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LAST NOTE OF THE YEAR
Oh my gosh, 2014 flew by. The fastest year in my life! I know it's busy for everyone right now, but once the relatives leave and the leftovers are put away, when the gift wrap is in the trash and the base of the tree is naked, we take a breath.
That's when we think about what we've accomplished in 2013.
It's not a time to be sad. It's not a time to beat yourself up over falling short of whatever you decided last year to fulfill in 2013. It's simply a time to take stock of where you are in your career . . . and where you'd like to be seated in this spot, at this same time, a year from now.
I prefer to look at it that way. I want to envision myself curled up reminiscing, happy about my completed tasks. If I piled all that on my plate on January 1, the pressure would be stupendous. So, rather than listing what I will do, I list what I will have done, feeling the satisfaction.
Yeah, it's rationalizing, but whatever works is what's important. For instance, I'm seated here now marveling at how I wrote and released THE SHY WRITER REBORN, edited and released TIDEWATER MURDER, edited PALMETTO POISON, and wrote the first draft of EDISTO DIAMOND.
If I'd entered 2014 thinking about four books, I'd have been paralyzed into inactivity. So I focused on the first quarter. Then the second quarter, third, and so on.
We are capable of so much, but if our projected tasks overwhelm us just thinking about them, we doom ourselves to failure. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Try setting four goals. One for each quarter of the year. In each of those quarters, become almost fanatical about your focus on the assigned goal. The liberation of only one goal is pretty strong. This was the first year I functioned in this manner, and goodness gracious, it worked.
Forget the grandiose list of two dozen items. Forget the ambiguous or open-ended goals like "writing more each day" or "submit more to magazines" or "enter more contests." Give those goals definitive measurements. Give them a time line. Mark your calendar to followup at least monthly.
And note the current quarter's goal over your computer, on your fridge, or in your smartphone. Don't decide "I'm going to become a writer in 2014." Instead, try "I'm going to write the first draft to my novel by June 1, 2014." Make your goals tangible.
Then when you're seated around that naked Christmas tree next year, the holiday goodies eaten, the eggnog gone, you can reflect on your writer's life in 2014 . . . and be glad.
Happy New Year!
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WORDS OF SUCCESS
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
- Max Planck -
THE SHY WRITER
Introversion may seem like a major obstacle to building a successful writing career, but this wonderful “covers-all-the-bases” book handily debunks the notion. ~Peter Bowerman, Author “The Well-Fed Writer” series
Hope has solutions in The Shy Writer Reborn that let you make the most of who you are instead of asking you to change your personality. ~Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer
The Carolina Slade Mystery Series
On Tidewater Murder: Terrific. Smart, knowing, clever…and completely original. A taut, high-tension page-turned—in a unique and fascinating setting. An absolute winner! ~Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity winning author
On Lowcountry Bribe: With a story that moves so fast you are sure to get a case of literary whiplash, LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE is almost impossible to put down. Written with grace and ferocity, I for one can hardly wait for a second helping of this unpredictably un-pretentious and hard-scrabble down-home gal. ~Rachel Gladstone, Dish
Purchase any of Hope's books and receive a one-year subscription to TOTAL FFW free. Send receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to submit this testimonial, and to thank you for your great work!
I have enjoyed receiving your newsletter during the process of writing my first book. Your helpful advice and straight-forward tips kept me focused, and I have especially appreciated the realism of your message - that writing a book and getting it published takes persistence and determination. I am happy to report that my book 7 Lenses is out, and is beginning to gain attention in the national media. Thank you for being such an inspiration to writers!
Linda Fisher Thornton
Leading in Context LLC
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership
By Abra Staffin-Wiebe
This article is based on a discussion with Roger L. Belfay (http://www.rogerbelfay.com/), an intellectual property lawyer, and on information available at the Copyright Office's website (http://www.copyright.gov). This article shouldn't take the place of legal advice. Hopefully, it will help you know if and when to seek legal advice from a good lawyer specializing in intellectual
property and copyright law.
What is copyright?
