Monthly Archives: February 2012

Writers Residencies: Oregon and Australia

Katharine Susannah Prichard Residency – Location AUSTRALIA

The residency program includes positions for established and emerging writers as well as our young writers’ residency. As well as allowing each writer the time and space to work on their own writing projects, the writers participate in the events of the centre and run workshops thus sharing their knowledge and experience throughout our writing community.

Applications for 2012 Young Writer-In-Residence must be post marked on or before 5pm, Friday, August 17, 2012. Three positions are available for the week of Sun 18 Nov – Tue 27 Nov 2012.

Applications for 2013 Established Writer-in-Residence must be postmarked on or before, Friday, July 27, 2012 (pending funding).  One position. Full-time period of four (4) weeks, or equivalent part-time. Salary: $3,500.

Applications for 2012 Emerging Writer-in-Residence must be post-marked on or before Friday, August 24, 2012 (pending funding).  Three positions. Full-time period of four (4) weeks, or equivalent part-time.
Salary: $2,250.


SITKA Center

The Sitka Center’s Residency Program has provided more than 170 visual artists, writers, musicians, and natural science scholars the opportunity to conduct their work while deeply engaging with the inspirational coastal environment of Cascade Head. Up to four residents at a time, usually from different disciplines and stages in their careers, live and work on campus for one to four months free of charge.
Deadline April 20, 2012. Location Otis, OR.


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Freelance Writing for Children’s Magazines

ASK is a nonfiction magazine for children 6-9 years old who are curious about science and the world they live in. Each edition of ASK is built around a central theme on some question or concept in the natural, physical, or social sciences, technology, mathematics, history, or the arts. Feature articles are usually 1200-1600 words, with sidebars. ASK also occasionally commissions photo essays (400-600 words), humor pieces (200-400 words), short profiles of people, inventions, events, or the arts (200-400 words), and theme-appropriate experiments. Pays up to 45 cents/word.

Blaze magazine is full of fun facts, cool games and crafts, and fascinating articles on horses, horse kids and the natural world they share. Promoting literacy of course, it’s great for learning about not only horses, but also about nature, history, creative arts, character traits and much more. Geared for kids aged 8 to 14, the magazine is published quarterly. And what’s more, Blaze is also a real-life horse. She’s a flash Rocky Mountain and the official mascot of the magazine. Subscribers call her their own! Pays 25 cents/word.

ChickaDEE is a fun, hands-on magazine for 6- to 9-year-old kids whose thirst for knowledge and appetite for humour are insatiable. Interactive stories, puzzles, comics, animal features, and science experiments educate and entertain readers. Each issue is based on a different theme, such as “Space” or “Ancient Greece”. Difficultto break into, but pays up to $250 for fiction of 650-700 words.

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Ebook Sales Up 117%


Gary McLaren wrote in

“The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is reporting today that e-book sales grew by an estimated 117.3% for the year of 2011. For the US publishing companies who report revenue to AAP, e-books (excluding the religious category which is tracked separately) generated revenue of $969.9 million during 2011 compared to $446.3 million in 2010.

2011 was not such a good year for print books however. Adult trade hardcover ($1,293.2m) and paperback ($1,165.6m) fell 17.5% and 15.6% respectively.

E-books have now grown by more than 100% for three consecutive years.

Keep in mind that this data relates to the US market and only reflects those publishers who report sales data to Association of American Publishers. The e-book market is considerably larger than that when all of the smaller and independent publishers are taken into account, and especially if all countries were included in one report.

With such exponential growth it is difficult in the graph above to see the values of e-book sales in the earlier years of 2002 through 2005. Another chart shows e-book revenue growth as reported to AAP for the past 10 years.”


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Why Is My Book Not Selling?

Not satisfied with your book sales numbers? Want to get a totally honest comment on your writing, the blurb and cover of your book?  Three reviewers will help you on your journey to possible bestseller-dom.

However you might hear things about your book that you don’t like. It is up to you to take their advice or not.. If your book isn’t selling so well, you can submit it here for a critique. Please only submit one of your books.

Book Submission
The two other reviewers (they post your books on their website on “free” days) are Sabrina Sumsion and Victorine Lieske.


