B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R
Monthly e-publication for busy writers and those aspiring to become
November 2004 Volume 3 Issue 10
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Copyright (c) 2002-2004,
Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
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In This Issue...
>>> Letter From the Editor, Kim Wilson
>>> Ask the Freelance Pro
by Kathryn Lay
>>> Write From Home Site Updates
>>> Market Reviews
by Hilary Evans
>>> Sponsor Message
>>> News & Noteworthy
>>> Success Spotlight
>>> From the Copy Editor's Desk
by Sherry Stoll
>>> Sponsor Message
>>> Jump-Start Your Fiction Writing
by Shirley Jump
>>> Paying Markets
"Many people told me I had to make a choice, fiction or nonfiction,
romance or mystery, poetry or children’s writing. I don't see why I
should, particularly when I do them so well and enjoy them all."
Read the interview at
°°°°° LETTER FROM THE EDITOR °°°°°
I want to thank you for sending me your opinion regarding the
Busy Freelancer format. As you recall, in the October issue I asked
readers if they liked Busy Freelancer in its current text format
sent via e-mail, or if they prefer that I upload it to the Write
From Home site and send a notification of the contents with the
I received a tremendous response that made my decision easy. Every
response I received requested that I keep Busy Freelancer in its
current text format: a request I'll gladly honor. Once again,
thanks for taking the time to send me your feedback.
Throughout November, many people take time to think about the
people and things they are thankful for, especially during the
Thanksgiving weekend. I want you to know that I'm thankful for
you--my wonderful readers--365 days of the year. Without you, Busy
Freelancer and Write From Home wouldn't exist.
Before I close, I'd like to share with you a quote I found on
Rev. Sue Lang's bio page. Sue graciously granted me permission
to publish her words:
"Writing is like eating chocolate. It not only raises endorphins,
but it's hard to stop once you get going. However, there is one
major difference between writing and chocolate: you don't consume
writing, it consumes you. That means no calories! Not a bad deal."
---Rev. Sue Lang
With the Thanksgiving feast only a few weeks away it's nice to be
reminded that writing contains zero calories and no carbs! :-)
(FYI: Sues does an annual writer's conference for those writing
for the local congregation and for the larger Christian market.
Her 2005 conference is scheduled for Saturday, October 8,
2005, at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Sellersville, PA. Info will
be posted on her Web site next spring.)
Have a wonderful, successful, safe month.
ASK THE FREELANCE PRO
Writing for the Holidays
by Kathryn Lay
Most of us have heard that you need to get your holiday articles
and queries out 6-9 or even 12 months ahead of time. So, it's
November and you forgot all about sending out those ideas. Is it
too late to work on those pieces for the upcoming holidays? No, not
As the season approaches, why not use the time to come up with
ideas for holiday pieces that you can pitch for next year? It's not
always easy to work on Christmas pieces around Easter, so why not
work on them now, when Thanksgiving and Christmas are on your mind.
SHOPPING FOR IDEAS:
* What are the events you have planned?
* Do you have ideas for creating fun parties?
* Getting along with in-laws.
* Dealing with your children while they are off school during the
* Traditions to share.
* Travel articles you can research while you are out of town
* Fillers that share wrapping ideas, shopping tips, or decorating
* Essays that come from special moments with family and friends, or
times when you have volunteered during the holidays to help those
alone or in need.
* Do you have the best Halloween party on the block?
* Does everyone rave over your holiday organization?
* Do holiday events give you ideas for short stories?
* Do you have a formula for making Christmas family letters
What kind of pieces can you come up with for kid's magazines?
Family magazines? Travel publications? Writing magazines? Religious
While you're at it, look over old holiday pieces that have been
published elsewhere or that you haven't sold yet. This is the time
to rewrite them with a fresh look. What about submitting them to
your local newspaper? Or perhaps a small local magazine that has a
short turnaround time?
Every year for the last ten years, I've resent one particular
Christmas essay about a time when our family invited local college
students, international students, or singles into our home on
Christmas morning. It's been accepted and published seven times in
publications that took reprints. The one year that I forgot to send
it out early, I was able to add information from that most recent
year as it happened. I rewrote the piece, sent it out again after
Christmas, and it sold again. Holiday pieces have a great potential
for reselling again and again.
