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This is a story of Jack the Ripper with at Twist!

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Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
This is the first of a trilogy retelling the true story of the infamous countess as a youn adult novel. History is not always what it seems.

Wild Horse Runs Free

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Friday, December 2, 2011

New Writing World; Free to Share

W R I T I N G W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

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Issue 11:23 12,825 subscribers December 1, 2011
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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THE EDITOR'S DESK: Deck the Halls... and Clear the Decks,
by Moira Allen
THE INQUIRING WRITER: Using another Writer's Ideas, by Dawn Copeman
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
FEATURE: Mining the Rejection File for Gold, by Ann Brandt
COLUMN: Free Stuff for Writers: Spreading the Cheer,
by Aline Lechaye
THE WRITE SITES -- Online Resources for Writers
The Author's Bookshelf

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---> http://wwx.Writing.Com/ <--- Become a fan on Facebook: http://facebook.com/WritingCom Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WritingCom **************************************************************** WRITERSCOLLEGE.COM has 57 online courses. Prices are low. If you can reach our web site, you can take our courses. http://www.WritersCollege.com ***************************************************************** BECOME A FICTION WRITER.Get published. Get paid. Create manuscripts that are ready to submit to editors and publishers. Learn the techniques from an experienced professional writer - online or by mail. Free Writing Test offered. http://www.breakintoprint.com/W1729 ***************************************************************** THOUSANDS OF WRITERS USE FANSTORY.COM FOR: * Feedback. Get feedback for every poem and story that you write. * Contests. Over 40 contests are always open and free to enter. * Rankings. Statistics will show you how your writing is doing. http://www.fanstory.com/index1.jsp?at=38 ***************************************************************** ***************************************************************** DON'T GET SCAMMED! Choose the right Self Publishing Company for your book. What you need to know before choosing a self publishing company and the questions you should ask. http://dogearpublishing.net/self-publishing-companies.aspx ***************************************************************** FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK ================================================================= Deck the Halls... and Clear the Decks! -------------------------------------- It was rather disconcerting to munch on Thanksgiving turkey and realize that, within the next four or five days, I needed to write my "Christmas" editorial! Somehow, even though I've now wrapped up my fall decorations and dragged FAR too many boxes of "Christmas stuff" out of the closet, I'm finding it hard to get into the "Christmas spirit." Possibly it's because, as everyone seems to comment, this year seems to have flown by. I used to believe that this was simply a symptom of "aging" -- the older one gets, the faster the years seem to pass. Forget about how "time flies when you're having fun." Time flies when you're getting old. But this year, I've heard the same complaint from people of all ages. (Well, adults of all ages; I haven't conducted interviews of anyone under age 10.) I suspect that it's not a matter of getting older, but of getting busier -- and we are ALL getting busier, no matter how old (or young) we are. It seems that the more "time-saving" gadgets we acquire -- handheld devices that enable us to simultaneously talk to three different people, surf the web, set up tonight's TV shows to record and, quite probably, wash the dishes and walk the dog -- the less time we have. If we can now do five things in the same amount of time that was once required for one, we now feel we MUST do five things instead of one. And so, following that logic, we're now doing twenty-five things where once we did five, or fifty where we once did ten, and so on. Time flies when you haven't any! Which perhaps explains the spirit that I do find myself "in," which may or may not be precisely a "holiday" spirit. While I absolutely love Christmas, I always find myself just a little bit impatient to get it out of the way so that I can move forward, into the year to come. This is a time of year when I start to feel like "closing out" the old year so that I can start fresh. This year, I find this mood expressing itself in a desire to "clear things out." On the home front, I'm cleaning clutter from closets and cupboards. (Wow, did THAT turn out to be an alliterative phrase...) Books I no longer want are going into the "sell on Amazon" pile; books that have sat far too long in that pile are going into the Goodwill box. Tasks that have gathered dust for months -- file this, scan that, sort the other -- are being cleared away. I can actually SEE the surface of my computer desk! I'm also clearing out my project lists. I found not just one but THREE "to-do" lists on my computer, and spent an afternoon sorting through them, striking off