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CWI's Short Story Contest ends Sept. 1/ Writing tips!/ Check our list of contests, agents and jobs. Writing tips!
 
Issue 71
March 2016 

 

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IN  THIS  ISSUE

Why Easter Dates Fluctuate
What's Hot and What's Not!
Call for Volunteer Writers
Free Writing Evaluation!

Barbara McNichol's Tips
Writing Terminologies

Trivia Quiz
Pat Conroy Obit
Off-the-Wall Holidays
In Memory of Nancy Reagan
Book Review on Up and Running
Tribute to Harper Lee
Competitions, Literary Agents, Writing Jobs

Points to Ponder

Connect with our CEO
 

 

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Why Easter Dates Fluctuate
by Jianna Higgins and Deborah Owen



 
When 
is Easter? Simply put, it’s very complicated... every year.
 

Easter is one of the “moveable dates,” a holiday that falls on a different date each year. But why does the date change? Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after He died on the cross. His death occurred just after Passover, a Jewish feast that still celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt.

 

In early Christianity, Easter was celebrated on the Sunday that followed the full moon after the spring equinox. This is when the sun shines directly on the equator, and the length of both night and day are almost the same length, usually around March 21st

 

Eventually, astronomers were able to predict the dates of the full moon which determine the Holy Days on the Ecclesiastical Calendar. On this calendar, the Paschal (Jewish Passover) full moon is the first full moon after March 21. Easter, therefore, always falls between March 22 and April 25.
 

The Easter Message
 

 

In a world where no two people can agree on anything, the Easter message is the same for all. According to history and the Bible, Christ was our substitute on the cross. He literally traded places with us. He became sin for us when He had never known sin so that we might partake of His righteousness. On that first Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead by the power of His own might and now sits at the right hand of the Father. Just knowing that won’t do a lot of good, but placing our faith in it can birth a new life. 

A special thanks goes to volunteer Luana Spinetti for illustrating the scene in Luke 24 where two men walked the road to Emmaus on resurrection day and Jesus joined them. As yet unrecognized because of His resurrected body, Jesus asked why they were sad. Supposing Him to be a stranger in the area, they told about the Christ whom, they thought, would be Israel’s Redeemer (King), and how He had been crucified three days before. Now His body was missing. Jesus taught them the prophecy of His resurrection from the Old Testament and when their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, He vanished. One of them said (verse 32):  Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?

Read the full story at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24&version=KJV

Happy Easter from Deborah Owen and the CWI staff.
 
 
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What's Hot and What's Not
by Kevin Keeney

Image result for hot clipart free
Building a writer's library has long been recommended as the first-step when beginning to write. The standard library should include:
  • Dictionaries and thesauri
  • Books on grammar, and punctuation
  • Plot, scenery, and exposition
  • Diagramming, mapping, and outlining
  • Word painting, flowery phrases, and scintillating dialogue
  • Writing prompts
Unfortunately, a side effect of library creation may be a writer who never has time to write. Never fear, help has arrived! It’s called One Stop for Writers, located at http://onestopforwriters.com. It is a brilliant collaboration of Lee Powell, creator of Scrivener for Windows, and Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman, international speakers and bestselling authors of The Emotion Thesaurus.
 

One Stop for Writers consists of thesauri, templates, worksheets, tutorials, and an idea generator. Subscribers to the service can expect new inspiration and education. The jewels of the library are the thesauri, consisting of:
 
  • Color and Pattern Thesaurus
  • Emotion Thesaurus
  • Emotion Amplifier Thesaurus
  • Negative Trait Thesaurus
  • Physical Feature Thesaurus
  • Positive Trait Thesaurus
  • Setting Thesaurus
  • Shape Thesaurus
  • Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus
  • Texture Thesaurus
  • Weather and Earthly Phenomenon Thesaurus
 
Each thesaurus aids in the creative writing process. For example, in the Colors and Pattern Thesaurus, the color “blue”, (which is the sample available to free users of the library) suggests different word images to express light blue, such as Robin's egg, pool water, or cornflowers. Medium blue might be called Curacao liquor or the “blue screen of death,” while dark blue is denim, huckleberries, cobalt, etc. This thesaurus offers practical examples and symbolism of colors.
 
At the bottom of every thesaurus entry is an area to make notes, which automatically links back to that specific entry without having to change screens or select another option. It keeps the thought process simple.
 
