Writer to Writer - May 2007
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As many of you know, my mother passed away late December. My father died eight years ago, and my brother died – aged 12 – thirty years ago.
It was always the wish of my parents that together with those of my brother, their ashes were to be scattered at the top of Mount Buffalo - the mountain where my parents met about fifty-five years ago. They even named the specific spot where the scattering was to take place. It was where my father proposed.
So at the end of April, along with our families, my sister and I, our aunties, cousins and friends, and their families, all travelled hundreds of kilometres (about four hours by car) to carry out my parent’s wishes. It was a long, difficult trip, but one that had to be done.
I’ve known for years this had to happen, and have dreaded it the entire time. Appropriately it was a dreary day, with consistent light drizzle. By the time we arrived at the allocated spot on the mountain, it was quite foggy and their were low-hanging clouds. In fact, you could have literally walk into the clouds if you’d wanted.
There was a definite eeriness around us. The rain stopped long enough for us to have a short memorial service and for each person present to scatter ashes, then it started again.
As children, my parents often took our family to this spot in the snow season. My father was born and brought up nearby, and both my sister and I were born in the same area. It was always a place of joy, and a place to connect with family who lived in the surrounding areas. I’ll never see it that way again.
Alan (hubby) and I, along with our daughter (and her children) stayed overnight, took the children to some local attractions, then started the long drive home again.
It took more than two weeks before I was over that weekend. It was as though the finality had hit home - again. After my mother died, I had trouble working, thinking, functioning.
Scattering the ashes of my family did exactly the same thing to me.
I’m sure my parents had no idea the effect this simple gesture would have on either my sister or myself. Or any other family members. It left me with a void, with something I can’t explain.
If your plan has been to have your family scatter your ashes, please think carefully about how it will affect them. And please, do discuss it with them before making the decision.
On a happier note, I’ve been fairly busy with the start of the beta testing for Resources4Writers.com
When a member found a problem, it had to be fixed. When a page had a hiccup, I had to find out why. If a download didn’t work, that also needed attention.
But hardest of all was getting the forum up and running. Boy, was that ever a task and a half!
To be honest, it was something I’d put off for a long time, simply because I knew it would test my knowledge, not to mention my patience. And it sure did that. The biggest problem was that I don’t understand the lingo, which meant I had no idea what I was doing when trying to follow instructions. (Makes for some interesting outcomes!)
Result? The forum is now operating, and so far there have been no hiccups of any substance. Hopefully it will stay that way.
A couple of days ago I added some new products to the site, and will do so regularly from this point forward. I’m also busy finding new resources for members, and have spent quite a bit of time on this.
All in all, it appears that all the problems have been ironed out by our team of beta testers, so I can now go ahead and open the site to the public. However, I still have a couple of small hiccups with the Clickbank affiliate program, so I want to get that sorted before opening to the public. The ecommerce affiliate program is working fine, but I know a lot of affiliates prefer Clickbank so want to get that up and running asap. It will be so nice to see all this hard work finally come to fruition.
Apart from the above, I’ve been working on a few projects that needed finishing, and also started – and finished – a new book/report. Before Resources4Writers was even open for beta testing I decided I would write some reports that could be included there. Most of them will be specific to writers, but some will also be aimed at internet marketers. My first project for the site is basically finished but I’m sitting on it waiting for a snippet of information. Once that arrives, the book will be released.
This month I’ve had two interviews released. One was done several months ago, and the other is very recent. The following links will give you more insight about me and some of my motives.
This interview was conducted by Julia Walton of Ravenhead Services:
And this interview was conducted by Alyice Edrich of The Dabbling Mum:
Okay, onto this month’s issue: I receive a lot of emails about writing greeting cards, so it’s very appropriate that Jodi has found some great greeting card markets for you. Beth has written another wonderful review with her review of Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon.
I didn’t think we would have a romance article this month, because Judy’s computer died a slow and terrible death (and gobbled up this month’s article). But she now has a brand-new computer, and was able to access the article in time for this issue. Free and Inexpensive Ways to Promote your Romance is sure to be a winner! And despite the title, the information is just as suitable for who don't write romance.)
We also have a guest article from Yuwanda Black. This article will be of great interest to those people considering the lucrative area of copywriting. 3 Reasons Freelance Writers Are Underpaid & What They Can Do About It is a very sensible and informative article, and one that will get you thinking.
Okay, that's it from me. Time to sit back, relax with your favourite beverage, and enjoy this issue!
Til next time…
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Quote of the Month:
Too often as writers we think big: books, bylines, months of research. We overlook the small: twenty words, no byline, written while waiting at the bus stop. And the small can help pay the bills just as easily as the big. You don’t have to be a poet to write greeting cards—many are just looking for one cover line and one inside line. Various companies pay from $20 to $300 per card. The best route to success is a visit to the greeting card store where you study the cards from the company you want to submit to, like magazines each company has their own style and specialty. Ditto for guidelines!
Enrol in an exciting course that will help achieve your writing goals for 2007.
New classes recently added! (Yes, again!)
Fully qualified instructors, course prices
This month's writing prompt:
"But it's so dark in there...."
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.
Free and Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Romance
Getting your story published is just the beginning of the journey for you and your book. In this day and age, even with the large established "New York" publishing houses, and most certainly with the small independent presses, an author needs to be prepared to take a leading role in promoting and marketing their work.
