Vol. 4 Issue 7
February 12, 2001
ISSN: 1522-3728

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

To subscribe, send an e-mail to Inscriptions-subscribe@topica.com.
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~Editor's Note
~Quote of the Week
~Article -- Still Weaving Fantasy and Magic: An Interview With Terry Brooks by Bev Walton-Porter
~Article -- The Unique Tax Issues of Freelance Writers by Rosemary Carlson
~Inscriptions Conspiracy Contest
~Inscriptions Bad Poetry Contest Winners
~Publishing News and Notes
~Humor -- OBITUARY: Writer, Rita T. by Rita Hess
~Job Opportunities
~Link of the Week
~Book Reviews -- "One Last Kiss" by Robyn Chawner, "WYSIWYG" by Renee Austin, "Gold in the Shadow" by Michael Marcotte, "The Rise of the Phoenix" by Dawn Rivers Baker and ""Soul Survival"" by Peter D. Leslie
~Inscriptions Engraver Awards
~Subscription/Advertising Information



It's been another banner week for Inscriptions. Our magazine has been selected as one of this year's Writer's Digest 101 Best Web Sites (http://www.writersdigest.com). Look for the mention/review in the May 2001 issue.

The results of the Preditors & Editors 2000 Reader's Poll (http://www.sfwa.org/prededitors/perp2000.htm) were announced, and we were thrilled to learn that Inscriptions had won for Best Nonfiction Publication, Best Publication Editor and Best Nonfiction Article for our interview with writer Neil Gaiman (From Sandman to Guardian Angel -- http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/100900a.html). Wow! Thank you to everyone who voted for us and for your continued support. Be sure to visit the P&E Web site to see/congratulate the other winners.


Need a bit of extra inspiration? Then visit our Freebies area (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Freebies.html) to download another gorgeous desktop wallpaper item designed by Frank Fradella, editor of Cyber Age Adventures (http://www.cyberageadventures.com).


The 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Awards (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Engravers.html) are already on their way to becoming a resounding success. We want all 5,000 of you to respond, so take five minutes and e-mail your ballot today.


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



"Science fiction is about the future, and fantasy is about the past -- the myth of the way things used to be. Science fiction is, in a sense, trying to construct a myth of the future." --Iain M. Banks



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Barbara Black is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years experience in corporate communications, journalism and curriculum design. Her articles, reviews and columns have appeared in U.S. and Canadian newspapers, as well as travel and aviation publications. Barbara writes regular columns for the e-zine Reputations.News. You can read this publication at http://www.prmadeeasy.com/freeforall/freeINK.asp.


ARTICLE -- Still Weaving Fantasy and Magic: An Interview With Terry Brooks
By Bev Walton-Porter (bev@inscriptionsmagazine.com)

Known by millions of readers as a grand master of fantasy novels, author Terry Brooks first made his mark in 1977 when his debut novel, "The Sword of Shannara" was released. The book entranced countless readers and was the first work of fiction ever to appear on the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller List. It wasn't until five months later that the spot was relinquished.

Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, Brooks still maintains a stronghold on the fantasy genre and has had over 16 New York Times best-selling novels. In 1999, George Lucas of "Star Wars" fame tapped Brooks to novelize the script for "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."

This summer, Brooks plans to play another role -- that of writer-in-residence for the critically acclaimed Odyssey Writing Workshop, a six-week retreat for fantasy, science fiction and horror writers held on the campus of New Hampshire College in Manchester, N.H.

INSCRIPTIONS: Thanks for joining us for this interview, Terry. For those who may not be familiar with your history, would you tell our readers about your writing background? When and why did you begin writing?

TERRY BROOKS: I have been writing stories since at least the fourth grade. I still have that story. I was published at 13 in the Illinois Historical Journal with an article about Lincoln. I suspect I was bitten by the writing bug about then. I always loved the puzzle solving aspect of putting words together to form stories.

Other writers influenced me greatly. I loved what they had done, and I wanted to do it, too.

INSCRIPTIONS: You used to be an attorney -- how did that meld with the "other" side of yourself who wrote fantasy novels?

BROOKS: I was an attorney for 17 years. I did it to keep from starving to death while trying to become a published writer. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

The best part of being a lawyer is that it teaches organization, something writers desperately need. Nothing of the form or language was very useful, although I used to think that the one occupation served as a counter balance to the other. Certainly the raw emotions of the people I encountered in my practice helped with my writing.

INSCRIPTIONS: What makes your books so different from other books out there in the same genre?

BROOKS: Mine are better. :) Seriously, I write a more mainstream sort of fantasy/adventure than most other writers. I base most of what I write on what I see happening in today's world. I am concerned mostly with issues that would concern the reader in real life -- dysfunctional families, hard choices of right and wrong, exercising responsibility, that sort of thing.

An awful lot of my readers tend to be very middle of the road -- they are not hard core fantasy readers and they often don't read anything in fantasy besides me.

INSCRIPTIONS: Regarding the Odyssey Writing Workshop (http://www.sff.net/odyssey/), how did you first get involved with it?

BROOKS: I received a request to participate from Jeanne Cavelos, the coordinator. I didn't know anything about the program, so I checked it out and found it was very well regarded.

I have done some teaching in advanced fiction writing at the Maui Writers Conference, but nothing that was strictly science fiction/fantasy/horror. So I thought it would be interesting and challenging to take the guest slot for a week at Odyssey for a change of pace.

INSCRIPTIONS: What advice would you give to writers who want to break into fantasy fiction these days?

BROOKS: I don't think breaking into writing is any different now than it was 25-odd years ago when I broke in. The same dire warnings were going around -- no one will publish what you are writing, the market is tough, competition is keen, and so forth.

It is always a challenge, and you have to want it bad enough to endure rejection and failure over and over. I tell writers the same things I told myself: You must write every day. You must persevere. You must be patient. You must get lucky. You can control three of the four. So do that much and maybe the fourth will find you on its own.

INSCRIPTIONS: What upcoming trends do you see in the publishing industry, and how do you feel about the advent of e-publishing?

BROOKS: I think publishing is undergoing another change with e-books and Web publishing, and I expect it isn't the last change we will see. The one thing that is certain is that, like everything else in life, the business of writing and publishing will change.

I don't think that the new way will necessarily replace the old. Online won't replace paper. But a new market is definitely going to open up.

I don't like Web books myself; I am a traditionalist. I want my books bound in paper. But my 17-year-old son lives on the computer. So I better accept what's happening with new generations of readers, or I will turn into my father.

INSCRIPTIONS: How are writers and readers of today different from when you wrote your first book back in '77, if at all?

BROOKS: I think readers are different in one very noticeable way -- not all of them, but a large number. They are looking for sound bite writing. This is the effect of 30 years of intensive video and television viewing where so much of our programming and information is presented in seven minute sound bites.

Writers are influenced by this to the extent that they respond to what readers want. But the type of fiction still influences what form works best. Horror fiction and thrillers have always worked best with quick sharp sections. Fantasy has always worked best with a more leisurely approach. This isn't an absolute, and it will change some more along the way, but I think about it in my own reading and writing all the time.

INSCRIPTIONS: Tell us about your latest work.

BROOKS: "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0345396545/inscriptions) is a story set at the beginning of a five-book series dealing with Walker Boh's efforts at reestablishing the Druid Council.

INSCRIPTIONS: Any additional comments or advice you'd like to share?

BROOKS: I always like to tell people that I think books are the purest form of entertainment and the best. I am prejudiced, sure. But what other medium allows you to interact to the same degree as books do? You must participate, and what you imagine is what is true, which is the best way to experience something. It is more personal and special that way. No one else ever sees it the same way you do. Read, and be transformed.

The Wondrous Worlds of Terry Brooks (http://www.terrybrooks.net)



THE WEB SITE REVIEWS (http://www.shagmail.com/al/affiliates.cgi?151) -- Net surfing can be fun again if you know where to look. Why waste your time with thousands of boring pages when Shagmail has already found the most fun, entertaining and informative Web sites for you?



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: Choices of Fate


ARTICLE -- The Unique Tax Issues of Freelance Writers
By Rosemary Carlson (rcarlson@mis.net)

The taxman cometh!

To all of us independent freelancers, tax time may strike fear, or certainly dread, in our hearts. As freelancers, we're going to have 1099 forms from a variety of organizations for which we've worked. We'll be literally buried in receipts and spreadsheets as we try to sort out our income and expenses for last year. As freelance writers, we have some unique and important tax issues to deal with.


