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Thursday, June 30, 2005

HOW TO FATTEN YOUR PRESS KIT

by Lorna Tedder


I sat in the front row of a seminar called something like "How to Create a Jam-up Good Press Kit" and drooled over the examples on the speaker's table. Each kit contained a current press release, a 5x7 black-and-white photo, a cover flat, and a couple of dozen select clippings from newspapers and magazines from all over the country.

"Make sure you put everything that's ever been written about your writing into your press kit," the speaker informed us. "Whether it's a review of your last book, an announcement of an award, a booksigning, an interview--put it in there! When you have a stack of clippings, then you can pick and choose the best ones to convey the image you want."

I glanced around the room. The other attendees, all multi-published authors, were nodding.

Slinking down in my chair, I raised my hand. "My first book comes out next summer. What about me? I don't have any clippings."

The speaker smiled indulgently. "Don't worry. I'm sure you'll have a fatter press kit for your NEXT book."

Arghhhhh!

Mama always said, "If you want something done, you better do it yourself."

She was right. I can't depend on the press to show up at my front door, clamoring to interview me, Little Miss First Time Author. I can't even guarantee they'll print a two-paragraph press > release that I hand-carry to the newspaper office across town. So I've launched a campaign that, I think, will work for other first timers as well as multi-published authors who already have lots of fodder for their press kits.

1. First, become a group. Most authors find it relatively easy to promote other authors' work (like re-arranging shelves in bookstores to give a favorite author a face-out position at eye-level) but find it really hard to say, "Hey, look at this fabulous book I wrote! Buy it! Heck, buy a dozen and given them away as Christmas gifts!" It's so much easier and less embarrassing when a group sponsors you.

You also get better coverage and more credibility than when you're acting alone. Unless you tell them, the press won't know if your group represents three authors or five hundred.

How do you find a group? Maybe you already have one. Your group could be your local RWA chapter, your critique group, or a circle of writers with similar interests. You could be geographically close, or you could meet on-line on a computer bulletin board every night.

Give your group a professional-sounding title if you don't already have a good name. If it's a new group, elect officers and establish your goals for the group. Extra benefits of a group include the social interaction, critiques, support at booksignings, and shoulders to cry on.

Elect someone in your group to send out press releases on EVERYTHING. It's even better if your press release mentions kudos for several local authors because this will help establish the group as a professional, credible organization. Be sure to use quality letterhead and be consistent with your point of contact, > address, and style.

2. Write, write, write! And not just your book. Write articles on plotting techniques, time-saving tips, where to get ideas, the best software to use, market news, research guides, or even tearjerker essays. Then get them published. Granted, it may take longer and be harder to publish an article in a more mainstream publication like Writers' Digest, but there are dozens of other opportunities.

Check your current Writers' Market for names and addresses of periodicals interested in hearing writers' tips and techniques and send for sample copies and tip sheets.

Write the Romance Writers' Report (RWR) for guidelines and needs. If you're an RWA member, send a fabulous column to your chapter newsletter or any of the other chapters, including the Outreach Chapter. You get the benefit of the publicity, and you collect yet one more clipping for your press kit.

3. Get advance reviews. If you wait until your review is actually published, it may be too late to include in the press kit for that book (although a fabulous review could certainly improve your press kit for your next book).

Send manuscripts or galleys to Romantic Times, Rendezvous, Affaire de Coeur, and Heartland Critiques. If you write romantic suspense, send your book to The Talisman and Gothic Journal. If it's a historical, it might be suitable for The Medieval Chronicles. These are just a few of the potential reviewers. Keep your eyes open for other publications. Ask published authors where they got their best reviews.

Once you get an advance review, print it up and include it in your press kit or cull some of the better phrases for quotes. You'll also be able to use the reviews for advertising, too--and if you're fast enough, maybe even for your book cover.

Let the reviewers know you need an advance quote and send your material early so they'll have plenty of time. I had two great quotes eight months before my book's publication date!

4. Make yourself a household word with press releases.

Anything and everything counts!

Were you a finalist in a writing contest? Then you're an award- winning author. Write it up!

Did your book make the Waldenbooks or B. Dalton bestseller lists? Write it up!

Are you scheduled to attend (or better yet--speak at) a national or regional conference? Write it up!

Has the local Rotary Club asked you to give a speech on "So You've Always Wanted To Be a Published Author"? Write it up! Nothing is too small. And if it is, maybe the paper is having a slow news day and will print it anyway.

And remember to include a photo. Nothing will draw the eye to your meager paragraphs of praise like a picture will. You don't have to look glamourous, but the photo should be...charitable. If you wouldn't want it on your driver's liscense, don't send it to the papers.

5. And the most important for last: self-interviews.

You can either "interview" yourself or have a member of your group do it for you and then send it to the newspaper as a special contribution from your group. These are the only interviews you'll ever be able to control, say exactly what you want readers and booksellers to hear, give personal background information that makes you look like a saint (or sinner, if you want), and portray the image you want to cultivate for the Public You.

Now here's the problem: if you send such an interview to a large newspaper, they'll probably ignore it or rewrite it. At best, they'll use it as background for their own interview.

To get in print, concentrate on newspapers who'll be tickled pink to get a free, well-written, thought-provoking story. These are usually small papers, published once or twice a week. Generally, their writing staffs are small or part-time. Amid the school news and recipes, they've got space to be filled--and have you got a story to fill it !

Pick newspapers or small regional magazines whose readers will have an interest in you beyond their choice of literature. If you were born in the town, went to school there, worked there, married the local bad boy, or did anything that will connect you to the area, consider that town's newspaper a candidate for a fascinating interview written with them in mind.

Slant the interview toward something unique about you and that location. Here are examples of feature articles my group sent to papers in five small towns to announce that I'd sold my first book (new articles went out a week before A MAN CALLED REGRET hits the stores):

Newspaper A was the hardest. My hometown paper. Almost guaranteed to make the front page though. Since it was my hometown for twenty-something years, I used the old "local girl makes good" slant. Then, since I'd used a lot of local Southern history in the setting, I talked about that local history, how it fit in the book, and how much research it required. I included how I had a fighter pilot friend fly me over my hometown in a 4-seater Cessna so I could get the opening scene just right and how I talked to several pilots to make the crash as realistic as possible.

