Vol. 4 Issue 1
January 1, 2001
ISSN: 1522-3728

Inscriptions, the weekly e-zine for professional writers
Web -- http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com

To subscribe, send an e-mail to Inscriptions-subscribe@topica.com.
To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to Inscriptions-unsubscribe@topica.com



~Editor's Note
~Quote of the Week
~Article -- How to Deal With Manuscript Errors When You Can't Afford a Proofreader by Melissa Pinol
~Article -- Fiction Craft Column by Robert Ferrier
~Inscriptions Forces of Nature Contest
~Inscriptions Bad Poetry Contest
~Publishing News and Notes
~Humor -- The Writer (with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe) by Mary Combrink
~Job Opportunities
~Link of the Week
~Electronic Book Club -- "Homage to a Princess" by Patrick P. Stafford
~Book Reviews -- "Jezebel and the Egghead" by Daisy Dexter Dobbs, "How to Become a Successful Import/Export Agent" by Fabian Krause, "City in the Sky" by Nick Grant, "Soul Food: Inspirational Stories for African Americans" by Eric V. Copage and "Ice Blink" by Scott Cookman
~Inscriptions Engraver Awards
~Subscription/Advertising Information



Happy New Year! We hope 2001 is filled with many publishing successes.


To celebrate the new millennium, we've added some new features to Inscriptions.

First, let me introduce Robert Ferrier, who will be writing the monthly Fiction Craft column. Robert is a published freelance writer and author of young adult books.

Secondly, we're launching the Inscriptions Engraver Awards. More details on this later in the issue.

Finally, our hearts and sympathies go out to Inscriptions freelancer Patricia Spork (spork@tyler.net), who lost her son last week.


Subscriber Larry Getlen (Zhet@aol.com) was quite intrigued by last week's article on query letters (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/122600a.html). We thought we'd share his comments with you:

"I found the article on query letters interesting and frustrating. Some of it I agreed with, some I did not. But one piece of advice in particular had me, a thoroughly logic-based individual, scratching my head. We're not writing on stone tablets, nor sending queries via telegraph. Isn't it time, then, that we phased out the archaic device known as the SASE when sending queries? From a logical standpoint, it makes no sense.

First of all, it is said that an SASE is required for editors to send a response. But doesn't that really mean that it's required if you want a rejection? If the editor you pitched likes the story idea and wants to hire you, they will usually call or e-mail you. Does any editor, in this day and age, send out a snail mail letter to tell a writer they would like to work with them? Not in my experience. Compared to phone or e-mail, that's the equivalent of sending a message via smoke signal. Therefore, that means that by sending an SASE, you are paying to be rejected. That's ridiculous. That's what dating is for.

Secondly, as alluded to above, this is the age of e-mail. Even if an editor really had something insightful to communicate in their rejection, wouldn't it be quicker and easier for them to use e-mail? Think about it -- after actually writing the letter (or calling up the form letter on their computer), they select all, copy, paste into an e-mail body, and hit "Send." Four key strokes, and it's done.

The other way, they have to actually print the letter, thereby wasting their paper and printer toner, get up from their chair, walk to the printer, get the letter, bring it back to their desk, get distracted on the way back by someone from advertising who ties them up telling them about how they spent their weekend hunting the great white snipe -- you get the picture. (And yes, I'm assuming that all editors, at this point in time, have and use e-mail. Can't imagine any writer or editor not having it. If they don't, they're lost.)

So, let's try to put some logic back in our profession and keep up with the times. And if anyone doesn't agree with me, feel free to drop a letter into your local postal box. Be sure to include an SASE so I can send back the appropriate reply."


Just a reminder. Our mailing address has changed to:

Inscriptions Magazine
Attn.: Jade Walker, Editor
500 Seventh Avenue
8th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10018

Please make a note of the change, particularly when sending ARCs of your latest releases.


Feel free to forward our e-zine to other writers interested in making money from their work. Encourage your writing and editing pals to enter our monthly contest and subscribe.

Have a great week!

Jade Walker, Editor



"You do not create a style. You work and develop yourself; your style is an emanation from your own being." --Katherine Anne Porter



Two teens battle a Cherokee witch in a novel of railroad sabotage and romance in Oklahoma's "Little Dixie." Read Chapter 1 of "The Witchery Way" at http://www.wordwrangler.com/robertferrier.html.



QUALITY EDITING AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE! Multi-published writer and editor offers professional editing for only $1.50 per page. Credits include NBC Internet, Eye on the Web, Inkspot, Dandelion Books and others. Books, scripts, articles and poems welcome. Bio and list of credits available at http://www.scribequill.com/bevbio.html


ARTICLE -- How to Deal With Manuscript Errors When You Can't Afford a Proofreader
By Melissa Pinol (ferimouse@yahoo.com)

In this article I will try to look at the needs of two groups of people: editors who are tired of receiving sloppy, badly written manuscripts sent by unprofessional writers, and serious, disabled writers whose errors may not be due to carelessness at all.

The fact is some writers struggle with visual difficulties which make it difficult for them to adhere to the standard expected by the profession without assistance of some sort. When assistance is not available, otherwise talented people are faced with the choice of either giving up, or doing the best they can and possibly bending a few rules in order to put their material out into the world.

As a former job placement counselor for disabled people, I saw many examples of qualified applicants who had to get into a company "through the back door" because they could not conform to rigid recruiting requirements. Most of these people did fine once they were on the inside.

When a disabled writer's option is to push the boundaries a bit or otherwise sit at home wasting their valuable writing talent, I think the choice is clear. You do what you can to make something of yourself.

I know there are a lot of struggling writers who have disabilities of one sort or another. I personally have a rather unusual one. It's called a "Visual-Perceptual Learning Disability." It basically means the visual center of my brain does not work normally, and that the information I take in through my eyes is often recorded partially or imperfectly. The neuro-psychologist who tested me said it was comparable to having a visual impairment.

How does this effect me as a writer? Dramatically. Though I have managed to sell a lot of my material, there is absolutely no way I can make sure there are no small errors in my manuscripts, no matter how obsessively I go over them. Sometimes I ask another person to help, but other people are not always available, and so I am on my own.

Why don't I just hire a proofreader? I am on disability income and cannot afford a professional proofreader at this time.

When I am on my own, there are inevitably errors or typos in my manuscripts that I simply cannot detect. Many editors have kindly ignored these errors and bought my material for its content. Others have been annoyed and implied that I must be "unprofessional" in some way because of a couple of errors I was unable to catch. The situation was especially bad when I was first starting out, and several times I was tempted to just give up.

Fortunately, I did not.

What exactly should people with visual or neurological problems do when submitting a manuscript? It is particularly intimidating when editors state clearly in their writer's guidelines that manuscripts be absolutely error-free. If you miss something, you're classified as a careless flake.

One suggestion I often receive is to mention in the cover letter that I have a disability and there might be errors in my work. Though this sounds very reasonable on the surface, I know for a fact from my job placement counselor experience that some employers (and probably editors) will be immediately turned off by what they see as "a bid for pity."

Who wants to read, "Oh, by the way, the errors you might find in the text are not really my fault, I have something wrong with my eyes (or with my brain)"? This sounds an awful lot like a feeble excuse for sloppiness.

After several years of struggling as a disabled writer, I have come up with a few rules that have given me the best chance at publishing success. These rules have allowed me to sell over 100 poems, articles and stories.

1. Do absolutely everything you can to get someone to proofread for you. Anyone. Grab a friend, family member, neighbor, whatever! Even a nonprofessional with good vision is likely to catch mistakes you couldn't detect.

Warning: Try to rotate people or your friends will start conveniently disappearing when they see you approach with a sheaf of papers.

2. If you can't find a proofreader, simply do not submit to publications that seem excessively picky about the issue of errors.

On the other hand, if you've read a sample copy of a publication that has some errors in it but otherwise features good material, that publication is a good bet for you. If they can't catch their own errors, they are less likely to make a big deal out of yours! I have also received writer's guidelines which contained errors even I could detect. None of these editors complained about my mistakes. It's a matter of mutual tolerance.

3. Always send well-written material. Excellence in grammar, sentence structure and content can help to offset other small errors you may have missed. If your story is really interesting, you can capture the editor's attention to the point that the "smaller stuff" loses its impact and importance.

4. Don't make a big deal about your disability or mention it in a prominent way in the cover letter. However, there are ways to hint at the situation. When you're giving a bio in the cover letter, mention your social involvement or membership in organizations that serve people with disabilities. If you've written articles on disability issues or had material appear in publications that are geared toward disabled readers, mention that as well and then go on to something else.

This is a subtle way of hinting at what is going on without throwing your disability in the editor's face. If the editor reads your story, likes it and notices a few errors in an otherwise well-written piece, he or she may remember you mentioning that you are involved in, say, the Lions Club, and say "Oh, that's what's going on..." when noticing errors that would be consistent for a person with poor vision.

5. Don't give up, and don't let yourself be intimidated by implications that you should have been able to do better when you know you did your best. Focus on becoming the best writer you possibly can be, and know there are editors out there who are flexible, tolerant and will want your material for its content.

If you keep working at it, you will find good editors. Once you establish a relationship with an editor who likes your stuff, it's usually okay to mention your disability. This will sometimes lead to interesting communications in which they admit that they sensed something unusual was going on, but didn't know how to broach the subject.

6. Remember that editors are people, too, and most of them are awfully tired of wading through carelessly written material. In my experience, most people do not even understand the connection between disability and errors, which is why I am writing this article. Enlighten, don't get angry or take it personally.

These suggestions have worked very well for me, and I hope they will help other disabled writers. I also hope that editors who read this article will see a different perspective and think about the fact that there may be reasons other that "sloppiness" for manuscript errors.



CALENDAR OF EVENTS -- Looking for something to do tonight? Check out the Inscriptions Calendar (http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/inscriptions). You'll find book signings, lectures, writing conferences and dozens of author appearances from all over the world. Want to add your own event? Send a press release with the event name, time, location, costs and other various details to editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "News."



