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Writer to Writer - July 2007

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Earn Money Writing for Children!

From the author of 100 children's books, this book is filled to the brim with tips and tricks, as well as links to publishers.


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What a month!

Someone must have thought I wasn’t working hard enough, or didn’t have enough on my already overloaded plate.

Since the last newsletter I’ve edited an ebook for a publisher, edited several short stories (for another publisher), and my grandson had his tonsils out. The latter left me playing nurse-maid for a couple of weeks, but really, I didn’t mind. (But I didn’t get a lot of writing or other writing-related work done!)

Then two weeks ago, we lost a very loved, and very close aunt who lived in country Victoria. Alan (hubby) and I drove up and back on the same day to go to the funeral. (Around three hours each way.)

Unfortunately it was one of the wettest days endured by our state for a very long time. We’ve all read about this sort of funeral; they have crowds of people standing in the cemetery in mud and pouring rain, umbrellas everywhere. Up until that day, I’d never been to one, but I’ll never forget it. (Apart from personal memories, it’s also more fuel for stories.)

To top the month off, I received and started the first round of edits for my novel that is due for release in November.

Plus I reviewed two books (see below), and still have several short stories left to edit for an anthology that is due for release in December.

Phew! I don’t know about you, but I’m worn out thinking about it. Talk about a juggling act.

Ah well, such is the life of a writer.

This month we have an absolutely bumper issue, so I’ll get straight into it. Children’s book author Jill McDougall has written an extremely enlightening article on writing non-fiction for children, but the tips can also be used for other non-fiction. Jill is the author of Become a Children’s Writer, which I reviewed recently. I hope you take the time to check out my review, because I was thoroughly impressed with Jill’s book.

I also reviewed Hooking the Reader: Opening Lines that SELL by Sharon Rendell-Smock. This is an excellent book, and I hope you’ll take the time to read my review.  *Sharon is a subscriber of this newsletter.

Jodi has another great line up of markets for us, Cheryl Marandinos has written another great article about reducing stress (especially for writers), and Beth has reviewed Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write by Elizabeth Lyons. And last but certainly not least, Judy looks at my pet hate – the synopsis. Although Judy is our romance columnists, this article will help anyone who has to write the dreaded (and hated) synopsis, which is pretty much all writers of fiction. So do take the time to check it out.

Okay, that's it from me this time around. Time to sit back, relax with your favourite beverage, and enjoy this issue!

Til next time…



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Quote of the Month:


If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood.

I'd type a little faster.

-- Isaac Asimov



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A Matter of Fact -
the weird and wacky world of non-fiction

Copyright: Jill McDougall – All rights reserved


Help! I’m in charge of a class of restless six year olds and none of the usual storybooks seems to grab their attention. Not even my battered copy of The Rainbow Fish.

A couple of boys down the back are engrossed in something of their own. Humphh!

“I’ll have that,” I command in my best teacher voice. 

Expecting to be handed an electronic game or nervous beetle, I gawp when a small green book lands in my lap.  

“Can you read that one?” beg one or two voices as I glanced at the cover. 

Sure I can. I’ll read the phone directory if it’ll hold their attention. I open the first page …

“Crocodiles are dangerous and deadly reptiles.”  

Bottoms wriggle forward and mouths gape open as I embark on a tale about ruthless reptiles and mysterious monsters.  The rest of the lesson lesson is a breeze!


It’s a fact! 

According to statistics compiled by School Library Journal, 50 percent of all books published for children is non-fiction. Are you paying attention? That’s half of all books!  

Schools buy non-fiction titles by the truckload. So do public libraries. Magazines and journals are in constant need for well-written non-fiction.  

So why do many children’s writers overlook this market? Enterprising non-fiction writers with a fresh idea and a readable style are much more likely to be published than the battalions of writers aiming to crack the fiction market.  

Some editors claim that 90% of what they need is non-fiction, but 90% of what they receive is fiction.


Read the entire article here


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Order your downloadable copy of "How to Write Short Fiction That Sells" now and receive a free bonus copy of the ebook "2006 Short Fiction Market Guide".

This unique guide contains 105 listings for publications all wanting more short stories from all over the world!

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This month's writing prompt:

"Life is NOT a box of chocolates, it's more life toffee and nuts...."

*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.