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Writing Boot Camp in New York

Photo Bobby Mikul

Photo Bobby Mikul

Trying to break into the magazine market? Need help making a query sing? Want to know how to get your nonfiction book published?  The 41st Annual ASJA Writers Conference, with more than 80 workshops and panels, will break down industry barriers and bring a successful freelance career within your reach.

This “Writing Boot Camp” can help you uncover new income streams and ways to boost your bottom line. Learn how to market yourself to editors and agents. Gain access to professional, seasoned writers through numerous networking opportunities. See the latest information on publishing technology.  Meet experts on topics ranging from social networking business strategies to writing craft, technology, breaking into new markets and more.

Learn the “how-to” with information focused on your needs that you can use immediately to help you rise to the top of the freelance writing field. Bestselling author, columnist and blogger Gretchen Rubin shares her personal recipe for success and happiness. Can you be a successful author and also love every word you write? Is there a way to balance promoting your brand while still finding time for your craft? How can aspiring authors navigate the new realities of publishing without losing their minds in the process?

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Upcoming Writings Contests: Essay, Short Story, Fiction & Poetry

Contests are a great way to get your name out and upon receiving a prize to add this to your books blurbs. However, always contact the organization (in writing) to find out about the rights you would give away when submitting in case they don’t describe it in their submission guidelines.

Short Grain Writing Contest

Deadline April 1, 2012.
Three prizes will be awarded in each category:
1st Prize: $1,000
2nd Prize: $750
3rd Prize: $500

Poetry: (to a max of 100 lines) Poetry of any style including Prose Poem up to 100 lines.
Fiction: (to a max of 2,500 words) Short fiction in any form including Post Card Story, to a maximum of 2,500 words. The basic fee for Canadian entrants is $35 for a maximum of two entries in one category. The fee for US and International entrants is $40, payable in US funds.

Tiferet Annual Writing Contest

Deadline June 1, 2012.
$400 for the best poetry submission
$400 for the best short story
$400 for the best essay or interview

We look for high-quality creative work that expresses spiritual experiences and/or promotes tolerance. Our mission is to help raise individual and global consciousness, and we publish writing from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions. One poem per page. Limit 20 pages for prose. $20 Entry fee


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Do You Know Your Rights As An Author?

As an author you own the copyright, and you own all the rights to your work. You can sell – or give away these rights or use  in several ways:

First Serial Rights
They can be print or electronic and mean you are selling a publisher the right to publish your article once for the first time. In the case of print rights you are free to immediately sell the piece to an e-magazine or e-zine before print publication and, after the print magazine containing your article hits the newsstand, you are free to sell it again as a reprint to other print markets.

First Serial Rights Electronic
However, first serial electronic rights are different – for sample e-magazines or e-zines buy first rights for an exclusive time period, usually one year (often for the laughable amount of $5 or $10), and at the same time, ask for non-exclusive rights after that. While you can immediately sell the same piece to a print market as a “first print right,” you cannot even post the article on your own website until the year is up. After that you are free to sell the article to other electronic markets as a reprint and post it yourself online everywhere you want.

North American first serial rights
Most Canadian and US freelance authors sell North American first serial rights, reserving the right to sell in other world markets (e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Asia). Specify what type of rights you are selling: First North American Electronic Rights Only.

Second Serial Rights
These are reprint rights and apply to print and electronic markets. Never sell reprint rights, keep them at all costs. Even you will earn less money for each reprint, you can sell your work over and over again.

Subsidiary Rights
Other rights that authors and freelancers hold are subsidiary rights, including, but not limited to movie rights, dramatic, TV and radio rights, audio and other media rights.
However, don’t give up or sell your electronic rights to a traditional book publisher without receiving a large lump sum or at least 50% royalty from the retail price. Most publishing houses are not really experts in e-publishing and often don’t use the electronic rights to your book. But it would prevent you from e-publishing your own work or selling it to a high-royalty-paying e-publisher.

All Rights
In this case the author gives up all future income from the article or book and only retains the copyright. Giving up all your rights should be only considered if a tremendous sum is paid for.

Copyright Protection in the USA and Canada
Copyright protection in Canada is automatic upon the creation of a given work, regardless of the medium of its creation, and it lasts until fifty years after the creator’s death – in the USA seventy years.

Before You Sign Any Contracts:
Always first contact your national authors’ or writers’ associations for further information and get legal advice from a lawyer who is specialized in copyright. This can save you ten thousands of dollars.



