Writer to Writer - March 2007
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As you are probably aware, my latest ebook Writing for Profit: Break into Magazines was released just over a week ago. The response to this book has been huge. And I do mean huge.
My inbox was flooded with sale notifications. Not that I’m complaining, I do like it when people send money. <g>
The thing is, I had no idea this book would fill a gaping hole in the industry. Yes, I understood I’d gone into much more depth than most other books on the subject, and I also knew that non-fiction writing is a popular subject. But I still had no idea this book would walk (or should that be run!) off the virtual bookshelf.
Prior to its publication I sought testimonials from both experts in the subject matter, and those who had no idea at all. Since its release, I’ve had incredible feedback from so many writers who purchased the book. Some of these writers are already published in magazines, but wanted to learn more, others are still trying to break in. In each case they said the book has made things heaps easier and clearer for them, and others told me they’d had a light-bulb moment as a result of the information provided.
You can read just a small handful of the feedback here http://www.writer2writer.com/writeforprofit.htm - the way things are going, I’ll have to add a separate page just for comments by purchasers!!
So what’s next? Right now I’m in the process of updating one of my earlier ebooks, which has seen a sudden resurgence. Basically I’m revamping the markets that are included in Think Outside the Square: Writing Publishable (Short) Stories.
I will be reviewing all of my earlier books over the coming few months or so, and also changing or even withdrawing the bonuses that are currently available. So if you’re interested in the bonuses attached to Think Outside the Square, or I Wanna Win, I suggest you take action in the very near future.
There have been quite a few bites and requests from submissions I’ve made since the last newsletter, and some of them look set to come to fruition. (Yay!) Just yesterday I received an email asking if I would write an essay for an anthology. Hmmmm…. I actually applied to be one of their freelance editors. Sometimes strange things like this happen. If it does, never be afraid to point out that’s not what you queried. Sure, I can write an essay, but I want the ongoing opportunity they have for editing, and would much prefer to do that in this instance.
As I discussed in my January article Planning for a Bumper Year: A guide to boosting your writing income in 2007, I’ve bumped up my non-fiction writing. (No pun intended.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still writing fiction, but non-fiction is where I get the biggest chunk of my writing income. Copywriting, is also a good money spinner.
So if you want to earn more money from your writing this year, these are the areas I suggest you concentrate on.
In addition to these, I also do quite a bit of freelance editing, which brings in another good chunk of my income. I edit magazines, anthologies, articles, and short stories. And I occasionally teach adults and children how to write (fiction and non-fiction).
As you can see, I’m an eclectic writer. If you want to earn regular income from your writing, I suggest you do the same. I have many writing friends, both in Australia and overseas. Many of them are able-bodied and healthy, and earning way less income from their writing than I do. The main reason – as far as I can tell – is they stick to either fiction or non-fiction. Doing both means it’s easier for me to get work.
And in case you’re not aware, writing is my only income.
Moving on to this month’s issue, Beth Morrow has reviewed Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes written by Raymond Obstfeld, Jodi Webb has discovered some excellent markets – as always, and Judy Bagshaw has written an article called Sometimes Real Men Do Eat Quiche. Very intriguing!
Because I haven’t had much free time this past month, I haven’t written article. Instead I’ve decided to post an excerpt of Writing for Profit: Break into Magazines. This particular section deals with sidebars.
Time to sit back, relax with your favourite beverage, and enjoy this bumper issue!
Til next time…
p.s. This newsletter can also be read online by going to:
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Quote of the Month:
We all want to make money writing but sometimes we write things simply because they refuse to remain unwritten. But they won’t sell. Oh, they might be good (even great) but they’re a little too “literary” for most magazines and everyone knows you’re lucky to get a comp copy from a literary magazine operating on a shoestring. Wrong! I was delighted to find several thriving literary magazines that offer payment. Just remember literary magazines have very strict guidelines: they only read during certain months, their word counts are not suggestions, and they want it to arrive their way (most want mailed copies although a few only accept email submissions).
Start the New Year right - enrol for an exciting course that will help you achieve your writing goals for 2007.
Wide variety of classes and workshops to choose from - something to suit everyone.
