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Writer to Writer - January 2007

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I’d like to start this issue off by saying thank you for all your good wishes, prayers, and kind words following the death of my mother.

I am absolutely overwhelmed by the support given by all my writing friends around the world. I’ve literally received hundreds of emails from people who only know me because of the internet. I’m constantly amazed at the camaraderie that writers share. I don’t know of any other occupation where this occurs to such a huge extent. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult, but your support and concern has made it easier.

As I’m sure you understand, because of the volume received, I’ve been unable to answer each email personally, as much as I would have liked to.

I’ve done basically nothing in the way of writing since a couple of weeks before Christmas, except for some submissions, and have only recently started to write again. My magazine editor was kind enough to allow a January 2 deadline to be moved, so I now have an article due at the end of this week.

Last week my husband Alan was involved in a car accident and was taken to hospital by ambulance. He needed stitches to his forehead, but luckily he wasn’t as badly injured as first thought. We’d only been home a few hours after cleaning out my mother’s unit. Whether or not that contributed to the accident we’ll probably never know. His car is in a bad state, and he’s more concerned about the car than himself!

Next week I’m flying interstate to spend eight days with my writing buddy (and her husband) in South Australia. It won’t all be rest and relaxation; we intend to do some serious writing and brainstorming. If you were with me last year, you’ll know this has become an annual event. It gives both of us a motivational boost, while at the same time we get to gasbag to our hearts content! As we live in different states, our phone bills are incredibly high – we call each other at least every other day on average.

While I’m in SA, I hope to again catch up with friends Lee Masterson (Fiction Factor), Rob Parnell (Easy Way to Write), and Robyn Opie (children’s author). Last year we spent the day together, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. And what do we usually talk about? Writing, of course!

This time I’ll try to remember to take my camera, and hopefully get some memorable shots to show you after I’m back.

Okay, back to business. Last month I mentioned my new site – – and the fact I’m looking for beta testers. I had intended to close off the list to become a beta testers on January 20, but I’ve decided to extend that date until January 31 to ensure no-one misses out because of the holidays. If you’re interested, please go and register here –

Doing so will lock the price to US$30 per year for as long as you stay a member. You are not obligated in any way, nor will you be asked to pay anything at this stage. That won’t happen until the site is live, which will not be until either late February, or sometime in March – at the earliest.

So far only 12 people from this list have registered their interest. This is not enough. If I cannot get enough interest from my subscribers, I will have to look at the possibility of going elsewhere, but this is something I don’t want to do.

I’d like to assure you that you won’t be expected to spend hours upon hours sorting out problems. What I need beta testers to do is simple: as you work your way around the site, if you find something not working, email and tell me. If a download link doesn’t work, tell me. If you find it difficult to navigate around the site, let me know. It’s an easy task, and for the little time and effort required, you will get a 50% discount off the yearly fee for as long as you remain a member.

I have already uploaded a number of products, and to date their combined resale value is well in excess of US$200. Some of the products come with resale rights, which means you can resell them and make a profit. Every product is related to writing in some way, and all of them will help with your writing career.

The reason I decided to start this site, is this: there are heaps of membership sites on the internet where you pay a yearly fee and download products. But most of them stock every item under the sun. They have recipes, software, health products, finance products, books for affiliates, family products, books about pets, and of course, books for writers.

All of them charge high yearly fees – because they supply just about everything know to man. (And woman!) will only supply writing related products. Because of this, and because I expect the site to attract a lot of members, I can keep the costs low. I belong to several membership sites, and pay hundreds of dollars each year to get the latest products as they come available.

In addition to supplying products, I’ve been able to arrange discounts on a number of writing courses. But they will only be applicable to members. We’ll also eventually have a writing forum – but that will probably be a few months down the track. will continue to operate, and will follow the same format it follows now. These will be two separate sites, with two totally different agendas. Many people visit simply to purchase products to help with their writing. They’re not interested in the articles or courses, and simply want to buy ebooks. Some of those people buy books regularly.

My original idea was to set up simply for those people, to help save them money. But the idea grew into something a little bigger than anticipated. So eventually the plan was for a community where writers could meet and discuss issues they are having, as well as getting the products they need.

Those who are not subscribers to Writer2Writer will pay US$60 per year, so this is a genuine offer. The only way I can justify such a huge discount is to make early birds beta testers. Once the site is open to everyone, you are not expected to continue the testing. It is expected to only take place over a period of about four weeks.

If you wish to participate, but still aren’t certain and would like something clarified, please email me. And remember, registering does not obligate you in any way.

Now to some news. Long-time friend Lea Schizas and I will be joining to write a series of books for writers. Our first planned project is to answer all your writing questions. If you would like to be part of this project, go here and pose your question/s. The book will cover both fiction and non-fiction.

Okay, onto this issue. Since it’s a whole new year, I have written an article about setting goals. Since I wrote an extensive article about this subject last year, I decided to approach this one differently. It’s actually an entire plan of how I intend to boost my writing income considerably this year.

