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There's something about feeling helpless when you become
unemployed - or suddenly have to go back to work. We feel
at the mercies of a floundering economy, unsympathetic
employers, and calloused editors. Others do not understand
I've received an inordinate number of emails and postal
mails lately from individuals fighting to gain purchase
as writers. They've been laid off. They face fixed incomes
due to unexpected illness. They can't afford to go back to
school for another skill, so they want to fall back on writing.
Most lead with their serious difficulties, then mention their
writing later, almost as an aside. I know that "funds" for
writers captures attention, and I also know that people
interpret being a writer in different ways. But being in dire
straits isn't the time to decide to take up writing as a
profession. You can, just don't bank on the "potential" income.
Writing isn't a sprint to money. It's a marathon you train for.
You need to start writing with purpose. From purpose,
passion is born. From passion you are born, in all your
unique glory. Every piece of content you publish should have
your name all over it, in more ways than one!
Cori Padgett is a copywriter who originated the blog
Big Girl Branding. She recently guest posted for Copyblogger.
She tries to explain voice. To me, voice is your unique
style of writing. You don't force it. You don't sit down one
evening and say, "Today I'll work on my voice." It doesn't
work that way. Voice takes time, lots of writing, and tons
of study. It evolves.
Voice is what sells your writing.
So suddenly wanting to write for a living isn't going to
work. Yes, you have to make the conscious decision. Yes, you
must write often, daily if at all possible. You have to
start the ball rolling. But earning a living is like any other
career choice. You have to learn the ropes, intern, write a
lot of crap, and work your way up a long ladder.
No, I'm not trying to deter you. I can only deter those
who don't have their heart in it. If you feel the need to
write, then what I say can only make you nod your head in
agreement, because you understand what I'm saying.
"True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise
man doubteth often, and changeth his mind; the fool is
obstinate, and doubteth not; he knoweth all things but
his own ignorance."
SUCCESS OF THE WEEK
Back in April you posted a competition for Fifty Funny Poems
contest. Since this was for kids, I sent one of my rhyming
picture book manuscripts that had not yet found a home. I
was a runner up in the contest and my story-poem, The Monster
Hairy Brown, will be published in the book Fifty Funny Poems
for Children to be published in 2012. Thanks for all the good
information you send out. I receive three of your newsletters
and always find something interesting to help my writing career.
Creative writing comes in countless forms and that's part of
what makes writing for a living so much fun. If you happen
to be a writer with musical talent as well, you may have a
secret stash of songs you're not sure how to market.
When you write a song, whether just the lyrics or both melody
and lyrics, you create a copyright just as if you had written
a novel. However, a song right is treated as two "halves,"
the writer's share and the publisher's share. Often there
are multiple writers and publishers of one song.
As for getting your songs out there, it isn't as clear cut
a task as submitting a manuscript to a publisher.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous agents and publishers
who prey on novice writers and will promise to pitch songs
to "major recording artists" in exchange for money and/or
ownership of copyrights. You have no way of knowing if your
"agent" has any connections whatsoever and the unsolicited
material they pitch (if indeed they do) is likely ending up
in the receptionist's trash. You need to be wary and, most
of all, educated in order to navigate these waters.
If you are new to songwriting, consider joining NSAI (Nashville
Songwriters Association International), the world's largest
not-for-profit songwriters' trade organization. They are
dedicated to helping writers learn their craft and network with
publishers and other professional writers. NSAI is also a
powerful songwriters' advocate organization and frequently
helps create federal legislation to protect copyrights.
NSAI's $150 membership fee may seem stiff but, for the money,
you may submit 12 songs for evaluation (and an emailed
critique) by a professional songwriter member. Also, you
gain opportunities for local support and networking through
their 130 chapters across the U.S. NSAI offers webcasts
twice monthly on songwriting topics and extended workshops
throughout the year.
Debi Cochran, Legislative/National Workshops Director at
NSAI and songwriter mentor says, "Start now. Start where
you are. These meetings and videos will help you become a
better writer. Read books about songwriting. If your
strength is words, find someone whose strength is singing
or playing an instrument. Reach out to local bands or
singers at coffee shops or bars. They may be interested
in learning an original song. Our website is a secure
place to share your songs and find people to write with."