REMEMBER CHRISTMAS CHEER
Another way to prepare for those future holiday pieces is when
you're unpacking your holiday decorations. Looking over last year's
holiday journal, photographs, or mementos will bring back memories
that can be tapped into for new writing ideas.
If you haven't begun a holiday journal before, start one this year.
Be specific about the events, your emotions, and joyous surprises.
WHILE SUGARPLUMS DANCE
What about children's books and magazine stories? As you're reading
to your children, do the stories give you ideas for new Christmas
books and stories for children? It takes 2 to 3 years for a
children's picture book to be published once it's accepted. If
you've had a holiday idea haunting you, work on it during this time
when pumpkins abound, costumed children fill your lawn, families
gather around the Thanksgiving table, and the Christmas tree lights
FILL THOSE STOCKINGS:
Don't forget about filler ideas. One of our family ideas about
putting 'Thankful notes' in a jar and reading them on Thanksgiving
day has been printed several times. When we decided to do something
similar, an "I love you because..." jar for Valentines, it was
snapped up by Family Circle.
This is when those little tips, humorous anecdotes, or short list
pieces (5 Ways to Build a Snow Fort) can be used to bring in an
extra byline and extra money to pay off those leftover Christmas
MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE:
As you list your ideas for each holiday; Halloween, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, Hanukkah...use an expandable file folder and begin
putting your ideas, queries, fillers, etc. into the pockets for
each holiday. Your ideas are fresh and if you capture them now, it
will be much easier in March or April to start submitting those
many queries and articles you've already worked on. Research now,
BUILD YOUR SNOWMEN BEFORE THE THAW:
Clip interesting holiday profiles, interviews, articles, recipes,
and more from the newspaper. They won't be around in March when
you're working on those query letters.
It may be difficult in the spring or early summer to locate the
photos you need for a holiday piece, or the information about that
special holiday festival or event that you attended and want to
write about for a travel or family publication. But if you've
gathered all the information while you are there, jotted down the
memories and sights, and placed the photos with your notes, then
your research is done and the writing will flow.
This may not be the best time for submitting holiday material, but
it's the absolute best time for coming up with lots of ideas. You
are "in the moment," not looking back at the holidays, but creating
ideas as you create memories.
So grab your trick or treat bag, eat some pumpkin pie, light those
Hanukkah candles, and trim that tree. It's all fodder for holiday
Kathryn Lay has had over 1,000 articles, stories, and essays
published in magazines and anthologies such as Woman's Day, Family
Circle, Guideposts, Kiwanis, Cricket, Spider, Chicken Soup for the
Soul Bible, Chocolate for a Woman's Courage, and many more. Her
first children's novel, CROWN ME! is due out this fall. Check out
her Web site at http://www.kathrynlay.com.
°°°°° WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES °°°°°
==>> "Off the Page" Column
by Tama Westman
This month read "3 Key to a Power Punch Query" at
==>> "Life of a Writer Mom" Column
by Carla Charter
This month read "Composite Characters" at
==>> "Interview with Australian Freelancer Cheryl Wright"
by Shaunna Privratsky
==>> "Breaking Writer's Block"
by Lisa Hood
==>> "Secret Writer's Business"
by Cheryl Wright
==>> "Subjects for Every Season"
by Shaunna Privratsky
===>> Featured book:
"Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer"
by Bruce Holland Rogers
Read Table of Contents at
by Hilary Evans
I've received three outlandishly rude rejections in the last 5
years--that's three out of, well, hundreds. Though few and far
between, they definitely toughen the skin. Still, becoming
stagnant--whether you're a person or a puddle--rarely turns out in
your favor. We have to grow in our craft by pushing past our
comfort zones. We grow by listening to constructive criticism (and
by leaving negative people behind).
Here's to plenty of acceptances going into the holiday season...
and plenty of worthwhile notes that come with rejections.