Seven Ways Writers Can Reduce Stress

 Copyright Cheryl C. Malandrinos - All Rights Reserved.


Two completed manuscripts lay on your desk waiting to be edited, you’ve promised a friend you would finish the critique of her short story yesterday but it’s only half done, and you have an article due to your editor by the end of the day.

Is it any wonder writers feel stressed out?

According to the American Institute of Stress, "numerous surveys and studies show that occupational pressures and fears are far and away the leading source of stress for American adults." They go on to say this situation has steadily increased over the past few decades.

It was also stated that while stress is difficult for scientists to define because it is a highly subjective phenomenon that differs with individuals, stress can have wide ranging effects, not only on emotions, moods, and behaviors, but also various systems, organs, and tissues all over the body.

Below I’ve listed seven ways you can reduce stress. These suggestions will assist you to be more productive, and at the same time keep you healthy too.

1). Eliminate disorganization and clutter in your workspace.

It’s hard not to feel anxious when you’re trying to work in an area which looks like it’s just experienced a trip through the eye of a tornado.


Read the entire article here



Crafting the Romance Story by Lynette Rees is an interactive workbook for aspiring romance writers. As well as containing useful information and links it also contains character and plot worksheets.

To read an excerpt of this terrific book, go here.

Synopses:  The Necessary Evil

Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved


Of all the things one has to do on the road to getting published, writing a synopsis is my least favourite. I struggle with each one, and am never really satisfied when it’s done. But they are a necessary evil for those of us serious about getting our romances published, and it never hurts to refresh our memories on what makes a good synopsis.

It’s important to understand that for a publisher considering your manuscript, after your query letter, the synopsis can be a deal maker or breaker. The same skill and care you put into writing your romance novel has to go into the synopsis, for it is this that the publisher sees long before seeing your manuscript.

Synopses are always written in the present tense, third person. (Jane, a librarian in her early thirties, is facing the prospect of being alone after the sudden death of her parents…) As for length, that varies but generally I’ve found 1 page for each 10,000 words is a standard formula unless otherwise specified in a publisher’s submission guidelines. But synopses can be as short as a couple of pages. They do not contain dialogue or quotes from the manuscript. And they do not contain much description of character or settings.


Read the entire article here

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Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write

Written by Elizabeth Lyons

Published by Pedigree (Penguin Putnam)

286 Pages

Reviewed by Beth Morrow 2007– All rights reserved


I’m a nice person. No, really. At the risk of sounding egotistical, I might even be one of the nicer people you’ll ever meet (well, virtually, at least, for many of you. In fact, some of my friends (even my mother) comment that I’m too nice, too agreeable, too willing to help others out when I should say no and worry about myself—which makes the first statement about this month’s book review all the more difficult to share.

And it isn’t what you’re thinking. Elizabeth Lyon’s Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and Advance Before Writing Your Book was a fabulous read—a definite keeper for the writer’s resource bookshelf and veritable wealth of information presented in a no-nonsense way for writers of all levels and experiences.

Ready for my two-cent opinion: if you read this book, follow her insightful directions and guidance and still aren’t sure how to create a nonfiction proposal, you shouldn’t be a writer. Harsh, yes, but Lyon wrote this book for a reason. If you’re going to read it, take advantage of her knowledge to further your career.

Read the entire article here

Easy Way to Write Romance

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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Market Round-Up July 2007

Jodi M. Webb – All Rights Reserved


Travel writing…jetting across the world, staying in fancy hotels, having exotic experiences…and all for free! Sounds too good to be true. It is too good to be true. Most travel magazine don’t want articles written by anyone who took advantage of a free trip. Don’t have the money to fly off to Rio, Paris, or Alaska to gather info for a travel article? You can still try your hand at travel writing by adjusting your idea of destinations. A nearby city that gives you the yawns can be the base for an interesting article for an audience that hasn’t visited your city. Like most themed magazines, travel magazines come with lots of different slants. Write an article for a specific magazine’s audience instead of a general audience, you’ll have a better chance.


This first magazine has very specific departments and issue themes so don’t bother querying until you’ve checked their guidelines page. Jaded business travelers are reading this magazine so you’ve got to come up with something new and unusual plus it has to be on Continental’s air route. Live near an airport? Check out which other airlines fly into your airport and have their own inflight magazine.

