#NaNoWriMo: The Largest Writing Contest in the World Turns 10!

NaNoWriMo 2008


There are some who say writing a novel takes awesome talent, strong language skills, academic training, and years of dedication. Not true. All it really takes is a deadline – a very, very tight deadline – and a whole lot of coffee.

Welcome to National Novel Writing Month: a nonprofit literary crusade that encourages aspiring novelists all over the world to write a 50,000-word novel in a month. At midnight on Nov. 1, more than 100,000 writers from over 80 countries – poised over laptops and pads of paper, fingers itching and minds racing with plots and characters – will begin a furious adventure in fiction. By 11:59 PM on Nov. 30, tens of thousands of them will be novelists.

2008 is the ten-year anniversary of NaNoWriMo, founded in 1999 by freelance writer Chris Baty. In its first year, NaNoWriMo had just 21 participants. In 2007, over 100,000 people took part in the free challenge, making it the largest writing contest in the world. And while the event stresses fun and creative exploration over publication, 24 NaNoWriMo novelists have had their NaNo-novels published, including Sarah Gruen, whose New York Times #1 Best Seller, Water for Elephants began as a NaNoWriMo novel.

Around 18% of NaNoWriMo participants "win" every year by writing 50,000 words and validating their novels on the organization's website before midnight on Nov 30. Winners receive no prizes, and no one at NaNoWriMo ever reads the manuscripts submitted.

So if not for fame or fortune, why do people do it?

"The 50,000-word challenge has a wonderful way of opening up your imagination and unleashing creative potential like nothing else," says NaNoWriMo Director (and nine-time NaNoWriMo winner) Chris Baty. "When you write for quantity instead of quality, you end up getting both. Also, it's a great excuse for not doing any dishes for a month."

If you would like more information about National Novel Writing Month, or would like to talk to participants from NaNoWriMo chapters in your area, please visit our website at www.NaNoWriMo.org,or contact press@nanowrimo.org


Founded by: Freelance writer Chris Baty and 20 other overcaffeinated yahoos in 1999.
Now run by: The Office of Letters and Light, an august 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Oakland.

Annual participant/winner totals
1999: 21 participants and six winners
2000: 140 participants and 29 winners
2001: 5000 participants and more than 700 winners
2002: 13,500 participants and around 2,100 winners
2003: 25,500 participants and about 3,500 winners
2004: 42,000 participants and just shy of 6,000 winners
2005: 59,000 participants and 9,769 winners
2006: 79,813 participants and 12,948 winners
2007: 101,510 participants and 15,333 winners

Number of official NaNoWriMo chapters around the world: Over 500
Number of K-12 schools who participated in 2005: Over 100
Number of K-12 schools who participated in 2006: Over 300
Number of K-12 schools who participated in 2007: 366
Number of NaNoWriMo manuscripts that have been sold to publishing houses: Many (details below)

Number of words officially logged by participants during the 2004 event: 428,164,975
Number of words officially logged by participants during the 2005 event: 714,227,354
Number of words officially logged by participants during the 2006 event: 982,564,701
Number of words officially logged by participants during the 2007 event: 1,187,931,929"

http://www.nanowrimo.org for more information.
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Wings of an Angel reviewed by Beverly Pechin

7101 Hwy 71 W#200
Austin, Texas 78735
www. readerviews. com
(512) 288-8555

Wings of an Angel Poetry Collection
By Angel Logan

Reviewed by Beverly Pechin for Reader Views

The moment I saw “Wings of an Angel” I knew it was simply a gift, waiting to be given to someone special. The light lavender cover and art work send out a feeling of immediate relaxation. You open the cover to find even more beauty inside. Short,eclectic prose blesses the pages alongside coordinating colored art work that is quite beautiful and creative. It seems as much thought went into the art work of the book as the writing and the two combine together to give you the gift of prose that will simply calm.

I see this book as a perfect gift for events when you're not quite sure what to give. Any spiritual gatherings where perhaps your faith isn't quite the same and you don't feel
comfortable giving something of their faith, yet want to still bless them with something touching. Perhaps the birth of a child, when the parent's need a special gift to let them
know they're special. Mother's day, birthdays, any day that you simply want to tell someone they're special and thought of and need to take the time themselves to enjoy a little peace with the world.

While it is a book of angels and finding oneself, it's not a sappy religious view that overwhelms the reader with issues and provoking thoughts. Instead it has a calming effect, much like a warm lavender filled tub does at the end of a stressful day. One of my favorite poems in the book was "At Paradise Cafe", with it's ending verse that says "Paradise Cafe is the place within your heart where music rings the song of hope..." That particular poem reminds oneself of how important YOU are, as you sit at the Paradise Cafe across from yourself, for a moment to look deep within and make discoveries.

“Wings of an Angel” is a beautiful collection of poetry that gently relaxes one from the inside out and somehow within it's few pages of beauty can bring you to an inner peace
each time you open it. An absolute work of beauty.

ANGEL LOGAN | The Official Web Site: www.wingsofanangel.us
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Copyright Basics

"Why Copyright Matters

Information is everything. It points the way to advances in science and medicine, innovations in business and technology and achievements in education and the arts. The cost of research, writing and editing is substantial and the efforts often Herculean. Some books are the result of years of individual effort; others are the product of ground-breaking collaboration. Either way, without the protections guaranteed by our copyright laws, many of the works we enjoy and rely upon today would never exist".

""International" Copyright

There is no such thing as an "international copyright" that automatically protects a work throughout the world although more than 150 countries have ratified a treaty intended to accomplish as many of the benefits of "international copyright" as possible. Generally, if a work is protected in the U.S. it is protected in most countries because the U.S. adheres to the leading copyright convention, the Berne Convention, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)".

Visit http://www.copyright.com or www.copyright.gov for more information on copyright
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Brummets radio show interview

Dave and Lillian Brummet have been writing professionally since 1999 starting out as free lance writers – which they continue to do today. To date, they have written 3 published books. The Brummets are also the hosts of the Conscious Discussions talk radio show and of the Authors Read radio program. The main focus of their writing, blog, newsletter and radio programs is to inspire hope in individuals, helping them realize the value of their efforts and encouraging them to become more positive, proactive in life. Brummet's website: www.brummet.ca

Conscious Discussions is an hour-long talk radio show that celebrates individuals from all over the globe who are working to make the planet a better place. Conscious Discussions is not about pointing fingers, its about saluting people that are stepping up and doing the right things in life. The International audience enjoys guests from all over the globe including Africa, Australia, England, France, Ireland, US and Canada. Conscious Discussions airs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays every week. Location: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions

The Authors Read radio program offers authors, storytellers and poets a chance to read from their published work for 10-12 minutes. There is nothing like hearing a story told the way the writer intended it to be read… straight from the writer's lips is even better!

