VOLUME 23, ISSUE 37 | september 22, 2023
me if my characters were real to me. They are so real. I often catch myself thinking Callie would like this, or Slade would have a fit at that.
That's something Sophie would say, I think, overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop. Quinn wouldn't stand for that, I might think reading the news.
I once heard writers saying they felt their characters, and I scoffed. That was before I was a novelist. That was before I had readers who felt the same way.
A man calls the police at Edisto Beach for his daughter, and thinks, "Thank goodness, Callie's here." Someone else walks Edisto
Beach seeking El Marko's, the restaurant, to make dinner reservations. Yet another traipses the roads on rural Edisto Island, trying to find the barn where all hell brakes loose. And another drives up and down Jungle Road, seeking the house that best resembles Chelsea Morning.
That's what books do. Yes, stories become a serious part of our
(READ THIS NEWSLETTER ONLINE)
C. Hope Clark
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YOU HAD ME AT ROOM SERVICE!
APPLY FOR FUN, UNCONVENTIONAL WRITER’S RESIDENCY
What writer wouldn’t want
to attend the wildly popular Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop and spend two additional all-expenses-paid weeks at a hotel to write? Free room service. A housekeeping staff. An omelet bar. A TV remote of your own. The sun rising over the Great Miami River (aka, the Dayton Riviera).
And, most importantly, a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
Applications for A Hotel Room of One’s Own: The Erma Bombeck | Anna Lefler Humorist-in-Residence Program will be accepted Sept. 5-Oct. 5.
Improvisor Dion Flynn, best known as Barack Obama (and other characters) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and comedy writer Monica Piper, longtime head writer and producer for Rugrats, will choose the two grand prize winners. Preference will be given to emerging humor writers. The package is worth approximately $5,000, but the experience is priceless. Cash prizes for finalists and honorable
Read the announcement and FAQs. Then apply here for what Forbes says “may be the best writer’s residency in the country.”
Deadline: Oct. 5
YOUR REAL VOICE . . . AND AI
The world is grappling with adopting AI in all aspects of itself. We, of course, are concerned about it inflitrating our writing.
All over the web, we see writers bragging about using AI to write better. They are claiming that putting their ideas into a program, and accepting what comes out, even tweaked, is their property to submit and be proud about. That saddens me to my core. They did not struggle to improve their word choice or syntax or flow by reading great
works and practicing. They instead accept these "corrections" as their property, daring even so much as to think it can be copyrighted. That is plagiarism.
Literary journals and publishers are screaming about not accepting AI. Professional journals are turning down
work that is AI written. Amazon is attempting to make AI writers transparent to the public. The Authors Guild has filed a class action lawsuit against ChatGPT for using authors' fiction in feeding the AI machine
without compensating the authors. The courts are beginning to see that AI material cannot be copyrighted to the "author."
Unfortunately, Grammarly promotes AI, which means FFW no longer endorses it.
Generative AI to help you write, rewrite, ideate, or reply in seconds, plus suggestions to improve grammar, fluency, tone, and more.
However, there is one major talent you lose (or never
discover) when you utilize AI . . . your voice.
When using AI, you are using other people's voices to write your work. You do not take the time to struggle through bad manuscripts, stilted sentences, and questionable writing to hammer out better and better work that becomes branded with your own unique manner in putting words together. That's because you quit using a unique manner to do it.
Using AI takes the load off your brain, whether you are writing an entire
story or just trying to insert more flare into your plot via an outline. Many original writers write themselves into a corner and have to scramble their way out. This blood and sweat makes for better writing, and better yet, makes for a life-long lesson that sticks. When AI does the work for you, it isn't your brain that created it . . . so it isn't retained.
But it's a tool, so many say. No different than a thesaurus. That's someone assuaging themselves, or attempting to justify
Are there good uses for AI? Of course, just not in creative writing, in my humble opinion.
(NOTE: Here lately, we've been inundated with submissions. Some incredibly ignorant submitters use AI for their article but then write their own pitch/query/letter of introduction. The voices are insanely different. They are instantly rejected, despite the loud protests. Such rejections will continue in considering submissions for FundsforWriters articles.)