the things that either had been done or never WOULD be done. I now have one, admittedly rather long, list -- but instead of looking back at all the things that HAVEN'T been done yet, this new list looks forward, at the things I genuinely WANT to accomplish in 2012. And this, I think, would be a good way for any writer to address this turning-point of the year. Take a day, or two, or however many you need, and take a look around. Look at the piles of clutter that have gathered around your workspace. If there are things that seriously need doing, get them done so that they no longer continue to "loom" into the new year. If there are things that are more in the "I should probably do this, but I'm not sure when" category, consider tossing them straight into the recycle bin. Do you have a stack of books that you feel you "should" read, because, surely, they'll make you a better writer or a better person? Think about how much good they might do someone else -- and how relieved and refreshed you'll feel when their presence is no longer a guilty reminder of something you think you "ought" to do. Do you have an inbox full of e-mails that haven't been answered in months? Anyone who hasn't heard from you in that long has undoubtedly figured that they won't -- so start deleting. Take a look at your project list, and take note of those that have been on the list for months, if not years. If you haven't gotten to them by now, chances are that you never will -- but as long as they stay on your list, you're going to feel guilty about them. So take them OFF the list. If you have projects that just need a tiny bit of effort to finish up and tidy away, see if you can get them off your plate altogether. In short, grab a broom. Make this holiday season a time to do the proverbial "clean sweep." Sweep out the odds and ends, the shoulds, the maybes, the sooner-or-laters, the one-days. Trim the to-do list as well as the tree. Deck the halls and clear the decks. And maybe, just maybe, next year won't seem quite so cluttered. Happy Holidays from Moira and Dawn at Writing-World.com! ***************************************************************** Gifts, Offers and Administrivium ***************************************************************** What's a holiday newsletter without a gift? (Well, shorter, for one thing...) OFFER #1: in the spirit of clearing out my cupboards, I've decided to give away ten copies of my book, "The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals." All I'm asking for is the cost of shipping ($3). To make this simple, the FIRST ten folks who respond to this offer (AND fork over the $3) get the books. If you live outside the U.S., let me know in your e-mail where you live, and I'll let you know what shipping will cost. To get your book, send an e-mail to "editors@writing-world.com" with "FREE BOOK" in the subject line. OFFER #2: I am in the midst of updating "Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests" for 2012. Writing contests are a wonderful way to get your work noticed -- and this book is the most complete compilation of contests anywhere. It lists at least 1000 competitions in the U.S. and around the world, for poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, books (published and unpublished), children's literature, screenplays, and translations. I expect to have the new edition finished by the end of the month, but I doubt it will be available until mid-January, so... anyone wanting to get in on the action before then can pre-order the book for a discount price of $10.95. (I plan to make the book available in Kindle format as well, but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way to set up a pre-order for that.) To order your copy, go to http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/contests.shtml. And as a bonus, I'll make sure that anyone who pre-orders gets the January listings electronically, so that you won't miss out on any competitions. AND NOW A CORRECTION: In the last issue we incorrectly indicated that our feature article, "Preparing a Fiction Grant Application," was written by Kathleen Ewing. It was actually written by Elizabeth Creith. Kathleen's article will appear in a couple of months. Sorry, Kathleen! However, this is a reminder to ALL writers out there to PUT YOUR BYLINES ON YOUR ARTICLES! Finally, remember that, in the spirit of "clearing the decks" for the holidays, we only publish one newsletter in December... and this is it! ***************************************************************** YOU WILL NETWORK WITH 30+ EDITORS Over 400 editors contribute their unique news and views each year. That's news and views to improve your chances to get published.Monthly newsletter. Get 2 issues FREE. http://www.thechildrenswriter.com/AK213 ***************************************************************** The Inquiring Writer: Using Another Writer's Ideas ================================================================= By Dawn Copeman Last month we had an interesting question from Amanda H. Geard. She wrote: "I read a story by a writer a while ago -- one of the stories I critiqued on a site called Critters.org -- and the writer of this particular story had a cool idea I'd like to use in an upcoming story I still want to write, although I won't write it the same way he used it in his story. Is that an acceptable thing to do, use another writer's idea, but changing it in your