FundsforWriters - April 8 - Friendship with your Reader

Published: Fri, 04/08/16

FundsForWriters: Tips and Tools for serious writers to advance their careers!
  Volume 16, Issue 15, APRIL 8, 2016  
  Message from the Editor

That strange affectionate guy here is Hubby. When I make appearances, ninety percent of the time he's there. He might be selling books or standing in the back of the room telling me I have ten minutes left to conclude my talk, but he's hovering someplace. He's more outgoing than I am and strikes up many a conversation as I'm signing or talking elsewhere. He's been asked to sign the Carolina Slade books, often receiving the question, "Are you Wayne?" That's Edisto in the background, and he loves it as much as I do. Good thing, too, since we're down there so much. So there's my other half, and trust me, he's a strong cheerleader I thank the world for each and every day. 

Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters
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Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 
"What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

~ C. S. Lewis

Whether you write poetry, scripts, freelance features, nonfiction, memoir, or novels, your goal is to touch minds with a reader. And if the stars align, and you write like an angel, you connect with many readers, making them think you are of like souls. 

Think of yourself as a reader, and remember that special book that touched you once upon a time. The author reached across the void with characters, storytelling, and voice, and made you believe they understood you as a human being. The author deemed you credible, and you felt the same in return.  

But friendship with your readers means more these days. Once your writing passes muster, you are expected to be readily available online. You are also expected to respect the reader, because they invested time into the reading of your words. Not only do you want to feed them the words they want to hear, but you want to let them know you appreciate them for giving you attention in return.

It's a personal relationship. Someone with my publishing house asked me why I still did face-to-face appearances when everyone did online events these days. I told that to a room of twenty ladies this week at a book club, and their faces expressed a combination of shock, disagreement, and dismay. Rumblings went around the room as everyone discussed how they appreciate a writer who dares make appearances, giving to the reader in return for reading the book. One lady even came up to me afterwards and said that she was about to give up on coming until she heard me, and I convinced her to stick with her book club, all because of the experience I gave her that night.

So, if you think it's about selling books, you're wrong. If you think it's about your Facebook numbers, you're wrong. It's about becoming intimate with your readers, embracing them, thanking them for choosing your work to read when the world is flooded with choices. You owe yourself to your readers.

- Hope




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  Upcoming Book Signings and Classes! (All times in Eastern.)
  Apr 14 - Calhoun County Library, SC - Successful Editing - 6:30 PM
  Apr 26 - Darlington Library, SC - Successful Editing - 6:30 PM
  Apr 28 - Anderson County Library, SC - Successful Editing - 6:30 PM
  May 2 - St. Stephen's Library, SC - Habits of Successful Writer - 5:00 PM
  May 3 - Daniel Island Library, SC - Plotting - 5:00 PM
  May 4 - Timberlake Book Club, Chapin, SC - 1:00 PM
  May 5 - McCormick County Library, SC - Getting Published - 6:30 PM
  May 9  - Goose Creek Library - Characters - 5:30 PM
  May 10 - Hanahan Library - Editing - 6:30 PM
  May 12 - Calhoun County Library, SC - Getting Published - 6:30 PM
  May 16 - Moncks Corner LIbrary, SC - Publishing/Marketing - 6:00 PM
  May 17 - Sangaree Library, SC - 5:30 PM
  May 24 - Darlington Library, SC - Getting Published - 6:30 PM
  May 26 - Anderson County Library, SC - Getting Published - 6:30 PM
  Jun 7 - Ida McCaskill Book Club - St Andrews Shepherd Ctr, Cola, SC - 9:30 AM
  Jun 11 - Hartsville Book Fair, Darlington, SC
  Jun 23-25 - Midwest Writers Center Conference - Davenport, IA
  Aug 1 - Batesburg Library Mystery Club, Batesburg/Leesville, SC - 6 PM
  Aug 18-21 -Killer Nashville Conference, Franklin, TN
  Sept 18 - Columbia County Library, Evans, GA - 2:30 PM
  Sept 25 - Columbia County Library, Evans, GA - 2:30 PM
  Oct 2 - Columbia County Library, Evans, GA - 2:30 PM
  Oct 9 - Columbia County Library, Evans, GA - 2:30 PM

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“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.” 

~Winston Churchill


Is it a flesh and blood killer -
or restless spirits?
According to Sophie, the resident yoga mistress and psychic, beautiful Edisto Beach becomes a hotbed of troublemaking spirits every August. But when a visitor dies mysteriously during a beach house party, former big-city detective Callie Morgan and Edisto Beach police chief Mike Seabrook hunt for motives and suspects among the living. With tourists filling the beaches and local business owners anxious to squelch rumors of a murderer on the loose, Callie will need all the help she can get - especially once the killer's attention turns toward her.
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Hope - 

Your anger about writers being expected to give their work away came at exactly the right moment for me.