First, do you write as a business or a hobby? The general rule is that you can say your writing is business if your writing income is greater than your writing expenses. If you only have a little writing income, then the decision is more problematic.

Do you search for markets to sell your work? Do you write on a regular basis? Do you maintain separate records from your personal records for your writing business? If you answer yes to these questions and others, then your writing is a business. The Internal Revenue Service (http://www.irs.gov) says that you must make money from your writing every three out of five years, else it's a hobby.

If you are a freelance writer, you are self-employed. This means that you must use Schedule C to list your income and expenses from writing. Schedule C can actually serve as a guide. It lists exactly which expenses are deductible and it comes with an instruction sheet.


In order to keep track of your income and expenses, you might invest in a computer software program, such as Quicken or Quick Books, to simplify your task. Set up your expense accounts in the same way they are set up on Schedule C. You can enter income as you earn it as well as expenses when they are incurred. At the end of the year, these programs can deliver valuable reports that will make tax preparation much easier.

What about income? You should include proceeds from the sale of articles, royalties from books you have sold, advances you have received and any "kill" fees you have received. Even though your work is copyrighted, it is
still treated as ordinary income on Schedule C.

Also, report royalties on Schedule C even though Schedule E is generally used to report royalty income. If you've won any writing contests, those proceeds are not treated as business income. Instead, incorporate those proceeds in the "other income" category on Form 1040.


First, the cardinal rule is that if you are going to claim something as an expense, have a receipt. Keep that receipt with your tax return. Expenses can only be deductible if they are necessary to the conduct of your writing business.

Some expenses are very straightforward. These are advertising expenses, office supplies and expenses, rent or lease payments if you rent an office, purchases and repairs of office equipment, legal and professional services, bank service charges and dues for professional publications and organizations.

Other expenses get more complicated. If you buy a personal computer that you only use for your writing business, you are allowed to deduct the full purchase price in the year it was purchased as a "section 179" deduction.

Home office deductions have become more user-friendly. You must use a portion of your home only for your writing business and it must be the principle place for this business. You must report two types of home office expenses -- those that directly benefit your business (such as the cost of a telephone line for your modem or office furniture), and those that benefit your entire house such as the mortgage payment.

These are indirect expenses and must be reduced by the percentage of your home used for business. When you sell your home and you've taken a home office deduction, you must report any depreciation you took as a capital gain.

You must determine what percentage of your home is used strictly for business. Measure your office and then, measure your entire home to get the square footage for each. Divide the area of your home office by the area of your total home and that is your business percentage. You can then use that business percentage to deduct a portion of your mortgage, utilities, property taxes, homeowners insurance and maintenance on Schedule C.


If you work out of your home and pass the tests to take the home office deduction, then you can also take a travel deduction for anywhere you drive or fly to conduct your business, buy office supplies or conduct interviews. Keep a mileage log including the date of the travel, miles traveled, the business reason for the travel and, at the end of the year, the total travel for business purposes.

When you take the travel expense deduction, you can either add up all your auto expenses for the business portions of your travel or you can use the standard mileage rate as determined by the IRS. In either case, keep a good mileage log.

You may also take meal expenses if the meal was for business purposes. Keep your receipts and document the purpose of the meal just as you document the purpose of your travel. Travel and entertainment expenses are often misused and the IRS will red flag them if they are suspect.

If you are self-employed and have no health insurance with any other organization, you may use a portion of your health insurance premium as a deduction.


You must pay self-employment tax, which simply amounts to your contribution to the social security fund. Use Schedule SE to calculate the amount of self-employment tax you must pay.

All in all, there are four important things that a freelance writer should remember. Keep good records for income and expenses. Use Schedule C as your guideline for what is deductible. Pay estimated taxes every quarter to avoid a big tax surprise in April with interest and penalties. And save all tax returns for a minimum of five years including receipts and other documentation. In the event of an audit, you will be prepared.

Last but not least, if you are not comfortable with preparing your taxes yourself, employ the services of an enrolled agent, tax attorney or Certified Public Accountant. The cost of their services may be worth your peace of mind.



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!



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 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.



Turn on The X-Files. Hop on the Net. Or gather with other paranoid friends and conspiracies will abound. The truth is out there, and it's up to you to enlighten the rest of us.

How? First, choose your favorite strange phenomenon. It could be alien abductions, crying religious artifacts, werewolves, anything that is strange, fantastical and just barely possible. Then, pretend to be an investigative journalist breaking the story of the century. Write an article using the inverted pyramid journalistic style (Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, then followed with facts and quotes) to support your conspiracy-solving theory. Make us believe you.

There is no fee to enter the Conspiracy Contest (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Conspiracy.html). Entries must be written in English, however, the writer can live anywhere in the world. All entries should be less than 1,000 words.

Paste your entry directly into the body of an e-mail and send to Contest@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Conspiracy Contest." At the top, offer the name of the phenomenon and your article's headline. Paste in your article, then at the end, include your real name, pen name (if applicable), mailing address and e-mail address. Enter as often as you like.

Entries that do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified. Each entry will be acknowledged, once received by the Inscriptions staff.


1st place -- $75 gift certificate from Amazon.Com (or cash equivalent) and publication in Inscriptions.

We only ask for one-time electronic rights for the winning entries. Reprints are welcome. Deadline for all entries is Feb. 23, 2001. Winners will be announced in the March 12th issue of Inscriptions.



As Valentine's Day nears, the romantic, creative and monetarily-challenged turn to poetry to express their love. However, not every poem turns into a masterpiece. We asked our writers to beat these poor fools to the punch and write the world's worst love poem.

And the winner of the Inscriptions Bad Poetry Contest is: "The Forgetful Maiden to Her, her, her (with apologies to Christopher Marlowe)" by Cheryl Rhodes (mermaids@telus.net) of Surrey, B.C. in Canada

Honorable Mentions:

"The Sun, Moon and Stars" by Tanya Michna (tjmic@mindspring.com) of Douglasville, Ga.
"Ode to My Valentine" by Christine Dalessio (mcdalessio@earthlink.net) of Warren, N.J.
"Frying Pan Love" by W.P. Kinsella (buzzard2_99@yahoo.com) of Sumas, Wash.
"Sickening Sonnet" by Kathy Kehrli (dopeyk17@yahoo.com) of Factoryville, Penn.


1st Place
"The Forgetful Maiden to Her, her, her (with apologies to Christopher Marlowe)"
By Cheryl Rhodes (mermaids@telus.net)

Come live with me and find my glove
Your reward is my undying love.
For I am forever losing things,
I swear my possessions all sprouted wings.

And we will sit upon the docks,
And watch the waves crash on the rocks.
My love for you is like these flumes,
A rose in summer that always blooms.

No cap of flowers, no buckles of gold,
Help find my glasses before I grow old.
They're lost forever and that makes me sad,
Please find them for me and make me glad.

Keep an eye out for my gown of fine wool,
Then we'll enjoy a swim in the pool.
And I'll gaze adoringly into your eyes,
Find my things, and I'm your prize.

I'll give you pleasures all year round
If you brave the snow and find my lost hound.
I opened the door and he bounded out,
If you bring him back, I'll nevermore pout.

Every night we'll sing and dance,
Come live with me and take a chance.
Incredible delights await you my love,
But first find my glasses, my hound and my glove!



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 Book Shelf feature and more!



FIRST CONTACT: Robert Silverberg, Damon Knight, James Patrick Kelly and Nancy Kress have combined their unique talents to create this bundle of alien first contact stories (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=84&id=6815).



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

Humor columnist Madeleine Begun Kane (Madkane@aol.com) launched Dubya's Dayly Diary (http://www.madkane.com/bush.html), a political humor feature.

Talk Magazine (http://www.talkmagazine.com) premiered its Web site.

Creative Journal (http://www.creative-journal.com), a Web site and newsletter dedicated to encouraging journal writers, debuted.

Internetcontent.net (http://www.Internetcontent.net) launched "Net Nooks," Sam Vaknin's (vaknin@link.com.mk) weekly column about online content, e-publishing, digital rights, distribution channels and the Internet as a medium.

The Comprehensive Digital Reference Service (http://www.loc.gov/rr/digiref/), a consortium of the world's top libraries, premiered. Members include Yale, Harvard and Cornell universities, the U.S. National Gallery of Art and the national libraries of Canada and Australia.

Madasafish (http://www.madasafish.com), an online lifestyle magazine in the U.K., debuted a print version.

Netimperative.com (http://www.Netimperative.com), a news and commerce Web site geared toward Internet professionals in the U.K., is back up and running.