own story? Or will it be better if I ask the writer for permission to use his idea in my story before I write it? What's the right thing to do here? "Please advise, as I'm in two minds about it, and don't want to start the story before I know what to do." "To provide an answer to Amanda's dilemma," writes Janis Hutchinson, "She needs to be more specific about what 'kind' of idea it is. If it's something you find happening in life already, then it would probably be okay. If she spelled it out a little more, it would help other writers facing the same problem." Other writers also feel that they would like to know a little bit more about Amanda's dilemma before being able to give a complete answer. Katherine Swarts emailed to say it is "Hard to answer this without knowing the nature of the 'idea.' Reuse of items that could be described by that word range from such basic plot points as 'boy meets girl--boy wins girl' (definitely not copyrightable) to the duplication of multiple characters down to their names (an infringement suit waiting to happen). "I'm going to guess that the point under consideration here falls somewhere between, such as an ingenious solution to a mystery; if I were in that spot--or if I had any doubt at all--I would definitely check with the original writer first, and add a note that I will consider lack of response a 'yes.' All you can ever lose by that approach is a few days. Kate Ashby is of the opinion that Amanda should not use the idea at all, but if she does, she should definitely get permission. She wrote: "I assume if the writer had it on the site Critters.org for critique it hasn't been published yet. Please ask any writer if you can use his/her idea. It's their idea and not morally right for you to take it even after a considerable length of time. I would want you to ask me if I was that writer. It is frustrating and not fair, to find out later, that someone who saw your work on a site for critique stole the idea. "Of course if that writer has already had the idea/story published and it's out there then it's still stealing but less of a crime. They have pride in being first. You and others will know that you had it second." Christine Venzon advises Amanda to proceed with caution. She wrote: "Regarding Amanda's question about using another writer's idea for her own story, I would say it depends on how much she values her online relationship with this writer (they can get pretty personal) and also how similar her idea is to his. But also consider that he may have borrowed his concept from another source, and was doubtlessly influenced by something he read, saw, overheard, etc. in forming it. Ideas, after all, can't be copyrighted. No one can claim an idea as truly and wholly his own." That's a very good point, Christine. I know that in the world of nonfiction we all seem to come up with similar ideas at the same time and it's often a case of who can get their query to the editor first as to who gets the commission. If there are only seven, 37 or 101 basic plots (the numbers vary according to different sources) then having a truly original idea is very, very rare. Tunji Ajibade wonders whether Amanda wants to borrow the idea or the voice of the writer. In which case there is no problem at all as that is how many writers start out and then move on to develop their style. But Leona Wisoker thinks that Amanda does want to borrow the idea and has some excellent advice concerning this for all writers of fiction. She wrote: "This hits a common misunderstanding among beginning writers. Many people are afraid to submit to writing groups, online or off, precisely because they're afraid of their ideas being stolen. The reality is: in most instances, ideas aren't protected. As long as your method of expressing that idea is substantially different, your language, characters, plots, etc, then it's no problem. "For example: 'horses can talk.' There's an idea that's been done a zillion times over and never raised a protest. A character whose mother is a psychopathic nurse and father is a pot-smoking carpenter, and they move from America to New Zealand to Alaska, and have certain life-changing adventures along the way--that isn't an idea, it's a plotline. That's not steal-able, even if you rearrange it into New Zealand to Spain to Russia (unless that difference significantly changes the actual events of the story). Any one segment of that plotline is an idea: a character whose mother is a psychopathic nurse, for example, is not a protected item. As long as the actual character is different (for example, if the original nurse appears cold and snooty and the 'stolen' one appears warm and bubbly, which changes significant aspects of the plot line in and of itself) -- you're safe. Also, it largely depends on how generic or specific the idea you're considering 'stealing' is; there are surprisingly few really, truly original ideas. If you dig a bit, you'll probably find other published examples of that idea being used in fiction (or even nonfiction!), at which point you're totally safe swiping it -- again, as long as you make sure you're not just copy and pasting his work into yours (which is plagiarism)... and as for asking permission, I see that as having two possible results: he's flattered and says yes, or he gets paranoid and starts watching your work like a hawk, ready to haul you into court on the least suspicion. The risk from