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book of the month and 3-7 items associated with the key concepts (journaling, fitness, relaxation, nutrition, and creative play) of Writer Wellness, my flagship program and book (Headline Books, Inc. 2020.)
Each box is inspired by literary themes, genres, and holidays. Every month includes access to My WRITEDAY digital magazine filled with writing and publishing tips, writer wellness ideas, fiction excerpts, poetry, special offers, social media options such as live virtual meetings, and more.
The idea behind My WRITEDAY is to help writers spend more time creating stories, engaging with like-minded book friends, and enjoying the juicy, creative life you deserve. From craft books to office supplies to fun, writing/reading inspired décor, subscribers will discover an experience designed to offer a healthful plan for living your best writing life.
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- October 2, 2023 - Night Harbor Book Club, Night Harbor S/D Rec Center, Chapin, SC - 7-9 PM (Hope will be moderating this night - book is One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood)
- October 5, 2023 - Richland County Cooper Library, 5317 N. Trenholm Rd, Columbia, SC - 6:30-9 PM - open to the public
- October 12, 2023 - Calhoun County Library, St. Matthews, SC - 5-7 PM - open to the public
- October 26, 2023 - Podcast - Everyone Has a Story: True Tales from Everyday Life - guest C. Hope Clark
- December 9, 2023 - Triangle Sisters in Crime Zoom - Gary W. Clark, Sr talks about crime solving and Hope's books - 1:30-2:30
- June 1-8, 2024 - The Gutsy Great Novelist Retreat,
Bar Harbor, Maine - writer-in-residence
Email: [email protected] to schedule events, online or otherwise.
There's starting to be life out there!
The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.
Hi C. Hope,
My debut novel BALLROOM was published by Harper when I was 72 and my second book THE WINTHROP AGREEMENT(Harper) will be in bookstores in November —and at 82, I'm hard at work on my third book
<<If you have a success story you believe was prompted by FundsforWriters, please share with us! Send to [email protected] >>
The Work-Write Balance
By Leslie Carlin
Writers make a living in different ways. I am lucky enough (and struggled hard enough) to have a job that includes writing: an anthropologist who works in academic research. And yet I found myself wanting to write more and differently, to be creative, to produce fiction and creative nonfiction in addition to peer-reviewed manuscripts describing research results or grant proposals to fund further research.
The difficulty for me has been ensuring
that I have both time and mental energy left over from the paid work to give to my creative endeavors. I think of it as establishing—and maintaining—a 'work-write' balance. Academia can be all-consuming, but whatever the day job, many of us are guilty of overworking. When it comes time to clock off, but the project deadline is at the end of the week, walking away may simply not be a responsible option.
But what if you face a writing deadline as well as a work one, perhaps for a contest
entry or a journal's reading period? Maybe you made a commitment to yourself to finish a first draft of a chapter or a short story by midnight tonight. How, as writers-with-jobs, can we ensure that writing keeps its rightful (or writeful) hold on our time?
I have developed three main strategies.
1) Blend rigidity with flexibility. I keep a schedule, but a malleable one. Writing comes first in the day. Before I check my work email, before I return to whatever it was
that felt so pressing yesterday as I left the office, I look at what I was writing, and I add something. It may not be much, but I add something. Those 'somethings' pile up, and whatever the day throws at me, I have at least touched my current creative writing project.
2) Have a 'focused four'. I adapted this strategy from Karma Brown's book The 4% Solution*. Brown, a novelist, notes that one hour constitutes 4% of a day; by devoting that single hour every day to writing,
you can write a book in a year. Brown also advocates choosing four things that you will get done today, and noting them down. My writer-with-a-job version requires that at least one of the four items be writing-related. It might be simple (e.g. post a new blog entry), or more nebulous, such as "decide on point of view for novel."
3) Bank time at work or at home when possible. I throw more hours into my job or into household tasks when there is a lull in writing.
Then if a writing deadline looms or if I have a creative spurt, I know I can 'borrow' time back either at work (if the structure permits) or from the domestic front (if that structure permits). Caveat: I try not to get too deeply into 'debt' on either side of the balance equation.
