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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


From Dan Poynter's free e-zine:


Web: http://www.trailerlife.com
America's monthly magazine for recreational vehicle (RV) enthusiasts. Material purchased from freelancers includes travel features (1,500-2,000 words), "Faces & Places" items (150-350 words), personality profiles (1,200 words), technical features (1,000-2,000 words), "10-Minute Tech" items (50-200 words) and
do-it-yourself features (1,200 words). Pays up to $800 for a package of article and photos.
Guidelines: http://tmtbiz.com/maitland/files/TLEditorialGuidelines.pdf

Articles must be word/photo packages with heavy emphasis on the photography. Manuscripts should be 1000 to 1200 words and must have enough high rez photography for an 8-page feature article. Shorter articles are considered... but, in all cases, the quality of the photography is the key to acceptance. Articles that have been published locally or regionally in special interest publications may be considered. E-mail inquiries to Publisher (Jack@MexicoTravelAndLife.com) AND Editor (George@MexicoTravelAndLife
.com). Guidelines available by email.
See: http://www.mexicotravelandlife.com/index.php?id=24&Itemid=33

Strives to inspire, encourage, educate, and change lives by communicating God's Truth, and connect people to God's work through In Touch Ministries. Pays $0.30 to $0.35 per word for first rights.
Guidelines: http://ww2.intouch.org/site/lookup.asp?c=dhKHIXPKIuE&b=2315275

Coverage of the trends and issues of home ownership and family life. Focus is on the concerns of families living in their own homes in the greater Toronto region of Canada. Length: 650-700 words. Pays $0.10 per word.
Guidelines: http://www.home-digest.com/editorialguidelines.html

THE HORSE - Back Street Choppers, USA
Motorcycle magazine. Welcomes freelance contributions from writers and photographers.
Guidelines: http://www.thehorsebc.com/contributor_guidelines.htm

Discover more markets in Poynter's Free Markets Database:

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Stories Wanted

If you need stories to add to a book you're working on, you can advertise your need (for free) on DanPoynter@ParaPublishing.com; http://ParaPub.com. Here are the listings in the current (free) e-zine issue.

I like writers to help other writers.

Also, notice the kinds of books people are working on. What kind of book would you like to write?


NEED STORIES to flesh-out your book? List your wants here. Focus on a
single topic and provide your contact information. Write tight: limit your listing to 100 words. Conform to the format so we can Copy\Paste and do not have to edit. Send your listing to DanPoynter@ParaPublishing.com Put “Stories Wanted” in the Subject line of your email. There is no charge for listings.

WANT TO CONTRIBUTE YOUR STORY? Contact requesters directly. Do not send stories, etc. to Dan.


1. I'M WORKING ON A BOOK ABOUT "FINDING THE BOOK IN YOU." Seek short stories of what inspired an author to choose a particular topic and write a book.
--Susan Klopfer, sklopfer@gmail.com

2. I need true stories of DEMONIC POSSESSION, SUPERNATURAL EVENTS, TIME TRAVEL, UFO ABDUCTIONS, AND/OR PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS. I'm only interested in accurate accounts of your life-altering experiences. Do not spare any of the details. Please add your written permission to include your story, if selected, in a future book. You can choose to remain anonymous. I will, however, need your contact information for clarification purposes only. Please put "My Story" in the subject line and submit to moviemkr@earthlink.net. Thank you! I look forward to reading your stories.

3. DEFINITE REACTIONS TO FOOD ADDITIVES OR COSMETIC INGREDIENTS for Ruth Winter's best selling A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients and A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives.Ruth@www.brainbody.com.

4. Stories sought from WOMEN about YOUR BIGGEST RESERVATION TO VOLUNTEERING AS A MENTOR TO A SCHOOL-AGED GIRL. When you hear about such an opportunity, what concerns do you have? What do you imagine will or will not happen? What insecurities do you have - personally or about the experience itself? Complete this QUICK online survey at
www.kidsneedmentors.com (BEST WAY) OR send an email to solid_pathways@comcast.net.