What Gave you the idea for the radio show?
It is really just as if a path was opened up before me and I followed. You see, I do an awful lot of marketing for our 3 books & our drum business - as such I encountered several hosts who suggested I start my own show and were full of complements about my skills. While flattered, I really didn't have the confidence to host a radio program. I had several radio stations approach me to host a show with them, but then Blogtalk Radio station just kept popping up in all kinds of ways and so I looked into that option and found that it was just what I needed. So I started with Conscious Discussions in May 2007 as a bi-weekly show - and that quickly evolved into airing a new show twice a week. Listener feedback then had us including one more segment a week, just for gardening issues. Now, I chose that title - Conscious Discussions - because that is just what all our work entails; living consciously, proactively. Our guests range from authors, businesses, organizations and individuals who use their skills to influence positive change, support various important causes or participate in community involvement. We have had guests from around the globe appear on the show from West Africa, France, the UK, the US and Canada. Many of our guests have had enormous impact starting by being just one person seeing a need for change and deciding to become proactive. Some guests are individuals living a conscious lifestyle; who volunteer, support causes or run publications that encourages positive change. You'll notice that I keep saying "our", the behind the scenes man that you rarely hear on the show is my husband, Dave. He does the graphics and is responsible for the intro & outro for each segment and also for our main website.
The Authors Read radio program evolved out of both my work as a book reviewer and as a host for Conscious Discussions. I wanted to further support literacy by introducing samples of authors work, read in their own voice as a means to stimulate a love of literacy in our listeners.

Tell us a bit about the show's schedule.
Authors Read typically airs between 8-10 AM (Pacific) on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Conscious Discussions airs at 10 AM (Pacific) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and occasional Sundays (when Sunday Gardening segments air).

Do you think the 'Authors Read' section helps writers to market and sell their books?
Certainly. Of course this depends too on the author, their promotion of the segment. Each segment (for both Conscious Discussions and Authors Read) has links to the author's books on Amazon & we share their website address several times during each show. I always encourage guests to use their segment in anyway that they choose. For instance, they can download the broadcast via the main website. Many former guests use their link for promotional activities on their websites or newsletters, others simply wish to have it for memory's sake. In fact, anyone may use the interview, should they want to increase the content on their website; i.e. a recycling organization would find an interview that discusses recycling pertinent and useful for the enjoyment of visitors to their website. Listeners tell me that they also download segments they are interested in to their ipods or to CD, etc - to listen to while doing their exercise routine, walking, commuting to work or traveling.
On my end of things, each radio show segment is: announced on my blog,
http://blog.myspace.com/canadianauthor , included in the opt-in monthly announcement we send out to just over 300 of our listeners, announced on my favorite writer's forum (50,000 members) and promoted through our Book Tour site at: http://booktour.com/author/lillian_dave_brummet
The archived segments for both of our radio programs are convenient for people to access at their leisure, 24 hours / 7 days a week through the site. Visitors simply scroll through to find the show they want to hear. To find a list of all the archives, look to the lower right of the Authors Reads home page. Also - you are welcome to copy the link to your segment and use for promotion purposes, to add to your website or download and keep for memories sake. Guests and listeners are welcome to link to any show they find of interest.

How can writers get involved in the show?
Anyone wishing to apply to be a guest on the show need only visit www.brummet.ca, view the FAQ section for the radio they'd like to appear on and send us an application.

Anything else you'd like to add?
There is no fee for guests or listeners, each segment is archived and available for anyone in the world to listen to at their convenience. The International audience enjoys guests from all over the globe including Africa, Australia, England, France, Ireland, US and Canada. Anyone across this planet that has an internet connection can access our radio programs.
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Michelle Buckman Interview

You are the author of one women's fiction, one co-authored mystery, and two young adult novels. Do you have a favourite thing you've ever written?

I'm always most enthusiastic about the project I have flying away under my fingertips--feeling it's always one step above what I've done before--but I'm really pleased with my previous books. I guess I'm most proud of Maggie Come Lately for being a Christy Award Finalist in the Young Adult Category this year. Then again, I've gotten so many emails about My Beautiful Disaster having a huge impact on readers that I have to say in the end that's what writing is all about for me. I aim to create stories that speak to readers, that get them to see situations from a new perspective, and that linger in the readers' minds long after they close the book.

How did your co-authoring experience differ from your regular writing?

The co-authored cozy mystery Pretty Maids All In A Row was honestly a writing exercise between me and a writing buddy, A.H. Jackson. We wrote the whole book in eight weeks. He wrote it, I rewrote. I added characterization and tailored the plot, but the voice of that novel is definitely Alan's. It's really different from what I usually write.

Your two young adult novels feature best friends Maggie and Dixie. How did you work on the character development for these characters?

Characters usually come to me in pieces. Sometimes they are inspired by people I see out in public--not people I know, and not the actual person I observe, but something about a person that strikes me as interesting and different. I'll make notes about that, and then wait for that character to start "talking" to me, spontaneously scenes and tidbits that come at odd moments while I'm still involved in another project. By the time I'm ready to start a project, the character has probably been living in my head about six months or more. Before I start working on a project in earnest, I find pictures from catalogs or sales ads of all the secondary characters so I won't have to remember what they look like, what kind of attitude they have, and so forth. (the main character is usually very vivid in my mind so I don't need a picture.) In the case of Maggie in Maggie Come Lately, the prologue came ages before the rest, so I had plenty of time to think about how Maggie's mother's suicide shaped who she became. Dixie evolved slowly during Maggie's book so that by the time I wrote My Beautiful Disaster I knew her fully, and knew she had her own story to tell.

You deal with strong issues in both books. How did you research?

The Catholic Church requires all employees and voluteers to attend Virtus Training, which is a program that teaches adults how to spot child molesters and children who have been molested. It was during that meeting, when I heard that one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys have been molested that I knew it was a subject I had to weave into Maggie's story. To further my research, I interviewed the director of a Women's Crisis Center. However, the basis of the plot was still a girl wanting to be popular and then shocked by what that really meant, with an underlying theme of abstinence. My Beautiful Disaster was inspired when I discovered that most private/Christian schools kick girls out if they get pregnant. That happened at my son's school. It floored me that people who called themselves Christian would turn their backs on a girl when she was preserving life, justifying their actions as punishing the act of sexual intercourse. What a joke. I had to write about it. So I called various schools and I talked to girls. I'd volunteered for a Pregnancy Center for years, so I'd already witnessed that end of the system. Since I have three teenage daughters as well as a teenage son, it wasn't hard to include fictional versions of the lingo, attitudes and daily reality of teen life.

Was it hard to write about such delicate topics?

I'm passionate about abstinence, protecting children, and the unborn, so I found it a great release to write both books. Readers tell me they find the stories speak to them because they are so current and reality based... I can't imagine write young adult fiction any other way.

You have over 20 years experience as a newspaper columnist. How has this effected you novel writing?

Freelance writing and newspaper writing has helped my marketing ability more than any other aspect of my novels because a writer has to be able to employ side-door promotion of her novels, writing nonfiction articles that parallel the novel, as well as doing interviews such as this! Most important at the time was that the freelance work and newspaper column made it financially possible for me to persevere at fiction. It took a long time and a lot of throw-away manuscripts before I wrote something I knew I could publish.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I was absolutely thrilled that American Idol Jordin Sparks took the time during her tour immediately after winning her title last year to read and endorse My Beautiful Disaster. I had the pleasure of meeting her at one of her concerts, and I can tell you she is a sincerely wonderful girl. I'm proud to have her quote on the cover.

Also, I was really honored that a public school picked up Maggie Come Lately as a contemporary novel for their eigth grade class, and then to top it off, they staged a mock trial halfway through their reading. The trial was even held in their town courthouse. I love that my story inspired such an awesome activity. If any of your readers would like to hear more about how they did that, I'd be glad to pass the information on to them. I love hearing from readers anyway, so I hope this encourages your audience to contact me. (Michelle@MichelleBuckman.com)
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All Freelance Writing- A blog worth visiting

All Freelance Writing is a blog for freelance writers focused primarily on Web content writing, copywriting, and blogging. The blog is run by freelance business writer and online PR specialist Jennifer Mattern. You can also visit All Freelance Writing's sister sites to find freelance writing jobs and writer's markets.

