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WHEN TO QUIT WRITING YOUR STORY/ARTICLE/MEMOIR
K.M. Weiland is an excellent writer who has a remarkable knack for helping other writers see their strengths and errors, and find direction for their stories. She recently spoke about the three signs that you should give up on your story.
She basically says you quit when:
1) You’re losing focus.
2) You lack passion for the project.
3) Your gut says stop.
Sounds easy, but when you’re in the middle of a project, whether it’s a novel, a memoir, anthology piece, or a magazine feature, sometimes you stand too close to make such judgment calls. Sometimes there’s a fine line between whether you’re not trying hard enough, or you are trying too hard to make something that’s broken into something it can never be.
I have a partial novel in my files. It’s a stand alone, with a medical bent to it. It has a social message in the theme, one that could rile some people up. It’s more mainstream and less mystery, and once upon a time, about ten years ago, I held Lowcountry Bribe in one hand and Delicious Torment in the other (no, it wasn’t a romance, but, OUCH, what a title, huh?).
I realized I KNEW more of the subject matter and setting of Lowcountry Bribe, and I related to Slade more than Alistair in Delicious Torment. I’d written about 15,000 words of the latter, but still, it was not as much fun to write and it proved harder. I’m glad I made the choice.
However, I’m writing now on the first of a new series, which I went kicking and screaming into. I only wanted to write Slade books, because I knew her, loved the mysteries and related to the themes. But my publisher suggested I branch out. It felt much like Delicious Torment as I trudged through a plot, developing new characters. I’m wrapping up the last four chapters now, and I’ve amazingly grown into the story and its players.
The point is, you have to try and fail enough times to understand when you need to toss the story. Many writers, doesn’t matter what type of writer, think they cannot throw away material. Other writers throw away material too soon, thinking they’re never good enough.
The knack is to weather a story long enough to understand it. Only then can you decide if you like it well enough to continue the relationship. It’s like friends, co-workers, and romantic relations. Someone you never thought you’d like can become close. Someone you thought you loved can fade in interest. But the painful part is that you have to endure both cases long enough to recognize their worth, one way or the other.
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WORDS OF SUCCESS
I’ve never had anyone’s approval, so I’ve learned to live without it.
~Pat Conroy, The Great Santini
THE SHY WRITER
Introversion may seem like a major obstacle to building a successful writing career, but this wonderful “covers-all-the-bases” book handily debunks the notion. ~Peter Bowerman, Author “The Well-Fed Writer” series
Hope has solutions in The Shy Writer Reborn that let you make the most of who you are instead of asking you to change your personality. ~Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer
The Carolina Slade Mystery Series
On Tidewater Murder: Terrific. Smart, knowing, clever…and completely original. A taut, high-tension page-turned—in a unique and fascinating setting. An absolute winner! ~Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity winning author
On Lowcountry Bribe: With a story that moves so fast you are sure to get a case of literary whiplash, LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE is almost impossible to put down. Written with grace and ferocity, I for one can hardly wait for a second helping of this unpredictably un-pretentious and hard-scrabble down-home gal. ~Rachel Gladstone, Dish Magazine
Purchase any of Hope’s books and receive a one-year subscription to TOTAL FFW free. Send receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
I submitted my story to “Chicken Soup for the Soul- Miracles Happen” and I will be published in the 2014 book. Release date is February 4, 2014!! I found the listing on your website! I love your TOTAL newsletter!
Well worth the $15 a year investment.
(NOTE: The TOTAL newsletter she references is available for a couple of weeks at the dscount of $7 at
HOW TO SUCCEED as a freelance blogger (by someone who’s done it)
By Tom Ewer
I never really aspired to be a writer.
Writing was something I used to refer to as a “secondary skill.” I used it in my previous job (as a property manager) like most other people do: to write emails and letters. I never thought I could make a living out of it.
And yet, here I am–nearly two years later–a bona fide professional writer, averaging earnings in excess of $7,000 per month. It’s been quite a ride.