Ejournalist (http://www.ejournalism.au.com/ejournalist/index.html), a journalism and media Web site, launched.

California CEO (http://www.californiaceo.com), a monthly business magazine geared toward California business leaders, premiered.

Purdue University Press (http://www.thepress.purdue.edu) debuted ScholarlyZone (http://www.groksoup.com/Site/scholarlyzone/), a Web log to bring faculty, researchers, administrators, librarians and publishers together to discuss scholarly intercourse.

The Avon Romance Web site (http://www.avonromance.com), an online community to keep fans of Avon's romance novels updated on upcoming releases, authors and book signings, launched.

Discovery Girls (http://www.discoverygirls.com), a magazine aimed at girls between the ages of 8 to 12, premiered.

Metal Magazine (http://www.metalmag.com), a publication for metal and construction professionals, debuted.

Internet.com (http://www.internet.com) recently launched MCommerceTimes.com (http://www.mcommercetimes.com) and BSDCentral.com (http://www.bsdcentral.com).

Andrea Ferguson (industryscene@yahoo.com) will write the weekly Chart Toppers column for the Impact247.com newsletter (http://www.Impact247.com).


~Publishing Industry Changes

iVillage.com (http://www.iVillage.com) announced its intention to buy competitor, Women.com (http://www.Women.com), for $27 million.

Rodale Press (http://www.rodalepress.com) has postponed the next issue of MH-18 (http://www.mh18.com) until May. The publication will also switch to from six times a year to a quarterly format.

Amazon.com (http://www.Amazon.com) is now charging publishers and authors to appear in its e-mail promotional newsletters.

Dirk Johnson, a national correspondent for The New York Times, is the new Chicago bureau chief of Newsweek (http://www.newsweek.com).

Loren Feldman, former executive editor of George, is the new editor of Philadelphia Magazine (http://www.phillymag.com).

Michael Solomon, former deputy editor of Mirabella, is the new editor of Premiere (http://www.premieremag.com).


~Publishing-Related Mailing Lists/E-zines

Romance Writers' Community (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RWClist) is a mailing list for romance writers at any point in their careers. This list offers market news, how-to information and a sense of community.

WritingMemoir (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WritingMemoir) is a discussion group which includes a weekly tip for anyone writing personal experience stories and memoirs.

The e-Writer's Place Update (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eWritersPlaceUpdate) is an e-zine offering writing tips and inspiration.

Inspirare Update (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/InspirareUpdate) is the monthly e-zine of the Inspirare Project, a journaling project for writers. Each issue contains inspiring articles, a journaling prompt and news about the project.

Inspired2Write (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Inspired2Write_Newsletter) is a monthly newsletter for creative writers offering writing-related articles and activities.


~Legal News

California court officials have ordered all journalists covering the Cary Stayner murder trail to submit fingerprints for background checks. Representatives from the court said they are worried about security. But press freedom groups, including the California First Amendment Coalition, said journalists should not be required to be investigated in order to attend a public trial.



Arlene Eisenberg, author, died. Cause of death was not released. She was 66. Eisenberg shot to fame after co-writing the best-selling book, "What to Expect When You're Expecting," with her daughters.

Robert E. Garis, entertainment writer, died. Cause of death was not released. He was 75. Garis published articles on dance, literature and film in the Ballet Review, Partisan Review and The Nation. He also spent 43 years teaching English at Wellesley College.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author, died. Cause of death was not released. She was 95. When her husband, Charles Lindbergh, set his 1930 transcontinental speed record, Anne, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was in the cockpit providing radio and weather information. The couple were celebrated around the world as heroes until 1932, when they became tragic figures after their son was kidnapped and murdered. To cope with the death of her child, Anne became a writer. She is best known for her books, "Gift From the Sea," "The War Within and Without" and "Listen! the Wind."

Abigail McCarthy, political writer, died of breast cancer. She was 85. Although she wrote about religion and women's issues, McCarthy is best known for the book, "Private Faces/Public Faces." McCarthy was married to former Sen. Eugene McCarthy.

Charles Pou, former reporter for The Atlanta Journal in Georgia, died of kidney failure. He was 83. Pou covered politics and crime from 1948 to 1970 .

Ed Wishcamper, former editor of The Abilene Reporter-News in Texas, died. Cause of death was not released. He was 83. Wishcamper joined the Reporter-News in 1936 as a journalist and 32 years later became its editor and vice president.



MINNEAPOLIS, MN: The Worldbuilding Society will meet at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Arone's, 500 Central Ave. SE in Minneapolis, Minn. Topic is "Prediction Perils: how to keep your fictional futures from being unintentionally funny." For more information, e-mail Dan Goodman (dsgood@visi.com).

WINNETKA, IL: The Off Campus Writers Workshop (http://www.ocww.bizland.com) will sponsor the discussion, "The Story Is in the Character, Not the Other Way Around: Screenwriting," at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 22 at the Winnetka Community House, 620 Lincoln Ave. in Winnetka, Ill. Guest speaker is author and director Dan Decker. Cost is $8. For more information, e-mail (Jbweary@yahoo.com).

LOS ANGELES, CA: 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 Feb. 22 at the WGA headquarters, 7000 W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles, Calif. Guest speaker will be screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard. Cost is $20 for non-members and $15 for members. To make reservations, call (323) 782-4692.

BROOKLYN, N.Y.: The Black Writers Workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 24 at Sistas' Place, 456 Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y. Topic is "Black Journalism and The Activist Writer." Guest speaker is freelance journalist Charles Brooks. Seating is limited. For more information, call Amadi Ajamu at (718) 398-1766.

TORONTO, ONTARIO/CANADA: The PWAC Workshop, "The Business of Freelance Writing," will be held at 10 a.m. on March 3 at the Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd. in Toronto, Ontario in Canada. Guest speaker is editor and freelance writer Paul Lima. Cost is $75, which includes morning coffee and handouts. Pre-registration required. To register, send a check or money order payable to PWAC-Toronto, 6 Algonquin Ave., Toronto, ON M6R 1K7 Canada. Include your name, phone number and e-mail address. There is a $20 administration fee for cancellations. For more information, e-mail (writer@paullima.com).


~Writers Needing Input

Amy Jenkins (a3rdperson@aol.com) is looking for situations to use in her upcoming advice Web column. Do you have a simple conflict? Which way should you load the toilet paper roll? Should your spouse be required to eat vegetables at the dinner table in front of the kids? Or a serious conflict such as I want to save for the kids' college, but my husband wants to go to Europe? Or, my boss always takes credit for my work, should I quit? If you've talked to a friend, but now want the advice of a third person, please e-mail the conflict or problem.

Kara Carden (cardencopy@mindspring.com) is collecting stories of people who've celebrated landmark birthdays in meaningful ways. E-mail to share a few short anecdotes or details.

Mignon Quintyne (mquintyne@go.com) is looking for people with humorous parenting stories.

Mirza Luqman Ahmad (luqman48@hotmail.com) is looking for writing software to write essays, articles and speeches. She is particularly interested in one that corrects punctuation and grammar.

Barbara C. Zinn (bzinn@acedsl.com) is looking for resources on how to write an op-ed piece.

Arlene Uslanader (irau@mcs.com) is looking for suggestions of paying online markets that would be interested in someone who had a facelift.


~Informed Caution

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom released its list of books most frequently banned in 2000. To make the list, each title received "a formal written complaint filed with a library or school about a book's content or appropriateness."

The Top 10 Banned Books were:

1. The "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier
3. The "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. "Killing Mr. Griffin" by Lois Duncan
5. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
6. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
7. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers
8. The "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz
9. "The Terrorist" by Caroline Cooney
10. "The Giver" by Lois Lowry

Razorfish (http://www.Razorfish.com) laid off 400 people. With the job cuts made four months ago, Razorfish has eliminated about 22% of its staff.

Barnesandnoble.com (http://www.Barnesandnoble.com) laid off 350 employees, or about 16% of its staff.

Egypt's Culture Ministry banned up to 12 books from the annual Cairo Book Fair. The government said the books, which include titles by Nawal Saadawi, Mohamed Shukri, Abu Nawas and Fatima Mernissi, were removed because they contained passages of religious and sexual taboos.

Stamps.com (http://www.Stamps.com) laid off 150 employees.

CNET (http://www.cnet.com) plans to lay off 190 people, or about 10% of its staff. Half were laid off last Tuesday and the others will be let go in the next few weeks.