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KickStarter – Have You Heard About It?

Photo Petr Kratochvil

Last year I found  KickStarter on the Internet and became one of the many people who funded a community garden / small park to transform an ugly, abandoned parcel of land in a downtown area into a blooming paradise. Then I learned that a couple of writers use KickStarter to fund their book publishing projects. Maybe you read recently about the fantastic success of “The Order of the Stick” and its Reprint Drive, a comics project by Rich Burlew. He managed to raise $1,254,120 (his initial goal was only $57,750)

However, the famous KickStarter is not the only “Crowdfunding Community” on the Internet:

Crowdfunding pulls together a community over the Internet to fund a project, business or cause. Rules differ from site to site. Generally an idea is pitched, a fundraising goal and a deadline are set for raising funds. Potential patrons can review the pitches and decide if there are any they’d like to support. They might be rewarded if the project comes to fruition, but will not own any part of the business or project.

Start with a pitch to launch your own project, describe your project, specify what rewards patrons will receive if the fundraising is successful, and create a funding goal and a timeline.  Pledges are made with a credit card, however, the patron’s credit card won’t be charged until the project is successfully funded. If you don’t reach your funding goal by the deadline, no money changes hands.

Here are just some of many tips to help you secure funding:

  • choose the right crowdfunding site
  • know your target audience & leverage your social networks
  • plan ahead and prepare email blasts
  • create a compelling name, description, image and video to stand out

“The Order of the Stick” success has shown that crowdfunding can provide funding for authors at a level, equal to or higher than traditional publishers’ advances. Right now is an exciting time to be an entrepreneurial author. 
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Fiction Writing Workshop Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas

April 8-15, 2012 • with Richard Bausch

This week-long workshop sponsored by the Cape Eleuthera Writers & Artist Workshop series will bring together a small group of dedicated fiction writers on the Cape Eleuthera campus to work with celebrated author Richard Bausch. Participants will further develop their writing by receiving expert feedback on their own manuscripts in a safe and constructive environment as well as by engaging in writing exercises, by considering issues of craft and of the writing life, and ultimately by cultivating a community based upon the shared love of writing.

“Sense of Place,” a concept deeply integral to the philosophy and mission of The Cape Eleuthera Island School, will be interwoven into the fabric of the week, both in the actual workshop activities and in “exploration time.” The workshop ultimately promises to be a perfect mix of instruction, inspiration, relaxation, and celebration of the art of fiction. Highlights of the week include:

• Intimate workshop experience with veteran writer Richard Bausch
• Individualized feedback on a manuscript
• Afternoons to enjoy the beaches, waters, and Cape Eleuthera
• All-day “Sense of Place” writing retreat at Lighthouse Beach
• Optional activities, including SCUBA, snorkeling, and biking
• Accommodations in the new sustainably-designed Hallig House
• Variety of evening social and literary events, including sunset cruise and catered final banquet
Cost  $2,500 includes lodging, meals, local transportation.

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Like To Do A Book Signing in San Antonia, TX ?


Nancy Oakley

Nancy Oakley

Nancy Oakley invites authors: 

“I am inviting authors to do book signing at my own bookstore at the RiverCenter Mall in San Antonio Texas, “The Thai Princess Bookshop.”
Email me if you would like to do a book signing so I can schedule you.

A native of Thailand, Nancy Oakley Suku came to the U.S. during the Vietnam War. After working in civil service for over 20 years, she embarked upon her dream of entrepreneurship (as a successful author of business books among others). She initially delved into the world of real estate and in 2008, she began her career as a retail business owner along the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk.

Nancy Oakley currently owns and operates a prestigious jewelry and gift shop, a bookstore and is also an accomplished author. She lives with her family in Spring Branch, TX.



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7 Easy Ways to Promote Your Book


Authors need to keep in mind that their books are their business. Dozens of free or very inexpensive ways – other than time – can help to promote their books. Here are the ones you can call “Marketing on a Shoestring”:

Add a link to email/forum signatures
This will only take you a couple of minutes – and could get your e-book in front of hundreds of people. Just add a line to your email signature, such as …. … (name) author of ….. (book titles), available from …. (link).
If you are a member in forums, check whether it’s okay to link to your e-book sales page in your signature.