BECOME A MOVIE REVIEWER -- Not only will you be able to offer your opinion about the latest flicks and favorite video rentals, you can also win free movies by playing Hollywood Trio. To subscribe, send an e-mail to MoviePoll-subscribe@topica.com.


Fiction Craft Column: An Introduction
By Robert Ferrier (ferrier@telepath.com)

As a beginning novelist 20 years ago, I knew writers who worried about choosing a premise, writing to the market or obtaining an agent.

I, on the other hand, thirsted for knowledge of fiction craft.

Novelists build stories from blocks, just as workmen build houses from bricks. To build our story house, we must know the materials, tools and techniques of our craft.

I gained knowledge the hard way: by attending classes, writers conferences and workshops. I learned from published authors. I joined writing groups. I read novels and instructional books. Most importantly, I completed eight novels and started several others. Every level in the New York publishing industry rejected me, from associate editor to executive publisher.


How did I avoid quitting? By feeding "the critter" inside me. The beast subsists on the words I write.

Salvation arrived in electronic publishing. E-book editors ignore marketing niches and gobble fresh, well-crafted stories. Barbara Quanbeck and Lesley Ehrhart at Word Wrangler Publishing heard my creative voice. They accepted the books, "The Witchery Way," "Dear Mr. Kapps" and "The Virtual Guard."

How do you separate your work from the slush that floods publishers' desks? By knowing and using fiction craft -- the building blocks of story.

In the coming months, I will share the techniques I've learned over two decades. Supplement this knowledge with your own writing, reading, study and professional relationships. Then feed your creative side and feel the rush of writing from your heart.


In this column we begin by exploring the engine which drives all commercial novels: Scene. Later columns will cover sequel, viewpoint, characterization, plot structure, dialogue and voice.

Scene: A unit of conflict experienced moment-by-moment by the reader through the character's viewpoint. The elements of scene include goal, conflict and disaster.

A scene goal represents something that a character wants or needs to achieve the story quest. Examples include, but are not limited to:

* Possession (such as a clue, a piece of information, victory in a confrontation)

* Relief (from danger, fear, domination, loneliness, poverty or revenge) from loss, betrayal or injury.

Scene goals must advance the viewpoint character's story quest. For example, here's the scene goal from Chapter 3 of "The Witchery Way" -- Josh Wade must convince Joe Buck to give him a job on the Choctaw railroad, thus providing a secret opportunity to learn who is sabotaging the line.

Scene goals force the viewpoint character to take immediate, specific and concrete steps, requiring both decision and action. These goals loom large in the character's story quest. In other words, something vital must be at stake.

Next month: Scene Conflict.

Suggested Reading:

* "Techniques of the SellingWriter" by Dwight V. Swain http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0806111917/inscriptions
* "Scene and Structure" by Jack M. Bickham http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0898799066/inscriptions
* "Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting" by Robert McKee http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060391685/inscriptions

©2000 Robert Ferrier



REALITY CHECK: MIT physicist David Strock receives an invitation from the head of the Superconducting Supercollider project in Texas ... the Gate is becoming unstable and his Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics may be the last chance to save it. Find out how Strock handles this situation in Michael A. Burstein's short story, "Reality Check" (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=387&id=6815).



WRITERS NEEDING INPUT -- This free service offers you the chance to find the sources you so desperately need on deadline. If you require input on an article, short story or novel and can't find the right expert, simply e-mail (Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com) with the subject heading "News," and include your search query in the body of the message. If you have a deadline, list it too. Or, visit this section of our News area (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/News.html) and help out other writers in need of sources.



The Forces of Nature Contest has ended. Winners will be announced in the Jan. 8th issue of Inscriptions.



Roses are red.
Violets aren't green.
I love my man
because he's so keen.

Yes, we're groaning too. Now it's up to you to truly make us ill by writing the world's worst love poem. Hokey is preferred. Lame, clichéd and saccharine will be enjoyed.

There is no fee to enter the Bad Poetry Contest (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Bad.html). Entries must be written in English, however, the writer can live anywhere in the world. Paste your entry directly into the body of an e-mail and send to Contest@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Bad Poetry Contest." Include your real name, pen name (if applicable), mailing address and e-mail address at the BOTTOM of the entry. Enter as often as you like.

Entries without complete author information at the bottom of the e-mail, sent in other formats (including attached files), missing a title or with the incorrect subject heading will be disqualified. Each entry will be acknowledged, once received by the Inscriptions staff.


1st place -- $50 gift certificate from Amazon.Com (or cash equivalent), a box of Godiva chocolates and publication in Inscriptions.

We only ask for one-time electronic rights for the winning entries. Reprints are welcome. Deadline for all entries is Jan. 26, 2001. Winners will be announced in the Feb. 9th issue of Inscriptions.



JADED WRITINGS (http://www.topica.com/lists/JadedWritings) -- Delve into the life and mind of Jade Walker, a New York City writer with a unique perspective of the world. Columns are published on the Website every Wednesday, and contain a broad range of topics and opinions. Be entertained, outraged, informed or educated. Last week's column: The Cruelty of Man.



GET PAID FASTER: PayPal (https://secure.paypal.x.com/refer/pal=maidenfate@40aol.com) is a completely free service that lets users Beam Money to anyone with an e-mail address. Use PayPal to pay your writers or get paid by your freelance jobs -- all with the click of a mouse! PayPal deposits the money to an existing credit card or bank account. It's faster, safer and easier than mailing a personal check. Plus, you don't have to wait for the check to arrive!



~All New (Web sites/Designs/Content/Zines/Publications)

Gaming Express Magazine (http://www.winhourly.com), a publication focused on online gambling, recently debuted.

Williams-Sonoma Taste, a quarterly food, entertaining and travel magazine, recently premiered.

Write Daily (http://www.writedaily.com), a Website offering a daily prompt for writers to get their writing muscles limbered up, recently launched.

Cybook (http://www.cytale.com), a European e-book reader capable of holding up to 15,000 pages, will premiere on Jan 22. Cost will be 5,700 francs ($1,175).

NoSpine.com (http://www.NoSpine.com), an electronic publisher for self-published authors, recently launched.

MagazineContent (http://www.magazinecontent.com), a company focused on the marketing and syndication of magazine content, recently debuted its Website.

MaryJanice Davidson has been tapped to write the column, "Book Promotion on a Budget," for Inkspot (http://www.inkspot.com/feature/davidson/index.html).

Frommer's and IDG Books Worldwide, Inc. have joined forces to publish the new "For Dummies" travel series (http://www.dummies.com).

The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com), the daily entertainment trade publication, recently premiered a digital East coast edition. THR-East is distributed via e-mail in Adobe Acrobat Reader files.

Internet.com (http://www.Internet.com) recently launched ConsoleWire.com (http://www.consolewire.com), a Web site providing news and information on the Internet-enabled console industry.


~Publishing Industry Changes

Futures Magazine has changed its URL (http://www.futuresforstorylovers.com), and become a paying market. It has also hired Margaret Searles as the new associate fiction editor and George Scott as the new review director.

Web Writers Report (http://www.Webwritersreport.com) has switched to a twice a week publishing format.

Syndicated columnist L.M. Boyd, a.k.a. Mike Mailway, has retired. His final column was published last Saturday in 400 newspapers.


~Publishing-Related Mailing Lists/E-zines

Michele R. Bardsley is offering her romantic suspense novel, "Midnight Intentions," in a serial format. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (MidnightIntentions-subscribe@egroups.com).

ASJA Contracts Watch (http://www.asja.org/cw/cw.php), a newsletter filled with news of the latest contract disputes in the publishing industry, is available for free in e-mail format. To subscribe, send an e-mail (NEWSCASTER@SILVERQUICK.COM) with the subject and message, "JOIN CONTRACTSWATCH."

AllWriters1 (http://www.egroups.com/community/allwriters1) is a mailing list for writers of fiction and nonfiction. Shirley Dicks, author of eight books, is the moderator.

The Book Dragon Review (http://www.bookdragonreview.com), an e-zine for serious genre fiction fans, offers reviews, news and a list of forthcoming titles. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (subscribe@bookdragonreview.com).

A Fiction Book Club (http://www.egroups.com/community/AFBC) is a reading group for lovers of fiction. It reads one book a month, nominated by and voted on by the members and then discussed with the group. Any book in any genre may be nominated.


~Rate Increases Announced

Express delivery services, United Parcel Service and Federal Express have announced plans to increase their rates in 2001.

UPS (http://www.ups.com) said it will raise its air express rates 3.7% in February for one- , two- and three-day delivery. Ground delivery rates will also increase by 3.1%.

FedEx (http://www.fedex.com) will raise domestic rates by 4.9% on Feb. 1. Export rates will increase by 2.9%.


~Hollywood News

Alfred Uhry is currently adapting "The Diary of Anne Frank," into a feature film for Fox 2000.


~Legal News

Mystery writer Brett De La Mare was arrested for trespassing last week after he used a paraglider to touch down at Buckingham Palace to publicize his unpublished novel.

Roxy Anne Trent is suing The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Texas for publishing a false obituary -- hers. Trent blames her ex-boyfriend, a man who works at the B.T. Austin & Sons Funeral Home, for allegedly sending the newspaper the obituary form, claiming Trent had died of an "apparent homicide."



Richard Bergholz, veteran political reporter for The Los Angeles Times, recently died of a stroke. He was 83. Bergholz spent 50 years covering American politics. He retired from The Times in 1985.

Al Fox, veteran political reporter for The Birmingham News in Alabama, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 77.

Robert Hipple, former editor and publisher of the Daily Capital Journal in Pierre, S.D., recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 100. After his father's death, Hipple took over as editor and publisher of the newspaper in 1939. In 1983, he won the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Distinguished Service Award.

Nancy Powell, journalist, recently died. Cause of death was not released. She was 80. Powell was the first woman hired by The Palm Beach Post in Florida to cover hard news.

Charles Rembar, writer and literary agent, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 85. His writings appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Esquire and The New York Times. An ardent opponent of censorship, Rembar received a George Polk Memorial journalism award for his book, "The End of Obscenity."

Sam Savitt, author and artist, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 83. Savitt published 15 coffee table and children's books, and illustrated 150 books for other writers. He was the official artist of the United States Equestrian Team, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Horseman's Association in 1988.