Copyright is a legal way to claim a work as your own so that you can sue for damages if others try to use it without your permission. Copyright protects both published and unpublished works, and these works are protected from the minute that they are "permanently fixed in a tangible medium." That tangible medium can include a handwritten notebook, a typed-up document, a photograph, or even a document that has simply been saved on your computer's hard drive.
You do not need to register your copyright to have copyright protection, but you do have to register your copyright in order to sue for damages. Also, you can only sue for damages from infringement that occurred after you registered your copyright. You can register copyright at any time and pursue damages from that point forward, although there is a limit on how long you can wait
to collect damages after you are aware your property is being infringed upon.
Plagiarism and copyright infringement are not the same. Copyright infringement is making copies or derivative works of something you created. Plagiarism is somebody claiming your work as their own. As soon as somebody gives credit to you, it becomes copyright infringement and not plagiarism.
Merger Doctrine: When a concept can be expressed in only a limited number of ways, there can be no copyright protection for any version of it. For example, recipes. Recipes cannot be copyrighted, although collections of them can.
When should you register copyright?
One of the most common questions beginning writers have is, "How can I protect my idea and make sure that agents and publishers won't steal it if I send it to them?" (Answer: You can't. An idea is not copyrightable. It's the specific execution of that idea that matters.)
It is extremely unlikely that your work will be stolen by professionals. These people are by and large honest individuals with lots of their own ideas that they want to spend time with. If you're worried about scam artists, that's a different issue, and I recommend always checking Preditors and Editors and Writer Beware to make sure you're dealing with legit people.
When you're a beginner, it's probably not worth that $35 filing fee to register copyright on your unpublished work. Once it's been published, it may be worth it. It's usually done automatically at publishing time for novels, but short stories are a whole different kettle of fish. Because copyright publication is retroactive to the date of publication for up to 90 days, one approach is to collect all your work together for each 90-day period and register it as a catalog or compendium, which
will individually protect every item for a single registration fee.
As an author, when you sign a book publication deal, make sure that the contract specifies that the publisher must preserve and enforce copyright against infringers. Otherwise, that will be your responsibility and nobody else's.
Note also that even if you choose to copyright your work, putting, "Copyrighted 2010 by Brilliant Author," on your manuscript will make you look like an amateur. It may be seen as implying that the person you're sending your story to is a cheat and a thief. Also, according to the copyright office, "While use of a copyright notice was once required as a condition of copyright protection, it is now optional." If you do have to sue for damages, though, it makes it easier to prove willful
violation of copyright.
Abra Staffin-Wiebe lives in Minneapolis, where she folds time and space to be a fiction writer, freelance photographer, part-time work-from-home employee, and full-time mother. She also maintains Aswiebe's Market List, a resource for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. To read her stories from Baen's Universe, Allegory, and many others, go to her website at http://www.aswiebe.com . For her ongoing post-apocalyptic steampunk
serial, start at http://www.circusofbrassandbone.com .
RANDALL JARRELL POETRY COMPETITION
ENTRY FEE $10-$20.
Accepts one-poem submissions. The contest awards the winner $200, publication in storySouth, and an invitation to read his/her poetry at UNC Greensboro’s Founders Day activities. The
competition is open to any writer who is a legal resident of North Carolina or a member of the North Carolina Writers’ Network. Submissions should be one poem only (40-line limit).
GREG GRUMMER POETRY AWARD
ENTRY FEE $17.
Up to 4 poems per submission, totaling no more than 10 pages. Prizes $1,000 and publication. Deadline February 1, 2014.
DAVID BURLAND POETRY PRIZE
ENTRY FEE £8, £4 – each additional poem.
Entries accepted from writers of any nationality writing in either French or English. Winning Entries in both French and English will receive £500, and a copy of the recording. Deadline May 31, 2014.
ENTRY FEE $25.
Hidden River Publishing announces the third Eludia Award, for a first book-length unpublished novel or collection of stories. The prize is open to women writers age 40 and older, who do not yet have a book-length publication of fiction. Book length publications in other genres are
fine. Self-publishing IS publishing, and will disqualify the fiction manuscript. The winning manuscript will be published on our imprint, Sowilo Press, and will receive $1,000 plus ten copies of the book. Deadline for all manuscript submissions is March 30, 2014. Winner will be announced October 8, 2014. This competition is open to international submissions for all writers in English, and we encourage submissions from our international community of women writers.