Mention your book(s) in your “about” page
New blog readers or visitors on your website want to see who you are and what your blog is all about.
The “About” page is a fantastic place to mention any products or services – including books and e-books.
Add your e-book’s cover image, plus a short description of key benefits (perhaps in bullet-point format).
Encourage readers to “click here to find out more” rather than “click here to buy now” – it’s not such a big

Send a sample chapter to everyone on your email list
Your newsletter or mailing list is a superior marketing tool, however, avoid overloading your readers with offers and promotions. Instead provide an exclusive free chapter to your email list. Use the last page of it to tell readers where to get the full e-book. Your readers will be thrilled – and you may make some new sales. If you don’t have an email list yet, or if your list is very small, a free sample of your book makes a compelling sign-up incentive for your blog.

Guest post on a relevant Blog
Your own blog my not have many readers. Yet, it’s not too hard to get your new book in front of an audience of  ten thousands of readers: Write a great guest post on an established blog and promote your e-book in the bio /
signature. Find a blog that has readers who are constantly looking for new, exciting books.

Comment on other writers blogs
When you comment on another blog, most of the time the form asks for your web address. If readers think your posts are valuable, they will be interested to learn more about you and will click on this link to find your blog or website.

Join more Social Media sites
You are busy already with the ones you have?  Believe me, it is almost the same effort to “feed” one Social Media Site as it is for five. Write your info or comment ones and send it to all your sites. Or copy and paste the latest info from one site and post it on the other ones. Or add your own photographs on multiple sites. It is not important how much time you spend on each of them, rather than how interesting your post(s) are. If can also use social bookmarking programs: write a new blog post or edit your website and with one click on your computer your article or web entry is spread all over the internet to each and every social media site or blog roll you ever registered before. This way you save a lot of time – time you can use to comment on other peoples post and be “social”.

Join HARO, Help-A-Reporter-Online 
Several thousands of journalists across the country are constantly on deadline for stories they need to finish. Often they need to interview experts for the insights that build their stories. You are probably more qualified than you think to serve as an expert on many topics. Journalists love to interview authors and authorities on certain subjects, and they will introduce you as the author of …. book, which will give you free publicity.

Do you use all these practices to promote your book – and some more?
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Are You Attending The Frankfurt Book Fair?

Book Trade Show Representation
If you are wary of the cost for a booth at the world’s biggest book fairs, not to mention the travel cost, consider to have your book displayed there. Check out ForeWord who is one of the companies who offer this service.

They write:
By exhibiting in the ForeWord cooperative booth, your titles may potentially generate rights interest from foreign publishers (typically, a foreign rights deal includes a non-refundable advance and a royalty rate of 7 – 8%.) So, with no out-of-pocket expense – except for the $175 exhibit fee to have your title displayed at the ForeWord booth – you have a chance to earn an unexpected windfall – in the best scenario.

Among other International Book Fairs ForeWord exhibits at:
London International Book Fair April 16-18, 2012
BookExpo America June 5-7, 2012
both are $175 per title or  $600 shelf (5 books)
However the best option and the world leader in book contract sales is the
Frankfurt Book Fair October 10-14, 2012

To accurately describe the Frankfurt Book Fair, one word cannot be avoided: “overwhelming.” The numbers alone are daunting: nine show halls, more than 6700 exhibitors, publishers from over 100 countries, and a stunning 150,000 !!! attendees. Luckily, with excellent train / metro services, ample hotel space, and German efficiency, Frankfurt’s just the place to pull off such an event. Historically, ForeWord’s booth is across from Random House assuring fantastic traffic. Worldwide Audience.
$175 per title – $600 shelf (5 books)

Representatives from ForeWord direct visiting agents and reps to the appropriate shelves (books are arranged by genre), pass out literature, and collect business cards and contact information when interest in a certain title is expressed. ForeWord will then pass on the contact info to the corresponding publisher.

It is a chance for small publishers to sell foreign rights. In the worst scenario you loose $175.



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This Is NOT Your Book – Or Is It?

Misspelling, formatting errors, grammar flaws – are self-publisher AND publishing houses not editing anymore? Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about the the editing process.

