FundsforWriters - June 24, 2022 - Middle Grade Voice for Adult Writers

Published: Fri, 06/24/22


VOLUME 22, ISSUE 31 | JUNE 24, 2022

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Message from Hope

People are so uncomfortable these days about anything subject to opinion. With just me stating that people are opinionated these days, will most likely result in emails asking me to define what my true intentions were in even saying so. That's how sensitive people are. 

These days, we are afraid to write what's in our heart, for fear of what others will think or how they will judge. We are afraid not to read what the world is yelling at us to read. We are afraid of getting something wrong. 

So much noise.

A lot of people are likewise curling up into their hidey-holes to avoid the racket. A lot of writers are not writing. Some wrote me just last week, unsubscribing from FFW because they are fearful of writing anymore.

In a time when the world is screaming and nobody is listening, be true to yourself for sanity's sake. Write the story on your heart. Write for the publications that call to you. Read the pieces that will add quality to your life. Listening to too many opinions will dismantle you. 

Those who disagree with me, my stories, my website, or anything I attempt are just not my people unless what I deem their suggestion to hold credence. But that ultimate decision is mine, with or without discussion. In my world, which I enjoy on the quiet, gentler side these days, the noisier the criticism, the less heard.

You need a safe place where you can be you. The safe ground I've defined is to be the best of who I can be, whatever I define that to be, and to cut back on my judgment of others. I read what offers enjoyment for me, sometimes based upon suggestions, but not always. And I write my stories, the stories of my choice, to make me and my reader friends happy.

Find your safe place and own it. Best to be a calm in the midst of the storm. There's less damage that way to all parties concerned.

C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
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Teen volunteers of the South Congaree Pine Ridge library in Columbia, SC made this for me as thanks for speaking this week to their book club, the Novelettes. 

Can't wait to wear it.





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Job search firms report that the most experienced workers have become less optimistic about their career futures. 

What?! That's news to FLXers. 

We're thriving!

The Freelance Success writing community is the water cooler, the green room, the celebration party at the bar after the awards show. Thanks to FLX, freelancers have go-to colleagues to turn to for support and encouragement any time of the day or night.

Networking is about schmoozing and glad-handing.

Connection, on the other hand, is all about belonging.

Want to get out of the content mill rut? Want to stop feeling isolated as you break through to the next level? Tired of fretting over red flags you should have seen coming? Need new markets, fresh eyes, fewer pitch rejections? 

You belong at Freelance Success!







Recently, one of the many groups I follow asked all of its members to join a review group for the summer. The goal was to review each others books, because it's so difficult to get book reviews. For every review you received you owed a review. All you had to do was list your name, the title of the book, and where you'd like it reviewed. 

The message explained that writers wanted reviews as much or more than anything else. More than reader connection, contest wins, best-selling status, and sales growth. The intent was altruistic, but I decided against the offer. 

I'm asked to review books all the time. So much, in fact, that it can erode my goals. 

I review on Amazon and Goodreads every book I complete reading. My goal is 38-40 books per year. I'm ahead of my goal. I also have in mind the books I want to read for that list. Realistically, I understand that a book can cross my path that I never expected to capture my attention, and I may let it cut in line. 

But the books on my to-be-read list are: mystery, suspense, and/or on my local book club list. And when it comes to the latter, if the books are nonfiction or romance, I'm less likely to read that assigned reading. I like my reading to compliment or contribute to the furthering of my own writing skills. 

It's not that I don't respect other genres, it's just that they do not capture my interest. I'm one of those who's never read Harry Potter, and I understand people who do not read my books. Much of my family have not read my books because they do not read mystery. I can name only four people in all of my extended family who has read some of my books. 

Some may argue that I ought to broaden my horizons by incorporating other genres into my work. Occasionally I do, but I relish sticking to my genre. Not only do I adore the genre, but I seek to learn with each word how to improve myself. 

So when someone declines a review of your book, or you never hear from them once you've given them that free book, they probably don't read your type of work or didn't like the writing. Don't think ill of them. You chose to put the book in their hands. Learn from this. Only give away review copies to those who read your type of story and believe in reviews. To force feed a book onto anyone who doesn't fall into both these categories is to only disappoint yourself. 




2617138 © Mykola Velychko |




Accountability. Community. Motivation.

