FundsforWriters - June 26, 2015 - Oh How We Have Strayed

Published: Fri, 06/26/15

FundsForWriters: Tips and Tools for serious writers to advance their careers!
  Volume 15, Issue 26, JUNE 26, 2015  
  Message from the Editor

From the middle of my garden, picture taken before I hit the road to a few conferences, hello from South Carolina. We've already been eating cukes, tomatoes, raspberries, blackberries, beets and peppers. The spinach is long gone. The peas and beans will start coming in while I'm on the road, and my fingers are crossed that they delay just a little bit until I can put my hands on them. They are my favorite part of a garden. Today I'm speaking in Davenport, Iowa, and hopefully some of you are there.

Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
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Do you read Brain Pickings? It's one of my favorite websites that is so damn smart. It digs deep and touches all the right topics to make me slow down, read, and rethink who and what I am. This one made me cry:
From Dream to Nightmare: John Steinbeck on the Perils of Publicity and the Dark Side of Success
Here is a genius author doubting himself because he became successful. He found fame with Of Mice and Men (which I'm rereading now) and suddenly found himself wanted by the world, and as like he painfully stated,
"People I liked have changed. Thinking there is money, they want it. And even if they don’t want anything, they watch me and they aren’t natural any more… I’m tired of the struggle against all the forces that this miserable success has brought against me. I don’t know whether I could write a decent book now. That is the greatest fear of all. I’m working at it but I can’t tell. Something is poisoned in me."
Half the people reading this will roll their eyes and whisper "I wish" about the fame and money. The grand majority of writers today are writing to make a buck. However, the best writing isn't for a dollar, but for the contribution of a gift to mankind. A story that puts the reader in the midst of things, steals him from reality, then leaves him wanting more. Maybe he learns a lesson, finds empathy, better understands his own journey. Maybe he has a better day.
When you make money, people either despise you for being a success, or want a piece of your success, with few standing in between. When you are an author, and you find some modicum of success, how do you indeed judge your talent from that point forward? Does success impact your inner editor? Does it make you assume your talent will come through naturally? Do you quit trying as hard? Does an increase in fans make you try less?
I've harped on this before. Too many writers these days want to write for money, want to publish quickly, and don't take the time to hone their skills. They publish quickly for self-gratification. Why do I assume it's for self? Because if it were for the reader, they'd fear a huge uncertainty of whether it's worthy. They'd obsess over its perfection. They would fear insulting the reader, or robbing him of his time and money invested in the book.Instead, today's energies are directed at how many copies can be sold in a short period of time.
Yes, I publish FundsforWriters, a resource to help writers find income for their work. But in no way, shape, or form do I suggest writing fast or settling for less than our personal best. Slopping words on a page for a dollar, not caring about the legacy of it, makes me just damn sad.
Today it's so hard to sell a book. Too many people are writing them, and the number of readers has not increased. Out of the hundreds of thousands of books published each year, a person can only read one, two or three dozen a year. The number of writers increases constantly. The number of readers doesn't. Also, readers don't read faster because writers publish faster. I know it's hard.
So take the time to write what's important. Look away from the commercialism of publishing for a moment to get your bearings. If money drives you as an author, I probably don't want to read your work, and I especially don't want to hear about how hard it was to write it. Neither do other readers.
As a reader, I want to delve into what drove your soul into the words of your story.

P.S. TOTAL FundsforWriters is the extended version of this newsletter, with 70 markets, contests, grants, etc. and still at the ten-year-old cost of $15 for 26 issues. A great way to find opportunities to make money, without the hours of searching. Some subscribers have been around since TOTAL's origin a decade ago...they swear by it that much.
-Hope Clark
  Upcoming Book Signings and Classes! 
   June 25-27, 2015 - Freelance Writing, Midwest Writing Center, Davenport, IA
  July 8, 2015 - Interview with Hope, BookKarma Webcast
  July 31-Aug 1 - Mississippi Writers Conference, Oxford, MS
  Sept 16 - Louisville Writers Group, Louisville, KY (GO TIGERS!)
  Oct 29-Nov 1 - Killer Nashville Con, Nashville, TN


Never, ever write what you know. Instead, write what you love.
 ~Steve Berry

A big city detective
A Lowcountry crime
When her husband is murdered by the Russian mob, Boston detective Callie Jean Morgan suffers a mental break and relinquishes her badge to return home to South Carolina. She has no idea how to proceed with her life, but her son deserves to move on with his, so she relocates them to the family vacation home.
But the day they arrive on Edisto Beach, Callie finds her childhood mentor and elderly neighbor murdered. Her fragile sanity is threatened when the murderer taunts her, and the home that was to be her sanctuary is repeatedly violated. Callie loses her fight to walk away from law enforcement as she becomes the only person able to pursue the culprit who's turned the coastal paradise into a paranoid patch of sand where nobody's safe. But what will it cost her?
Purchase any of Hope's books and receive a one-year subscription to TOTAL FFW free. Send receipt to
  Learn more and order