Newspaper B was the county paper I wrote for during my senior year of high school. Mostly I did school news type columns, but I was sixteen and had my picture in the paper every week. When I graduated from high school, the editor gave me a dictionary/thesaurus set. In that interview, I mentioned how I have every kind of fancy dictionary you can imagine, yet I still use that reference set--even though I've had to tape the covers to keep them from falling off from overuse.

Two local gourmet kitchens produce mayhaw jelly--the same as Trudy and Regret make in that oh-so-hot kitchen scene--and since the berry is native to that county, I discussed the role of the mayhaw berry in the book.

Newspaper C is the official organ of the county where I went to high school. Since many of my classmates' parents still live in the area, I talked about my high school dreams and how, after my first class reunion, I reclaimed my dream of writing when my old chums told me they had been looking for my name in bookstores for ten years. I also stressed the difficulties of finding time to write while juggling a full-time job, two babies, and a husband.

Newspaper D is published in the county where I went to a controversial private school between the third and eighth grades. I opened the interview with my memories of that school, where I first started writing, and how writing was my salvation during a difficult adolescence that knew no sense of belonging.

Newspaper E is in the town where I earned my undergraduate degree. I asked the same question I was repeatedly asked there ten years ago--"So whatcha gonna do with that there English degree if you ain't gonna teach?" My answer was tutor learning disabled students, edit newsletters, write public relations brochures, negotiate contracts for the Department of Defense--and finally, become a published author.

I sent five larger, regional newspapers a three-paragraph press release and a picture--just the basics plus a few words to tie me to that community. In one case I'd worked on special projects at a well-known local company. In another city, I'd earned a master's degree from a local college. I used those tidbits in the headlines, too. ("Local Graduate....) So now I have my own set of clippings for my first press kit--and enough clippings that I can be choosy. The interviews say exactly what I want them to say and what I want future interviewers to know about me, and not a single one of them asks that tacky question about where I get my inspiration for sex scenes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© 1995 by Lorna Tedder

[Note from Spilled Candy: some of the periodicals mentioned in the above article are no longer published, but the point remains: find related markets for article-writing and reviews, even if they're small publications which tend to be hungry for news.]

Dr. Lorna Tedder is an award-winning, best-selling author who routinely shares her writing and marketing expertise at national writers' conferences, online, and through her writing guides. Her non-fiction guides for writers include BOOK PROMOTION FOR THE SHAMELESS, BOOK PROMOTION SAVVY, and RECLAIMING THE MAGIC: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS. All three books are available at www.SpilledCandy.com.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

WHAT IS FICTIONAL DREAM?

How does an author create one? For what purpose does an author create one?
by Vicki Hinze


What is the fictional dream? How does an author create one? For what purpose does an author create one? The fictional dream is the means by which an author transports a reader from reading words on a page into the pages of the story. It is the combination of craft techniques implemented specifically to capture the reader's interest in, and empathy for the characters; those tools which, effectively incorporated, facilitate the reader becoming an active participant in the story events.

Vivid Imagery
Sensory Perception
Author Distance
Universal Identification
Deep Characterization

While each of the above tools is strong and effective at creating the fictional dream, the most potent writing contains a combination of tools. If an author can paint a specific picture in a reader's mind, then the reader can imagine themselves in that scene and in the depicted situation.

The incorporation of sensory input--things the character (thus the reader) sees, smells, hears, touches, and tastes, reinforces the reader's mental image and draws that reader into the story at a deeper level.

Create author distance, by avoiding intrusion and filtering, by not insinuating the author between the character and the story events, and the reader experiences the story firsthand.

Use a story event that creates a universal reaction.

For example: outrage at a child being abused (versus outrage at an injustice which is generic and non-specific), depict the character's emotional response to that injustice through thoughts and actions, and the reader becomes involved. That involvement is often referred to as reader empathy. And an empathetic reader lives the fictional dream.

Let's look at each of these tools. To create vivid imagery, use specific, concrete details. Don't use tree, use oak. Don't write book, write the title of a specific book--one that conveys the tone and mood of the character at that moment. Select specific details that create and convey the emotional impact you, the writer, want conveyed.

An example from Upon a Mystic Tide: Sitting in her old, red rocker, Miss Hattie turned on the big, antique radio behind her. Big band era music drifted through the kitchen, and she softly hummed along with it. Her head bowed, she studied the embroidery in her lap. She was sewing the Seascape Inn logo onto a new batch of crisp, white napkins. Yellow thread. Was the color significant to women of her age?

In this example, the specific and concrete details are:
Sight: the red rocker, the big, antique radio, embroidering napkins with yellow thread
Sound: the big band music, humming

Incorporating these details into the work has created a vivid image of Miss Hattie, sewing, humming, rocking. Obviously, she isn't stressed, so, by the type details selected, mood is created, tone is set. Sensory perception includes sight and sound, as well.

By letting the second character, the viewpoint character observing Miss Hattie, think direct thoughts, without intruding, without filtering those thoughts through the author, the remaining tools have been lightly incorporated as well. The reader glimpses inside the mind of the view point character, unobstructed by the author's presence. The text is working hard, accomplishing more than one task.

Remember, vivid imagery requires specific and concrete details. Don't write tree. Write oak. Don't write emotion. Write fear or sorrow, guilt or shame. Don't write dog. Write Doberman, or Yorkie. Don't write chair. Write rocker. Write cinematically. Vivid images that create pictures in the reader's mind.

Think of the novel page as a blank canvas. Only what the author chooses to disclose will be painted on that canvas. The more specific the detail painted, the more vivid the image on the canvas--and in the reader's mind. Writers tend to lean heavily on visual images. Visual images are crucial, but all-inclusive.

The other senses should not be neglected. They too are important. Actually, they're vital. Smell is particularly powerful.

In the above scene from Upon a Mystic Tide with Miss Hattie, there are references to the scents of sea spray, of blueberry muffins, of peonies. (Note that all are soothing images, which further the emotional mood and tone of the scene.) Home-baked bread.

What do the characters hear? A grandfather clock's steady ticks, the fridge motor's soft whir. The ice-maker plopping cubes into the bin. Birds chirping. Soft, homey--comforting sounds.

If your character is standing on the shore, does he feel the sea spray gather on his skin? Does it chill? Raise gooseflesh?

If your character is mellow, does he look out upon the sun-spangled sea, lulled by the smooth roll of the waves? Does your character rub a nubby quilt when uneasy? Do pungent fragrances make his nostrils sting?