Reporters from the Internet newspaper, Malaysia Now (http://www.Malaysiakini.com), have been banned from attending official functions and news conferences sponsored by Malaysian officials, because they published articles critical of the government.

Motley Fool (http://www.fool.com) laid off 115 people, or about 30% of its staff.

Games.com (http://www.Games.com) laid off 52 staff members.

Over 350 people canceled their subscriptions to The Roanoke Times in Virginia because the paper published a four-part series (http://www.roanoke.com/roatimes/livinggay/) on the local gay and lesbian community.

Steven Helmer, a reporter for the Press Enterprise in Catawissa, Penn., was fired for fabricating a name and a quote in a story after local officials couldn't find the name of the source in its tax and billing records. Helmer admitted to making up a name or two in a different story.


~Dead Publications/Publishers

Voter.com (http://www.voter.com), a political Web site, fired its 45 member staff and closed.

eV (http://ev.variety.com), Variety's monthly magazine of online entertainment, is no longer publishing.

Icebox.com (http://www.Icebox.com), an entertainment Web site, laid off its 27 employees and 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).



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, 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.



~Award Winners

Columnist Molly Ivins won the William Allen White Citation, an award named after the pioneering Kansas journalist.

Karin Beuerlein (rbeuerlein@lorettotel.net) won first place in the 11th Annual Feminist Writers Contest sponsored by the National Organization for Women. Beuerlein also took second place in the Writer's Digest Short Short Story competition.

The winners of the Barnes and Noble Writer For Writers Award were Scott Turow, Marita Golden and Cornelius Eady. The award is given to scribes who make a lasting contribution to the well-being of other writers.

The winners of The Harrow's Winter Dark Fantasy 2001 Contest (http://www.theharrow.com/contest.html) were:

1st place: "Unsounded Deeps to Dance" by Michelle Scalise
2nd place: "Thief of Fire" by D.S. Marks
3rd place: "Early on Bride's Morn" by R.G. Evans

The McQuark Review (http://www.mcquark.com) chose "Dear Mr. Kapps" by Robert Ferrier, "Hanne's Farewell to Juarez" by Sara V. Olds and "The Globster of Glassy Beach" by Louise Ulmer and Dusty Stoughton as the best e-books of 2000.


~Book Signings and Author Appearances

Iyanla Vanzant will discuss her book, "Until Today! Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Blauvelt Theater, 17th & the Parkway in Philadelphia, Penn. Cost is $24 and seating is limited to 400 people. All ticket holders will receive a special pre-signed copy of the book. For more information, e-mail Michael Fox (foxbooks@aol.com).

Amy Gutman will sign copies of her book, "Equivocal Death," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Barnes and Noble, 2289 Broadway in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 362-8835.

Terry McMillan will sign copies of her book, "A Day Late and a Dollar Short," at 12 p.m. on Feb. 17 at Sam's Club, 1615 S. Loop West in Houston, Texas. Everyone who attends will receive a free one-day membership to Sam's Club. For more information, e-mail Jeffree Itrich (jeffreei@advmkt.com).

Michael Connelly will sign copies of his book, "A Darkness More Than Night," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Barnes and Noble, 16461 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, Calif. For more information, call (818) 380-1636. Connelly will sign books at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Borders Books & Music, Crossroads Center, 5871 Crossroads Center Way in Baileys Crossroads, Va. For more information, call (703) 998-0404. He will also appear at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at The Black Orchid Bookshop, 303 E. 81st St. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, e-mail (BOrchid@aol.com).

Amy Tan will sign copies of her book, "The Bonesetter's Daughter," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Barnes and Noble, 33 E. 17th St. in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 253-0810. She will also appear at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Borders Book Shop, 1727 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, Penn. For more information, call (215) 568-7400.

Amy Tan, Gail Godwin and Nicholas Christopher will be the guest speakers at an authors breakfast at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 21 at the Stamford Westin Hotel, 1 Stamford Place in Stamford, Conn. To get tickets, visit the Just Books Web site (http://www.justbooks.org) or call (203) 869-5023.

Ann Crittenden will sign copies of her book, "The Price of Motherhood," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Barnes and Noble, 2289 Broadway in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 362-8835.

Former Senator Eugene McCarthy will read from his book, "An American Bestiary," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Borders Books & Music, 1801 K St. in Washington, D.C. For more information, e-mail Mary Ann Brownlow (mbrownlo@bordersstores.com).

Dr. Eric Maisel will sign copies of his book, "Sleeping Thinking," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Borders, 2030 Douglas Blvd. in Roseville, Calif. For more information, call (916) 784-3751.

Andrew Bergman will sign copies of his book, "Tender Is Levine: A Jack Levine Mystery," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Barnes and Noble, 1972 Broadway in New York City, N.Y. For more information, call (212) 595-6859.


~Published Articles, Stories, Poems and Interviews

Faith L. Justice (http://pages.prodigy.net/fljustice/) published an interview with Nancy Kress in the Genres section of Inkspot.com (http://www.inkspot.com/genres/sf/kress.html).

Sam Vaknin (palma@unet.com.mk) published "A Primer on Narcissism" in Perspectives Mental Health Magazine (http://mentalhelp.net/perspectives/articles/art_v6n1_1.htm).

Mary Deal (ronald@hawaiian.net) will publish the short story, "A Holy Goat," in the Spring issue of Mountain Luminary.


~Published Books -- Fiction

Karen Sweeny-Justice (ksweenyj@highland.net) published the contemporary romance novel, "Shenandoah Surprise," in electronic format with Wordbeams.

Lyal LeClair Fox (ct49er@kdsi.net) published the historical fiction book, "Reflections From the River Bank," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Nicholas Christopher published the novel, "A Trip to the Stars," in paperback with Scribner.

Gary L. Rockey published the adventure novel, "The Journalist," in electronic format with London Circle Publishing.

Evan Hunter and Ed McBain published the novel, "Candyland," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Alan Jacobson published the novel, "The Hunted," in hardcover with Pocket Books.

Irene Landry Kelso (irenelkelso@gateway.net) published the romance novel, "A Passion in Winter," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Helen Ellis published the novel, "Eating the Cheshire Cat," in paperback with Scribner.

Glenn Devlin published the science fiction novel, "Old Man From the Stars," in electronic format with Awe-Struck E-Books.

Betsy Tobin published the novel, "Bone House," in hardcover with Scribner.

Daniel A. Olivas (Olivasdan@aol.com) published the novella, "The Courtship of Mar'a Rivera Peña," in electronic format with Silver Lake Publishing.

William Heffernan published the novel, "Beulah Hill," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Barbara Raffin published the romantic suspense novel, "Wolfsong," in electronic format with Awe-Struck E-Books.

Penny Mickelbury published the mystery, "Paradise Interrupted," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Terrence Julian and Andrew van Ryan published the gay romance, "Anything to Turn You ON...," in electronic format with Gay e-Book Publishing and Bookstore.


~Published Books -- Nonfiction

Matthew Bayan published the nonfiction book, "Eat Fat, Be Healthy: When a Low-Fat Diet Can Kill You," in paperback with Fireside.

Bobbi Linkemer published the nonfiction book, "Going Solo: How to Survive & Thrive as a Freelance Writer," in electronic format with BL-CO.

Earl F. Lehman (earll@ij.net) published the nonfiction book, "The God Bu$ine$$" in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Pamela White published the nonfiction book, "fabjob.com Guide to Become a Food Writer," with Fabjob.com.

Roberta Ostroff will publish the biography, "Fire in the Wind: The Life of Dickey Chapelle," in March in paperback with the United States Naval Institute.

J.C. Gordon Brown (jcgb@home.com) published the nonfiction book, "Blazes Along a Diplomatic Trail," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Douglas R. Sease published the nonfiction book, "Winning With the Market: Beat the Traders and Brokers in Good Times and Bad," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

George Berci (macko@rocler.qc.ca) published the memoir, "Ape Tantra: My Adventures in the Land of the Spirits," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Harry D. George (hdgeorgejr@aol.com) and Harry D. George, Jr. published the nonfiction book, "Georgio Italiano," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.

Dr. Glenn A. Gaesser and Karla Dougherty published the nonfiction book, "The Spark: The Revolutionary 3-Week Fitness Plan That Changes Everything You Know About Exercise, Weight Control and Healthy," in hardcover with Simon & Schuster.

Alison Blackman Dunham (http://users.rcn.com/adunham/yatp1.html) self-published the nonfiction book, "You Are the Product," in electronic format.


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).



