Free Workshop - Write Your Pitch in 30 Minutes
Find out what editors are looking for, how to come up with sellable story ideas, and finish a pitch during the workshop.
Not think about it and maybe write tomorrow. You'll write a pitch in class that's ready to send.
Plus, get a full Q&A for any questions and personalized expert feedback on your work.
Sign up now - It's free!
The Bad Side vs. the Good Side in Your Story
Call them bad guys or villains or antagonists, you need them in just about every genre that exists if you want an interesting story. Even nonfiction merits an opposition. For a story to capture readers, it needs adversity. And the bad side has to be every bit as devoted to winning as the good side, or the challenge doesn't pique interest.
Bad guys think they are right in their mission. They believe they are every bit as noble in their quest as the protagonist. To bring out the teeth of a story, whether short or long, historical or contemporary, fiction or nonfiction, the two sides have to balance the scale. Why?
If the good guy isn't being challenged by someone equally as strong, the tale carries no weight. The good guy doesn't even have to flex all of their muscles or use their brain. The odds are too easy.
The good guy has to feel defeated at various stages. The good guy has to fight to think like the bad guy, just like the bad guy is attempting to outthink the good. The good guy has to grow in their efforts, using tools they never used before in order to step up their game.
There are no more black hats and white hats.
As a writer you need to embrace this bad guy as if you loved him in order to give him the power he needs to give your story depth. Make them three-dimensional. Give them traits you even like.
Jesse in Lowcountry Bribe (Carolina Slade Mysteries, Book 1) had a mentally-challenged brother he took care of, keeping peppermints in his pocket for when he was disturbed by his surroundings.
I'd love to tell you about others in my mysteries, but I often hide my bad guys amidst the other characters, leaving you to guess who is the real arch nemesis . . . the person you didn't suspect.
Just remember it isn't only about the protagonist. You can't be good without knowing what bad is all about.
Are you a magazine writer, content writer, or blogger? If so, your clients expect you to provide fresh, interesting, and powerful content ideas—and lots of them.
The bad news: Coming up with great topic ideas consistently and reliably is not easy. And being unsure of your ideas attacks your confidence. It keeps you from doing your best work.
But now there's a secret weapon that can erase the uncertainty...and help you stand out over the competition: the Brainstorm Buddy App.
This inexpensive, easy-to-use tool validates your ideas so you can move forward with clarity. And if your idea is not quite solid, the Brainstorm Buddy App will offer customized tips on how to fine-tune your topic so you can try again.
Even better, the Brainstorm Buddy App is 20% off just for FundsforWriters subscribers through September.
Ready to gain some idea-generating superpowers? Go here to get started right away!
- September 12, 2022 - 20th Anniversary Chapin Library Book Club, Chapin, SC, 1:15 PM - 129 Columbia Ave, Chapin, SC
- Week of Nov 6-12 - TBD - Signing for new release, Badge of Edisto, Edisto Bookstore, Edisto, SC
- 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!
"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." – Neil Gaiman
If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected]
Scrivener Puts Ten Sets of Eyes on a Book’s Structure
By Tom Bentley
We aren’t at the point—and I don’t want to reach it—where “miracle” AI software writes our stories for us, and we passively absorb them. Sure, AI can output all sorts of text from prompts and prodding, but the human touch remains essential in story shaping.
But some writing software performs brawny labors to structure book-length works: like Scrivener. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction books, Scrivener can take tangled masses of information—character portraits, three-sentence notes, research URLs, images, chapter outlines, chapter drafts, chapters to come—into a coherent layout that not only lets you see what you’ve got, but lets you move everything into ordered arrangements.
I recently published a memoir of my crazed years of teenage shoplifting, and Scrivener was the cop with his hand on my shoulder saying, “Wait a minute, son, let’s put everything back on the right shelf.”
Because the memoir is made of moments from (gulp) 50 years ago, I couldn’t brush aside my brain cobwebs by myself. I needed to question pals and siblings who were around to witness my crimes about certain details. Many, many details rose to the surface, with detail follow-ups. Many, many emails needed re-confirmation, chopping and crafting. Twelve people in all, almost 8,000 words of notes.
