Vol. 4 Issue 2
January 8, 2001
ISSN: 1522-3728

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

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~Editor's Note
~Quote of the Week
~Article -- Animated Story-Telling: An Interview With Voltaire by Jade Walker
~Article -- The Outplacement Chronicles: How to Jump-Start Your Writing Career by Terri Mrosko
~Inscriptions Forces of Nature Contest Winners
~Inscriptions Bad Poetry Contest
~Publishing News and Notes
~Humor -- Why Writers Don't Need Dates by Robin Shain
~Job Opportunities
~Link of the Week
~Electronic Book Club -- "Homage to a Princess" by Patrick P. Stafford
~Book Reviews -- "Sleeping Planet" by William R. Burkett, Jr., "Whose Face Is in the Mirror?" by Dianne Schwartz, "A Kiss of Shadows" by Laurell K. Hamilton, "Freezing Persons" by Laura Feldman and "60 Seconds and You're Hired" by Robin Ryan
~Inscriptions Engraver Awards
~Subscription/Advertising Information



Greetings everyone. As you've probably noticed in the Informed Caution and Dead Publications sections of Inscriptions, more and more magazines and dot-com media companies have been laying off workers and closing up shop. In December alone, companies let go of 133,000 people, which was triple the amount in November.

Today, it was announced that the New York Times Web site (http://www.nytimes.com) -- my "day" job -- would also make some job cuts. Though I was prepared for the worst, I was fortunate enough to make it through with my employment status unchanged.

While spending the last few days worrying about the impending cuts, I came to two important conclusions.

First, Inscriptions began in 1998 after a dot-com company I worked for went bust. The whole purpose of the magazine was to help my writers find jobs. Since that time, we have grown and continued our mission. I promise to continue that mission and keep Inscriptions going for as long as possible. Your letters each week keep me and the other Inscriptions writers working diligently to create this huge e-zine. We will not let you down.

Second, it is absolutely crucial that we all stick together. The market is feeling its growing pains, and suffering from the tech stock nose-dive of last year. If you find a job opportunity, or a new paying market ... go ahead and apply for it. Or if it doesn't suit your abilities or interests, tell the employer to contact us. Our Jobs and Markets listings are free. We particularly like telecommuting and freelancing job ads. Networking is key in our business, and besides, it's just good form.


Awards time has arrived! Please remember to send in your nominations for the 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Awards (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Engravers.html). 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. Categories are: Favorite online writer, favorite online columnist, favorite print author, favorite e-book author, favorite print publisher, favorite e-book publisher, favorite online editor, favorite News Web site, favorite e-zine or newsletter and favorite writing-related Web site.

Send up to five nominations in each category to Engraver@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading, "Engraver Awards." While we truly appreciate the sentiment, do not nominate me or Inscriptions in any of the categories.


However, if you'd like to promote my work and this magazine, there are two other contests you can help us win.

The Preditors & Editors 2000 Readers Poll (http://www.sfwa.org/prededitors/perpoll2.htm) has me or Inscriptions listed in the following categories: Favorite Nonfiction article (From Sandman to Guardian Angel by Jade Walker); Favorite Nonfiction E-zine (Inscriptions); Favorite Print/Electronic Book Editor (Jade Walker) and Favorite Magazine/E-zine Editor (Jade Walker). Support us by voting in these areas. Also, feel free to nominate one of our other wonderful freelance writers. Search through the 2000 Archives to find your favorite poem, short story or nonfiction article.

The 2000 eBook Excellence Awards (http://www.ebookadvisor.com/vote.html) has Inscriptions listed as one of the nominees for Best E-zine. Vote for us on the Web site or send an e-mail (michelebardsley@addr.com) with "EA Awards Vote" in the subject line. You must include your full name and e-mail address with your vote or it won't be counted.


Looking for something to do tonight? Want to support your literary brethren? Then visit the Inscriptions Literary Calendar (http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/Inscriptions). You'll find all the latest book signings, author appearances and poetry readings that are featured in our e-zine. If you know of an event we don't have listed, send an e-mail (editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com) with the subject heading, "Promotions," and include all of the relevant information in the body.


Frank Fradella (editor@cyberageadventures.com), the editor of Cyber Age Adventures (http://www.cyberageadventures.com), has created another beautiful desktop picture for you to enjoy. Simply visit the Freebies area of the Web site (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Freebies.html) to download it.


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.


Forward our e-zine to other writers interested in making money from their work. Or encourage your writing and editing pals to enter our monthly contest and subscribe.

Have a great week!

Jade Walker, Editor



"Nothing should be thrown away, and the more layers of detail you can give to a character, the better." --Michael Connelly



2TheHeart.com welcomes your true inspirational stories! Your story could win you $50 and a place in our Writers Hall of Fame! To subscribe to this free daily e-mail list or for Writer's Guidelines, visit http://www.2theheart.com. We are making a difference, one story at a time!



ENTERTAINMENT TODAY (http://www.shagmail.com/al/affiliates.cgi?151) -- Read about all the news from Tinsletown to The Big Apple. It's your daily dose of gossip, behind-the-scenes news and more. We've got the stories everyone wants to read!


ARTICLE -- Animated Story-Telling: An Interview With Voltaire
By Jade Walker (MaidenFate@aol.com)

If you've spent any time in the New York City music scene, you're bound to have heard the name Voltaire. It's whispered in goth and vampire clubs and spread from the East Village to the surrounding boroughs. An accomplished musician and songwriter, Voltaire has entranced audiences locally and at festivals and conventions around the United States with his playful lyrics and haunting melodies.

But being a workaholic, he doesn't just write and produce music. Instead, running on only four hours of sleep a night, Voltaire has also written and published two comic book series, and spent several years writing and directing commercials and short films. His area of expertise is stop motion animation, and he uses this form to create startling imagery and intriguing stories.

Voltaire's latest project, Chi-Chian, has leapt from the comic book pages to the Internet, and is featured as an online animated film series on SciFi.com (http://www.scifi.com/chichian).

Inscriptions: When you first came up with the idea for the character, Chi-Chian, you wanted to do a feature film. Instead, you ended up putting her in a six-part comic book series. Describe this writing process and how it's different from scriptwriting. What kind of response did your books receive in the superhero-clad world of comics? Or did they find their own audience?

Voltaire: I came with up the idea for Chi-Chian in Tokyo in 1989 after having a meeting with a toy company that was interested in having me direct a feature film. At that time, I had only made commercials so I didn't really have a concept of long-form story-telling.

Over the next eight years, I spent a lot of time thinking about Chi-Chian, drawing her on napkins in cafes and sort of inadvertently having her world develop. By 1996, I realized that I had created this huge saga with an incredible amount of detail and history, and I felt that it was time to tell that story.

The response was amazing and dreadful. The story was so unlike what the average comic book reader is used to (i.e. instead of chicks with big tits, big guys and the nads), it was a very spiritual story about the emotional development of this young girl that I think it was largely rejected by the average comic book reader. But it obviously struck a chord in certain types of readers because the people who did become fans of Chi-Chian became really hard core fans and have been and still are extremely supportive.

Inscriptions: In other interviews, you've mentioned spending years in your basement, training yourself as an animator. What kind of stories would you tell down there?

Voltaire: At the time, because I was really just learning the craft, I wasn't terribly concerned with storytelling. It was more a question of sort of figuring out on my own -- since there was no "how-to" book and no class that I could take -- actually how to do stop motion. So most of the animated pieces that I did were vignettes of sort of whimsical imagery that would pop into my head. I would create fantasy worlds, but not necessarily stories.

I left home at 17 and needed to get a job so I brought the animated films that I'd made from the time I was 10 till I was 17 to a commercial production company in New York City, and they hired me as a stop motion animator. So I was creating commercials for television which didn't really offer an opportunity for storytelling other than, "You should buy this."

After a couple of years of animated doughnuts singing and beer bottles playing football, I really started getting pretty frustrated doing commercial imagery that despite the fact that I enjoyed being an animator and making a living, it involved imagery that wasn't particularly close to my heart.

So I start making short films. But even then, my short films were mostly about taking a surreal little trip to an alternative universe. I was always sort of fascinated with capturing that feeling that you have when you wake up from a dream and you remember some of the imagery but are not quite sure what it was all about. It's the same disorienting feeling that you have when you go to a foreign country and everything is alien to you.

At that time, I was very interested in doing work that had that feel to it -- where people would be somewhat mesmerized and say, "What the hell was that?" But then as time went on, I realized that it was far more valuable in the end to tell a story and to communicate an idea, and that's where the comic books came.

Inscriptions: You're also an accomplished songwriter. What inspires your music?

Voltaire: I don't have a songwriting schedule or formula -- usually songs just happen. I'll be walking down the street and a melody would pop into my head and I'd run to a phone and call my answering machine and hum it so that I didn't forget it. And then, when I got home, I'd pick up the guitar and flesh it out.

And just as sporadically, at some point, I'd have an idea pop into my head like, this song is about dropping nuclear bombs on New Jersey, and then the lyrics end up just sort of coming forth in a somewhat conversational manner. I speak in very much the same tone that I write.

At the time, I was writing the music for what would become the first album, "Devil's Bris," I was listening a lot to Tom Waits, particularly his CD, "Rain Dogs," and a local band called Rasputina, comprised of three female cellists who sing very odd songs and wear turn-of-the-century underwear. I suddenly became very fascinated with the concept of making contemporary music that had an "old world" feel to it, and it just took off from there.

Inscriptions: The covers of your two albums might give more "middle of the road" parents pause when purchasing them for children. Yet the songs are refreshing and playful. Where does the dichotomy come from? Or is the artwork on your albums just another aspect of your playful side?

Voltaire: The album cover art for "Almost Human" just seemed like the right image to me. When it was finished, my wife looked at it and said, "Wow. This is awfully ... ummmm ... gay." And I didn't see it at all. My take on that was, "Well if it is, that's okay too. Maybe I can sell some records to boys for a change."

Then once the record came out, everyone -- from the record label to the distributor to journalists to fans -- would say, "Wow. This is like ... umm ... pretty gay." So I can't explain it really. I just see things the way I see things.

I try to never create anything with the intention of it being successful because then I think that you invariably start selling yourself short. So I just come up with the stories and the songs and the images that I come up with and cross my fingers and hope that there are like-minded individuals who will enjoy it. At the end of the day, it has to be something that I would like.

Inscriptions: You have a rather devoted fan base, one you keep in contact with through e-mail, message boards and public appearances at conventions. What aspect of your work seems to be most palatable to them? What leaves them clamoring for more?

Voltaire: I think it's my sweet, luscious ass.

I don't think it's any one particularly thing. I think it is the underlying theme of everything that I do whether it's comedy or drama. In keeping with my personal nature, I always say things that a lot of people think but are unwilling to disclose in polite company. And like any comedian, I try to reveal the truth that hides under the surface of everyday life.

I have to mention that I think a lot of the people who are into what I do have at least at some point in their lives been somewhat downtrodden by humanity. I think they appreciate the way I reveal the hypocrisies of our culture, but that's just a guess.

Or maybe it's just my sweet, luscious ass.

Inscriptions: Fame can sometimes turn into trouble. This seems to be an unfortunate trend when writers, or any creative person, gains popularity. What do you attribute this trend to? And what precautions do you think other writers should take when dealing with fame?

Voltaire: I understand the motivation of stalkers. For instance, Bjork has been personally sending me secret signals in her lyrics at public appearances.