NSAI also operates the "The Bluebird Cafe," the prestigious
Nashville listening venue which features all original music
performed by the writers themselves. There are audition
opportunities and other links listed on their website at www.nashvillesongwriters.com .
Professional songwriters belong to performing rights
organizations like ASCAP (American Society of Authors,
Publishers and Composers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) or
SESAC. All are in the business of protecting copyrights
and collecting royalties for recorded work and also offer
some support services for their writers.
There have been several books published on the music business
and specifically songwriting. "Songwriting for Dummies"
(Peterik, Austin, Austin, Lynn) does a fine job of explaining
the ins and outs of both the art and the business of writing
and pitching songs.
As with any literary pursuit, if you love songwriting then
you have to forge ahead in spite of the difficulties of ever
being published. Yes, it is a tough and complex industry but
there are always success stories as well as a multitude of
markets for good songs....for example, movie and tv soundtracks,
local tv and radio commercials, and electronic toys. Who
knows, your song might end up in the hands of your favorite
rock star. As a songwriter, I can tell you there is no more
surreal feeling than hearing your song playing on the radio!
Micki Fuhrman Milom is a performing songwriter and former
recording artist. Various artists have recorded her songs,
including a cut on the double-platinum-selling album "No
Ordinary Man" by Tracy Byrd. Originally from Louisiana,
she lives in Nashville with her husband Mike Milom, a
leading entertainment/copyright attorney.
THE WASHINGTON PASTIME LITERARY PRIZE
$10 ENTRY FEE ($5 FOR YOUNG AUTHORS)
The Washington Pastime awards outstanding writing in literary
and genre fiction. First prize is up to $500 (or up to $250
for Promising Young Author), publication in The Washington
Pastime, and in The Washington Pastime Collections Anthology.
Second prize is publication in The Washington Pastime, and
possible publication in The Washington Pastime Collections
Anthology. Deadline December 31, 2011. Winners will be
announced by March 1, 2012. Prose limited to 15,000 words.
To be considered for the Promising Young Author category you
must fulfill one (1) of the following criteria:
1)You are under the age of 18;
2)or, you are a high school student;
3)or, you are currently enrolled in a college/university;
AND you have either not been published or have been published
no more than two (2) times with no payment.
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SHORT STORY CONTEST
NO ENTRY FEE
Limit to 3,500 words. Story should reflect an aspect of women's
lives today. Open to US residents 21 years and older. Deadline
September 1, 2011. Only one entry per person. Grant winner
receives $3,000 and possible publication in May 2012 issue.
Two runners-up will receive $750 and possible online publication.
THE GALAXY PROJECT CONTEST http://www.thegalaxyproject.com/
NO ENTRY FEE
Deadline September 2, 2011. The Galaxy Project is a
celebration of the great 1950's Galaxy Magazine, edited
by H. L. Gold and a means through these new electronic editions
of classic longer works and through its new novella contest to
carry forth that tradition in the new millennium. The contest
to select one novella or novelette will be judged in the spirit
of H. L. Gold and the great magazine of which he was founding
editor. The winner will be published in e-book as part of The
Galaxy Project collection; receive an advance of $1,000 against
royalties of 50% of net receipts to 2,500 copies and 60% of net
receipts thereafter for world English digital rights.
SUSTAINABLE ARTS FOUNDATION
Submit 2-4 samples (chapters, short stories, essays,
manuscripts or published books). Poets: 10 poems. PDF
format only, please. Deadline September 30, 2011. The
Sustainable Arts Foundation is a non-profit foundation
supporting artists and writers with families. Our mission
is to provide financial awards to parents pursuing creative
work. Awards are $6,000.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES SUMMER STIPEND GRANTS
Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research
that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or
both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books,
digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations,
editions, or other scholarly resources. Summer Stipends support
full-time continuous work on a humanities project for a period
of two months. Summer Stipends support projects at any stage
of development. Summer Stipends are awarded to individual
scholars. Organizations are not eligible to apply. Successful
applicants receive an outright award of $6,000 for two
consecutive months of full-time research and writing.
Deadline September 29, 2011.