But one of Scrivener’s beauties is that I could jump from, say, the notes on my older sister’s recounting of how she saved me from jail (and never told my parents, thanks Colleen) on one occasion, to the chapter where I’d written about that event, and to another chapter much later on related to that event. All without leaving the program, or having to open, shuffle and scroll through multiple chapters in Word, or having to open the draft outline of the book, because the
outline was already in Scrivener, all seen at a glance.
You can drag and drop chapter elements (or entire chapters) to reorder the story’s scheme, color-code chapters or other resources according to priority or level of completion, quickly make new resource folders or documents, and keep running word counts of all elements. Scrivener makes a dynamic map of your book, and there are no toll roads.
Well, I’ll take one step back on that: the software does have a learning curve, and there are lots of features I don’t use or haven’t mastered. The compilation functions, which let you output to Word or to ebook formats, have puzzled me at times. But there are YouTube tutorials available to help with the head-scratching.
Scrivener gives you templates for both fiction and nonfiction works, and blank or modestly formatted documents for book elements like front matter and back matter, all of which can be incorporated (or skipped) in the outputs. You can also see a day-by-day writing history (with word counts), for you historians.
Sometimes when writers work on long and intricate projects, the materials can seem like a big, unruly amount of unconnected chunks of information. That can be daunting. Scrivener can collect and assemble all that criminal riffraff into a line-up where you can identify the real suspects.
To this point, I’ve used the software to write the memoir, an essay collection, an article collection, one novel, one other nonfiction book, and a couple of complicated articles, ones with lots of links, pictures and notes. I have the notes queued up in Scrivener right now for what will be either a long short story or a novel.
I don’t suggest shoplifting as the thing that brings you to use Scrivener, but however you arrive, you’ll leave with all your word crimes tidied up.
Tom Bentley’s newest book is a memoir of his teenage shoplifting business, Sticky Fingers: Confessions of a Marginally Repentant Shoplifter. He is the author of three novels, a short story collection and a how-to book on finding your writer’s voice. He's published hundreds of freelance pieces in newspapers, magazines, and online. If you’re in the neighborhood, he would like you to pour him a Manhattan right at five. See his other lurid confessions at www.tombentley.com
8th Annual Sea Island Spirit Writers Short Story Contest
Writers, Far and Wide – Here’s a chance to get paid for writing! Sea Island Spirit Writers’ critique group is again sponsoring a short story contest open to all writers 18 years old and up. The word
“quit” must appear in your story of 750 words or less. Your story could net you $100 for first place, $50 for second place or $25 for third, and publication in Lowcountry Weekly.
- Entry fee is $10 per story. Only one entry per person please.
- All entries must include your name, address, email address, and phone number.
- Entries cannot have been previously published. We want new, fresh fiction.
- Digital entries only please. Submit to [email protected] by email with “Short Story Contest” in the subject line. Entries must be received by Monday, October 10, 2022.
- Payment may be made either by check or by credit card. To pay by credit card, call Lowcountry Weekly at (843) 522-0418. To pay by check, make checks out to “Lowcountry Weekly”, with “Short Story Contest” in the memo line. Mail to Lowcountry
Weekly, 106 West Short Street Extension, Beaufort SC 29902.
- Winners’ stories will be published in the October 27th issue of Lowcountry Weekly.
= = = =
PATRICIA ESCHEN PRIZE FOR POETRY
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2022. Poems can be on any subject that kindles your imagination, to a maximum line length of 40 lines for each poem. The competition is open to international entries and limited to one poem per individual. Poems must be written in the English language. First prize: £1000; second prize: £500; third prize: £300. Children’s competition: First prize: £150; second prize: £100:
third prize: £50).
GINOSKO LITERARY FLASH FICTION CONTEST
Deadline October 1, 2022. Limit 1,000 words. Prize $500. Theme: THE SACRED.