In the above references, the mood of the scene, the mood of the character, is portrayed by the images selected and the character's sensory perception. Tactile perceptions add texture. Feel the grate of sandpaper, the smooth finish on a beloved antique, the needle punching into fabric and the silken thread pulling through it. Ever had your mouth water at a particular smell? A memory evoked by the sound of a song? Ever taste a cherry tart and remember the first one you ate?

These sensory perceptions breathe life into human beings. Characters emulate human beings. Therefore, to breathe life into characters, the writer should include the character's sensory perceptions.

We've all heard the saying, "Author, keep out!" We've also heard, "Show, don't tell." In the case of author distance, both are apt. There are times when it's advantageous to the story to create distance between the story event and character and that character's reaction to the story event.

But on the whole, whenever an author intrudes, that author places her/himself between the reader and the character. This distance pushes the reader away, reminds her she's reading and not living the story event. Reader empathy is greatly diminished, if not lost, and the powerful impact the story and characters had on the reader is gone. The novel dictates the best means for portraying the story. Each scene within the novel is weighted and its value must be judged. Pivotal, key scenes are ones wherein the writer loses far too much by intruding, or by filtering the events through the writer before allowing the reader to experience them. Background information, on the other hand, should be given quickly, efficiently and in small doses. Dribbled into the scene, a few sentences at a time, background information can be fed to the reader on a need-to-know basis.

Ask yourself: Does the reader need to know this information now for what is occurring at this point, in this scene, to make sense? If the answer is yes, include the information. If, no, cut it and reinsert it in the scene and at the point where the reader does need to know it.

Remember, background information is stagnant, passive. It brings the story momentum (pace) to a dead halt, prohibits the plot from any advance, and leaves the characters dangling in suspended animation. A reader patiently wades through this only because she feels the matter is of import or it wouldn't be there. So be sure it is important, give the info to the reader, then get back on with the story.

In addition to telling intrusions, the author can intrude in seemingly unoffensive ways. One of them is filtering. Note the following two sentences: Example 1: He thought she had the temperament of a squealing pig. Example 2: She had the temperament of a squealing pig.

In Example 1, you the author are telling the reader what the male character thought. You're filtering his thoughts, through you, and then passing them along to the reader. You're telling the reader.

In Example 2, without the filter, he thought, the reader is planted inside the character's mind and is hearing his though direct. You, the writer, have effectively created author distance. You are not intruding. You are not on-scene. And the bond between the reader and the character has not been violated. An effective tool used to create and maintain the fictional dream is universal identification. Meaning, generally, that via plot, the author strikes a familiar theme, or chord, in the reader: one he or she can identify with.

More often than not, the most effective universal chords are emotional ones. Who among us has not experienced grief, or loss, or embarrassment, or guilt? For example: an angry character commits a murder. Do you, the author, hope to strike a familiar chord on the event, the murder, or on the motivation for murder, the anger? If you are a skilled craftsman, you could do either.

But more craftsmen will opt for the motivation because it is universal. Many of us have not murdered. All of us have been angry. We all are able to identify with anger. Through it, we establish reader identification, and tap into a universal emotion. Those two inclusions force the reader to become an active participant in the story. And an active participant is one living the fictional dream.

Frequently authors get overly zealous at telling readers the color of a character's hair and fail to realize that this topical tidbit isn't nearly so interesting as the fact that the character bleached her hair at sixteen and it all fell out. She had to wear a wig and baseball caps for six months, and she missed her junior prom!

Which interests you more? Which gives you more insight into a well-rounded individual with a history? Which tidbit makes this character more real to you?

Before you attempt to impart a character to a reader, get to know the character. Sit down and chat. Interview the character. Know what the character loves and hates, her hopes and desires, her fears. Know her goals and her happiest moment, her most humiliating experience. Know her as well or better than you know yourself.

Make no mistake, this is a time-consuming task. But once you start writing about this character, you'll find it time well-spent. You, the writer will not have to stop and ask how this character will react to this particular situation. You'll know. And all of the little things you found out in the interview/chat will drive the plot and make this character three-dimensional. Real. We are shaped by our experiences, our background, our exposure to the world.

So, too, are our characters. In fact, it's wise to stop thinking of them as characters and to start thinking of them as people. People who are rich in their diversity, their unique individuality. What about them interests you, the writer? If the character fascinates you, then that character is apt to fascinate a reader. Don't be satisfied telling us the color of her hair. Let us know what she thinks and yearns for, what she feels, why she feels as she does.

You'll learn far more about a character than you impart in a novel, but you will have steely insight into what drives that individual and you'll depict her as a well-rounded individual; one with whom the reader can establish common bonds and cheer on. Incorporate these tools in your work. Combine them for maximum benefit to your story. And permit your readers to live the fictional dream.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 1996 by Vicki Hinze.


Dr. Vicki Hinze is an award-winning, best-selling author who routinely shares her expertise at national writers' conferences, online, and through her writing guides. Her latest non-fiction book is ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL, from Spilled Candy Books for Writers. This 589-page ebook covers everything you need to know about the craft of writing, the publishing business, and the secrets to getting published. ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL is available at www.SpilledCandy.com as a download or disk.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

UNPUBLISHED LEGACIES:

The importance of writing. Written just before the author sold her first book
by Lorna Tedder


A few nights before my second child was born, I woke from a screaming nightmare. I'd been sleeping in the recliner downstairs, so I didn't even have the comfort of my husband's arms, and at that moment, I felt more alone--more mortal--than ever before.

In my dream, I had learned that I was dying. My mother, now in her sixties and not in the best of health, vowed to keep my memory alive for as long as she lived, but I knew that my two-year-old would soon forget me and that the baby I carried would never know me. Waking, I stumbled to my toddler's bed, gazing at her with the lovelorn somberness of new motherhood and hugging the overdue child inside me until my tears ran down my cheeks and into the collar of my nightgown.

Throughout the next few days and long nights, I couldn't get the dream out of my mind. I knew I could blame it on hormones, but the question kept nagging me: if I died today, how would my children ever know me? I found my answer just as the contractions were coming five minutes apart.

The doctor had told me to keep busy until I was ready to go to Labor and Delivery. The contractions were too distracting to write, so I started reading through my unpublished manuscripts--five of them, all in various stages of submission to different publishing houses.

That's when I realized that I held in my hands the most precious legacy I can pass on to my children.