I'd spent months negotiating an option on a screenplay from a crazy boiler plate contract (it claimed rights to prequels, sequels, spin-offs - almost everything except my old sneakers) to a relatively not-horrible contract I was willing to sign. Then they changed who I had to work with on the contract, and he sent their original offer again! I sent back the not-horrible version and he responded by changing one tiny item. 

With your words hitting home, I sent back a ridiculously abbreviated contract - eliminating entire paragraphs. If they weren't going to be reasonable, I didn't need to deal with them. 

They got the point that I was only willing to sign an option for one production, with limited rights. It took a few days, but they came back with a contract that was much better than the not-horrible one I would have signed earlier. I countered with correction of two details, they agreed, and I now have a contract signed by both parties. My payday comes when they start principal shooting and per research, the numbers are decent.

The best part is I feel empowered because I stood up for the value of my work.

Thanks for the inspiration.
Sheri McGuinn


From Bookstore to Theater, Turning Your Book into a Movie

By Mark Lund

After years of research, writing and submitting, your book is published. Your dream is a reality. But through the process you had another dream – to see your written words come to life as a movie.  There are two routes to making this possible.

Your first option is to find a literary agent to represent your book in the entertainment industry. The industry loves “IP” (intellectual property). From the Marvel universe to The Hunger Games, this is an industry that “hungers” for the next big thing, and they prefer to find those through agents.  Agents are flooded with submissions, but if your book has a following, reviews, and positive press, it may be considered for representation.

Finding such an agent follows the same path used to find an agent for your book—research. To get a feel for the industry you’ll want to start reading industry trades The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. You should already know about (Internet Movie Database), and the monthly subscription to has fairly up-to-date contact information (you’ll see who represents Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games).  Identify the agent’s submission policy. It’s all about that first impression. 

If you are fortunate enough to secure an agent, and they get your work optioned, then the process moves into higher gear.  Generally, you will receive an upfront payment for a specific time period of optioned rights. You may or may not have input into the adaptation of your book into a screenplay. If your book is not produced by the expiration of the optioned rights, they revert back to you and the process starts over. You may strike oil as we’ve seen with The Hunger Games or your book could wind up in what is called “development hell”.  Your book gets endlessly optioned, but never produced. 

Your second option is to produce your own movie. This means a substantial learning curve and working with a team of creatives. To start, you adapt your book into a screenplay, which is easier said than done. As a novelist you adjust your thinking because a screenplay only paints what needs to be visualized. 

Start reading and for a feel of the industry. Attend film festivals to see independent films come to life.  See if your state has a film office. Through all these new resources you may come across a screenwriter to work with.  The Writers Guild of America is also a wonderful resource. Want to write the screenplay yourself? I highly recommend the software Final Draft

With your script complete, submit to festivals with screenwriting competitions ( Winning nominations and awards validates your screenplay.  Find the right cast and crew, which can be a challenge. Seek out local colleges or universities that offer a film program and castings for independent short and feature films. Volunteer to help on set or, if you’re interested in acting – audition! From there you will learn what happens on a set. 

Carefully plan your film budgets to include distribution. Shane Carruth’s award winning Primer was produced for $7,000 with a box office gross of over $400,000. Look him up to see where he is now. 

You probably once thought that publishing a book was just a dream, but there it is in your hands. If you apply the same discipline, determination and patience to the film industry, you may find yourself in a theater watching your book unfold on the silver screen.

Mark Lund is an award winning magazine publisher, thrice award nominated screenwriter, television personality, film producer and director. and 

Shane Carruth’s Primer: 

Development Hell – explained



Sapiens Plurum’s latest literary challenge is to personalize the consequences of climate change so readers feel as well as know them. But stories must offer hope, at least a possibility, for without hope people rarely act. Your job, as author, is to inspire scientists and states-persons around the world to live up to the promise of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Deadline April 22, 2016. Limited to 1,500 to 3,000 words. Prices are $1,000, $500, and $300.

Deadline July 31, 2016. We want to read about the experiences you can't wait to share with other travelers. This contest is open to anyone worldwide. Top essays will be published. First-place prize $200; second-place prize $50. There is also a readers' choice award ($50) based on unique hits and comments tallied on September 30.