But seriously, even I at times, feel like I "know" certain public personalities who I've never met because you become so familiar with them by constantly hearing their music or seeing them on television. So I totally understand why so many people feel that they have a personal relationship with public figures.

However, I've yet to send any of them a pipe bomb. That's the one aspect I'll never understand. Why would you want to hurt the person you admire? I don't get that.

I've been very lucky. Most of the people who I half-jokingly refer to as "stalkers" are really just people who are well-meaning who think that because I replied personally to one of their e-mails, as I try to with everybody, that suddenly they should spend a week at my place.

What I do is I reply to everyone because I really and truly want them to know that I appreciate that their interest and support enables me to do what I enjoy, and it keeps me from getting a job at McDonalds. If they start getting a little creepy, I try to gently pull away -- the same way you would at a party with someone you don't particularly want to talk to.

I've been very lucky that I haven't had to deal with anything more severe. But if I did, I would probably invite them out for coffee and kill them first.

Inscriptions: What story-tellers have influenced you the most?

Voltaire: First of all, despite the fact that he's not technically a story-teller, my one greatest inspiration is Ray Harryhausen because the worlds he created in his films were so similar to the worlds that existed in my imagination. It made me realize at a very young age that these "thoughts" they try to beat out of you can actually be nurtured, resulting in a lifetime of doing something you enjoy for a living.

As far as storytelling, I would have to say that the films of Hayao Miyazaki ("Laputa: The Castle in the Sky," "Princess Mononoke") had the most profound effect on sending a message that I could create a story that could perhaps make a grown man buckle his knees and sob like a toddler as I did when I saw "Laputa."

I aspire to do two things in story-telling. One, to show people the beauty of innocence in the hope of weaning them out of their evil ways or insensitivity towards others. Two, make people laugh at the things they fear most, or at the situations around them that make their lives difficult. Both of these things, I hope, achieve the same goal, which is to help create a kinder gentler human being.

Inscriptions: What are your future writing projects?

Voltaire: Chi-Chian is the thing right now. I am writing and directing an animated series based on my Chi-Chian character for the Sci Fi channel's Web site. It's the very first, fully photographic, animated Web series. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a stop motion animated show that's created in Flash, so instead of creating two-dimensional "cartoon" artwork in Illustrator and animating in Flash, I actually build all of the models three-dimensionally, the way I normally would for a stop motion project, photograph them, scan them into the computer and e-mail them to the animators who then animate them in Flash. It's really really exciting because finally, after all of these years, Chi-Chian who was born to be an animated character, is finally one.

The series launched on Nov. 21. It's a 14-episode series so there's about four episodes up now. The first half of the series will be online by the end of January. Then there's a kick ass Chi-Chian video game that you can download the last week of January. Then, the second half of the series goes up a few weeks later. This is my dream project.

Chi-Chian is my baby. Of course my ultimate goal is to see Chi Chian and her world continue to develop. I would love to see Chi-Chian someday become an animated film or a live action feature film. I'm really not that set on what incarnations Chi-Chian will take in the future. I would just be happy if her world was allowed to continue to exist.


Voltaire: http://www.voltaire.net
Chi Chian on SciFi.com (http://www.scifi.com/chichian
Voltaire Fan Club: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/thevoltaireclub



Looking for more TIME BOOSTERS? Mari Peckham publishes a weekly Time Boosters column! To see her previous articles, visit http://www.themestream.com/gspd_browse/browse/view_column.gsp?column_id=14359. Peckham is the President of Peckham Enterprises and Webmistress of PowerPromoPlus, your online advertising solution at http://www.powerpromoplus.com. To subscribe to her online advertising tips, tools and techniques e-zine, Advertise_Online, send an e-mail (advertise_online-subscribe@egroups.com) or visit http://www.powerpromoplus.com/advertise_online.htm



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.


ARTICLE -- The Outplacement Chronicles: How to Jump-Start Your Writing Career
By Terri Mrosko (Mroskotl@aol.com)

Four glorious months after I left the company where I worked for 21 years, I knew it was time to get serious about a new career. After the shock of being downsized wore off, the realization that I could now pursue a career in freelance writing began to take hold. With the dream of writing firmly ingrained and a hefty severance package in tow, I began my exciting new journey.

I spent weeks reading everything I could get my hands on at the library and on the Internet, and then spent several more weeks formulating my writing ideas and learning the art of writing query letters.

Soon the four-month anniversary of my last day at work arrived and that meant starting the outplacement service provided as part of my severance. I groaned at the thought of trading my precious writing time for face time at the outplacement office. Realistically, I knew I had to do something part-time until freelance writing became lucrative. I had no choice but to see what outplacement could offer.

After a month of outplacement services, my writing career took on a new life. I got two writing assignments, established promising career contacts, learned of many new resources and techniques and conducted several interviews. One month later, directly stemming from contacts made through the outplacement office, I landed a freelance correspondent position with a community newspaper.

Soon it will be a year since I left the doors of outplacement behind, and I am thankful I took full advantage of the resources available to me. I have had over 100 articles published in newspapers, online and print magazines, and in my own successful print newsletter.

I successfully applied the steps I learned in the outplacement process in a not-so-traditional fashion to jump-start my writing career. Whether you are just starting a writing career or are well established in one, following this advice will enhance your strategies in obtaining the career or article sales you desire.


"Networking is not an outplacement concept; it is a marketing concept."

On the first day of outplacement, I met my career counselor. Just talking to someone with a vested interest in what I wanted to do with the rest of my life was invigorating. As I explained my situation and career objectives,
the career counselor underscored the importance of connecting to people and sharing ideas and information.

"Networking is about relationships, and when it comes to writing in particular, you need to have those relationships in place, especially if you are just starting out. Networking is a conduit for information about future
jobs or further contacts."

Sitting at home writing all day or sending out queries is not the only way to get assignments. Reach out to make real connections with people in order to make things happen.


"Resume writing is useful because it forces you to reflect, identify and synthesize what you know about yourself."

Next, I attended a workshop on resume writing. I brought a working copy of my existing resume, which looked great -- if I was applying for a financial analyst's position. A complete overhaul was in order.

My counselor advised, "If you're just breaking into the writing business, you should glean everything you can from your actual work experience that is communication or writing-related."

Through a series of worksheets designed to help draw upon my unique strengths and expertise, I created a functional resume geared toward finding a job as a writer. I remembered to include newsletters and manuals I wrote and edited as part of my previous positions, as well as my networking, facilitating and researching accomplishments. These accomplishments can also be used as credentials on a query letter.

"In a writer's cover letter (or query), the cover letter becomes the most important piece, which may or may not point to a resume."


"A freelance writer would probably be a good traditional job searcher because they know how to identify and go after what they want."

My next lesson involved learning about job search techniques. Traditional techniques are used in identifying an industry, targeting and exploring a market, then targeting particular companies within that market. This is very similar to a writer identifying a genre (nonfiction), a market (career management) and a publication within that market (Working Woman). Remember, the well-written cover letter is an essential tool in both processes.

Search methods for finding a job or for finding a writing assignment underscore the need to make the right fit, be it for assessing a specific company or a specific publication. The Internet, which has transformed the traditional newspaper classified ad, is a great place to start your search.

I found listings for writing-related jobs in Inscriptions, on AJR Newslink/Joblink (http://ajr.newslink.org), on Avalanche of Jobs (http://www.sunoasis.com/freelance.html) and for freelance assignments, on FreelanceWriting.com (http://www.FreelanceWriting.com).


"Now as to technique: a writer must be focused in their questioning, know why they're asking the question and know how the question is relevant."

The final step in the outplacement process was learning about interviewing for a job. While the scope of the interview differs for the job seeker and the freelance writer (one is being interviewed while the other is conducting the interview), the basic skill set remains the same. Communication skills like eye contact, paying attention to non-verbal cues, active listening and paraphrasing are key components of the interview.

"Make the questions short and to the point, and make note of the answer. This may sound funny, but sometimes you don't listen to the answers and you end up asking the same thing again."

Strategies used during the interview process can greatly aid in information gathering. I was keenly aware of actively listening and maintaining a professional attitude throughout the interviews I conducted.

It is projected that people will change jobs an average of seven times within their lifetime. Many will change careers as well, with or without the aid of outplacement services. The key to any job change strategy is to take advantage of every available option and resource.

Think of all the traditional techniques available to help advance your career. The writer plies and molds the words that uniquely come together on the written page. You can do the same in shaping the outcome of your writing career by combining all those available resources and tools.



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 winds howled, the rain poured and the tornadoes whipped through these entries as each writer offered a version of Mother Nature's power. The winning poems literally "blew" our judges away.

First place -- "Divorce, and Other Natural Disasters" by Gayle Brandeis of Riverside, Calif.
Second place -- "The Last Fling" by Neca Stoller of Columbus, Ga.
Third place -- "REM Rites" by Linda Goin of Schaumburg, Ill.

Honorable Mentions:

* "Storm Clouds" by Joy V. Formy-Duval of Southport, N.C.
* "Stable as Haleakala" by Christine Fadden of The Netherlands


First Place
Divorce, and Other Natural Disasters
By Gayle Brandeis (bmcg@pe.net)

As a child, I was scared
of tornadoes. Every spring
Tuesday, 10:30, after math,
there was a siren, a drill,
and we'd file into the hall
by the principal's office,
sit side by side
against the wall, our faces
held between our knees.
I'd look down at my boots,
the linoleum between,
and a funnel of fear
would drill deep
in my chest
while I waited
to be blown away.

Now, my mother's mind spins
out of control, twisting
into its own darkness
like the storm I feared
as a child. A raging
gray cloud, she whirls
across our family, unaware
of the wreckage she leaves
at her feet -- a roof
blown off, a tree
uprooted, papers scattered
into nonsense. We survey
the damage, shore up
what we can, put wood
across windows that once
were clear. She watches
from the eye of the storm,
a place not of vision,
but of void -- a clean,
still place where no one
can reach her, where no one
can show her her words,
as empty and brutal
as the wind.

I think of myself in that
school hallway, breathing
onto my sweater, stars
swimming in front of my eyes;
I think of all those small
heads, side by side, heads
hard, vulnerable, bent
like grace against the wind;
and I think of my own children,
how the hair on the back
of their heads spirals, soft
as a hurricane by satellite
photo, how the bones
of my baby's head
have not even closed yet,
and I want to draw them
into my arms, curl deep
in my husband's chest,
whisper you're safe
you're safe
we'll protect you
from the storm.


Second Place
The Last Fling
By Neca Stoller (stoller4@home.com)

Fences should mean something,
should work
to keep things out
and coop things in.
But not in ninety-four.

After a month of rain
the Flint River crept under
the fence, then over
and the dead popped up
like shriven wine corks.
They slid under, over
and out of the graveyard,

escaped their enclosure
ran with the current, jumped levees,
scaled hickory trees.
In the flood their hands
rose and waved, their hair
swirled round about.
Again their favorite stars
lit up those staring eyes.

What a high time they had!
And when the Flint gave out
they sat in the mud, naked--
grinning -- not a bit shy!


Third Place
REM Rites
By Linda Goin (info@goinhome.com)

Dreams are tornadoes,
writing with twisted tips.
They etch in permanence
a cursive letter to closed eyes.

Remnants fly and imbed
in the striated mind,
a board wedged
in a tree, waking
with a start,
"What was that?"
I might try to respond,
but I can't remember the calyx.
The clarity of dawn
won't loosen the pen to spin nightmares,
won't push me over cliffs,
won't give gate to the lover
or to painless birth.

These are the clever ideas
of the high wind
of writing, and I am
the author asleep.



