EDITOR'S PIECE OF MIND
WHEN WE FAIL
I had a rather unsettling issue with a Christmas gift
this year. I busted my butt finding the right item,
spending more than I expected, in order to please
someone who is very hard to please. I went into Christmas
nervous about it. The gift went okay, but the credit for
it went to someone else.
I blamed the person receiving the gift. Then I blamed
myself, thinking I can't get things right. Then I hated
the whole holiday for putting me in the position of having
to deal with such an issue.
When we're rejected, we have to react. Nobody shrugs and
moves on easily, especially when the submission felt so
right. Rejection hurts. Then your reaction naturally is
directed first at the person who did not accept your work.
Then, realizing there's nothing you can do about that,
you turn that hurt inward, frustrated that you took too
little time on the query, or overestimated your ability
to write. Then when that frustration results in little
positive results, you feel like a lesser person, and you
get mad at the
I've seen these reactions on blogs, in chats, and across
forums everywhere. It's almost stereotypical in nature.
That hurt has to go somewhere.
What we can do is don armor, reminding ourselves it's
part of writing, and ultimately part of life. We can't
win all the time. We can't win half the time. We can't
win regularly, or even predictably. Sometimes we don't
win for a long, long time.
That's when we strive to lose graciously. We must distance
ourselves from that inevitable disappointment just enough
not to fall apart, but leave it close enough to learn
It's not easy. We don't learn how to maintain our balance
without failing . . . failing a lot. We're failed in 2011.
We'll fail in 2012. But the difference can be a simple
matter of attitude, in how we juggle the experience, in
hopes that one day we stand on our feet, scarred but wiser,
and winning a little more.
Many of you may not realize that TOTAL FundsforWriters exists.
It's just like FundsforWriters only five times larger! Imagine
all those contests, grants, markets and publishers seeking your
work! It's biweekly for no other reason than it's so chocked
full of opportunity that you can't get through it in a week
To entice new members, we are offering one-year subscriptions
to TOTAL for $9 in lieu of the standard $15. Give one as a
gift or just let Santa reward you for being good all year long.
We'd love to have you on the TOTAL list. You'll be amazed. Promise.
B.J. ROLFZEN MEMORIAL DYLAN DAYS CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST
Open Division Poetry
Poems limited to 1,000 words on any subject. Contest open
to all poets. Because of overwhelming interest in our small
contest, limit yourself to entering your best unpublished
poem. Multiple entries will not be considered. Deadline is
March 1, 2012. $100 prize.
Student Poetry Division
Must be currently enrolled in high school or undergraduate
college and have no professional literary publication. Poems
limited to 1,000 words on any subject. Multiple entries will
not be considered. Deadline is March 1, 2012.
Short story in any genre, limit 4,000 words, limit one
story per person. Contest open to all authors. Special
consideration given to creativity and innovation in writing
style. All subjects welcome. Deadline is March 1, 2012.
CRUCIBLE POETRY AND FICTION COMPETITION
NO ENTRY FEE
The Crucible poetry and fiction competition is open to
all writers. Fiction must be limited to 8,000 words or
less. Poetry must be limited to five poems. No prizes will
be given in other categories. Winner also receives
publication in Crucible, a literary journal. All submissions
to the magazine are automatically considered for the contest.
$150 First Prize
$100 Second Prize
$150 First Prize
$100 Second Prize
DORIS BETTS FICTION PRIZE
ENTRY FEE $10-$20.
The Doris Betts Fiction Prize awards the first-prize
winner $250 and publication in the North Carolina Literary
Review. Finalists will also be considered for publication
in NCLR. Deadline February 15, 2012. The competition is
open to any writer who is a legal resident of NC or a member
of the North Carolina Writers' Network. NCLR subscribers
with NC connections (who live or have lived in NC) are also
eligible. The competition is for short stories up to 6,000
words. One entry per writer. No novel excerpts.
Make your own postcard using photos, drawings or images
in the public domain, write a story inspired by that
postcard, then send us the image and the story. The
relationship between image and story can be as subtle as
you like, as long as the contest judges can see the
connection. Maximum length: 500 words, fiction or non-
fiction, prose or poetry. Winning entries will be
published in Geist and at geist.com. Deadline January
First Prize: $250
Second Prize: $150
Third Prize: $100
Honourable Mentions: Swell Geist gifts
CANCER POETRY PROJECT
ENTRY FEE $5 FOR TWO POEMS.