I'll admit I'm a hard person to get to know and probably as hard for those closest to me to understand as I am to a stranger meeting me for the first time. But the greatest key to discovering what goes on in my heart and mind and the rest of me I keep locked so tightly away, is in the ardently spun stories I've committed to paper.

My stories are about strength and weakness, love and yearning, and most of all about passion. If they're looking for my values, my children will find heroines who believe in self-sufficiency and hard work, heroines who draw on the inner strength they don't know they have, and heroines who are wealthy in their family, their roots, and their land. They'll see that I'm attracted to a man's eyes and the way he coos to his baby girl. They'll read about heroes who aren't infallible and sometimes aren't redeemable until the story's end but are always a little dangerous and a little mysterious. In my secondary characters, they'll meet my mother, bits and pieces of people I've known or heard about, and shadows from their childhood as well as my own.

In my manuscripts, they'll discover what I've learned of love--that it's always surprising, sometimes illogical and ill-timed, but never to be regretted. They'll realize, through my portrayal of fathers with daughters and mothers with children, just how much my husband and I enjoyed them when they were little. Finally, they'll unmask the passion of a mother who never said much and never seemed to get too excited about anything.

No inheritance--neither money nor land--will ever be as worthy to be passed on to her children as a mother's soul transformed into words. My stories, so precariously immortal, have the power to outlive me, whether published and displayed in bookstores for a mere thirty days or never published at all. One day my children and their children after them and generations I may never know will hopefully read my words and have an understanding of who I am now, of what is important to me, and of the dreams I carry in my head and the love I carry in my heart. I can't say it doesn't matter if those manuscripts are never published. It does matter--but my legacy matters more.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© 1992 by Lorna Tedder

[written a few months before the author sold her first novel]


Dr. Lorna Tedder is an award-winning, best-selling author who routinely shares her writing and marketing expertise at national writers' conferences, online, and through her writing guides. Her non-fiction guides for writers include BOOK PROMOTION FOR THE SHAMELESS, BOOK PROMOTION SAVVY, and RECLAIMING THE MAGIC: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS. All three books are available at www.SpilledCandy.com.

Monday, June 27, 2005

TRICKY RASCALS TO WRITE!

Creating believable villains worthy of being opponents to your protagonists
by Vicki Hinze


Villains are tricky rascals.

As an author, your job requires you walk a fine line. You must make your villains credible, logical, believable and understandable, but not likeable. You want your villains to be real, three-dimensional people. You want the reader to understand what they're doing, why they're doing it, why they believe their actions are just and rational but you don't want the reader to become so empathetic with the villain that he/she loses empathy with the hero/heroine and starts cheering for the villain.

As I said, this requires the author to walk a fine line, and all too often we fall to using stereotype, cardboard "bad" guys who have no redeeming qualities. This makes them one-dimensional, lowers their emotional impact, and it also lowers the reader's esteem for the hero and or heroine who will eventually best this villain.

The reason is that a totally evil villain is less a threat, less evil, less frightening than one who is strong. Totally evil equates to totally weak, because there are only surface motivators driving the villain. But if you build the villain's character by giving him logical, well-motivated, reasons for doing the evil he does, in the way he does it, then you've elevated the villain to a worthy evil--one that respects the villain's character, the hero and heroine's characters, and you've played fair with the reader, thus earned his or her respect.

To be most effective, a villain does the wrong things, but in his mind, he's doing the right things for the right reasons. Remember, no one sees themselves as a bad person, nor a foolish one--not even a villain. To him, his actions are just. His reasons are valid .

You, the author must play fair and depict the villain honestly. If you're in his Point of View (POV), then you must see him as he sees himself. In his eyes, he is intelligent. He is a worthy adversary to the hero and heroine, capable of inflicting the evil he chooses, capable of winning the battle against the hero and heroine.

Now, if you, the author, depict him this way to the readers--both from his own POV and from others'--because the villain is intelligent, a worthy adversary, capable of inflicting this evil, and capable of winning the battle, the outcome of who will win is uncertain. That uncertainty creates suspense. And when a character who is not fighting twisted logic and faulty perception, recognizes how twisted the villain is, how dangerous those qualities make him, that doubles suspense.

These elements combine and make for a good, exciting, edge-of-your-chair, page-turning read. When you create your villains, ask yourself this question: How hard is it for a hero/heroine to battle and best a wimp? The stronger your villain, the stronger your hero/heroine.

Besting a wimp isn't much of a victory. But a worthy adversary, well, that says a great deal about your hero and heroine, doesn't it?

If your villain is smart, sharp, and darn good at what he's doing, then to best him, your heroine/hero must be smarter, sharper, and better than darn good at what they're doing.

When they best the villain, they've accomplished something worthy. And, you the writer, rather than lowering the value of your hero and heroine, have upped everyone's value and strength, which means these elevated characters are capable of carrying the weight of a much more intensive story. You've also increased your authorial options. Your characters, being capable of more, are able to give more to the story. Your plot isn't bound by the limitations of its' characters but freed by their abilities.

So, as Robert Newton Peck says, "Give your Black Bart a daisy." Or give your villain redeeming qualities. Make him good. Make him darn good. Because that makes the heroine and hero better and permits you to make the story stronger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copyright 1996 by Vicki Hinze.

Dr. Vicki Hinze is an award-winning, best-selling author who routinely shares her expertise at national writers' conferences, online, and through her writing guides. Her latest non-fiction book is ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL, from Spilled Candy Books for Writers. This 589-page ebook covers everything you need to know about the craft of writing, the publishing business, and the secrets to getting published. ALL ABOUT WRITING TO SELL is available at www.SpilledCandy.com as a download or disk.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Virginia Brendemuehl Prize for Poetry

The 2005 Virginia Brendemuehl Prize

First Place: $1000 plus publication in Rock & Sling
Finalists: Publication in Rock & Sling.
Contest Deadline: July 15, 2005 postmark

Entry fee is $10 for three poems. Poems will be judged based on literary quality and in consideration of our vision statement. Preferred maximum length is 60 lines.

Click here to read full contest guidelines.

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Writer's Digest Short Story Competition

WD Popular Fiction Awards

Send in your entry to the brand new WD Popular Fiction Awards! We want your best fiction in five categories: Romance, Mystery/Crime Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense and Horror. The Grand-Prize Winner will receive $2,500 cash, $100 worth of Writer's Digest Books, plus a manuscript critique and marketing advice from a Writer's Digest editor or advisory board member. All winners will receive promotion in Writer's Digest magazine.