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 Web site every Wednesday, and contain a broad range of topics and opinions. Be entertained, outraged, informed or educated. Last week's column: The New Snow.



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)

Stealth Press (http://www.stealthpress.com), a publisher of popular, previously out-of-print hardcover books, recently debuted its initial four releases. They are "Morningstar" by Peter Atkins, "Jim Mundy" by Robert Fowler, "Under Venus" by Peter Straub and "The Valkyrie Mandate" by Robert Vaughan. Stealth plans to publish four or more titles each month.

When You Write (http://www.whenyouwrite.com), a Web resource for writers, recently premiered.

The Pendragon Press Web site (http://www.pendragonpress.co.uk) has been redesigned.

The United States Senate has formed its own book club. The first selection is "The Lucky Gourd Shop" by Joanna Catherine Scott.

Purdue University Press (http://www.thepress.purdue.edu) is now accepting monographs to publish in its new electronic monograph imprint, Digital-I books.

Primedia Inc. has combined several of its publications and Web sites into a new unit called Media Central. Brill Media Holdings, which publishes Brill's Content Magazine (http://www.brillscontent.com), has taken a minority stake in the new unit for an undisclosed amount.

The MSNBC Web site (http://www.msnbc.com) has been redesigned.


~Publishing Industry Changes

Barnes and Noble.com (http://www.Barnesandnoble.com) plans to expand into the publishing arena. The company said it will publish and sell books with expired copyrights in electronic form. Authors and agents selling e-books on B&N will receive 35% royalties.

Red Herring Magazine (http://www.redherring.com) has switched from a monthly to a bi-monthly format.


~Publishing-Related Mailing Lists/E-zines

Coffeehouse for Writers (http://www.coffeehouseforwriters.com) is a mailing list offering a virtual cappuccino and a hearty helping of "writerly" camaraderie. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (CoffeehouseWriters-subscribe@egroups.com).

Freelance Fire (http://resourcesforwriters.com/freelancefire.html) is a biweekly e-zine for publishers to announce their requests to writers. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (freelancefire-subscribe@topica.com).

WriteLink (http://www.writelink.co.uk) is a monthly newsletter reviewing markets, reference sites, competitions and anything else to do with the craft of writing. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (writelink@sendfree.com).

DailyVocabWord is a mailing list offering one new vocabulary word a day. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (DailyVocabWord-subscribe@egroups.com).

BrandNewWriters is a mailing list to announce job positions, tips for writers, market lists and links to articles. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (BrandNewWriters-subscribe@egroups.com).


~Rate Changes Announced

The United States Postal Service (http://www.usps.gov) raised the price of U.S. postage on Sunday. First class postage, up to one ounce, now requires a $.34 stamp. However, international rates for letters sent from the U.S. have been reduced.


~Hollywood News

Terry Gilliam has signed on to direct a film version of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's book, "Good Omens."

Wes Craven plans to direct a film version of Christina Schwartz's book, "Drowning Ruth."



Susan Berman, author, playwright and screenwriter, was found dead on Dec. 24, 2000. She died of a single gunshot to the head. Berman was 55. The daughter of gangster Bugsy Siegel, Berman published two books about the Mob, "Easy Street" and "Lady Las Vegas: The Inside Story Behind America's Neon Oasis."

Julius J. Epstein, screenwriter, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 91. Epstein, who wrote more than 50 movies, won an Oscar for "Casablanca." Epstein won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's career achievement award in 1998.

Ring Lardner Jr., screenwriter, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 85. Lardner, the son of author Ring Lardner, was the last surviving member of the Hollywood 10, a group of writers, producers and directors who were blacklisted in the 1950s. Lardner Jr. shared a best original screenplay Oscar with Michael Kanin for the film, "Woman of the Year." He won a second Academy Award for best screenplay for his adaptation of the Richard Hooker novel, "M*A*S*H."

Jacques Laurent, a French writer, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 81. Laurent won the Prix Goncourt in 1971 for his book, "The Follies." However, he was best known for the book, "Dear Caroline," a romance he wrote under the pen name Cecil Saint-Laurent. It was later adapted into a film starring Martine Carol.

Ian Moffitt, veteran journalist and author, recently died. Cause of death was not released. He was 71. Although he worked as a war correspondent, reporter and columnist, Moffitt was best known as a feature writer for The Australian and the former Daily Mirror in Sydney. He also published the books, "The U-Jack Society" and "The Retreat of Radiance."

John Steadman, sportswriter and columnist, recently died of cancer. He was 73. Steadman attended every NFL game played by Baltimore, Md. teams in the past 50 years. He previously worked as the sports editor of the News-Post and as a columnist for The Evening Sun and The Sun. He was also the president of the Pro Football Writers Association of America. He won three Freedom Foundation medals and wrote seven books.



The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators will meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 at the Santa Monica Library, 1343 6th St. in Santa Monica, Calif. Cost is $2. For more information, call Ann Stalcup at (310) 456-5302.

The San Diego chapter of the Romance Writers of America will meet at 10 a.m. on Jan. 13 at Quality Resort, 875 Hotel Circle South in San Diego, Calif. Guest speaker will be Lynn Kerstann. Cost is $20 for nonmembers. To make a reservation, e-mail (kathy.carpenter4@gte.net).

The Garden State Horror Writers will meet at 11 a.m. on Jan. 13 at the Monmouth County Library, Symmes Drive, off Route 9, in Manalapan, N.J. Guest speakers will be ghosthunters, Jeff and L'Aura Muller. For more information, call (609) 443-3438.

SciFi.com (http://www.SciFi.com) will present an evening of contemporary science fiction at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th in New York City, N.Y. Hosted by Terry Bisson and Ellen Datlow, the evening will feature authors Douglas E. Winter and Thomas Tessier. Readings are free. Drinks are liberal.

The Writers Guild Foundation Writers on Writing Seminar Series (http://www.wga.org/pr/1200/writers.html) will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the WGA headquarters, 7000 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles, Calif. Guest speaker will be screenwriter Scott Frank. Cost is $20 for nonmembers and $15 for members. To make reservations, call (323) 782-4692.

The Poets & Writers Literary Horizons program (http://www.pw.org/lithoriz/index.htm) will host the panel discussion, "The E-Publishing Tsunami: Who Will Sink and Who Will Swim?" at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby St. in New York City, N.Y.


~Writers Needing Input

Connie Peete (CPeete@aol.com) is working a novel based in Buffalo, N.Y. and Columbia, S.C. She is looking for writers who live in Columbia to answer her research questions.

Susan Padezanin (voybabe@stargate.net) is looking for unusual medical stories. Funny, crazy, miraculous, etc. is fine. Weird things stuck in interesting places, births on the way to the hospital, unexplainable cures -- stuff you would see on "ER."


~Informed Caution

New York Times Digital (http://www.nytimes.com) laid off 70 employees, or 17% of its work force.

Foodline.com (http://www.Foodline.com) laid off its entire staff and filed for bankruptcy.

Themestream (http://www.themestream.com) placed a $350 cap on all articles published on its Web site.

Legacy.com (http://www.Legacy.com) laid off 16 people, or about 50% of its workforce.

Vault.com (http://www.Vault.com), a site dedicated to helping people find work, laid off 30% of its staff.

Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) announced its plans to ban the sale of Nazi and Ku Klux Klan memorabilia. It also plans to start charging customers for using its auction site.

Three relatives of journalist Jorge Torres were gunned down on New Year's Eve in the Mexican town of Kilometre 30. Police suspect the gunmen were trying to stop Torres from publishing compromising information on the Guerrero state radio and television network. Torres was grazed in the head by a bullet, but he was not seriously injured.

Two senior editors resigned from APBNews.com (http://www.APBNews.com) last week after complaining of billing problems. The departure of Hoag Levins and Ed Levine caused the site to stop publishing for a week.

On2.com (http://www.On2.com) laid off 52 people, or about 40% of its staff.

Listen.com (http://www.Listen.com) laid off 42 employees, or about 25% of its staff.

David Cragin, an intern for the San Jose Mercury News (http://www.mercurycenter.com) who was suspended for allegedly plagiarizing a Washington Post article, has been fired. The company claims they found other incidents of plagiarism in Cragin's work.

News Corp. has laid off hundreds of employees and plans to move out of its New York City office. The company laid off 20% of its workforce last October.


~Dead Publications

Bleeding Sky Magazine closed before its first issue was published.

Adobe Magazine has ceased publication.

George Magazine has shut down.


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

Flesh & Blood Magazine (http://www.geocities.com/soho/lofts/3459/fnb.html) recently won the Best Magazine of the Year Award from the Jobs in Hell newsletter.

The Whitbread Book Awards, which celebrates the best of contemporary British writing, was recently awarded to:

* Matthew Kneale for "English Passengers
* Zadie Smith for "White Teeth"
* Lorna Sage for "Bad Blood: A Memoir"
* John Burnside for "The Asylum Dance"


~Book Signings and Author Appearances

Rebecca Walker will sign copies of her memoir, "Black, White and Jewish," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 8 at Barnes & Noble, 675 6th Ave. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 727-1227.

Dana Reeve will sign copies of her book, "Love Letters of a Lifetime," at 6 p.m. on Jan. 9 at Borders Books & Music, 461 Park Ave. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 980-6785.

Dean R. Koontz will discuss his book, "The Corner of His Eye," during an online chat at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 on Barnesandnoble.com (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/community/calendar/calendar.asp). He will also conduct an online chat at 6 p.m. on Jan. 10 on Yahoo! (http://chat.yahoo.com/c/events/info/2001/01/10/011001koontz.html).

Richard Lewis will sign copies of his book, "The Other Great Depression," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 at Barnes and Noble, 675 6th Ave. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 727-1227. He will also appear at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan in Chicago, Ill. For more information, call (312) 573-0564.

Brenda Gunn will discuss her book, "Deadly Deception," during an online chat at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 on New Book Reviews (http://www.newbookreviews.com). For more information, e-mail (huntress@cyberconnection.net).

Anita Shreve will sign copies of her book, "Fortune's Rocks," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 10 at Barnes and Noble, 3225 W. 69th in Edina, Minn. For more information, call (952) 920-0633.

Evan Hunter and Ed McBain will sign copies of the book, "Candyland," at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 at The Black Orchid Bookshop, 303 E. 81st St. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, e-mail (BOrchid@aol.com). They will also appear at 7 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Barnes and Noble, 1972 Broadway in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 595-6859.

Stephen J. Cannell will sign copies of his book, "The Tin Collectors," at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Vero Beach Book Center, 2145 Indian River Blvd. in Vero Beach, Fla. For more information, e-mail (publicity@verobooks.com). He will also appear at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Barnes and Noble, 55 Old Orchard Center in Skokie, Ill. For more information, call (847) 676-2230.

Eugene R. Gaddis will sign copies of her book, "Magician of the Modern," at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Barnes and Noble, 175 Glastonbury Blvd. in Glastonbury, Conn. For more information, call (860) 657-1636.

Dr. Eric Maisel will sign copies of his book, "Sleep Thinking," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. in Corte Madera, Calif. He will appear at 2 p.m. on Jan. 13 at Borders, 2925 El Camino Real in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, call (650) 525-1162. And he will sign books at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Borders, 588 Francisco Blvd. West in San Rafael, Calif. For more information, call (415) 454-1181.