VENUS BOOKS: Get 4 books for $1 and get an extra book FREE with membership! Choose from a vast selection of sophisticated erotic books, relationship building books, fiction, self-help and more! Go to http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=26993801&siteid=33179092&bfpage=venus_standard



PROMOTE YOURSELF -- We have 5,000+ 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).



OBITUARY: Writer, Rita T.
By Rita Hess (okwriter@peakonline.com)

Rita The Writer died Saturday
Slumped over her keyboard, she passed clean away.
Born with a golden pen in her hand
Destined for greatness, her future was planned.
It seems a great novel simmered within her,
A Pulitzer Prize-winner from a beginner.
Alas, she was sidetracked by a house full of kids
That temporarily put her work on the skids.
She nurtured them, raised them, she emptied her nest;
With the house finally silent, she refused to rest.
You see, Rita got going at age 41,
She sat down to write, thus began Chapter One.
With passion, with fervor, she scribed day and night,
Her character, her plot, her wording just right.
Chapters two, three and four followed quickly and then-
Her husband discovered her dead in the den.
The coroner stated it's unusual indeed
"Too much inspiration, she simply OD'd!"
He explained to her family as they fought back tears
Her talent was bottled up for too many years.
"If she'd started years sooner this creative quest
Using the talent with which she was blessed
Instead, she procrastinated 'til it was too late
Massive rupture of muse thus sealed her fate."
"The worst part," said the minister who delivered the sermon,
"Whodunit is something we'll never determine.
For we not only bury Rita The Writer
We bury the last chapter still deep inside her."


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



VIEWPOINT (http://www.shagmail.com/al/affiliates.cgi?151) -- Nowhere else in the world will you be exposed to the depth and breadth of powerful issues in the Middle East all in one publication. If you like your politics HOT, without mediocre, marble mouthed commentary, then this is for you.



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.



~Copy Editor

Manufacturer of medical instruments seeks a Web site copy editor. This person will be responsible for reviewing, editing and posting all materials to the Web site. Must have excellent written and communication skills to able to determine what has the proper appeal for the Web site. Candidate must know HTML, JAVA and ASP. E-mail (resumes@rydek.com) resume.



Editor required to produce a new magazine and magazine format of the Mean Fiddler Web site (http://www.meanfiddler.com). Applicants must have a passion for music and youth culture and a background in music or youth/lifestyle writing and editing in either traditional or new media formats. Send resume to Dean James, meanfiddler.com, 16 High St., Harlesden, London, NW10 4LX U.K.


~Online News Producer

JS Online (http://www.jsonline.com), the Web site of the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee, Wis., is looking for a journalist with solid news judgment, skill with words, ability to work with photos and graphics, some knowledge of HTML and a desire to evolve along with the online news media. Job involves producing news, business and feature stories and packages on a nightly basis. Send resume to Mike Davis (davis@jsonline.com), News Editor.


~Media Writer

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (http://www.peta-online.org), an international nonprofit, seeks a professional, organized candidate to fill the position of media writer.

This person will serve to generate media coverage for PETA's campaigns as well as write news releases, assemble media packs and update media databases as needed. Send resume to Kim DeWester (kimberlyd@fsap.org).


~Online News Producer

Responsible for gathering and editing stories, photos, multimedia and other information for RockyMountainNews.com (http://www.RockyMountainNews.com) and processing it for digital publication.

Requirements: Degree from accredited college or university with a major or emphasis in either journalism or communications, or equivalent experience. HTML, Adobe Photoshop, Image Ready, FTP and SQL. Skills in dynamic publishing and familiarity with CGI, Perl, Java, ColdFusion or equivalent experience. Outstanding written communication skills, including news writing, headline writing, caption writing and editing. Familiarity with and ability to learn and use the latest multimedia news-gathering and publication techniques.

Send resume to Jack McElroy (mcelroy@rockymountainnews.com), or write to Associate Managing Editor, Rocky Mountain News, 400 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colo. 80204.



Internet.com (http://www.Internet.com) is hiring. Several openings for editors who are comfortable with high-tech material. Both full-time and contractor positions are available.

We're looking for people who are comfortable using their own judgment in selecting articles, managing editorial budgets and writing good copy. You must be conversant in the technology topics of the day and willing to keep on learning. HTML/Webmastery skills not required. Competitive pay. E-mail (gvenditto@Internet.com) resume, cover letter and salary requirements. EOE.


~Internet Sub-Editor

An assistant producer is required to build quality content into our four Web sites. This will involve extensive news sub-editing and developing new content ideas for the sites.

You'll need to be good at working with people to produce high quality material under real time pressure. Sub-editing experience in the regional or national press and a strong news background are required, along with the willingness to work shifts and some weekends.

To apply, send a resume and cover letter, together with three suggestions to improve our sites, to Nigel Davies-Patrick (nigel.davies-patrick@argus-btn.co.uk).


~Managing Editor

ASPnews.com (http://www.ASPnews.com) is the premier Web site for the Application Service Provider industry, aimed primarily at industry insiders. Site provides daily news, news analysis, expert opinion, company and industry profiles, market research and a wealth of information about ASP's and the larger phenomenon of distributed computing in the emerging economy.

Manage and direct day-to-day copy flow including assigning, editing, writing and preparation of copy. Serves as a point of public contact and consults on matters of strategy and personnel deployment. Update site daily and manage budget.

The successful candidate will have strong writing/journalism background in the business/high-tech arenas. Solid editorial skills and knowledge of Web production, basic HTML and Web site maintenance.

We offer an excellent compensation and benefits package. E-mail (hrdept@Internet.com) resume with salary requirements, or fax (203) 656-2359. EOE.



Having launched its global news analysis service covering the technology, communications and media markets nine months ago, the451 (http://www.the451.com) is now expanding its editorial team.

We're looking for journalists who can write in plain English for an expert audience on business-critical wireless, communications, technology, media and e-commerce issues. Send resume to Dawn Hayes (dawn.hayes@the451.com), or write to Dawn Hayes, Bureau Chief, the451, 55-56 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4HP U.K.


~Copy Writer

Dutyfreezone.com (http://www.Dutyfreezone.com) is the first e-commerce company to sell name brand products at duty-free prices online. Established in 1999, DFZ is already profitable and growing fast.

Based in North Miami, Fla., we are looking for a skilled Copy Writer who will develop content and coordinate content development for our Web site(s) and generate news articles, advertising copies and literature related to our business initiatives.


* Research, write and edit news and feature copy for our Web site, catalogs, advertisements and other written initiatives for a variety of domestic and international audiences.
* Develop creative, interesting, relevant, fresh and current content for our Web site.
* Work with various teams including marketing, legal and development to assure accuracy and value of content.
* Design/redesign communication material used for customer service.


* Four year degree in English, journalism, communications or related field or equivalent industry experience desired.
* Must have experience in writing for Retail or Travel catalogs in an online or off-line format.
* Writing and editing experience in print media, such as brochures, sales literature and news releases will be a plus.
* Knowledge of online publishing environments, including understanding of interactive and/or multimedia content development.
* Working knowledge of content development tools on PC/Windows platform.

E-mail (resumes@dutyfreezone.com) your resume in ASCII or MS-Word format.


~Freelance Writers/Columnists

Experienced writers/columnists needed to produce sparkling copy for Bold, a new pop culture magazine and companion Web site. Distributed to more than 1,200 locations in the Los Angeles area, its monthly format covers entertainment, politics, finance, sports, health, fitness, humor, fashion, travel, restaurants, clubs, books, art, music, gadgets and the digital culture.

We're looking for creative freelance contributions from qualified writers/columnists, who can speak to our 18 to 35 demographic with personality, sarcasm and wit. Modest budget, but great exposure. Please fax your resume and recent writing samples to Rhonda J. Wilson, editor-in-chief, at (818) 501-2601.


~Freelance Writers

The San Francisco Bay Guardian (http://www.sfbg.com) is looking for freelancers to cover a variety of issues related to race and ethnicity. You must have publishing experience, attitude and be willing to take a political stand.

We want feature articles on everything from pop culture to city planning, covering issues as diverse as how blacks cope with employment discrimination, to why white people are obsessed with Asian action movies.

People of color are encouraged to apply. Telecommuting is okay. Send queries and clips to Annalee Newitz (annalee@sfbg.com), Culture Editor.


~Freelance Journalists

BizBlip.com (http://www.BizBlip.com) is looking for freelance journalists in the St. Louis, Missouri region. If you are interested in covering business and finance, send a resume and story ideas in e-mail (brhook@bizblip.com).