I don’t have time to share that ride with you in this article, but I do have time to give you an overview of freelance blogging — the profession that has changed my life.
Why Freelance Blogging Isn’t Beneath You
The common perception amongst many freelance writers is that freelance blogging is bargain basement territory. And while there are plenty of low-paying jobs in circulation, there are also many gigs that pay very respectably.
Furthermore, there are a huge number of other benefits to freelance blogging. You can start with no experience or qualifications. The nature of blogging dictates that work will be consistent and ongoing. You can build bylines across the web that point back to your own blog. You can grow your own blog over time and eventually turn that into an income-producing asset.
I could go on, but my overriding point is this: do not dismiss freelance blogging. It is not only a viable option — it is one I heartily recommend.
How to Start Freelance Blogging
When it comes to establishing yourself as a freelance blogger, you can quickly rise to the top of the pile if you are willing to work hard and focus on doing the right things.
On the assumption that you are already an accomplished writer, there are just two other big pieces of the puzzle:
1. A blog of your own. The best clients won’t be too keen to hire you if you can’t clearly demonstrate your blogging capabilities.
2. Samples. You’ll want to get published on a number of (preferably popular) blogs in order to demonstrate that others have put their faith in your writing talents.
Starting a blog is free, and getting published samples is as simple as submitting guest posts to blogs that accept them. Once you have some momentum on those fronts, it’s time to start pitching for jobs via online job boards (such as ProBlogger).
You won’t get the best-paid jobs upfront, but once you’re established, future clients will find your bylines and your blog and approach you.
I haven’t sought out a client since 2011 — they’ve all come to me.
What Have You Got to Lose?
This article is just a brief introduction to freelance blogging — in reality, there is a lot more to learn. However, I hope that this has been convincing enough to galvanize you into taking a closer look at this young and highly lucrative market.
If you are interested in finding out more then check out my blog’s archives. You’ll find a wide selection of freelance writing articles there. And if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Tom Ewer is the creator of Paid to Blog , a complete guide to successful freelance blogging. He is also the founder of Leaving Work Behind.
TRIO HOUSE PRESS
$25 ENTRY FEE.
Deadline April 30, 2014. Trio House Press gives two awards annually: the Trio Award for First or Second Book for emerging poets, and the Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence for a book of poems contributing in an innovative and distinct way to American poetry. The Trio Award for First or Second Book includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Trio Award for First or Second Book is only open to poets with less than two books published. The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence includes $1,000, publication, and twenty books. The Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence is open to ALL poets, regardless of publication history. Manuscripts must be between 48-70 pages.
STRINGYBARK SHORT STORY AWARD
ENTRY FEE – A$9.95.
Open theme. That is, we accept every genre — the only catch is that your story must have some link to Australia. Limit 1,500 words. Open internationally. Stories can be fiction, non-fiction or a combination of both – see the FAQ. Stories must be sent via email. Deadline January 19, 2014. First Prize – A$350 cash + publication + certificate + more. Second Prize – A$150 cash + publication + certificate + e-book + more. Third Prize – A$75 cash + publication + certificate + e-book + more. Authors of highly commended stories may also be invited to have their stories published and if so receive a free copy of the e-book.
SOCIETY OF CLASSICAL POETS COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE.
Submit 3 to 5 poems, each not to exceed 50 lines. Metered and rhymed poetry is preferred but not required. (We usually do not publish love poems, free verse, or overly dark poems that don’t teach a positive lesson.) Prize $500. Deadline January 1, 2014. Poems must be within one or more of the four themes used by the Society:
1.Beauty: Beauty in human nature, culture, the natural world, classical art forms, and the divine.
2.Great Culture: Good figures, stories, and other elements from classical (pre-1900) history and literature.
3.Falun Dafa: Today, this upright practice faces the worst spiritual persecution in history perpetrated by the Chinese communist regime, which is propped up by foreign investment and exports.
4.Humor: Clean humor only please. Also includes riddles and children’s poetry.
NARRATIVE TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE.
