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One of my latest findings regarding sources of information on contests and submission calls...



"The Danahy Fiction Prize is an award of $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review given annually for a previously unpublished work of short fiction. Submissions between  500 and 5,000 words are preferred; manuscripts falling slightly outside this range will also be considered. Tampa Review editors will judge, and all entries will be considered for publication. "

More infos here: http://tampareview.ut.edu/tr_prize.html

Personal note: I am never sure if I should endorse entry fees for contests and awards. Here it is USD 15... hm... BUT at least one can safely say this is a well-established publisher, not an obscure organisation that no one has ever heard of.



Hi, everyone... nunewesen has very kindly invited me to join this little community, so I thought I would stop by and say hello.  It seems to be customary here to give a little background information, but I'll keep mine brief, because I don't have much writing history to speak of.

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but most of my writing experience to date has been in an academic context, and because I was a biology major in college (and am presently a veterinary student), it's been mostly research papers and scientific stuff.  Until very recently, I had never attempted any fiction, other than what was required in high school English class.  I've always enjoyed reading various sorts of fan fiction on the internet, but it's taken years for me to work up the courage to try writing anything myself.  So, I'm brand new to all of this, but I've found it to be surprisingly fun so far.

Writing is very personal, I think (especially writing fiction, as opposed to essays, or journal articles, or whatever), and there is something rather terrifying about putting it out there for people to see.  Although I imagine that it gets easier with time and experience, I would say that's definitely my biggest stumbling block right now.  At the moment, I'm still experimenting with different approaches and writing styles, trying to figure out what works for me and what doesn't. 

It would be really interesting to try some original fiction sometime... I suspect that I'm not creative enough to actually come up with my own characters, settings, etc. to work with, but perhaps I'll give it a try at some point.  And in the meantime, I will keep an eye on this community for interesting discussions!  It's very nice to meet all of you :)

Contest: A Cup of Comfort

A Cup of Comfort for Couples | REDBOOK Story Contest
The publishers of Cup of Comfort and REDBOOK Magazine are pleased to announce the Your Love Story Contest!
From now until April 20th, readers are encouraged to enter their 1,000 – 2,000 word true love stories. Topics can range from falling in love, celebrating love, experiences that couples have overcome, and more, as long as the love story speaks to the joys or challenges of a romantic partnership.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,000, first placement in A Cup of Comfort for Couples publishing in December 2010,have their love story featured in REDBOOK's February 2011 issue and published in full on CupofComfort.com, and receive a full set of the Cup of Comfort library!
The 3 Runners-Up will receive $150, have their love stories appear second, third, and fourth in A Cup of Comfort for Couples, have their names included in REDBOOK and their stories published in blog posts on CupofComfort.com, and receive a full set of the Cup of Comfort library.
Winners will be notified on or before July 10th.

Please read the Contest Rules for more information.

Source and more infos:



Dear all,

while rummaging the web, lit forums and groups, I have found several useful sources for newsletters containing market informations, writing contests etc. (THANKS to all who have put on these links onto the www!!!) I am currently testing some of them and will happily share them with you. So, here is the first:

www.writingfordollars.com, editor Dan Case (whom you can also find on Facebook and Twitter)

The Newsletter is for free, and you subscribe here:

For me, one of the so far most interesting features is the regular info about paying markets, magazines in search of freelance writers and their requirements, etc.

Will start to try a few of them... one never knows, right?


Contests and Participation Fees

Hmmm... so an organisation/company/private person establishes a writing contest. And offers prize money. YAY!

BUT... in order to participate, you need to pay a participation fee. This seems to have developed into a rather common practice nowadays.


...is this a legitimate way to finance the contest?
...or is this just another way of getting money out of aspiring authors?

"What say you?"


Hey folks!

I received an invitation to the community, so I thought I'd join up and say hi and the like.

