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There are still a few days until the holidays, and I've had
two new how-to books for the serious writer cross my hands.
As you know, I read all the books I review, often declining
to review books that don't seem sharp enough for you (and me).
Actually, I had three books to review for this column and
decided one fell short of my expectations. Then I heard from
Susan Daffron at Logical Expressions Publishing. Back up to
I read this book and caught myself nodding in agreement in
several places. We read books on writing the books and self-
promotion once the books are written. Here, however, you'll
learn how to create yourself as a marketable entity before
the book is written as well as insure the success of future
books. Get a firm grasp of what a platform is. You hear you
need one and don't fully understand what it is you need.
This book teaches you.
Suzette met me at the Florida Writers Association in
November, where I was the closing keynote speaker. She
bought THE SHY WRITER and handed me a copy of her book as
a thank-you after my classroom presentation. I wish I'd read
at least part of it before we departed so I could gush over
it with her face-to-face. This author has a marvelous voice
that captured me in Chapter One. By Chapter Three, I was
wrapped up in her style, using columns and
advice from names like Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna
Huffington and Peonard Pitts, Jr. If you've ever pondered
writing a column, get your hands on this book.
A remarkable book I intend to eat up over and over. Here's
an author who knows how to use self-publishing. This book
focuses on the nonfiction writer with a ready-market and
the experts who need books to enhance their business. As
Susan says, "The key is to think about your book as just
another product in your line-up of business offerings."
Cleanly written, Publishize is a must-have for the
nonfiction writer with a service to sell.
Okay, now you're armed with gift ideas. And if you don't
have any writing friends you're playing Secret Santa for,
splurge and purchase one of these for yourself. Besides,
they're tax deductions (wink).
As always, if you've purchased this ebook in the last
two months, we'll send you a free copy upon request.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the approximate
time you purchased the ebook.
WORDS OF SUCCESS
Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions
without systematic knowledge.
SUCCESS OF THE WEEK
Just writing a quick thank-you note for the wonderful service
you offer through Funds For Writers newsletters. A few months
back, your Total Funds For Writers listed a contest called
Cinéma Prospérité, a global film competition highlighting
entrepreneurs. I wrote a script for a film, then combined
forces with a friend who is a rising director and filmmaker.
I just got word yesterday that our film, "An Entrepreneur's
Heart," is one of eight finalists in the global competition!
Imagine that--a finalist in a competition that includes long-
time filmmakers! I won't know which film won until December
7th, but I already feel like a winner just to have made it to
the finals. This means someone likes my writing! Thank you, Hope.
You can view the film at: http://movie.ritahubbard.com/.
Thanks again for all you do. We need you.
More to it than just birthin babies
By Dawn Goldsmith
Often writing is likened to giving birth and the pain associated
with labor and delivery. But to me, writing reflects the
pregnancy more than the birth.
It begins with passion, love if you will, and the planting
of a seed. A novel, personal essay, magazine article -- each
begin with a seed, an idea, an anecdote that grows and develops.
Too often a writer stops before the story is completed,
especially in personal essays. Many write of sweet anecdotes,
a favorite item or food, a slice of life, a childhood memory
and stop at that.
One of my favorite personal essays began with a visit from an
elderly neighbor woman. She ventured out on a wintry day to
visit her friend, my mother. Mom and I stood at the kitchen
window, waved as we saw Lillian forging her way through the
almost knee deep snow drifts in the yard. We gasped as she
flung herself to the ground - and made a snow angel. That
image stuck with me for several years until I wrote about it
for one of Adams Media Cup of Comfort books.
The scene is fun, but it is only a seed. The story needed to
grow. I added bones and flesh and heart to it, finding the
deeper meaning, the true personality. Lillian was dying. Her
snow angel was a last gift to us, and a way of saying that she
would live each moment right to the last and embrace death as
heartily as she embraced life. Until I realized that, it was
only a sweet memory.
At times the seed holds an unexpected truth and develops into
a story unlike anything the writer expected. Recently a friend
wrote of blackberries and how she remembered them from her
childhood. She felt warm and fuzzy when she read it. Editors
didn't seem to feel the love. She couldn't figure out why
they rejected it. I saw the seed of a great story, not about
blackberries, but about her own transplantation to a new region
where she grew and put down roots - like her blackberries.
Any writing that is mere seed or just bones, or lacks a heart,
will not survive. It needs everything right down to the ten
fingers and toes. A young writer offered me her novel
manuscript to look over and assess. She had the bones of a
decent novel, what she lacked fleshed out characters, heart
and voice. Her novel began with the seed -- an anecdote a
neighbor had told her. Her imagination took hold and she created
a fantasy. She took it through to a rousing ending and thought
she was done. But what she had was a skeleton. Now she's adding
the muscle, the sinew, the heart and personality of a novel that
is turning into a promising submission to the publishing industry.
