writer to "desktop-publish."  This
meant one could design a book and send it straight to a printer
without having to pay as much as $10 per page for typesetting.  It
was awesome!

Unfortunately, sales of this particular book were far from awesome,
so in 1999, I donated my remaining stock to a ministry with
branches throughout the country.  Turns out, they've been using it
ever since, but have been reduced to scrounging for used copies
online.  So, more than 20 years after the book was first published,
they asked if I could possibly reprint it for them.

Could I?  My heart sang.  How simple that would be today, with
print-on-demand.  Why, I'd touch up my electronic copy, load it to
CreateSpace, design a new cover, and in a matter of days -- hours,
even! -- I'd have a new edition ready to deliver.  Imagine a
Cinderella moment, with me dancing about the room accompanied by
twittering bluebirds and happy forest creatures.  

Then (again, for those of us old enough to remember
record-players), imagine that nasty scratching sound as the music
stops and the needle drags across the vinyl...

My electronic files, though they claimed to be "Word," turned out
to be full of gibberish.  Every special character and formatting
code had converted to something alien.  OK, fine, I thought.  I
have a PDF file.  I'll just convert THAT to word and...  Um... It
won't convert or OCR.

Then I remembered...  Did I mention Macs?  My book had been
"published" in a wonderful, long-discontinued program called
Pagemaker (which was why the PDF from that program couldn't
recognize text).  Worse, it had been WRITTEN in a lovely old Mac
program called FullwritePro.  My Word files weren't really Word
files at all, but were the best Word could do in scavenging the old

And so, without the help of bluebirds or happy forest creatures,
I've spent a week recreating my book from a paper copy.  How?  By
dismembering a copy, running it through the scanner, creating a
PDF, and then converting that PDF back to Word.  And then fixing
all the intriguing OCR errors that result from this conversion, the
most entertaining (but possibly least useful) being the program's
tendency to convert the word "hurt" to the word "butt." 

It has been slow slogging, but easier than trying to convert the
chapters of gibberish, and it's almost done.  It has also given me
reason to be very thankful that paper hasn't vanished from our
lives.  Little did I know, dear reader, I had yet another lesson to
learn on the perils of paperless-ness.

The second lesson arose when I needed to look up an old bit of
correspondence.  That's when I discovered that Word files I'd
created prior to 1999 NO LONGER OPENED IN WORD!  Apparently,
Microsoft never tires of finding ways to punish those of us who had
the audacity to use Macs.  The only way to open such a file is to
move it to a "trusted" folder, whereupon I can open it and resave
it in a newer form of Word.  This becomes even more interesting
because my husband has literally hundreds of pre-1999 Word files in
the archive -- all of which, in my "spare" time, I will need to
move to a "trusted" folder, open, and resave.

The point of all this -- yes, there IS a point -- is that one
cannot assume that just because you have "saved" something
electronically, it will be available to you forever and whenever. 
Chances are good that it won't.  Think about the many ways in which
technologies have changed in the last couple of decades. Anyone
remember "floppy disks"?  When my husband changed jobs in 1993, we
spent hours downloading his files onto diskettes.  Years later, I
converted an entire shoebox of those diskettes (many of which had
"died") to a single CD-ROM.  That archive has since migrated from
CD to DVD to "external drive," and I'm sure it will migrate again,
possibly to Klingon data crystals.

Think about your e-mail for a moment.  If you use webmail, chances
are you don't store your e-mails on your own computer.  They reside
on a server somewhere.  If you ever change e-mail providers, or if
something happens to that server, your entire e-mail history could
vanish.  (This HAS happened to me.)  Every agreement, submission,
interview, or contract you've saved in your e-mail files could be
gone forever.  The risk is even greater if you use an e-mail
address associated with your own domain; individual domain hosting
services may have fewer backups than, say, Google or Yahoo. 
Consider downloading and saving important e-mail files to your hard

If you change or upgrade computer systems, don't assume everything
you've saved will still be accessible.  If you've saved files in
"legacy" programs that no longer exist, don't assume you can still
access them.  (My sister lost a chunk of a personal journal that
she'd written in WordPerfect; my first novel, written in
FullwritePro, was salvageable, but "reconstructing" it is going to
be a challenge!)  Don't assume that a file created in an early
version of Acrobat can be converted back to Word today.