On the site you will find well written and useful posts on the following categories:

* Blogging
* Book Writing
* Copywriting
* E-books
* Freelance Writing Careers
* General
* Making Money
* Marketing
* Web Writing
* Writers Markets
* Writers' Resources
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Radio show

* Discussions this month include: publishing, poetry and writing; the environment, society and leaving a positive legacy.

LOCATION: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions
Conscious Discussions Airs Live on Tuesdays, Thursdays & some Sundays at 10:00 AM (Pacific) - archives are always available !

- Oct 28: Dark Poet and Fantasy-suspense Author - Lanaia Lee has just released the first book in a 5-book suspense-filled fantasy series that begins with life on the Continent of Atlantis. We are going to hear about her career as an author, how she manages the office work along with the marketing and dealing with publishers and publicists and the creation process that she uses... we'll hear about her radio show and much more. Lanaia will offer marketing advice and tips that will help writers of all genres avoid pitfalls.
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Book Marketing from A - Z reviewed by Heather Froeschl

Book Marketing from A - Z by Francine Silverman
Publisher: Infinity publishing

Any author who even hopes to make it in the publishing world today is going to have to market their wares. It doesn't matter if you self-publish, go subsidy, POD or with a traditional house, you are going to have to sell your book. The writing is the easiest part; getting people to buy your book is where the real work begins. There are many guides to help you in this endeavor but "Book Marketing from A-Z" is one of the most comprehensive books I have found.

More than 300 authors share what has and hasn't worked for them. Aside from having a top-notch agent to help you, getting the skinny from been-there-done-that authors is the next best thing. Silverman addresses nearly every topic you could imagine when it comes to marketing books. From A û Advertising to Z û Zero Promotion and everything in between, you will hear the down and dirty on book tours, getting into brick and mortar stores, postcards and bookmarks, newsletters, webpages, radio spots and so much more.

Authors willingly share their horror stories and their successes. Learn from their mistakes and progress. If you don't come away from this book with some new ideas for promoting your work then you need to reread it. You will likely do so anyway as Silverman's book will become a trusted guide to keep in your resource library. This easy to navigate, hard to put down book will undoubtedly help thousands of authors to create a bigger and better plan for themselves.

About the reviewer:

"If it has to do with the writing world, and I can match the need with a solution, I do it. So here is a vain effort to continue my matchmaking. Yes, I am a writer, an author, an editor, among other things. Keep reading and I may be able to help you.

Looking for a review of your work? I am an award winning literary reviewer with a long list of satisfied clients. At QuillDipper we offer professional reviews of all genres from children's literature to science fiction.

Do you need an editor to go through your work with a critical eye?
As a freelance editor I have delighted in helping many authors to polish their works.
Take a look at my credits to see a sampling of my clients.

I am a writer first and foremost: for hire. I have experience as a contracted book author, non-fiction article and essay columnist, and as an ebook author. I have done grant writing, greeting card verse and countless book reviews. My editing experience is as varied, from being a glossy print magazine managing editor to editing cookbooks and literary magazines, being on the editorial staff of web sites and ezines, and editing full length novels".

visit http://www.bookreview.com or http://www.quilldipper.com/
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Interview with reviewer Cheryl Malandrinos

You have some great reviews on your site http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com. How long have you been reviewing books?
Thanks for the compliment about The Book Connection. I’ve always been an avid reader so this was a good way to make use of my interest in books. I began reviewing books at my personal blog The Aspiring Author, two years ago, but found it took away from what I was trying to accomplish there—which was to have a blog about what is important to an aspiring author. So, in July 2007, I created The Book Connection. There you’ll find book reviews, author interviews, and guest posts from authors in a variety of genres.

Can you give a brief description of your reviewing process?
Read the book, review it. Read the next book, review it. LOL! No, actually it’s a bit more complex than that. I don’t usually agree to review a book unless I am familiar with genre or have an interest in the topic—though I have done so upon occasion and found some truly engaging and powerful material. When a book comes in I log it into my spreadsheet so that I can remember when each book came in and in what order I am supposed to read them. I try my best to provide a review 1 to 3 months after receiving it, but if I get overloaded I contact the author and let him know. I don’t accept eBooks because I’ve long since learned they will sit at the bottom of my “to be read” pile and never see the light of day.

While reading, I will underline or star certain areas that I want to mention in my review. These could be strengths or weaknesses. This also allows me to quote out of the book if something particularly touches me. I don’t usually begin reading another book until I post a review for the completed one at The Book Connection. This avoids confusion and allows me to approach each creation with a fresh mind. Then I email the author and/or publicist to let him/her know the review has been posted and I put a completion date on my spreadsheet so that I know it’s done.

Any tips for people who want to start reviewing?
Reviewing books is not for the faint of heart. It’s great fun when you are so hyped up about a good reading experience that you want to tell the world about it; but it’s an entirely different feeling when you believe a book didn’t live up to its expectations. Therefore, you must be ready to write both types of reviews. Honesty is the most important ingredient in a review. But I would counter that by saying there is no need to be caustic or cruel. The point of a review is to help a potential reader decide if a book is worth spending her hard earned cash on; not to discover how witty the reviewer is. While I don’t spend time worrying over a writer’s feelings when I put together a review, I still appreciate the creative aspects of it and the guts it takes to put your work out there.

No book is going to be all good or all bad. One has to decide how much impact the negatives have on the overall reading experience. A good reviewer can blend the strengths and weaknesses of a book and provide a potential reader with the information she needs to make a sound buying decision.

Anything else you'd like to add?
A review is only one person’s opinion. Two people can read the same book and have opposite reactions to it. Sometimes an author will react strongly to a review, and oftentimes, the automatic response is to want to defend your review. Don’t do it. Nothing is served by defending your position because neither of you is going to change your mind. And like in all things, don’t over commit. If you don’t have time to take on more books, then say no.
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Lanaia Lee Interview

Where did your inspiration for Of Atlantis come from?
My inspiration came from everywhere - everything I've learned, read, and studied. Throughout my life, we are talking nearly forty years before I started writing the books, I studied ancient history and somehow it all came together. I tried to tell story, from ancient to modern, combining reality and fantasy without too heavy a hand. A work of forty years from my mind!

What’s the most important message in Of Atlantis?
Mainly that man always has and always will face the challenge of good vs. evil. I also think there are many things we can learn from studying ancient civilizations that would help us now and in the future.

If you had to pick a favorite section of the book, what would it be?
The finale of Book One and all of Book Two which take place in the modern day and involve a great deal of historical intrigue along with some lovely romance. The finale of book one is total fantasy yet very real -- even Hitler makes and appearance! I don't think anyone ever says, that couldn't happen. I love taking historical facts and weaving fantasy around them, weaving my magic. Now book two, I consider my baby, my passion. Some of my greatest interests are the Crystal Skulls of Belize and the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy. Book Two --Skulls of Salvation, due out this fall, is based solely on them. Thus my passion put to words on paper.

Have you thought about turning your novel into a screenplay?
Absolutely, my husband and I fantasize about who would direct the movie and would play certain characters. I just hope if it ever does go to film, I have a hand in choosing the characters I visualize in my mind.