We wish to explore the idea of travel as a way to not only leave behind your material and spiritual preconceptions, but as an opportunity to open up to ideas, aesthetics, and rituals which you have internalized into your own life going forward. What did you learn during your travels, and did this fundamentally transform your perception(s) of the world? Do you believe that you may have touched your hosts in ways which may have in some way transformed their views of the world as well, or is that presumptuous as a de facto “outsider” to their rituals and way of life? In this year’s Narrative Travel Writing Contest, the first-place winner’s entry will receive $500 (USD), the second-place winning entry $150, and the third-place winner $100. Any other articles selected as runner-ups will receive a $50 payment. The Contest is open to professional, freelance and aspiring travel writers from any location around the globe and of any nationality.
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB FICTION WRITING CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE.
Deadline January 31, 2014. Submit one short story, maximum 2,000 words. Entries can be on any subject, but must feature either a purebred or mixed breed dog. No talking dogs. Prizes $500, $240, $100.
ARTS CONNECT PROGRAM GRANTS
Guidelines are now available for the Foundation’s ArtsCONNECT program, which supports performing arts tours across the mid-Atlantic region developed by presenter consortia that include both public performances and community engagement activities. The application deadline for the 2014-2015 program is Friday, March 14, 2014. The Foundation will conduct three webinars on the program and application process, and also provide an online Projects in Development listing to help connect presenters interested in participating in a consortium.
BARBARA DEMING MEMORIAL FUND
Open to citizens of the United States and Canada with primary residence in these countries. Deadline December 31, 2013 for Fiction, Visual Art and Mixed Genre. Small artist support grants ($500 – 1500) to individual feminist women in the arts whose work in some way focuses on women. Does not fund theater, playscripts, videos, work which is or will be self-published.
CUBAN HERITAGE FELLOWSHIPS
The Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries is now accepting applications for its 2014-2015 CHC Fellowships, which provide assistance to students and scholars who wish to use the research resources available in the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University ofMiami, in Coral Gables, Florida. The application deadline is February 1, 2014. Graduate students, postdoctoral and tenured scholars, and independent scholars working towards publication or comparable product are eligible for this award. Pays $2,500 per month for one to four months.
CINESTORY FELLOWSHIP AND AWARDS
ENTRY FEE: $35-$80.
Seeking up-and-coming screenwriters for developmental mentorship program. Prizes include cash award, free tuition, room and board at the Cinestory Writers Retreat, 12-month fellowship with two Hollywood professionals, and other prizes for first place; cash, mentorship, and other prizes for second and third place. Submit original feature-length screenplay (85-130 pages) in any genre. Deadline: December 15, 2013 (early), January 15, 2014 (regular), February 15, 2014 (late), March 5, 2014 (extended).
ARIZONA POETRY CENTER’S RESIDENCY PROGRAM
The Poetry Center will award one residency each summer for a poet to spend two to four weeks in Tucson, Arizona developing his/her work. Writers at any stage of their careers may apply; emerging writers are welcome. The residency includes a $150 stipend per week and a two-to-four-week stay in a studio apartment located within steps of the Center’s renowned library of contemporary poetry. The residency is offered between June 1 and August 31. Deadline: December 16, 2013, by midnight.
Focus on the Family Clubhouse readers are 8- to 12-year-old boys and girls who desire to know more about God and the Bible. Their parents want wholesome, educational material with Scriptural or moral insight. The kids want excitement, adventure, action, humor or mystery. Your job as a writer is to please both the parent and child with each article. Generally 15 to 25 cents/word. $200 and up for feature-length fiction stories. $150+ for nonfiction stories.
DOLLARS & SENSE
Dollars & Sense is a progressive economics magazine that explains in a popular way both the workings of the economy and struggles to change it. Articles may be on the environment, community organizing, urban conflict, inflation, unemployment, union reform, welfare, changes in government regulation… a broad range of topics that have an economic theme.
Feature Articles: These articles are roughly 2,000 words and deal with the following topics: outdoor recreation, environmental issues and tree-related science, adventures or news. Each issue contains three features.