ARIZONA ARTIST PROJECT GRANTS
The Arts Commission provides assistance to individual artists
through annual Artist Project Grants (APG). Artists apply for
project-related funding up to $5,500 for research and
development leading to the creation of a work of art in any
artistic discipline. Deadline September 22, 2011.
HEARTS OF THE COUNTRY http://www.heartsmag.ca/
A magazine for rural Canadian women covering gardening,
cooking and crafts. Published almost half material from
unpublished, new writers. Articles are 1,000 to 1,500 words.
Columns are up to 800 words. Pays up to 25 cents/word.
Photos enhance acceptance and pay $25 each.
Hobby Farms is a general-circulation magazine, directed
to hobby and small farmers or those simply living (or
wishing to live) in the country. Hobby farmers are
homesteaders, as well as those living in rural areas
near larger, suburban areas. They raise traditional
livestock like cows, horses, goats, pigs and chickens
and alternative livestock, such as alpacas, llamas,
emus, Jacob sheep, Scottish Highland cattle and other
rare breeds. The magazine caters to the on-farm aspects
of rural living. We need informative, in-depth, upbeat
articles (about 2,000 to 2,500 words in length) that will
help readers better understand and enjoy the rural
lifestyle. Short pieces accepted up to 500 words. Also
considered personal experience essays up to 1,000 words.
We pay $300 and higher for feature articles; "Happenings"
articles receive $50 to $75 per piece. Accompanying high-
quality photographs are paid additionally for any that
Location Washington DC
Deadline August 19, 2011. Employer Bureau of Land Management.
The incumbent creates original material or edits existing
draft products such as brochures, pamphlets, reports, manuals,
handbooks, exhibits, posters, conference proceedings, web
pages and other products.
Thrillist Rewards is looking for a Freelance Copywriter to
create all copy associated with each edition's website and
weekly newsletter. The ideal candidate will have experience
in e-commerce or advertising copywriting and must possess a
familiarity with Thrillist's informed yet irreverent tone.
1-2 years copywriting experience. Send résumé and cover
letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paranormal and Urban Fantasy, Contemporary, Romantic Thrillers,
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Upper "YA" (17-22 yo protags) that
will appeal to crossover audiences. Please note: At this time,
we only accept agented historical submissions.
"Forget Google and Bing. When you need to research PI work,
go to the experts, Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman: they
live it, they teach it, they write it. How to Write a Dick
is the best work of its kind I've ever come across."
- Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award winner for
Best PI Novel of the Year & author of Hurt Machine
KATHERINE DON, "THE BOOK
PERSONALIZED BOOK EDITING SERVICES
Katherine goes beyond the basic services of copyediting;
she works closely with authors on everything from
concept development to final edits. Services include:
content editing, line editing, book proposals, partial
manuscripts, full manuscripts. She works both with first-time
authors and experienced authors with agents and in-house
editors. Nonfiction, journalism, memoir, fiction.
AWARD-WINNING WRITER, PUBLISHER
WILL EDIT YOUR NOVEL, MEMOIR, POETRY
Have your writing edited by an award-winning, professional
writer, editor, and publisher, one who knows how to help
you prepare your writing for publication. Richard Krawiec
has published novels, biographies, text books, plays, and
a story and poetry collection. He won the 2009 Excellence
in Teaching Award from UNC Chapel Hill. His essays, feature
articles, and reviews have appeared in major newspapers and
magazines across the US. The NY Times, LA Times, Publishers
Weekly have reviewed his work. Awards include National
Endowment for the Arts and NC Arts Council grants, as well
as nominations for the National Book Award, Best American
Short Stories, and Pushcart Prize. He is founder of Jacar Press.
COOL WELL PRESS - NEW PRESS
We offer a variety of genres including fantasy, mystery,
science fiction, suspense, historicals, Young Adult, and
non-fiction. We strive to bring you the best and brightest
authors and stories that will touch your heart, open your
mind, and keep you thinking long past The End. Cool Well
Press is a royalty-paying publisher of works for sale in
electronic format and trade paperback. We publish two
distinct lines - book-length Young Adult fiction across
all genres and non-fiction in a variety of genres.
WHY ADVERTISE IN FUNDSFORWRITERS?
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 let's us know just how loyal your fans are.
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