With 16 listed colors and patterns, you will have no problem finding vivid language to create images, moods and meanings of colors. Each thesaurus has numerous topics, with the largest of them having over 100 areas to peruse.
 
In addition to the thesauri, there is also a Thesaurus Tutorial. An Idea Generator offers writing ideas for diverse topics like wounds, fears, quirks, and secrets.
 
Templates and worksheets are grouped into logical sections that include physical characteristics, settings, emotions, and symbols. These can be created, edited, and saved online, or printed in PDF format.
 
To aid in the never-ending pursuit of organization, users can save notes, worksheets, and bookmarks. One Stop for Writers comprises many valuable tools for working writers… tools you can access with the click of a mouse. A very limited use version is available at no cost, but the low cost subscription opens a world of possibilities for today's computer-based writers.
 
The navigation is intuitive; the layout is a joy to use and pleasing to the eye. This product scores a 10 in our book! Check it out at http://onestopforwriters.com.


 
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CWI Announcement
Call for Volunteer Writers and Workers
 
Did you know Creative Writing Institute is a nonprofit organization? We need volunteers to assist in moving lessons from the old site to the new one. Assistants must possess good computer skills and be able to follow detailed instructions. We also have openings for writers who can research and write assigned articles. All volunteers receive free tutoring and editing in exchange for all rights to the material they create. Write to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com to request an application.
 
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Free Writing Evaluation!

Do you want to know the truth about your writing skills? That’s what you will get with this 20-point evaluation. If you don't know what your problems are, how can you correct them?

Directions: send a 1,750-word short story written in past tense, 3rd person (he, she, it) to DeborahOwen@CWinst.com. Write EVALUATION in the subject line. Material must be G-rated (no swearing, graphic scenes, etc.). Allow two weeks.

One evaluation per person, please. Follow directions! That's the first mark of a serious writer.

 

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Barbara McNichol's Tips

by Barbara McNichol
 
After reading all my edits on the first chapter of his book, a new client saw my copious changes and, looking for encouragement, asked me: What do you think of the message? 

Yes, it’s easy to lose sight of an author’s message when I’m knee-deep in the weeds of editing paragraph after paragraph. In this case, I connected strongly with the author’s content. However, with so much repetition and long-windedness, understanding his message made for a tedious task. 

What’s my advice to him to improve readability? Turn the following five tips into strong habits:
  • Write short words and limit the number of words—preferably fewer than 21 words in a sentence.
  • Include one major point per paragraph and one major concept per chapter; don’t try to do too much in any one place. 
  • Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly so the strongest, most salient ones can stand out in the crowd.
  • Break up large blocks of type with subheads—enough that readers can skim the pages to quickly find what they want.
  • Don’t change the point of view within a paragraph (e.g., switching from a “we” to “you” orientation). If you have to shift the pronoun reference, start a new paragraph.
My challenge to you: Make sure your piece says what you intend it to without wordiness getting in the way. The best test: read your sentences out loud, listening for what is superfluous or trips you up. Together, the ear and tongue are excellent self-editors.
  • My question to you: what do you do to make sure your message is clear and concise?
Figures of Speech – What is a Chiasmus? 
  • This figure of speech—a chiasmus (pronounced kahy-az-muhs)—turns a sentence into a mirror that reflects itself in clever ways. Officially, it’s a rhetorical construction in which the order of the words in the second of two paired phrases is the reverse of the order in the first.
Here are three of my favorites:
  • “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – William Bruce Cameron
  • “It doesn’t matter what leg you kick with, it matters that you kick your legs.” – Old Irish proverb
  • “It is not pleasure that makes life worth living. It is life that makes pleasure worth having.” – George Bernard Shaw
 
More About Writing and Editing on My Blog

Lots of writing and book publishing tips are posted on my blog at
http://barbaramcnichol.com/blog/. I encourage you to subscribe and share it, too.
 
 
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Writing Terminologies
by Michelle Malsbury, Editor


This month we will learn some poetry writing terms. The poetry terms vary from other genres and also have their own rules. Some are quite complex while others are simple.

Alexandrine - Thought to have come from Medieval romance around the time of Alexander the Great. This is a 12-syllable line of poetry by Dryden that demonstrates the art: But mellows what we write to the dull sweets of rhyme.


Ballade - Poetry with three stanzas of seven to ten lines with the final line of only four or five. Sometimes the final line is called an envoy. All stanzas must have the same one line refrain.