Deadline April 15, 2016. No theme. Poems can be inspired by real life, fantasies, nature, adventures, or even horror. Prizes $200/$100/$50. The top three and the honorable mentions will also receive the top poems in a book printed by the Symington Press. Poems need not rhyme.

Submit up to 25 pages of prose and up to ten pages of poetry. We're interested in both individual pieces and combinations of shorter pieces. That said, we'll be judging the submission as a whole; multiple short pieces must work together for the purpose of a singular effect, and won't be judged on an individual basis. Interested in literary, not genre. Deadline April 30, 2016. The winner in each category will receive $1,000 and publication in the fall issue of Arcadia. The runner-up in each category will also be published in the fall issue.

This special opportunities grant will provide up to $500 for individual applicants or $1000 for organizational applicants registering a minimum of two or more staff toward travel & registration fees to attend the Tennessee Arts Commission statewide conference. The conference will be held June 7-10, 2016 at Bradley Academy and Patterson Park Community Center in Murfreesboro, TN. Bringing together arts administrators, educators, and artists in a new way, this convening combines the former Create education institute with the biennial statewide arts conference. The deadline for this opportunity is  May 17, 2016, or when all funds are allocated—whichever comes first.

Since 1917, the Authors League Fund has been helping professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune. Most of those we help suffer severe health problems but have inadequate insurance; some face eviction; many are older writers whose income has ceased through no fault of their own. The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers, even their lives, with dignity by providing open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans to pay for pressing expenses. The Authors League Fund provides assistance to book authors, dramatists, and freelance writers, including journalists and poets. 

The fellowship is open to any writer of English who is a native of Kentucky, or who has been living in Kentucky for at least six months, or who lived, at some point in the past, in Kentucky for one year or more, or whose selection is set in Kentucky, or whose selection is about Kentucky, or who is or has been a student in a graduate program in creative writing based in Kentucky. Deadline May 15, 2016. Pays $500. 

Arts Learning Collaboration Grants enhance the work of arts educators, classroom teachers and school-based arts programs through collaborative projects taking place in-school (during regular school hours), after-school, or during summer/inter-session and in-services.

The Compass Magazine is an online-only magazine. We focus on an audience of educated Seventh-day Adventist laypeople. Our goal is to provide solid biblical content dealing with important issues in the church and society in a way that supports the church and Adventist beliefs. Most published articles are between 800 and 2,500 words, are written in a general or conversational style, and cover topics that are relevant today. We pay up to $200 for original, unpublished articles.

Catskill Made is a digital journal of artists and makers in the Catskills. Our primary aim is to explore the creative environment in all its forms, examining how the rural mountain lifestyle affects artists, artwork, and the art-making process. Our secondary goal is to document that lifestyle and those artists in a publication as beautiful as the region itself. Pays ten cents/word, with a deadline of April 15, 2016. 

LET US IN will be the first horror anthology released by TIME ALONE PRESS. Payment is six cents per word PLUS half of royalties distributed among the writers after the recovery of initial costs (paid twice per year). Deadline April 30, 2016. Official acceptances will be announced on July 1, 2016. We are looking for stories of about 4,000 words (but, let the story decide). Poetry that keeps to the theme may have a chance, as well.



Location Washington DC
Employer Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Deadline April 12, 2016. This position is located in the Office of Communications, Office of the Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, DC and is responsible for recurring and highly complex writing and editing projects addressing major topics of major interest and sensitivity to internal and external audiences of the FDIC.

Location Charleston, SC
Employer Veterans Administration
Deadline April 20, 2016. Performs supervised work related to public affairs and communication activities such responding to media inquires, generating media interest, and coordinating agency information and outreach programs, etc. Must have graduated in the last two years or be an upcoming graduate.

Location Lake Zurich, IL
Employer Dovenmuehle Mortgage
Review, analyze, and respond to all written correspondence, Web inquiries, and Customer Service tasks.

Location Cary, NC
Employer Money Management International
Write clear, compelling content for significant client-related writing projects, including executive bios, bylined articles, web copy, video scripts, award nominations, speeches, blogs and talking points, among others.
Edit and proofread all communications content generated by account team members.


Established in 1974, Kensington, America's independent publisher, located in New York City, is the foremost independent publishing house in the United States publishing in hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market. We publish over 600 books annually in both fiction and non-fiction. Kensington has sweeping and diverse imprints, including Kensington, Zebra Books, Pinnacle Books, Dafina Books, Lyrical Press, and Citadel Press. These imprints are well-known for popular commercial fiction, mysteries and thrillers, African-American titles, multicultural young adult fiction, nonfiction, as well as true crime and Westerns. Kensington continues to be the foremost American publisher of romance novels. 