My name is Laura Cushing, I'm an author from South Jersey in the U-s-of-A. I've been published (short stories, poems, non-fiction) in literary magazines, 'zines, websites, and other such. I've done about four years of music journalism, starting out with a little indie site and ending up working as a music correspondent for a social media site called Gather. I've also ghostwritten newsletter, press releases, and site content for bands, musicians, internet games, and so forth - some of the bands and sites you may have even heard of (maybe!). I'm currently taking some time off from freelancing / band lackey work as the economy dried up a lot of the work I was doing and I'm taking a bit of a breather before actively seeking more. I've also been a performing poet in the past, featuring at the 2004 Mid-Atlantic Spoken word festival as well as many cafes, libraries, and even a little spot on New Jersey poets for public television. I recently had a piece I wrote about a 'terrorist incident' that took place in my neighborhood published in Live Journal's 10th anniversary anthology.

I run a daily character development prompt community for writers you might be interested in, over at charloft. If you like, we can affiliate - I'd be happy to list this community in our user info.

My current writing project is character driven - I've been writing for heil_hans and vavarner and their associated npcs for over a year now. I write for them in the form of short stories, drabbles, letters, journals, and roleplays. Hans Varner is an immortal gay ex-Nazi (try saying that three times fast), who has been cursed to immortality until such time as he atones for his war crimes. It is not a pleasant 'I get powers' kind of immortality, but one of suffering. He runs a charity called the Varner Foundation, and he is trying to do good works to atone for his past in the hopes that he might die someday. Into this mix comes Valentine Varner, his great-great-nephew who now lives with him. Valentine is a former child actor with many issues of his own who is now a jazz studies major at Columbia - he's also dating a vampire, and dividing his time between New York and New Orelans. It's kind of... not your typical story and there's a lot of supernatural elements (obviously) and uncomfortable subject matter with Hans especially, but I try to write them as if they are real people within the confines of their universe. I read a lot of historical accounts to research Hans's past, and I have been struggling to teach myself German (oh hai Rosetta Stone) but it is a slow going process as I am not a natural linguist. Writing about Val is a lot easier as I love music, and I've learned a bit about the music business and musicians through my work. But it's a project I really enjoy.

If anyone would like to friend me, feel free and I'll friend you back - and this has been long and rambly enough I suppose, so I'll end it here with pleased to meet you all.

Author-driven publishing

I had never heard of this concept before today.

I attended a book signing at our local independent bookstore and purchased the book, "Falling From the Moon," by Lise Marinelli. This is her first book. It falls under historical fiction and traces two families through the Depression and World War II eras. I don't know whether it's any good or not, but I like to support new authors and independent bookstores when I can.

Her talk included some chat about her publisher, Windy City Publishers. This company appears to be a step up from self-publishing in that their fee includes editing, marketing, cover design, Web site development, etc. But it still costs the author roughly $7,500 to get the process going. Self-publishing is cheaper, of course, but you don't get the editing and other services.

I don't know about this. I realize there are no guarantees in this or any other endeavor, but why would I sink that much money into publishing my own book? I think these people are sincere and they actually do have clients. The author had people from her publishing company there, and they were quite up front about their fee. They also said, because they want to make money, too, they won't work with every author. Submitted books have to fit some sort of market or Windy City won't take them on. The spokeswoman from the publisher also said that her company doesn't make money until the author earns back by the $7,500 investment.

I realize the publishing game isn't what it used to be. Getting a book published is a crapshoot at best, seeing as how traditional publishers rarely take a chance on a new voice. A peek at the bestseller list proves that.

So is this the wave of the future? Will authors be expected to shoulder some of the burden in getting their work published? Should it be more of a partnership, with perhaps both the publisher and the author sharing the risks inherent in such a venture?

Introductory Whatnot

I am quite sucky at this sort of thing; however, I will give it a whirl, anyhow.

I've been making up stories since I started learning to write.  Crayons, pencils, ink, typewriter, and now pc, I've used them all to try and convey the movies playing in my head.  I've tried art, but I just don't have the talent to do justice to what's in my head (or the patience, but you can pretend you didn't read that part).  I have always had vivid dreams, but interspersed with the usual night-time fare, I regularly have dreams that are fairly coherent and often tell a story--I call them "movie dreams"--and many times they are responsible for new stories. 