Virginia Spiller, former reporter and columnist for The San Diego Union in California, recently died of cancer. She was 86. Spiller, who previous worked as the women's editor of the El Centro Post-Press, was also the former president of the California Press Women. She retired in 1992.

Robert B. Wellington, former editor and publisher of The Ottawa Herald in Kansas, recently died of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 78. Wellington ran the newspaper from 1961 to 1987.


~Writers Needing Input

Mandy Hougland-Borgmeier (ahoug@yahoo.com) is looking for information on e-mail privacy. She needs to get in contact with people who have had their e-mail hacked into (or their passwords cracked) by outside sources. She would also like to hear from anyone who has information on how widespread a problem this is or anyone who knows how it is done.


~Informed Caution

Kozmo.com (http://www.kozmo.com) recently laid off 275 employees.

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam held a book raid this week to collect six tons of books, newspapers and magazines labeled "poisonous cultural items." All of these items were destroyed. The city also burned 6,000 videotapes, 5,000 cassettes and 51,000 CDs and CD-ROMs.

PlanetGov.com (http://www.PlanetGov.com) laid off 45 people this week, including 90% of its editorial team.


~Dead Publications

Electronic publisher Bookmice.com (http://www.bookmice.com) has shut down.

The Vail Trail newspaper in Colorado has canceled its daily edition. The weekly version will continue.

Andrew Seybold's Outlook has ceased publication.

Modestyle.com (http://www.Modestyle.com) has closed.


Know of a new publication? Heard that an editorial position has changed? Need some input for your articles or books? Send us a press release for inclusion in the Publishing News and Notes area. To receive a copy of our media kit, simply send a blank e-mail (inscriptions_3@sendfree.com).



The Inscriptions Birthday Club (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Birthday.html) -- Newspapers and calendars often tout the birthdays of famous politicians and movie stars. So Inscriptions has created a birthday listing for writers. If you're interested in being listed, send an e-mail (Birthday@inscriptionsmagazine.com) with your full name and date of birth in month/day/year format in the body of the message.



AWARD-WINNING FICTION: Congrats to our Hugo Award winners and nominees! These stories represent some of the most recognized science fiction of the year! Michael Swanwick, John Patrick Kelly, Mike Resnick, Tom Purdom and Nick DiChario all offer intriguing stories in this inexpensive cache (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=250&id=6815). Buy several e-books with a single click!



~Award Winners

Howard Tyner, editor of The Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com) was named editor of the year by the National Press Foundation, for the paper's examination of the death penalty in Illinois and Texas.

The winners of the 2000 UPC Science Fiction Awards were recently announced:

* First Prize -- "Buscador de Sombras" by Javier Negrete and "Salir de Fase" by Jose Antonio Cotrina (tie)
* Special Mention -- "Del Cielo Profundo y del Abismo" by Jose Luis Zarate
* UPC Mention -- "Halgol" by Miguel Lopez


~Book Signings and Author Appearances

Dr. Eric Maisel will sign copies of his book, "Sleep Thinking," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the East West Bookshop, 324 Castro in Mountain View, Calif. For more information, call Richard Gazdayka at (650) 988-9800.

Orson Scott Card will sign copies of his book, "Ender's Game," at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. For more information, call Linda Urban at (626) 449-5320. He will also sign copies of his book, "Shadow of the Hegemon," at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 at Barnes & Noble, 3600 Stevens Creek Blvd. in San Jose, Calif. For more information, e-mail (crm1944@bn.com).

Susan Sontag will sign copies of her book, "In America," at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 at Barnes and Noble, 33 E.17th St. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 253-0810.

Millie Criswell will sign copies of her book, "The Trouble With Mary," at 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 at Borders Books, Route 3, Central Park in Fredericksburg, Va. For more information, call Shelly Ridder at (540) 785-9577.

Stephen J. Cannell will sign copies of his book, "The Tin Collectors," at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 at Barnes and Noble, 1972 Broadway in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 595-6859.


~Published Articles, Stories, Poems and Interviews

Mary SanGiovanni (http://marysnightmares.Webjump.com) has published the story, "What Comes Around," on Horrorfind (http://www.horrorfind.com/fiction-bin/story.cgi?linkStory&Mary%20SanGiovanni%23What%20Comes%20Around).

Terri Clark (TerriClark4@aol.com) has published the short story, "Christmas Cowboy," on Themestream (http://www.themestream.com/gspd_browse/browse/view_article.gsp?c_id=240773).

Karen Wiesner (http://karenwiesner.hypermart.net) has published the column, "Top 10 Things E-Authors Hate to Hear," on Inkspot (http://www.inkspot.com/karen).

Rachel Kramer Bussel (raquelita8@yahoo.com) has published the story, "Monica and Me," in the anthology, "Best Lesbian Erotica 2001."


~Published Books -- Fiction

Calley Moore (CalleyM2000@aol.com) will publish the mystery novel, "Dying for Charisma," in January in electronic format with Ebooksonthe.net.

Mary SanGiovanni (http://marysnightmares.Webjump.com) has self-published the chapbook, "The 37 Parts of Albie Muensch."

Denise Gasta and Gregory Michel have published the children's book, "The Butterfly Garden," in electronic format with Writers Exchange E-Publishing.

Reed Arvin has published the thriller, "The Will," in hardcover with Scribner.

Michael C. Haley has published the historical fiction novel, "Durango Gold," in paperback with Poncha Press.

Carl W. Goggins has published the novel, "A Journey to Enchantment," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Ty Drago has published the mystery novel, "The Franklin Affair," with Regency Press.

Betty Furness Oakes has published the novel, "The Twin," in paperback with Writers Club Press.

Diana Kemp-Jones has published the science fiction novel, "Embracing the Skull," in electronic format with Clocktower Fiction.

Jack Bilello has published the novel, "American Patrol," with Temple Publishing Group.

Laura Mazzuca Toops (LMazzToops@gateway.net) has published the novel, "Slapstick," in electronic format with LTD Books.

Jan Lister Caldwell (j_listercaldwell@hotmail.com) has published the children's book, "Time-Travel Runaway," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

J. Hal Forbes has published the novel, "Greed, Gold & Turtle Grass," in electronic format with Fiction Forest.

Alan Macleod has published the novel, "To Capture a King," in electronic format with Zander Ebooks.

Jan Springer (thewritinghermit@crosswinds.net) has published the romantic suspense novel, "As Big as the Sky," in electronic format with Ebooksonthe.net.

Ruby Hunter Greenlaw (eston@nbnet.nb.ca) has published the short story collection, "Secrets," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Richard Lundeen (cen97180@centurytel.net) has published the novel, "The Madhouse Candidate," in electronic format with MightyWords.com, and in paperback with Firstpublish.com.

Karen Wiesner (kwiesner@cuttingedge.net) has published the romance novel, "First Love," in paperback and electronic format with Hard Shell Word Factory, and the paranormal romance, "Sweet Dreams," in paperback and electronic format with Avid Press.

Kate Saundby (shippard@wk.net) has published the fantasy novel, "A Circle of Arcs," in electronic format with Crossroads Publishing.

Julianna Smith (Julia@granthem.com) has published the paranormal fiction novel, "Dream Catcher," in paperback and electronic format with Xlibris.

Tonya Ramagos will publish the young adult novel, "Love Triangle," in January in electronic format with Disk Us Publishing.

Moses Cramden has published the science fiction novel, "Two Thousand Eighty Four," with 1st Books.


~Published Books -- Nonfiction

Melaine Ryther (http://hometown.aol.com/mmryther/NightOwl.html) has published the nonfiction book, "A Book of Quotes for Writers," with Roberts Publishing.

Robert Torricelli and Andrew Carroll have published the nonfiction book, "In Our Own Words: Extraordinary Speeches of the American Century," in paperback with Washington Square Press.

Bernard J. Srode has published the nonfiction book, "When in Doubt, Follow the Yellow Brick Road," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Khidhir Hamza and Jeff Stein have published the nonfiction book, "Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda," in hardcover with Scribner.

H. Paul Jeffers has published the biography, "Sal Mineo: His Life, Murder and Mystery," in hardcover with Caroll & Graf.

David Berlinski has published the biography, "Newton's Gift: How Sir Isaac Newton Unlocked the System of the World," in hardcover with The Free Press.

Patricia L. Fry (plfry@aol.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book," in paperback with Matilija Press. Fry also published the nonfiction book, "A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit," in paperback with Matilija Press.

Hunter S. Thompson has published the memoir, "Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Bryan Cahill (bryancahill32@aol.com) has published the nonfiction book, "The Disgruntled Employees' Ultimate Handbook," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Robert Sullivan has published the nonfiction book, "A Whale Hunt: Two Years on the Olympic Peninsula With the Makah and Their Canoe," in hardcover with Scribner.

Ellen Sandbeck has published the nonfiction book, "Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles: Amusing and Useful Techniques for Nontoxic Housekeeping and Gardening," in paperback with Broadway Books.

Cheryl Mendelson has published the nonfiction book, "Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House," in hardcover with Scribner.

Roger Cantu (roger@meditationclub.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Powerful Mental Development," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Gershom Gorenberg has published the nonfiction book, "The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount," in hardcover with The Free Press.

Bill Johnson has published the nonfiction book, "A Story is a Promise: Good Things to Know Before You Write That Screenplay, Novel or Play," in paperback with Blue Heron Publishing.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler have published the self-help book, "Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living," in hardcover with Scribner.

Lewis J. Swindle has published the nonfiction book, "The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Northern Mines of California's Mother Lode Gold Belt, as Told by the Newspapers and Miners, 1848-1875," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Tadahiko Nagao and Isamu Saito have published the self-help book, "Kokology: The Game of Self-Discovery," in paperback with Fireside.

Lon Milo DuQuette has published the nonfiction book, "My Life with the Spirits: The Adventures of a Modern Magician," in paperback with Samuel Weiser.

Roger Coghill has published the nonfiction book, "The Book of Magnet Healing: A Holistic Approach to Pain Relief," in paperback with Fireside.