Tonya Ramagos (JT041099@aol.com) will sign copies of her teen romance novels, "The Feud" and "Obstacles of Love," at 1 p.m. on Jan. 12 at Waldenbooks, Turtle Creek Mall in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Marvin Roter will discuss "Self-Publishing the Science Fiction Novel" at 10 a.m. on Jan. 13 at the Orange County branch of the California Writers Club meeting, Downey Savings & Loan, 201 W. Bastanchury in Fullerton, Calif. Cost is free. For more information, call (714) 525-2988.

Millie Criswell will sign copies of her book, "The Trouble With Mary," at 1 p.m. on Jan. 13 at Waldenbooks, 120 Spotsylvania Mall in Fredericksburg, Va. For more information, call (540) 786-2897.

Terry Mcmillan will sign copies of her book, "A Day Late and a Dollar Short," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 at Barnes and Noble, 33 E. 17th St. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 253-0810.


~Published Articles, Stories, Poems and Interviews

Wendy Dunn (peterpan&wendy@labyrinth.net.au) has published the story, "Let Me Tell You a True Tudor Ghost Tale," in the Tudor England section of Suite101 (http://suite101.com/article.cfm/6820/54868).

Naomi Mathews (Lanao2@aol.com) has published the article, "Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and ... Mosquito Plants?" in the Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardening section of Suite 101 (http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/1641/56264).


~Published Books -- Fiction

Thea Atkinson (tatkinson@klis.com) has published the historical fiction novel, "Pray For Reign," in electronic format with Mylero Ebooks.

Dan Murr has published the books, "A Need to Know" and "We Never Said Goodbye & Other Stories," in electronic format with Clocktower Books.

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

Emily Deans will publish the Regency romance novel, "The Scheming Spinster," on Feb. 27 in electronic format with Awe-Struck E-Books.

Charles Palliser has published the mystery, "The Unburied," in paperback with Washington Square Press.

Eric Bogosian has published the novel, "Mall," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Steve Yarbrough has published the debut novel, "The Oxygen Man," in paperback with Scribner.

Jane Bierce will publish the contemporary romance novel," on March 25 in electronic format with Awe-Struck E-Books.

Jean Thompson has published the novel, "Who Do You Love?" in paperback with Scribner.

Fiona Buckley has published the historical fiction novel, "To Ruin a Queen," in hardcover with Scribner.

Jeffrey Deaver has published the thriller, "Speaking in Tongues," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

J.H. Douglas (jhdouglas@aol.com) has published the novel, "Trade Secrets," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Elizabeth Burton (http://www.elizabethburton.net) has published the fantasy novel, "Dreams of Darkness: Book 1 of The Everdark War," in electronic format with Pulsar Books.

Karen Robards has published the romantic suspense novel, "Paradise Country," in hardcover with Pocket Books.

Ronald Irwin (ron@atomic-productions.com) has published the thriller, "Obsession," in paperback with iUniverse.Com.

Bill Ransom has published the science fiction novel, "Jaguar," in electronic format with Alexandria Digital Literature.

Karen L. Williams has published the fantasy romance, "The Wings of Love," in hardcover, paperback and electronic formats with Domhan Books.

L. Timmel Duchamp has published the science fiction novel, "Quinn's Deal," in electronic format with Alexandria Digital Literature.


~Published Books -- Nonfiction

Roger Lewin, Garniss H. Curtis and Carl C. Swisher III have published the nonfiction book, "Java Man: How Two Geologists Changed the History of Human Evolution," in hardcover with Scribner.

Karen S. Wiesner (http://karenwiesner.hypermart.net) has published the nonfiction book, "Electronic Publishing: The Definitive Guide," in paperback with Avid Press.

Dr. William Wilkoff has published the nonfiction book, "Is My Child Overtired?: The Sleep Solution for Raising Happier, Healthier Children," in paperback with Fireside.

Sidney Bolick has published the memoir, "Mama's Boarding House," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Kenneth M. Morris and Alan M. Siegel have published the nonfiction book, "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance," in paperback with Fireside.

Clifford G. Hurst (cliff@careerimpact.net) has published the nonfiction book, "A Career for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Call Center Agents," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

William J. Bennett, Chester E. Finn, Jr. and John T.E. Cribb, Jr. have published the nonfiction book, "The Educated Child: A Parent's Guide From Preschool through Eighth Grade," in paperback with Touchstone.

Meg Weaver (mweaver@woodenhorsepub.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Writing for Magazines: 12 New Things Writers Must Do Today to Make Money," in electronic format with Wooden Horse Publishing.

Paul J. Roper (pauljroper@selec.net) has published the nonfiction book, "Signs of the Times and Coming War in the Middle East," in electronic format with Crossroads Publishers.

Blanca Greenberg (Greenbla@aol.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Chronicles of an Internet Writer," in electronic format with Booklocker.com.

Liming Jing (limingj@hotmail.com) has published the memoir, "Flying High Out of a Tibetan Valley," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Nick Taylor has published the nonfiction book, "Laser: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate and the 30-Year Patent War," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Stanley Horner (ufi2analogos@yahoo.com) has published the nonfiction book, "Sincro.Nis'Tee: Reaching <I Ching>," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Nina M. Osier (http://members.mint.net/mbarron) has published the nonfiction book, "Tabitha June Is a Shoulder Cat," in paperback with Xlibris.


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).



Gizmorama (http://www.shagmail.com/al/affiliates.cgi?151) -- Want to know about the latest gadgets and gizmos? Then this is for you! From software to products and high tech gear.



WANT MORE? -- Then visit the Inscriptions Web site (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!



Why Writers Don't Need Dates
By Robin Shain (rshain@alltel.net)

Every few weeks, I leave the kids with the spouse to meet some old girlfriends at a local grill. In our mindless banter over pink froo-froo drinks, an old flame occasionally comes up in conversation. Since we're all married now, our chatter about past romances is usually muted and brief. On the rare occasion one of my friends sinks into yearning for the electricity of her dating years, I tell her not to bother. If she longs to relive the highs and lows of a new relationship, all she has to do is become a writer.

Who needs a date when you can embrace freelance writing? Writing lets you experience the same euphoria and disappointments of dating while you eat Cheetos in your pjs.

When you find a new publication in your target market, it is love at first sight. Instead of checking the ring finger to see if your new love interest is available, just locate the publication's writer's guidelines. The anxiety of deciding what to wear to impress is replaced with the angst of choosing a piece of writing to submit. Once you've expressed your interest, you must wait for the editor to respond as surely as you wait for your date to call. And you wait. And you wait. Sometimes you hear nothing.

Jealousy and self-doubt creep in. Is your date seeing someone else? Does the editor favor another writer? But you're more attractive than the others out there. Can't the editor see what a brilliant writer you are? Until, that is, you spot someone who is indeed more alluring. You read a piece of writing so good, it makes your toes quiver and motivates you, not to hit the gym or tanning bed, but to write with a fury.

After a while, you may decide you have waited too long to hear back from the editor. Instead of dating several people at once, you do the unthinkable: You send simultaneous submissions.

Sometimes, you will never hear back and you'll always wonder what went wrong. Other times, the editor's version of "let's be friends" may tease you along: "While your submission has the qualities we're looking for, it does not fit our editorial needs at this time."

Inevitably, you will receive a rejection letter, the writer's dreaded "Dear John." You may wallow in the break-up and read the letter over and over again to your mother, to your mailman, to your priest. But eventually, you will ease back into the dating scene and love at first sight will strike again.

One day, as you wait to hear back from yet another submission, expecting the worst, the ecstasy of true love will wash over you when your submission is accepted. And maybe, just maybe, you'll become engaged and settle into a comfortable marriage as a regular contributor. Of course, if you are successful, you'll enter into multiple marriages and steamy love affairs throughout your writing career but fortunately for us, bigamy is not illegal in the freelance publishing world.

I know that if I ever start longing for the carefree dates of my single years, all I need to do is turn on my computer and start writing. If my husband suspects a cyber affair when I slip out of bed to check my e-mail at 2 a.m., he will be absolutely right. But it won't be a relationship that will threaten our marriage and the life we have built together. It will just be my stormy love affair with freelance writing.


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



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.



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.



~Freelance Writers

Trade magazine (b2b) published by Southern California publisher seeks freelance writers for feature articles. Stories run usually 1,800 to 2,000 words. We pay $300 on publication. Good writing may lead to steady assignments. We are looking to develop a lasting relationship.

Check our Web site (http://www.igin.com) for an idea of the articles we assign and the way they are written. We try to take the technical language out so the average person can be able to read it. E-mail Denne Goldstein (denne@igin.com) and attach clips of your work.



If you are interested in a fast-paced reporting job with the premiere online publication about the 401(k) and mutual fund industry, submit your resume to InvestmentWires, Inc. (http://www.investmentwires.com). Articles are posted in real time, and the position requires an applicant who is willing to build their own contacts and who possesses excellent writing skills. E-mail (IWHR@mindspring.com) resume, or fax to (212) 736-6815.


~Web Production Assistant

TechTV (http://www.techtv.com) is the fastest growing cable network in the U.S.! TechTV (formerly ZDTV) is a 24-hour cable channel providing information and entertainment about computers and the Internet. TechTV is the on-air and online network dedicated to the digital lifestyle. Our shows help viewers improve their computer knowledge and participate more fully in the Digital Age.

TechTV is owned by Vulcan Ventures, Inc., the Bellevue, Wash.-based investment organization of Microsoft cofounder Paul G. Allen. Vulcan Ventures purchased TechTV from its founder, Ziff Davis Inc., in a transaction completed on Jan. 21, 2000. Through Vulcan, Paul Allen invests in companies that offer products, services or technologies that fit his wired world strategy and can contribute to or benefit from the technology and strategy of other companies within the group's extensive investment portfolio. We are located in San Francisco, Calif.

The production assistant aids the producer and associate producer in the production of text, video and graphics for new and existing Web sites.

Responsibilities include:

* Enter content (includes text, graphics, video and related links) into Vignette StoryServer (Web publishing system)
* Manage graphic and production requests
* Digitize and upload video and audio clips taken from television shows
* Maintain Web production schedules
* Respond to viewer feedback via e-mail
* Pitch new story ideas, brainstorm new content ideas and come up with new ways to integrate Web and TV
* Conduct online research for Web stories
* With oversight of the producer and associate producer, write and edit copy for Web site
* Make occasional appearances on The Screen Savers live show
* Support the Web department during special projects
* Participate fully in all team meetings; help team as needed

Required experience:

* Looking for tech geek mentality
* Bachelor's degree and minimum of one year of experience in Web publishing, multimedia, content development, print journalism, television production or a related field.
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills a must. Editorial/journalism experience a plus.
* Efficient, organized and detail-oriented.
* Self-starter, enthusiastic and a quick learner.
* Basic understanding of Web technologies, applications and hardware is required. Basic knowledge of HTML is preferred. Thorough knowledge of the Web from an end-user perspective a must.
* Strong familiarity with basic computer apps, including Word, Excel and standard e-mail apps. Adobe Photoshop, ImageReady and Premiere experience a plus.
* Knowledge of television and/or radio production a plus. Passionate interest in convergent on-air/on-line media a major plus.

Please e-mail (hr@techtvcorp.com) with resume and salary requirements. No phone calls, please.


~Freelance Researcher

Seeking full-time and part-time (two weeks per month) researchers for fact-checking and some reporting. Pays $20/hour and up, depending on experience. Some experience preferred.

Maximum Golf is a fun, irreverent golf/men's magazine publishing monthly. Please e-mail resume to Connell Barrett (connellmaxgolf@aol.com).