THE PERITO PRIZE
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 1, 2022. The Perito Prize is an international, annual, short fiction competition and prizes will be awarded to outstanding new short fiction of between 1,000 and up to 2,000 words. The Perito Prize, created by Perito and now curated by CIEDA, to get people thinking in different ways about inclusive environments, inclusion, diversity, accessibility and inclusive design. For some people, these themes conjure up thoughts
of wheelchairs, hearing aids, and guide dogs, but we see the simple concept that all people should be able to contribute, participate, engage and have access to the world we all live in. Issues with access to spaces, social exclusion, lack of opportunity and different experiences can happen to anyone - whether social, environmental, technological, physical, mobility impairment or injury, mental health, or less visible neuro-cognitive conditions. The £250 cash prize goes to the first place
but there will be special mentions and the option for various fun interviews, readings, with or without musical accompaniment, on the CIEDA website (wearecieda.org), social media for second and third places.
BLUE MESA SUMMER CONTEST
$15 ENTRY FEE. Deadline September 30, 2022. Each year Blue Mesa Review holds a writing contest in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Publication, $500 cash prize for the first place winner in each genre, $25 for runners up. Please submit a packet of up to three poems or up to 6,000 words of prose. You may submit in all three genres, as well as submit multiple works per genre.
THE PUBLISHING TRIANGLE
We present seven awards for the best books of the year. They are the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction; the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction; the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry; the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry; the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature; and, in conjunction our longtime partner the Ferro-Grumley Foundation, the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. Each of the winners receives $1,
000. In addition, we honor one LGBTQ author annually with the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement (a $3,000 prize) and we also present the Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award ($1,500). The Michele Karlsberg Leadership Award is given to a person or group that has done outstanding work on behalf of LGBTQ literature and letters. This award is specifically designed as not intended for writers; honorees have included editors, literary agents, booksellers, and archives. The winner receives
$500. A call for submissions, including guidelines, instructions, and links to the online submission system, is posted on our website early in the fall. If you have questions about the awards program, please email [email protected].
GRANTS / FELLOWSHIPS / CROWDFUNDING
NEAL PIERCE TRAVEL GRANT
Deadline October 15, 2022. Our travel grants of up to $1,500 enable journalists to travel to cities within the U.S. to produce one or more stories for publication. The awards, selected through a competitive review process, cover travel expenses necessary for on-the-ground reporting. We invite full-time freelancers as well as journalists currently employed by a news organization to apply. In 2022 the foundation anticipates awarding up to seven
travel grants. Reporters, writers, editors, and photographers working in print, online, radio, television and multimedia are eligible for travel grant awards if they have had stories published or aired in the previous three years.
THE SHIRLEY HOLDEN HELBERG GRANTS FOR THE MATURE WOMAN
Deadline September 30, 2023. The National League of American Pen Women, Inc. awards three grants of $1,000 each in art, letters, and music to women 35 years of age or older who are not now nor ever have been a member of NLAPW. Entry period is in early fall of every odd year. (NOTE the year 2023 - this is every other year.)
GO ON GIRL BOOK CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS
Each year, the GOG Scholarship Committee will grant at least two writing awards. One award is given to an Unpublished Writer and the other award is given to an Aspiring Writer who attends a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The first place award winner in each category will receive $1,000. For the Unpublished Writer Award: applicant must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, must have a strong connection to identify with the African Diaspora, must reside in the United States,
must be unpublished and must not be self-published. For the Aspiring Writer Award: applicant must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, must have a strong connection to identify with the African Diaspora, must be a full time student at a Historically Black College or University; and must have a grade point average of 2.5 or better.
SOCIETY OF AUTHORS GRANTS FUNDS - UK
Applications are open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects – including all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others – whose author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income. You do not have to be a member of the Society of Authors to apply.
FREELANCE MARKETS / JOBS
Have you been thinking about freelancing but don’t know where to start? Here’s the first step to strike out on your own.