LITERAL LITERARY POSTCARD STORY
ENTRY FEE $20.
Send us a story and a postcard—the relationship can be as strong or as tangential as you like, so long as there is a clear connection between the story and the image. If you’re not sure where to look for a postcard, you can make your own or visit Wikimedia Commons. The story can be fiction or
non-fiction; maximum length is 500 words. First Prize: $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $150. All winning entries will be published in Geist and on geist.com. Honorable Mentions: Swell Geist gifts and publication on geist.com.
DAVID T. K. WONG FELLOWSHIP
ENTRY FEE $16.
Deadline January 13, 2014. A one-year residential fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, which includes a £26,000 (approximately $42,133) stipend, is given annually to a fiction writer for a work that “deals seriously with some aspect of life in the Far East.” Submit up to 2,500 words of fiction with a £10
(approximately $16) entry fee by January 13, 2014.
HAMBIDGE CREATIVE RESIDENCY PROGRAM
Apply from December 1 through January 15 for the May through August residency period. Apply from March 1 through April 15 for the September through December residency period. Apply from August 1 through September 15 for the mid-February through April residency period. Hambidge is closed from mid-December to mid-February. All
new applicants will automatically be considered for the NEA Fellowship which provides a $700 stipend and waives the $400 residency fee for two week residencies. This is offered to the nine top scoring candidates. $30 application fee. Location Rabun Gap, GA.
THE HORNED DORSET COLONY
Emerging and professional artists working in the fields of writing, musical composition, visual arts and interdisciplinary arts will be eligible to apply for a four-week residency in the rural town of Leonardsville, located in central New York State. Deadline February 21, 2014.
ARTS CONNECT PROGRAM GRANTS
Guidelines are now available for the Foundation's ArtsCONNECT program, which supports performing arts tours across the mid-Atlantic region developed by presenter consortia that include both public performances and community engagement activities.
The application deadline for the 2014-2015 program is Friday, March 14, 2014. The Foundation will conduct three webinars on the program and application process, and also provide an online Projects in Development listing to help connect presenters interested in participating in a consortium.
MADELEINE P. PLONSKER PRIZE
We invite applications for a writer under forty years old, with no major book publication, to spend two months (February-March or March-April) in residence at Lake Forest College. Cross-genre works are always welcome.
2015 residency, deadline March 1, 2014: poetry
2016 residency, deadline March 1, 2015: prose
We will only consider the first 200 submissions. The submission link will not accept submissions until January 1 of each new year. Send, in one file, WITHOUT your name, contact information, or other identifying marks: A one-page statement of plans for completion, and no more than 30 pages of manuscript in progress.
Little India is seeking full time, part time and freelance writers to write articles and features on overseas Indians worldwide and stories of interest to this community. Reporters with extensive publishing experience interested in full/part time opportunities should send their resumes to email@example.com . Features and essays typically range
from 500 to 3,500 words. Columns and commentaries run from 800 to 1,500 words. The compensation for articles depends on treatment and length, ranging from $50 to $700 for articles that are published in the print edition. Typically, we pay between 6-12 cents a word.
Pays up to $800 for features of 1,500 to 1,800. Informational, how-to, profiles, outdoor activities, Scouting programs, leadership, volunteering, nature, and community service are topics sought. Scouting is a publication for the adult leaders in the Boys Scouts.
Sew News magazine is a monthly publication devoted to the enthusiastic and creative people who want to sew. We provide them with accurate, helpful, step-by-step information for personalizing ready-to-wear and creating original fashions, accessories, gifts and home décor that express a personal style. Pays $50 to $500. New writers generally
start at $50 to $150 depending on length and complexity of the article.
THE SOUTHERN REVIEW
We consider fiction, poetry, and essays, including creative nonfiction and literary essays. We accept unsolicited fiction and nonfiction postmarked September 1 through December 1. We accept unsolicited poetry postmarked September 1 through February 1. The Southern Review pays $25 per printed page with a maximum payment of $200 for prose and
$125 for poetry, plus two copies of the issue in which the work appears and a one-year subscription to The Southern Review.
