Writer to Writer - January 2008
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I'm *trying* to write while doing all this, but it's not working. <sigh> I've done a bit of editing here and there, but nowhere near as much as I would like. Give me another six weeks and I'll be back in full swing. (I hope!)
So... my editorial this month is fairly short and sweet, because packing awaits!
I would like to touch on something that I've seen quite a lot lately, and it's really starting to get to me. (Putting my editor's hat on here.) So many writers are using the term 'off of' in their writing. Please, please, do not do this! It is totally not acceptable, and will show you up as an amateur.
I know it's something people say, but it should never be used in the written word. (And honestly, it's not good spoken English either.)
Here is a quick example of how I've seen it used:
Peter jumped off of the platform.
Remove one word and the sentence sounds much better, and the meaning is not altered:
Peter jumped off the platform.
Other problems I've also seen a lot lately include the use of anyways. It's okay to use this in casual conversation, but unless you're making it part of a character's language, anyway should always be used.
Toward and towards are other problem words. Mary moved toward the deck. My personal preference for this is toward, but it can be used either way. The same applies for backwards and forwards.
If you are using these in a piece to be published, my suggestion is to check the house style. This will often show you the publication's preference or expectation.
If you're in any doubt whatsoever, check the Chicago Manual of Style - this is what most publishers use as a guide. I understand you can get a fr^ee trial version online, but don't quote me on it. (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org)
Okay, rant over. <g>
This time of the year always sees the opening of the Preditors and Editors Readers' Poll. Writer2Writer, Writer to Writer, and myself have all been nominated in this year's voting. If you feel we deserve your vote, please vote for us.
We've been nominated in the following categories
Writers Info (for Writer2Writer): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/writerinfo.shtml
Book/E-Book Editor (for Cheryl Wright): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/bookeditor.shtml
Magazine/E-Zine Editor (for Cheryl Wright): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/zineeditor.shtml
Non-Fiction Ezine (for Writer to Writer): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/nonfictionzine.shtml
Non-Fiction Article (for Planning for a Bumper Year): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/ebookpublisher.shtml
Anthologies (for Writer Profits):
Review Site (for AussieAuthors.com): http://www.critters.org/predpoll/reviewsite.shtml
**Voting closes tomorrow, so PLEASE do this immediately**
(The main page for these and other categories is http://www.critters.org/predpoll/)
If you know someone who's nominated, please support them. These awards hold a lot of weight in the publishing industry.
Time to get onto this month's issue.
Since it's January, this is the time I normally talk about goals. As it happens, a timely and informative article arrived when I was pondering what to write. Rachel Carrington passes on crucial information for those writers considering non-fiction freelancing. However, you could use this same formula for your fiction writing too.
Judy Bagshaw continues providing quality information on self-marketing, and Beth Morrow gives some helpful tips on using your day job to find writing gigs.
Okay, time to sit back and enjoy this issue! (And I'll get back to packing. Ack!)
Til next time…
p.s. David Goldsmith advised his book 25 Ways to Write for Money has been reduced by $10 - but only for a very limited time. Click here now to check it out!
p.p.s. You can read my review of David's book by going here
If you missed the last issue, you'll find it here:
Help the United Nations feed the hungry.
This site has a nifty vocabularly
program. For every word you get correct, they will donate 20 grains of
rice to the United Nations. Be warned – it’s addictive. Very
addictive! I got to 2300 grains before I could bring myself to stop.
Not only will you help the UN, you’ll also learn a lot of new words!
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Quote of the Month:
(An Insider’s Guide to Making Freelancing Work for You)
Copyright © Rachel Carrington - All Rights Reserved
Freelancing is working on commission. You get paid when you sell an article, a short story, or even a tip sheet. Ever notice how hard a car salesman works to make that sale? Commission is a big incentive.
So now that you’ve decided to venture into the world of freelance writing, let me offer you some advice which has worked for me since I was laid-off from my job in April 2005—advice which has managed to keep me in the comfort to which I’d become accustomed.
Now that you’re putting your tenacity and determination to the test, you’ll need a schedule, a written list of daily activities to motivate you. Start with a day planner or simply a blank notebook and just as you would schedule your doctor’s appointments, kids’ soccer games, etc., you’ll create a task list of everyday activities. Since you’re freelancing, your times can be flexible, but I caution you to adhere to certain goals each day.
Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved
I’d like to preface this article with a nod to a colleague of mine from whom I learned most of what I know about successful marketing. Dubbed “the Marketing Whore”, she has written a wonderful chapbook entitled The Marketing Whore’s Guide to Shameless Self-Promotion. To see more about her writing visit www.skyladawncameron.com
It can take months, maybe even years to write that perfectly polished romance novel, and competition in the romance niche is fierce. So a carefully crafted marketing plan can go a long way into making sure your work does not just sink into oblivion.
The key to successful marketing is thinking of your book as a product, which, once it’s written and published, it is. You want to sell it. You want to make money from it.
Next, you need to consider your market. Who are you trying to sell to? Why should they part with their hard-earned money to buy your romance novel? What makes you stand out from the pack?
Once you have those two points mastered there are some basic points to keep in mind while planning your successful marketing campaign.
Why would consumers part with their money to buy your book? Perhaps because it will give them something they can’t get anywhere else. Think of those catchy taglines you’ve created for your book; i.e., “A cruise can get complicated when you start it with a big fat lie!” That was my tag line for my novel Big Fat Lies.
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Note: the price is set to go up VERY soon. I've partnered with Mary Anne Hahn of WriteSuccess, and we plan to offer a number of our own e-courses and e-books free to members that we will be selling outright to non-members, and will possibly offer some members-only exclusives.
your place at the current discounted rate, click here now.