Things change over time. The patterns that existed for me ten years ago are no longer relevant, and I have had to find other ways to maintain my work-write balance. My writing output is not vast, but it is
consistent. After penning and publishing a number of short stories, I have recently completed a novel, and I am many pages into a creative nonfiction project. My creative itch is getting scratched.
And I still have my job.
*Brown, Karma. The 4% Fix: How One Hour Can Change Your Life. HarperCollins Publishers. 2020.
BIO - Leslie Carlin is an anthropologist as well as a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published in
newspapers and literary journals including the Baltimore Review, Reed Magazine, the Ocotillo Review, and the Toronto Star. Leslie maintains a blog called Travails of a Transatlantic Transplant in which she writes about being an American from California who moved to Canada from England. Learn more about Leslie's creative writing at www.LeslieCarlin.com and about her academic work at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Leslie-Carlin.
SOCIETY OF CLASSICAL POETS POETRY COMPETITION
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline December 31, 2023. First Prize: $2,000. Publication on the Society’s website and Journal. One to three poems on any topic. Altogether, the poems should total 108 lines or less. Poems must contain meter (beginners and students may simply count syllables). Rhyme and other traditional
techniques are encouraged as well, but not required. High school prize $200.
THE MASTERS REVIEW CHAPBOOK CONTEST
$25 ENTRY FEE. Deadline
December 17, 2023. The winner receives a $3,000 cash prize, along with manuscript publication and 75 contributor copies. Our chapbooks are distributed internationally and are available through Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. All submissions must be single-author prose manuscripts of 25 to 45 pages. We are not interested in poetry.
GREGORY O'DONOGHUE INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION
ENTRY FEE €7 per poem or €30 for a batch of five. Deadline November 30, 2023. The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast poems in the English language of 40
lines or fewer. The poem can be on any subject, in any style, by a writer of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. First prize €2,000, featured reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival (with four-night hotel stay and full board), featured on the Southword Poetry Podcast, and publication in Southword. Second prize €500, publication in Southword. Third prize €250, publication in Southword. Ten runners-up €50 and publication in Southword.
NOVEL OPENING & SYNOPSIS COMPETITION
£10 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 31, 2023. First: £500. Runner up: £200. We welcome published, self-published and unpublished novelists. The only
stipulation is that the entry must be unpublished. We are looking for a novel opening up to 3,000 words, plus a synopsis of the story (max 750 words) to be submitted together in a single file.
THE CHANGES PRIZE FOR POETRY
NO ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 1, 2023. The Changes Book Prize awards $10,000 and publication for a first or second collection of poems. In addition to the cash prize, winners receive a fairer-than-standard publishing contract, national distribution, extensive advertising and publicity, and a NYC launch event for their book. The Changes Book Prize is open to residents of the
United States who have not published (or committed to publishing) more than one book-length collection of poetry with a registered ISBN. Manuscripts must be a minimum of 48 numbered pages and a maximum of 80 numbered pages in length, including the title page and table of contents.
NEILMA SIDNEY SHORT STORY PRIZE
$12 or $20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 20, 2023. This prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3,000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all
writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career. The winning story will receive a AU$5000 first prize and be published in Overland. Two runners-up will each receive AU$750 and be published at Overland online.
WRITER'S DIGEST POETRY AWARD
$20 ENTRY FEE. Deadline October 2, 2023. We’re on the lookout for poems of all styles–rhyming, free verse, haiku, and more. Enter any poem 32 lines or fewer for your chance to win $1,000 in cash and publication in Writer's Digest. Second prize $250. Third
prize $100. Fourth through tenth prizes $100 in products from Writer's Digest's Shop.
COLORADO PRIZE FOR POETRY
$28 ENTRY FEE. Deadline January 14, 2024. Each year’s prizewinner receives a $2,500 honorarium and publication of his or her book by the Center for Literary Publishing. Manuscripts must be at least 48 pages and no more than 100 pages. They may be composed of any number of poems. Open internationally.
CAFE WRITERS POETRY
£4 ENTRY FEE. Deadline November 30, 2023. First prize £1000, second prize £300, third prize £200. Five Commended Prizes of £50. Norfolk Prize £100 for the best poem from a permanent Norfolk resident not winning another prize.