Sports Spectrum magazine seeks to highlight Christian athletes of all sports and levels to help motivate, encourage and inspire people in their faith through the exciting and challenging world of sports. These articles generally run from 1,500 to 2,000 words plus one or two sidebars, which run generally 150 words. Pays
twenty cents/word. Fifty percent kill fee.
Location Washington DC
The job involves making analytical and technical reports clear and accessible to a broad audience-including Members of Congress, Congressional staff, researchers, and other members of the public. The work entails substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading, as well as sometimes reorganizing
drafts, rewriting sections, and providing writing assistance. Deadline February 28, 2014.
Soho Teen publishes a select list of YA mysteries and thrillers by international bestsellers, award winners, and debut novelists with stellar credits. Born of the conviction that compelling YA of any genre involves thrill and mystery, Soho Teen’s titles include the paranormal and dystopian, the humorous and realistic, the tragic and uplifting—whatever serves a
great story best. Soho Teen’s small list is unique in that every title has a high-stakes, page-turning puzzle at its heart.
FICTION ATTIC PRESS
Short Story Collection: Submit a table of contents and the first two stories in the collection. If we are interested, we will request more. Please do not submit entire manuscripts. Payment: $250 advance against royalties. Also accepting novellas. Same $25o advance if chosen.
Novella, Flash or Short Fiction Collection: 15,000-40,000 words. Mixed Genre or Poetry Collection: 60-120 pages. Artwork: We may be looking for cover art for our titles. Interested artists, please
be in touch. For fiction, we are partial to surrealist dreamscapes. Realist fiction is welcome if it’s dark and quirky. For poetry, we lean toward the lyrical,
eccentric, ambivalent and wildly imaginative. For mixed genre work, your manuscript may be a novella of poetic fictions, a mix of flash fiction/prose and poetry that harmonize, or whatever you have to surprise us. We offer industry standard royalties and author’s copies.
Köehler Books is the fiction imprint of Morgan James Publishing, and is a traditional book publisher. All of our authors receive advances and a percentage of royalties.
Istoria Books is now open for author submissions. We are a boutique looking for good fiction, and we're open to unpublished as well as published authors, agented or unagented. Authors whose print rights have reverted to them and who are looking for an ePress to handle the challenges of selling in the digital book world will find a welcoming home in Istoria. We only publish
fiction - no nonfiction at the present time - in the following categories: literary/upmarket, historical, romance (but not erotica), women's fiction, inspirational, mystery/thriller, sci-fi/fantasy, young
adult, short stories.
Call for Entries: Poets & Writers!
Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest.
Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages maximum length on any theme, single or double-line spacing, neatly hand printed or legibly typed.
Writing First Prize: $500, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $100
Poetry First Prize: $250, 2nd: $125; 3rd: $50.
Entry fees: $5 per poem, $10 per story.
Postmark deadline: January 16, 2014
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter.
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CELEBRATE THE END OF 2013 AND THE BEGINNING OF 2014 DURING MANA’s PRE-NEW YEAR’S EVE DAYS WRITER’S SALE!
Are you really serious about wanting to become published in 2014? Take advantage of MANA’s special offers during December 26 to December 30! Just listen to the most recent podcast, Notables for New Authors, on the MANA Blog <http://manasunriser.blogspot.com>.
Make your own fireworks! Plan to burst into 2014 as a published author! The Staff of MarketingNewAuthors.com wishes you a joyous close to 2013 and a spectacular opening to 2014!
FINE SILVER NEEDS POLISHING, AND SO DO FINE MANUSCRIPTS
Regina Williams, award winning founder and editor of The Storyteller Magazine and Mocking Bird Lane Press, looks forward to polishing your manuscripts for $3.00 a page. A novelist, and guest speaker at numerous writing conferences, she’ll use her red pencil to make your work all that it should be.
Please call her at 879-647-2137 or e-mail her at email@example.com
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The Book Don helps you bring out your perfect book, whether that means content editing, line editing, brainstorming, or simply providing feedback and encouragement. Other services include query letters, book proposals, agent database searches, and research assistance.
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