Joanne Eglash (schmoozedotcom@yahoo.com) has published the nonfiction book, "How to Write a0 .com Business Plan: The Internet Entrepreneur's Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Business Plans and Financing Options," with McGraw-Hill.

Russell Kaye and W. Hodding Carter have published the nonfiction book, "An Illustrated Viking Voyage: Retracing Leif Eriksson's Journey in an Authentic Viking Knarr," in hardcover with Pocket Books.

Alyce Wilson (awilson@uplink.net) has published the biography, "Will Smith," in electronic format with Dope Fest.

Julie Gillentine, Alan Oken, Jonathan Sharp and Constance Stellas have published the nonfiction book, "The Hidden Power of Everyday Things: A Complete Personology Guide to Your Lifestyle for Each Day of the Year," in paperback with Pocket Books.

Jack Schroder (http://www.JackSchroder.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Then Why Does It Still Hurt?" in paperback with Infinity Press.


Speaking online? Giving a book signing? Publishing a new article or book? Win a contest? Inscriptions would like to promote you and your achievements. Send us a press release for inclusion in the Promotions area. To receive a copy of our media kit, simply send a blank e-mail (inscriptions_3@sendfree.com).



WANT MORE? -- Then visit the Inscriptions Website (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com). There you'll find the tip of the week, our electronic book club, free downloads for writers, surveys, archives of past issues, birthday listings for writers, our new Book Shelf feature and more!



WHAT ARE YOU READING? -- The Book Shelf section of Inscriptions (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/BookShelf.html) needs your input. Each week, we'll e-mail subscribers to ask what book they're currently reading. If you'd like to be e-mailed first, let us know! Drop us a line at Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com and include "Book Shelf" in the subject heading.



The Writer (with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe)
By Mary Combrink (MRCom3@aol.com)

Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered, weak and weary
Over yet another query to some hostile editor.
My fingers ceased their tapping, and I closed my eyes, and napping,
Envisioned myself wrapping up this dream forevermore.
Put to rest this ceaseless yearning to be a writer evermore.
And I sighed out, "Nevermore!"

But I finished up my query, and with eyes all red and bleary,
I addressed the cursed query to that unseen editor.
The thing that I'd created, would it be seen and be hated?
I fretted and I waited for three months -- it seemed like more
Yes, the fearful, frightful waiting for three months or maybe more
And I gasped out, "Nevermore!"

At long last the letter came, my heart beat faster at my name
On the envelope I had enclosed to that young editor.
And I stood there, my knees shaking, and my stomach all a-quaking,
And I felt my heart a-breaking at the words that were in store
At the general form rejection that I knew was yet in store
And I cried out, "Nevermore!"

I hid behind a closed door, then I ripped and pulled and soon tore
Out the letter that was written by that blessed editor.
"We found your work delightful; it was smart, fun and insightful
You truly have a rightful place among our writers' corps.
Yes, we welcome you with joy into our gilded writers' corps."

And I sobbed out, "This is absolutely the happiest day of my life, better
even than having kids and I can't believe you picked me, ME!, of all people,
out of the slush pile, and I'll do anything, even take a piddly advance,
even give up all rights, just for the chance to see my work published
by a major publishing company and I'll never complain about the publishing process again.
Never, never, never ... "Nevermore."


If you have any writing, publishing or media-related humor or insights, please send them to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Humor."



DAILY INSPIRATION -- Get a writing or publishing-related quotation in your e-mail box everyday with The Written Word (http://www.topica.com/lists/TheWrittenWordEZine)! It's better than a calendar, and more helpful than a book you rarely browse. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to TheWrittenWordEZine-subscribe@topica.com.



PROMOTE YOURSELF -- We have 4,800+ subscribers, all of whom love to read and write. Purchase inexpensive advertising space in Inscriptions (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Advertising.html), the weekly e-zine for professional writers, and sell writing-related goods and services. To receive our advertising rates, simply send a blank e-mail (Inscriptions_1@sendfree.com).




ISP Weekly is a weekly hard copy magazine (with a standard magazine size 8.5"x11" full color glossy) serving 10,000 ISPs all over North America. We also operate ispweekly.com (http://www.ispweekly.com), the online version of the magazine, and your reports may be published in print, online or both.

The candidate should have experience writing on technology subjects with clips and/or URLs to prove it. Strong writing skills, topic specific knowledge and the ability to adhere to deadlines is critical. The applicant will be expected to keep up with industry trends and write a weekly article for their section. HTML and/or graphic skills are a plus. The time allotted for this job is 10 hours per week, $13/hour. This is a contract position.

The following sections are currently available:

* Streaming Media, Content Networks, Cache
* General Software, Billing Software, Dial-up Software
* Access, Backbone, Wireless
* Hardware, Routers & Hubs, Switches
* Services, Outsourcing
* Marketing

To apply for this position, send us a cover letter telling us why you would be good for this job. Tell us your strengths and expertise, also how well you know the Internet -- and NOT as a surfer! E-mail resumes and clips to the Online Editor (hf@ispweekly.com).


~Various Editorial Positions

A U.S.-based, start-up magazine and Web venture for entrepreneurs and small businesses needs writers, columnists and editors on a contract basis beginning immediately. Relevant industry experience and the ability to operate remotely and effectively with minimal editorial guidance are critical.

The publication seeks to develop long term, mutually lucrative relationships with quality content creators, both experienced journalists seeking to augment their work and business professionals seeking to diversify their careers, enhance their public exposure and/or express themselves creatively.

All work will be done off-site; applicants from anywhere in the world will be considered. Fees will be comparable to standard industry practice and commensurate with experience and notoriety.

The publication will cover entrepreneurs and management of businesses that have typically from one to 50 employees, as well as angel investors, venture capitalists and incubators/accelerators. Initially the publication will circulate in North America, but the company's objectives are to publish global, country-specific and regional editions. It is intended that the first issue will go to press during the second quarter, 2001.

The magazine will maintain a policy of editorial independence and is not a subsidiary of or funded by a large corporation, government, think tank, political party or political action committee. The publication will focus on
accuracy and objectivity, with the goal of providing to its subscribers useful information in an upbeat and fresh format. The magazine welcomes a diversity of opinion.

In addition to accepting story ideas and articles on speculation only, we seek specialists for the following sections:

1. Q&A -- Experts in marketing, law, accounting, Web design, advertising, human resources, banking and taxation who will be interviewed regularly.

2. Columns -- Writers with substantial professional and/or academic backgrounds in small business, venture capital, business management, IPOs and technology. Ideal candidates for this position are CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, VCs, university professors and think tank academics, all with wit and wisdom.

3. Columns -- Businessmen and women who run their own small business, from small-caps to struggling start-ups.

4. Book reviews.

5. Policy -- Including such topics as lobbying (national and international), Internet taxation, economic analysis and legislation.

6. Hard News reporting -- IPOs, M&As, etc.

7. Cartoons.

8. Product reviews -- Software, hardware and services.

9. Features -- Promising start-ups and successful entrepreneurs, business and sector analysis.

In addition to specific sections, we seek writers and reporters based in and intimate with the following areas:

1. Atlanta
2. Australia and New Zealand
3. Boston
4. Brazil
5. Canada
6. Germany
7. Hong Kong
8. Israel
9. Latin America
10. Mexico
11. Portland
12. Research Triangle
13. Seattle
14. Silicon Alley
15. Silicon Valley
16. Taiwan
17. United Kingdom
18. U.S. Midwest

Queries should show a significant grasp of subject matter, a clear and well-defined thesis, a list of probable contacts and a reporting outline. The publication requires features from 1,500 to 6,000 words in length. More
newsy material will run 50 to 1,000 words, while reviews will run between 200 and 1,800 words. Columns will run between 500 and 1,500 words.

If you wish to submit a reworked story and have sold prior rights, please disclose fully the original published format, date and how you intend to significantly rework the material.

Our editorial policy requires full disclosure and transparency of our contributors' stakes in the subject matter where applicable.

As an example of content and style, the editor's tastes include page-1-column-4-Wall Street Journal Stories, "Stanley Bing" and the veracity and poignancy of Fast Company and The New York Times Magazine. However, the editor encourages audacity, unconventional tactics and story packages that will translate well to new media.

If you have a story to pitch or if you feel you would be a good fit for one of the positions or regions listed above, please e-mail (magazine_startup@yahoo.com) your resume, writing samples, compensation requirements and references. Respondents of merit will receive replies by Jan. 15, 2001. The publication is an equal opportunity employer.


~Technology Editor

Ability to report, write and edit stories about new media and the entertainment industry. Knowledge of and contacts in the music business are pluses.

Send resume to Don Jeffrey, 770 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10003 or fax (646) 654-4681.



Harcourt Learning Direct (http://www.harcourt-learning.com) seeks RVTs, DVMs and VMDs to write study guides (to accompany veterinary technician textbooks) and/or study units. Assignments contracted for pre-negotiated, fixed fee. Send resume/writing sample to Carolyn Yencharis (cyenchar@harcourt.com) or write to Harcourt Learning Direct, 925 Oak Street, Scranton, Penn. 18515.



An editor/writer sought by leading e-learning company to manage and expand several topic areas. Editor will also manage the production process, set curriculum and write courses. An understanding and interest in finance is required. Please e-mail (jobs@zoologic.com) resume, cover letter and salary requirements.


~Senior Editor

Come work in an exploding industry! Penton Media (http://www.penton.com), a leading B2B media company, is seeking a Senior Editor to contribute to the tremendous and on-going growth of our Internet World Magazine, "The Voice of E-Business & Internet Technology," located in our Burlingame, Calif. office.

You will develop and write stories for Internet World (http://www.Internetworld.com) and related newsletters and represent the magazine in meetings with vendors and at industry trade shows/conferences. The successful candidate will have three to five years experience as a writer and/or editor for a newspaper, magazine or other news operations. Knowledge of the Internet industry a plus.

We offer a competitive benefit package, which includes 401(k) with company match, employee stock purchase plan and pension. For immediate consideration, please e-mail (Recruiting@penton.com) resume with cover letter including salary history. EOE.