It takes nine months to produce a fully formed human child. It
develops through stages. Writers should realize that their own
babies must go through a similar growth process. Part of that
process involves a period of gestation when you set aside the
writing; turn your thoughts to other tasks. While you aren't
thinking about it, the idea is growing in some recess of your
mind. When you draw it from the drawer and look upon it again,
you see more clearly what is missing.
Before submitting, check for all the parts. If so,
congratulations! Hit send.
HIDDEN RIVER ARTS POETRY COMPETITION http://www.hiddenriverarts.com/
$17 ENTRY FEE
Annual prize of $1,000 and publication of a the winning poetry
manuscript by Hidden River Arts, a literary arts organization
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Length should be between 48 -
64 pages. There is no restriction in style of poetry. Deadline
December 20, 2008.
NOTE: Say you saw the posting in FundsforWriters, and they'll
five you a ten-day extension to December 30, 2008.
AMAZON BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL CONTEST https://www.createspace.com/abna
NO ENTRY FEE
Have an unpublished novel you know Amazon.com readers will love?
Enter your manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for
a chance to win a $25,000 publishing contract with Penguin Group
(USA) and the distribution of your novel on Amazon.com . Enter
your unpublished, English-language, fiction manuscript beginning
February 2, 2009. Entries will be accepted until February 8, 2009
or until 10,000 entries have been received, whichever comes first.
ODDCON SCI-FI AND FANTASY PROSE POEM AND FLASH FICTION CONTEST http://oddcon.com/contest.html
Deadline: January 1, 2009.
Adult division: 18 and over, $10 entry fee per story/poem;
multiple entries allowed. $500 + OddCon membership to first
place; books, etc. to top three.
Youth division: under 18 as of Jan. 1, 2009, NO entry fee,
but send no more than one entry. $50 + OddCon membership to
first place; books, etc. to top three.
Send 500 words or less of speculative (SF & F) fiction or
prose poetry (paragraph form).
DIANA L. BENNETT FELLOWS http://blackmountain.unlv.edu/programs/fellows.htm
Black Mountain offers nine-month fellowships to published
writers and public intellectuals. The program accepts
applications from novelists, poets, playwrights, historians,
political scientists, independent scholars, and anyone else
whose work is meant for a general, educated lay audience.
Black Mountain awards three to five fellowships each year to
outstanding writers who have published at least one critically
acclaimed book before the time of application. Foreign nationals
conversant in English are welcome to apply. There are no degree
requirements. Fellows receive a $50,000 stipend, an office, a
computer, and access to UNLV's Lied Library. They remain in
residence at BMI for the duration of the fellowship term
(approximately August 24, 2009 to May 14, 2010) and work daily
at the BMI offices. Application deadline: February 1, 2009.
NEW HAMPSHIRE ENTREPRENEURIAL GRANTS http://www.nh.gov/nharts/grants/artists/artistentrepren.htm
April 1, 2009 for projects beginning on or after July 1, 2009
July 1, 2009 for projects beginning on or after October 1, 2009
October 1, 2009 for projects beginning on or after January 1, 2010
January 4, 2010 for projects beginning on or after April 1, 2010
Recognizing that artist entrepreneurs contribute significantly
to New Hampshire's economy, this grant category supports
professional development opportunities that will increase their
capacity to develop the business skills they need to support
their artmaking, advance the level their artmaking and bring
their art to the widest possible markets.
CAPELLO D'ANGELI GRANTS http://www.capellidangelifoundation.org/
Capelli d'Angeli Foundation is dedicated to helping women
artists with cancer. Our MISSION is to encourage women
artists who are dealing with cancer at any stage, to focus
on their art and their creative lives, rather than on their
illness. The aim of the Foundation is to help these women
maintain a positive attitude throughout the recovery process,
by offering individual artist grants and creating
opportunities for artists and writers to share their work.
AFTER DARK http://www.coasttocoastam.com/gen/afterdark_submissions.html?theme=light
After Dark is currently seeking non-fiction articles and essays
which reflect the general subject matter discussed on America's
largest overnight radio program in history, "Coast to Coast AM."
In general, the areas of interest are broad. They include life
after death, paranormal, psycho-spiritual, demonic possession,
exorcism, theoretical physics, apocalypse, Earth changes,
weather patterns, UFOs, alien abductions and phenomenal
sightings, remote viewing, futurism and predictions, animal
mutilations, spontaneous human combustion, Big Foot, and more.
Average size for acceptable pieces is between 1,200-1,800 words
including short sidebars of relevance to the article.
FOCUS ON THE FAMILY CANADA http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/corporate/writer-s-guidelines/
Focus on the Family Canada magazine is interested in personal
experience, how-to, interview, profile, inspirational, humorous,
worldview, spiritual growth, holidays and sanctity of life
articles on matters concerning family, marriage, parenting
(including single parenting), grandparenting and midlife.