Deadline: 11/1/2005

Click here for guidelines and an entry form.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Guide for Using Quotation Marks

The Capital Community College Foundation has posted an online guide for using quotation marks.

http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/quotation.htm

This comprehensive guide includes usage rules for quotations with other punctuation marks, along with examples and explanations of the difference between U.S. and British styles.

The quotation marks page is part of the main Guide to Grammar and Writing website referenced here at Fictional Perspectives in an earlier post.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Authors Compensation Survey

RealRates.com is conducting an Authors Compensation Survey. This survey is designed to give writing professionals more information about what their peers are earning for different types of work at different levels of experience.

If you have been paid for publishing a book, e-book, magazine article, or web page content in the past five years they would like to hear from you.

Take the survey... http://www.realrates.com/authors/

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Superstitions - An Unusual Trivia Collection

Visit Corsinet.com to research unusual, unique, and uncommon facts about a diversity of subjects:
  • Superstitions
  • Old Wives Tales
  • Folklore
  • Bizarre Beliefs
  • Taboos
  • Omens
  • Lucky & Unlucky Things
Here are some examples:
  1. To cure a cough: take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of buttered bread, feed it to a dog, and say, "Eat well you hound, may you be sick and I be sound."
  2. Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
  3. Rosemary planted by the doorstep will keep witches away.


Great resource! Visit today!

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Google Library: Peril for Publishers?

From InternetNews.com:
Google is digitizing entire university libraries. Book publishers haven't decided if the Google Library Project means exposure to new readers or copyright infringement on a massive scale. It's a question the Supreme Court may have to decide.

In October, the search goliath announced Google Print, a program that lets publishers work with Google to digitize books to which they hold the rights in order to make them available for search. Google promises publishers they can earn money when searchers click on contextual ads that appear alongside the book pages.

But book publishers were taken aback when they heard about Google Library, a project that had been under way since 2002 with the University of Michigan. Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University and the New York Public Library also are in the process of letting Google scan parts or all of their collections.

Google broke the news in December, the same day print.google.com officially went live. The Library Project was positioned as an extension of Google Print, but some publishers saw it as more of a collision with it.

Read the full article...

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Further Adventures of "A Very Parfit Knight"

For those who enjoyed the adventures of Sir Gawain and The Geek in "A Very Parfit Knight," be sure to read "Sir Gawain and the Dragon."

In "Sir Gawain and the Dragon," the steadfast, loyal program, Sir Gawain, once again, saves the day and protects the job of genius programmer, The Geek, from corporate terrorists.

Both stories are by a fabulous, emerging Author, Clive Allen, and can be found at Kendralynn.com or Clive's blog, Gone Away.

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Keeping Track of Your At-Home Business Expenses

by: Jan Kovarik


If you are new to working at home, then you might not be aware that you can legally deduct many types of valid business expenses, such as paper supplies or the second phone line you install for your business, on your self-employment income tax return (and thereby reduce your taxable self-employment income). This article concerns only general expenses and will not deal with how to determine and deduct expenses that relate to your in-home office space or depreciable office furnishings/equipment. That is a conversation for another day (and by someone better versed in the IRS rules!).

First, let me congratulate you on the fact that you are working at home! Whether it is part-time, full-time, or just a little something you do on the side for extra money, working at home and being your own boss is the lifelong dream of many people. Be proud that you have achieved what so many do not.

Second, let me be very clear that this article is written on the assumption that you report your self-employment income---all your income---and that you pay the self-employment taxes that are due on that income. This article is also based on tracking and recording legitimate business expenses. Even if you have very modest income and are using your kitchen table a few nights a week as your office space, there are still legitimate business expenses that you can use to help reduce your self-employment taxable income. The purpose of this article is not to help you find ways to pad your deductions or to dodge paying your taxes.

Last, this article is aimed at those who are either new to working at home or who need a simple explanation of a subject that may seem twisted and tangled. Business expenses and tax deductions don’t need to be scary monsters that live with the dust bunnies beneath the box spring of your bed. You don’t even need a complicated method of data storage in order to track your expenses and have quick and easy numbers ready when it comes time to file your taxes. In fact, you don’t really need much more than a notepad and a nice box. Of course, if you live for spreadsheets and bar graphs, you can get as high-tech as you like. Personally, I have a very simple Excel spreadsheet and four large file folders (one for each quarter of the year).

OK, let’s get started.

It is important to know what qualifies as a “business expense.” Well, that’s simple. A business expense is money that you pay out of your pocket in order to maintain your at-home business. An easy example would be a business phone line. If you had a second phone line installed as your business line, then you can legally deduct 100% of the cost of that phone line as a business expense. You can also deduct the cost of equipment, installation, and hook-up (for the tax year during which you installed the line). Business expenses do not have to be related to office equipment or furniture, or even the actual work that you do. Legitimate business expenses also include office supplies like computer paper, ink cartridges, pens, notepads, paperclips---literally anything that you buy specifically for conducting your business.

I use this rule of thumb: If I wouldn’t have purchased it otherwise, then it is a business expense.

Now, I do understand that at some time during your life, you would probably have some reason to pick up a package of paperclips or buy a couple of ink pens. What I’m talking about are the things that you find that you use regularly in the course of your business. As an example, I have two clients for whom I must send back-up CDs containing files of work that I transmit to them via email. This means that I regularly purchase CDs. Since we have a second computer (that my husband fiercely regards as “his”), it could be argued that we might have purchased the CDs any way. However, since I routinely buy CDs in large quantity, the cost of those disks is a business expense. We have a small supply of blank CDs for our personal use that is separate from my business supplies.

Once again, my thumb-rule applies: If you buy it specifically for business use and you use it during the course of doing business, then it is a business expense.

Depending on the type of at-home business you have, you may be well beyond the “paperclips and pens” type of expenses. If you have an in-home office (used specifically for your business and nothing else), and you have expensive business equipment (let’s say a high-tech copier that can handle blueprints), then your need to track business expenses and the manner in which you are going to report these on your self-employment income tax forms is a little bit more complicated and may even require having an accountant. This article does not address that situation.

At the time of this article, the IRS allows business expense deductions up to $2,500.00 without requiring you to itemize your expenses into pre-set categories. That is, you can simply report a lump sum of $1,879.32 without having to explain it. The IRS “trusts” you. If your business expenses exceed $2,500.00, then you must file a “long form” and categorize your expenses as specified by the IRS. Although it is relatively easy, it does mean that you have to track your business expenses a little more closely. So, for the moment, let’s just concentrate on getting you accustomed to following a few simple steps to track your business expenses.

