Find a Writing Partner Online

Free interactive site bringing together writers, co-writers and sources for collaborative writing projects in any medium

CaptureSource: Co-Writers.com

I found this link today while looking at Dmoz. It’s an active site. For me, this seems like an interesting way to find someone else to trade ideas with. Better than joining a writing group and then not being able to participate enough to get noticed and meet anyone.

Horror Writer Selfies

What a fun thing for writers to do. Show your personality and show off your writing genre with a selfie. Other genre writers should get together on this idea.

What would non-fiction writers do?

Horrorselfies.com is your source for all selfies supporting the horror, dark fantasy and occult genre. We welcome new selfies – please read our submission guidelines and submit your selfie. You may share any of the selfies you find on this site, in fact we encourage you to do so!

Source: Horror Selfies: From The Horror Writers Association

Erotic Writing Prompts

How is an erotic writing prompt different from any other writing prompt? It has sex in it.

Erotica includes sex but isn’t just sex.

This means there is a story. Too many writers get into the sex and leave the story as the background.

Erotica should be sensual.

How do you especially like to be touched? What kind of touch gives you pleasurable shivers?

Don’t even start thinking about sex itself. Start with the touches which aren’t very intimate but get noticed and get you interested in having more.

For me it’s my back. A stroke down my back will always get my attention.

New Scammy Ad Sales Technique to Watch For

There is a technique in real estate (and other sales related situations) to offer a buyer in order to create a sale. The buyer is fake. In real estate the technique is used to keep sellers on the hook, hoping for a nibbling buyer. So the real estate agent keeps (or renews) the listing. The buyer then disappears.

I’ve been getting more offers to place ads on my sites again, now that I’ve been getting them active again. Some are the same old scammy things, like guest posts. A few are legitimate offers and I have accepted a couple and been paid. Others are sneakier, or is sneaky really a fair word? Maybe I should just consider them all sales pitches, even when they are deliberately misleading.

The sales pitch below came into my email this week. What do you think when you read it?

realorscam

 

I went to the site because I wasn’t sure. I do try different sites and services and then forget about most of them. So it was very possible that I did begin an account there. But, I was suspicious.

I had to get a new password sent. This wasn’t horribly surprising but it could also be a great way to get people to join a site they think they have already joined. I’ve seen other social sites pull this scam.

Then I looked at the ad they were offering. I wasn’t very interested. Also, I didn’t see a mention of payment, an actual amount or a time period the ad would run. That is a little red flag. I like set terms. Real advertisers will want set terms too.

Next, I looked at the site they wanted to run the ad on. That was when the final curtain came down for me. The link they were using was not one I would have used. (Or, very, very unlikely at least). It’s a link from my old Blogger site. The link now redirects to it’s own domain. So, if this were legitimate why would they be using that old link?

On the other hand, the description for my old Blogger site was there, along with other details which I very well could have done myself if I had set up an account on that site. Still, I really doubt I would have set up an account for an old redirct link and not any of the domains I currently use.

I’m careful. I try to be fair to the advertising services. Still, I’m not so trusting that I’m gullible (I hope). We all need to be careful. Most bloggers and online writers do not have a staff to help them keep up with scammers. We just have to do it ourselves and hope we get it right. Err on the side of caution, especially when money is involved.

Do you Speak Esperanto?

I first heard about Esperanto ten years ago when I was writing at a site called BackWash. One of the other writers was learning to speak the language and writing about it. I read some of the history, how the language was developed. I even wrote a post about Esperanto, as a resource for anyone else interested in finding out more. Then, I heard very little about it again, until finding this post today (see below). Esperanto is still around, still has all the potential to grow and become important… but it hasn’t yet.

Like its vastly more successful digital cousins — C++, HTML, Python — Esperanto is an artificial language, designed to have perfectly regular grammar, with none of the messy exceptions of natural tongues. Out loud, all that regularity creates strange cadences, like someone speaking Italian slowly while chewing gum. William Auld, the Modernist Scottish poet who wrote his greatest work in Esperanto, was nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, but never won. But it is supremely easy to learn, like a puzzle piece formed to fit into the human brain.