If Of Atlantis is transferred to the screen, what actors should play the following characters and why?
Archimedes (as an adult) -- Nicolas Cage, I think he is a great actor, and I think he has what it takes to pull it off, from Archimedes as a young man on up to really ancient and wise.

Cheris -- Jane Seymour. Cheris has a certain air -- regal and graceful. Jane Seymour demonstrates this quality in any role she plays.

Persius -- Richard Gere. I remember Richard Gere's role in First Knight in which he played Lancelot, another defender of the king, passionately in love with the queen. He was loyal to King Arthur, he so tried to fight his feelings. He was great in this role, which sounds very much like my Percius.

Uric -- Arnold Voosloo. He played Imhotep in the movie The Mummy. The whole time I was writing my series, when I wrote about Uric, this is who I visualized in my mind. Uric is conniving, untrustworthy, and an evil liar, just as Imohotep was in The Mummy.

Janus -- Billy Zane. In Titanic, he played his role with that certain air; he was the center of attention and could be a traitor, just like my Janus

Which director would you choose for your film?
James Cameron. Considering all three Terminator movies, the Abyss, and Titanic, my series seems right up his alley -- a lot about life, situations with a touch of fantasy and romance. He brings it all to life on the big screen, no matter how difficult. And it seems everything he touches turns to gold.

Do you have any favorite fantasy films?
Pan's Labyrinth, Troy, and The Kingdom. These films taught me how to write fantasy in terms of not overdoing it and how to add just enough

What writing projects are you working on now?
I am working on the fifth and final book of the series Of Atlantis. I am sad in a way to be wrapping it up, for my characters are just like family to me now. Of Atlantis was written to be fantasy for all ages, giving everyone a chance to escape from this crazy world, which we call reality. If only for a while, a person can step into my world and escape from the rat race in which we live. Of Atlantis is more than just a story, it is the mind of Lanaia Lee. Different things in the series are based on things that have happened to me.

(Of Atlantis is published by Roval Publishing & Digital Services. For more information, please go to www.rovalpublishing.net or call 1-888-485-8830).
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"NovelMaker.com is the world's first truly interactive community for fiction writers, readers, critics, literary agents, editors, and publishers".

NovelMaker’s MISSION

* Help, inspire, encourage, and give exposure to new, undiscovered writing talent, and provide valuable resources

* Discover and showcase new writers for readers and agents looking for new and serious fiction

* Provide a community that gives peer-to-peer criticism and helpful feedback

* Provide writers the ability to self-publish, without gimmicks or expensive “package deals”

Authors can upload to NovelMaker.com their completed works, or works-in-progress, and receive editorial suggestions, comments, reviews, and ratings. Those reviews and ratings may take new and unpublished writers into a realm never before accessible to them - a large, interactive community participating with them in the creation, and potential commercial success, of new works.

Authors can get instantaneous feedback, cover art, factual information, maps, pictures, and all manner of useful information to advance their literary endeavors to new levels. Readers can participate in an author's creative process, rate and review an author's work, create a user group to discuss the author's work, or buy the author's completed novel - in paper format or one of several e-book reader formats.

Literary agents seek talent, and worthy works of fiction and non-fiction. Until NovelMaker.com, they have relied on over-the-transom submissions, query letters, and word-of-mouth. But with NovelMaker.com, literary agents can read new works of fiction online, see the results of ratings and reviews by users on our site, and see whose works may be commercially viable - because our large, online community has voted!

For editors and publishers, the opportunities are limitless. We will post their upcoming titles for free, and give them the opportunity to review new works of fiction, provide comments, and, most importantly, see what will sell based on our community response to new works. What better "testing ground" for an editor looking for the next best-seller?

Find out more at http://www.novelmaker.com
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Award winning site

Writers and Authors has made it onto the Preditors & Editors list of Sites of Distinction

"Preditors & Editors is pleased to announce the most recent recipient of its monthly Truly Useful Site Award along with the previous recipients listed below. These sites have proven not only useful or entertaining. They have also set a standard for other sites to aim for. We congratulate them on their achievements".

Visit the site for the full list:


Thank you for your support and please keep nominating and voting for Writers and Authors to help make it an award winning site.
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Events this month at the South Australian Writers' Centre

The South Australian Writers' Centre (SAWC) is located in Adelaide. They are a non-profit organisation providing resources and support for South Australian writers of all ages.

10am — 1pm Saturday 25 October 2008

Crafting a Short Story

With workshop techniques used in creative writing programs at the university level, you will work on drafts of your short stories. Please note that participants will be required to submit a 2000 word draft of a short story to Rick Hosking by 18 October. Please email to Richard.Hosking@flinders.edu.au

10am — 1pm Saturday 25 October 2008

Writing A Love Scene

Love may make the world go around but writing a love scene can be quite difficult. It needs to be a blend of sensuality and poetry whilst staying true to the core of your characters. Come along to learn the intimate secrets.

2pm — 5pm Saturday 25 October 2008

Structuring and Plotting Novels for Children

What do children like to read and does plot matter in children’s writing? Problems in plotting will be looked at and the relationship between character and plot will be examined.

You can find out about more events at the SAWC at their website http://www.sawriters.on.net/
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Italian for Tourists reviewed by Ron Berry

Italian for Tourists by Jo Linsdell

Reviewed by Ron Berry

I don’t speak Italian. I have enough trouble with English (or is it American). Jo Linsdell has written the definitive guidebook. I know if I ever make it to Italy, this is the book I want. Why? Because it’s layout is simple, easy to use and covers everything. Ms Linsdell has put in a guide to how to pronounce the letters and put in the most common of phrases. There is not a lot of excess wording so finding what phrase or word you need in a hurry is very simple. This book is a must for anyone traveling to Italy. The only negative is that it doesn’t go into all the bad language that Italian drivers throw at each other. Wait, that’s a good thing.

The first thing you notice is how the book is divided. Then you get the guide to how to pronounce each letter and in Italian, you do just that. After that, all you have to do is look for the section you need, airport, train station, hotel, etc, and all the common phrases are there. Anyone who travels can use this book. There are many Italian to English books or other combinations, but none are as easy to use as Italian for Tourists. I highly recommend this to anyone traveling to Italy.

Italian for Tourists is available from http://www.lulu.com/jolinsdell in both print and ebook form.

Visit Ron Berry at his blog http://unwriter1.wordpress.com
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Interview with marketing expert Denise Cassino

Tell us about Wizardly Web Designs.
WWD began as a small website design company. I am senior editor for an ezine for writers, Long Story Short, www.alongstoryshort.net which we started in 2003. I have a huge group of writers that I know and work with that have a certain trust in me. So I began approaching some of them about building websites for them and their published work and some approached me. Then last year, one of them asked me about doing the web marketing for her new book. I was working for a web marketing company, so I already had a knowledge base for the marketing. I began studying the Web 2.0 marketing strategy and developed a program for book marketing. Now I have 9 authors and another small retail business that I am marketing on the Internet.

How important do you think it is for a writer to use web marketing? why?
Web marketing is a kind of viral marketing. It spreads the word via blog marketing with strategic links back to the book website, networking among other websites and blogs which is achieved through Virtual Book Tours. VBTs are the self-published author's way of doing book tours, but without the travel, expense and exhaustion they entail.