~Senior Editorial Writer

J. Walter Thompson (http://www.jwt.com) has a unique opportunity for a Senior Editorial Writer. This gifted individual will be part of our direct marketing group. The position involves writing articles for our Interactive group, revolving around our client, Ford Motor Company.

This is a journalistic position, where interviewing skills are necessary. Advertising experience is a plus, but not required. Ideal candidates have a minimum of five years of writing/reporting experience and a genuine interest in writing for an exciting new aspect of the advertising world. Send resume to Jill Karg (Jill.Karg@jwt.com).


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.



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."



HAIR-RAISING REQUEST: An alien spider arrives on earth to find a host to carry its eggs. It crawls into a young girl's bookbag, and into her hair, and then manipulates her into getting a beehive hairdo to provide a safe environment from which to begin its conquest of humanity. Find out what happens next in Michael A. Burstein's story, "The Spider in the Hairdo," for less than $1. (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=431&id=6815).



~Deadline is Feb. 23.

The Fast Pitch Contest (http://www.novalearn.com/wol/contest-2-15-01.htm): You're waiting tables at Spago's one day when the Hollywood exec to whom you're delivering a chicken salad sandwich is heard to remark, "I'd give anything right now for a blockbuster idea." Okay, we know this isn't how it happens in real life, but let's just pretend you have only 60 seconds to pitch your script and seal the deal. Use your imagination. Go wild.

$100 first prize, and $15.00 coupons to our runners-up.

Contest idea and judging by our resident cinemaven Christina Hamlett and associates. Christina is the Associate Editor of Writer Online and is teaching a course on screenwriting through WriteRead University.

Submit one entry per person by e-mail (support@writeread.com). Please include your name and mailing address in your e-mail. No attached documents, please. 100 words or fewer. Best entries will be original, entertaining and "film-worthy." Be sure to put the phrase "fast pitch" in the subject line of your memo.

Prizes and publication offered only to entrants who are both Writer Online subscribers and registered WriteRead.com users. Visit the Web site to subscribe.

Writer Online reserves the right to publish any contest entry without further notice to the writer. Cash award will be made by check and mailed within 30 days of the publication of the winning entry.


~Deadline is March 5.

The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
(http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~bhreview/Contests/TobiasWolff.htm) -- 1st Prize $1,000; 2nd Prize $300; 3rd Prize $200.

The winning story will be published in the Bellingham Review. Second and third place winners and runners-up will be considered for publication. Sorry, we cannot read your submission without the submission fee!

Submission Guidelines:

The story may be in any style and on any subject. Any number of stories may be submitted. The maximum length is 9,000 words per story. The entry fee is $10 for the first entry, $5/story thereafter. Please make checks payable to: The Western Foundation/Bellingham Review.

Anyone entering the competition will receive a complimentary two issue subscription to the Bellingham Review. No previously published work, or works accepted for publication, are eligible. Stories may be under consideration elsewhere, but they should be withdrawn from the competition if they are accepted for publication.

The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Enclose with each submission one 3"x5" index card bearing the following information:

* Title of story.
* Author's name and address.
* Phone number, fax number, e-mail address, if any.

Write contest name on outside of envelope. Manuscripts will not be returned. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for announcement of winners. Manuscripts should be typed. The winners will be announced in Aug. 2001.

Send manuscripts to Bellingham Review, Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash. 98225.


~Deadline is March 5.

The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction (http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~bhreview/Contests/AnnieDillard.htm)-- 1st Prize $1,000; 2nd Prize $300; 3rd Prize $200.

The winning entry will be published in the Bellingham Review. Second and third place winners and runners-up will be considered for publication. Sorry, we cannot read your submission without the submission fee!

Submission Guidelines:

Entries accepted in any style and on any subject. Any number of entries may be submitted with accompanying fee. Maximum length is 9,000 words per entry. The entry fee is $10 for the first entry, $5/entry thereafter. Please make checks payable to: The Western Foundation/Bellingham Review.

Anyone entering the competition will receive a complimentary two issue subscription to the Bellingham Review. No previously published works, or works accepted for publication, are eligible. Entries may be under consideration elsewhere, but they should be withdrawn from the competition if they are accepted for publication.

The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Enclose with each submission one 3"x5" index card bearing the following information:

* Title of story.
* Author's name and address.
* Phone number, fax number, e-mail address, if any.

Write contest name on outside of envelope. Manuscripts will not be returned. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for announcement of winners. Manuscripts should be typed. The winners will be announced in Aug. 2001.

Send manuscripts to Bellingham Review, Mail Stop 9053, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash. 98225.


~Deadline is March 15.

The Frontiers in Writing Annual Writing Contest (http://users.arn.net/~ppw/WRITING%20CONTEST.htm) -- Contest is open to all writers. Enter as many manuscripts as you wish, but you are eligible for only one cash prize (the highest earned) in each category. The same manuscript may not be entered in more than one category.

Entries must be the original work of the contestant, and not accepted for publication prior to contest submission. Entry must not have won a cash prize in any previous Frontiers in Writing contest.

Format for Entry:

Cover sheet -- Each entry must include a cover sheet with the following information: author's name, address and phone number; e-mail address (optional), contest category and title of manuscript.

Manuscripts: Must be typed, double-spaced (poetry single-spaced, plays and screenplays use standard format) on one side of white 8.5"x11" paper. The author's name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Put the title of the work on the first page, with the title and page number in the header of each page thereafter. Synopsis or outline should be numbered separately from the chapter.

No electronic submissions will be accepted. Keep a copy of your entries. Manuscripts will not be returned. Do not include illustrations, as they can neither be judged nor returned. Attach a business-size SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to each entry if you would like written critique by the judges.

Cash prizes will be awarded in the amounts indicated. The winner of each category will be considered for an additional "Best of Show" award with an additional $100 cash prize. All awards will be presented at the Frontiers in Writing conference. A winners list will be posted on the Panhandle Professional Writers Web site (http://users.arn.net/~ppw), and published in the PPW newsletter after the conference in June.

Contest chairmen reserve the right to increase prize amounts awarded, should the number of entries in a category exceed expectations. Also, to declare no-contest, combine categories or reduce the number of prizes awarded in each category in case of insufficient entries and disqualify entries not conforming to contest guidelines.


Categories 1-4: Fee per entry: $10 PPW member/student, $15 adult non-member. Prizes: 1st: $75, 2nd: $50, 3rd: $25.

Categories 5-10: Fee per entry: $5 PPW member/student, $7.50 adult non-member. Prizes: 1st: -$50, 2nd: $25, 3rd: -$15

Best of show: $100. Chosen from winners of each category.


1. Novel: mainstream, literary, genre: romance, sci fi, etc. Submit first chapter and synopsis. Thirty pages maximum
2. Non-Fiction Book: biography, history, memoir, how-to, etc. Submit first chapter and synopsis. Thirty pages maximum.
3. Juvenile/Young Adult Book: State age of target market on first page: Young middle grade (ages 6-8), middle grade (ages 8-12), Young adult (ages 12+) Submit first chapter and synopsis. Twenty pages maximum.
4. Play or Screenplay: submit 25 pages maximum, including synopsis.
5. Memoir: nostalgia, reminiscence, up to 3,000 words.
6. Short Story: Submit complete story, any genre: literary, romance, inspirational, sci fi, etc. 3,000 words maximum
7. Article or Essay: How-to, inspirational, humor, etc., 3,000 word maximum.
8. Juvenile/Young Adult shorter work: Fiction or nonfiction. Short story, picture book text, article. State age of target reader on the first page: (age 8 and under), (8-12), (12+) 2,000 word maximum.
9. Poetry -- long: Rhymed or unrhymed, 17-50 lines.
10. Poetry -- short: Rhymed or unrhymed, 16 lines or less.

Best Novel by an Unpublished Author: Sponsored by Author Helper. Writers who have not had a novel-length work of fiction published or accepted for publication are eligible for the following cash prizes. To be considered, provide a second copy of your Novel Category entry and include the following statement on the cover sheet: "I have not had a novel-length work of fiction published or accepted for publication." 1st place: $75 2nd place: $50 3rd place: $25

Other Special Awards may be added during the course of the contest. To join Panhandle Professional Writers and use members' discount on contest fees, fill out the form on the Web site, and enclose it with dues, contest entries and fees.

Membership includes a bimonthly newsletter, Frontiers in Writing Conference discount and free admission to bimonthly programs.