My friend Dana Miranda at Healthy Rich is hosting a live, virtual class on Fri., Sep. 30, to show you how to make the transition to freelancing and design the life that’s just right
BONUS: Register for the class before Sep. 30, and you’ll also get free access to Dana’s course “Land Your
First Freelance Gig” AND be able to give free access to both courses to another aspiring freelancer!
= = =
Seeking pitch additions to our Food & Drink database. These are short articles of 350 to 650 words about a drink, dish, etc. that is unique to—or primarily found in a specific town or region. Each one should also include a Where to Try It location that you have visited. Please send your pitches to gastro-[email protected] and include the phrase "Foods database" in the subject line. For food entries we pay $275 or 50
cents per word (whichever is higher). We also offer additional compensation to writers who photograph the food or drink, and we can cover modest expenses for travel or trying the dish.
PIPER WRITERS STUDIO
The Piper Writers Studio (PWS) is seeking dynamic instructors to teach engaging creative writing courses for our literary community. We are looking for teaching artists/instructors of all levels and genres. Whether you’re new to teaching or a seasoned teaching artist with a long list of publications, we want to hear from you and create something lovely for our communities together. Teaching artists will be paid $100 per hour of instruction plus preparation time. Minimum pay
begins at $300 for a two-hour course. Direct questions to Joy Young, at [email protected].
DISPATCH reports on Arts & Culture from Minneapolis-St. Paul! We recently launched a fast-growing free print publication that comes out twice a month and is available at hundreds of locations. As the publication grows, DISPATCH is hiring freelance writers for paid writing work. There are opportunities for short event write-ups, smaller profiles, and feature-length pieces. To apply, contact us at [email protected] with your interest and
clips if you have any. Compensation: $100-$500 per write-up.
Deadline September 14, 2022. We’re looking for general solarpunk submissions in our fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction categories for our 2023 issues. Theme: Lunarpunk. Solarpunk Magazine publishes hopeful short stories and poetry that strive for a utopian ideal, that are set in futures where communities are optimistically struggling to solve or adapt to climate change, to create or maintain a world in which humanity, technology, and nature coexist in harmony
rather than in conflict. Our current rates are:
$.08 per word for fiction ($100 minimum), $40 per poem, $75 for for nonfiction.
MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS
Deadline September 30, 2022. Anthology: Crack in the Code: Cybernated Stories of Rebellion. Payment: eight cents per word. Science fiction and fantasy stories where the androids, robots, and/or cyborgs have been naughty, going off programming, cracking their internal code, etc. Give us dramatic stories, mischievous stories, stories that stun, but not offend us. This call is seeking unpublished short stories where the artificial lives become alive and share their stories.
Limit 7,500 words.
Deadline September 30, 2022. Seeking short fiction pieces on the theme of “home” (500-3,500 words) on the theme of HOME. Seeking storytellers who have experienced, or are experiencing, homelessness. While we will prioritize Canadian submissions, submissions are open to writers throughout the world. Seeking fiction only. Stories accepted for the collection will be paid eight cents CAD per word.
GOTHIC ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY
Deadline September 30, 2022. We're looking for gothic romances that are equal parts horror and romance. Short Stories 2,000 to 6,000 words. Pays eight cents/word.
UNSPEAKABLE HORROR 3 ANTHOLOGY
Deadline September 30, 2022. For this third volume of the award-winning Unspeakable Horror series, we are seeking original short stories up to 6,000 words that explore the idea of great terror growing from the LGBTQIA community’s great strides forward. We want your terrifying interpretations and extensions of this theme — not a literal reading. Pays ten cents per word upon acceptance for All Rights throughout the world and 12-month exclusivity from date of
Deadline September 22, 2022. Theme: Ocean. Payment is eight cents per word (US) for prose, $30 per page for poetry, art negotiable, minimum $25 per piece. Multiple submissions are discouraged, except for poetry, where we prefer three to five poems or ten pages, whichever is shorter, combined in a single document. Feel free to submit again after you hear back. Query for reprints. Length: 0 – 20,000 words (query for longer).