~Freelance Writer

Freelance writer wanted for award-winning Internet and print bed & breakfast guides. Are you a creative, highly productive journalist/travel writer able to provide rapid turnaround? Prefer South Orange County, Calif. writer for ease in collecting and delivering gathered resources from our office. Five to 10 hours a week currently, but may lead to additional work. Average pay is $18 to $24/hour. Please e-mail (spraycliff@yahoo.com) sample of work and resume or fax to (949) 499-4022.


~Project Manager/Writer

This full-time, on-site freelance position primarily serves as the project manager of The Pages, MTV Networks' global monthly magazine, which entails overseeing day-to-day procedures, as well as ongoing projects and related budgets.

In addition, the position contributes editorially to the magazine and its complementary Web site, The Pages Online, participating in brainstorming sessions to develop section/story ideas, reporting, interviewing, writing, fact-checking and proofreading.

Professional project management and writing experience are mandatory; editing and proofreading skills are helpful. Ideal candidate also possesses superb organizational, interpersonal and communication skills; attention to
detail; ability to prioritize and juggle many projects at once, and, above all, enthusiasm. Bachelor of Arts in English, Journalism or Communications preferred.

Position is part of MTV Networks Creative Services department, which provides print and promotional materials for the channels (MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon/NICK at NITE, Noggin, TNN, CMT, TV Land, The Digital Suite From MTV and VH1 and Comedy Central) and corporate divisions of MTVN.

Please send a resume, cover letter and a few brief writing samples as soon as possible to the attention of Senior Editor/Manager, MTV Networks Creative Services, 1515 Broadway, 30th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10036. Applications may also be faxed to (212) 846-1933. Written applications only. We will not return phone calls.



My name is Michael Werner and I am the CEO and publisher of Intellectua.com (http://www.intellectua.com). We develop and deliver publications (in e-book format) for various business, how-to, Web and computer subjects. In 2001, we will be expanding our offerings dramatically.

One new series we will be offering is on something we're calling "Hot Jobs." We will be producing a series of e-books that focus on how to break into a new job in a given area. We are looking for authors -- and this is a paid writing opportunity -- who have extensive work background in the field we are writing about in our 'Hot Jobs' series. I emphasize that there is a been-there-done-that requirement for this series; and, the more experience doing the job you're writing about, the better. We pay quarterly royalties and will consider a small advance if you match our criteria perfectly.

The Hot Jobs Series at Intellectua.com offers short, very targeted publications about exciting careers in fascinating industries. Each e-book in the series will be delivered in Adobe PDF format via our e-commerce Website or through one of our many hundreds of affiliate sites. Each Hot Job title runs between 20 and 30 pages (Word format, double-spaced) and contains at least 20 to 25 Web links.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The author of each book in the series is currently in the job written about, has held that job in the past or has completed extensive research in that job market.

The titles we currently seek include, but are not limited to, the following:

How to Become a/an:

1. Computer Repair Technician
2. Freelance Photographer
3. Actor
4. Illustrator
5. Children's Book Author
6. Cartoonist
7. Business Consultant or Coach
8. Online Stock Trader
9. Real Estate Investor
10. Graphic Artist
11. Website Designer
12. Screenwriter
13. Home-Business Owner
14. Crafter
15. Chef
16. Information Publisher
17. Genealogist
18. Wedding Planner
19. Computer Software Trainer
20. Technical Writer
21. College Scholarship Advisor or Consultant
22. Management or Sales Trainer
23. Computer Software Programmer
24. Paralegal
25. Tour, Adventure Travel, or Wilderness Guide
26. Mystery Shopper
27. Voice-Over or Radio Announcer
28. Professional Gambler
29. Game Show Contestant
30. Syndicated Columnist
31. PC or Video Game Designer
32. Motivational or Public Speaker

Please send letter of interest in e-mail (michael@smtp.intellectua.com).



A Healthy Habit Magazine (http://www.geocities.com/healthmag/guidelines) is seeking articles on
plastic surgery in other countries, preferably Mexico and neighboring countries, as well as Canada, Asia, Europe. Articles must include commonly sought-after procedures in plastic surgery, the qualifications/training of surgeons, the facilities, cost, etc., as compared to that of the U.S.

This is a special feature project and will be paid between $350 to $500 for a 2,000 to 3,000 word article with photos. Sources must be well-defined and solid. Visit Web site for general guidelines. Deadline is Feb. 28. For more information, e-mail (assigneditor@linkpublications.teamon.com).


~Freelance Writers

Can you write at least one 800 to 1,000 word article per week? Every week? We need reliable freelance writers interested in earning a steady part-time income from home. Pays flat rate on publication. Topics include Education, Careers, Business, Life, Travel and Immigration. Please paste your bio or resume and one clip into body of e-mail (okwriter@peakonline.com). Please indicate which topic interests you. We welcome new writers interested in a great opportunity to grow with us.



We're a new Web site (http://www.virtual-stage.com) looking for writers who are interested in theatre to submit articles pertaining to all aspects of the theatre life. We will pay a fee to those whose submissions are accepted. For more information, e-mail (admin@virtual-stage.com).


~Freelance Copy Editor

Freelance copy editor needed for nine-week project beginning in early January. Applicants should have magazine copyediting experience and a familiarity with Word and Quark XPress. Light fact-checking required. Please include resume in text of e-mail to Christina Kozma (ckozma@forbes.com).


~Assistant Editor/Writer

Assistant editor needed for all aspects of production and distribution of association publications and written materials.

Qualifications: Ability to write, edit, interview and prepare feature articles. College degree or equivalent experience preferred. Military/legislative background a plus.

Excellent benefit program. Mail resume with salary requirements before Jan. 2, 2001 to Fleet Reserve Association, 125 N. West St., Alexandria, Va. 22314-2754, or fax to (703) 549-6610. No phone calls accepted.



Calling entertainment writers to write for a new e-mag being conceived on the lines of Rolling Stone Magazine. We need freelancers with fresh story ideas to do features and interviews. Payment will be $300 for 1,500 words.
E-mail (patrickchat@journalist.com) with a list of credits, story/feature ideas and samples. No attachments please.


~Ghost Writer

Looking for a ghost writer for a how-to book on wedding receptions. We are going to self-publish it in a 100 to 110 page paperback format. Should be a fairly quick and straight forward job. Prefer someone with verifiable
how-to/self-help book experience. E-mail (bcox@texasdjs.com) with rates and for more information.




Franklin Templeton, Inc., one of the financial industry's most successful and influential investment management companies is seeking a creative wordsmith with a keen interest in writing original copy for printed marketing materials.

In this position you will work closely with Product Marketing, Dealer Communications and Electronic Business to write copy that supports their product platforms. Candidates for consideration will possess the following
skill sets and qualifications:

* Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience.

* Three or more years of experience writing engaging copy for ads or marketing pieces. Demonstrated ability to write succinct/punchy copy, that will sell product.

* Advertising agency experience a plus.

* Excellent communication and project management skills.

* Familiarity with financial topics and mutual fund industry preferred.

Franklin Templeton Investments, located in San Mateo, Calif. offers an excellent compensation and benefits plan, including bonus potential, a stock purchase plan, tuition reimbursement, a company-matched 401(k) plan and a casual work environment. Interested applicants should e-mail (mcoyne@frk.com) a resume with writing samples, or fax (650) 312-3655.


~Freelance Copy Editor

Must have a minimum of three years copyediting experience in a publishing environment, preferably in magazines. Familiarity with The Chicago Manual of Style and Words Into Type, and ability to follow house style sheets required. Knowledge of Quark XPress and CopyDesk desirable. Fax cover letter and resume to (323) 965-7145. No telephone calls, please.


Inscriptions reprints job notices for free to benefit writers and editors looking for publishing jobs. We find that these free ads help both the company looking for content providers and the writers/editors searching for work. Inscriptions is not responsible for positions that fill quickly. While most editorial jobs have freelance or telecommuting capabilities, individual companies have the right to refuse such offers. If you have a writing or publishing-related (paying) job opportunity, feel free to e-mail (Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com) with the Subject heading "Jobs." We do not charge to publish classified ads in the Jobs section.



DIGITAL MUSE -- This section of our Website (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/DMuse.html) is filled with lots of fun and entertaining information, perfect for the publishing community. You'll find freebies, quotations, desktop wallpaper, surveys and our Birthday Club.



WRITE INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTS -- Jump-start your career as an interactive-multimedia writer just by using a word processor, your own talent, and the e-book, "A Writer's Guide to Storyboarding Interactive Multimedia Products."
FREE INFO and FREE EXCERPT -- send storyboard@sendfree.com
OR visit http://SheilaCohill.homestead.com/storyboard.html



~Deadline is Jan. 12.

The 5th Annual Erma Bombeck Writing Competition encourages writers to capture the spirit of famed Dayton, Ohio columnist, Erma Bombeck. Last year, more than 350 entries were received.

First-place winners in high school and adult categories will be published in the Dayton Daily News and Centerville-Bellbrook Times. First, second and third place winners in each category will also receive cash prizes: $100, $50 and $25.

Guidelines for entry:

* Previously unpublished personal essay.
* No longer than 450 words.
* Typewritten or computer generated, double spaced on 8.5"x11" paper.
* Online entries accepted through the Washington-Centerville Public Library Web site (http://www.oplin.lib.oh.us). Adults and high school students are encouraged to enter. There is no entry fee for this national competition.

Submit your entry by e-mail (wcplpral@oplin.lib.oh.us) via MS Word attachment. Entries may also be mailed to Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, Washington-Centerville Public Library, 111 W. Spring Valley Rd., Centerville, Ohio 45458. The winners will be honored at an awards presentation on March 29, 2001. For more information, go to http://alumni.udayton.edu/rd.asp?cd=erma&rf=126


~Deadline is Jan. 30.

Movie Review Contest with Dave Clayton (http://www.WritingTree.com) -- This contest, which will be moderated by Dave Clayton, is accepting movie reviews of 1,000 words or less for any film released in the U.S. between July 1, 2000 and Jan. 15, 2001. The entrant does not need to reside in the U.S.