We are offering the free entry of one poem to any UK resident with a household income of less than £16,000. The maximum length for each poem is 40 lines excluding the title. Open internationally.
GRANTS / FELLOWSHIP / CROWDFUNDING
ADINA TALVE-GOODMAN FELLOWSHIP
Deadline: October 11, 2023. One Story awards one writer the Adina Talve-Goodman
Fellowship each year in honor of the memory of author and former One Story managing editor Adina Talve-Goodman. The educational fellowship offers a year-long mentorship on the craft of fiction writing with One Story magazine. Fellows receive a $2,000 stipend, access to One Story online classes, admission to One Story’s Writing Circle, and free admission to One Story’s week-long summer writers’ conference, which includes craft lectures, an intensive fiction workshop, and panels with literary
agents and publishers. Additionally, fellows receive a full manuscript review and consultation with One Story executive editor Hannah Tinti (story collection or novel in progress up to 150 pages/35,000 words).
WORKING CLASS WRITER'S GRANT
Deadline September 30, 2023. Award: $1000. The Working Class Writers Grant is awarded annually to assist working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to financial barriers.
THE GULLIVER TRAVEL GRANT
Deadline November 30, 2023. Award: $1000. Awarded annually to assist writers of speculative literature in their non-academic research. These funds are used
to cover airfare, lodging, and other travel expenses. Travel may be domestic or international. You may apply for travel to take place at any point in the following year. This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature.
A.C. BOSE GRANT
Deadline January 31, 2024. The A.C. Bose Grant annually provides $1,000 to South Asian or Desi diaspora writers developing speculative fiction. Work that is accessible to older children and teens will be given preference in the jury process. This grant, as with all SLF grants,
is intended to help writers working with speculative literature.
JOHN LEWIS WRITING GRANTS - GEORGIA
October 1, 2023. The John Lewis Writing Grants will be awarded annually in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The purpose of the grants is to elevate, encourage, and inspire the voices of Black writers in Georgia. Inspired by the late civil rights icon and his more than three decades of service as Georgia’s 5th District representative. A grant of $500 to present a workshop or reading at a selected Georgia venue, and a scholarship to the next annual Red Clay
Writers Conference. Applicants are ineligible if they have published more than one traditionally published book. Writers may apply in only one genre.
GEORGIA WRITERS REGISTRY
Once selected, you get the lucrative opportunity to be contacted by one of GWA’s local venues for a chance to host an event, workshop, or reading of
your process and/or the work you’ve completed during your writing process. The quality of an applicant’s credentials will be evaluated by a peer review panel based on a writing sample and the listed criteria. Literary Event Grants of Georgia (LEGG) supports the writers’ fees for literary events in underserved communities across the state. Literary events include readings, workshops, presentations, and performances. They provide grants of $50-$250 for a literary event.
The Mill is looking to commission stories from talented writers and reporters in Greater Manchester
and across the North. We are on the hunt for great journalists who want to contribute stories regularly, whether that’s every few weeks or every few months, but also people who have one sensational idea to contribute. Please read the online guide before getting in touch. A lot of our stories will be news features ranging from 700 words to 1400 words. We will agree a fee with you when we commission a story, and there’s lots of variation depending on what the piece involves. A typical fee for our
commissions is £150, but we’ve paid a wide range of fees depending on the work that goes into the story and the experience of the writer.
makes money transparency happen through first-person stories. Our readers are millennials and gen Z citizens - inheritors of a world in which forever-renting and hustling are the norm. We want to make this reality less of an ordeal (and less lonely) by sharing stories about how we spend, save, earn, and live. A Junei story is between 800-1,000 words. We offer a competitive compensation of £120 per piece, with additional details to be mutually agreed upon during the commissioning
Our magazine is divided into four sections: ‘Facts’, ‘Features’, ‘Fiction’, and ‘Etc’. The sections are fairly amorphous – what begins as a
Facts piece can often snowball into a Feature; an Etc. piece can often drift to the front of the book when we want to lighten the tone of things – but they’re handy to keep in mind when pitching. Rates depend on a number of factors: section suitability, length, amount of work involved. The Fence is a quarterly print magazine based in Soho, but focused on life in UK and Ireland. We offer a mix of investigations, short stories and cultural essays, all thread with a humourous and playful
RAW DOG SCREAMING PRESS
Deadline October 15, 2023. We are looking for original short stories of weird fiction and cosmic horror that coil up inside us
and leave us begging (and fearing) for more. Any genre is fair game so long as it has a twisted knot of horror for a heart. Word count 2,000-4,000. Pays eight cents/word.