What features do you feel a writers website should have to help them market their work?
The sites I develop include a book page with reviews, videos, book summary, sample chapters and links to radio interviews. I also post an events page with a calendar that shows all of the stops on the VBT and any radio interviews I arrange.

Can you give a few marketing ideas that writers could try?
I suggest trying to get radio interviews - there are many internet radio shows for authors. Once a comfort level with the medium develops, the authors can seek bigger stations. Create a blog and work it - post 3 times a week and link back to your site. Make contact with other website and blog owners and exchange links and info and finally, issue press releases and pay to have them mass distributed.

What kind of pricing do you have?
I try to work within the budgetary constraints of the authors and often tailor a program to their budget and goals.

Anything else?
I am also developing an exciting new system that will achieve massive distribution and book sales that I expect to launch this fall. It is a win/win plan that involves many authors in a joint venture for success. I would love to hear from interested authors. My website is www.wizardlywebdesigns.com
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Annette Snyder Interview

You grew up far from anywhere, how does this affect your writing?
I write about life in small towns or little cities. I did live in Houston, Texas for a time, fortunately between Hurricane Alicia and Hurricane Ike.

Do you have a favourite thing that you've ever written?

I think my favorite story to date is the release coming in January, Viveka’s War. I’m also working on a re-write. That’s a contemporary involving a fast food worker and a limousine driver. It was one of the first stories I ever wrote and now I’m incorporating the things I’ve learned through my publishing experience to make the book that much better.

Tell us about your latest book Arpetta Honor?

Arpetta Honor
was to be the last in my Travis Pass Series. It’s about the attorney who helped Sally Murphy, the girl from the first book in the series and titled as such. With Arpetta Honor, the sequence comes full circle in a way . However, a reader contacted me several weeks ago wanting to know the contents of a package that Sashay received in Albert’s Rain (book six in the series) and I got a pretty darn good idea for a story about that.

You also have a new release coming out in January 2009, Vivekas War. How did you go about researching for this book?

I always thought my family was the very first dysfunctional family and unique because of the dysfunction. My dad’s father died when he was young and my Grandmother remarried only because my dad’s sister died during childbirth and, as a single parent, grandma couldn’t adopt the baby unless she had a husband. The sheriff in town married her so she could adopt her grandson and later, grandma’s husband was murdered during a robbery. After the second husband’s death, Grandma’s brother, my dad’s single uncle, stepped in to help grandma with her kids. To me, that was a unique situation during the 1940’s to 1950’s and such a great base for a story. I had to write it. Also, I was inspired by my mom’s mother to add elements of the Depression years. Because both of these amazing women lived through that period of time in American history when life was built by determination, I learned a wealth of information just by listening to the stories they shared with me. Sadly, last May my maternal grandmother passed away. I’m sure she’s up in heaven cheering me on!

Your published with Whiskey Creek Press, what made you pick them for your books?
I tried to publish with traditional press. I bought the literary guides and sent the letters then gave up. One day, I was reading Sally Murphy and I thought, This is a great book and more people would enjoy it. I got on the internet and researched writers who wrote the kind of things I write and linked to their publishers through their sites. I emailed Whiskey Creek Press because they seemed to specialize in Historical Western Fiction and they wanted to read Sally Murphy. Now I have seven books with them currently and two more coming in 2009. Of course, before I signed up, I checked them out with the internet watchdog sites and the Better Business Bureau.

Would you encourage other writers to use them? why?
I am quite pleased with the growth of Whiskey Creek Press and the professionalism they hold. They are encouraging and just plain great to work with in every respect.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Anything you need to know that isn’t on my site, http://annettesnyder.atspace.com will get a reply with received emails through there. I try to always answer any emails and, if I don’t know the answers, I find someone who does. Also, I got a really great review from Romantic Times Book Reviews, November issue. Check out the Ad. It’s pretty darn cool!
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In its most recent year-end issue, after an explosion in user generated content on the internet, TIME magazine named YOU the person of the year. And that’s what Lulu.com is all about – YOU the creator, and YOU the business person.

To be clear, Lulu is not a publisher. It’s a digital marketplace guided by a vision of empowerment and accessibility, and built on a business model that has proven wildly successful. The rapid growth of Lulu, which is being driven by over 15,000 new registrations a week and more than 100, 000 unique visitors everyday, is built on its proven ability to grab hold of the long tail of user-generated content and provide an empowering outlet for creators of all types.

Lulu eliminates traditional entry barriers to publishing, and enables content creators and owners – authors and educators, videographers and musicians, businesses and nonprofits, professionals and amateurs – to bring their work directly to their audience. First, they use Lulu’s tools to format their digital content. Then they take advantage of Lulu’s dedicated marketplace, custom storefronts and advanced listing and distribution services to make their books, videos, CDs, DVDs, calendars, reports and more available to as many, or as few, people around the world as they like, earning 80% of all creator revenue, of which millions of dollars has already been paid out.

As the creation of user-generated content has grown exponentially, Lulu has been at the forefront of this still rapidly growing curve. Traditional book publishers in the United States published roughly 120,000 books a year. Lulu alone published 98,000 new titles globally, created by some of our almost 1.2 million registered users. In addition, Lulu has empowered creators to post, sell, and share hundreds of thousands of videos, music downloads, artistic creations and great photography.

In just five years Lulu.com has, in essence, become home to a new economy. With users in more than 80 countries and corporate offices in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Lulu is a top 2500 website world wide (Alexa.com); a winner of the 2007 Web 2.0 Award for best websites (SEOMoz.com), and is the top ranked self publishing site on Alexa, boasting one of the largest online worldwide creative communities and a premiere global marketplace for new digital content on the Internet.

Lulu is guided by founder and CEO Bob Young – a true technology entrepreneur and open-source visionary with four successful multi-million dollar start-up companies on his resume. In 1993, Young co-founded Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the open-source software company that gives hardware and software vendors a standard platform on which to certify their technology. Red Hat is a Fortune 500 company and chief rival to Microsoft. His success at Red Hat won him industry accolades, including nomination as one of Business Week’s “Top Entrepreneurs” in 1999. In 2000, Young co-founded the Center for Public Domain, a non-profit foundation created to bolster healthy conversation of intellectual property, patent and copyright law, and the management of the public domain for the common good. Grant recipients included the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Creative Commons, the Free Software Foundation, and the Future of Music Coalition. In 2003, Young purchased the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League and currently serves as the league’s vice chairman.

Visit www.lulu.com for more details
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International Book Fairs this month

Frankfurt Book Fair

15-19 October


This is still the big one, the premier international book fair which is attended by publishers from all over the world and is also open to the German public for some of the time. This huge fair is a meeting-place and rights marketplace for the global publishing industry, but it is a trade fair and there's not much for authors except in the German halls.

3rd International Book Fair, Dallas, Texas

October 24-26 2008


The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is hosting its third international book fair in October to promote the love for books, reading and writing.

The event is free and open to the public. International, national and local authors will be reading and signing books. Cultural programs will again include artistic performances, poetry reading, music and children activities.


October 17-18 2008

Taking place at the Birmingham Medical Institute in Edgbaston, UK.


October 18 2008

Taking place at The Wharfe Room, Pavilions of Harrogate, UK.

Crime and detective fiction, together with children's & illustrated.

- Thousands of second-hand and antiquarian books - many now highly collectable

- Original artwork, prints and related collectables

- Around 40 children's & illustrated and crime fiction specialists offering books and advice

The 28th Annual Ottawa Antiquarian Book Fair.