AARP The Magazine
601 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20049
Editor: Steve Slon
Formerly Modern Maturity, AARP The Magazine, is now a hip, new rag
for older generations. "Senior Citizen" is a term of the past.
Recent articles on pet care postmortem are buried among "Why Older
Women Date Younger Men," and "A User's Guide to Viagra."
This is a lucrative market with fees starting at $1 per contracted
word, and an established 25 percent kill fee. Queries should arrive
by e-mail or snail mail, be no more than one page long, and come
with "recent writing samples." It's interesting to note they've
specified "samples" vs. "clips" which insinuates they're open to
unpublished writers. (Remember, I'm ever the optimist!) In
addition, the guidelines point out, "Your samples should not
include the actual story that you are proposing." AARP The Magazine
does not accept reprints or unsolicited manuscripts. Submissions of
either will not be returned.
You'll want to read several issue to get a feel for their new slant
and the format of the articles they consider. Most fall in line
with one of the following categories: Finance, Health, Food,
Travel, Consumerism, Profiles or First-Person Accounts of people
who have made a difference, and General Interest newsworthy items.
6614 Clayton Rd
Richmond Heights, MO 63117
Editor: Richard Burgin
Boulevard runs two annual contests in addition to buying fiction
and poetry. More information on the Boulevard Short Fiction Contest
for Emerging Writers, the deadline of which falls in December, can
be found at the Web site.
This editorial staff actively searches out new writers of top
quality poetry and fiction. They take submissions from October
through April, by postal mail. All they ask is that you send a SASE
for their response, and include your name and address on the first
page of your submission. Your first and last name should then
follow on each additional page.
Feel free to send up to five poems at a time, up to 200 lines each.
Payment ranges from $25 to $300 for accepted work. Reading the
magazine will give you a better idea of the style they're after,
but Editor, Richard Burgin, specifically points out they are not
interested in light verse.
Likewise, science fiction, erotica, horror, westerns, romance and
children's stories aren't wanted in the fiction arena. The magazine
pays from $50-$300 for stories up to 8,000 words.
I received five rejections this week. Most were the standard,
"Thank you for considering XYZ Magazine. We're sorry, but your work
does not meet our editorial standards at this time." I've found
that usually means they're too busy for a more detailed answer, or
just can't put their finger on the problem. Try not to read too
much into those. One rejection provided great feedback though (too
many adjectives really can tie up your action) and even without a
sale, that one made answering e-mail this week worth my time.
Remember, to be a professional writer you must write. You must
read. You must plan...and you must never take yourself too
Hilary Evans writes about entertainment, history and education. You
can reach her at mailto:email@example.com.
---> S P O N S O R M E S S A G E <---
Ever wonder how much you could write if you were just more
organized? Write More in 2004(tm) with help from
http://www.OrganizedWriter.com and get your complimentary
Writer's E-Calendar at http://snurl.com/30ux
NEWS & NOTEWORTHY.....
* Don't forget to celebrate I Love To Write Day on November 15.
Learn more about I Love To Write Day at
* The Grace Company, publishers of the 2005 African American
Writers Resource is seeking freelancers for inclusion in its
upcoming directory. More information and listing instructions
located at http://www.bapwd.com.
Share your success with others. Regardless of how big or small, I
want to know about your accomplishments. If you sell an article,
receive a book contract, or met a writing goal, send the
information to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with
'success spotlight' in the subject line. Your news item will appear
in the next issue. (Hint: This is a great area to do a little
shameless self promotion.)
* I have had a small success that I would like to share with other
subscribers of your newsletter.
I was just informed that a short personal anecdote of mine will be
published in Woman's World in December. I'd answered an open call
that I came across on the Web, sent something in but it was
rejected. I decided to persevere, submitted another short piece and
it was accepted. Thanks for letting me share this success with
* Congratulations to Shaunna Privratsky on the November 15 release
of her new book "Pump Up Your Prose." Recommended by Jenna Glatzer,
Hope Clark, Mary Anne Hahn and many others. Details, giveaways and
coupons at The Writer Within at http://shaunna67.tripod.com
Boost your writing career today with Shaunna's new book!