When you’re a writer, you need these three things to keep going.

The Writers Salon is a free online writing community where you can meet other writers, find motivation and access courses to develop your skill and habits.

Join the community today! Or, if you’re interested in working one-on-one with me to bring your writing to the next level, email me at [email protected].

Kate Meadows Writing & Editing Services

Share your story. Bring your idea to life. Reach more people.




 - June 28, 2022 - Still Hopes Episcopal Residential Community - One Still Hopes Drive, West Columbia, SC - 2:00 PM

 - July 14, 2022 - Muskoka Authors Association, Zoom - 6:00 PM

- July 21, 2022 - Carnes Crossroads Residential Community, 4015 Second Ave, Summerville, SC - 3-5 PM

 - July 23, 2022 - Indiana Sisters in Crime, Zoom - Noon ET - Gary and Hope Clark Tag Team on Getting the Facts Right in Mysteries

 - June 3-10, 2023 - Writing Retreat on the Maine Coast - Special Guest - Sponsored by Joan Dempsey, author and teacher 
Email: [email protected] to schedule  events, online or otherwise. There's starting to be life out there!     



"Failure teaches you everything — you learn nothing from success." ~George Clooney


SUccess Story

If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected] 


Featured article


Middle Grade Voice for Adult Writers

By Rod Martinez

The middle grade market is blowing up and authors are scrambling to get their share of the pie. It's a big pie that seems to have room for everyone. As authors we draw a fine line between what kids deem fashionable reading and adults find cultivating, but how do you the author authentically write in middle grade voice? 

Of all the manuscripts submitted, only a few will shine enough to merit the prestigious favor of publishers, editors and agents. A major part of the appeal seems to be the ability to genuinely cross over to young readers.

Most of my titles are middle grade, and when I speak at Writers' Conferences, schools, libraries and Comic Cons, I will read an excerpt of a title. Many of the time I'm asked "How did you capture that voice? It sounds like a kid. How do you do that?"

There's no secret to this, but I guess as adults, we tend to forget the jargon, the feel – the voice of youth. Writing for kids can easily turn into a grown-up preaching, or talking down, and that is the last thing a young reader wants. They won't get past page two before they drop the book and move on to the next.

My first published book birthed out of a challenge from my sixth-grade son. While watching the "Goonies" on TV, he said, "You should write a story like that about me and my friends." At the time, I was only penning adult horror and speculative short stories, but I took the challenge. By completion, it became a full novel – something I never thought I would have the patience to write. Upon sending out queries, it was quickly snatched up by a publisher.

Doing the author visit circuit among schools, kids ate it up, and the teachers and school librarians were pleased (so was I). But I'd get the same question when I was on panels and even speaking with the school staff, "How did you get that voice? The kids love it."

Answer? I cheated. Ok, maybe that isn't the right choice of word, but when my son was in school, I was that goofy parent that attended the field trips. I was an officer in the band association, and, in fact, I used to pick up the four kids in the book and take them places: the beach, stores, amusement parks, drives in the car. Of course, they had no idea I was studying them. Sitting in the back, one of the girls would say something like "did you see what Amy did to her hair for the school pictures? O-M-G!" And I'm sitting up front with a pad, scribbling it all down.

I did many a school visit and sat in on library kids' programs. I would let the librarian know, "I'm an author, I need material, I won't make a noise – act like I'm invisible."

Of course, in this day and age, the last thing you want to do is sit at a playground or elementary school cafeteria staring at kids– kind of creepy if you ask me. But you can chaperone a field trip, or volunteer in a library summer reading program, or even stand at the toy aisle at Walmart like you're looking for something for your child. Ideas will come, trust me.

Capturing that voice will inevitably shine through if you study, take notes, and tell yourself, "When I was a fifth grader, how did I communicate with my buddies?"

Articles on authentic voice are all over the net and you can always go to a writers' conference that highlights a class on the subject, but real life is full of tutorials. Don't worry - the voices will come. 

Attracted to words at an early age, Rod Martinez's first book was created in grade school, his teacher used it to encourage creativity in her students. His high school English teacher told him to try short story writing, he listened, and the rest – as they say, is history.