NYUonline, Inc. (http://www.nyuonline.com) is a pre-IPO company poised to take the emerging/exploding e-learning market to new heights. Currently, NYUonline is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York University, with the mission to take the rich storehouse of intellectual content available with NYU and deliver it to the market in course form utilizing the Internet as the only delivery platform.

Work with subject matter experts and project team to design and write course materials for Web-based learning content. Develop high-level learning objectives and create rich and engaging instruction to help learners achieve them. Special emphasis will be placed on interactivity and creative learning interactions.


* Excellent writing skills
* Experience in course development
* Experience in self-paced or Web-based learning
* Knowledge and understanding of learning objects
* Experience in template driven, Web-based course production and instructional design is highly desired

Content knowledge in any of the following areas: Management, Marketing, Information Technology, E-commerce, E-Business, Law, Banking, Banking Derivatives, Nursing or General Business. Must be able to work independently and meet tight deadlines. Must work in personal computer environment.

Please e-mail a short writing sample, resume and contact information to Roberta Khan (Roberta.Kahn@nyuonline.com). Only interested individuals in the New York City tri-state area (N.Y., Conn. or N.J.) need apply. NYUonline, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



CityBusiness: The Business Journal is seeking reporters who are passionate about getting the big story first. Join an award-winning newsroom committed to being an indispensable source of news and analysis for the Twin Cities business community.

Candidates should have a track record of in-depth coverage and building source networks. Business reporting experience is preferred, but not required.

We offer a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision and 401(k). For consideration, send a cover letter, resume, salary requirements and clips to Editor, CityBusiness, 527 Marquette Ave., Suite 300, Minneapolis, Minn. 55402 or fax to (612) 288-2121. EOE.


~Associate Food Editor

Experienced person needed for fast-paced weekly women's service magazine to edit recipes and write copy. Must be organized and detail-oriented. Test kitchen experience, culinary and editing background a must. Fax resume to BJ at (201) 569-3584 or mail to Woman's World, Attn.: BJ, 270 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632. No phone calls or e-mails please.



Join a professional team of journalists and contribute to leading four-color trade magazine and special reports for executives in the energy industry. Must be a creative self-starter with effective interviewing and reporting
skills. Opportunity for contributing feature articles, special columns and participate in editorial planning process.

Must be able to work independently and as a team and be deadline-oriented. Three-plus years of reporting experience desired. Experience reporting on the energy or telecommunications industries is a plus. Competitive salary and benefits. Send resume and cover letter to Susan Johnson (smj@pur.com) or fax to (703) 847-7734.


~News Editor

Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com) seeks an editor with strong writing/editing skills and a minimum of three years magazine experience. Responsibilities include planning and editing news section, managing and editing freelancers and working well under pressure.

Quark skills preferred and knowledge of psychology a must. Must have experience with breaking news and research. Send cover letter, resume, salary requirements and three writing samples to Michael Seeber (michael@sussexpub.com) or mail to Michael Seeber, Managing Editor, 49 E. 21st St., 11th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010. EOE.



On Jan. 28, 1999, while I was at work, a fellow employee pointed a laser pointer into my eyes. The laser triggered a series of small yet alarming seizures. I went to the medical department of the plant.

Little did I know that when I walked into that room my life would be changed forever. A series of unbelievable events was set into motion that day. I lost my job of 23 years. I felt the full force of rage from my employer. My union not only did nothing to help me and my family, they actually sided with and protected the woman who started this nightmare even though she was caught in a ridiculous lie. I nearly lost my home, my wife, my sanity and even considered suicide.

The stress generated by this fiasco killed my mother in June 2000. Five weeks later, my father passed away. I blame this woman, the company and the union for my parents' deaths. If you hear the details of my story you will understand and agree. Mine is a story of corporate bullying gone berserk, of union bias, favoritism and hatefulness. It's the story of a woman who doesn't even know me being so determined to destroy me that in her haste she made an unbelievably stupid mistake and got caught. It's a story of a union that saw evidence of this woman's lying yet still took her side because she is attractive and has friends in the union.

I have awesome documentation and proof. I feel confident in saying that this is one of the most horribly sad stories that anyone has ever told. This story must be told. The truth must come out and the people in this company and this union must be exposed.

I would be willing to share a nice portion of the books sales. That's really all I am financially able to offer. I think 35% to 50% would be a fair offer. Of course if a writer needed to live somewhere near me while the book was being put together, he/she could live with my family free of charge. Send resumes to Walter Newsom (WL317@aol.com).


~Contributing Editors/Writers

I invite you to join me and the more than 1,300 columnists at Suite101 (http://www.suite101.com), a high profile online Web community that has been on the Web since 1996. Suite101 is searching for hundreds of Contributing Editors/Writers to write weekly, bi-weekly or monthly articles to build the Web's first online library of original articles with the Dewey Library System. Choose from hundreds of topics (writing, editing, education, pets, photography, golf/sports, travel, beauty, law, teen issues, yoga, new age, economy, social issues, politics, relationships, self-help, etc.) available. Or, if you have a specific topic in mind, you can suggest it to us.

As a Web community we require all Editor/Writer candidates to register prior to applying. Registration and Membership is free. Register on the Web site (http://www.suite101.com/join.cfm/54099).

The pay is modest but the opportunity is great for Editors/Writers (experienced and new) with a strong passion, knowledge and dedication in their chosen topic. Payment is made monthly (electronically in U.S. and Canada), and work is delivered through the Web via easy-to-use online forms. Writers/editors have the option to become Editor Affiliates to enjoy substantial income potential.

Suite101 has received 12 awards including The Best on The Net from Britannica.com and The Best of the Web for Writers from Writer's Digest. For further information, please contact Jennie (penpusher@suite101.com), Recruiter/SG Managing Editor Affiliate.



The Adjunct Advocate needs a contributing editor/freelance writer to cover the higher education faculty union beat. Writer should have thorough knowledge of education unions and higher education.

Writer will contribute six 900-word columns per year. Writer must be able to produce clear, crisp copy and have the tenacity to dig for good stories. Pay is $40 to $70/column plus documented expenses.

Required Skills/Experience:

* Knowledge of higher education
* Knowledge of higher education faculty unions

Please send a letter which highlights relevant education and experience, resume and two clips to P.D. Lesko, The Adjunct Advocate, P.O. Box 130117, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48113-0117.


~Editorial Coordinator

Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, the world's leading publisher of consumer magazines, has an opportunity for an Editorial Coordinator at Popular Photography Magazine. This position will work closely with the Managing Editor, Art Department, Proofreader and Production Manager to facilitate closings of monthly magazine.

Duties include flowing copy into Quark layouts, shipping pages to printer on monthly deadlines, some copyediting and proofreading. Seeking candidate with a minimum of one year magazine editorial experience. Strong computer skills, QPS and Quark required; proofreading and organizational skills essential. Ability to work well under pressure during closings. Interest in photography and/or cameras helpful. College graduate with concentration in English or Journalism.

Our organization offers a competitive salary, a comprehensive benefits package and opportunity for advancement. Please e-mail (jfila@hfmmag.com) resume with salary history. We will contact candidates whose experience matches our needs. No phone calls, please. EOE.


~Freelance Writers

We are looking for freelance writers who can contribute articles in the following areas:

* Small Business Management
* Corporate Finance
* Investments and Securities

The articles are for our various Web sites and they should be written in a simple style devoid of jargon, and should have a "how-to" kind of approach.

The sites are aimed at professional users and hence the content must be reflect the sophistication of our audience. The fee will range from $200 to $300/article. Writers and professional practitioners with relevant experience and expertise may e-mail (Info@VenturePortfolio.com) a resume. These are freelance assignments.



Internet news service needs journalist -- a real pro -- for daily business coverage of San Jose, Calif. and surrounding area. Daily freelance work guaranteed. E-mail (Timetoswitch@hotmail.com) resume and clips.


~Fact Checker

Experienced fact-checker needed. Knowledge of golf or travel a big plus. Job is presently part-time but could expand to full-time. Please fax a cover letter and resume to (212) 536-9888.


~Freelance Travel Writers

Wcities.com, which syndicates its content to Web sites and wireless devices worldwide, is seeking writers to produce 900 to 2,000 word "City Guides" for a number of locations in the Caribbean and Mexico. Each location will need six separate guides.

District Guide:

A general breakdown of the location's various districts and neighborhoods. Try and give us a sense of the area. Who lives and works there? Is it rich or poor? Classy? Gaudy? A tourist trap? Local? Did the French build the buildings or the Portuguese or the Spanish? Do people shop there? Are there art galleries? Is it a sparsely populated nature preserve? Tell us.

Where to Stay Guide:

By district, describe the various areas where hotels are clustered and give examples of hotels. What's close to the shopping? Is there an area where there are lots of moderate B&Bs? Where are the beaches crowded with visitors? Where are the beaches quiet?

Dining & Drinking:

By district, describe the location's bar and restaurant scene. Where can you eat on the cheap? Where do the locals dine? Is there a good Thai place is Hamilton, Bermuda? Where are the restaurants appropriate for business? Is there an area where you will need to take a second mortgage to get dinner?

Entertainment Guide:

Tell us about nightlife, theatre and other local events. Is there a carnival? Do world-class performers play the local hotels? Is there a place to go dancing at night?

Historical Background:

Give us a detailed (and hopefully interesting) history of the location. Start with the native population, then settlers and move right on to the present.

Recommended Tours:

These guides contain three or four specific, detailed walking tour itineraries. "Walk down Main Street, until you reach the board walk. There you will find. . ." Nothing too rough or extensive. Just a pleasant afternoon.


Currently we have an immediate need for guides on Bermuda, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Santo Domingo, St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Croix. In the near future we will need other locations, so feel free to e-mail if you would like write about another place, and we'll let you know if and when it will be scheduled.

We much, much prefer "local" writers. If you've lived in a locale (or even Summered or Wintered there for a number of years), we want to hear from you. Whatever you do, don't send us thinly veiled versions of the Frommer's or Fodor's guides, or any other publication. Trust us, we check.

Payment: $150 per each 900 to 2,000 word guide. Writers don't have to take on every guide for every locations but are welcome to do so.

E-mail resume, cover letter and one clip in the body of an e-mail to Melissa (Melissa@wcities.com).


~Senior Editor

Zagat Survey, a prestigious, rapidly growing international dining and travel guide publishing company, seeks a senior editor. The ideal candidate will have editorial experience, excellent writing, rewriting, line and copy editing skills.

E-mail (editjobs@zagat.com) resume, cover letter and salary requirements or fax to (212) 977-2099. No phone calls, please.



Citysearch St. Louis (http://stlouis.citysearch.com) is looking for you to ensure accurate and current coverage of assigned Citysearch topics, which may include: Music, Movies, The Arts, Restaurants & Bars, Shopping and Sports. We also need someone to ensure that content from the Citysearch Network and third-party providers appear at the times and in the form designated by the National and Regional Calendars.

In this position, you will work with senior editors to develop sources and plan A&E section coverage. You will develop and exercise good editorial judgment in developing content for the Web. You must be able to balance many projects at once, while meeting daily and project deadlines and be extremely detail-oriented and efficient.

Applicants must have two years reporting and editing experience in daily or weekly journalism; demonstrated attention to detail and AP style. Excellent writing and reporting skills, as well as aptitude for structural editing and headline writing are a must. Having knowledge of basic HTML and technical aptitude is required. We also require a strong interest in developing Web writing and editing skills, and in pushing the boundaries of the print and broadcast forms. Send resume to David Bartlett (dbartlett@citysearch.com).