Dear Hope,
A few months ago, I took down my old, dated website with vague plans to work on a new one. When you commented in the newsletter that a writer without a website couldn’t be considered a serious writer, I knew I needed to get busy. Because I respect both your writing skills and your business acumen, I decided to check out your web designer, Shaila Abdullah at This proved to be an excellent decision. Collaborating with Shaila was a surprising, thought-provoking journey. I found myself reexamining where I’ve been as a writer, where I am today and where I hope to go.When my new website,, went live, I did a happy dance. The next day, I did a second happy dance when I discovered Word Press software truly is user-friendly. I can finally exhale. Does my experience make me eligible to join the Shaila Abdullah Fan Club?
Elaine Thomas, La Grange, Texas    
Elaine Thomas writes about people and their lives and companies and their histories. Explore her philosophy and read her work at



On Being a Travel Writer for AAA

By Sheree K. Nielsen
Wanderlust bit me early – as a toddler skipping stones across the Great Lakes, and as a young girl fishing with Dad in the Florida Keys. I’d often dreamed of being a travel writer.
After attending the 2011 Missouri Writer’s Guild conference, I had the opportunity to connect with the editor of AAA Midwest Traveler and AAA Southern Traveler. She requested writing samples I’d penned on travel. I jumped at the chance, and emailed her a feature article on horse drawn sleigh-riding published in Missouri Life, two stories on Folly Beach, South Carolina published in The Folly Current, and a personal essay on scuba diving.
The editor enjoyed my stories and mailed me a contract for a Caribbean feature article, “Inside the Bahamas Out Islands,” covering romance in Great Guana Cay, Abaco; Hopetown Elbow Cay’s history, and water sports in Eleuthera, Bahamas.

The contract recapped the story idea, provided formatting guidelines, word count, due date, contracted amount, and assignment letter. AAA article prices are preset, so there was no negotiation.

After signing and returning the paperwork, I used the assignment letter to contact tourism offices in the locale I was visiting. Sometimes perks are offered by the tourism office in the form of hotel stays, spa treatments, adventure tours, attractions, or restaurant comps. It is okay to accept perks, but never okay to ask for them. The tourism offices will forward your letter to resort marketing representatives to aid in AAA-approved accommodations.  
After arriving at a resort, I meet with the Public Relations Manager or General Manager to discuss the resort’s unique features and secure quotes pertinent to the article.
Perks have included butlered-stays at Sandals Emerald Bay, Exuma, behind the scenes tours at Churchill Downs, an upgrade to an oceanfront beach house in the Bahamas, and an all-day fast-boat adventure in the Exuma Cays. I cherish these comps as I never know when I’ll receive them.
As with any story, it’s important to “Show, Don’t Tell,” a pearl of wisdom I learned as a member of my writing group Saturday Writers. The aroma of the frangipani, the cool ocean mist touching skin, the tangerine and blue violet sunset, all add to the experience. Creating visual images places the reader in the moment. Anything less cheats them. Carrying a variety of cameras helps me connect the dots at a later date, especially if I can’t remember if the hibiscus floating in the sunken tub was red-orange or magenta, or the shape of water droplets in a tide pool were round or oval.
I carry a small notebook with me at all times, especially when I’m writing on ocean adventures when a computer isn’t feasible. While on a 007 Thunderball adventure tour in the Exuma Cays, we stopped to feed iguanas, snorkel in the grotto where the James Bond movie Thunderball was filmed, and skip on the sand at Galiot Cay sandbar.
Experiences are key in travel writing. When writing about spa-cations then by all means, indulge in a massage. Note how it made you feel, what type of music was playing in the background, the technique used by the masseuse.

The query period for AAA is open from January through April. Assignments are set shortly thereafter, with deadlines the following year, unless otherwise stated.
Source and contact information should be supplied to your editor, whether at AAA or otherwise, which includes names, addresses, emails, websites, and phone numbers for anyone you’ve interviewed or photographed. AAA verifies source information and fact checks the article closer to the date.
When you add up all the adventures, people met, and land traversed, it’s not a bad gig. The fact that I’m able to combine my love of traveling with writing and photography is a blessing. And I’ve made many friends along the way.