1st prize: $100
2nd prize: $50
3rd prize: $25
4th prize: Honorable Mention

Contest Entry Fee: None
Maximum entries: 200
Maximum entries per contestant: 3

For more information, e-mail (Contests@WritingTree.com).


~Deadline is Jan. 31.

The PRISM International 15th Annual Short Fiction Contest (http://www.arts.ubc.ca/prism/contest.htm) -- We will award a $2,000 first prize and five runner-up prizes of $200. All six stories will be published in the Summer Fiction Contest issue, and receive an additional payment of $20 per page (in Canadian dollars or the U.S. equivalent), plus $10 per page if chosen for the Website.


1. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2001.

2. Entries must be typed, double-spaced, on standard sized white paper, and no longer than 25 pages.

3. The entrant's full name, address and the title of the story must appear on a separate cover page. The title should appear on each page of the manuscript, but the author's name should not.

4. All entrants will receive a one year subscription to PRISM international. Current subscribers will receive a one year extension to their subscription.

5. The entry fee is $22 with one story, plus $5 for each additional story. Canadian residents may use Canadian funds, but all other entrants should use American funds to cover the international mailing costs of your subscription. Please make checks payable to PRISM international. Entry fees will not be returned.

6. Entries must be original, unpublished material, not under consideration elsewhere. They should be available for publication in a future edition of PRISM. We will purchase First North American serial rights for all work accepted for publication. No revisions are accepted once story is entered.

7. The contest is open to anyone except students or instructors in the Creative Writing Department at the University of British Columbia.

8. Works of translation are eligible.

9. Winners will be notified in June, 2001, and published in the Summer Fiction Contest issue.

10. If you would like to receive a short-list before the Summer Fiction Contest issue is published, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your entry. Entries will not be returned without a SASE.

Please send entries, cover letters and entry fees with SASE to PRISM International Fiction Contest, Creative Writing Program University of British Columbia, Buch E 462 - 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 Canada.


~Deadline is Jan. 31.

The Electric Ebook Publishing Poetry Contest (http://www.electricebookpublishing.com/Poetry/contest.html) -- All submissions must be original works previously unpublished (print or Web). Author retains all rights to submitted work. By submission, author agrees that Electric E-book Publishing may, at their discretion, publish in print and/or on the Web any received upon notification to author of that intention. Author's full byline will be included if published. All entries should be sent with receipt requested (in your e-mail program, select receipt).

After prize announcements, author may request that their work be added to the "Support the Writer" pay-per-click program ($.10CAN/click). Top 10 poetry winners will be given an Electric E-book title of their choice. Winning entries will be included in an upcoming poetry anthology (release date TBA).

There is no fee for entry to the poetry contest. We only ask that you submit (poetry@electricebookpublishing.com) only one poem per e-mail submission. Subject line should read: Poetry Contest - Submission - "Poem Name." Land mail entries can be sent to Electric E-book Publishing, 6254 Sycamore Street, Powell River, BC, V8A 4K9 Canada.

All entrants must be at least 18 years old. Proof of age is required to collect prize. Any entries not including a valid author name and e-mail address will be automatically disqualified. Winning contestants will be
notified by e-mail. Any prize winner not responding to their winning notification within 30 days relinquishes their prizes.

Contest winners will be determined by blind judging. This allows full focus and attention upon the work and its merits only. The judges are selected for their professional expertise and achievement in their fields. Works will be judged on quality of content, professional presentation of the work and creativity of the medium. Contest void where prohibited by law. Employees of Electric E-book Publishing and their immediate families are prohibited from entering this contest.


~Deadline is Feb. 1.

The Writing Theatre Postcard Fiction Contest (http://home.klis.com/~tatkinson/guidelines.html) -- Entry Fee: $3 Canadian. First Prize: $25 Canadian with option to post winning entry electronically. 2nd place: $10. 3rd place: $5. Entry via e-mail only. Maximum word count: 250 words.

Centered in a small Canadian community, The Writing Theatre's postcard fiction contest is Web-based and accepts entries from around the world. The purpose of the contest is to promote and encourage fiction writers worldwide. I hope to eventually offer the contest bimonthly, with payment directly through the Internet, and increase the prize money. All of that, however, depends on the success of the contest.

The entry fee is low, and the actual entry easy. Simply send your entry through e-mail to Thea Atkinson (tatkinson@klis.com). Once your fee has been received, Thea will e-mail you to notify of your entrance to the contest. Three weeks after the deadline, finalists will be announced on this Web site. If you place first, second, or third, Thea will contact you via e-mail to ask for your mailing address and a check will be posted to you within five days.

Please put contest entry in the subject line and paste your entry into the e-mail body. E-mails with attachments will be deleted unread. Send your entry fee via snail mail to Thea Atkinson, Site 3 compartment 4 RR 1 Arcadia, Yarmouth NS B0W 1B0 Canada. All prizes guaranteed to be distributed.


If you missed a previous announcement, visit our Web site. They are all listed in deadline order. Contest announcements should be sent to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Contests." Each contest is printed in deadline order. Please include the name of the organization, magazine or Web site sponsoring the contest, contest guidelines, entry fees, prizes and deadlines. We only accept contests that offer cash or another substantial prizes (valued over $100) -- publication on a Web site or in a book is not enough. Inscriptions is not responsible for misinformation or scam artists. Enter contests at your own risk.



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~Fiction and Poetry

Freaks, Geeks & Sideshow Floozies Anthology -- Deadline is July 9, 2001.

Our anthologies are restricted to authors who have participated in Twilight Tales, so please do not send me stories if you don't qualify in one or more of the following ways: 1) Twilight Tales reading any time in the past seven years, up to the deadline for the book; if it was years ago, please remind me of approximately when you read. 2) The Twilight Tales-sponsored readings at Twilight Terrors Convention. 3) Author of the month on our Web page. Limited spots available for 2001 -- authors may inquire about open spots.

Looking for a mix of fantasy, horror, slipstream, humor and other genres. Preference given to quirky or charming stories. Intense graphic horror will be a hard sell, but not impossible. Rather than the landmark and disturbing Tod Browning film, "Freaks," think instead of the X-Files episodes: "Humbug," set in a town inhabited by side-show circus performers; or "The Amazing Maleeni," about the magician murder. Not all stories need be in the circus or carnival setting. Book will be 200+ pages, perfect bound, to debut at Nov. 2001.

FICTION: to 12,000 words. Pay $5, two copies, royalties. Reprints fine. Simultaneous submissions only on prior arrangement with both editors. Multiple submissions fine, but send as separate files.

POETRY: Some accepted, but preference given to fiction. If we accept three or more from an author for a single book, poet will be paid fiction rates. Otherwise payment is one copy.

SUBMISSIONS: E-mail (tina@TwilightTales.com) as attached file; Word Perfect to 8.0, or Word preferred. Street mail to Tina Jens, 2339 N. Commonwealth #4C, Chicago, Ill. 60614, and include a disk if at all possible, or hand-deliver to a Twilight Tales show.

Tina Jens, Editor (tina@TwilightTales.com)
Freaks, Geeks & Sideshow Floozies Anthology



The International Railway Traveler is the official newsletter of The Society of International Railway Travelers, an international organization of sophisticated travelers who prefer going by rail. IRT provides exclusive and up to-date information on rail travel worldwide for both prospective and armchair railway travelers. Information about international rail-travel possibilities geared to the general traveler, as opposed to the train fan, is available from no other single source.

While IRT concentrates on Europe and North America, it also covers more exotic rail travel destinations. IRT conveys both the romance of rail travel as well as practical information vital to making successful rail trips.

IRT's full-length features and other articles are referenced to the world-famous Thomas Cook European and Overseas Timetables, making trip-planning easy.

IRT is not limited to intercity passenger trains. It covers regional passenger trains, suburban passenger trains, mountain trains, as well as trams and "light rail." In short, if it runs on rails, IRT is interested in it. In the almost 15 years of its existence, IRT has become recognized as the leading publication on international railway travel.

In general, IRT needs reports that are timely, detailed and above all, scrupulously accurate. All story submissions should include appropriate photos and/or graphics (i.e., items with a railroad's logo, etc.)

IRT seeks the following kinds of reports:

1. News Shorts no more than 100 words long. These appear in the regularly featured column "Sidetrack."

2. Short Features of around 250 to 500 words in length. These stories report on new equipment, services, routes, fares, package deals, dining and sleeping car services, stations and anything else of interest to the
railway traveler.

3. Travel Features consist of the main story and a detailed, informational ("If You Go...") side-bar, which together should run no more than 1,400 words. Lengthier submissions will be returned.

Main story -- IRT's travel features should convey the romance, wonder and excitement of rail travel for the newsletter's sophisticated, well-traveled readership. The stories should be lively, personal and above all, not dull. Also, where it is appropriate, they should be opinionated. Writers are encouraged to dwell on any aspect of their journey that appeals to them: unusual food in the dining car, interesting people met, unusual places visited, etc.

Side-bar -- The following information must be included in a separate side-bar (except where otherwise noted) if the story is to be considered for publication. Stories will be returned if this information is not included:

a) Prices for major portions of trip described, such as air and rail fares, hotel, restaurant, public transit, major attractions, etc.

b) Specific advice on amenities from the rail traveler's point of view. That is, hotels, restaurants, museums, etc., accessible to the main railroad station or public transit, or those facilities which cater specifically to the rail traveler through special packages, promotions and/or fares.

c) Phone, fax, Internet address, Web page URL and mailing addresses of travel providers/attractions mentioned in story as well as contact information for the national tourism office in the U.S. of the country or countries described. The writer is responsible for the accuracy of this information. Please double-check these numbers and addresses.

d) Any other pertinent traveler's information, such as visa requirements, health news, political updates, etc.

e) Relevant Thomas Cook Timetable numbers.

f) Date the trip was taken.

Unless prior arrangements are made, IRT retains the right to publish "The Society of International Railway Travelers" as the sole contact for more information and booking of travel connected with stories published in IRT.