October 25-26 2008

They will have 60 to 70 Dealers from across Canada and a few from United States. - Contact: David Dorken, Fair Manager. 613-258-4551. ottawabookfair@cyberus.ca - or - Patrick or Liam, McGahern Books Inc. ABAC. 613-230-2275 or books@mcgahernbooks.ca -

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Review: The slippery art of book reviewing by Mayra Calvani and Anne K Edwards

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing by Mayra Calvani & Anne K. Edwwards--Book Review
Informational and insightful, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing is an excellent resource for aspiring, novice, and experienced book reviewers everywhere.

But it is so much more!

Broken down into three parts--The Art of Reviewing, The Influence of Book Reviews, and Resources--this book takes the reader through every aspect of book reviews. From how to write an objective review--positive or negative--to how to start your own book review site; from authors' opinions on how reviews impact sales to how reviews are utilized by libraries, bookstores, and book clubs; from where to get started posting reviews to lists of genre specific review sites, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing has it all.

Whether you are a reviewer, author or publicist, the information found within this book's 180 pages is destined to improve your knowledge of book reviews and book review sites, and improve your working relationship with other members of the publishing industry.

How? By giving you the tools and the insight into what book reviewing is all about and what reviews mean to the authors and publicists who seek them.

Topics include, but are not limited to:
The Five Keys to Being a Good Reviewer
Reading Critically
The Absolute Dont's (or Signs of an Amateur)
Is There Any Money in It?
How to Start Your Own Book Review Site
Dealing with Review Editors, Authors, Publishers and Publicists

Readers will discover the difference between a review, a book report, a critique, and a press release. They'll find out how facile praise or harsh negativity affects the reputation of a book reviewer and read all about the reviewers versus bloggers controversy.

Filled with sample reviews, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing can help readers draft stronger, more objective reviews for genre fiction, literary works, and non-fiction, and explores the interesting animal known as the article-review.

The last section of this book includes links and information for sites where aspiring reviewers can begin posting reviews; top print review publications, small print publications, print publications that pay for reviews, and general and genre specific online review sites and publications. The Appendix also includes a sample press release.

As always, Calvani's attention to detail provides the reader with an easy understanding of the topic matter. While this is the first collaboration with Anne K. Edwards that I have read, I will certainly be seeking out more of Edwards' work as a result of the clarity and perfect structure of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing. Calvani is a multi-genre author, reviewer, and editor and Edwards is a mystery author and editor of Voice in the Dark, a free monthly ezine featuring author interviews, columns, articles, short fiction, and resources for authors and readers.

I would highly recommend The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing to anyone with an interest in book reviews and their impact on the publishing industry.

Title: The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Authors: Mayra Calvani and Anne K. Edwards
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-933353-22-7
ISBN-10: 1-933353-22-8
U.S. Price $16.95

You'll find a group of interviews with book review professionals performed by Mayra Calvani at Blogcritics.org.
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Interview with Vivian Zabel of 4RV Publishing

How long has 4RV been in business?
We started planning and putting things together about 3 years ago. However we really didn't have our first book ready and released until January of this year.

What genres do you accept?
We publish most genre, but not gratuitous sex, profanity, or violence, no erotica. Any profanity or violence must be appropriate and not excessive. Romance, love, sexual tension are accepted, but the reader needs to be left outside the bedroom door. Imagination is best.

You accept between 8-12 books a year. How can an author make their submission stand out from the rest?
The best way to stand out from others is to write a really good book that would require little, if any, editing. The submitter should follow submission guidelines exactly.

What are the most common mistakes writers make that lead to being rejected?
1. telling not showing. The reader should be able to "see" what is happening by the words used. 2. not following the guidelines.
3. writing needs proper and thorough editing before it's sent to us.

Where can people find out more about your services?

Our website is http://4rvpublishingllc.com/, and the services page gives the guidelines.
Anything else you'd like to add? Our motto is working one on one with authors and artists. That's what we do our best to do.
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Linda Helms Interview

What made you start writing?
As a challenge from my son, I started writing but soon after, it was evident that it is a passion of mine.

Your latest book, Pieces from the Heart is inspired by a country song which is sung by John Michael Montgomery. Tell us a bit about how this came about.
First, I heard the song on the radio while driving to work. A very emotional song, I couldn't help but to be affected and then the words started pouring out on the blank pages. I listened to the song countless of times while writing Pieces from the Heart.

Do you often find you're inspired by music?
No, while my writing comes from many different inspirations, this was the first time I decided to tackle the challenge of capturing the same intensity throughout the pages of Pieces from the Heart as the song, The Little Girl has.

How did you work on the character development for this book?
In keeping with the song, I still felt a need to intensify the characters on a wider scale to ensure that the storyline will keep the readers on an emotional roller coaster ride as powerful miracles unfold within the pages. This very suspenseful but yet inspirational paperback is certain to leave viewers with a deeper respect for life and all it has to offer.

What other books have you written?
Mercy Crossing, 2006; Faced with life’s road blocks, Kyle must choose between keeping a promise he had made years earlier and returning to the life that he tried hard to escape. Set in New York City, Mercy Crossing takes readers on a journey where friendships are broken, gangs are formed, and lives are changed forever.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing? http://www.publishedauthors.net/linda/
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Yvonne Perry Interview

Tell us a bit about WITS.
WITS is an acronym for Writers in the Sky—my writing and editing company based in Nashville, Tennessee. My team and I offer ghostwriting and editing for fiction and nonfiction books, biographies and memoirs, résumés, media releases, press kits, marketing copy, Web site text, and articles. We also assist authors with online book promotion and help them take the next step toward publishing.

When people sign up for the WITS newsletter about writing, publishing, and book marketing they get a copy of your eBook Tips for Freelance Writing. What is the number one tip you'd give people starting out?
Have a plan, build a strong portfolio, and learn everything you can about the business and craft of writing and the publishing industry. This is so important and yet few people know how to do this. That is why I am starting a mentoring program designed to bring new writers into the freelance writing business. The three levels will teach the bare-bones basics for starting out as a new writer and develop the student into someone who could become part of the WITS team. I spend a lot of time grooming the team of writers and editors I have now and teaching them everything I know. It takes quite an investment to believe in a writer enough to warrant the time and effort to train them, but it’s what I enjoy doing. This is another reason why I wrote an eBook Book Marketing in the Digital Age Online Promotion Made Easy.

You also do a WITS Podcast. How valuable do you think it is to use other forms of media as marketing tools?
I encourage authors and writers to take advantage of everything available on the Internet to market their books and businesses. I network online and have multiple strategic alliances with authors and business people. I use social networking sites such as Twitter,
Facebook, LinkedIn, Squiddo, and MySpace; I bookmark my posts for news services, I post media releases online at least once per month; I use keyword article marketing to increase my online presence and bring traffic to my sites; I publish free a monthly newsletter and accept speaking engagements in person and online; I have a video on YouTube and on my business Web site and blog, and I offer RSS feed syndication to listeners of my podcast and readers of my five blogs.

I started my podcast, not as a marketing tool, but because of my desire to teach and to help other writers find their way to success. I am frequently asked questions about online marketing and publishing and the podcast is a way for me to distribute this type of information. There were times when I wanted to stop the podcast because it takes so much time to produce and promote a quality show, but whenever I start thinking of bringing it to a close, someone will tell me how much they enjoy the show and how helpful it is to them. It keeps me going!