Mini Feature: This article is a smaller version of a feature, at roughly 1,300 words. This feature can address a wider variety of forest-related topics, including but not limited to forest policy, community forest programs, benefits of trees, unique ecosystems and more. Each issue contains one mini feature.
Earthkeepers: This department examines a person or group of people, current or historic, that has worked to protect or responsibly manage a forest. These articles are 800 to 900 words. Each issue contains one Earthkeepers article.
Basically, we publish science fiction stories. That is, stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. The science can be physical, sociological, psychological. The technology can be anything from electronic engineering to biogenetic engineering. But the stories must be strong and realistic, with believable people (who needn’t be human) doing believable things-–no matter how fantastic the background might be. Fact articles for Analog should be about 4,000 words in length and should deal with subjects of not only current but future interest, i.e., with topics at the present frontiers of research whose likely future developments have implications of wide interest. Illustrations should be provided by the author in camera-ready form.
As a national, nonprofit HIV/AIDS magazine, A&U is interested in publishing original literature, art, opinion, and reportage relating in any way to the AIDS pandemic. Fiction up to 1,000 words. Shorter poetry preferred. We encourage all topics related to HIV/AIDS, including international perspectives, personal accounts, historical perspectives, and personal responses to HIV-related art or artists. We also welcome English translations of work that is unpublished or previously published in a language other than
English. See the magazine’s themes. Essays up to 700 words.Features up to 2,000 words. Reviews as well. Good guidelines. Pays up to $300.
Location Washington DC
Deadline February 28, 2014. Candidates must have several years of experience in editing professional publications and a bachelor’s or advanced degree, preferably in English, journalism, communications, or a related field. They must have broad editorial skills–from a demonstrated ability to make complex and difficult drafts clear and graceful, to a superior eye for detail when proofing.
Location Quantico, VA
Deadline Decenber 12, 2013. Serves as a Policy and Technical Writer within the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. Performs a variety of editing and writing assignments to include drafting responses to urgent taskers and compiling data for technical reports, information papers, technical guides, and fact sheets. Drafts responses to Congressional inquiries on behalf of the Marine
Corps position, and ensures accuracy, continuity and consistency of all information.
THE MYSTERY COMPANY
We publish mysteries – well-plotted mysteries that are genuine fair play whodunits, featuring characters you’ll recognize, believe in and fall in love with. We publish for people who love the genre, folks who are as obsessed with mysteries as we are.
ASHLAND POETRY PRESS
The mission of the Ashland Poetry Press is to help top-rate poets in mid-career break through to first or second book publication, and to help mature poets define the best accomplishments of their writing careers through the publication of volumes of selected works.
Azro Press is primarily interested in picture books and illustrated easy reader books for young children. At the moment, we are focusing on books written and illustrated by residents of the Southwest. These books are not necessarily about the Southwest, but it helps. We only accept manuscripts that have already been illustrated, either by the author or a friend or by a professional illustrator.
We publish only science fiction and fantasy. Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality. Preferred length: 100,000 – 130,000 words. Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along
regardless of length.
BEAR MANOR MEDIA
If you’re a writer with a manuscript, or are working on something in the radio, old movie or voice actor genre, please get in touch if you’re seeking a publisher. We’d love to see books on voice actors, Muppet/Sesame Street performers, Allen Jenkins, Harry Morgan, Victor Buono, Frank Nelson, Russ Tamblyn, Joe Flynn, Don Knotts, any of the Charlie Chan actors or sons, Don Adams, Frank Morgan, Gale Gordon, David Tomlinson, British comedy actors (Ted Ray, Arthur Askey, Jimmy Edwards, etc.), and many more of the unheralded supporting players.
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Call for Entries: Poets & Writers!
Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest.
Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages maximum length on any theme, single or double-line spacing, neatly hand printed or legibly typed.
Writing First Prize: $500, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $100
Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $50.
Entry fees: $5 per poem, $10 per story.
Postmark deadline: January 16, 2014
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter.
Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact email@example.com for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.
C. Hope Clark
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2013, C. Hope Clark
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