the latter, given that you won't be doing anything wrong, outweighs the benefit of the former. It is worthwhile, though, to contact the author, compliment him on his ingenuity, and ask *where* he got that idea from, to see if he pulled it from real-world research or personal events or such. Just be sure to phrase the question with care to avoid sounding like you want to steal his idea... and of course, I'm not speaking as one familiar with legal matters, just as a fellow writer. So I make no claim to infallibility." Thank you to all who answered in response to Amanda's query. I hope that helped. Now onto this month's question, which comes from me. It's the end of the year and if you had a time-machine and could travel back and change one thing about this past year, one writing-related thing, what would it be? Would you go back and tell yourself to submit that query? Would you sit yourself down and make yourself stick to a word limit on your novel every day? Would you have backed up all your work and thus not lost it all when your computer crashed? I want you to think about the one thing you wish you could change about last year, or the things you are going to do differently in 2012. What would or will your change be? Email me at editorial@writing-world.com. Until next time, Dawn Copyright 2011 Dawn Copeman ***************************************************************** WIN UP TO $500 FOR WRITING A POEM OR SHORT STORY! Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest. Write a poem, 30 lines or fewer on any subject and/or write a short story, 5 pages max. on any theme, single or double line spacing, neatly hand printed or typed for a chance to win cash prizes. Deadline: 12-31-2011 Visit http://www.dreamquestone.com for details and enter! ***************************************************************** NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING ================================================================= Book Sales Rise in UK but are mixed in US in run-up to Christmas ---------------------------------------------------------------- Black Friday weekend saw sales of books in Britain increase by £5.5m last week as British shoppers finally started to buy Christmas presents. In the US some stores saw sale rises of up to 40%, whilst others had flat sales or even a dip in sales. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/d3zl5rp and http://tinyurl.com/bwrdtp7 Self-Published Authors Not Impressed with Penguin Imprint --------------------------------------------------------- For many it might seem glamorous, getting your book self-published by Penguin, but many self-published authors are not at all happy with Penguin's new self-publishing imprint. They say that Book Country is expensive and takes too much in royalty fees. For more on this story visit: http://tinyurl.com/c4saqbl British Library Gives Digital Access to 18th Century News --------------------------------------------------------- If you are planning a historical novel, need to do some research for a nonfiction piece of are just plain nosy, then the British Library's digitization of part of its collection of 18th and 19th Century newspapers will be of interest to you. The Library has digitized 4 million pages of news coverage from all sorts of newspapers. Searching the archive is free but there is a charge to view the content. For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/c66csnp ***************************************************************** EVERYHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTING FREELANCE FEES! Find out how to negotiate agreements, choose pricing strategies, define tasks, deal with difficult customers, and much more in the award- winning "What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants" (2nd Edition) by Laurie Lewis. In print and Kindle from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/setyourfees ***************************************************************** Writing Jobs and Opportunities ================================================================= Calliope Open to History Articles --------------------------------- Calliope is a magazine aimed at children aged 9 - 14 and covers world history. They have a regularly updated editorial calendar on their site and are on the lookout for a variety of articles, stories and activities. Pay is up to 25cents a word. http://www.cobblestonepub.com/guides_CAL.html Science-Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy And Mystery Stories Wanted -------------------------------------------------------------- Earthbound publishers are open to submissions of short stories up to 500 words max, for which they pay 5c a word, and also stories of up to 3000 words for their anthologies. See site for full guidelines: http://www.earthboundfiction.com/submissions#!