You've written quite a variety of books, ranging from a series of children’s books to taking on difficult topics such as suicide. How does your writing process change depending on the type of book you’re writing?
Every book is different and must be treated with the end user (the reader) in mind. I ask myself: What do people need to know or what should they learn from this book? What format should I use to best get this message to the reader? The process itself doesn’t change from one non-fiction book to another. I research and gather my material, create a working outline that helps me organize the material, write and develop the chapters, edit the entire book, and proofread it. Then, I have someone else edit and proofread it before it is published.

My books typically stream from whatever is going on in my life. For example, my children’s books were written for and about my grandson when he was three years old. My book on death, dying, and afterlife was written shortly after my uncle passed away. My book on stem cell research was a product of my curiosity on the topic when President Bush vetoed HR 810 and I had contact with a friend who is certain his son can be helped by stem cell treatment.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Never see a piece you have written as your “baby” or as an extension of yourself. Doing so creates an attachment that will not allow you to receive critique that will help you develop or hone your skills. I see my writing as a product or tool to help me reach my next goal.

To writers who want to build a portfolio, I suggest they find multiple purposes for each piece they write. Articles can be converted to media releases, media releases can be excerpted for marketing pieces, which can be used in a newsletter. This interview will probably be whittled into posts for my blog or a writing sample for my Web site.

Remember, there are no limits to how successful a writer can be!
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Writing Competitions this month

Writing Competitions October 2008

Soccerlens is hosting a football writing competition - if you think you’re better than the journalist / blogger hacks you force yourself to read everyday and if you’re interested in making a career out of writing about football, this is your best shot.
For the next two weeks (1st to 14th October), They will be accepting article submissions for the contest (for full details and rules visit http://soccerlens.com/football-writing-competition/3257/)
Provided that your entry meets some minimum criteria, your article will definitely be published on Soccerlens.
They have a panel of bloggers / judges who will evaluate all published entries and pick a winner in the 3rd week of October, with the winner receiving (amongst the usual cash prize and free shirt from Subside Sports) a paid contract to write on Soccerlens and / or full network support (1 million+ pageviews per month) in launching and promoting your own football blog.

Talk About Debt poetry competitionInspired by a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar called The Debt, Talk About Debt are running a poetry competition to find this century’s Debt Poem. First prize is £300. For more information, visit http://www.talkaboutdebt.co.uk/community/2008/09/debt-free-poetry-to-inspire-action/Closing date 31 October 2008

DEADLINE: 31st October 2008
This competition is for short stories of all kinds accepted in the Rules below, but entrants should not have been professionally published (paid for, for print or web, or broadcast) more than 3 times, or won writing competitions more than 3 times. This gives new writers the opportunity to enter the competition on a fair level pegging.
PRIZES: First prize £100; second prize £50. Third prize is two of our books. Note that if there are enough entries, prizes may rise in value.
DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Final entries must be with us no later than 31st October 2008. Winners will be announced shortly before Christmas. What a great Christmas Bonus!

Short Story Radio Competition
Closing date: 31st Oct 2008
Prize: The winning entrant will have their story professionally recorded by a British Equity member actor and broadcast on http://www.shortstoryradio.com/ The winner will also receive their own professionally designed website and 5 CD copies of your story for personal use. Three runners up: Your story appears in our online Short Story Magazine plus Free web page profile. Entry fee: £8 per story.Stories must fall into one of the following categories: drama/romance, historical fiction/memoir, humour, magic realism, mystery/thriller, science fiction. Your submission should clearly state which category it falls under in order to be considered. The story must be fictional and maximum 3,000 words.shortstoryradio.com/competitions
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Another new addition to site

On the left hand side you'll now find a traffic map where you can keep track of who's visiting Writers and Authors. I'd love to see it full of those colourful dots so help spread the word!
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Muse Online Writer Conference- Interview with Organiser Lea Schizas

What is the Muse Online Conference all about and when did you start doing it?
The Muse Online Writers Conference came about after I had posed a question to members in my MuseItUp Club: How many attend writers conferences. There were three answers coming back:
1- too far to attend
2- too expensive
3- cannot travel/attend because of a disability
I thought how sad that so many writers can’t attend and take full advantage of the networking possibilities, and immediately began to formulate how to go about setting an online conference. I knew right away, however, that whatever or however I set up this conference, it would have to be as simple as possible to target writers who don’t need to add fancy programs or overload their computers with stuff. Nice and easy.
Our 2008 conference will be our third year we’ve offered this FREE conference.

When does it take place and how can people get involved?
The conference this year will take place October 13 – 19, seven days of networking, homework, tons of reading, and fun. Although our registration for this year is closed, in November we begin all over again for next year. So make sure to come back and register early for our 2009 Conference.

Let's talk numbers; How many people are expected to attend this year? How many speakers/workshops are scheduled?
This year we have 1528 who have officially registered. We have around 80 FREE workshops if not more, and I say this because we have some chats that are also part of our weeklong forum and some Presenters who are offering a one hour real time chat workshop. As to how many presenters, obviously there is one presenter per workshop, however, there are many more on board. You see, we have publishers along with their editorial staff and some of their authors who will be fielding questions from attendees. But it’s safe to say over 120 Presenters.

What highlights are in store this year?
I would say all of the workshops are our highlights. The Muse Online Writers Conference, besides the awesome FREE price tag, offers you intense one week workshops with professionals who are experts in their fields. We have more publishing houses and magazines this year, so that’s a highlight, and hopefully, I’ll knock down some more doors next year and have double the houses participating.

When will registration be open for the next one and how do people go about signing up?
Registration for our 2009 Conference will be open as of November 2008. More details in November in our website: http://www.themuseonlinewritersconference.com

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Actually, there is one big area that I need to stress for those thinking about joining us next year. Don’t wait until the very last minute to register. I had to refuse quite a few writers this year because they waited until the end of September, AFTER the deadline to try and get in. It’s not that I don’t want to open up the doors to these writers, but our registrations were open since the beginning of the year, and they have no idea the amount of work that goes into this conference behind the scenes. It’s easy to say ‘please let me join’ but on my end, there are steps I need to take in order to register them, their workshops, and other areas to make sure everything runs smoothly.
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Waking Rose reviewed by Tannia E. Ortiz Lopes

Waking Rose - A Fairy Tale Retold by Regina Doman
Reviewed by Tannia E. Ortiz-Lopés (timewithtannia.tripod.com)

Some books take you traveling into space. Others bring you back in time. But then one day, when you least expect it, you come across a book that grabs your imagination and leads you on a road of adventures and suspense into a world combining elements of fantasy and fairy tale with the world we live in.

Waking Rose, a young adult novel by Regina Doman (the sequel to The Shadow of the Bear) is a book which deprived me of precious sleeping hours because I felt I had become a character of the story–a character the author did not intend to create; nevertheless, I was there on every page, a silent witness. I was unable to help the written characters to solve the mystery, of course, and I agonized and hoped somehow they get my clues. But the characters could not have my (the reader’s) inside information; the reader isn’t a part of the characters’ world; they are part of the reader’s. I tried to balance this mix of worlds (fantasy vs. real) and wait for the end. Then came the climax of the story and I was in total awe, speechless and unable to write the book review. How could I start to write the review if was still in shock? Well, I let two weeks pass before I was able to collect my thoughts and do it. I hope the following book review helps you enjoy a fairy tale retold with elements from old and new, just like in a wedding.