~Editorial Assistant

Prominent New York-based fine arts magazine seeks an assistant to the editor. This is a great opportunity for a recent college graduate seeking to break into publishing. You will act as a liaison between and among the editorial, art and production departments. You need to be someone who is good at multitasking, has an attention to details and an interest in all aspects of magazine publication. To apply, e-mail (tomb@marketing-ny.com) your resume.


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.



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).



DIGITAL MUSE -- This section of our Web site (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.



~Deadline is Jan. 15.

ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards 2000 (http://www.forewordmagazine.com/boyta.asp) -- Do you have a good story, independently told? ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award was established to bring increased attention from librarians and booksellers to the literary achievements of independent presses and their authors.

Winners and finalists will be selected from 37 categories, and e-book submissions are welcome in all categories. The best ideas have always come from independent thinkers. The editors at ForeWord Magazine believe that maxim holds true for written ideas, as well. The most thought-provoking, startling and original books being published today can be found on the lists from independent publishers. These companies, unburdened by corporate bureaucracies, have the freedom and flexibility to respond to the needs of readers and to give space to authors with controversial, marginalized or unexplored viewpoints.

ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award was established to bring increased attention from librarians and booksellers to the literary achievements of independent publishers and their authors. A jury of librarians, booksellers and reviewers are selected to judge the categories for entry, and they select winners and finalists based on editorial excellence and professional production as well as the originality of the narrative and the value the book adds to its genre.

If your books expand a reader's world, introduce a voice society needs to hear, offer practical knowledge where none existed before or simply entertain so compellingly that all distractions fall away as the reader turns the next page, they should be submitted for the Book of the Year Award. Past Editor's Choice Prize winners include, "The Road Home" by Jim Harrison (Atlantic Monthly), and "Taking the Wall" by Jonis Agee (Coffee House Press) for fiction; "Mercator's Atlas" (Walking Tree Press), and "And the Crowd Goes Wild" by Joe Garner (Sourcebooks) for nonfiction.

Judging Criteria: Keeping in mind the standard used by booksellers and librarians for purchases/acquisitions, judges will take note of the following: editorial excellence, intent of book met by author, originality of subject matter, accuracy, author credentials and professional packaging. Finalists will be determined by a jury of judges consisting of editors and reviewers of ForeWord Magazine, and the ForeWord Board of Advisors, including booksellers, librarians, and other industry professionals.

Winning titles will be featured in a poster distributed to booksellers and librarians across the U.S. through ForeWord Magazine and industry trade shows. ForeWord Magazine reserves the right to withhold an award in any category should submissions not meet criteria outlined by editorial and professional production standards mentioned above.

Eligibility: Titles with copyright date of 2000, published by independent or university presses in North America.

Entry Fee: $50 per title, per category to be submitted with registration form and two copies of book.


-Young Adult
-Science Fiction
Fine Art/Photography

Editor's Choice Prizes:

Best Fiction 2000 - $1,000
Best Nonfiction - $1,000

Call our offices at (231) 933-3699 to request a brochure detailing eligibility for your titles with 2000 copyright dates, or simply visit the Web site.


~Deadline is Feb. 5.

Art Crowd's All New International Poetry/Essay/Short Story Contest (http://www.artcrowd.com/NewFiles/PoetsWriters.html).

Poetry Contest Guidelines -- Original, unique poetry on any theme. Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, freestyle, limerick, lyric, haiku, elegy, narrative, ballads and dramatic poetry. Maximum length 30 lines but can be shorter.

Essay Contest Guidelines -- Original, unique essays on any theme. Length 1,500 to 3,500 words.

Short Short Story Contest Guidelines -- Original, unique short stories on any theme. Maximum length 500 words but can be as short as 200 words.

Short Story Contest Guidelines -- Original, unique short stories on any theme. Maximum length 5,000 words but can be as short as 1,200 words.

All rights to the entries must be owned by the author and shall remain the property of the author/poet. Contests are open to professionals and amateurs. You may enter as many contests as you wish, but each contest requires a separate entry fee.

Entry Fees:

* Poetry Competition: 3 poems for $10
* Essay Contest: 1 essay for $10
* Short Short Story Competition: 2 short short stories for $10
* Short Story Competition: 1 short story for $10

Entry fees are nonrefundable. To submit more than the above number of entries for a particular competition, there is an additional charge of $5/poem or story. There are absolutely no hidden costs or extra fees. You may pay by check or use our convenient online credit card form. Poems and stories can be sent by mail or e-mail.

Winner notification letters will be mailed by March 1, 2001. Mail entries and a check or money order payable to Art Crowd to ART CROWD, 331 W. 57th St., Box 465, New York, N.Y. 10019. For more information, e-mail (staff@artcrowd.com).


~ Deadline is Feb. 15.

Fantasist Enterprises (http://fantasistent.com/Rules.html) presents the second annual "Fantastical Visions" Short Fantasy Fiction Contest. Stories must be of a fantastical nature. This is a broad description, but basically keep the nature of the stories magical and not technological.

Entries must be between 4,000 and 7,000 words in length. Please include a SASE for correspondence. There is no entry fee for one manuscript. If you are sending in two manuscripts, please include $5. Add $1 for each manuscript thereafter. Make checks and money orders payable to Fantasist Enterprises. No manuscripts will be returned.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive $100.
One Second Prize Winner will receive $75.
One Third Prize Winner will receive $50.

All winners will be published in the "Fantastical Visions" anthology, available in early summer 2001, from Fantasist Enterprises.

For more information, send a SASE to Fantasist Enterprises, "Fantastical Visions" Contest Rules, P.O. Box 9381, Wilmington, Del. 19809, or e-mail (contestrules@fantasistent.com).


~Deadline is Feb. 15.

Win Awards for Greeting Card Writing and Art (http://www.CardReps.com/comp1100.htm) -- Prizes: 18 cash awards totaling over $3,000 and commission-free representation by CardReps.

Winners announced within one month of each competition's end. Six cash awards (3 writing/3 art) are given three times per year. We have established the CardReps Juried Competition as a method for discovering
and helping card companies connect with the very best greeting card writers and artists. Our panel of industry-expert jurors select the best work, and we represent and endorse those artists and writers here on CardReps, in our Recommended Talent pages. In addition to cash awards, a select group of writers and artists will be chosen for this representation.

Eligibility: Anyone 18 years of age or older, unless prohibited in your geographic location.

Entry Fee: $30 per 10 verses submitted. Enter as often as you like. Complete separate submission papers for each entry/group of 10 verses.

First: $300
Second: $150
Third: $75 and/or consideration for representation by CardReps.

We're looking for original greeting card verses. You choose the theme and occasion. We are simply interested in seeing your very best work. Submit only in English language or Spanish language. Verses may be rhyming or non-rhyming and of any length. Your writing will be used for competition judging only and will not be purchased for use on greeting cards. You retain the rights to your material.

Submit 10 verses per entry. You may enter as often as you wish, but with only 10 verses per entry fee. Each verse should be on a separate sheet of paper. Label each sheet/verse with your name, mailing address, phone number, the date and E-mail address (if you have one). Winners and finalists will be contacted as soon as possible after the contest deadline, and their names will be posted on this Web site. Competition is open to all professional and amateur writers except employees of CardReps and their immediate families. Void where prohibited.

Print and complete official entry and release form and mail with submission and entry fee (check or money order) to Summerland, Ltd., CardReps Competition, P.O. Box 12947, Cincinnati, Ohio 45212. For more information, e-mail (competition@cardreps.com).


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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Mother Jones (http://www.motherjones.com), with a paid circulation of 150,000, is one of the largest progressive publications in the country. The national bimonthly magazine is known for its investigative journalism and exposés, and its coverage of social issues, public affairs and popular culture. Most of the articles we print are written by freelancers.


* Hard-hitting, investigative reports exposing government cover-ups, corporate malfeasance, scientific myopia, institutional fraud or hypocrisy, etc.

* Thoughtful, provocative articles which challenge the conventional wisdom (on the right or the left) concerning issues of national importance.

* Timely, people-oriented stories on issues such as the environment, labor, the media, health care, consumer protection and cultural trends.


Send us a letter proposing your story idea(s). Explain what you plan to cover and how you will proceed with the reporting. The query should convey your approach, tone and style, and should answer the following:

What are your specific qualifications to write on this topic? What "ins" do you have with your sources? Can you provide full documentation so that your story can be fact-checked?

Keep in mind that our lead time is three months and submissions should not be so time-bound that they will appear dated. If we, or another publication, have run a similar story in the last few years, explain how your story will differ.

If you have not contributed to Mother Jones before, please send two or three photocopies of previously published articles along with your query. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or fiction. Mother Jones assumes no responsibility for unsolicited queries or manuscripts and will only respond to those accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Therefore, please do not query us by phone or fax. We do accept queries via e-mail to (query@motherjones.com).

Amanda Davidson, Assistant to the Editor
Mother Jones Magazine
731 Market St., 6th Floor
San Francisco, Calif. 94103



Sierra Club Home Sierra Magazine (http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/) is a bimonthly national magazine publishing writing, photography and art about the natural world. Our readers are environmentally concerned and politically diverse; most are active in the outdoors. We are looking for fine writing that will provoke, entertain and enlighten this readership.

Though open to new writers, we find ourselves most often working with authors we have sought out or who have worked with us for some time. We ask writers who would like to publish in Sierra to submit written
queries; phone calls are strongly discouraged. If you would like a reply to your query or need your manuscript returned to you, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Prospective Sierra writers should familiarize themselves with recent issues of the magazine; for a sample copy, send a self-addressed envelope and a check for $3 payable to Sierra; back issues are included on the Sierra Club's Web site.

Please be patient: Though the editors meet weekly to discuss recently received queries, a response time of from six to eight weeks is usual.

Please do not send slides, prints or other art work. If photos or illustrations are required for your submission, we will request them when your work is accepted for publication.

Sierra is looking for strong, well-researched, literate writing on significant environmental and conservation issues. Features often focus on aspects of the Sierra Club's conservation work. For more information about issues the Club is currently working on, visit our Web site. Writers should look for ways to cast new light on well-established issues. We look for stories of national or international significance; local issues, while sometimes useful as examples of broader trends, are seldom of interest in themselves. We are always looking for adventure travel pieces that weave events, discoveries and environmental insights into the narrative. Nonfiction essays on the natural world are welcome, too.

We do not want descriptive wildlife articles, unless larger conservation issues figure strongly in the story. We are not interested in editorials, general essays about environmentalism or in highly technical writing. We do not publish unsolicited cartoons, poetry or fiction; please do not submit works in these genres.

Recent feature articles that display the special qualities we look for are "Salmon's Second Coming" by David James Duncan (March/April 2000), "One Man's Wilderness" by Joe Kane (March/April 2000), "How to Heal Our Cities" by David Moberg (May/June 2000), "Where the Caribou Roam" by Reed McManus (July/August 2000), "The New Gold Rush" by Rebecca Solnit (July/August 2000).

Feature length ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 words; payment is from $800 to $3,000, plus negotiated reimbursement for expenses.

Much of the material in Sierra's departments is written by staff editors and contributing writers. The following sections of the magazine, however, are open to freelancers. Articles are 750 to 1,500 words in length; payment is $500 to $1,500 unless otherwise noted. Expenses up to $50 may be paid in some cases.

"Food for Thought" is concerned with what we eat and its connection to the environment. Topics range from drying food for backpacking to bovine growth hormones to the consequences of buying imported produce.