No news this week.
**If you have any news, please send it along.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Use It!
Copyright Beth Morrow - All Rights Reserved
Regardless of the stage you’re at in your writing career, you’ve no doubt heard the advice to keep your day job more than once. And unless you’re making six-figure advances, it’s a good rule of thumb to follow.
But before you start to take out your anger on your line of work because it comes between you and your writing passion, why not take a fresh look at how it can actually help grow your writing career?
Meshing your writing with your day job—or hobby, other pastimes, areas where you have specialty knowledge or an in-depth understanding—can benefit your writing career on many levels. If you’re a beginning writer, you can add much-needed clips to your portfolio or website. You’ll get the experience of working on deadline with editorial staff and have the chance to hone your skills with the possibility of being published. Are you established? Promote your currently published work through short, targeted articles that focus on a particular area of expertise touting your byline and bio (for example, if your latest novel is set in a particular city, you can pen an article of an aspect of that city you’ve discovered through research) or approach an editor with a column idea based on insight you think the editor might find valuable to readers of his/her publication to grow your readership and fan base for even more future sales.
Now that you’ve got an idea why you should write, let’s look at what you can write. With a little thought, there are a variety of options to pursue.
No new listings this month.
Call for Inspiring True Stories
This is a paying market:
The bestselling A Cup of Comfort book series is now seeking submissions for these six new anthologies. Stories must be true, original, positive, narrative essays (creative nonfiction), and 1,000-2,000 words. Entrants pay no fees. Writers' guidelines: http://www.cupofcomfort.com/share.htm.
A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer Survivors <<with Redbook Magazine>>
It has been said that “stories are medicine” and that “one of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is to share our stories.” This collection will include inspiring and uplifting personal essays about the experiences and emotions of living with—and living after—breast cancer. Possible story themes include but are not limited to: diagnosis, treatment, emotional impact, support systems, healthy lifestyle practices, emotional healing, coping mechanisms, impact on loved ones, effect on friendships, effect on career/work, effect on romance/intimacy, life lessons learned, personal transformation, silver linings, gratitude, triumph over trials, body image, and more. All themes and writing styles considered, as long as the story is positive.
Submission deadline: December 31, 2007 <<sooner is better>>
**Exclusively for the Breast Cancer Survivor volume, the Cup of Comfort publisher, Adams Media, is working in partnership with Redbook Magazine and will award a $5,000 grand prize, $5,000 donation to the Susan G. Fomen Breast Cancer Foundation in the grand prize winner’s name, and a bonus prize to each of three runner-up stories. An announcement about the Redbook/Cup of Comfort contest appears in the October 2007 issue of Redbook.**
A Cup of Comfort for Military Families
It has been said that military life is “not for the faint of heart.” But neither is it without its benefits and blessings. One thing is certain: it is an experience like no other—for both the soldiers and their families. For this book, we want positive stories about how military life affects the personal lives of service men and women (enlisted and officers), how family affects soldiers’ on the job, and how military life affects family members (primarily spouses, children, and parents but also siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts/uncles, fiancés, etc.). Any situation or subject that is significant and/or unique to military personnel and their loved ones is acceptable. Our goal is to compile a collection of inspiring or uplifting stories that cover a wide range of topics and reveal a variety of perspectives, experiences, and emotions specific to military families. Stories may be written by the service man or woman or a close family member; military service may be current, recent, or past.
Submission deadline: March 1, 2008
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book
A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers
Few experiences bring forth as many anxieties, blessings, challenges, wonders, and changes as having a baby—whether it’s your first child or fifth, your birth child or adopted child. And nothing is as miraculous as giving birth to or witnessing the birth of your baby. This heartwarming anthology will be filled with birth stories and newborn homecoming stories as well as a wide range of stories about the various experiences, emotions, and concerns involved in adding a new baby to one’s life and family. Potential topics include but are not limited to: nursing (or not), caring for a newborn, bonding/falling in love with infant, lack of sleep, relationship with spouse, how siblings respond, returning to work, balancing responsibilities, post-partum depression, self transformation, unexpected joys, life lessons, small miracles, etc. The majority of the stories will be about birth children, but the book will likely include a couple adoptive stories as well. Likewise, most of the stories will be written from the new mother’s perspective, but we are open to including a few stories written from the spouse’s or a very close family member’s perspective. All stories will be uplifting and positive, no matter how difficult the situation portrayed in the story might be. We do not want stories that simply recount misfortunes and sorrows and that do not clearly reveal a positive outcome or redeeming result (silver lining).
Submission deadline: April 1, 2008
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book
A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families
The primary purpose of this book is to celebrate adoptive families and to recognize the extraordinary and challenging experiences that are unique to “chosen children” and their families. We are most interested in stories written by adult adoptive children and their adoptive parents and siblings, but the book will also likely include some stories written by members of the extended adoptive family (grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin), close friends of the adoptive family (i.e. godparent), and birth family members. Virtually any topic relevant to adopted children and their adoptive parents is acceptable—as long as it is authentic, positive, insightful, and uplifting or inspiring. We do not want heartbreaking stories about adoptive parents or birth families that regret the adoption; there is a place for stories of that ilk, but this book is not that place. All of the stories in this collection must show a positive aspect of adoption and must bring comfort or joy or inspiration to those who have been adopted and/or to the families who adopted them—no matter how difficult the experience and emotions portrayed in the story might be.
Submission deadline: June 15, 2008
$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book
Copyright 2007, Adams Media Corporation, an F+W Publications Company
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