FROM THE COPY EDITOR'S DESK
by Sherry Stoll
Punctuating poetry is no easy task for a copy editor. There are as
many variances as there are poets. No hard and fast rules apply.
Some poets punctuate and others use none at all. It's a matter of
As a copy editor, you must determine the poet's style and form used
in the collection you are working on. As is the case so many times,
you mustn't let your own style come into play. Your goal is to
maintain consistency throughout each poem following the poet's
Many poets use punctuation within their poems as a powerful tool to
create the mood and scene of their work.
When a punctuation mark is used at the end of a sentence within a
poem, the line is considered to be end-stopped. The effect is that
the reader is forced to pause before continuing to the next line.
If no punctuation mark is used at the end of a sentence, then the
line of the poem is called enjamped or run-on. Its effect is to
let the reader continue freely to the next line without much of a
Where punctuation is or isn't placed can affect the rhyme and meter
of the poem as well. Read it out loud. It will be the only way to
determine if it sounds right.
Due to the very nature of poetry, it is strewn with partial
clauses. This makes the semi-colon and hyphen very valuable
punctuation tools. Always remember that there needs to be a space
before and after the hyphen.
Some poets capitalize the beginning of every line. Some don't.
This brings up the point of copy editing within a word processing
program. Some, like Word, will automatically capitalize the first
word of every new line. You have to know whether the poet wants
that or not. Don't assume that your word processor program "knows"
how to format a poem.
If you are copy editing a collection of poetry by one individual
poet, you'll have to read a few of them to get a feel for the
poet's style before you get down to business. It might be a little
trickier if it's an anthology by several different poets. Just
remember that no hard and fast rules apply punctuating poetry.
Consistency within each individual poem is a must and will come
more easily as you feel the flow of the work.
Sherry L. Stoll is a freelance writer, poet, greeting card
writer, and book reviewer. You can go to
http://sherry_l_stoll.tripod.com where you'll find links to
her published works. She appreciates your comments at
Need to brush up on your grammar? The following books will help
you do just that!
---> "Grammatically Correct: The Writer's Essential Guide to
Punctuation, Spelling, Style, Usage and Grammar"
by Anne Stilman
---> "The Everything Grammar and Style Book: All the Rules You
Need to Know to Master Great Writing"
by Susan Thurman
---> "Grammar for Grownups"
by Val Dumond
--->"Punctuate It Right!"
by Harry Shaw
--->"Write Right!: A Desktop Digest of Punctuation, Grammar, and
by Jan Venolia
---> S P O N S O R M E S S A G E <---
Can You Write a Simple Letter?
If yes, you could be in big demand, earning big money writing, just
a few hours a day from anywhere in the world you choose to be.
Imagine a job in which you set your own hours, and live wherever
you please: at the beach, in the mountains, in an apartment in
Paris, London, or Berlin. As a copywriter, you can. Learn the
secrets of this little-known, lucrative business, and join some of
the highest paid writers in the world.
JUMP-START YOUR FICTION WRITING
Begin with the End in Mind
by Shirley Jump
Stephen Covey says in his "Seven Habits" workshops: Begin with the
end in mind. What he means is that you should think of the end
result you want and work everything you start with at the beginning
Novel writing can take a cue from Covey. I have written in the past
about letting your characters drive--within reason. And I do that,
often. However, I, as the author, always know the end destination.
I begin with the end in mind.
The end for me is the lesson I want them to learn. How they learn
it depends on who they are as a character, what would force them
out of their comfort zone and what kind of events would make them
fail and then succeed. Remember, failure teaches us as much, if not
more, than success.
If you want to begin with the end in mind, follow these tips:
1. Determine what lesson you want your character(s) to learn
before the end of the book: Novels are about growth. Characters
should grow and change over the course of a novel. If they don't,
then the book itself is static and boring. You want it to be
dynamic, just like the people you are writing about. To do that,
you must find a lesson for your character to learn. Boil this down
to one sentence. By the end of the novel, John Doe will learn...You
fill in the blanks. It should be a lesson he has resisted learning
up until now and one he can only learn through trial and error,
interaction with other characters and perseverance.