Invented at the end of the 19th century, in many ways it presaged the early online society that the web would bring to life at the end of the 20th. It’s only ever been spoken by an assortment of fans and true believers spread across the globe, but to speak Esperanto is to become an automatic citizen in the most welcoming non-nation on Earth.

Source: How an artificial language from 1887 is finding new life online | The Verge

Here’s to the Dirt in your Ear!

How does dirt get in your ear? I don’t mean the wax from inside your head, but the bits of grit (or whatever that is) which finds its way to collect in your outer ear. It can’t just be me, or that my ears are some weird shape. I’m not that abnormal.

Anyway, it would make a good toast. No one would assume you were talking about actual dirt. Everyone would think the dirt was gossip. Tricky that way, isn’t it?

What kind of toast could you use among writers? Something interesting and relevant to communication in some form. Take some time to think about it. Bonus points if you get something with a double or twisted meaning.

Could you Get Paid to Write?

It’s a bit dramatic to pick up your first ever copy of The Writer’s Market, which ever year you buy your first one. Suddenly you have taken a step into the world where people write and make money from it. This brings the responsibility of expectations. Paid writers should know how to write: spelling, grammar and punctuation. Paid writers should be professional and have a real office (for one thing). What a lot of pressure to perform!

In spite of all that… let this be the year you take that step. It’s kind of scary but exciting too. Make a plan to be a paid writer by the end of 2014. Set that as your goal. You may have been paid small amounts as commissions on Squidoo and other writing networks but take a big step and get paid directly, get paid more and work with an editor at a publication which will judge your writing, possibly make changes and then pay you for it (not a percentage or commission but a real pay cheque for you!)

This deluxe Writer’s Market includes online markets – a great thing for writers who have already had some of their writing published online. Posting to your own site counts too, even if you have been the only one proofreading and editing your work, it is still published (self publishing).

  • Start by getting someone professional (someone who does know grammar, spelling and punctuation) to review your writing work. Get feedback on the common mistakes you make so you can learn from them, be aware of your flaws and watch for them as they come up with you work. Making mistakes is not a bad thing as long as you work on learning from them. Like a word you have trouble spelling, just train yourself to remember the right spelling.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Jump in by looking for a writing market you would like to get into. It might be something you know about from your own personal or professional experience – like a travel agent writing about travel for travel magazines. Take time to plan your method of attack for the market you pick. Choose more than one so you have more options if you get a rejection from your first pick.
  • Decide what you have to offer your chosen market. What does the publication need that you can provide? Study the publication if you have not read it a few times before. Each publication will have topics which are over done and some which just aren’t relevant or timely enough. Find writer’s guidelines for the publication – there are almost always guidelines so keep looking if you don’t find them right away. Or, send a note to the publication and ask for their writer’s guidelines.
  • Craft (and yes, it is a craft) a query letter. Direct it to one publication, one editor (get a name) and give your idea an extra push in some way. Read more about query letters – there have been some spectacular successes and just as many spectacular disasters.
  • Depending on what the publication expected (when you read the writer’s guidelines) you may now begin writing or you may have already written the article/ book/ etc and submitted a sample of it with your query letter.
  • Don’t get scared off or intimidated now. The writing is the part you know, remember?
Writing for children is an extra opportunity if you can illustrate it yourself too.

Pick your Writing Genre and the Markets Too

Just as there are other types of writers – there are other types of writer’s markets and guides to those markets. Look also for photography and graphic artist guides to markets.

Most of all – Best wishes and good luck! I wish you every success in your freelance endeavours.

Don’t forget poets. It may be harder to get paid for poetry but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Time Management Matters

Don’t spend too much time getting advice and suggestions. Time management is an important part of working as a freelance writer. You can’t add more hours to your day so use them well.

Ever Wonder What Happens to your Old Reviews?

I found this online tonight while looking for myself online. I looked up my married name which I didn’t keep for very long. But, I had forgotten I published using it. It was very nice to find my review of this book saved on the author’s site, no less!

myoldreview

 

I don’t know what my original headline would have been. I am quite sure I did save all my old content from the HerCorner site so it will be reposted on this site somewhere. But, here is the text form of the review for those who can’t see the image I took as a screenshot above.