PAGE ONE PRIZE for novelists
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 15, 2022 at 5 PM ET. Submit the opening page of your unpublished novel-in-progress. 1st prize $1,000; 2nd prize $500; 3rd prize $250. Submissions are open internationally to any writer writing in English. Winners and honorable mentions will be announced August 2, 2022.

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$25 ENTRY FEE. Contest encourages writers to submit stories related to Judaism or Jewish culture or history with a maximum of 5,000 words. Moment will award up to three prizes to outstanding works of unpublished short fiction with Jewish content, including $1,000 for first place. After the submission deadline, Moment editors will review all stories and contact winners if their stories are being considered for publication. 

Deadline July 11, 2022. The Margaret and Reg Turnill Competition for young writers of 21 years and under, for which the prize winner receives £1,000, and a competition for the over 21s which offers The Grand Prize of £500. This year’s theme is “Switch”. Entries must be in English. The length is 1,500 to 5,000 words. There are no entry fees for those aged 21 years and under on 11th July 2022. Over 21s must pay an entry fee of £10 or £5 for those with student id.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 22, 2022. Your challenge is to write a short story (between 1,000 and 3,000 words) that helps to raise awareness and shift attitudes, especially for those people who assume that the more detergent the better. Open to all – we encourage international writers. All submissions must be in English and unpublished. The main prize for the winner is £500 or the local currency equivalent! 

£6 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 10, 2022. Deadline The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival. First prize £1300, second prize £400, third prize £150, and five commendations of £50 each. Poems should be of no more than 80 lines (excluding the title), in English and your own original work (no translations), with the exception of entries in Gaelic, if accompanied by your own English translation. 

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 15, 2022. One $15,000 Winner and ten $500 Finalists will be selected in a blind review by the editors of Rattle and printed in the Winter 2022 issue;  one $5,000 Readers’ Choice Award will then be chosen from among the Finalists by subscriber and entrant vote. Open to writers, worldwide; poems must be written primarily in English (no translations except by the original author).

$5-25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 15, 2022. First prize $1,000 (The Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award), second prize $250, third prize $100, and honorable mentions receive a one-year subscription. No poem must exceed 40 lines, beginning with the first line of text below the title. DO NOT count blank lines. Please also consider our 64-character line width when submitting.

£5 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 31, 2022. First prize £1,000, second prize £500, third prize £250. A prize is also available for the best poem written by a Hampshire-based poet. Limit 40 lines excluding title. English only. A number of free entries are available for poets to whom an entry fee would be a barrier.

NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 18, 2022. Simply submit a sample of your writing, which must be the beginning of an unpublished work-in-progress no more than 2,000 words in length and a one-page synopsis for the full manuscript. You must also include a short piece of writing (200 words) in the Covering Letter section of our online entry form about yourself and why this prize speaks to you. Please note that this prize is open to entrants writing in all genres. All entrants must consider themself from a working class background, be over 18 and living in the UK or ROI, not have a publishing contract or agent, submit a piece of unpublished writing. Winner receives two 1-hour mentoring sessions with our judge, Jessica Andrews, a cash prize of £200, access to a number of W&A writing and publishing events, one year’s membership to The Society of Authors, a writing guide bundle including the latest edition of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook or the Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, Writers’ & Artists’ Guide To Getting Published or Writers’ & Artists’ Guide To How To Hook an Agent, and a selection of Bloomsbury books. 

$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline July 7, 2022. Awarded annually to a poet writing in English who has not yet published a full-length poetry book. The winning poet will receive $1,500 and 30 author copies. Manuscript length: 48-90 pages. Prospective entrants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with Conduit, which champions originality, intelligence, irreverence, and humanity.




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Deadline July 1, 2022. The Louisiana Project Grants (LPG) program provides a system for funding arts projects in all regions of the state by giving artists, nonprofit arts organizations, nonprofit organizations, public and private schools, and local government agencies in each region the opportunity to develop arts projects that meet their local needs. The purpose of the program is to cultivate innovative arts projects that have a lasting impact within each region of our state. Recognized artistic disciplines include dance, design, folklife, literature, media, music, theatre, and visual arts and crafts. You must apply in the region you and/or your fiscal agent is domiciled in. 