We are looking for fresh stories in a variety of categories including all romance genres (specifically suspense and historicals with unique settings), compelling psychological suspense fiction, thrillers, women’s fiction, new adult, and cozy mysteries. We’re hoping to find edgy and daring voices that readers will love. We welcome novellas, serials, and full-length novels as long as they tell a satisfying and well-written story.

We publish literary novels and short story collections, creative nonfiction, memoir, essays, biography, literary criticism, books on contemporary issues (multicultural, feminist, LGBT), and literary and multicultural antholgies that are assigned in secondary and university classrooms.  Our list also includes a small number of Young Adult titles (0-2 per year)--again aimed at the literary reader and the educational market.

Rio Nuevo Publishers welcomes agented and unagented queries and in the following nonfiction subject areas specific to the West and Southwest:
History and folklore
Cooking and cuisines
Native American culture, history, artifacts, and spirituality
General Trade nonfiction specific to the region
Tourism and travel
Art, artists, architecture, and decor
Memoir and biography
Environmental interest
Natural history, wildlife, gardening, nature


Crack Open Your Fierce, Original Voice This Summer

To Write Something New, Think Something New

A few spots remain for Elephant Rock's Fourth Annual Summer Solstice Retreat, June 12-17! This unique writing workshop is held on a beautiful secluded island at historic Stout's Lodge at the height of summer. Inventive approaches and techniques steer you away from repetitive thinking in order to break new ground in your work, or simply find a way to begin. Stout's is nestled on a wooded island all to itself with a soundtrack of lapping waves and birdsong. But this extraordinary week is about more than just the deep peace or the innovative writing workshops and craft talks or the daily yoga and meditation. It's the journey back to your own fierce, original voice and the ability to breathe, break through, and create. And laugh, a lot. As one writer said last year, "I am still searching for words ... because what happened at Stout's was so huge." That's the heart of the Elephant Rock Summer Solstice Retreat. All levels and genres welcome. Tuition includes 5 nights' lodging and all vegetarian meals, daily writing, yoga, & meditation, kayaks and outdoor activities, evening readings, bonfires, and music, Solstice Eve celebration, and more. Inquire soon. This retreat sells out.

 For all retreat details, visit Elephant Rock Retreats at:

Contact: Jeannine Ouellette – or call 612-801-2566


Shaila Abdullah has over a decade of experience designing websites for authors. Being an award-winning author herself, she understands the industry, and will provide you with a content management website that reflects your unique style, genre, and personality. Other design services such as book covers & interiors, marketing materials, and email campaigns (newsletters, announcements, etc.) also available.


E-mail Shaila:
View portfolio:
Services for authors:

"Superb work, excellent customer service. Just marvelous overall.” —C. Hope Clark, author, founder of FundsforWriters,  |

"The site captures my spirit and passion, and it honors my dream since childhood." —Lyn Fairchild Hawks, author,

"Shaila is a terrific designer, highly professional and extremely creative and delivers amazing results. Her sense of humor and positive spirit has made the whole process of developing and launching my web site a pleasure. –James Hutchison, playwright,

"Her suggestions, insight, and artistic talent made the final product much better than what I’d envisioned on my own.” —Jacqueline Adams, writer,

Other websites:

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest - Final Month

24th year. $4,000 in cash prizes, including $1,500 for the best story and $1,500 for the best essay. Submit short stories, essays, and other works of prose on any subject, up to 6,000 words each. All entries that win cash prizes will be published on and announced in the Winning Writers Newsletter, with over 50,000 subscribers. Both published and unpublished work accepted. Fee per entry is $18. Submit by April 30. Judge: Arthur Powers. Winning Writers is one of "101 Best Websites for Writers" (Writer's Digest). See guidelines, past winners, and enter online at


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 FROM HOPE: I've used these templates for ARCS, review copies for Edisto Jinx and fell in love with them!

A new software program automates scheduling and tracking tasks for book projects, particularly great for indie authors. It's called Book Planner, another Joel Friedlander product, so that alone sells me on it. ~Hope


BookFrenzy Studios provides professional video marketing services for authors including Cinematic Book Trailers, Promotional Videos and Social Media Video Ads. To learn more, visit their website at

NOTE: This is the company for Jerome McClain who did my book trailer for Edisto Jinx. You should have seen the jaws dropping open as authors, agents, and editors alike saw the quality of the video trailer for Edisto Jinx on a screen at Killer Nashville. AWESOME!



NOTE: 30 percent off for FundsforWriters readers. 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




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 2000-2016, C. Hope Clark
ISSN: 1533-1326

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