Sheree K. Nielsen is the author/photographer of FOLLY BEACH DANCES, a 'healing’ coffee table book inspired by the sea’s rhythm – a recent 2015 Eric Hoffer Award nominee and da Vinci Eye Award finalist. An award-winning author, poet and photographer, publications include AAA Southern Traveler, AAA Midwest Traveler, Carolina Go, Missouri Life, countless anthologies, newspapers, and websites across the nation and Caribbean. When not writing, she can be found discovering new beaches, or riding around town with her goofy dogs, sipping non-fat cappuccinos. She blogs at, tweets @ShereeKNielsen and @follybeachdance. The book’s official website -



Accepting short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Five finalists will be considered for subsequent journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome. Deadline August 31, 2015. Prize: $500 and publication in the quarterly journal.

TulipTree Publishing announces its inaugural Stories That Need to Be Told contest. We have done away with categories, so whether you consider it fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, as long as it tells a story, it fits! Prizes are 1st: $1,000; 2nd: $500; 3rd: $250. Winners will be published in a future issue of TulipTree Review. All entries considered for publication. Deadline August 29, 2015.

Deadline August 20, 2015. $1,500 and publication for an exceptional fiction in any genre. Submit up to 5,000 words: anything from flash to the long story. Novel excerpts are welcome if the excerpt functions as a stand-alone story.  

First prize £200 and publication of a short story collection of 35,000 – 40,000 words with editorial support for completion. Second prize full critique of stories to a total maximum word count of 10,000 words. Deadline September 30, 2015.



Artist and scientist led, The Arctic Circle is an annual expeditionary residency program. The Arctic Circle brings together international artists of all disciplines, scientists, architects, and educators who collectively explore remote and fascinating destinations aboard a sailing vessel.

Art Farm is a 60-acre farm in central Nebraska. Art Farm supports families/partners with up to two children by offering approximately 2,000 square feet of studio and living space consisting of kitchen, bath, sitting and dining, two second floor private bedrooms and a fourth floor master bedroom with panoramic views of the countryside. The studio is on the third floor. Deadline in March.

Omi International Arts Center hosts international visual artists, writers, musicians and dancers on 300 acres in the Hudson Valley region of New York, amidst a 10-acre contemporary sculpture park, The Fields Sculpture Park. Deadlines October and November.

Arte Studio Ginestrelle set in the hills of the Regional Park of Mount Subasio, near the historic town of Assisi (UNESCO World Heritage site), famous for its frescos by Giotto and Cimabue. It offers residencies to International artists from all artistic disciplines.


Verge is the magazine for people who travel with purpose. It explores ways to get out and see the world by volunteering, working and studying overseas. Our readers are typically young (17-40 years), or young at heart, active, independent travellers who want to do something different and make a difference doing it. Pays ten cents/word.

DRAFT prides itself on providing its audience with current, accurate and creative coverage of beer and other areas of life enjoyed by our readers. Pitches need not be beer-centric, but those that are should focus on beer/brewery news, trends and ideas, rather than the technical aspects of brewing and/or profiles. Aside from beer, we happily accept pitches on topics ranging from food, sports (both professional and leisure), travel, and many other topics.

Astronomy's readers are interested in the sciences, with a particular interest in astronomy. They are well-educated, curious readers who are not formally schooled in the subject of astronomy. The magazine contains two broad types of articles: features on the science of astronomy and those on the hobby of astronomy. Articles typically range between 1,500 and 3,000 words.

Each issue of YES! includes a series of articles focused on a theme—about solutions to a significant challenge facing our world — and a number of timely, non-theme articles. Our non-theme section provides ongoing coverage of issues like health, climate change, globalization, media reform, faith, democracy, economy and labor, social and racial justice, and peace building. Pay rates vary for articles that appear online and in print. In both platforms, YES! pays higher rates for original reporting and deeply researched stories that break new ground.



We publish a monthly consumer entertainment industry trade magazine. Freelance writers who join our team will create content for one or more of our publications and/or digital products. Work from anywhere.



Look at each of five agents listed and see if your story/genre fit what they are looking for at the time. For instance, Jennie Goloby's needs are: "Science Fiction/Fantasy, especially with a literary flair. Would love to see more non-traditional settings and characters. I’m always open to optimistic, lighthearted fiction, but also enjoy a good scare. History– must have a commercial (non-academic) focus.Strong interest in American history, especially through 1850. Also interested in “history of an idea” books. Absolutely no personal memoirs. Romance, primarily with sci-fi and fantasy elements. Young Adult and Middle Grade– Mostly Science Fiction/Fantasy. No paranormal romance, dystopias, or “chosen one” stories, please."