Send manuscripts along with check or money order for total contest fees (payable to PPW) to PPW Contest, 1908 S. Goliad, Amarillo, Texas 79106 (include SASE). For more information, e-mail (anythingmetal@amaonline.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.



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 or go to http://www.topica.com/lists/MoviePoll.



DISCOUNTED WRITERS' SOFTWARE -- <<new release POWER STRUCTURE, DramaticaPro, STORY VIEW 1.0 <<new release, WritePro, FictionMaster, InkLink, plus Many More! HUGE SAVINGS! GREAT SELECTION! Visit: http://www.MasterFreelancer.com/i
Also visit: FREELANCE PRICING & MARKET GUIDES -- BEST BUYS ON 2001 Writer's Market - Internet Edition, Freelancing For Money Newsletter, Pricing Guide for Web Services, plus Many More! Set your rates and never run out of freelance work. Visit: http://www.MasterFreelancer.com/i/pg




Nailpro (http://www.nailpro.com) is a monthly trade industry publication for nail technicians (manicurists) and salon owners. Our coverage includes all types of nail services as well as waxing/hair removal, reflexology, aromatherapy, some esthetics, massage, indoor tanning. We have a circulation of about 62,000/month, and the magazine is 4/c slick, usually about 150 to 190 pages.

Most of our articles are very specific to the nail industry ... specific step-by-step techniques, new products, etc. Even our business articles are fairly targeted to the salon/beauty industry, and the articles themselves should be very targeted (a general article about "10 ways to promote your salon" would most likely be too general since we talk about promotion in nearly every issue). Freelance writers should have had some experience in the beauty industry or they won't be able to fulfill this requirement.

Most of our business-related articles cover everything from promotions and marketing to adding new services to retailing, advertising, anything that "builds business." For columns, we pay from $275 to $300; features, $400 to $500 depending on the complexity. We try to keep columns at 1,200 to 1,500 words, and features from 1,700 to 2,200.

Submissions or inquiries should be made to Nailpro Magazine, 7628 Densmore Ave., Van Nuys, Calif. 91406, or e-mail (nailpro@aol.com).

Kathy Kirkland, Executive Editor



Spectacle is a semiannual journal of essays, articles, reportage and fiction addressing a broad spectrum of lively and unconventional themes. Each issue features insightful and provocative writings on a single topic with essay forms running the gamut from humorous memoir to in-depth, scholarly analysis.

The editors strive to include as many fresh and diverse perspectives as possible. Published since 1997, Spectacle has received positive reviews in Independent Publisher, Fate, Factsheet Five and Steamshovelpress.com (http://www.Steamshovelpress.com).

Spectacle seeks submissions exploring non-traditional, experimental and intentional communities -- both contemporary and historic. We're interested in personal or scholarly essays concerned with innovative models that question the basic assumptions of the status quo and dare to radically re-invent the nature of community living. Our theme this issue: communities founded on shared spiritual, social, economic, ecological and/or artistic visions.

Theme: Intentional Communities
Issue: Spring 2001 (Vol. 4, No. 1)
Submission deadline: April 16, 2001

Possible topics for this issue include:

Land co-ops
Artist colonies
Urban communities
Farming collectives
Rural homesteading
Spectacular fiascoes
Utopian experiments
Traditional village life
Urban housing co-ops
Co-housing associations
Anabaptist-derived sects
Apocalyptic compounds
Tribal/indigenous cultures
'60s & '70s counterculture
Social/cultural engineering
Behaviorist-inspired groups
Privacy vs. communal needs
Personal quests for community
Permaculture-based communities
Utopian visions in literature and film
Patriot/militia/survivalist compounds
Contemplative/religious communities
Visionary architects and urban designers
Other relevant issues and topics

All submitted work should be informed, compelling and well-crafted writing. The editors prefer insightful, provocative, analytical pieces including essays, articles and interviews. Humor, satire and relevant fiction will also be considered. Please, no poetry submissions.

Original and unpublished works are preferred, but we also consider previously published material. If in doubt about a topic or approach, query first. All submissions should be typed double-spaced in standard manuscript format. Length should run between 2,000 to 5,000 words. Be sure to include your name, address, e-mail, daytime phone and word count on the first page and indicate the issue you're submitting to.

The author(s) has/have responsibility for the accuracy of references, and for obtaining permissions to reproduce any artwork that is not their own or has been published elsewhere. In your cover letter, please include a brief bio. Also include a self-addressed, stamped postcard (or your e-mail address) for quick acknowledgment that your submission has been received.

Please send no more than three works. Also include a #10 SASE and a second SASE large enough to accommodate your manuscript if you want it returned. If you do not want it returned, please mark it "Disposable Copy."

Payment: $30 upon publication and two copies of the journal.

Richard Aguilar, Editor
PMB 155
101 Middlesex Turnpike, Suite 6
Burlington, Mass. 01803-4914
Or, e-mail (spectaclejournal@hotmail.com) your submission as a Word or text attachment.



WebSeed Publishing seeks writers to create and manage content-rich sites on a variety of topics: science, health, art, entertainment and more. Our dynamic technology allows selected authors to post content quickly, from any Web browser.

No HTML or technical knowledge required. All necessary technology, domain name, bandwidth and promotion of the site is provided at no charge. Pays 50% royalty on site revenues.

Radha Marcum (rmarcum@webseed.com)
WebSeed Publishing


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:

Dot-Com Layoffs and Shutdowns

The Wall Street Journal is well aware of what direction the U.S. economy is heading. To keep online workers apprised of the latest "lay off" conditions, it created this special section. Browse through a comprehensive list of job cuts and closures among Web-related companies, then follow the links to relevant articles.



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.



WE MUST REBUILD: Scientists experimenting in futurology decide to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon in the Arizona desert in Ian Watson's science fiction story, "We Remember Babylon." (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=434&id=6815).




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

"One Last Kiss" by Robyn Chawner
Reviewed by Megan Kopp (mekopp@telusplanet.net)
Publisher: Booklocker
Format: Electronic
Rating: * * * stars

Devon Ramsay stood at the altar, shocked by what had just transpired. With cold cunning, Stephen Rossmore had made her pay dearly for her mistakes. She was humiliated, just as Stephen had been when he waited hopelessly for her to appear for their first wedding ceremony. An eye for an eye...

Stephen, head of Rossmore Shipping, was completely enamored with the intelligence and humor belonging to the heir of Ramsay Sea Freight -- the brown-haired, browned-eyed beauty Devon -- when he first found her standing on the docks, waiting patiently for her father to conclude his business.

Almost against his will he became drawn into her world, forging alliances with RSF that would bind them together even when circumstances threatened to rip them apart. But can they survive the hurt? Will there be "one last kiss"?

Devon is learning the business from the hands of her father. As RSF joins forces with Rossmore Shipping, she comes to appreciate the force of will behind Stephen and the sound judgment that stands behind his business decisions. As they spend time together, the romance blossoms and their commitment to each other grows. Although Devon fears being overwhelmed by Stephen's strength, she admits that he is everything she could ask for in a husband. Only fate could stop their marriage now.

With patience and skill, Robyn Chawner seductively weaves a tale of unbending wills and strong passions. The historical romance, set in 1850s New York, has strength in detail and intriguing and believable characters. The emotional journey of a new love filled with hopes and dreams reaches tumultuous highs and lows as gossip, fears, resentment, circumstance and unforgiving natures lead the couple into rough waters.

"One Last Kiss" is an enchanting full-length romance that mirrors reality and yet still provides the reader with a sense of escape.


"WYSIWYG" by Renee Austin
Reviewed by Angie Mangino (ArnyMag@aol.com)
Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books
Format: Electronic
Rating: * * * stars

Serena's life is forever changed by a head-on collision. Suffering, she explores where her life shattered, where it is now and where it is going to go.

The computer age offers new twists to Serena's life, as an online love appears. Zack, a man with his own past gnawing within him, brings Serena to a turning point in her life and initiates a string of events that leaves everyone involved whirling. Who is Zack really? What is real and what is falsehood? Which feelings and who can be trusted?

Serena struggles through a web of deceits in determining what is, in fact, the truth. Her sister Saundra and her boyfriend Dillon, become entangled in the deceit. Each twist and turn leads further and further into things not being what they seem, and even draw the people of the town into the charade.

I was at first put off by the style of writing in the prologue, which seemed to be a bit too flowery. Yet, once into the book, the style changed to one that was very gripping, and kept the story moving along at a quick pace.