If you HAVE stored files in "legacy" programs that no longer
function, don't delay in attempting to update or restore them. 
Often, conversion programs can still be found for such files, but
as time passes, they'll become harder and harder to locate.  If
you've stored files on CDs, make sure that these are still
"readable" - it's a good idea to back them up onto an external

I'm still a firm believer in the paperless office.  I am still an
advocate of "backing up" your work.  But backing it up is only half
the battle.  To continue to protect your work and make sure that
you never lose those old writings, letters, and contracts, you must
remain vigilant.  Make sure that your archives are always stored on
a medium that is accessible to you TODAY, even if that means, every
few years, transferring them from some older medium.  Make sure
that older files can still be opened by today's programs, even if
that means converting them from the program in which they were
first created.

And most of all, never assume that something is so old that you
will "never" need it again!

-- Moira Allen, Editor


Copyright 2015 Moira Allen

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:

THE MARCH ISSUE OF VICTORIAN TIMES is now online! Meet a dog
orchestra, take a peek at fashions from the early 19th century,
visit an Anglo-Californian ranch, read the childhood memories of
children's author E. Nesbit, explore Victorian crewel patterns, and
meet a turtle named Douglas.  Plus, of course, recipes, history,
folklore, household hints and much more!
Visit http://www.VictorianVoices.net/VT/issues/VT-1503.shtml to
download the free electronic edition or access the print edition.

Stop struggling to come up with a fantastic title for your book 
STORY TITLES. Make your title stand out, determine genre specifics, 
learn what to avoid, and much, much more. Available at:  


Arterra Artistic Residency Open to Applications
ARTErra rural artistic residency is a multidisciplinary hosting
center for artists in Portugal-Tondela. We are open since 2010 and
our residency is placed in a green and peaceful rural village. The
artists can expect to leave and work in a space thought to help and
simplify the working process. Our residency has different work
rooms and possibilities. ARTErra is a private initiative but with
partnerships with the town hall and many other interesting
community entities.

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.  Application deadline for the second
semester is May 15.


YourPetSpace.com is looking for articles.  Submissions should be
original articles of 1200 words or more and must include 5 personal
or stock photos as separate JPG files.  The site publishes articles
three times a week in a rotating sequence of subjects each month:
Pet Product or Book Review, Personal Pet Story, Pet or Animal
Causes, and Pet Breed or Animal Organization Profile.  Pay is $20
per article on acceptance.  Query first to Joy Jones,
joy@yourpetspace.info.  See the guidelines for detailed submission
requirements: http://www.yourpetspace.info/submission-guidelines/

HBO Offers Writing Fellowship
The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is designed to give emerging,
diverse writers the opportunity to develop a half-hour or hour
script suitable for HBO or Cinemax.  It will select up to 8 diverse
writers to take part in a series of master classes held over one
week in mid-August at the HBO campus in Santa Monica. Classes will
consist of discussions with HBO executives and showrunners and will
focus on character, story, pitching, securing an agent, and
networking. Each participant will then be paired with an HBO or
Cinemax development executive who will serve as his/her mentor
throughout next 8 months. Mentoring can be done remotely or in
person. In addition, we will hold monthly group meetings during
which projects will continue to be work-shopped. At the end of the
8 months, HBO will hold a reception for industry professionals
where the writers will be introduced to the entertainment community.

The fellowship is open to any diverse writer, 21 or over, who meets
the application requirements.  For the purposes of the HBOACCESS
program, diversity is defined as those who identify as any of the
following: Asian Pacific, Sub-Continent Asian, African American,
Hispanic, Native American, Middle Eastern, and/or women. 