We work with a wide variety of genres and age levels in both fiction and nonfiction. Look under each agent's name to find what he/she is seeking. For instance, Jennifer ohnson-Blalock specializes in nonfiction, particularly current events, social sciences, women's issues, law, business, history, the arts and pop culture, lifestyle, sports, and food, and upmarket commercial fiction, especially thrillers. She is probably not the right agent for books focused on the military or religion.

Carly Watters is a VP and senior literary agent with the P.S. Literary Agency. She is a hands-on agent that develops proposals and manuscripts with attention to detail and the relevant markets. PSLA’s mission is to manage authors’ literary brands for their entire career. She is actively seeking new authors in smart book club fiction, women’s fiction, commercial fiction, literary thrillers, non fiction, and select YA.

A full-service literary agency that focuses on bringing fiction and non-fiction of quality to the largest possible audience. Pitch the agent that matches your genre. Most genres are represented by one agent or another on this site.



Take your writing farther. If you love writing but struggle to finish what you start, or your work isn’t connecting with publishers or readers in a meaningful way, join my 6-session course Confidence, Focus, Clarity: The Tools of an Accomplished Writer. Award winning writer and WritingStrides coach Alissa Johnson will teach you how to approach writing as exploration and discovery so you have fun and finish what you start. You’ll also learn how to stay motivated, what makes a story or essay resonate with readers, and finish the course with a new essay, short story, or chapter of your novel or memoir. Class begins July 13. Register today.


Three days of creative nonfiction goodness in a city rich in arts and culture, Lancaster, Pa. Dozens of break-out sessions, panels with publishing professionals and authors, social events, and optional craft and query workshops. Keynotes: Lee Gutkind and Jane Friedman. Lancaster is 2.5 hours from NYC; 1 hour from Philadelphia; 90 mins from Baltimore/DC area. Amtrak station less than mile away. Brought to you by Hippocampus Magazine. Get all the details here: Just for FundsforWriters subscribers, save $10 using code FUNDS upon registration.

NOTE: 30 percent off for FundsforWriters readers for a short time. Click here.

Grammarly sucked me in and owned me after only ten minutes of using it on my latest manuscript, Edisto Jinx. Though my grammar skills are solid, Grammarly pointed me toward flow issues, awkward wording, repeated wording, and yes, the occasional grammar oversight. I caught myself changing sentences and enjoying the second set of eyes. Grammarly is truly one of the simplest and most useful editing tools I've ever experienced.  ~C. Hope Clark, award-winning mystery author,, and editor of


Click here to visit Book Design Templates.- Instead of trying to decide what your books should look like, we've made all the decisions for you. Just follow our friendly instructional guide, pour in your text and your book will be ready to go. All your styles and formatting needs are coded into our templates for easy use. Enthusiastically endorsed by Hope!
Joel has created coupon code FFW35 for FFW readers. When you use FFW35 at shopping cart, it will give you a 35% discount on anything on the site.



NOTE: This is my web designer, and I recommend Shaila highly. ~Hope

Winner of several AEP and Marcom design awards, Shaila Abdullah has over 20 years of experience as a graphic and web designer. She has assisted over 50 authors and writers with their design needs ranging from websites, books, 
marketing materials, social media banners, ads, to email campaigns (newsletters and announcements). Being an award-winning author herself, Shaila understands the industry, and will provide you with designs that reflects your unique style, genre, and personality. 
“After months of collaborating on my vision of a website as a place to showcase my published essays and offer writing and editing services, Shaila Abdullah turned out a site design that is my dream come true. —Kate Meadows, writer and author

"Superb work, excellent customer service. Just marvelous overall.” —C. Hope Clark, FundsforWriters
“Nothing stands in Shaila’s way. From my design requests to technological needs–Shaila had a creative solution to offer at every turn. I value her design services as a trusted part of my business plan.” —Yvonne Pesquera, writer
"Shaila helped us redesign the website for our writers' conference. She went above and beyond, looking through thousands of our pictures to choose the best, and often wrote chunks of content for us to fill in gaps. Shaila was wonderful to work with and it was worth every penny." —Amanda Murphy, Managing Director of the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway
Fine print

Please forward the newsletter in its entirety. To reprint any editorials, contact for permission. Please do not assume that acknowledgements listed in your publication is considered a valid right to publish.

C. Hope Clark
140-A Amicks Ferry Road #4 Chapin, SC 29036
Copyright 2000-2015, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

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