#1---Always pay separately for your business expense items, regardless of whether by cash, check, debit card, or credit card, and save the receipt. If you are able (and are disciplined enough), then get a credit card with a reasonable credit limit and use it exclusively for business purposes. When the statement comes in each month, staple your saved receipts to the statement and pay off the balance (unless you are temporarily “floating” the purchase of an expensive item). The goal here is to learn the habit of paying separately for anything you purchase for business purposes and to save the receipt.

#2---Designate a file folder, storage box, or some other specific place in which to accumulate your receipts. I find it easy to have four “pocket-type” file folders (the kind with the fold-over flap and elastic bands at the bottom). These folders are labeled for the four quarters of the calendar year (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). During the quarter, I just toss my receipts in the proper folder. If the receipt is not self-explanatory (or does not print out a description of the item), then I make a short note to myself (“presentation folder for Flamingo Publishing proposal”) on the receipt.

#3---At the end of the quarter, organize your receipts (I put mine in date order), and record the dollar amounts. Calculate your total quarterly business expenses. (Please note here that if by the end of the second quarter [June 30th] you have accumulated more than $1,125.00, then it is likely that you will exceed the $2,500.00 limit for non-itemized deduction purposes. If that is the case, you will need to track your expenses by the categories that are pre-set by the IRS so that you can show total amounts in each category.)

#4---At the end of the year, and after you have calculated your expenses for the 4th quarter, add the four quarters to determine your net business expenses. Voila! You have just tracked your business expense for the entire year!

Eventually, you will need this dollar amount in order to calculate your net taxable income from self-employment. If you are not planning on filing your taxes early in January, then bundle up the receipts and save the printout (or penciled-in figure) of your total business expenses. You should establish another file folder/box/storage area for this information and whatever other self-employment forms you are accumulating for Filing Day.

Tracking your business expenses doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. Make the system suit your style---and just remember: Pay for the item(s) separately and keep the receipt!



About The Author:

Jan K., The Proofer is freelance proofreader and copyeditor. Visit http://www.janktheproofer.com for more information about Jan’s services; http://work-at-home.janktheproofer.com for work at home articles and free printables; and for work at home moms, visit Jan’s sister site http://work-at-home.momsbreak.com for articles, free printables, and work at home T-shirts and other fun products.

© Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.

jkproof@bellsouth.net

Friday, June 10, 2005

Children's Book Writing Contest

Woman's Day/Scholastic Book Clubs' "I Want to Be a Children's Book Writer" Contest


Deadline:
Entries must be postmarked on or before September 30, 2005.

Do you dream of writing a children's picture book and having it published? Your dream could come true if you enter the Woman's Day/Scholastic Book Clubs' "I Want to Be a Children's Book Writer" Contest 2005.

The grand-prize winner's manuscript will be illustrated, published and distributed by Scholastic Book Clubs, the nation's largest school book club. The grand-prize winner will also receive a set of five autographed hardcover picture books from Scholastic.

Ten runners-up will receive a set of five autographed hardcover picture books from Scholastic and their entries may be featured on womansday.com and scholastic.com

Click here for Entry instructions and rules.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

How To Organize for Tax Time

By Sheri’ McConnell


The words “simple” and “tax time” have probably never been uttered in the same sentence. Well, not until now at least. The key to a stress free tax season is being organized all year-round. Trying to organize a week before or, God forbid, the night before April 15th is setting yourself up for failure.

Why You Should Organize for Tax Time

Organizing for tax time helps you avoid misplacing important receipts and documents. Your stress level will be lower because you won’t be rushing around at the last minute trying to get to the tax preparer and/or post office. Being organized for tax time also helps you save money because you are more likely to keep track of deductions if you have a system and you won’t be charged a higher fee for having your tax preparer go through your piles of receipts.

How and What To Organize for Tax Time

The only way to organize any object is to assign a home to it. Designate a filing cabinet or storage bin made to hold hanging folders for your year-round paper storage. Create folders for receipts, credit card and bank statements, etc. You will make a folder for anything you spend money on and need to keep track of for tax purposes. Have a filing schedule. I usually take one day a month to pay the monthly bills for my three businesses and to do all my filing. During the month, I put all my documents into one of two places until my filing day. This keeps everything organized with very little effort. I have one folder designated for current bills to be paid and then a lateral shelving unit that I stick everything else in for all three businesses and for my personal documents. No matter what, no less than once a month, I file everything from the shelving unit into my filing cabinet in the appropriate folder.

Now, where do we file our papers? Each year, you should designate a large accordion envelope or section of your filing cabinet to your tax papers. Some of the tax papers you will be filing will include your W2s, 1099s, mortgage interest statements, bank interest statements, real estate tax statements, investments statements, and receipts for charitable donations. Most of the papers/receipts you will file will fall into the following categories: salary, real estate, medical, childcare, and investments.


How Long Should I Keep My Financial Records

First of all, make it a habit to throw away as much as you can that you don’t need to keep like the envelopes that come with your statements, your ATM slips after they have been recorded in your check register, credit-card slips (don’t forget to shred them if they show your credit card number), utility, phone, and cable bills after you have paid them.

Now, on to the documents you should hang on to. Hang on to all monthly statements of financial accounts (bank, investment, etc.) one year until you reconcile them with the year-end statements. Hang on to federal and state income tax returns and related receipts and statements for at least three years. One investment company recommends keeping all tax returns and related information for six years if there is a possibility you may have under-reported your income by 25% or more. When it comes to business equipment or home improvements, you keep those records as long as you have the item (printer, house, etc.).

Simple Tax Time

Everyone has a different financial situation and these tips are offered as guidelines to simplify tax time. Being organized at tax time and year-round should allow you to lead a calmer life and to have greater control of something that you can and should plan for. I hope a few of these tips helped and that you have a stress-free tax season as we head into the next year.