Spotlight Features cover the following topics on an occasional basis:

a) STATIONS -- A detailed look at railway stations around the world from the point of view of facilities and services of interest to the railway traveler (i.e., restaurants, shops, information booths, hotels, access to city center and public transport, etc.). These stories also give something of the "aesthetics" of the station -- its architecture, denizens, and overall "mood."

b) DINERS -- This is an appreciation of dining cars from around the world, with an emphasis on the type of food served, prices, method and quality of service, as well as a physical description of the dining car, inside and out.

c) SLEEPERS -- As with "Diners," "Sleepers" stories feature a detailed description of the cars' physical appearance/quality of service, comfort, amenities, etc., as well as their overall character.

d) DESTINATIONS -- As the term implies, these are short descriptions of places of aesthetic, cultural or historical interest which can be reached by train and which are of special interest to the enthusiastic railway traveler (railway museums, for example). Please include directions for reaching these places by public transport.

SUBSIDIZED TRAVEL -- IRT recognizes that professional travel writers must accept subsidized travel. However, writers for IRT must acknowledge receipt of any subsidized travel and promise to remain scrupulously objective in their reporting. Further, unless prior arrangements are made, writers must understand that IRT retains the right to publish "The Society of International Railway Travelers" as the sole contact for more information and booking of travel connected with stories in IRT.

IRT pays for stories and photos within three months of the cover date of the issue in which the writer's story appears. IRT buys first North American serial rights and all electronic publishing rights to stories and photos. In the event a story requested or accepted by IRT is unsuitable for publication, IRT will pay its author a 25% "kill fee."

Payment is $.03/word plus $10 for each 8x10 or 5x7 black-and white glossy photo used ($20, if the photo is the main page-one art). Payment is in U.S. dollars. To receive full payment, photos should be submitted camera-ready (8x10 or 5x7 black-and-white glossy prints.) Costs associated with converting photographic material to camera-ready form are deducted from payment.

SUBMISSIONS -- IRT encourages submissions by e-mail or on computer disk (3.5-inch disks or Zip disks for IBM or compatible or Macintosh, with Word Perfect preferred. Use ASCII file format if Word Perfect not available. Disks will be returned if SASE is enclosed.) Although IRT welcomes the submission of unsolicited material, it can assume no responsibility for its return unless a self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage is enclosed. Query letters with published clips are strongly encouraged.

Send submissions and queries to Gena Holle, Editor; P.O. Box 3747; San Diego, Calif. 92163, or e-mail (irteditor@aol.com).

Gena Holle, Editor (irteditor@aol.com)
The International Railway Traveler


Do you have a paying market you would like shared with Inscriptions readers, send complete freelance writing guidelines, current needs and payment rates to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Markets."



Each week, Inscriptions selects one writing or publishing-related Web site as the link of the week. This site receives a graphic award and a link from the Inscriptions homepage. To submit a site, send an e-mail to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the Subject heading "Inscriptions Award" and include the full name and URL in the message area.

The Inscriptions Link of the Week is:


EclecticsInterNetWorks provides Web pages for publishing professionals -- and this site acts as a warehouse of those Web sites. Popular print and e-published authors are listed by genre, alphabetically and based on whether their site is hosting a contest or giving away something for free. More than a dozen writing-related articles are posted here, along with an incredibly useful Fiction Character Chart. Most importantly, this site offers a free newsletter geared toward helping writers learn how to promote their work.



LEARN AT HOME IN YOUR BATHROBE! Discover how to take advantage of today's explosive earning opportunities for freelancers. Teleclasses (phone seminars) starting in January with Marcia Yudkin, freelancer extraordinare, author of 10 books: Add editing to your skills repertoire; find hidden writing opportunities online; become a writer/entrepreneur.
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PSI POWER: Gunnderson was a hobo, a bum, shut out from society because of his unusual psi power. But even he did not know their full extent, and now Earth's military leaders have asked him to perform an unthinkable act. Read "Deeper than the Darkness" by Harlan Ellison for less than $1! Go to http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=391&id=6815



Each month, we feature a new electronic book title. Everyone who signs up for the book club will then be pointed to the featured book for purchase and reading. Throughout the month, we'll discuss the book on our book club mailing list. E-book suggestions are always welcome.

The January reading selection is the poetry book: "Homage to a Princess" by Patrick P. Stafford. It is available for $8.40 on CD-ROM from Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/193102703X/inscriptions) and for $4.30 as a download from Athina Publishing (http://www.athinapublishing.com/athinabooks.shtml).

Description: The purpose of this poetry is to evoke profound emotion for and passionate reflection of Lady Diana Spencer, a person whose unique strength of character, aura of charm and beauty and acts of kindness and remarkable charity defined her -- even before her tragic death -- as an individual of rarefied qualities and extraordinary stature.

Here are 50 poems, each a rhapsodic song or a brief, symphonic movement in major chords encapsulating a sentiment, an event, a salient moment or experience, and often times the partial ambiance or distinct consciousness of millions who weighed, felt and suffered the sudden loss of someone most likely too rare and good for this world.

Author Bio: Patrick P. Stafford is a resident of the city of Grants Pass in southern Oregon and lives there with his wife Liane and novelist father Elsan Stafford. Stafford writes regularly for Planetexpat.com (http://www.Planetexpat.com), Neighborhood America, Amateur Chef Magazine and other national publications and has sold many poems, articles and editorial pieces to magazines and periodicals over the last 27 years. He is currently marketing a number of his film scripts and treatments as well as a manuscript of poems he has written about the Vietnam War. Stafford also operates a freelance writing/editing and resume service.

To subscribe to the Inscriptions Book Club, send a blank e-mail (I-BookClub-subscribe@egroups.com).

To suggest an e-book for consideration, please send a press release to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading, "E-book Club." In the release, include the name of the book, the author, the ISBN, the publisher and the publisher's URL and a short description of the book. If it interests us, we will contact the author and/or the publisher for a review copy.



Gotham Writers' Workshop, NYC's largest creative writing school, offers 10-week, one-day (NYC), and online classes in Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Screenwriting, Poetry, Children's Books and more. Web site includes a free writing class contest, classifieds for writers, community events, retreats and other resources. Call 212-WRITERS or visit http://www.WritingClasses.com.



Australian author Grant McDuling's latest paperback has just been published. "The Fields of Hope" is a gripping yarn about horse racing, deceit and war. It follows the exploits of an Irish migrant family and their struggle to buy their own stud farm in Australia towards the end of the 19th Century. Order it at http://www.xlibris.com/TheFieldsofHope.html




* * * * Outstanding book, engrossing, a classic
* * * An interesting read, very likable
* * Good, but not great.
* Not recommended.

"Jezebel and the Egghead" by Daisy Dexter Dobbs
Reviewed by Katherine Sinclair
Publisher: Wordbeams
Format: Electronic
ISBN: 1-58785-000-1
Rating: * * 1/2 stars

Life can be complicated when you're the black sheep of the family. Those complications become even more difficult when you fall in love with your sister's fiancé.

Natty Devington is that black sheep. Instead of being the social, haughty blood blue type, Natty is more introverted and New Age-y. She runs the Cosmic Conscience Romance Bookstore, and much to her rich family's chagrin, thrives in a tiny little apartment.

Then Natty meets her sister's fiancé, science professor Arch McKay, and the trouble begins. Not only do they connect on a physical level, but they become instant best friends as well.

Natty is an intriguing character. Though she sounds a bit flaky, she truly seems to have a good heart and the best of intentions. Arch, on the other hand, is completely mismatched with Natty's sister Blythe. This hunky prof is infinitely more suited to Natty, despite their science vs. supernatural belief system differences.

While the plot is definitely humorous to the point of screwball, "Jezebel and the Egghead" goes a bit overboard with its supporting characters. The introduction of a psychic dog and Natty's annoying hippie friends pushed the book from the realm of entertaining to just plain silly.

Still, lovers of romance novels will find appeal in the way Natty continuously supports the genre, and will certainly enjoy the chemistry between these two "mismatched" leads.


"How to Become a Successful Import/Export Agent" by Fabian Krause
Reviewed by Frederick Noronha (fred@bytesforall.org)
Publisher: Internet Clinic CC
Format: Electronic
ISBN: 0-620-25776-8
Rating: * * stars

South African-based entrepreneur Fabian Krause has written an easy-to-read how-to book in "How to Become a Successful Import/Export Agent." In his simple style, Krause explains a whole lot related to the import-export business.

This book explains various issues -- from why you should get into the import-export trade to analyzing the habits of "highly successful agents" and why brokers are out while agents are in. It promises to unveil the "secrets of success for any business." Also included are sections dealing with the importance of "import/export education," and basic rules in choosing the right product.

Some of the suggestions are practical, like "Don't under-value yourself." But at the same time, "It does not mean that you should start with hourly fees of $1,000. Your reputation should be gained gradually and with good references for a few clients you should be able to increase your fees."

In these days of the New Economy, much of the advice is also Internet-related. Using the Net as a means of getting the vital information you need, and studying the global market, is repeatedly stressed. Krause's tips on promotional campaigns, understanding local markets, chargeable service offers, understanding the potential of the Internet for small firms, and so on, all stand in good stead.

Even if you operate out of your own home, Krause says it will take training in export/import, training in marketing and consulting fees for attorneys, marketing specialists, accountants and financial specialists before you can get off the mark. In addition, you'll have to pay company registration fees, communication infrastructure expenses (phones, faxes, Internet access, creating a Web site), and other "usual expenses" like traveling, printing, stationery, equipment costs and the initial promotion costs.

But the returns are rich, at least for those who are successful. And Krause drops broad hints that you too can be, if you carefully follow his advice. Not to leave out the essentials, Krause also touches on killer marketing tactics, tips on how to extend your services and information on "creative financing." Two appendices include agreements that importers and exporters might find useful.

Why do traders who deal across international borders always seem to make the most money? And, more importantly, how do they manage this seemingly not-so-easy task of being successful? This is a book which promises the answers.


"City in the Sky" by Nick Grant
Reviewed by Audrey Snowden (audreysnowden@yahoo.com)
Publisher: Jacobyte Books
Format: Electronic
Rating: * * * stars

Zac is a working-class stiff whose ambitions no one takes seriously, least of all himself. An aspiring writer, he channels energy from his unsatisfying life into a story. The story grows, and before long, Zac tunes out the outside world -- including his friend Linda -- to concentrate on his novella's development. Payoff for the reader isn't necessarily found in the resolution of Zac's fictional work, but in how that work affects his life.