"Good Going" tells of an adventure journey or destination. We are not looking for listings of itineraries, but rather for travel writing with thoughtful observation of place and personality (1,500 words).

"Hearth & Home" offers information and advice on how we can live our environmental principles in our own homes; topics have ranged from composting with worms to building with straw to energy conservation. Articles for this department should be accurate, lively and helpful (750 to 1,500 words).

"Body Politics" discusses relations between health and environment, often with practical advice on how to avoid health hazards. Articles should be carefully researched (750 to 1,500 words).

"Lay of the Land" focuses on environmental issues of national or international concern. Regional issues are considered when they have national implications. At 500 to 700 words, "Lay of the Land" articles are not sweeping surveys, but tightly focused, provocative, well-researched investigations of environmental issues. Payment varies according to length.

"Mixed Media" features 750-word essays on how media, the arts and other cultural topics relate to the environment, and also offers short (200 to 300) word reviews of the books and videos on environmentalism and natural history. (Payment per review is $50.)

"Personality Profiles" are biographical accounts of the work of environmental activists or researchers (1,500 words).

Payment for all articles is on acceptance, which is contingent on a favorable review of the manuscript by our editorial staff, and by knowledgeable outside reviewers, where appropriate. Kill fees are negotiated when a story is assigned.

Address all queries to Managing Editor, Sierra magazine, 85 Second St., 2nd Floor, San Francisco, Calif. 94105. For more information about Sierra, e-mail (sierra.magazine@sierraclub.org).



My Little Magazine (MLM) -- Adult writers with writing expertise preferred, but will accept some articles on writing written by young writers if written and submitted in a professional manner. Author must show knowledge of writing and express it in a way a child can understand. MLM's primary goal is to aid young or new writers in learning the tools of the craft and getting published.

We advise writers of MLM to write the how-to article in their own voices and words, and when editing to say the same thing, but in a way they'd tell the information to a son or daughter. Make it fun to read with an upbeat tone. Many readers are ages 10 to 14 and adults new at writing. Some readers are even as young as 8. Humor woven into a piece is always welcome (and hoped for).

How-to writing: Articles of up to 500 words on how to write dialogue, create settings, understand point-of-view, use rhythm, write poetry or any aspect of writing. (Occasionally take 600 to 700 words.) No subject can be covered in 500 words completely, but we like a focused article on one aspect of one subject.

We do not accept overly broad articles. We find that our readers manage best if they are given a little good information at one time. They can absorb it and learn one thing from one lesson, something that will improve their writing and can be practiced immediately in their next stories. An exercise following and pertaining to the article may be included. Use humorous sentences for examples. Terms: $5 and two contributor's copies.

Fillers: Writing-related only, 50 to 300 words; $5 and one contributor's copy.

Profiles on editors and publishers, 500 words, $10. Include quote(s).

"A Writer's Life" The story should be no more than 1,900 words on "A Writer's Life." The purpose of the story should be to show an example of what a real writer's everyday life is like. My Little Magazine is a publication for young and new writers. The story should "teach" the pitfalls and/or glories in a writer's life. Let new writers glimpse their futures. The teaching should be woven into the story as part of the fictional dream.

Topics such as receiving rejections, one of those wonderful and cruelly precise critiques, a nice fat check and recognition can be shown through great characterization. The main character should be a writer with family, perhaps a child interested in writing. Make the stories teen-friendly. Main character can be a teen, too.

Note: Stories should not dissuade a student from seeking a career in writing with poverty-stricken tales; but rather, prepare students for it with truth about the work we do. No I-wrote-it-once-and-became-famous
stories. We want to convince young writers that through study, hard work and a love for words, they can do it! These stories will help new writers endure the process good writing requires.

Other "lessons" that can be woven into stories:

* Juggling deadlines and family responsibility/friends.
* The importance of meeting deadlines.
* Persistence pays.
* The revision process.
* Tossing out a favorite line that doesn't fit.
* Toiling over books on marketing; finding a market.
* Preparing a mss. for send-off under pressure.

Stories should show a humorous slant to pitfalls, but not slight them or show a lack of sincerity. We don't want to give a youngster the idea they'll make a million in a week, but neither do we want them to think success can never happen. No "writer-eats-bullet-after-receiving-rejection" or depressing stories. Readers love dialogue and humor. Make them laugh! Terms: $10 and two free copies.

United We Stand: The best department for new writers to break in! This department showcases stories written by the young or not so young. New writers often consider stories to be for entertainment only, while the
personal essay dominates the work with "messages." The truth is, every piece of fiction has a message. The message in this department should be one young writers wish to pass along to grandparents of the world.

Likewise, stories written by well-seasoned adults should offer the wisdom you'd like to pass along to youngsters. Be creative. Stories should offer enjoyable reading for both the young and not-so-young readers. Prefer fiction, but may occasionally take creative nonfiction. Lively language, sincerity and inspiration a must. Stories (fiction) must be written tightly and may run from 200 to 1,600 words. Include short bio. Payment: $5 and free copy of the issue your work appears in (or subscription extension).

Submit complete mss. Rights revert back to author in 90 days after publication of most articles. Buys one-time rights. Send submissions to Rhonda Ramos, Editor, My Little Magazine, P.O. Box 2120, Channelview, Texas 77530. You may also e-mail (MyLittleMagazine@cs.com) submissions.


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:


Let Smort, the host of the Mystery and Suspense Writer's Workshop, show you the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Each month, Smort posts a useful "how-to" article, along with a short story challenge. And if you're struggling with writing and the mechanics of style, be sure to read through the Painless Grammar Workshop. You'll never fear controversial dangling particples or the wily adverb ever again.



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.
Details: http://www.yudkin.com/upcoming.htm



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 $6.50 on CD-ROM and for $3.50 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.

"Sleeping Planet" by William R. Burkett, Jr.
Reviewed by Audrey Snowden (audreysnowden@yahoo.com)
Publisher: Alexandria Digital Literature
Format: Electronic
Rating: * * * * stars

The alarms went off. People herded themselves obediently into the nearest underground shelters. Just another day on Terra. But once in that shelter, everyone but Bradford Donovan lost consciousness. And when he went aboveground to find out what was happening, he saw alien troops parachuting down from the sky.

Donovan finds allies, and the aliens, Llralans -- commonly known as Larrys -- advance with plans to take over the human-occupied planets in the galaxy (of which there are three).

Here you have the bare bones of a rip-roaring adventure story: a handful of Terrans against a fleet of aliens, fighting for the freedom of three worlds.

Additionally, you have hunters! Guns! Territorial squabbles! Us versus them! Aliens! Robots! Military parlance! More guns! Different kinds of guns! Nary a line spoken by a female, not anywhere!

And despite that last part, I loved the whole thing.

"Sleeping Planet" is definitely a genre book -- very boy-oriented science fiction -- but it's well written and highly entertaining.

Major players here are Donovan, an embittered one-time adventurer; James Rierson, a lawyer and game hunter; Sjilla, a Llralan officer and spy surgically altered to pass as a human and Sarno, the Llralan officer in charge of this invasion. William R. Burkett, Jr. sketches these characters in rough, broad strokes at first (particularly the Terrans), but that works. This is a broad-sketch sort of book.

That's not to say Burkett leaves loose ends or neglects detail. He's plotted this tale well, and it moves along swiftly. He provides smooth transitions from one character to the next and from one locale to the next. And he efficiently sketches in background detail, in one instance comparing 25th-century London to 20th-century New York: "big, uncouth and brawling." One of my favorite lines occurs near the beginning of the book, when Donovan, who uses mechanical legs (having lost his in an accident), is shot by a newly-arrived Larry. The legs stop working and Donovan topples. "Down he went, like a timbered sequoia."

As "Sleeping Planet" progresses, Burkett widens his scope to give access to the key Llralans and their points of view. A little bit of cultural knowledge goes a long way, and Burkett's story widens and unfolds like a flower coming into bloom. This tale of the Federation versus the Empire, written before those terms evoked thoughts of "Star Trek" and "Star Wars," will stay with you long after those once-bright entities have been franchised into extinction.

"Sleeping Planet" is a fabulous, high-quality example of old-school science fiction. Although it was copyrighted in the 1960s, its been rereleased in a new electronic format. If you enjoy classic science fiction of the sort that some might term "boy books," I suggest you purchase "Sleeping Planet" for your personal library. It's a classic just waiting to be discovered and savored.


"Whose Face Is in the Mirror?" by Dianne Schwartz
Reviewed by Tina L. Miller (tina@tinalmiller.com)
Publisher: Hay House, Inc.
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1-56170-638-8
Rating: * * * 1/2 stars

Dianne Schwartz was only married one short month when her husband beat her the first time, though "beat" hardly begins to describe his angry tirade of assault that included slapping, kicking, hitting, spitting, name calling, grabbing her by the hair and choking her.

The incident left her bloodied, bruised and utterly humiliated. When she was able to get away, Dianne went to a friend's house. But instead of calling the police or otherwise exposing her husband's abuse, Dianne hid in shame. And then, when her husband begged her forgiveness, she went back. Not once, not twice, but many times.

Dianne wasn't a young girl right out of high school. This wasn't her first marriage. She was an adult with grown and nearly grown children herself. She had only known this man for four months before she married him. What would make a woman subject herself to repeated abuse from someone she had known for such a short time? What goes on inside a woman's mind that keeps her coming back for more abuse?

"Whose Face Is in the Mirror?" examines the woman inside the author, taking readers through the abusive marriage she struggled to save, her own self-discovery and what it finally took for her to leave the marriage.

This story is Dianne's journey of self-discovery and healing, brought about with the help of a very good therapist. It is well written, well organized, insightful, and courageous. Sharing one's most difficult and humiliating moments is never an easy experience, and examining one's own motivations, feelings and the complexities of the inner mind that lead us to painful conclusions is usually a very private matter. Dianne shares a great deal of what goes on inside herself with her readers, aiding in her own healing and offering others the opportunity for healing and hope in their own lives.

This book is a must read for anyone who even suspects they might be in an abusive relationship. Family and friends of abuse victims should also read this book to help understand the motivations that keep their loved one returning again and again to the abuser. Anyone who is intrigued with what makes people do the things they do, how the cycle of abuse is perpetuated and why women make poor choices in men will find this book fascinating.


"A Kiss of Shadows" by Laurell K. Hamilton
Reviewed by Jade Walker (MaidenFate@aol.com)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0345423399
Rating: * * 1/2 stars

Merry is a real life fairy princess. Her royal family has this little hang-up about her mixed parentage, and has spent the past three years looking for her. Once they find her, she's dead meat.

To avoid being killed, Merry hides out in Los Angeles, using glamour to disguise her appearance. She works as a private detective specializing in supernatural cases. Unfortunately, the first case the reader is exposed to is the very one that exposes Merry to her family. Upon her return to the Unseelie Court, Merry is pushed into an unexpected political situation, one that could affect the future of the Fey.

Merry is an interesting character, full of spirit and experience (most of which seems to be sexual and/or violent). Her interaction with the other characters, both human and Fey, is unfortunately lackluster due to the dialogue. It's clear Laurell K. Hamilton wants to show Merry as a witty, intelligent person, but the words that come out of her mouth rarely provide back-up to this contention.

However, Merry's guards, Frost and Doyle, are wonderful characters, particularly when shown side by side. They provide an intriguing dynamic of light and dark, and their attitudes toward court politics (of which they've experienced for over 800 years) certainly leave the reader wanting to know more about them.