5. I am looking for boomer aged women who have stopped coloring their hair and gone "natural" to submit a brief 500 word story and digital head shot to be featured on my website's Gallery of Silver Sages. Send submissions to maggierosecrane@gmail.com and preview the gallery at

6. I'm looking for more writers interested in being featured in my upcoming book on TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS, TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES FOR PROFESSIONAL WRITERS. If you're interested in this project, please visit this link:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=MW7CiPeh7cYbc_2bpqcdtQnQ_3d_3d to take my 5-minute survey. For those of you who've already responded to my previous inquiry, please expect a phone call soon to set up our interview!
--Kim Stacey, Freelance Writer, 831-338-0220

7. I would like your submission of stories regarding your experience with INTUITION. Why you do or do not believe in this phenomenon along with stories to compliment your belief. I will select some of these stories for a book I will be compiling this year. Authors of accepted submissions will receive a free copy of the book. Send your stories, name and e-mail address to: Rashun Jones P.O. Box 36651 Oklahoma City, OK 73136 or rashunjones@cox.net,

8. THE TUNE OF BUSINESS - Wanted - Stories of successful business men and women who would also point to music education as an experience that helped define them as a person and taught them lessons, skills, and insights that contributed to business success. Can send stories via e-mail or provide contact info for a brief (25 - 30 minute) phone interview. Name and affiliation will be noted in the book if deemed suitable for use. Respond to ccortello@ldv-enterprises.com or call Craig at (504) 481-6105

9. Producing book and seminar about RETIREMENT. Would like to receive short stories about successful and/or challenging retirement stories. Also would could use input from you by completing the following sentence, "You know it's time to retire when . . ." If you request it, I will put you on my distribution list for when the project is complete. Notification will include seminar and book content and a note of thanks for contribution to the book, placed within the acknowledgements in the book. Thank you in advance for your time and energy. All submissions can be sent to methadee@gmail.com.

10. I am writing a book on SPIRITUAL ABUSE, WITCHCRAFT AND RELIGIOUS ADDICTION. LOOKING FOR PERSONS WHO BELIEVE THEY HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED. I am a Licensed Pastoral Counselor. The purpose of the book is to educated people concerning spiritual abuse and to help them recover. CONFIDENTIALITY ASSURED AND ANONYMITY PROTECTED.
Contact - Wanda wcurrie3@verizon.net or (410) 836-6437. Thank You!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring . . .

Once upon a time, I went to a conference session on writing short stories and learned this important advice: Do not begin your story with a paragraph about the weather.

A short story doesn't have the space to accommodate lengthy passive descriptions. I'm not talking about a mention of the weather, such as "Because it was raining, Jim took the bus and sat down to a man who turned out to be his wife's other husband." I'm talking about those leisurely discourses of the sky, the presence of clouds, whether a breeze was blowing, and on and on.

A corollary to this piece of advice is: Do not start your story with a long description of the geography (unless the land is a leading character in the story, and even then, I'd think twice about it).

Writers seem prone to these introductory bits in the same way that movies have long establishing shots--where you get a clue about where you are in the world, then gradually move in and meet the characters. But a movie is equivalent to a book. In an article, the weather and the land get in the way. Get to your characters. Get to the action. Even in a book, I get impatient with that description stuff. It is, like, Dickens-esque.

And the standard disclaimer applies: This rule has been successfully broken. Just think carefully before you go yammering on about the weather, OK?

category: craft
labels: writing, weather's place

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Take Some Advice from an Expert

I want to be Rebecca Skloot when I grow up. She's done a ton of interesting stuff and is a great writer who writes for top-notch publications.

category: resources

Monday, April 21, 2008

Amusing to Amazing

At the Erma Bombeck Writers Conference, one of the sessions I attended was on how to take your work from amusing to amazing, by Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant (which is a whole lotta names for one person).