Chanson de Geste - These are epic poems written in French from the 11th to 14th Century. These poems usually feature the adventures of a historical figure. Sometimes that figure has been Charlemagne.

Dactyl - A Greek word meaning finger. The reverse of an anapest or galloping meter. Dactyls contain a metrical foot of three syllables. One long syllable is usually followed by two shorts. Stress the first and not the last. Example: The station (stressed) is here (not stressed).

Epigram - A funny, clever and short poem, as in (author unknown): Never tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.

Free Verse - Sometimes called vers libre. This type of poetry can have rhymed or unrhymed lines and no set meter.

Internal Rhyme is an exact rhyme contained in a single line of poetry, as in: I lost my dog in the midst of fog.


Ode - A majestic, lengthy poem of varied measurement and form.

Paradox - A contradiction that is true. Example: The phrase "the first number not nameable in under ten words" appears to name it in nine words.

Sestet - Poetry that uses a six line stanza.  

 
 
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Trivia Quiz

by Julie Canfield, Columnist


March brings out the Irish in all of us. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and all the Erin Go Braugh that will be celebrated on March 17, nothing is more appropriate than quizzing you on limericks.
 
Limericks are poetic forms in which zaniness, weirdness and rhythm hold court. Many people associate limericks with raunchiness but the earliest known limericks have been around since the 1700’s with some of the first published works attributed to William Shakespeare and Mother Goose. Although the origin of limerick is still up for debate, there is a county named Limerick in Ireland where a pub in Croom boasts of Irish poets that use this form of poetry for verbal sparring.
   
Read the famous limericks below and see if you can remember the missing words. If not, make one up that fits the poetic rhythm. Happy Limericking to you! Erin Go Braugh (Ireland Forever)!
 
1. There was a young _______of Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
_______ returned from the ride
with the ________ inside and
the smile on the face of the tiger.
                                      by Edward Lear
 
2. There was a young______of old Natchez
Whose _______ were always in patchez.
When comment arose
on the state of her__________
She replied, “When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez.”
                                          by Ogden Nash
 
3. Hickory _________ Dock
the _________ ran up the clock.
the clock struck one
and down he _______;
Hickory ________Dock.
                       by Mother Goose
 
4. There was an Old Man with a beard.
Who said, “It is just as I feared!
Two ______ and a ______
Four ______ and a ________,
Have all built nests in my beard!”
                                by Edward Lear
 
5.  Our novels get __________and ___________
Their language gets ___________and __________
There’s much to be said
For a life that is led
In illiterate places like Bonga
                                   by H.G. Wells
 
6. There was a young lady of ___________
I __________ man was her sole exclamation
But when __________ cried “You _________”
She replied, “Oh! No matter!
_________ of Man is the true _____________.”
                                                            by Lewis Carroll
 
 
Answers:
 
  1. Lady, They, Lady
  2. Belle, garments, clothes
  3. Dickory, mouse, run, Dickory
  4. Owls, Hen, Larks, Wren
  5. longa, longa, stronga, stronga
  6. station, love, men, flatter, Isle, explanation
 
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Author Pat Conroy Dies

by Michelle Malsbury, Editor
 
Author, Donald “Patrick” Conroy was born in Atlanta, GA, October 26, 1945, and died of pancreatic cancer after a short battle March 4, 2016. Pat is survived by his wife, Cassandra King Conroy, who is also an author, and his children.

Conroy wrote several memoirs and novels, (Prince of Tides, The Water is Wide, The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini, etc.), selling more than 20 million worldwide.  Many made it onto the silver screen. He will be missed by friends and fans alike.

Conroy’s father was a Marine fighter pilot who abused his wife and seven children. Patrick was the eldest of those children and his mother cautioned all of them to lie about the abuse inflicted by their father.

Pat’s family moved often because of his father’s career. Conroy attended Beaufort high school and then the Citadel in Charleston, SC (BA English 1967) and much of his writing came from those experiences. After graduation, Pat returned to Beaufort high school as a teacher. Two years later, he joined the Peace Corps but ended up teaching Gullah, (a black dialect), to impoverished children on Danfuskie Island, only to be fired later for attempting to broaden their horizons.   

