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THE WELL-FED WRITER
In less than four months, Peter Bowerman built a lucrative
"paying-all-the-bills" commercial writing practice:
writing for businesses, large and small and for hourly
rates of $50-$125+ (and did so with NO industry contacts,
previous paid writing experience or writing training.
No, this isn't a huge course on how to get rich writing.
It's a reality story, condensed in a book that teaches
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know-how that many pay hundreds of dollars to learn.
The last few months of 2009 have thrown up obstacles
to my writing, one right after the other. As we speak,
I'm writing editorials with a two-year-old granddaughter
running up and down the hall, in and out of my study,
along with her Schnauzer Pepper. Two sons are home (in
addition to the one living with us) for the holidays, and
they are seated behind me, bantering about politics and
sports. Five minutes doesn't go by without someone calling
"Momma," or "Grandma," or in the case of my husband, "Sweetie."
It all sounds so Norman Rockwell, doesn't it?
And I'm ready to throw my computer screen through the
window and tie my family to a tree in the yard.
It's hard to write during this time of the year. I work
until 3 AM most nights, when the house is deliciously
But I require that I sit at the computer everyday and work
at least an hour or two. Sometimes I lock the door. (I just
locked the door and kicked people out.)
Yes, even amidst the chaos, you can reserve moments to
write. I'm not saying it's easy. Goodness knows it makes
me want to pull my hair out, but I chip away at deadlines
and obligations with my eye on the calendar. In another
two weeks I remind myself I'll be back in my quiet abode,
company gone, probably missing the baby kisses and loving
jibes from my sons.
The time is rarely perfect to write. That's why Stephen
Kind writes daily, wherever he is. So does Dean Koontz.
It's a habit that will serve you well throughout your
I'm surrounded by voices, cries, laughter, temporary
bedding on the floor, three dogs, two televisions and
Xbox video games. The meals, Christmas specials, and
shopping tug at me, telling me to hurry up, but I plant
my butt in the chair and write a bit. Just long enough
to make me feel good . . . and keep me from going insane.
WISE WORDS TO LIVE BY
"The secret to productive goal setting is in establishing
clearly defined goals, writing them down and then focusing
on them several times a day with words, pictures and
emotions as if we've already achieved them."
EUPHORIA POETRY CONTEST http://www.jlabriola.com/id4.html
NO ENTRY FEE
"Euphoria" has an annual Poetry Contest which offers a
prize of $100 for the Winning Entry. Poems may be of any
genre, with no more than 5 poems being entered, and with
a 50-line maximum for each poem. Deadline December 31,
LONGLEAF PRESS POETRY CHAPBOOK CONTEST http://www.methodist.edu/longleaf/contest.htm
$15 ENTRY FEE
The contest is open to residents of North Carolina, South
Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, and
Florida who have not yet published a full-length collection
of poetry. Submit 18-23 pages of poetry. Deadline January
31, 2010. Prize $100 and 50 chapbooks.
TINY LIGHTS ESSAY CONTEST http://www.tiny-lights.com/contest.php
$15 ENTRY FEE
Deadline: February 19, 2010. Tiny Lights invites entries
that feature a distinctive voice, discernible conflict and
an eventual shift in the narrator's perspective. We are
looking for writers who weave the struggle to understand
into the fabric of their essays. First Place: $350. Second
Place: $250. Third Place: $150. Two Honorable Mention
Prizes: $100 each. Three FLASHPOINT prizes of $100 are
also offered. Personal essay requires writers to communicate
the truth of their experiences to the best of their abilities.
While no theme restrictions apply to this contest, we will
not consider essays that celebrate brutality or gratuitous
violence. Tiny Lights does not accept poetry, short stories,
or material written for children.
GUMSHOE REVIEW http://www.gumshoereview.com/php/Review-id.php?id=1852
Gumshoe Review is now open to accept fiction. The short
stories should be no longer than 1,000 words. Pay will
be 5 cents per word to a maximum of $50. Gumshoe Review
is now open to accept nonfiction essays on topics of
interest to readers, writers, and students of the mystery
genre. The essays should be no longer than 1,000 words.
Pay will be 5 cents per word to a maximum of $50.
PORT IRIS http://www.portiris.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=3
We are now taking submissions for the premier issue of
Port Iris, expected to be released March 2010. Please
limit short fiction to 5,000 words. I will consider
exceptional flash fiction up to 1,000 words. I am
specifically looking for science fiction, fantasy,
and horror but I am open to almost anything. Cross-
genre is acceptable too. All stories must be original
and well-written. Fan-fiction will not be accepted.
I will pay $10 for short fiction up to 5,000 words.
Flash fiction of less than 1,000 will receive $5.
PATCHWORK PATH BOOK SEEKING SUBMISSIONS http://www.patchworkpath.com/
CPG is looking for original stories and essays from 250
to 2,000 words about Christmas. Each submission will be
reviewed and considered based on creativity, originality,
concept, and style. Reading will be continuous and submissions
will be considered as they arrive. Not all works will be
accepted. Deadline December 31, 2009. Submissions will be
selected for publication in Patchwork Path: Christmas
Stocking by Choice Publishing Group president Tena Beth
Thompson and best-selling author Gregory A. Kompes.
Published stories receive $50.
PYRAMID WRITING http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/writing.html
Pyramid Magazine is a PDF magazine published by Steve
Jackson Games in Austin, TX. Its primary focus is tabletop
role-playing games (RPGs), with most articles devoted to
either generic (systemless) gaming or GURPS, with the
occasional (rare) dabbling into other systems as the mood
strikes us. Each issue of Pyramid centers on a specific
theme related to adventure gaming. We might devote an issue
to tools and tricks for wizards, or space opera, or how to
combine horror with espionage. While some articles are
written by SJ Games staffers, most of it comes from freelancers.
Pays four cents/word. Buys all rights.
ADVERTISING FOR WRITERS
LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES!
Dream Quest One Writing Contest is now accepting short
stories, 5 pages maximum length on any subject or theme,
single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed or
typed. Entry fee: $10 per story. First Writing Prize is
$500; 2nd: $250; 3rd: $100. All contest winners will
be published online in the Dare to Dream pages.
Postmark deadline: December 31, 2009.
AWARD WINNING NOVELIST, STORY WRITER WILL EDIT YOUR WORK
Winner of the 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award from
UNC Chapel Hill, Richard Krawiec has published novels,
story collections, plays, memoirs, poetry, feature articles,
and Young Adult biographies. He's won NEA and NC Arts Council
grants, been nominated for the National Book Award and
Pushcart Prize. He was a Finalist for the 2009 Indie Book
Awards for Poetry.
It's hard to publish these days.
Let someone who knows what they're doing help
you prepare your work for publication.