Deadline July 3, 2022. The Poetry Coalition, a network of 25+ poetry organizations coordinated by the Academy of American Poets, is pleased to announce the 2022–2023 Poetry Coalition Fellowships, which are paid fellowship positions for five individuals who will each assist a different Poetry Coalition organization for twenty hours per week over the course of a forty-week period. The fellows will also receive professional development opportunities.

Deadline July 29, 2022. In an effort to support equality and accessibility within literary publishing, Gasher Press is pleased to offer a $250 scholarship to an emerging poet currently submitting their first-book manuscript to help cover the submission costs for contests and open reading periods. The manuscript must be at least 48 pages of poetry. The writer must reside in the United States at the time of submission.

The Writers Submission Fee Fund helps writers in need afford the cost of journal submissions, which has become an alarming new trend in digital publishing. Gasher distributes submission fee grants of $35 every quarter to as many writers as we can afford for that period. Grant recipients are selected randomly with a lottery application. When submitting, include ONLY your name, address, and email address. Do not include any notes or messages in your submissions OR any writing samples. You may only apply once per cycle. You must be 18 years old to apply and be residing in the US.

Deadline July 14, 2022. Artistic categories supported through the program in 2023 include choreography, crafts, music composition, photography, poetry, playwriting/screenwriting, and sculpture. Historically, fellowship awards have ranged between $4,000 and $26,500, and artists may use their fellowship awards to pursue work in their artistic discipline, including the purchase of supplies, studying in a workshop, renting studio space, or otherwise freeing their time. To be eligible, applicants must be current, permanent residents of the state of New Jersey and age 18 or older. 

Deadline August 1, 2022. The program supports artist parents and artist youth alike with a one- to two-week residency at Franconia in July. Located in the scenic St. Croix River Valley of Minnesota, Franconia operates a 50-acre outdoor museum, active artist residency program, and community arts programming. Coinciding with its Youth Installation Summer Camps, artist youth are invited to collaborate with their parent on a submitted project plan or attend camp during the day while the artist parent can be on-site for self-sufficient research or production. For artist parents, this is a self-directed, process-based residency, and there is no expectation of a finished work. The artist family benefits both from the individual creative process and through togetherness. The residency provides the artist family is provided time and space away within an engaging arts context providing quality time for connection and understanding. The residency provides the artist parent with a $2,000 unrestricted stipend. Two artist families will receive room and board at the 4,500 square-foot Artist House and free Youth Installation Summer Camps for up to two weeks for up to two youth ages 8 to 17.



Arm Yourself. It’s Time to Kill Your Characters.

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This book will help you answer: How did your character die? What were the circumstances of the murder? What weapon did the killer use? What evidence was left behind? How can you build a rock-solid case against the suspect?

When plotting the next murder scene for your story, you may run into obstacles such as how the detectives determine time of death, or the forensic evidence left by a gunshot wound. Steve Rush’s extensive experience is accumulated in a series of writing tips that will significantly improve your story. Kill Your Characters is for any author looking to elevate their murder scenes with credible and authentic details.

Order your copy here:

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SELF magazine is a mission-driven health and wellness brand. Our goal is to help people take good care of themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. Sometimes we do that by reporting on individual actions that can make a difference; sometimes we do it by highlighting efforts to make systemic or institutional change. We have a few main categories of focus: health, fitness, food, beauty, love (think sex and relationships, both romantic and otherwise), and lifestyle (travel, money, career, home, productivity, and so on). They also have other columns of product roundups, criticism, personal experience, and reports/journalism. Fees are subject to change, but currently our rates start at $300 for a story with minimal to no reporting, and increase from there. Reported service stories start at $400; features start at $800. As a general rule, we may pay more based on the amount of reporting expected for the piece, turnaround time, and special expertise.

The Tyee is an online magazine that tells stories about politics, culture, climate change, the environment and life in the British Columbia region. We pay our freelancers a day rate of $250. When we accept a pitch, we work with a freelancer to determine whether the story is a one-day, two-day, or three-day story. It is less common for us to assign stories above the three-day rate.

(NOTE: Some of the best guidance I've ever seen on how to pitch.) Most i-D articles run at around 1,000 words, but other publications have different lengths, and this will vary depending on the format of the piece you’re pitching. Try to tailor your idea to the house style. i-D is a fashion and style magazine, both online and in print, that pays £150-£200 per piece.