Writing was Conroy’s forte, each novel adding to his fame. Life’s grievances fueled his fire when his sister suffered bouts of mental illness and his mother died of leukemia. Somehow, the muse continued to flow. Another great writer leaves our midst, but Pat Conroy’s many works will live on and enrich the lives of those they touch.

 

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Off-the-Wall Holidays in March

by William Battis, Columnist
 
The month of March comes complete with built-in holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, Spring, and sometimes Easter. And who can forget Income Tax Day? Oh, right, they changed that to April. It wasn't much of a holiday, anyway, but here are some obscure holidays seldom mentioned.

Mar. 3 National Anthem Day. The Star Spangled Banner, as written by Francis Scott Key, was written during the War of 1812. Key personally witnessed the attack on America's Fort McHenry while on a British ship. The next morning the flag was still flying and Congress made the Star Spangled Banner American's anthem on March 3, 1931.

Mar. 11 National Johnny Appleseed Day. Yes, Johnny was a real person, as well as a legend in his own time.  His real name was John Chapman (1774 - 1845) and the skilled nurseryman introduced apple trees to Ontario, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and West Virginia. There is a lot of “legend,” and as the years go by, the legends grow and grow. Celebrate March 11 with an apple on your menu. (Apple cake would be my choice.)


Mar. 14, National Pi Day celebrates Pi, a math concept, and is a number that never ends. We usually round it to 3.14 for ease of use. If you are a mathematician, this is your day. This is also the birth date of Albert Einstein so this combination makes it the perfect “Pi Day.”

Mar. 16 Freedom of Information Day. The Freedom of Information Act was passed on March 16, 1966. James Madison is recognized as “The Father of the Constitution,” as well as the chief author of the Bill of Rights day. We also celebrate his birthday on March 16.

Mar. 30 National Doctor’s Day. This dates back to 1933 and celebrates the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. First celebrated in 1991, Congress approved it and President George Bush signed the Resolution. Doctors diagnose, treat, and care for us and our families all of our days, so this special day says, “Thanks, Doc. We appreciate you for keeping us healthy, and especially for using anesthesia during surgery!”

Watch for next month's Off-the-Wall Holidays!

 

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In Memory of Nancy Reagan

by Michelle Malsury, Editor
 
Nancy Davis Reagan, beloved First Lady of President Ronald Reagan, passed away March 6 at age 94. Nancy, whose birth name was Anne Frances Robbins, was an actress through the 1940’s and 50’s.  
 

Nancy and Ronald Reagan met in November of 1949, just a year after Mr. Reagan’s divorce from actress Jane Wyman. At the time, he was the President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). He and Nancy dated for three years before he proposed to her. They married on March 4, 1952, at the Little Brown Church in the Valley. The couple had two children, Ron and Patti. Ronald already had two children by Jane Wyman.
 
Mrs. Reagan championed the Foster Grandparents program and was extremely active with the Veterans and POWs. She wrote about those experiences in her book entitled To Love a Child (1982). In 1989, she wrote My Time.
 
As First Lady, Mrs. Reagan set her sights on restoring the White house to the splendor of the Kennedy era, which was funded entirely by private donations. Nancy said the White House belonged to the Americans.

 
Both Nancy and Ronald were cancer survivors. She with breast cancer and he with prostate. Ronald underwent treatments and Nancy had a breast removed, just ten days prior to her mother’s death.
 
Mrs. Reagan founded the “Just Say No” to drugs campaign and was a front runner in the embryonic stem cell research movement. Nancy played a pivotal role in her husband’s Presidency and was oft criticized for consulting astrologer Joan Quigley for White House decisions.
 
Once Reagan’s presidency ended, they moved back to California and bought a lovely home in an exclusive section of Los Angeles. When Ex-President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1994, Nancy became his primary caregiver. The Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute in Chicago, IL, has been instrumental in finding new ways to deal with Alzheimer’s. When Regan died in 2004, Nancy directed every painstaking detail for the funeral, which lasted seven days. We will miss former First Lady Nancy Reagan!

 

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Book Review on Up and Running
Written by Mark Patinkin
Reviewed by Karen Johnson, Columnist

 
 

Up and Running is a 307-page true story that depicts one child’s struggles with illness and his impact on the world around him.
 