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Sheri' McConnell (www.SheriMcConnell.net) is the President and Founder of the National Association of Women Writers (www.NAWW.org) and the InfoMarket Network (www.InfoMarketNetwork.org). She helps women writers and entrepreneurs discover, create, and profit from their intellectual knowledge! Sheri' lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Seth and their three children-ages 10, 9, and 5. Contact her at naww@onebox.com or her toll free number at 866-821-5829.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Overcoming the Fear of Writing a Synopsis

by Vicki M. Taylor


If you noticed, I didn’t entitle this article “Overcoming YOUR Fear of Writing a Synopsis.” I don’t think you own the fear anymore than I do or any other writer. We all share a common emotion, one that can be summed up in one word: Formidable.

What is it about this particular piece of writing that brings out more moans and groans from writers than a roomful of sixth graders getting a surprise math test?

What is a Synopsis?

Look at the word. Synopsis. Say it with me. “Sin-op-sissss.” Even the sound of the word emanates dread.

What is a synopsis? Webster’s defines it as “a shortened statement or outline, as of a narrative. Abstract.”

Nothing sounds particularly evil in that definition. Let’s look at it a little closer – “shortened statement or outline.” Hey, look at that. “outline.” Now there is a little word we’re all familiar with. Does “outline” make you cringe as much as “synopsis?” What about “shortened statement?” Not me. Probably not you, either.

Start with a Simple Sentence

Let’s start with the shortened statement. I’ll use the popular children’s story, Lady and the Tramp to help demonstrate my points.

What is our story about?

Lady and the Tramp is a story about dogs.”

True, but the portrayal is dry and uninteresting. Would you want to just read a story about dogs? What makes this dog story different? Let’s see if we can add some more information to better describe the story.

Lady and the Tramp is about two dogs from different sides of the track.”

Good. Now we know that there are two main characters. And, we know that these two characters are different in some way. Let’s see if we can do a little bit better.

Lady and the Tramp tells the adventures of an upper-class, well bred cocker spaniel and a roguish mutt from the wrong side of the tracks.”

Okay. Now we have some description and a hint at a story. We know that these two distinctly different characters are going to have at least one adventure.

Describe Your Story in 25 Words or Less

So, now we need to think about our audience. The synopsis generally goes to an editor, agent, or publisher. So, we must capture their attention. Give them something to grab onto and not let go. This is where you can really get creative and meet the “describe your story in 25 words or less” challenge.

Lady and the Tramp is filled with exciting adventures of Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel and Tramp, a roguish mutt from across the tracks.”

Whew! There it is – 25 words – exactly. We’ve just written a strong hook for the opening of our synopsis.

Every synopsis should start out with a statement that describes your story in approximately 25 words. However, don’t be a stickler about trying to hit the “magic” number. There isn’t really a magic number. But, keeping your description to approximately 25 words helps to focus your writing on the key elements of your story.

Key Elements – Not That Difficult to Identify

Speaking of key elements, those are what we now need to identify so that we can create our synopsis.

Wait, wait. Stop groaning. I promise we’ll go slowly. Okay?

I think I’ve read every article and book written on creating a synopsis and even though every writer has their own formula for creating the “perfect synopsis,” I admit that authors agree on one thing – You need to practice. So, my suggestion is that you do what I’ve done here. You find some simple stories and practice creating the synopsis for them. Once you’re able to pick out the key elements easily, you’re ready to create a synopsis for your own story.

So, back to our story, Lady and the Tramp.

First Element - Structure

The basic structure of the synopsis should be a complete summary of your story from beginning to end, written in present tense. Simple, right? So far. Let’s see how that helps us with our story.

Lady and the Tramp is filled with exciting adventures of Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel and Tramp, a roguish mutt from across the tracks.

Lady’s owners love her but ignore her when their baby arrives. The owners leave her with a cat-loving aunt who locks Lady out of the house.

Lady runs away and straight into a street-wise mutt named Tramp who shows her how good he has it being free from owners.

Lady is caught by the dog catcher and spends time in the pound learning some of Tramp’s secrets. Hurt and jealous, Lady is returned home and exiled to the doghouse once again.

Lady discovers a rat making its way into the house and is helpless to defend her home. Tramp helps her by getting into the house and killing the rat. However, he’s accused of attacking the baby and is placed in the dog catcher’s wagon to be taken to the pound.

Lady’s owners return home just in time to see how Lady has been treated and have Lady show them the dead rat.”

More Key Elements – Setting, Main Characters, Conflict

Not bad for a first draft. We’re missing a few items that would make the story more dramatic and compelling for the editor, but those can be added easily. First, we should make sure that we’ve established the setting for the story and identified our main characters.

We’ll have to identify real conflict between these characters and their motivations. Then, we’ll have to show the resolution of the conflict. It isn’t as important to name every character in the synopsis, but you must name your main characters.

Final Key Elements – Tell Your Ending

Finally, we must make sure that we’ve wrapped up our story and told our ending. Yes, that’s what I said, we tell our ending in the synopsis. You must never, ever tease editors and leave them guessing about the ending of story.

As a side note for romance writers: If your story is a romance, make sure you always establish the love relationship between the two main characters by showing how they met and why they’re fighting against their attraction.

With that advice, let’s see how our synopsis shapes up after adding these key elements.

Lady and the Tramp is an early twentieth century story filled with exciting adventures of Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel and Tramp, a roguish mutt from across the tracks in New England.

Lady’s owners lavish attention on her until a new baby arrives that takes all their attention. Ignoring Lady’s needs, they go away on a trip leaving her and the baby with a callous aunt and her two Siamese cats that wreak havoc. Lady, wrongly accused of the mischievous cats’ pranks, ends up in the backyard doghouse and eventually fitted for a muzzle.

Fearful, Lady runs away and straight into a street-wise mutt named Tramp who shows her how good he has it being free from owners. He treats her to a night on the town, complete with a romantic Italian dinner from his favorite restaurant.

Unfortunately, even though he protects Lady from a vicious dog attack, Tramp can’t protect her from the dog catcher. Lady spends time in the pound learning some of Tramp’s secrets from his other wayward, albeit, intimate acquaintances. Hurt and jealous, Lady returns home and is once again exiled to the doghouse.

Lady’s other neighborhood dog-friends advise her to forget this scoundrel and chivalrously offer to take care of her.

Tramp returns, hoping to change Lady’s mind about him. She rejects his advances and sends him on his way.

Moments later she’s alarmed that an ugly rat enters the house, but can’t do anything about it because she’s chained. Tramp comes to the rescue by finding a way into the house and killing the rat before it can harm the baby.

However, the heartless aunt accuses Tramp of attacking the baby and calls the dog catcher, who places him in the wagon to be taken to the pound.