Laura Tripp, hercorner.com
The hardest part of being a freelance writer is finding the courage to put your neck on the line. First, when you open yourself up to write, whether its fiction, non-fiction or a letter to your best friend, you have to open up about yourself to bring life to the writing. Secondly, writers need the courage to publish their writing. If you keep it in a box under your bed, safe from the world, its less scary but you are also stifling your voice. As a writer your voice is a treasure to share. Its a shame to keep it locked away, silent.

That’s why I bought the book The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear by Ralph Keyes. The purpose of the book is to encourage writers to reach out past their fears. However, the first half of the book describes the fears of other, already famous writers. Although these are stories of success meant to encourage its not really that helpful. I came looking for ways to help myself. That’s when I read far enough to get to the second half of the book. Its here the real advice and suggestions start.

One of my favourites is writing before you’re ready. Just start, don’t wait for everything to fall into place surprise yourself into writing. This is something that does work for me. How about using your fear. All that energy generated by your fear of failure, fear of being exposed as a fraud, etc., take it and use it as energy for writing. Get yourself charged up and then pick up a pen, turn on the computer and pour it all out into words. This is something that would take a little mental work but it could work. Could you write in your car, while waiting for your kids at the dentist, in the middle of a packed shopping mall or while sipping a coffee after dinner at your kitchen table. A change of place could bring you a change of pace if you’re feeling trapped by your surroundings, your mood or your fears.

Many other suggestions come up in the book. Each writer needs to read it to find what works for them and which appeals to them personally. There is a lot here for writers of all genres, personalities and skill levels. Here and there are writing tips, for the actual writing. I found this a good experience but I never really found what I was looking for on a personal level. I think my answers might be in a different book, one that covers self-esteem a little deeper. But its a good start at figuring myself out as a writer and it did make me feel inspired to write, create and most of all get my stuff published.

Writers Needed for Christmas in Canada

EXCITING NEWS FOR WRITERS!
From Janet Matthews

Canadian Co-author of
Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul

We need your stories for a brand new Canadian title…

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Christmas in Canada!

101 Stories about the Joy and Wonder of the Holidays, Canadian Style!

I’m very excited to let you, as writers, know about this great opportunity to get published. I’m hoping you will forward it to your members, include it in your newsletter, and/or post it on your website. Here’s why:
In October we released O Canada The Wonders of Winter,and the publisher was so pleased they’ve asked us to create another Canadian title for Christmas 2014! We received submissions from writers across Canada that belong to groups like this, and many of them were published!

We need true, dramatic stories, 1200 words or less, that take place at Christmas time in Canada. (Yes, you get paid!) Here are just some examples of topics:
• Festivals of lights, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, New Year’s and other holiday traditions and events that come with a great story
• Creches, passion plays and church events
• The fun – or challenges – of winter weather at Christmas
• Adapting your celebration when the weather gets in the way (like the 2013 ice storms – we KNOW there are some great stories out there – do you have one?)
• The tree… and other decorating traditions
• Love and Romance at Christmas
• Acts of kindness and generosity – in the true spirit of Christmas
• Hockey!…and all winter sports at Christmas
• Family ties and reunions, children, and friends old and new
• Heroes in our midst – at Christmas
• Neighbours and Community, and Christmas in Canada for new Canadians
• Animals at Christmas
• Family lore – those stories you tell over and over again!
• Christmas in the north – First Nation stories

Our publication date is October 2014, so the deadline for stories is May 30th.
For full writers guidelines and how to submit your story, visit my website, www.janetmatthews.ca or www.canadiansoul.com.

I wish you great success, and I really hope to hear from you!

Love to you,
Janet Matthews
Co-author of
Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul &
Chicken Soup for the Soul O Canada
The Wonders of Winter
janet@janetmatthews.ca
PS: One more thing. It would be so great if you could pass this message along to your friends and family and other writers…who may have a story! EVERY bit of help is really appreciated!