Continental—Inflight Magazine


Read the entire article here - grab your discounted membership. Save US$20 just for being a Writer to Writer subscriber!
 More information here.

Subscriber News:


No news this month!

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

Click here to email Cheryl




A Wild Rose Press contest open to Published and Unpublished authors.

Through the Garden Gate Historical Contest -

We are looking for time travel stories 15,000 - 20,000 words in length. There are four categories: Regency (1811-1820), Civil War(1861-1865), Western (set west of the Mississippi in the 1800's), and Vintage (1955-1965). One story from each category will be e-book published and all entries will receive a critique.

The rules :

All stories must start in 2007 with the heroine vacationing in this cottage (see picture) set in Bury, Lancashire, England. When she walks through the garden gate she is transported in time and finds romance in one of the time periods stated above.

Send your entry as a Word .doc or .rtf attachment with 'Gate Contest: title of ms'" in the subject line to: Please be sure to use standard manuscript formatting on all entries.

Deadline is August 30, 2007. You may send your entry any time up to that date. Winners will be announced October 31, 2007, and the winning entries will be e-published in December 2007.



John Kenneth Galbraith Short Story Competition

Deadline for submissions:  August 1, 2007

For all details, list of prizes, entry fees etc., go to:

*Please note:  open only to Canadian writers.


The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to everyone whether experienced or not. This competition welcomes anyone who loves to arrange words into beautiful art or to write a short story that is worth telling. And to all who have the ability to dream. Write your best short story or poem for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

Visit for further details, to print out an entry form or to enter online.


Call for Inspiring True Stories


***Note:  Updated Call for Submissions

Colleen Sell, editor for Cup of Comfort anthologies, has notified of her current and upcoming needs. This is a paying market:




The bestselling Cup of Comfort book series is seeking submissions for publication consideration in three new books. Stories must be true, uplifting, and 1000 to 2000 words. For writer’s guidelines:




What happens when the person who raised you or the person with whom you raised your children slowly becomes a child who doesn’t know you? What if that loved one changes so drastically that he or she is virtually a stranger to you? What if that person is difficult to deal with and requires substantial assistance? How will the reality of having a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s affect you and your family—emotionally, financially, physically, socially, personally, professionally? The inspiring stories in this collection will answer those questions and more—and will show how love prevails and how lives thrive when a spouse or parent has Alzheimer’s.


$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book.

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2007




Divorce in the 21st century should come with an instruction manual, a release valve, and a support system. This anthology will serve essentially those three purposes, in the form of comforting, insightful, and inspirational stories about surviving and thriving during and after divorce. We seek uplifting, contemporary stories on a wide range of topics of importance to divorced women—including but not limited to: dating, children, relationship with ex, in-laws, finances, friends, solitude, personal transformation, healing, revenge, mending fences, the ex’s new wife or lover, empowerment, rediscovery of self. The majority of stories will be written by women who are or have been divorced. Stories can be poignant, irreverent, humorous, witty, or wise.


$500 grand prize; $100 each, all other published stories; plus copy of book.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2007




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 compelling, 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.


Exclusively for the Breast Cancer Survivors volume, Adams Media is working in partnership with Redbook Magazine and will award a $5,000 grand prize, a $5,000 donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the grand prize winner’s name, and bonus prizes to three runner-up stories.


Submission Deadline: December 31, 2007


How Do I?




Hi Cheryl,

I'm working on a lot of projects at the moment: a few short stories, one non-fiction book, one fiction novel and one graphic novel.

None of these stories have deadlines except for the ones I've given myself. My question is this: should I try and complete the short stories, should I try and complete the fiction novel first (which I'm most attached to) or do I continue juggling the projects all at once?

I look forward to your answer.





Hi Flavia,

 This is a common problem, and one I used to suffer from all the time!

 If at all possible, prioritize your projects, then work on them one at a time.  This will do two things:

 1)   Ensure you don’t have lots of projects that don’t get finished, or are left hanging for ages

2)   2)  Keep your concentration and mind on one project, and ultimately give you a higher quality project.

Now, all that said, you may find yourself floundering sometimes.  If that happens, then spend a little time on one of your other projects, but don’t flit from one to another frequently.   This is how this problem has occurred to start with.



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

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We are a paying market. Full guidelines are available here, along with current needs.  *Note:  We are again open for submissions. 


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