Fully qualified instructors, course prices
This month's writing prompt:
It was as though the entire world had stopped revolving.
Excerpt from Writing for Profit: Break into Magazines
Copyright Cheryl Wright 2007
Not all magazines require sidebars, but the majority do. Most editors love them.
If you don’t know what these are, grab any magazine and look at one of the feature articles.
See the boxes filled with information? They’re sidebars.
They give the reader additional information about the story they’ve just finished reading, and details on where they can find the businesses quoted in the body of the story, other businesses of interest, helpful websites etc.
Sometimes a sidebar might be a list of things related to the article. For instance, for an article about fitness and ways to get active, the sidebar could include (say) ten ways to get active on the weekend, and another six ways to get active during the week.
It may include things like:
Riding your bike
Turn on the music and start dancing
Go for a picnic then bushwalk afterwards
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes
Written by Raymond Obstfeld, 2000
Reviewed by Beth Morrow ©2007 All rights reserved
Over the years, bits of insight from writing workshops have clung to my fiction writer’s brain the way those fuzzy balls of lint stick to knit sweaters: Start in the middle. Heighten the tension. Don’t edit til you’re finished. Make sure you separate knits from cottons.
Ok, maybe that last one isn’t quite writing-related, but in Raymond Obstfeld’s Novelist’s Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes, the good news is that the best piece of advice comes on page five—barely before you’ve had enough time to leave a crease in the spine. In a two hundred and eleven page book covering scenes--one of the most technical, most important elements in successful fictional storytelling—that’s no small feat. And it’s darn good advice to consider when the depth and breadth of the remaining information can send you thinking for days.
And what is this magical advice? Plot your scenes before writing? Connect your scenes through action and reaction? Never use flashback? While these are good, they miss the point: Obstfeld’s advice is much, much simpler and more intelligent to the practicing writer.
Just write it.
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.
Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved
Romantic fiction is not solely the arena of women writers anymore, especially in this enlightened age. Some men are finding that the romance market is a lucrative place to ply their writing craft. But the question arises, can men write romance?
Who can forget the wonderful scene in the movie As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson's character, a disagreeable, cantankerous, OCD afflicted romance writer, meets up with a breathy female fan at his publisher's office. She gushes her adoration, and asks him something to the effect, "how are you able to write women so well", to which he replies, "I think of a man, and take away reason and accountability".
It made for a great laugh in the film, but would be horrifying to contemplate in real life.
But to answer the question posed above, yes, men can write romance. Of course they can! Why not? Men experience falling in love, deal with relationships, have their hearts broken, do stupid things in the name of love, have secret desires, fear being hurt, lust in (and out of) their hearts--all the things that a writer uses to create wonderful romantic tales.
It has been argued that men could not write believably from the POV of the heroine. Huh?? Women have successfully been writing in the male POV for years. Why can't men do the reverse? The answer? They can, of course. It's called "imagination"!
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 http://www.writer2writer.com/ewtwromance.htm to begin your career as a romance writer!
Now also available as an ebook!http://www.writer2writer.com/ewtwromancebook.htm
* A complete list of recommended courses can be viewed here: http://www.writer2writer.com/workshops.htm
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.
Professional Graphics: websites, book covers, blog,
mini-site etc. I've organised a
for Writer2Writer visitors and subscribers.
(Less than US$50 for this special
"Writer2Writer subscriber Grace Tierney has just published her first book "Positive Thoughts for Writers" a daily guide to beating the rejection blues, writer's block, and other such creative illnesses. It's packed with practical tips, projects, and inspirational quotations for all writers. Each positive thought is brief enough to inspire even the busiest writer. Also includes treats for writers, recipes to fuel your writing, and tips on organizing your writing life and writing space. Read extracts at www.lulu.com/gracetierney."
**If you have any news, please send it along. (Dont be shy we wont bite!)
The Glimmertrain Spring Short Story Award for New Writers closes on March 31st. We welcome your submissions: www.glimmertrain.org, then hit the yellow Submissions tab.