We tell extraordinary stories from around the world. We’ve published major features from Iran and Indonesia, and are equally interested in fresh ideas from America and Britain. We cover subjects that The Economist rarely writes about, such as family and relationships. We also cover subjects that The Economist writes about a lot, such as politics, conflict, technology, business and science. We’re eager to support ambitious journalism that can take months to research and write. Our features tend to run between 3,000 and 6,000 words. We offer resources for reporting and our rates are competitive with the best publications in America and Britain. Pays roughly £3,500.

Deadline June 24, 2022. The Curbside Chronicle is Oklahoma’s street paper created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are experiencing and at risk of homelessness. Submit queries to [email protected]. Interested in story pitches for anything about amazing Okie animals, pets and critters. Estimated pay $200 for 800-1,000 words. 

If you have an idea for an article, please fill out the online form with at least one clear, detailed
paragraph describing the main argument or theme of your proposed piece. Please also attach/link one or more samples of your previous work (published or unpublished), and/or a few paragraphs of the proposed piece so that we can get a sense of your writing style. It is best not to send fully completed pieces. This is because we like to work with writers in shaping a piece’s direction. We have two publication formats: our print edition and our online edition. Main articles for the print edition are usually around 3,000-4,500 words, while online articles are usually 1,200-2,400 words. (The print edition also contains lots of boxes, sidebars, etc. with short interstitial pieces, which can run anywhere from 100-500 words. Online articles are $200. Print articles are $300. We are a small magazine with a highly constrained budget, and second, because we really are quite choosy due to our rather idiosyncratic style. 

Go Fund Bean is a non-profit that supports, uplifts, and defends hourly coffee workers around the US. We are strongly labor-minded and interested in those sorts of stories. Most of our supporters and the people we work with are coffee industry professionals. Seeking articles on a topic you think is under-represented in the coffee industry. Right now we’re particularly interested in anything around being queer in coffee, the coffee supply chain, or labor collectives/organizations in coffee farming regions. Pays $225 (USD) for 700-1,000 words. Send pitches to [email protected]

From the headwaters of the Mississippi to the crashing coast of Lake Superior and bordering our Canadian neighbors, Lake Country Journal’s mission is to celebrate close-knit communities in Northcentral Minnesota through local art, culture, business, and outdoor adventures. Submit to [email protected]. Expect 20-25 cents/word. 

InsideHook is that guy’s consigliere, dutifully scouring the globe to find the most timely, important news, information and luxury lifestyle intel, and then delivering it to his inbox, desktop, smartphone, etc. From news, sports and entertainment to travel, style and dining, our editors are passionate about bringing our audience the latest and greatest. It’s a job we take seriously, and one we’ve been at for almost a decade. In particular, if you're a person who writes about TV shows (specifically takes, essays, think pieces, not weekly episodic reviews or listicles), you should send me some pitches. Pitch to Bonnie Stiernberg, Managing Editor at [email protected]. Rates vary depending on the piece but are usually in the ballpark of $350-$400 for ~1000 words. 

BRAINFACTS does more than communicate science. It tells the story of scientific discoveries, the people behind them, and how it relates to our everyday lives. Knowing about the brain's inner workings helps paint a better picture of the human experience that explores the universe between our ears. We’re looking for freelance science writers, journalists, and multimedia creators with a strong portfolio in science communication to pitch us story ideas about the brain and nervous system. We assign long (1,000-1,200 words), medium (700-900 words), and short-form (500-800 words) written and multimedia stories. Pays roughly $1/word. 

Here is another chance for you to share a story or two about the member of your family who just happens to walk on four feet! We are looking for true stories and poems about your cat or about your dog. All stories and poems need to be true — we do not publish fiction. Stories should be no longer than 1,200 words. Please write in the first person about something that happened to you or someone close to you. Payment is $200 and ten copies. 



Introducing Nonfiction Blueprint:
The Most Comprehensive Nonfiction-Writing Course Ever, by Jerry Jenkins

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Please review our Agents' profiles to choose the Literary Agent who is the best fit for your genre/writing style. Once you've chosen the one right agent for you, click on the SUBMIT WORK HERE button on their page to complete the Query Manager submission form and/or upload your work to our database. There are several agents with a wide diversity of representation.








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C. Hope Clark
E-mail: [email protected]
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036

Copyright 2000-2022, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

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