Submissions open on March 4 and will remain open until 1000
submissions have been received.  For complete details and
submission requirements, visit
There is no fee to submit and applicants can pitch up to three
struggle to keep your butt in the chair? Contact me through my 
website and let me know what's got you down; we'll brainstorm a 
way forward with a coaching regimen designed just for you!
Victoria-Lynn Winning, Writing Coach - http://vlawinning.ca 

FEATURE ARTICLE: KISS -- Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!
How to Write About a Complex Subject in a Simple Way
By Devyani Borade

Anyone who does not live under a rock will know that the IT field,
along with biotech, space and genetics, has been one of the fastest
growing, changing and revolutionising areas of work in the world.
From the invention of the wheel to the first cloned sheep, to
putting the "smart" into every single smart gadget available on the
market today, we've come a long way in a relatively short period of
time. Little wonder then, that this progress needs to be
documented, not only accurately but also engagingly. And who better
to do the job than a writer with knowledge of the inner workings of
the system?

Whether you're writing about the latest scientific advancement,
unveiling secrets of great historical pith and moment, or even
jousting around different political perspectives, your audience has
to be able to understand what they're reading. And this means
keeping things simple -- writing about complicated stuff in an
uncomplicated way for the benefit of the layman. So how do you
ensure that you've got the know-how as well as the can-do this

1. The need to know
To put it bluntly, you cannot write on a complex subject unless you
know what you're talking about. While this is true for most
specialist industries like manufacturing, legal, shipping and the
like, it is especially true for any technical industry where the
playing field is the whole world. Thanks to the Internet, every
Tom, Dick and Hari from Ireland to India has access to a wealth of
information on every topic. This means that every pair of eyes
reading your work will be scrutinising for mistakes.  Meanwhile,
the brains behind them will be working constantly to analyse and
either accept or reject your commentary. Unless you are well-versed
with the topic of discussion, lack of experience will lay you open
to ridicule. Complex industries rely heavily on jargon, and you
need to ensure you are on intimate terms with it. Make no mistake
-- if you slip up, you get slapped down.

2. Focus
Often a subject may be so vast and intricate there is no way to
write everything about everything. With the advent of fast
communication devices, news and views travel faster than it will
take you to read through till the end of this sentence.  While your
fingers are labouring away on 800 words about what you think is the
latest must-have gizmo, elsewhere in the world three more
innovations have already been made to it. By the time your piece
actually appears in print, it has already become outdated. You need
to concentrate on a very small aspect of a particular subject and
write strictly within the scope of such boundaries. Be realistic
when setting those boundaries. For instance, you cannot cover the
entire history of early American settlers in a thousand words. You
can, however, introduce the topic of Mayflower within that

3. Selection criteria
When it comes to picking the actual topic, there is no limit. To
begin with, you can write about whatever appeals to you personally.
Chances are you will share your interests with a fair section of
the readership and there will be enough takers for your article.
Once you gain fluency, it is easy to search online and subscribe to
newsletters that discuss the hot topics of the day, any of which
you can pick up and write about.

4. What's your angle?
Just knowing what you're going to write about isn't good enough.
You also need to know where you're going with it, what your goal
is. Are you raising an objection to a well-known concept? Are you
emphasising a little-known aspect of a popular phenomenon? Are you
debating the advantages and disadvantages of several different
products or services? Are you aiming to align your loyalties to a
specific school of thought? Your article needs a clear slant. 

Readers should know what to expect from it when they start reading,
and this expectation should be wholly satisfied at the end, with
minimum distractions, tangents and ambiguities. A title like "Five
ways to use social media for marketing your book" should give the
reader five concrete, distinct and useful ways by which social
media can help them market their book. It shouldn't suddenly start
discoursing about how Twitter has brought about the degradation of
the English language. Charm them, don't cheat them.