What readers / customers say on the Kindle Forum about these issues:

Carol Hannon says:
I, too, have discovered numerous misspelled words, punctuation, hyphenation, special character errors, and missing text in many Kindle books. And I’m not talking the little self-published books, either — I’m talking professionally published books from the major book houses. I have no idea why this is happening, but I’ve left feedback on some books’ pages about the errors. There’s no excuse for it in this electronic age. What I hope is that when these errors are fixed, if they ever are, will Amazon automatically download the revised version since our purchase is on record?

jh says:
I’ve bought a couple of books that had particularly frequent and glaring errors, hinting at poor OCR* rather than human error. Things like “1” turning up in the middle of a word instead of “l” or “I”, which a human wouldn’t accidentally type.  But yes, plenty of poorly proof-read copy in titles that aren’t by big-name authors. Though you do see that in physical books too, especially early editions. Misspellings, funky punctuation, even the old “there/their/they’re” issue…
*OCR = optical character recognition, in case anyone’s not sure what that meant. Basically a computer scanning the page of a physical book/manuscript, recognizing the letters as best it can, and digitizing it.

Santo de Vaca says:
@Carol Hannon: I bought a book with some really terrible formatting issues. In the physical book the first letter of each chapter was elaborately drawn and this didn’t transfer well to the electronic version. They fixed it a few weeks after publication and I had the option of downloading a fixed version of the book, which I did. I’m not sure if this is the norm or not for corrections.

Granny Daisy says:
As an avid reader, I often find errors in print and kindle books. Even in established authors you find misspelled or miss used words, or incomplete sentences. I am beginning to think publishers are saving money by not paying proof readers.

J. Robertson says:
I have found spelling and grammar errors in many paper books as well. So I think its all about the proof reading being done.  I have downloaded several “free” books, unfortunately, they were not free of misspellings , missing words, and other errors. I just overlook them since they didn’t cost me anything. I haven’t had that problem with the books I’ve paid for. Guess the old saying is true, ” You get what you pay for”!

What do you think as an author?  Should a book be free of grammar and spelling errors, professionally edited and formatted? Well I guess it is a non-brain-er for every author who wants to be seen as a professional and who has already invested months or years into the manuscript.



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Top 6 Most Common Query / Cover Letter Errors

Query and cover letters are not fun, but they are necessary evils. I don’t know of anyone who has ever gotten away without writing a single one. However, in order to avoid sounding naive, lazy, inexperienced, or just plain crazy, avoid these common mistakes:

  • First of all: Find out if the publisher interested in your genre / type of manuscript. Sending out a question about the type of books they are interested in, shows clearly that you did not do your homework and did not even read their website / submission guidelines … Why should they be interested in publishing your book, if you are not even interested in their publishing genres.
  • Address the letter to the correct person.
    Nothing is more annoying than getting a letter addressed to someone else, or addressed to the wrong agency / publishing house, or without a salutation or to the name of the editor / publisher.
  • Do not make unrealistic claims about your story.
    Your book might become a best-seller someday, but you have no way of knowing that. However, if you already have (in writing) a deal from a charity to purchase 10,000 copies or you self-published and sold 45,000 e-books or you’ve already sold the rights in 15 other countries – that information is worth including.
  • Do not make demands.
    You can ask things politely, but don’t tell me that I have to print this, or that I have to respond by a certain date, or that I have to give you XXX royalty or … I don’t know about you, but nothing irks me more than a bossy letter from a stranger.

Read the whole post “The Poorly Written Query

The author describes herself as “Editor/Publisher, Location: Texas, United States and: overworked, underpaid, with a teething tantrum-throwing toddler. What I Do: Talk about writing, submitting, publishing, and marketing children’s books and teen books.”



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months!
Learn more about this individual book marketing help:
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Emerging Writers Getaway Contest

Pulitzer Prize winner William Dietrich

Whidbey Writers MFA Alumni Association Emerging Writers Getaway Contest.

Grand prize is a seven-day retreat at a beautiful North Carolina Smoky Mountain cabin with daily continental breakfast ($2,000 value), plus a cash award of $300.
Second and third place winners receive cash prizes. Submissions open February 15 through May 15, 2012. Pulitzer Prize winner William Dietrich is final judge.
Top three finalists’ entries will be reviewed for possible agency representation. Winners will be announced on August 5, 2012.

All profits from the contest will go towards creative writing student scholarships. For complete details go to  And when you are at the website, don’t miss to read Marc Acito’s Commencement Address 2011, Blog Entry from Febryuary 9, 2012.



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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Writing Contests


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