Advice she passed along:
  • If you don't have emotion about what you're writing about, you shouldn't be writing it.
  • When writing, you must know how you're feeling.
  • Quick writing exercises open creative flow.
  • You have to write a lot to get to the good stuff.
  • She recommends that humor writers do stand-up: "It's good for you. Very empowering. Even if you're a failure at it, that's good too--it makes rejection letters so much easier."
  • Comedy = tragedy + time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Notes from ErmaLand

Sorry to keep you in suspense on the details revealed in John Kremer's session on how to make your book a bestseller. I'll start the Amazon part of it. Kremer is the author of 1,001 Ways to Market Your Book.

If a lot of people order a book on Amazon during a short amount of time, the book can spike to the top of the list. Or at least to the top of its category. Take a screen shot of the Amazon page showing your book as the number 1 seller, because forever after you'll be able to tell people/publishers/editors that you have written a bestseller. Publishers tend to like authors who have had bestsellers, although at this point, it might not get you a better advance because publishers understand how the process works. If a book stays at the top of its category, that's even better, but that's likely to take more than a day to achieve.

You can pay someone to orchestrate your book becoming the top seller on Amazon. It'll cost you, like, $1,500. But Kremer says you should do it yourself for one big reason: 90 percent of the campaign is about developing relationships, and those relationships are invaluable for long-term marketing of a book.

To get a bunch of people to buy a book between certain hours on a certain day, Kremer says, you have to send e-mails to half a million people. You find people working online who already have big lists--the people who run popular Websites, blogs, and e-zines. You say to someone with a big list: Let me e-mail your list about my book and give me some kind of downloadable content that I can give to people who order my book. You point out that the same e-mail listing goes out to all the partners--20 or 30 people with big lists--and every partner's name and bonus product will get in front of hundreds of thousands of eyeballs. Plus, you offer the partner valuable content that the partner's subscribers can download for free. The ever-famous win-win scenario.

The bonus content could be an excerpt, an e-book, a list of do's and don'ts, or anything that can be downloaded on the spot. You don't want the bonus to cost you time or money.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Humor Writing Conference, Take 1

So here I am in cloudy, light-misting-rainy Dayton, Ohio, attending the Erma Bombeck Writers's Workshop. I'm sitting in front of this wall as wide as two sofas. The wall is painted with blackboard paint with the invitation to "Espresso Yourself Here" on it. No one in this place has anything original to write, but there is a nice picture of an octopus with a little man in one of its tentacles.

I'm in this coffee shop, Boston Stoker, because it's the only place I can find with free Wi-Fi. (Note to self: find a good story to convey my deep-seated belief that everyone should have free access to the Internet.)

Garrison Keillor was the keynote speaker the first night. I had no idea how squished in his face seems in real life. Maybe that's part of the reason he does that breathing noise he makes when he's talking. Until Thursday night when I saw him, I had thought it was all affectation.

A couple things he said struck me as worth scribbling down. Unfortunately I scribbled them on the conference schedule, which I left in my room, which I had to leave because it was a nice hotel so it didn't have free Wi-Fi in my room. Marriott Courtyard has free Wi-Fi in rooms; upscale Marriott doesn't. So, to sum up rather that quote: Keillor said that people get writer's block because they are too impatient. He says he has learned to sit for hours with unproductivity (and this is a good thing). Others sit for 15 minutes, don't have an idea, and abandon their work, calling it writer's block.

He says he loves the 750-word column format that Bombeck worked in. It's like an embroidery hoop, he said, where you are forced to make art inside a boundary. He also likes writing sonnets for the same reason. He had a nice turn of phrase to describe this effort. I'd pass it along to you if I hadn't had to leave my program in my room in search of free Wi-Fi.

Tomorrow: Words of wisdom from the guy who taught a session on how to make your book a best-seller.