CHICKEN SOUP - HOLIDAY TITLES
Deadline April 30, 2024. Please submit your true stories and poems about the entire December holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Year’s festivities too. Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are written in the first person and have a beginning, middle and an end. The stories often close with a punch,
creating emotion, rather than simply talking about it. Pays $250 and ten copies for 1,200 words.
We only publish stories that are closely tied to people and issues in Berkeley. We don’t publish stories on regional, state, or national issues that aren’t rooted in our city. We pay $100 for briefs that take less than half a day of reporting and writing. We pay $250 for arts and food reviews, for articles covering a single meeting or event, for roundups
under 1,200 words, and for stories that take about a day or so of reporting and writing. We pay at least $350 for complex features that involve difficult sourcing, document analysis or significant reporter initiative, and for stories taking about two to three days of reporting and writing. We pay $500 or more for in-depth enterprise and investigative reports that take longer to produce.
TRUSTED MEDIA BRANDS - FREELANCE WRITERS
TMB (Trusted Media Brands) is the world's leading community-driven entertainment company. Our portfolio of leading brands includes FailArmy, Family Handyman, People Are Awesome,
Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, The Healthy, The Pet Collective, and Birds and Blooms. We have offices in New York, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, London, and New Delhi. We welcome you to work in any of our offices, but you also have the opportunity to work from home. Seeking freelance writers with strong comedy skills to write scripts for various clip, fail, sports, and pet related shows. Shows consist of half hour episodes driven by VO or on-camera talent and are mostly clip-based. Pays $1,200 per
FACTOR FOUR MAGAZINE
We publish flash fiction in the genres of speculative fiction, specifically science fiction, fantasy, supernatural,
super hero, or any combination of these. We accept stories up to 1,000 words. Fiction is paid at a rate of eleven (11) U.S. cents per word.
Any genre or between-genre work of literature, or visual art (black and white for interiors, colour for covers) up to 50 pages in length. Short stories, novellas, poetry, comics, illustrations — bring it on. We do not publish non-fiction, memoir, or young adult and children’s stories. Aside from that, we want anything entertaining and well written. We pay $0.05 –
$0.08 per word for short stories (to 5000 words), $0.03 – $0.06 per word between 5000 and 10000 words, and $0.02 – $0.04 per word for works over 10000 words. Poetry and interior illustrations pay between $25 – $50. Sequential art (graphic novels and cartoons) and illustrations are at a rate of $25 to $75 per page.
THOMPSON LITERARY AGENCY
We do not accept submissions for poetry collections or screenplays (with the exception of poetry collections written
by an author with an established publishing track or platform). Screenplay submissions will not receive a response. Please also note that we only consider picture books by established illustrators or authors, with a proven publishing track or platform. Several agents available. Please read their bios to determine which is interested in your genre.
JANKLOW AND NESBIT
Janklow & Nesbit Associates is a premier literary agency dedicated to the interests of our writer clients in all aspects of their careers. We offer the care and personal attention of a boutique agency and the strength
and expertise of a large firm. Considers fiction, nonfiction, children's, picture books, and even graphic novels. Please direct your submission to an individual agent and send your material to [email protected].
MEL PARKER BOOKS
Represents nonfiction authors in categories such as narrative nonfiction, memoir/biography, business, health, science, technology, history and politics. Looks to represent authors who are thought leaders in business, journalism, government, and academia, and who have a unique and newsworthy book idea.
CAROL MANN AGENCY
For fiction, send a query letter including a brief bio, and the first 25 pages of your manuscript. For nonfiction, send a query letter
including a brief bio, a synopsis/proposal and the first 25 pages of your manuscript. Represents all styles and genres.
Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact [email protected] for permission.
Do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish out of ours.
C. Hope Clark
E-mail: [email protected]
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4
Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2023, C. Hope Clark
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