2. Determine what your character will go through: Your character
must suffer--in order to learn. You can't have all wine and roses
throughout the book. No one learns anything from too many happy
times. Have your character go through hard times and encounter
conflicts. This puts your character to the TEST. This is a GOOD
thing because it shows what your character is made of, tests his
mettle, and gives the reader someone to root for. Don't be afraid
to make your character WORK for his growth.
3. Let your character fail: Failure teaches us a great deal. Think
about it--if all you ever had was a straight-A report card your
whole life, you never had to work for a grade in your school
career, how well prepared would you be for the work environment
where failure is real every day? Not very prepared. You wouldn't
have developed those skills where you would have to rebound from
obstacles, think on your feet, stand up to injustices, fight for
what you believe in--all of those things are important for your
character to do. LET HIM FAIL. Once, twice, three times. Then...
4. Let your character succeed. It can't be all work and no play,
of course. If your character enjoys some measure of success on his
journey toward the end goal of growth (and whatever his goal is in
the novel--I'm talking the tangible goal here of solving the
mystery, rescuing the girl, finding the money, etc.) then he will
see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. However, don't
make the success too good or your book will come to a screeching
halt. When in doubt, always go back to number three. Toughen that
5. Do a check-in at the halfway point. Re-read your book and see
how much your character has grown to this point. Hopefully, he has
changed some--but not all the way. He should still have a long way
to go. See if his values, material goals, and internal goals have
shifted as he has gone through these trials.
6. Give him obstacles that are brought about by his character.
When you create a character, you imbue him with certain weaknesses,
skills and strengths. Those weaknesses are the key to the obstacles
he will face. Just as Macbeth's problems all derived from his
ambition and Hamlet's all came from his inability to make a
decision, so too should your character's problems stem from his or
her own foibles. Figure out what your character's weaknesses are
and use them to create the obstacles in his/her path.
7. By the same token, let the skills and strengths pull them out.
If you have given your character the gift of intelligence or
physical abilities, then these are the skills that will save the
day for him and help him conquer his obstacles. He will use his
current strengths--and the ones he finds within himself as he faces
challenges--to get out of the jams that come up throughout the
8. Don't let the end be predictable. Let the book take twists and
turns to get to the ending. Your character can derail from time to
time, make a misstep, have success, then retreat into bad behavior
again for a moment--it's okay, they're human (more or less). The
worst books have a foregone conclusion from page one where you know
exactly how every element will play out. By allowing the characters
to drive, you have "human" intervention at play and you should have
a few surprises thrown in there, too.
Begin with the end in mind and let your characters take you from
the beginning to that wonderful end. You'll see that if you have an
idea of where you are going, it's much easier to navigate the 400-
odd page path ahead of you!
Shirley Jump's newest book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, a romantic
comedy with recipes, is on stands now. Go to
http://www.shirleyjump.com to read reviews and excerpts of the book
Writers Unlimited is calling "a brilliantly funny read."
[Editors note: The following jobs and links are published with
permission. Please note, after the application deadline the link is
nonfunctional. For a larger selection of jobs featured on this site
go to http://www.journalism.berkeley.edu/jobs/
~ Position: Assistant Business Editor
Publication/Company: Austin American Statesman
Location: Austin, TX
~ Position: Financial Reporter
Publication/Company: Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal
Location: San Jose, CA
~ Position: Freelance Editor
Publication/Company: Arizona Woman Magazine
~ Position: Freelance Reporter/Writer
Publication/Company: Where It's At
Location: North Carolina
~ Position: Freelance Case Study Authors
Publication/Company: Swallow Media
~ Position: Business Writers
Publication/Company: Not specified
Location: Writers based in Alabama; Toledo, Ohio; Nebraska;
Minneapolis/St. Paul; Delaware; and New Jersey
~ Position: Associate Gardening Editor
Publication/Company: Cottage Living Magazine
~ Position: Staff Writer
Publication/Company: Atlanta Parent
~ Position: Reporter - Crime/Punishment Issues
~ Position: Reporter
Publication/Company: Ketchikan Daily News
~ Position: Criminal Courts Reporter
Publication/Company: The Tampa Tribune
~ Position: Health/Environment Reporter
Publication/Company: The Courier
~ Position: Web Writer
Publication/Company: The Capital Group Companies, Inc./American
~ Position: Copy Editors
Publication/Company: Today's Local News
~ Position: Pop Culture Writer
Publication/Company: Houston Chronicle
Want to find writing jobs in your area? Go to Regional Help
Wanted at http://regionalhelpwanted.com. After entering the
vicinity where you would like to work, the site will give you
a list of job boards specific to your desired location.