The following contest announcement was recently sent to me unsolicited. I had concerns about some of the information provided, so wrote to the organisers and queried some aspects of the contest. Below the contest notice, you will find answers to the questions that worried me. Since we're all adults here, it's up to you to make a decision as to whether or not you want to submit. I've done some of the ground work for you, but the rest is up to you:
WiseGEEK Writing Contest: $10,000 in prizes!
$7,500 first prize for the winning article for wiseGEEK Writing Contest. wiseGEEK.com provides clear answers to common questions, and to celebrate our 10,000th article, we're seeking submissions from our wise community. ALL appropriate submissions will be published with your byline on wiseGEEK.com. Competition is open to writers over the age of 18, and there is no limit to the number of submissions.
Deadline: 31 May 2007
Prizes: $7,500 First Prize, 10 x $250 Honorable Mention
Entry Fee: $0.00
Link to FAQ/Registration:
Here's the email I sent to the organisers:
I took a quick look around the wiseGEEK site and although at first glance this does seem to be good, I have some concerns.
You mention that all appropriate submissions will be published with a byline, but you don't mention the writers will be paid for those published pieces. So what is really happening here is they are writing for free. Correct?
Please tell me if I'm wrong.
I did try to find your writer's guidelines for rates of pay, but couldn't find them. I assumed that meant you don't pay for submissions. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Before I make a decision on whether or not to post this information, I'd like these questions answered.
And here's their response:
Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to address your concerns.
First of all, I want to assure you that we do pay the freelance writers who provide our regular content. We even pay them for their "audition" pieces, before they've become officially hired. We do not publish the rates of pay, or anything about our recruiting process, however.
Second, the wiseGEEK Writing Contest is just that--a writing contest. The payment is the opportunity to win $7,500 for a piece of writing just 400 words long! We are not paying writers for their entries, but there are several ways that we are trying to support them:
1. Along with their byline, contestants may list the url of their homepage/blog so that individuals who want to contact them based on their work are able to do so.
2. Contestants may submit as many entries as they like.
3. We are expecting to invite several of the best contestants to "audition" for a regular job writing for wiseGEEK.
I hope this addresses your concerns.
Call for Inspiring True Stories
Colleen Sell, editor for Cup of Comfort anthologies, has notified of her current and upcoming needs. This is a paying market:
bestselling Cup of Comfort book series is actively seeking uplifting
true stories for five new volumes. Stories must be uplifting,
original, and 1000-2000 words. Preference given to narrative
nonfiction stories that read like fiction. $500 grand prize; $100
ea. all other stories published, plus copy of book. No entry fee.
Email submissions to
email@example.com; no attachments; 1 story per email; include
your name and mailing address. Writer’s guidelines:
www.cupofcomfort.com (click on Share Your Story).
A Cup of
Comfort for Single Mothers
Oprah Winfrey has often said, parenting is the most difficult and
important job in the world. It can be even tougher for single
mothers, who face all the usual parenting challenges plus a whole
set of unique ones. But single motherhood also brings many untold
rewards. For this anthology honoring single mothers, we seek
inspiring personal stories that speak to the challenges, positive
experiences, and extraordinary relationships of single mothers and
their children. The majority of stories in this collection will be
written from the single mother’s point of view, but the book will
also include some stories written by children of single mothers as
well as by third parties with intimate knowledge of the single
mother and her children.
A Cup of
Comfort for Horse Lovers
A Cup of
Comfort for Cat Lovers
A Cup of Comfort for Breast Cancer
A Cup of Comfort for Spouses & Children
of People with Alzheimer’s
A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women
How Do I?
No questions this month.
If you have a writing-related question,
send it here.
Sign up for The Web-Savvy Writer ezine (http://www.websavvywriter.com) and receive a complimentary copy of the special report "Your Author Website: 21 Content Ideas for Profit and Publicity," written by Patrice-Anne Rutledge, author of "The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist" (Pacific Ridge Press, 2006).
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's e-zine "Sharing with Writers" includes promotion and writing tips and lots of opportunities for subscribers to promote their own writing-related news. Sign by sending an e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to mailto:HoJoNews@aol.com
*Note from Cheryl - Check out Carolyn's new website: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com
Writer2Writer – Amazon Bookstore:
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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