The book’s cover is simple, but it captures well what is in store for the reader: The country house, which keeps a secret from the past soon to be discovered; trees, a rose bindweed, and Rose, peacefully sleeping. Or is she truly sleeping? Each chapter follows the rose bindweed theme and includes a portion of the Brother’s Grimm story, Sleeping Beauty. This gives each chapter an identity and momentum. Also, the narrative of the story comes from the hero’s (Fish’s) and heroine’ (Rose’s) points of view and an understanding of the situations and conflicts around them.

The book begins with the wedding of Blanche and Bear, characters familiar from The Shadow of the Bear. Rose is nervous with anticipation to see Fish, her one and true love. Chaos reigns at the Brier’s residence in preparation for Blanche’s wedding, but in the midst of it, Blanche is relaxed. Rose admires her older sister’s relaxed attitude and her enchanting beauty, too.

After the wedding, family and friends gather to celebrate the marriage of Blanche and Bear. During the reception, Rose has the chance to dance with Fish. Rose is in seventh heaven. Fish, on the other hand, is a little bit annoyed by her childish behavior. Blance and Bear sneak out of the reception and off they go to consummate their love and become one flesh and one spirit while the guests celebrate on this very joyful day.

Soon after the wedding, both Fish and Rose start taking classes at the university. Fish goes to the Universtiy of Pittsburgh, while Rose goes to Mercy College, a small Catholic college located in the small town of Meyerstown. Rose’s parents both graduated from Mercy College, her dad with a major in English and her mom in nursing. This Catholic college, Meyerstown, an old barn, and an old “cold case” are part of the Brier’s family secret and obscure past.

At Mercy College, Rose shares her dorm room with her lifelong friend, Kateri Kovach. In the course of her studies, Rose joins the theater group. They are rehearsing “King Lear”, a tragedy by Shakespeare. Rose auditions and gets the role of Cordelia, which upsets a more talented and experienced actress, Donna. With her friend Tara, Donna proceeds to make life pretty difficult for Rose, both on and off stage. Taking advantage of Rose’s naïve personality, Donna and Tara plot to terrorize her one evening after rehearsal.

But Rose also has made many friends at Mercy College. Among them, a group of so called “knights” who live at the Sacra Cor dorm and enjoy practicing martial arts and sword fights. Because Rose helps them during an interdorms war between Sacra Cor and Lumen Christi, Rose becomes one of the “Lady’s Sword Cor” and they swear to protect her. The group’s leader, Paul, a pre-med student, becomes a key figure during the book’s story.

Things heat up when Rose, who is working on a report for her bio-ethics class, begins looking into a topic her dad, a journalist, investigated while he worked for a local newspaper in Meyerstown. Rose’s dad had been dead for several years and she likes the idea of sharing a piece of his work.

Rose gets a ride with Paul and together they go to the family farm outside of town, where Mr. Brier’s files have been kept in an old barn. to look at her dad’s old files. They find boxes covered by dust, untouched in years. Besides many family pictures, letters from Rose’s parents courtship, and an old newspaper article her dad wrote, Rose finds a file labeled “Abuse on Comatose Patients.” Tose takes up the topic for what she calls her “Monster Bio-Ethics Project”.
At Graceton Long-Term Care facility, a private hospital for comatose patients, Rose speaks with Dr. Murray, who gives her a tour of the facility. Dr. Murray also refers Rose to other comatose patient’s caretakers who might be willing to talk to her. Rose mentions her dad’s research to several people, who proceed to get nervous about Rose’s bio-ethic project, and who would very much like to get hold of Mr. Brier’s old files.

When a suspicious accident leaves her badly injured, Rose herself becomes a comatose patient at Graceton, which turns out to house a world of hidden activity, unknown to the general public, and involving a medical black market. During her stay there, you get to see the world of a comatose patients from Rose’s perspective, while the other characters move in Fish’s world.
In such a dark castle, who will wake up Rose? The knight in the bright and shining armour? The true prince who passed all tests and discovered his true love? Will Rose wake up from her coma at all? And last of all, who was the perpetrator? The pleasure of a strong climax awaits the reader of this tale.

Regina Doman’s young adult novel is very well written, and it is clear throughout that she did some pretty extensive research in the area of comatose patients. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for adventure mixed with topics of concern in today’s world.
Bravo Ms. Doman!


About the book reviewer: Tannia E. Ortiz-Lopés author of The Window to my soul, My Walk with Jesus
(2004 Tate Publishing ISBN 0975393359.) The book could be purchased directly from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com and at all major online stores.
Visit the author at: www.myspace.com/tanniaortizlopes, and ttp://timewithtannia.tripod.com/
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Interview with Editor Laura Brestovansky

1. You have more than 20 years of writing and editing experience and have also produced newsletters, brochures, articles, press releases and other materials for a variety of clients. What's the most important thing you've learnt over the years?

The most important thing I’ve learned over the years is to be flexible and open to learning something new. All writing is not the same and each type has a particular purpose. What works for one client will not necessarily work for another. Ask a lot of questions and make sure you understand what the client wants.

2. You have edited several books, including novels and biographies. What are the most common mistakes writers make?

I think the most common mistake writers make is not taking enough time and care to proofread. I include myself in that assessment – I have made some real boneheaded mistakes in my time and will continue to do so. For that reason, I know that I must set aside a piece I’m working on at least overnight so I can edit it when I’m fresh. I also make sure I have someone else read it too, whether a professional editor, my husband or even one of my high-school-age children.

My own mistakes have taught me humility and empathy. So, when I go through someone else’s work, while I may get a good chuckle out of a mistake, I try to be kind in pointing it out because I know I will do something dumb next time. Editors and proofreaders exist to make sure the copy is as good as it can be. We are not ogres out to ruin anyone’s fun.

3. What advice would you give to people who want to get into editing?

Get your name out there, wherever and however you can. I was fortunate in working for local newspapers as a writer and proofreader, where I met many of my editing clients. I also placed classified ads and got some good responses that way. Get a website and a blog and keep them active. Join writers’ groups, both online and in person. The more you get your name out there, the better the chance that work will come your way.

For editing practice, take some time to go through some publications and consider what you would do to make them better. If you like fiction, find a book that you thought was really bad and mark it up with what changes you would make. It’s fun and it keeps your skills sharp.

Lastly, it really helps to read a lot and be a trivia junkie. While editors do check for grammar and typos etc., I think more people would actually notice a factual mistake than a grammatical one. I’ve always been a trivia nut – my fantasy is that I take Ken Jennings’ place at all-time Jeopardy! champion J. Reading a lot has helped me catch a lot of errors in my clients work.

4. What would you say has been the finest moment of your career so far? why?

Wow! That really is a tough question because there really have been so many. I suppose my finest moment occurred when I worked at a fledgling newspaper as a proofreader/editor. Several times I mentioned in passing that I worked there and the response was, “Oh! That new one! I love it! There are never any mistakes in it!” While I don’t take sole credit, I know I played a large part in that paper’s reputation for accuracy. An editor/proofreader is the first reader. It’s better that the editor and proofreader catch something before the publication reaches the general readership.

5. How can people find out more about your services?

People can contact me by checking out my websites:


or by emailing me at brestov@tir.com or laura.brestovansky@gmail.com.

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