Scott and Rebecca Bateson were a happily married couple living in Rhode Island. It was 1997 and life was good. Scott worked in quality control for a printer while Rebecca worked day care from the house. Their 8-year old daughter, Erin, had many friends. Andrew, their 6-year old, was healthy, but the best of times rapidly turned sour when  Andrew developed an invasive form of bacterial meningitis, meningococcemia, (the same bacteria multiplies in the blood stream). Some 3,000 children suffer with this disease annually and it is often fatal.
 
Rashes and lesions covered Andrew’s body and his organs began to shut down. While he lay in a coma, Scott and Rebecca’s long term marriage teeter-tottered and friends feared the worse.
 
When the boy awoke from the coma, he faced devastating news. The doctors had amputated his legs to save his life. The story is hopeful though, because this real-life Andrew did survive to become a happy rollerblading and bicycling child. His struggles will tug at your heart strings.
 
Up and Running was published by Center Street Time Warner Book Group in 2005.
We rate this book an 8. Yes, it’s sad, but this book will make you thankful. Definitely worth the read!

 

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A Tribute to Harper Lee

by Michelle Malsbury, Editor
 
Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer prize winner, To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away February 19. Harper was born as one of four siblings in Monroesville, Alabama.  

Lee once said, “The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”  Her father was an attorney, which is perhaps where she learned that line, worked for the Alabama state legislature and also owned part of the local newspaper.

Harper’s childhood friend was the famous writer, Truman Capote. Truman lived with his aunt in Monroesville and enjoyed dressing fancifully. Harper took his part when children bullied him. The two writers were opposites of sorts, yet had a common bond.

Harper Lee was an honor student, member of the glee club, and enjoyed English literature. After high school she attended Huntington College and University of Alabama. Those who knew her said she was a bit of a loner and stood apart from the rest of the crowd. During her time at UAB, she contributed to the school’s newspaper where she later became editor.

Lee dabbled in Law School, but dropped out and decided to move to New York at the age of 23. She had a hard time in New York and eventually worked for Eastern Airlines and British Overseas Airway Corporation. At some point, she met and became friends with Michael Martin Brown and his wife, Joy, who were instrumental in her becoming a full time writer. Thus, she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, which sold over a million copies per year, was translated into 40 languages and made into a blockbuster movie starring Cary Grant.

In 2007, Harper received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush for her contributions to literary tradition. In spite of her huge writing successes, Ms. Harper preferred a quiet and reserved life. A great artist has passed and the literary world will miss her.


 
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Contests, Agents, and Jobs


by Michelle Malsbury, Editor
 
We have some exciting material for you this month!

Contests

Write Your Memoir In Six Months Contest:
There is a $20 entrance fee for this contest. The theme is what made you want to write a memoir. The Magic of Memoir; Inspiration for the Writing Journey, will publish the best 18 to 20 entries in November of this year. (She Writes Press) First Prize is $400, Second Prize is $200, and Third Prize is $100. Submissions will be accepted until May 1, 2016. For more information please log on to http://writeyourbookinsixmonths.com/call-for-submissions/
 
Hourglass Literary Magazine:
There are three categories of prizes for Hourglass Literary Magazines contest. They are best short story, best essay, and best poem. All winners will garner a $1,000 Prize. Judges can award another $500 Prize money on top of the $1,000 grand prize for excellence in any of the three categories. Entry fees are $13.59. Submissions will be accepted until May 31, 2016. For more information about this contest please log on to http://www.hourglassonline.org/
 
Waterson Desert Prize:

There is no entry fee for this contest. This contest is open for literary non-fiction only. The desert must be the setting of the entry and also the subject of the entry. A $1,500 prize will be awarded the winner. Winners will also be invited to read at a reception and partake in a four-week residency program at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon. Deadline for this contest is April 1, 2016. For more information about this contest please log on to https://thewaterstondesertwritingprize.submittable.com/submit
 
Snyder Poetry Prize:

There is a $25 entry fee for this contest. All entries must be collections of poems ranging in pages from 64 to 96 with no more than one poem per page. Winner will get a $1,000 prize and publication of their manuscript, a featured reading at Ashland University (optional), along with 50 copies of their book. The deadline for this contest is April 1, 2016. More information about this contest can be found by logging on to http://www.ashlandpoetrypress.com/guidelines/snyder-prize
 
Agents

The term literary agent (often synonymous with "publishing agent") is an agent/person who speaks on behalf of writers and their written manuscripts to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers and film studios, and helps garner the sale and/or negotiates of the same.