I cannot imagine life without my Muse whispering in my ear about all these 'what if' scenarios.  I honestly cannot.  When I can't write stories, I think them in my head.  Often when I'm in the shower or driving, I'll go over dialogue for whatever story I'm working on, sometimes out loud (swear I'm not dangerous, really), and since I was a little kid, I've often let the stories in my head lull me to sleep--hasn't changed much now that I'm an adult, although some of the stories are a little steamier *wicked grin*.

I've submitted short stories for publication a number of times.  I came thaaaaat close to getting a short story published in an anthology a few years back.  It was for an erotica anthology and they liked what I did, and even said they would have used it, but it had a similar theme to one they'd already accepted, and they wanted all the stories to be very different.  So *shrug* it was a miss, but I still took it as encouragement. 

So, fanfic.  I am rather fully submerged in that right now.  I came to it kind of late, although I didn't realize I was into it for years, because I'd just never encountered any.  I often took the characters from this or that book or movie or tv show and played the 'what if' game with them.  Who knew there were other kooky people out there doing the same thing?  Well, now I know!  I still work on my original fiction, but the larger percentage of my efforts are currently put into fanfic.  I've met such lovely people via this creative medium, and I feel my skills have improved in the process, as well as the obvious pleasure of knowing something I created has pleased another person enough that they take the trouble to let me know.  How can you not enjoy that?  Well, I do, anyhow.

Currently I'm sort of playing test-reader/cheerleader/advice-offerer to a couple of my fellow LJ'ers on their fics.  I'm enjoying this SO much, really!  But what I'm finding most exciting is a collaboration with the sparkly awesome storyfan  on an idea of hers for a detective novel!  We're having such fun cooking up the characters, plot, scenery, and all that goes into such a thing.  I'm incredibly jazzed about this project, but even more than that, I'm very grateful that I've had the opportunity to meet this awesome person.  *waves at storyfan * 

Well, no idea what else to add, other than hello everyone! 

An introduction

My writing career actually is a career as I've been a journalist most of my life. The first half of it was spent writing news stories on all kinds of topics, such as board meetings, fires, robberies, community events, features (which I never liked doing; I like hard news) and such. The second half of my career has been spent as a copy editor and page designer which I find I like just as much. I work part-time now, as full-time jobs in journalism are thin on the ground, and I'm wondering what I'll do when people find no reason to buy a daily newspaper. Before that happens, I'd like to have a chance to work with young reporters, teaching them about news value, integrity and how to sniff out facts when sources refuse to talk.

I've also written a ton of fiction. Short stories linger on my old blue iMac, as do three romance novels that will never see the light of day because they're just that bad. I keep them around to remind myself to do better. Besides, some of the characters are funny, and one is based on Alan Rickman. He'd be appalled at what I've done to him, though. I have published two short stories in two obscure literary magazines. One is defunct, but I think the other is still alive. No money changed hands, but it's fun to think that I actually had something published.

I've just written a historical romance involving two young men named Will & Jamie. My beta has charge of it now, and I hope to start making major revisions in March. It's a huge document, about 140K words, so it'll take some time to edit. I'd love to publish it, but I'm not sure what the market is for books like that.

I'm working on a detective novel with the lovely and talented random_nexus. We're excited about this project and have given ourselves a year to complete it. We're hoping to publish it for the mainstream market. We're not likely to make much money on the book; however, we're just positive that the film industry will snap it up and make a blockbuster out of it. Well, we can dream, can't we?

Also in the pipeline is a coming-of-age novel featuring two teenage boys growing up in Michigan in 1978. I'm not sure what will happen with that story, but it's been fun to write so far.

Oh, yes. Fanfic. I love fanfiction. I've written a bunch of it, but I'm quite focused on my original projects at the moment. Every now and then I dabble in a few fandoms, but I'm content to read the lovely stuff written by others.