__submissions The New Writer Magazine ----------------------- Welcomes "forward-looking articles on all aspects of the written word that demonstrate the writer's grasp of contemporary writing and current editorial/publishing policies. This may include interviews and personality profiles but we are not looking for introspective pieces on 'Why I Write...' or how to come to terms with writer's block and the rejection slip, biographies or opinion pieces. Articles should be 500-1,000 words although features up to 2,000 words and mini-series would be considered if the idea is submitted initially by letter giving a brief outline." £20 per 1000 words. http://www.thenewwriter.com/guidelines.htm **************************************************************** WRITING CONTESTS. The ten best entries from each will be published in 2012 Fish Anthology. *Short Memoir* ($2500): Judge David Shields; Ends 30 Jan. *Flash Fiction* ($1300): Judge Michael Collins. Ends 20 March. *Poetry* ($1300): Judge Billy Collins. Ends 30 March. http://www.fishpublishing.com/ ***************************************************************** FEATURE: Mining the Rejection File for Gold =============================================================== By Ann Brandt Saving your rejected manuscripts can provide a chance to look at your work from a greater distance in time, allowing opportunity for revision or rework. Sometimes these documents offer topic ideas, other times new angles on a topic. Often you will see how you could have written the piece better or with more care. Occasionally you might find a manuscript that has been rejected and is almost good to go. This process of mining the rejection file can be stimulating and lucrative -- worth the time spent -- but you need to accomplish this task in steps. Step 1. Sorting and Evaluating: ------------------------------- When looking at a manuscript in your rejection file, consider where the piece has been sent, how many times it has been rejected, and what you were trying to convey to readers. Think about the topic addressed in this piece. Then ask yourself these questions: What were you trying to give to the readers? Is there any part of this piece that you could use now? Has your writing style and mastery of grammar improved since you last viewed this piece? If you were to use this article today, what would you do to it? Years ago I got quite a bit of mileage out of an inspirational piece. Eager to sell more in that genre, I accumulated a sizeable collection of rejected manuscripts. During the last mining operation I clipped them together and slipped them into the back of the file with a note to pursue that endeavor some time in the future. The time it would take to revitalize content and contacts is not worth it to me at this moment, so the whole batch of papers remains relegated to a file I call "Some Day." In my rejection file is one story I have written in many different ways -- long, short, three or four different angles. Finally I chopped it mercilessly and sent the shortened version to a particular Christian publication, saving all the articles with the copious amount of paper that had been used to come to that point. I couldn't quite bring myself to discard all those thwarted efforts, so another batch went into the Some Day file. When considering future use of a particular rejection, ask yourself if the topic still holds your interest enough to keep writing about it. Is the topic outdated or no longer relevant in today's market? One example is a dog magazine that had published a couple of my essays. Not only did the magazine cease publication just after I sent in a third essay, but I noticed other publications for pet owners had begun offering stories requiring extensive research and interviews. In my last rejection file mining operation, I set aside all my dog essays for future use in my blog. Conversely, is this topic hot on the market now? After trying sporadically to peddle an article on acupuncture, I recently had success. Everything I have read lately about markets indicates that readers want more information on health. With extra and updated research on a couple of health related topics that were rejected years ago, I plan to mine that section of my file vigorously. Have you gained additional knowledge or expertise that would help you refine and market the piece? Most of us progress both in writing style and in creating topics, gaining a better idea of which editor expects what kind of subject and how he or she would like it handled. Going through the rejection file can be an exercise in sorting ideas for querying or submitting to editors; their needs sometimes change with time. This sorting process is beneficial both for creating ideas and for gauging your progress as a writer. For example, things that you wrote years before might not be considered in your publishing plan now. However, all the items in your rejection file offer something to build on as you read and sort. Step 2. Selecting topics. ------------------------- Is a topic in greater demand than when you first sent it out? Perhaps its day had not yet arrived. Set aside manuscripts with this topic to examine and consider further. If the material in a rejected piece contains information that you may need for something in progress at the moment, mark or highlight and set it aside. A note of caution: If you had researched a topic expressed in a rejected manuscript, check the sources to be sure the piece is still relevant and accurate before you mark it for future use. Are you still interested in this topic? Do you have more to say on this topic? Have you gained further information? Do you feel more confident in handling this topic now? Does this topic tie in with anything you are presently doing or thinking of doing? Have you thought of different angles to handle this topic? Have you found a market appropriate for this topic, one that you would query or submit material? Step 3. Discovering reasons for rejection. ------------------------------------------ This part is tricky and involves a bit of guesswork. Sometimes the reason for rejection has nothing to do with your writing. Timing plays a big part in whether your writing is accepted or rejected. Perhaps your material has been covered at length in the target publication. If you are fortunate, the editor has commented on the returned piece and offered that information. (Hopefully, you submitted something else to that editor ASAP.) In any event, during this mining process, make a special note of that editor and how he or she delivers rejections. Another possible reason for rejection was that your approach to the topic missed the mark on what the editor wanted. Again, you might have been fortunate to receive a sentence or two regarding this problem. Bear in mind, however, that workloads in most publishing houses are increasing while staff is decreasing. If you have filed your rejection without submitting further, now is the time to reconsider and take a fresh look at your writing. Many editors respect perseverance in their writers, and you can establish a good working relationship by exhibiting willingness to produce what editors need. If a manuscript has landed in your rejection file under these circumstances, by all means pull it out, redo it according to what is needed, and resend it. If a lot of time has elapsed since you have corresponded with this editor, include a brief note. Sometimes, though hopefully not often, you have misread or failed to read the publication's guidelines. In some cases this can be fixed by reformatting or tweaking of verbiage. In a highly competitive freelance market, you need to follow directions closely. Check the current guidelines for any changes. Put yourself in the editor's place: If two excellent pieces are under consideration and one has not been submitted according to guidelines, the correctly submitted piece will be accepted. Step 4. Gathering material. --------------------------- After you have chosen what is immediately useable, what you want to put aside for future use, and what you need to discard, get started on the topic that interests you the most. Think of your rejected piece as a rough draft. Now we come to the gold in your files. Pick out two or three of the most promising pieces, chosen according to what you want to write about next. You might find yourself using content from more than one rejected piece to create a new submission. You might want to submit something to an editor who has published some of your material since rejecting a story and with whom you have established a rapport. Rejected manuscripts contain a wealth of content waiting to be reshaped and resent. They can inspire, inform, and -- best of all --earn money in their new incarnations. >>--------------------------------------------------<< Ann Brandt has learned to use her rejection file as a writing tool. She is the author of two books, both based on her experiences with rare diseases. "A Caregiver's Story: Coping with a Loved One's Life-Threatening Illness" was inspired by caring for her husband as they battled and survived brain cancer. Visit Ann at http://www.annkbrandt.com/. Copyright 2011 Ann Brandt For more advice on taking positives from rejection visit: http://www.writing-world.com/life/rejection.shtml **************************************************************** HIRE AN AWARD WINNING DESIGNER/AUTHOR TO DEVELOP YOUR WEBSITES. Celebrating a decade of designing websites for authors that reflect their unique style and personality. Other design services include book designs, marketing materials, and email campaigns. Contact Shaila Abdullah for your design needs at http://myhouseofdesign.com/ ***************************************************************** THE WRITE SITES ================================================================= Simile Stack ------------ Looking for the perfect comparison? This site lets you search for similes based on keywords (or submit your own); in the results, you can then click on tags that will lead you to more ideas. Might be a good story-starter page! http://www.SimileStack.com The 12 Days of Christmas for Writers ------------------------------------ I couldn't resist this one! This is a mini-blog on Seeing Creative, a very useful site for writers and photographers. Check it out over your 12 days for some useful writing tips. http://tinyurl.com/bl5lnt2 QueryTrackerblogspot -------------------- This is a blog that is just full of useful hints and tips on all sorts of writing. Well worth a visit but be prepared to spend a while there! http://querytracker.blogspot.com/ **************************************************************** WIN PRIZES AND GET PUBLISHED! Find out how to submit your stories, poetry, articles and books to hundreds of writing contests in the US and internationally. Now being updated for 2012, WRITING TO WIN by Moira Allen is THE one-stop resource you need to find contests around the world. SPECIAL UPDATE: During the month of December only, you can pre-order the 2012 edition for $6 off the regular price - go to http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/contests.shtml to order your copy. Offer expires December 31. ***************************************************************** Free Stuff for Writers: Spreading the Cheer ================================================================= By Aline Lechaye NaNoWriMo is officially over. You wrote, you wrote, and then you wrote some more. Good for you! Now all you have to do is deal with the writing hangover, and look forward to Christmas. (Or you could get started on your next novel... or not.) 