Laurie Abekemeyer Literary Agent:
Ms. Abekemeyer is interested in journalism/investigative reporting, nonfiction, narrative nonfiction and popculture. Submit via email, query letter only. Email, laurie@defliterary.com. DeFiore and Company is her organization. The address and phone are below. Address: 47 East 19th Street, Third Floor, New York , New York 10003. Phone: (212) 925-7744. Website: http://www.defioreandco.com

Ethan Basoff Literary Agent:
Ethan likes autobiographies/memoirs, political and pop culture, nonfiction, historical, and more. Send query letter, synopsis, and bio via email. It may take as long as eight weeks for reply. Email, ethan@lmqlit.com. Ethan is affiliated with Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. The address and phone are as follows. Address: 27 West 20th Street, #305, New York, New York 10011. Phone: (212) 352-2055. Website: http://www.lmqlit.com

Seth Fishman Literary Agent:
Mr. Fishman advises to send the first three chapters and query letter. Responses may take as long as four weeks. He likes commercial fiction, literary fiction, and graphic or illustrated manuscripts. His email is, info@thegernertco.com. Other relevant contact information is as follows: Literary Agency: The Gernert Company. Address: 136 East 57th Street, 18th floor, New York, New York 10022. Phone: (212) 838-7777. Website: http://thegernertco.com

Jay Mandel Literary Agent:
Mr. Mandel hails from the William Morris Agency. His specialties are; nonfiction, commercial fiction, and autobiographies. Send query letter, bio, and description of work via email. Response times vary. Contact information is as follows. Address: 11 Madison Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, New York 10010. Phone: (212) 586-5100. Website: http://www.wmeentertainment.com E-mail: jmandel@wmeentertainment.com

Jobs

Writing is not an easy industry to break into. Sometimes a referral from a writer friend can open the door for you. Other times it simply takes persistent effort. Here are some good places to submit. Good luck!

Freelance writing is a great way to make a living at home and online. Tips for breaking into that type of work begin with realizing that the barriers to that creative income stream begin with good research and self evaluation. Realizing where your skills lie is a good point to begin at and then seeking jobs at that level. Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced writer? What sorts of writing have you done? Elance, Odesk, Freelance Switch, Freelance Writers Den, and iFreelance are all credible sites for seeking freelance writing work. There are tests involved with some of these sites and until or unless you pass them, you may not be able to be hired.


Craigslist also lists jobs for writers. Simply log on to Craigslist and search the city you live in or the nearest city to where you reside and then scroll down for writing jobs. Some cities have more jobs available than others. Beware of scams on job posting sites.

If you prefer to blog, you may want to check out ProBloggers. They charge a $7 monthly fee to be listed with their site. Blogging jobs tend to be better if there is some type of fee involved. 


 
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Points to Ponder
by Julie Canfield, Columnist
 
“Father if you are willing, remove this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done.” Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him and gave Him strength. In His anguish He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling on the ground. When He got up from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief and He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Luke 22:42-46 (NRSV)

On the last night with His disciples, Christ fervently prayed. He could have taken those few remaining hours to depart more wisdom or work more miracles, but even Jesus needed strength to face the future. Christ knew His time to fulfill His purpose was at hand, yet He wrestled with becoming the ultimate sacrifice for mankind. Why? Because He who was sinless would literally become sin as He bore ours and, for the first time, He would be separated from God, the Father, because of that sin. In the end, after hours of exhausting prayer, He received the strength to face His destiny.  

When we are obedient, we expect good things to happen. Christ obeyed and agony followed. We are told to walk in Christ’s footsteps, but are we really willing to follow Him into trials and afflictions?

As writers, we symbolically do that. We sweat in anguish to search for a word, revise, edit, write, pray, write, pray harder, write more, and beg God for mercy. We do it because God gave us a gift almost too big to handle and this is one way to offer the fruit back to Him.

As the Lenten season closes and the celebration of Easter begins, let’s pray a little harder as we dedicate our gifts to God.

Have a blessed Easter.  
 

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Connect with our CEO, Deborah Owen

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Have a suggestion for the newsletter?

A question?
Comment?

Write to our CEO at
DeborahOwen@CWinst.com. She'd like to hear from you! Connect with Deborah at:
 
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/DeborahOwen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborah.owen.31

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/deborahowen1/

Blog: https://DeborahOwen.wordpress.com/
 

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A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:10

 
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