I didn't want to like Zac. He's a slob, he's lazy, he lacks ambition and he has a muddled love life. He's disarmingly honest about these qualities, though, and his honesty is winsome. Besides, it's difficult to dislike a struggling writer saddled with awful housemates and a dead-end day job.

Zac's characters aren't as compelling as their creator, and their fortunes rise or fall depending on his mood, rather than on any foreordained plot. That aspect of the story-within-the-story entertains more than the story itself, which revolves around a number of inhabitants of Newton, the city in the sky.

Though Nick Grant focuses on characters from nearly every level of Newton's society, the overall story isn't as compelling as the frame story, and serves best as a mechanism to propel the frame story forward. By its title, you might think Grant's "City in the Sky" is a science fiction novel. It isn't. Instead, it's a frame story that uses a science fiction novella as a plot device.

Grant's prose doesn't flow as smoothly as it might, and his skill comes through less here than in his characterization. Still, his writing moves along competently, and he paces his story nicely. I found a few of what seemed like writing in-jokes, and they amused me greatly, but due to their placement in the book it would be a disservice to relate them.

On the whole, "City in the Sky" is a solid effort and an appealing read. If it were a movie, it would be a quietly-uplifting indie affair comparable to the "Tao of Steve." This book is a good choice for a solitudinous afternoon.


"Soul Food: Inspirational Stories for African Americans" by Eric V. Copage
Reviewed by Vyvyan Lynn (rvlynn@pineland.net)
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7868-8499-1
Rating: * * * stars

Eric V. Copage, author of inspirational books like the best-selling series, "Black Pearls," contributes another precious stone cut and polished with wisdom. The author's newest offering, "Soul Food: Inspirational Stories for African Americans," doles out a menu of substance diverse in nature with renderings ranging from Aesop to Barry White.

"Soul Food," which has been compared with the popular "Chicken Soup" series, is set up in seven sections that combine to show the vicissitudes of life: Love, Self-esteem, Family, Creativity, Tenacity, Wisdom and Faith. At the end of each section, Copage sums up with a "Recipe" for achieving a peaceful and soulful existence.

"Life doesn't owe me -- or anyone -- anything" is a quote from a story contributed by Queen Latifah. In her poignant, gutsy, real as dirt offerings in the "Faith" section, a chord strikes true; a life of self-discovery is laid bare for others to glean knowledge, to take with them what they will.

Copage's addition of James Baldwin's essay, "The Ultimate Gift," gives an intimate look at a man's emotions when confronted with the death of his father. "I spent most of that day at the downtown apartment of a girl I knew, celebrating my birthday with whiskey and wondering what to wear that night. When planning a birthday celebration one naturally does not expect that it will be up against competition from a funeral."

Intermingled with folk tales and celebrity narratives are stories contributed by everyday folks such as "Getting off the Treadmill," offered up under the "Self-esteem" section. The writer states, "How did I get on this treadmill, and why? In retrospect, it was in an effort to fill up a vast emptiness in myself. Some people try to fill the hollowness inside by eating, others by spending money on clothes, houses and cars they can't afford; I channeled my feelings of worthlessness into professional accomplishments."

"Soul Food" is a book of hope studded with uplifting words from African-Americans to members of their own race. This book, however, is a gem, and will provide lessons on a universal level. "Soul Food" is a multi-layered feast for family as well as out of town guests.


"Ice Blink" by Scott Cookman
Reviewed by John Coon (eagle@texoma.net)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0471377902
Rating: * * * 1/2 stars

In May 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin set sail from England to the New World, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. His two ships, H.M.S. Erebus and H.M.S. Terror, had been specially modified for Arctic work. No expense was spared in fitting and provisioning them. For their time, these two ships were state of the art: the best of the best. Captain Franklin, his two ships and 129 officers and men sailed west, and vanished forever.

Arctic exploration voyages of this day were full of hardship and danger. While it was fairly common for a few men to die during these journeys, the loss of an entire expedition was unheard of. Many expeditions were sent to find them over the next several years, but no trace was found until May 1859, when Royal Navy Lieutenant William Hobson finds a large pile of abandoned equipment and supplies -- and human remains. These remains and a short message tell a terrible tale of starvation, disease, death and even cannibalism.

Franklin's ships had found the New World and had only missed finding the Northwest Passage by a few hundred miles. They became locked in the ice and stayed that way. After two years in the same place, supplies were running low. Illness was common and men had started dying at an alarming rate. The order was given to abandon the ships and make for landfall in different directions. None of these men survived.

The investigation eventually focuses on Stephan Goldner, supplier of canned food for the expedition. Goldner is found to have inadequately prepared the food prior to canning, rendering a large part of the expedition's food unfit for consumption.

This is an historical account of a little-known but tragic chapter in the annals of the naval service. "Ice Blink" reads like a well plotted novel, with enough twists and turns to keep you going. While the book is part speculation, Scott Cookman bases his conclusions on sound logic drawn from available facts.

The major players in this tragedy are constructed as if they were in a novel. Franklin is seen as a career officer with Arctic experience who should have had a successful voyage. Despite a less than stellar career, he comes off as a reasonably capable officer who should at least have been able to get his ships and men back home. Goldner is seen as a profiteer who looks for new ways to cut corners and save money, thereby increasing profits no matter what the cost to others.

"Ice Blink" is a remarkably well-written book. Cookman has avoided the dryness that so many histories have and has crafted a surprisingly readable story. The book doesn't bog down but keeps moving, keeping the reader turning pages until the very end. Even though "Ice Blink" deals with an obscure incident most people have never even heard of, it is a book that should be read and can be enjoyed by many.


If you have recently published a print book or e-book and would like Inscriptions to review it, send a blank e-mail (Inscriptions_2@sendfree.com). Our staff of book reviewers will give an honest critique of the book.



Patricia Spork publishes the Web site Writers Graphic Image (http://www.writersgraphicimage.com) and its e-newsletter update WGIDOODLE (http://wgidoodle.homestead.com/index.html).



Make your opinions count. The survey for this week is now on our Web site. Visit http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Survey.html. This week's topic: SASEs. When sending a query by snail mail, do you include a self-addressed stamped envelope?


* Yes, always
* Yes, sometimes
* No, never
* Other

Comments are always welcome. All letters are subject to editing. Once you've made your vote, simply send your opinions about the survey question to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Survey." If you cannot respond to the survey on the Web, you can also send it in e-mail and your vote will be added.


LAST WEEK'S SURVEY: Query Letters. What has brought you the most publishing success -- e-mail queries or print ones?


E-mail -- 70%
Print -- 26%
Other -- 3%

Total: 65 votes.


"I think that e-queries are the easiest and timeliest way to introduce your work and ideas to a prospective editor. Plus, the system is immediately gratifying! No more self-addressed stamped envelopes and waiting 30-plus days for a response!" --Bethanne Black (BethWriter@aol.com)

"It seems to me that advice to writers continues to follow traditional query lines: query in print; e-mail if you've worked with the editor before or if guidelines specifically invite e-queries. That said, nearly all of my successful queries have been through e-mail -- I was never very good at following advice." --dee_vandyk@lycos.com

"I chose e-mail submissions as my most successful simply because my only accepted books so far (three, a series) were submitted by e-mail. I hadn't submitted these books to print publishers outside New Zealand and Australia, probably because I was concentrating on later books. But two print publishers have actually asked to see one of these later books that three e-publishers rejected. (Surprised?) Unfortunately, the first editor left the publishing house (HarperCollins Sydney) by the time I'd done the changes she suggested and the second editor rejected the book. It's now with the second print publisher (in the States this time). It might not be as hard to get published electronically as it is to burst into print, but it's certainly becoming that way, with electronic publishers receiving as many submissions as print ones." --Laraine A. Barker (http://lbarker.orcon.net.nz)

"So far, e-queries have been doing as well as print. Parenthetically, one of the silliest pieces of advice still current is to include SASE with a query letter. Not once in my entire 30-year career, have I received a 'go ahead' by mail. Any time an editor has wanted me to do a story, I have received a phone call or an e-mail. I don't need to spend $.33 in postage, plus an envelope to find out the answer is no. I just set a reasonable deadline for the editor to let me know if she is interested. When it passes, I know my work is not wanted." --John Gorman (d031689c@dc.seflin.org)

"E-mail queries have given me far more response than paper queries. Cheaper and faster than paper queries, e-mail proposals and on spec writing have ensured that I get articles out regularly enough to pay my bills. If an editor demands a paper query, I simply don't bother for two reasons. Firstly, it is expensive and time consuming, and secondly, as a writer I am empowered by the speed and efficiency of e-mail. I am loathe to throw that power away and return to the days of checking my snail mailbox six weeks after sending in my proposal. Snail mail empowers editors. I see it as their way of making you jump through hoops before being given the commission. I send great proposals out over e-mail for free and the first editor back to me gets the article. E-mail, e-books and fax machines are giving power back to the writer. I say we all refuse to submit written queries ... Let's stop the hated paper kow-towing en masse!" --ron@atomic-productions.com

"I don't know who these people are who are getting great e-mail responses from query letters, but I'd like to know their secret. I've only had three acceptances via e-mail, and most e-mail queries go unanswered...except of course for the one who published a story of mine, never told me about it, and I spent most of this year trying to get a contributor's copy of it. Oh well!" --Denise Dumars (Denise_Dumars@antiochla.edu)



You've heard of the Oscars, the Emmys, the Pulitzers and the Webbys. Well now we're sponsoring the 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Awards.

Inscriptions is accepting nominations to honor your favorite writers, editors, publications and Web sites. Nominations will be accepted in e-mail until Jan. 20, then we'll open up the voting from Feb. 1-15.

Winners in each category will receive:

* An Inscriptions Engraver Winner coffee mug
* A personalized Inscriptions Engraver award certificate
* An Inscriptions Engraver award badge for Web sites
* Four weeks of free advertising in Inscriptions

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