The plot of "A Kiss of Shadows" also leaves something to be desired. In essence, the book is really just a series of sexual situations interspersed with a lot of running. The mystery and horror elements so common in Hamilton's other books are missing from this one, although the encounters between the sheets are certain to leave any reader a bit breathless.

Hamilton has a gripping writing style. Her words pound into your brain with staccato drum beats. Though she tends to spend a great deal of time "telling" rather than "showing" the reader what's happening, Hamilton knows how to dig into the latent fantasies of her readers. Her erotic descriptions are breathtaking, and make for some uncomfortable incidents when read in public. Those of a more sexually free nature will revel in her characters' escapades, and enjoy this tense little romp of pleasure and pain.

Fans of Hamilton's Anita Blake vampire hunter series should definitely pick up this book, if only to support the author. The story is not the greatest, but it's clear Hamilton intends to lead Merry into her own series. If you've not been exposed to her writing before, skip "A Kiss of Shadows" for now, and read the Anita Blake series instead. Merry is an interesting character, but she pales in comparison to Hamilton's vampire hunter.


"Freezing Persons" by Laura Feldman
Reviewed by Kathy Kehrli (dopeyk17@yahoo.com)
Publisher: Xlibris
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-7388-1586-1
Rating: * * * stars

Lily arrives at Port Authority with a crumpled photo of a body found dead at the bottom of a staircase, a blood-stained knife and no memory of the events leading up to her present predicament. Fully intending to continue her getaway, she meets up with Nona, who offers her a place to stay, and suddenly New York doesn't seem like such a bad place to hide.

Donning a wig and sunglasses, Lily becomes nearly invisible in the city's crowded streets, where she begins the slow process of recollection. Along the way, she meets an eclectic assortment of people, each dealing with personal demons of their own. There's her roommate, Nona, who collects "Missing Children" posters, hides brown paper packages in her freezer and changes men like a model changes outfits. Next, there's Ariel, the lonely tarot card psychic who can't admit her occupation to her well-to-do family. And finally, there's Alyse, the exotic dancer who is addicted to plastic surgery.

While one might think this is a murder mystery, it is, in fact, a psychological glimpse into the mind of a troubled young woman. Laura Feldman has sprinkled this book with unusual tidbits and hazy dreams spanning all the way back to Lily's infancy. The alleged crime serves merely as a tool for the reawakening of a distressed spirit.

Because of the various flashbacks, "Freezing Persons" floats in and out of various degrees of reality. The reader needs to pay close attention to avoid becoming confused. The eerie quality of Feldman's dream sequences, however, are fascinating and not to be missed.

Definitely not for the faint-of-heart, "Freezing Persons" deals with some rather disturbing subplots: abuse of an animal and a psychiatric patient who wants to cut off his penis and become a woman. Edgy, straightforward and tell-it-like-it-is, that's Feldman's style, which lends itself perfectly to the New York City setting.

While none of the characters completely "unthaws," each of their disparities begins to melt. In the process of reading "Freezing Persons," you'll gain a bit of insight into the human psyche and perhaps even learn a little bit more about your own.


"60 Seconds and You're Hired" by Robin Ryan
Reviewed by Gary Presley (presley@dialnet.net)
Publisher: Penguin
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0-14-028903-8
Rating: * * * stars

"Welcome to McJobfinder!"

In "60 Seconds & You're Hired!" Robin Ryan taps into the virtual hard drive of computerized corporate America, where headhunters jazzed on Starbucks communicate in sound bytes.

Need a job? No problem. Network with your contacts and whip up your five point agenda. Code in 60 seconds of bizspeak, and the human resources guy will decide his team can't live without you.

"I'm hired! Give me the key to the executive washroom and make it a silver Beamer for the company car."

Ryan whips through a short 173 pages of solid advice and still covers all you need to know to enter an interview and come out alive -- and hired. She offers:

* 90 answers to tough interview questions
* Questions you should always ask
* 20 interview pitfalls to avoid
* Negotiation techniques that secure higher salaries

Her proven technique is succinct. Be concise. Be complete. Be coherent.

Concise -- Frame a "Five Point Agenda," one in which you outline your skills, previous responsibilities, knowledge of the prospective employer's goals and your ability to help the company reach them.

Complete -- Wrap those five points into a "60 Second Sell" and use it as a response to inevitable questions like "You've been with the same company so many years, how will you cope with a new one?"

Coherent -- Stick to the agenda and the 60 second summary without allowing yourself to be detoured into stories about your former boss who ate the five Martini lunch or the colleague who lost the "Outstanding Employee" award to George Costanza.

"Real people use these techniques every day," writes Ryan, and she has the credentials to make that assertion. She is a licensed vocational counselor, operates her own career-counseling practice and has authored four other books on the subject.

Know your stuff but get tongue-tied in interviews? Ryan's book is for you. You'll get tips on different types of interviews -- screening, second, panel, group, stress and those deceptively relaxing interviews over dinner.

She also tells you what to wear, what to bring and what to say when the suit who runs HR starts to play hardball with "Describe a time when you felt you made a poor decision" or "Were you fired from your last job or why did you leave your last job?"

Ryan's book appears a quick and easy read, but don't let that lure you into paging through it the night before the big interview. Get it now. Study it thoroughly. Use it properly, and you won't be hearing "You want fries with that?" when you start at your new job.


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).



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."



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: Online Shopping. What is your favorite online bookstore?


* Amazon.com
* BarnesandNoble.com
* Borders.com
* Booksamillion.com
* Other
* I don't shop for books online.

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: SASEs. When sending a query by snail mail, do you include a self-addressed stamped envelope?


Yes, always -- 87%
Yes, sometimes -- 6%
No, never -- 6%
Other -- 1%

Total: 100 votes.



"But of course, I always, always, always send a SASE with a snail mail submission or query! Unfortunately, they don't always, always, always come back. Sort of makes you wonder what happens to your precious stamp. I thought most editors could afford their own postage. Most starving writers can -- twice! I'm so well trained that I send my daughter SASEs with the few snail mails I send her. Even fewer of those come back. She's a starving writer too and probably has to cut off the stamps to paste on her ComEd bills every month. Maybe I should write more often -- or send more postage. SASEs for everyone! Even me!" --JudyB (jbwrites@msn.com)

"Although I always include a SASE with my query, as I always have done, what I have noticed is that in the last four or five years, editors have been slower and slower to reply. They used to return the query within 90 days, but many now take up to six months and many, sad to say, never even bother to respond. Often, by the time they have indicated their lack of interest, I am on to other projects and have forgotten what they are talking about. Times are a changing." --Peter Sciaky (psciaky@usa.net)

"Yes, but only if I am enclosing something I want returned (i.e., a photograph). Include your phone number and e-mail address in a query. If an editor likes your pitch, he/she will contact you. Wasting a stamp and an envelope to send yourself a rejection letter is self-defeating behavior, akin to anticipating failure." --Rita Hess (okwriter@peakonline.com)

"I agree with John Gorman that the chances are slim you'll ever receive a story go-ahead tucked inside your SASE, but what you might well get is a note saying that although this idea is not quite right, the editor wants to hear more ideas from you. Editors seldom do this by phone (actually, I've never received a phone call from an editor for this purpose). Sending a SASE has certainly led to open doors and sales for me." --Karin Beuerlein (rbeuerlein@lorettotel.net)

"Yes, always include SASE! The one time I forgot to, a supposedly author-friendly agent refused to answer me." --Mary (BSDetectr@aol.com)



"Yes, sometimes, if they specifically say you have to I do, But I always try not to send them by mail in the first place." --Lanny Boutin (lboutin@3Web.net)



"No. I don't. My rationale is if they really want the story, they will call ... and they do ... or e-mail. I would like someone to ask editors how many read over the transom queries versus electronic queries and ask the editors if they want SASEs. My guess is that they don't. Just more paperwork for them or their asst. to worry about. But, sometimes I never hear and then I wonder if the query ever got there. Of course, I sometimes send simultaneous submissions ... that, come to think of it, is another good idea for a question." --Mark Hoffman (markwriter@dejazzd.com)

"Why should I go to the expense and effort of sending an editor a SASE? In my experience if an editor is interested in a query, or an over-the-transom submission, they'll usually call within a few hours of receiving it. If I don't hear back in a few weeks the answer is clear: "Not interested." The only possible reasons I can see for including SASEs are 1) You hope they'll scribble some note of useful advice, or encouragement like "Please try again!" 2) After getting a SASE back you know for sure it's "safe" to submit it to other publications. 3) You're a masochist. 4) You're a novice and think you ought to be "Polite and considerate" to editors. Fuggidaboudit. Writing's a business, not a tea party. Editors don't hesitate to throw queries, SASEs and all into the garbage can if they're not interested. When I was a much younger writer I had a rubber stamp made so I could include a SAS Postcard along with queries. Do you think your readers like to know what was on it?" --Wade H. Nelson (http://www.frontier.net/~wadenelson/successstories/)



QUALITY EDITING AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE! Multipublished 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



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.



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

The Inscriptions Engraver Award Categories are:











Send up to five nominations in each category to Engraver@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading, "Engraver Awards." Winners will be announced on Feb. 19 during a live, online ceremony.



The news and information contained within this e-zine was found on the Internet, through direct queries with publishers and authors and from the kind contributions of our subscribers. Sources used for this issue include: Writers Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com), the EzinesToday mailing list (http://www.egroups.com/community/ezinestoday), the WorkForWriters mailing list (http://www.egroups.com/community/WorkForWriters), Excite News (http://news.excite.com), The Associated Press (http://www.ap.org), Variety (http://www.variety.com), The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com), CNN (http://www.cnn.com), the Fantasy Writers mailing list (http://www.chaosmanor.com), Sri Lanka Daily News (http://www.lanka.net/lakehouse/), Agence France Presse (http://www.afp.com), BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk), Baltimore Sun (http://www.sunspot.net), The Salt Lake Tribune (http://www.sltrib.com), Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com), CNet (http://www.news.com), San Jose Mercury News (http://www.mercurynews.com), Reuters (http://www.reuters.com), Media Week (http://www.mediaweek.com), Netread (http://www.netread.com), Dow Jones News Service (http://www.dowjones.com), Media Central (http://www.mediacentral.com), Litnet (litnet@pacbell.net), Inside (http://www.inside.com), the Inksplatters mailing list (http://www.egroups.com/community/inksplatters), PRNewswire (http://www.PRNewswire.com), PW Daily for Booksellers (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pwdaily), Infobeat (http://www.infobeat.com), Fucked Company (http://www.fuckedcompany.com), ZENtertainment (http://www.zentertainment.com), M2 Presswire (http://www.m2.com), BookFlash (http://www.bookflash.com), The Australian (http://news.com.au), DarkEcho (http://www.darkecho.com), the TerrorZines mailing list (http://www.egroups.com/community/TerrorZines), Digital City (http://www.digitalcity.com), Movie Fever (http://www.egroups.com/community/movie_fever), Yack.com (http://www.yack.com), Inklings (http://www.inkspot.com/inklings), Trafford News (http://www.trafford.com), Simon Recommends FANTASTIC FALL Titles (http://www.simonsays.com), Simon Recommends FOREVER FICTION (http://www.simonsays.com), Craig's List (http://www.craigslist.org), Washington Post Jobs (http://www.washingtonpost.com), Media Bistro (http://www.mediabistro.com), The Silicon Alley Job Board (http://nynma.org), the Free-Content mailing list (http://www.egroups.com/community/Free-Content) and various subscriber contributions. Thank you all for putting out such great information.



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