This doesn't have to be an odious and financially crippling thing. There are a number of inexpensive and creative ways to promote your romance novel, and I'll share a few of them with you here.
Having your own website is the single most important element in your marketing program. Your website is your "home" on the web, a place to which you can invite readers so they can learn about you and your books. You don't have to know HTML or be a computer whiz to do it either. Homestead (www.homestead.com) and Geocities (www.geocities.com) are just two website hosts that provide templates, and all the tools for you to put a decent site together. You can easily import jpgs of both you and your book covers. You can link to your publisher and purchase sites or sales pages. You can even communicate with fans. And as you become more proficient at working on your website, you can incorporate all sorts of nifty little things to really make your web home a desirable place to visit.
Building Believable Characters
by Marc McCutcheon
Writer's Digest Books
Reviewed by Beth Morrow ©2007 All rights reserved
When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
While I don’t write suspense or mystery (or anything with guns, for that matter), I really love this quote. The fun comes, however, from knowing not only what the man is planning to do with the gun but why he has it in the first place: what’s brought him to this point?
Enter character. As anyone who’s tried creating fictional lives from scratch knows, there are times when all the details of your fictional family come to life and times when the only thing you know is that your hero had scrambled eggs for breakfast and he likes wearing green shirts…not much to build a novel (or short story) on.
That’s where Marc McCutcheon’s Building Believable Characters comes in. Part workbook, part lecture and part thesaurus, you may not know everything about your character by the time you finish, but you’ll have thoroughly considered many of the main aspects of creating a solid, believable characters.
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
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
If you're a freelance writer, then
you are probably abhorred at the rates offered nowadays - especially
for web content.
Resources4Writers.com - grab your discounted membership. Save US$20 just for being a Writer to Writer subscriber! More information here.
My very first children's book has been accepted for publication as an Aussie Aussie Aussie reader, for 7-9 yr olds from Blake Education. It was chosen as one of the 10 they are printing, out of 400 submissions.. this alone, blew me away!
I want to say a huge thank you to you. If you remember I came second in one of your competitions with silly Duane and his sneeze! (Death by Droplet). Winning and placing in competitions along my writing way has given me a huge boost to keep going. It helped me realise, that even though I was going through one rejection after another, that I could write.
I'm hoping this is the start of great things for my writing, and I wanted you to know you have been a big part of my success.
Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.
Award winning Writer
To be published 2008
Catwalk is the true-to-life story of a vagabond tabby cat and the people she meets on her journey of adventure and discovery.
It can be purchased at Amazon.com and B&N.com as well as my own website www.catbook.biz
Congratulations Meryl and Kathie!
**If you have any news, please send it along. (Dont be shy we wont bite!)
A Wild Rose Press contest open to Published and Unpublished
Seeds of Passion Annual Writing Contest - closes June 2007. Go here to download entry form and obtain full details. (Including terms and conditions.)
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. (http://www.dreamquestone.com)
Dream Quest One
Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for further details, to print out an entry form or to enter online.
No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
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 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
More Market Listings:
Macmillan New Writing
Macmillan New Writing is an imprint of Macmillan UK, designed to give an opportunity for new authors to achieve publication. The books are published at the company’s expense, no contribution costs will be sought from authors, and royalties on sales will be paid. The books are sold in the market by Macmillan and will be carried in the company’s sales catalogues, but to keep costs to a minimum, all arrangements for publication and contracts with authors are standard. If you have a novel you would like considered for this list, send an email with a standard word processor file of the novel attached to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not send ideas — they want to see the complete book, together with a synopsis and a few details about the author. Do not send non-fiction books or children’s or illustrated books. Do not send previously published work, but do let them know if you have published other work. For more info www.macmillannewwriting.com
*Australian writers only
Going Down Swinging #26 submissions open
Closing date: 30 June
Submissions for Going Down Swinging #26 are open from 1 Aprilto30June. lssue#26willbeabookand CD featuring the best in new Australian writing, and will be released at the end of 2007. “No matter what you’re writing, drawing, performing or creating we are interested in your work.” For full submission details and submission cover sheet, see www.goingdownswinging. org.au/submissions.htm. If you’ve any questions, email email@example.com
*Going Down Swinging pays contributors $50-$100 per piece, depending on the level of funding available for that specific issue.
New Paying Market:
A new fiction magazine will debut January 1, 2008.
Noctem Aeternus will be a FREE quarterly PDF magazine where the reader will find science fiction, fantasy, western, or even mystery stories…but all tales will have an element of horror.
“The horror genre sometimes gets a bad reputation for being the shock jocks of the literary field,” Editor Michael Knost said. “You can find plenty of blood and guts, but sometimes there is no story among the gore. Noctem Aeternus will be a quality fiction magazine, focusing on the story and its characters.”
The first issue will include a short story (and interview) from master storyteller Ramsey Campbell. Wonderful writers such as Cherie Priest and Tim Waggoner will have stories as well.
Read the submission guidelines, at:
How Do I?
No questions this month.
If you have a writing-related question,
send it here.
Writer2Writer – Amazon Bookstore:
Ready to take on the writing world? Learn how to hone your craft, and in turn, how to win contests!
If you have any feedback about this newsletter; comments, criticisms, (praise!) sections you'd like to see added, tell me
We are a paying market. Full guidelines are available here, along with current needs. *Note: We are currently closed for submissions. Keep checking for when that changes.
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!
Guidelines for advertising, and ad rates can be found here
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