Beth Morrow has reviewed the Bylines Calendar for Writers, and Judy Bagshaw gives us good fodder for finding ideas. Judy’s article can be applied for all types of writing, not just romance, so if you don’t write romance, don’t discount it. Jodi is away, so there is no markets column this month. Look out for it in February.

It's time to sit back, relax with your favourite beverage, and enjoy this holiday issue!

Til next time…



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- Les Brown




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Planning for a Bumper Year:
A guide to boosting your writing income in 2007

© Cheryl Wright - All Rights Reserved


Last year my main goal was to boost my writing income considerably. I mapped out ways I would do that, and stuck as much as possible to the plan.

I had decided to use a combination of wall planner, conventional diary, and electronic diary to help me stick to my set dates. However, I found this wasn’t sufficient as the wall planner was too small to cope with the loads of notes I needed to add, and as a result, I didn’t use it to its full potential.

The electronic diary also proved to be a flop. It was way too easy to hit snooze, or to simply dismiss.

Yes, my income did receive a good boost, but I feel it could have been better had I been more organised, and also if I’d had the right tools at my fingertips.

So I’ve changed the game-plan this time around.

Read the entire article here


This month's writing prompt:

It was pitch black, but the his warm breath on my cheek
alerted me he was close by.


*Please note: do not send your work along, as it won't be read.
The purpose of this is to kick start your writing, not to get feedback.

Featured Resource:



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Bylines Calendar for Writers

Sylvia Forbes, Editor
Snowflake Press, 2006

Reviewed by Beth Morrow
©2007– All rights reserved


A few years ago, during the time when I took my first nervous steps from the comfort and familiarity of writing romance fiction to the uncertainty of freelancing, I had the brilliant idea to create something unique, novel and useful. Something all my writing friends would find most helpful to their career, regardless of genre: A calendar for writers.

Not any old calendar, mind you. Chock full of quotes, room for goals, work completed and submitted, important checklists of things to do, submissions and reminders, the dream came to life in the form of a Word template that began enthusiastically but was soon sent to the backburner as more lucrative assignments came my way.

Luckily for me, Sylvia Forbes, editor of the Bylines Calendar for Writers, had the same dream—and followed through—compiling the functional, necessary writer’s calendar I’d hoped to someday create myself, only better.

Read the entire article here

Free Download:

Take the Bull by the Horns and Confront the Dreaded Clichés:

Seventeen page report on clichés - what they are, how using them makes your writing weak etc -  and how to avoid using them in your writing.

Download here



When Life Hands You Lemons...

Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved


When life hands you lemons, the saying goes, make lemonade. A good maxim to live by, I think. The optimist's path. So how does this relate to the craft of writing romances?

One of the first questions often asked of a writer is, "where do you get your story ideas?" My response is to say, "from life". I firmly believe there is no such thing as a writer's block. Added to that, I believe that an endless array of ideas present themselves to us every day, even during those bad times. And I further believe that even the worst of life's experiences can teach us something. We just have to be observant and pick up on them. And since we're starting a brand new year, it doesn't hurt to be reminded of how to do that.

A good place to start looking is at your own life experience. Remember the first time you fell in love - really, deeply, head-over-heels in love? Can you remember what it felt like? I can. Do you still look back on that first love fondly and wistfully? I do. Were you ever dumped? Recall the hurt? What if you could rewrite history; take that story of first love/ first heartbreak, and take it in another direction? You have an idea for a romance novel.

Read the entire article here

Other romance articles added this month:

Develop a Kick-Ass Plot! - by Lynette Rees


Featured Resource:



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Romance outsells all other fiction by a factor of 5 to I, but it's also one of the most difficult genres to break into. Why? Because the competition is enormous.  The good news for you and me is that 90% of all romance manuscripts are reportedly terrible. This is because most new romance writers just don't understand the needs of publishers (magazine and book), agents and indeed, the reading public. This course takes a refreshing new look into the genre.

Go to  to begin your career as a romance writer!

Now also available as an ebook!


* A complete list of recommended courses can be viewed here:


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Subscriber News:


Hi Cheryl,

My poem "Cool, Cotton Comfort" has taken first place in the following poetry competition:

Thanks for reading!!!



Congratulations Yolanda for this wonderful news!

**If you have any news, please send it along. (Don’t be shy – we won’t bite!)

Click here to email Cheryl


Market Round-Up

~ This column will return next month ~


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How Do I?

No questions this month.

If you have a writing-related question, send it here.



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Start the new year ready to take on the writing world!  Learn how to hone your craft, and in turn, how to win contests!

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Seeds of Passion Annual Writing Contest - closes June 2007.  Go here  to download entry form and obtain full details. (Including terms and conditions.)


If you have any feedback about this newsletter; comments, criticisms, (praise!) sections you'd like to see added, tell me


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Inclusion of a market, contest, anthology or similar is not necessarily an endorsement. It is strongly suggested that you do your own legwork in checking out any markets etc you decide to approach. If you feel wary or uncomfortable, there's probably a reason!


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Contact details:

Cheryl Wright, P O Box 913, Springvale South 3172 AUSTRALIA