5. Provoke
A good article makes the reader think; a great one forces him to
react. In the world of writing, which is all about communication,
the mark of an expert is how much "buzz" or discussion his article
generates, how many people weigh in with their opinions, what
feedback is given and taken, where else the work is being bandied
about. Complex subjects can easily become dry and dull if not
handled carefully. Unlike fiction, there are no characters to make
the readers care about them, no twists in the plot to keep up the
readers' interest and no emotionally charged dramatic scenes to
vary the pace of the narrative. So you need to make sure that
either the topic you are writing about is sufficiently interesting
to make your audience feel strongly about it, or the way you
present it is unique enough to urge readers into some sort of
action, whether it is vociferous agreement or vehement disagreement
-- anything but mild apathy.

6. Evoke
Evocative writing does not have to be limited to the world of
fantasy. Complexities arise when ideas evolve to help people solve
their real world problems. Writing about a complex topic can
revolve around some practical issue faced by either you or a
hypothetical user. Often, opening the article with a problem
statement written in simple language serves to hook and draw the
reader in. 

7. Who's reading?
As with all other types of writing, complex articles also have to
be written with the reader profile in mind. For example, technology
brings together people from various walks of life -- the
know-it-all geek, the keen amateur, the lost-without-my-phone
college student, the what-does-this-button-do enquiring inquisitive
child, the I-don't-understand-but-want-to grandfather, the employee
steeped in drudgery yet charged with keeping himself up to date at
the cost of losing his job, even the hair stylist next door who's
"into it" as a hobby by night. While it is not possible to imagine
every kind of person who might come across your article, it is wise
to have a general idea about whether you want to target the
novices, the experts or the in-betweens. The language in your
article, specifically the use of jargon, should reflect the reading
level of your audience. Everyone knows "SMS" refers to texting on
their phone, but not everyone knows that it is "SCM" which lies at
the backbone of their online shopping. (For the curious, it stands
for Supply Chain Management.)

Shivani Rohatgi, Operations Integration Leader at GE, says, "I have
to write up several reports for the higher management, not to
mention detailed requirements for those at the ground-level, and
various types of documentation for different teams and departments
like IT, suppliers, marketing, sales and support across the
organization. Not everyone knows or even NEEDS to know every little
nitty-gritty and detail. And not everyone has the time, inclination
or ability to be able to cope with long convoluted jargon-heavy
issues. So I have to exercise discretion in how I write and present
the facts. Simple language, unambiguity, relevancy of  content, and
a clarity of structure and logic in the document as to how the
information flows -- these are the points I focus on to ensure that
the subject matter is easily understood by the people who need to
understand it and make the right decisions."

Understanding the reader also means understanding the market that
is targeting that reader.  Whether you market your article to a
print magazine, a website or a blog, you must understand the
publication's style, editorial requirements, production schedules
and work ethos, and tailor your article to align with these.

8. Provide Supplementary Information
Complex articles are a great avenue to supply additional
information. This can include:

* the leading players selling a specific product, service or

* graphs and charts demonstrating pertinent points of performance
and other qualitative and quantitative comparisons;

* demographic profiles;

* facts and figures if available about costs, investments,
datelines etc.;

* hyperlinks for further reading;

* even a cartoon or two depicting a different take on the topic;

all of which can either be included as sidebars, which editors
love, or woven into the main text of the article if you are adept
at it.

Says Rohatgi, "Technical documentation is best supported by
diagrams, graphs and tables; these are invaluable tools in getting
the point across with minimum effort and time. Believe it or not,
even boring figures on the latest trends in data management become
interesting if written well!"

9. Authenticity and Authority
It goes without saying that you must verify your facts before you
set out to get your manuscript seen by public eyes. Confirm and
record the salient features of your article. A single untrue
statement will not only stand out like a sore thumb to the
knowledgeable reader, but also throw the rest of the article into
doubt. The inevitable question will arise: if you got one fact
wrong, how many more are did you miss? How reliable is your work

The "authority" part comes from external sources. Expert quotes
lend gravitas and weight to the point you are trying to make.
Articles that incorporate comment from experienced professionals in
the field are always preferred to those that come from a single
voice -- the writer's -- and simply sound opinionated.