Lady’s owners return home just in time to see how Lady has been treated and have Lady show them the dead rat. Lady’s friends run to stop the dog catcher’s wagon and everyone is reunited after a thrilling chase scene.

When the commotion settles, Tramp chooses the family life and abandons his drifting ways to stay with Lady and her owners.”

And, there you have it. Your synopsis. Was that so painful?

This synopsis is rather short when compared to the longer books you desire to write. Don’t let that intimidate you. The concept is still the same.

Final Advice

Editors have specific requirements when it comes to the length of your synopsis. Unfortunately, just like snowflakes, no two editors are the same. One editor requires a ten-page synopsis while another may only want two pages.

My advice to you is that you follow the requirements of the editor and make sure you include enough information in your synopsis to tell your story but not so much to slow it down. Focus on the story’s development from beginning to end and make sure you emphasize the resolution of the conflict and/or romance.

If you’re having trouble writing your synopsis, don’t beat yourself up about it. Go back to your story. Have you developed the plot completely? Do you understand your characters and their motivation? Is your conflict believable and resolvable? If you can’t answer those questions, the problem isn’t with your synopsis. If you don’t understand your story how do you expect an editor to?

Good luck and remember to practice, practice, practice.


Lady and the Tramp is owned by © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

© copyright 2001 Vicki M. Taylor All rights reserved.

About The Author:

Award winning author, Vicki M. Taylor writes dramatic stories with strong women as her main characters. Her most recently published novel, NOT WITHOUT ANNA, won 2nd place in the 2003 Florida Writers’ Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards and was published in January 2004.

A prolific writer of both novel length and short stories, she brings her characters to life in the real world. Her memberships include the National Association of Women Writers, Short Fiction Mystery Society, and many more. She has had hundreds of articles published in electronic and print publications. She is one of the founders and past President of the Florida Writers Association, Inc. She conducts regular writing workshops and speaks to local writing groups.

To find out more about Vicki and her writing, visit her website at http://www.vickimtaylor.com.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

ShawGuides, Inc. | Writers Conferences & Workshops

Connect with other writers and improve your craft. Visit ShawGuides, Inc. | Writers Conferences & Workshops.

ShawGuides, Inc. is a free, online directory with worldwide listings. Check out this great resource for an event near you!

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

The 3 R's of Good Poetry

Kaelen Myril has posted an excellent, instructional article about poetry. For those who are just beginning to those who simply enjoy reading poetry, "The 3 R's of Good Poetry" provides a great primer for properly Reading, wRiting, and Reviewing.

In her article, Kaelen covers such topics as:
  • Poetic Meter (Iambic, Trochaic, Anapestic, and Dactylic)
  • Forms (Free Verse, Rhymes, Blank Verse, Couplets, Tercet, Terza Rima, Ballad Stanza, Heroic Quatrains, Nonce Quatrains)
  • Finding Inspiration
  • Guidelines for Reviewing
I'm sure we all would thoroughly agree with this quote from Kaelen Myril:
Remember, like anything else, poetry is an art form that is always changing. These traditional forms will stay the same, but new techniques and traditions are being added every day. Poetry really is one place where you are limited only by your imagination.

Keep writing and I hope to see you in print!
Click here to view "The 3 R's of Good Poetry".

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Friday, June 03, 2005

The Baltimore Review's 2005 Poetry Competition

DEADLINE: JULY 1, 2005

Prizes:

First Place: $300 + publication in The Baltimore Review

Second Place: $150

Third Place: $50


Judges:

To Be Announced

Rules:

Submit up to 4 poems per entry fee. Poems must be original and unpublished elsewhere. All styles and forms are accepted. All essays submitted to the contest will also be considered for publication in The Baltimore Review. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but alert us if your poems have been accepted elsewhere; entry fees are not refundable. Send SASE for a list of winners. Submissions should be postmarked by July 1st, 2005.

Click here for full contest information.

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MIRA Books - Table For Five Contest

DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2005

To celebrate the April publication of her new book, "TABLE FOR FIVE," New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs and MIRA Books are inviting one lucky reader to dinner and a long weekend near Susan's home in the Pacific Northwest.

The winner of the "MIRA BOOKS TABLE FOR FIVE CONTEST" will have the chance to spend a long weekend in Seattle with time for sightseeing in the beautiful city and for lunch on scenic Bainbridge Island where Susan has her home.

The prize package includes airfare for two from a major gateway to Seattle, two nights' accommodation at a selected hotel, transfers in Seattle and sightseeing in the surrounding area. Vacation packages with a maximum prize value of $2,500 will be booked through a MIRA-approved travel agent.

To win, entrants should tell Susan -- in 100 words or less -- about their favorite or most memorable teacher and explain the effect he/she had on their lives.

To receive official rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

"MIRA Books Table for Five Contest Rules"
c/o Truth Be Told Public Relations
88 Lexington Avenue, #14D
New York, NY 10016

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Moment Magazine - 2005 Moment-Karma Short Fiction Contest

2005 Moment-Karma Short Fiction Contest

Deadline: Submissions must be postmarked by July 15th, 2005

Moment Magazine is now accepting submissions for the 2005 Moment-Karma Short Fiction Contest. Moment will award three prizes to outstanding works of unpublished short fiction with Jewish content.

First Prize - $1000
Second Prize - $500
Third Prize - $250
Plus publication in Moment for the top three stories!

Click here for full contest information.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Using PR to Market Your Book - How to Write a Press Release

Book News and Book Marketing Articles from Publishers Newswire posted an in-depth article written by Staff Writer, Christopher Laird Simmons, entitled "Using PR to Market Your Book - How to Write a Press Release."

In his article, Mr. Simmons details formatting guidelines and placing appropriate content, along with providing an example Press Release to illustrate.

"Using PR to Market Your Book - How to Write a Press Release" is a valuable resource and highly recommended reading for authors.

Christopher Simmons is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), as well as ASCAP and the National Writers Union, and has written for over a dozen national magazines covering technology, imaging, and entertainment. He is an award winning art director, photographer, musician, and has composed theme music for two cable TV programs. He is the founder of Neotrope®, a brand identity and marketing firm, as well as Send2Press™ Newswire (www.send2press.com).

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Questions About Copyright?

Visit the U.S. Copyright Office. You will find information about the following items and more:

Copyright Basics
Current Fees
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Register Literary Works
Copyright Law
Current Legislation

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