'Tis the season to be happy: spread the joy to friends and family using free e-cards! Use 123greetings.com's Facebook application to send free cards or Christmas/New Year party invitations to your Facebook friends. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/greeting_cards/ to enable the app, select a card, pick the friends you want to send the card to, add a message (up to 140 characters), and then click send. Yes, you could simply call, or text, but where's the fun in that? Capture important moments with your camera this Christmas and turn them into amazing collages using the following websites. (If you want, you can also upload some photos that inspire you and make those into a collage. Print it out and keep it somewhere near your writing space, then watch your creativity soar!) Photovisi (http://www.photovisi.com/) is one of those wonderful things that make you speechless with awe. It's a web-based application (read: nothing to download and install). Go to the site and click on the "click here to start!" button. You'll be taken to a page where you can choose from dozens of cool templates for your collage. Once you've chosen your template, you can upload photos from your computer or webcam to the site. You can also add text or crop the photos as needed. Finally, click on "Finish" and you can either save your finished collage to your own computer, or share it with your loved ones. Shape Collage (http://www.shapecollage.com/) is another easy to use collage creator. The online version can be found at http://www.shapecollage.com/online. You start by entering the URLs of your photos (it seems that they don't have an option for uploading photos directly from your computer as yet). If you're feeling bored, or just want to see what a finished collage looks like, click on one of their sample links to the right of the page. Next, choose the shape you want your photos to form (heart, star, butterfly, or simple text), and click "Create". You can then save the collage or share it through social networking sites or email. The (also free) software version supports Mac, Windows, and Linux, and can be downloaded at http://www.shapecollage.com/download. Picture2Life (http://www.picture2life.com/) has some of the best photo-editing tools out there. Upload photos from your computer or online photo sharing sites and bring them to life: make them into collages, animations, or go to http://www.picture2life.com/Apps/ and make a statement using the "Mask Your Photos" app. Finished works of art can be downloaded or shared through Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and email. Sign up is free, but registration is not required to use the site, so feel free to look around before you take the plunge. Lest we lose ourselves and forget that we're writers, here's a free online creative writing course, set up by Fiona Veitch Smith. Topics covered include "How to write a short story", "Writing dialogue", "Poetry: how to write poems", and much more. Drop by http://creative-writing-course.thecraftywriter.com/ to get started. Merry Christmas, and happy writing! >>--------------------------------------------------<< Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye@gmail.com. Copyright 2011 Aline Lechaye ***************************************************************** EBOOK SELF-PUBLISHING EXPLAINED An epublishing revolution is sweeping the industry. We explain what is happening and show you how to self-publish your own ebooks. http://www.PublishYourOwnEbooks.com *************************************************************** SERIOUS ABOUT WRITING? Join the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, the professional association with a career-building difference. We partner with you to create a strategic online presence with genuine credibility. You get a free NAIWE-linked website (and more) so you'll be where people come to find writers. Join us today at http://naiwe.com! ***************************************************************** AUTHOR'S BOOKSHELF: Books by Our Readers ================================================================= Ting and I, by Douglas Winslow Cooper Find these and more great books at http://www.writing-world.com/books/index.shtml Have you just had a book published? If so, let our readers know: just click on the link below to list your book. http://www.writing-world.com/books/listyours.shtml ***************************************************************** ADVERTISE in WRITING WORLD or on WRITING-WORLD.COM! For details on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your product, service or book title, visit http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/adrates.shtml ***************************************************************** Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com http://www.writing-world.com Editor and Publisher: MOIRA ALLEN (editors@writing-world.com) Newsletter Editor: DAWN COPEMAN (editorial@writing-world.com) Copyright 2011 Moira Allen Sutton House, Meads Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit: http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?LEyszKyMtCwcrMxs7GwMtEa0jExsjEzMnJw=


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