Roughly 150 poems will be selected for publication in the
second volume of The Cancer Poetry Project. From those poems,
three winners will be selected from each of four categories,
for a total of 12 winners. The categories are the following:
patients/survivors, spouses/partners, family members, and
friends/health providers. The top winner in each category
will receive $250 and a $150 donation to the cancer
organization of his or her choice. Two honorable mentions
will be selected in each category; each honorable mention
poet will receive $75 and a $25 donation to the cancer
organization of his or her choice. All poets whose poems
are selected for publication will receive a copy of the
book. Deadline April 30, 2012 (extended).
THE FIRST LINE http://www.thefirstline.com/
"There are a few things you need to know before we start."
Due date: February 1, 2012. Remember, all stories must start
with the appropriate first line, and you cannot change it
in any way unless otherwise indicated. Stories chosen are
paid $30 and published online and in a chapbook by The
First Line. The story should be between 300 and 3,000 words.
We are open to all genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic
as possible. Also pays $20 for essays.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN
Stories for younger readers (ages three to seven) should
have 500 words or fewer and should not seem babyish to
older readers. Stories for older readers (ages eight to
twelve) should have 800 words or fewer and should be
appealing to younger readers if read aloud. Pays $150.
Geared toward beginning readers, rebuses should feature
a variety of familiar words that can easily be shown as
pictures. Should have 120 words or fewer. Rebuses with a
surprise or twist at the end often work best.
Purchased sparingly, is rarely longer than sixteen lines
and should be meaningful for young readers. Pays $25.
Includes science, arts, biography, autobiography, sports,
world cultures, economics, service/self-help, careers,
adventure, and history. Should have 800 words or fewer.
Nonfiction articles geared to our younger readers (ages
three to seven) are especially welcome. These should not
exceed 500 words. Pays $150 and up.
Gallant Kids articles should have 400 words or fewer.
They should focus on children who are serving others
through unique, interesting, kid-generated projects.
Pays $150 and up.
WEST COAST LINE http://www.westcoastline.ca/guide.htm
West Coast Line publishes work by writers and artists who are
experimenting with or expanding the boundaries of conventional
forms and contexts. Interested in work engaged with problems
of representation, race, culture, gender, sexuality, technology,
media, urban/rural spaces, nature, and language. Accepts
mixed-genre, poetry, fiction, critical prose, and art. Annual
reading period is now June 1st to August 31st. Pays $10 per
page (min. $50; max $200) + contributors copies.
SHADOWS AND TALL TREES
Shadows & Tall Trees is published each October. We are open
to submissions of quiet, literary genre fiction from January
1 to June 30, or until the issue is filled. We publish fiction
that is offbeat and eclectic; dark, bizarre and psychological.
Horror and dark fantasy. Stories both subtle and prosaic.
Weird, strange tales. Not interested in any of the familiar
tropes of the genre, i.e., vampires, werewolves, and zombies,
in any of their forms. Nor am I interested in urban fantasy,
occult/paranormal detectives, or magic. Likes urban fiction
gritty and real. Pays one cent/word up to $50 plus two copies
of the journal.
Pays 15 cents/word for new writers. New Mobility covers the
active wheelchair lifestyle with articles on art, culture,
recreation, travel, people, relationships, medical news,
civil rights and resources. Eighty-five percent of our
readers have disabilities, most caused by spinal cord
injury, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, cerebral
palsy, muscular dystrophy or ALS. We tell stories directly
and honestly, without sentimentality. We aren't interested
in "courageous" or "inspiring" tales of "overcoming
disability." We like the unusual, the quirky, the humorous
angle, but we also need well-reported service articles.
ADVERTISING FOR WRITERS
Last Call for Entries: Poets & Writers!
Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write
30 lines or fewer on any subject or write a short story,
5 pages maximum length on any theme, single or double
For my first advertising for my fledgling business I needed to
make strategic choices within a very limited budget. I chose
to advertise in two places: the Funds for Writers (FFW)
newsletter and a major writer's magazine (circulation of 100,000).
FFW far outperformed the magazine! From my first FFW ad I got an
immediate and enormous spike in traffic to my web site and within
24-hours had more than 100 people sign up on my website. And that
was just the first ad! Over the course of the six-week ad campaign
I saw a noticeable spike in traffic after each ad hit people's
inboxes and in total garnered at least 500 new sign-ups.
If you're thinking about advertising in FFW, do it!
ANOTHER FANTASTIC REASON TO ADVERTISE IN FUNDSFORWRITERS
Chalet Publishers, LLC, ran an ad ONE TIME in announcing we
were currently accepting submissions. It had been exactly 24
hours since the newsletter and the ad were distributed. Queries,
chapters, entire manuscripts --- the influx has just now slowed
down. We received way over forty responses to our ad, and they
are still pouring in. (BTW, this is a very good problem!). Just
wanted to let you know we think you and your newsletter rock!
It's just amazing and lets us know just how loyal your fans are.
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