10. Balancing act
Just because a complex article deals with a lot of information does
not mean that it needs to be written in incomprehensible language.
Some amount of jargon is accepted, even expected, but the bulk of
the article text should be kept as simple and easy to digest as
possible. Instead of impressing your readers, obtuse language only
serves to confuse, distract and put them off.

At the same time, avoid a patronising tone and be careful not to
talk down to your reader. Credit them with intelligence! Respect
the fact that while not everyone may know everything, they are
capable of doing a little additional research and finding out some
things for themselves. Provide helpful tips, hints and pointers as
to where such additional information may be available for those
keen to know more. By using plenty of diagrams and real-life
examples, your article can not only keep the interest of those
reading, but also hook those who may not have otherwise been so

So select your topic with care, keep your readers in mind, know
what you're writing, and get a reaction -- your work will not only
get acknowledgement but also accolades aplenty!

Did You Know?
The "Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test" is a measure of the level of
ease or difficulty in reading and comprehending English prose. The
test uses word lengths, sentence lengths and syllable counts to
determine how "sophisticated" the text is. A higher score of the
"Reading Ease" index indicates easier readability. Values usually
range between 0 and 100. This article scores 55, which is close to
the scores achieved by articles in "Reader's Digest" and "Time"


Devyani Borade is a freelance writer and Software professional. She
has written dozens of technical articles in layman's English and
great pleasure when they help others achieve their aim. Visit her
website Verbolatry at http://devyaniborade.blogspot.com to contact
and read her other work.


Copyright 2015 by Devyani Borade.  This article was originally
published in the Writer's Guide to 2014 from the Children's Writer.

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

Link to this article here:

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.


China Cracks Down on Online Pen Names
In January, China's State Administration of Press, Publication,
radio, Film and Television issued new guidelines for online
content.  Though authors may still write under pseudonyms, they
will now be required to register their real names with whatever
platform they publish with online.  Thus, though readers may see
only a pen-name, the website that hosts the material will know the
full identity of each writer.  The guidelines say that this will
cause writers to "take better responsibility" for their works,
promote "healthy" online literature, and decrease problems of
plagiarism.  Many writers, however, regard the legislation as an
effort to rein in online publishing and suppress online creativity.
Xu Feng, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China,
indicates that this may be just the beginning: "We'll take the
real-identity system as a principle and our major work this year,
and extend the system to other online industries, such as forums
and microblogging platforms."  For more on this story, visit

New Sherlock Holmes Story Discovered
A short Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has
recently  been discovered in a collection of short stories
contributed to a booklet that was published as a fundraiser.  The
first "unseen" Holmes story to be discovered in more than 80 years,
the tale was written in 1904 to support the building of a new
bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk, where the old bridge had
been destroyed in a flood in 1902.  A collection of short stories
titled "The Book o' the Brig" was published and sold to raise funds
as part of a local bazaar; Doyle, who often visited Selkirk,
contributed a story and opened the final day of the bazaar.  Walter
Elliot found the tale in a collection of papers in his attic;
someone had given him a copy of the booklet 50 years earlier, but
had put it away and forgotten about it.  Read more about this story
here: http://tinyurl.com/kduqaro; read a complete transcription of
the story at http://tinyurl.com/pz6ser2.

Poets & Writers Offers New Events App
You can find local readings, book signings, poetry slams, open mics
and other literary events through Poetry & Writers' new "Poets &
Writers Local" app.  The app also has information about local
venues, and how you can schedule your own literary event or
reading.  If you're travelling, the app offers information on
"writerly destinations," including historic sites, indie
bookstores, libraries and more.  It currently also offers literary
information on 17 US cities, including "literary tours" by authors,
booksellers, publishers and other literary residents of each city. 
For more information visit http://www.pw.org/local


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

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!

This section lists contests that charge no entry fees. Unless 
otherwise indicated, competitions are open to all adult writers. 