HEARST TELEVISION - COPY EDITOR
Hearst Television is seeking a copy editor for its centralized Digital News teams. Primary duties for the position include proofreading, editing, reviewing and publishing digital content across more than two dozen local Hearst TV stations’ websites and apps. The copy editor also will work with the Digital News teams to create accurate and engaging content. Location Pittsburgh, PA.
55 FATHOMS PUBLISHING
We are looking for submissions of book length works (40,000 to 120,000 words). Unpublished novels and nonfiction works only. We are only interested in those books written in the literary style; mainstream genre works are not a good match for us. We are particularly interested in books that are high-concept literary, as well as those that exist on the boundary between literary and speculative—books of profound imagination and exquisite writing.
RED ADEPT PUBLISHING
We are currently accepting only the following genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Chick-Lit, Mystery (General, Police, Cozy), and Thriller-Suspense. We do not accept erotica, non-fiction, short story collections, or poetry. We do not accept previously published works, including self-published works. We do not accept mid-series books, only first books in a series. Minimum length is 50,000 words. At this time, we are only accepting submissions from U.S. authors.
We are open to submissions from new and existing authors, and from agents – the submission process for everyone is the same. We are interested in contemporary novels and full-length collections of short stories by Welsh, Scottish, Irish or English authors. Novels and story collections should be no longer than 70,000 words. It will help if writers live in the British Isles to participate in publicity and promotion. We are happy to consider full-length poetry collections by Welsh,
Scottish, Irish or English poets of circa 64 pages.
All submissions to Schaffner Press must be in the English language and in the following categories:
Fiction: literary adult fiction, short fiction collection, historical with socially relevant content, crime fiction
Nonfiction–memoir, autobiography, biography.
Journalistic Expose or Narrative, True Crime, Art, Culture, pop culture, World History, current events,
science, arts and letters, US history, military history, music.
Please no Children’s or Young Adult fiction or nonfiction. No science fiction, romance, or fantasy. We will consider manuscripts between 60,000–100,000 words. Please query first to [email protected] before sending in material.
THREE ROOMS PRESS
Three Rooms Press publishes full-length (word counts of 65,000+) literary novels, young adult novels, and creative nonfiction. We are not accepting submissions for collections of poetry, short stories, or essays.
TINY FOX PRESS
we’re really, really, REALLY looking for the following with series potential: Fantasy — Fairytale Retellings, Arthurian, Gaslamp, Humorous, Urban; SciFi — Space Opera, Post Apoc, Humorous; and YA — Something fun, adventurous and with plenty of magic.
TORREY HOUSE PRESS
Torrey House Press publishes 8-10 books per year including literary fiction, full-length short story collections, essay collections, creative nonfiction including literary journalism, and the occasional anthology and memoir. We are interested in well-crafted work with environmental justice, natural history, or land stewardship themes, and writing that engages deeply with place. THP does not currently accept submissions for poetry or books for children. For fiction, short story collections,
and essay collections, please submit full manuscripts. For nonfiction, please submit a query first and a full proposal upon request.
We are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts in the following fiction genres: men's adventure, crime, historical, action-adventure, and westerns.
FUNDSFORWRITERS CONTACT INFO
Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact [email protected] for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.
C. Hope Clark
E-mail: [email protected]
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2022, C. Hope Clark
**Note that FundsforWriters.com places paid advertising in this newsletter, ALL ads being related to writers and the business of writing, screened by FundsforWriters to make sure the information is suitable for writers and their endeavors to improve their careers. But the mailing list is not sold to third parties. You will not receive this newsletter without your
permission. It's physically impossible since recipients must opt-in, giving us permission to send the newsletter. If at any time you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, click the UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of each newsletter. We want you to enjoy this newsletter at your pleasure, not be forced to read anything you do not wish to receive. The website is not advertised using unsolicited messages by Aweber, affiliates or other third parties. Direct any complaints, suggestions, and
accolades to Hope Clark at [email protected]. We are an anti-spam site.