ATTENTION EDITORS and PUBLISHERS! If your publication is a PAYING
market send your guidelines, freelance needs, and job openings to
mailto:email@example.com and they'll be published in
the next issue of Busy Freelancer.
Reminder About Paying Markets:
Make sure and read the complete writer's guidelines by either
visiting the Web site or requesting them via e-mail or postal mail.
Because editorial positions frequently change, it's in your best
interest to visit the Web site or contact the publication prior to
querying or submitting and verify the name of the current editor.
Total Health for Longevity
165 N 100 E, Suite 2
St. George, UT 84770-2505
Bimonthly magazine focused on diet, fitness, preventative health
care, and mental health.
Seeks articles between 1,200-1,400 words. Pays on publication
$50-75. Queries preferred.
Complete guidelines at
Editor: Rev. Sue Lang
Monthly electronic newsletter offering devotionals and articles to
the busy congregational leader for individual or group use.
Seeks articles and devotions.
Pays $20 for articles ranging from 800-1,000 words.
Pays $5 for each devotion of no more than 250 words.
Buys first electronic rights with the option to archive for one
year. No simultaneous submissions.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
2291 W. Broadway
Missoula, MT 59808
Bimonthly publication of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, fillers, and essays.
Pays on acceptance 20˘/word for fiction, nonfiction articles, and
poetry. Length for fiction is 1,500 to 4,500 words; 1,500-3,000
words for nonfiction; and 1,000-3,000 words for essays. Pays $100
for one page of poetry.
Buys FNAR. Prefers queries. Accepts e-queries and unsolicited
manuscripts. Not interested in how-to pieces or any material that
is not about elk.
The Southwest Review
P.O. Box 750374
Dallas, TX 75275
Quarterly literary publication focused on contemporary affairs,
history, folklore, literary criticism, art, music, and theater.
Pays on publication $100-300 for prose pieces between 3,500-7,000
words. Pays $50-150 for one page of poetry.
Buys FNAR. Accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Does NOT accept e-
7900 International Dr., Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Monthly magazine covering the cattle industry.
Seeks nonfiction articles on the cattle industry including
feeding, coherding, animal health, nutrition, finance, and stock
Pays on acceptance up to $300. Queries required. Accepts e-queries.
Does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.
4494 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
Publication for Optimist International Organization.
Seeks nonfiction articles about local Optimist clubs, and
techniques for personal and club success.
Pays on acceptance $100 and up for pieces of 1,000 words max.
875 Sixth Avenue, Suite 2100
New York, NY 10001
Bimonthly magazine targeting Irish-Americans.
Seeks nonfiction articles about history, politics, the arts, and
Pays on publication 12˘/word for articles between 1,500-2,000
words. Prefers queries.
12365 Huron St., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80234
Scrapbooking magazine published 6-7 times a year.
This magazine contains numerous departments. Please go to the above
link for specific word count and fees for each department.
Buys first world rights, accepts e-queries, and unsolicited
Have you received paying work from the markets you found in Busy
Freelancer? If so, please e-mail the info to
Sources for additional markets and job databases found
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Thank you for reading this issue of Busy Freelancer. If you would
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C-ya next month and remember: "Take action and make no excuses!"
Copyright (c) 2002-2004,
Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
All Rights Reserved.
To contact Kim Wilson:
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610
Tel: (609) 888-1683
Fax: (609) 888-1672