Articles are typically 350, 700 or 1,050 words each. We pay
30 cents/word Canadian upon receipt of an invoice from the writer.
Your letter should outline the direction of the article,
give an indication of your writing style and perspective,
tell us why or how you're qualified to write the article,
list potential sources and illustration possibilities, and
include clips of your published work. Departments--including
software, video, and book reviews; and essays on topics ranging
from folklore to personal experiences--should be between 800
and 1,500 words. Pays up to $500.
Location Washington DC http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=77917647&aid=27015391-5128&WT.mc_n=MKT000125
Deadline December 18, 2008. As the Supervisory Writer/Editor,
the incumbent serves as the OIG contact relative to writing and
editing, such as correspondence, reports, regulations, articles,
brochures, and records management for the Secretary, HHS,
Congress, all Federal agencies, the private sector, and other
parties. Pays $115,317 - $149,000/year.
Location Montrose, CO http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=77949571&aid=27015391-6128&WT.mc_n=MKT000125
Deadline December 26, 2008. Employing Agency: Bureau of Land
Management. Term position. Review, edit, and make corrections
to technical reports, Resource Management Plan documents,
environmental impact statements, environmental assessments,
and related documents for clarity, conciseness, grammatical
correctness, spelling, punctuation, logical organization,
and adherence to accepted standards.
TEMPORARY TEACHING POSITION - CREATIVE WRITING
Institution: Georgia College & State University
Location: Milledgeville, GA http://www.gcsujobs.com/applicants/Central?quickFind=51009
Teaching duties will include one graduate level workshop and
one undergraduate creative writing course per semester,
assisting with the university's visiting writers' series, and
advising theses. MA, MFA, or PhD by time of employment; at
least one book of creative nonfiction or fiction and critical
recognition consistent with a writer of national reputation.
BLANTON, HARRELL, COOKE, CORZINE http://www.bhccmgt.com/default.aspx
Blanton Harrell Cooke & Corzine clients enjoy the benefits
of a multi-layered management team focused on the growth
of each individual career. With our vast experience and
knowledge of the entertainment industry, we specialize in:
touring, artist development, product development, endorsements,
publicity, sales, distribution, merchandise, long term
planning, contract negotiations, and day to day management
with a full administrative support staff.
DANIEL LITERARY GROUP http://www.danielliterarygroup.com/
Represents a variety of categories including fiction (general,
inspirational, suspense/thriller) religion/spirituality,
narrative nonfiction, business, travel, practical advice,
social issues, and biography/memoir.
EAMES LITERARY SERVICES http://www.eamesliterary.com/
Eames Literary Services offers literary representation and
manuscript consultation to new and established authors
throughout the Christian and general trade publishing
industry. Our mission is to be the author's voice to the
publishing community, while also listening to and honoring
the needs of the publisher.
Energize your career with an intensive three-day weekend of
workshops and small group sessions on the business of writing,
from developing online markets and building your brand to
negotiating contracts and producing content. Held January 9-11,
in Orlando, FL, the 14th annual SATW Institute offers one-on-one
interaction with faculty, including Christopher P. Baker, Lowell
Thomas Journalist of the Year.
Canada's first national group -- to stimulate, encourage and
support your writing ministry. More than 8,500 links and other
resources. National fall conference and spring workshop,
regional groups, contests and newsletter for members.
The Writer's Pond has tools for the trade; paper, pens,
writer's supplies, and research materials. You'll also
find fuel for the passion, in a special blend of New Orleans
style coffee, to sip from our chalkboard mug. Our gift items
are unique and all hand picked for interest and fun; meant
for writers of all genres.
Can't decide? Go for the non-expiring, but, very inspiring,
Gift Certificate from The Writer's Pond. Great for the readers
and writers on your holiday list, just print it out and you've
wrapped it up! By purchasing a Writer's Pond Gift Certificate
you also receive a free gift.
Free eBook Begin Your Memoir Now--sign up for our newsletter.
Coming in January--Online Workshops--Writing a Healing Memoir,
Make Your Stories Sparkle, Find Your Story Structure.
NAMW has CDs, ebooks, books, audios,
and many generous membership benefits--
and monthly teleseminars only for members.
April: FREE Writing to Heal TeleSummit. www.namw.org 510-524-3898
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CALL FOR ENTRIES!
Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem,
30 lines or fewer on any subject or write a short story,
5 pages max., on any theme, single or double line spacing,
neatly hand printed or typed. Entry fees: Poetry Contest:
$5 per poem, Writing Contest: $10 per story. Poetry Contest
First Prize: $500, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $50; Writing Contest
First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $100.
Postmark Deadline: December 31, 2008.