PRIZES: $500 plus travel and lodging for debate (finalists must
attend debate in MN.)
DETAILS: Philosophy essays to 750 words. Open some years, themed in
others. This year's theme is "Does Technology Free Us or Trap Us?"
CONTACT: Think-Off, c/o Cultural Center, P.O. Box 246, New York
Mills, MN 56567, info@think-off.org, nymills@kulcher.org
WEB: http://www.think-off.org/

DEADLINE: March 31
PRIZES: $200, $100, $50
DETAILS: Science fiction, fantasy or horror to 3500 words, on theme
posted on website. Open only to non-professional writers (as
defined by SFWA).  Theme for 2015 is "Lost Voices."
Contact: Stephen Ramey, Parsec Short Story Contest, 312 N Beaver
St., New Castle, PA 16101
WEB: http://parsecink.com/contest/

DEADLINE: April 1 
PRIZES: $1000, 10x$100, publication
DETAILS: Originally for the best humor poem accepted by a "vanity
poetry contest."  It is now for "best humor poem" in English
(gibberish accepted). 

DEADLINE: April 12 
PRIZES: Blog design and hosting services
DETAILS: Do you have a blog? Would you love to start one soon? Then
tell us why you started your blog or why you would love to start a
blog, and you could win one of our amazing prizes.  Submit 300-700
word entry on EITHER "Why I started my blog" or "Why I would love
to start a blog."  All entries must quote at least one sentence
from the article, "29 Reasons Everyone Should Blog" 
(http://howtostartablogonline.net/why-blog).  See the guidelines for
extensive details on exactly how to submit.

DEADLINE: April 15 
PRIZE: Small cash award 
DETAILS: Edward Bulwer-Lytton was the author of the famous opening
line, "It was a dark and stormy night..." This competition seeks
the best (as in worst) opening lines in any genre of fiction that
you can invent. The line must be a single sentence, as long as you
wish, though a limit of 50-60 words is recommended. Review previous
years' winners online if you're not familiar with this competition. 
Online/Electronic Entries: Yes, preferred
CONTACT: Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Department of English, San
Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192, srice@pacbell.net 
WEB: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com

DEADLINE: April 30 
PRIZES: 5x $15,000
DETAILS: Open to all US poets between the ages of 21 and 31, with
no published books. 
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, required, through online submission
CONTACT: The Ruth Lilly Fellowship Committee, c/o The Poetry
Foundation, 444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1850, Chicago, IL 60611 
WEB: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/foundation/prizes_fellowship

DEADLINE: April 30 
PRIZES: CDN $15,000
DETAILS: Open to fiction and nonfiction books published the
preceding year that are evocative of Toronto: Novels, short story
collections, books of poetry, biographies, histories, social
studies, sports, children’s books, photographic collections, etc.. 
CONTACT: Toronto Book Awards, City of Toronto, Cultural
Partnerships, City Hall, 9E, 100 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON  M5H
2N2, Canada, cjones2@toronto.ca
WEB: http://www.toronto.ca/book_awards/submissions.htm

DEADLINE: April 30 
PRIZES: £100
DETAILS: Send up to three poems, of no more than 25 lines
(including blank lines) and 160 words each. Open to UK residents
ONLINE/ELECTRONIC ENTRIES: Yes, online or by e-mail to
info@unitedpress.co.uk (postal entries also accepted)
CONTACT: United Press, Admail 3735, London, EC1B 1JB, UK
WEB: http://www.unitedpress.co.uk/free-poetry-competitions/

The competitions below are offered monthly unless otherwise noted;
all require electronic submissions.

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

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

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. Use the link below to access the submission page - that
page has links to the guidelines for submissions.
WEBSITE: http://whidbeystudents.com/student-choice-contest/

PRIZES: $50 to $100 Amazon gift certificates
DETAILS: Short stories, flash fiction, poetry, on themes posted on
WEBSITE: http://www.scribophile.com/contests/ 

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
WEBSITE: http://www.writersdigest.com/your-story-competition


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