Some of the events in "WYSIWYG" were too exaggerated to be real, yet the book taken as a whole has a message that needs to be shared. What happens in the story is compelling, believable and universal, and makes for very good reading. Renee Austin's book is well worth exploring.


"Gold in the Shadow" by Michael Marcotte
Reviewed by Gary Presley (presley@dialnet.net)
Publisher: Writers Club Press
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0595094147
Rating: * * 1/2 stars

Rachel Aguila, archeologist and linguist, finds herself torn from her studies in modern day Oklahoma and thrust into the primitive jungles of Peru. Rachel's twin brother is missing. Kenny's plane apparently has crashed, but Rachel refuses to believe he's dead. Intent on search and rescue, she soon finds herself snarled in the machinations of treasure hunter, Max Arnold.

Arnold, and his Indiana Jonesian partner Tristan Sloan, have found evidence ancient Egyptians reached across oceans to link up with ancestors of the Incas. Desperate for a skilled linguist, Arnold seduces Rachel into his expedition by fabricating a sighting of wreckage deep in the jungle, hinting it may be that of her twin brother's aircraft.

Rachel's character is nicely sketched, but Tristan's identity remains murky to a thoughtful reader. Rachel draws closer to him and draws more from him, but we are confused that the seemingly substantial Sloan has long been in league with the mercenary and merciless Arnold.

Although Michael Marcotte sometimes relies on standard plot devices, even a casual reader comes away with admiration for the scholarly research he brings to bear in crafting this tale.

Marcotte weaves the Papyrus of Ani and other versions of the Book of the Dead as well as deft translations of Quechua and other Amazonian languages into his adventure. Like Rachel we become "entranced by the other-worldliness of her surroundings. Here she was in an ancient bath chamber, illuminated by torch light, attended by servants, naked and soaking next to an Inca princess in a lost city in the Amazon jungle!"

Marcotte's novel goes over-the-top on occasion and delves too deeply into the fantastic at other times, but, if you're willing to leave your belief in what you know for certain is at the edge of the jungle, he writes a tale that will have you turning pages to the end.


"The Rise of the Phoenix" by Dawn Rivers Baker
Reviewed by Karen Shibuya (karen.shibuya@usa.net)
Publisher: Electric Umbrella
Format: Electronic
ISBN: 1586279491
Rating: * * * 1/2 stars

When her twin brother summons her to the emperor's court, Lady Dia of Shae braves High Sun to attend him. She soon discovers that the blistering heat of the unnaturally long summer is the least of her worries. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the grip of a pervasive Darkness that only the touch of Caleon of Aerandos can dispel. Worse yet, the entire court seems consumed by this Darkness, with the exception of the Great House of Aerandos.

Dia and Caleon find themselves battling both palace intrigue and the evil that has beset them. Caught in the midst of the fight between Septha the Destroyer and the Phoenix, they must uncover their roles in the prophesies and help the Phoenix to rise again. Can their love survive the Destroyer, and larger still, can their world?

Rife with intrigue, "The Rise of the Phoenix" is an engaging, entertaining read. Most of the action takes place at the Imperial court, and it is here that Baker shines. Dia must fight off not only the physical advances of the Crown Prince, but the mental domination of her beloved twin, and the storyline as she does so twists and turns in intricate ways.

It is only when the setting veers outside the palace that the plot line flounders, becoming bogged down with either too little action or plot points that spring up much too quickly to appreciate. "The Rise of the Phoenix" improves upon returning to the palace, although the actual denouement is somewhat anti-climatic.

The real appeal of this story lies with its characters, however. The repartee between Dia and Caelon is amusing and witty, and their characters are strongly written. While the formal dialogue may be off-putting to some readers, the verbal twists and turns that Dawn Rivers Baker utilizes makes for much humor in what could otherwise be a very staid story. At times, Dia and Caelon's facile acceptance of their circumstances -- especially in light of Caelon's skepticism -- was hard to accept, but still these characters kept me reading.

The minor characters also shine, given depth and substance, with the exception of the villains. Their motivations and characterizations are very clear, and very two-dimensional. The only real flaw in this story is the traditional roles played by everyone, especially Dia and Septha's minions.

Baker's writing style is lyrical and dense. She has given much thought to her world building, and while comparisons could be made to both "Dune" and "Darkover," this world is wholly her own. Baker excels at dialogue, and her words are a joy to read. This is one "Phoenix" most definitely on the rise.


"Soul Survival" by Peter D. Leslie
Reviewed by Roxianne Moore (roxmoore@nauticom.net)
Publisher: Internet Book Company
Format: Electronic
ISBN: 1-930739-01-X
Rating: * 1/2 stars

"Soul Survival" is a collection of more than 50 light verses. Most are free verse, with a few rhymes thrown in, and little if any formal structure. The theme that ties them together is the exploration of one man's mind and soul. Taken as a whole, many of the messages have a universal quality.

By academic standards, "Soul Survival" doesn't measure up. The imagery is almost nonexistent, and the tone is more sentimental than concrete. Yet reading through the poems, one after another, the effect is quite calming. These are not poems to tax the mind and imagination. And though Peter D. Leslie calls them inspirational poems, I'm not sure they fit into that category either. They are poems that relax. They explore the realm of mind and spirit, bearing little connection to reality and daily life.

The poems in the collection are introspective, meditative, even self-indulgent. After finishing the book, I did not feel enlightened, awestruck or inspired. I did feel, however, that I knew a little more about Leslie than I did when I started reading. Taken together, the poems range from joy to despair. While serious poets might not emulate this style, readers will find the sort of poems they might send to a friend who's going through hard times, or to a lover to explain a sense of spiritual connection.

Many of these poems bear a single image which, if developed further, might yield stronger work. Others have only the vaguest of images, nothing concrete to seek the teeth into. Rather than good, red meat, rich with the essence of life, they are cotton candy: fluffy, sticky and sweet. They offer a glimpse into the mind and the spirit, but have no flesh.

I kept waiting for that "A ha!" moment I usually experience with good poetry, but it never came. When I'd finished, I felt calm and empty, as if I'd spent the afternoon in meditation. If that's what you seek from poetry, then "Soul Survival" might be enjoyable. If you prefer more serious, modern poetry, then this is not the book for you.


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.



Hot on the trail of her much talked-about debut, "Lip Service," M.J. Rose once again explores the dark corners of the human psyche in a riveting and erotic tale of love, lust...and betrayal. Go to http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=31382727&siteid=37529115&bfpage=rose1 and "In Fidelity" by M.J. Rose for only $4.95 for the month of February!



A 14-year-old cancer patient writes a series of letters to his idol, a New York television comedian, with surprising results. Read Chapter 1 of "Dear Mr. Kapps," a novel of love, loyalty and sacrifice at http://www.wordwrangler.com/robertk.html



Make your opinions count. The survey for this week is now on our Web site. Visit http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Survey.html. This week's topic: Background Checks. In order to attend a public trial, California court officials required all journalists to go through background checks. Do you think a background check requirement violates the constitutionally guaranteed press freedoms of U.S. reporters?


* Yes
* Maybe
* No

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: Editing Mishaps. What do you do when an editor makes a change to your article, and alters the factual content or tone?


Final results were unavailable at press time.


"Actually, as a reporter this has happened to me. Not only was my article changed, it was changed in such a way that opened up a lawsuit for libel. My editor at a local daily paper added 'facts' to the article and rewrote the vast majority [it]. I read the article before it went to print and when I questioned the 'facts' that were added I was asked by the editor, "Don't you trust me?" I was fresh out of journalism school and grateful for the opportunity to work for the local daily paper at less than pauper wages. If nothing else, I was gaining experience and expanding my portfolio. I objected to the changes, politely and to my editor only, and left it at that. It all blew up in my editor's face because, when confronted by the subject of that story, I told him the truth and because I had a good reputation with the politicians involved, he believed me. He knew those 'facts' hadn't come from me, and if I had been in possession of those 'facts,' I would have verified them. After the smoke cleared and the lawyers left, the issue came up in the newsroom with the senior reporter at the paper. He told me that I should have insisted that my name be removed, and if not removed, then the line "with files from..." be added, naming the source for those changes. Live and learn." --Cheryl Charette (cherylc@cyberbeach.net)

"From an editor's point of view: I would hope and expect that an author who sees serious factual errors in a manuscript I edited would contact me immediately. The discussion need not be adversarial, and the editor may have simply misunderstood or misinterpreted the import of your sentence/paragraph. Happens all the time in this business, especially with busy or overworked editors. In the interest of making your published work the best it can be, you owe it to yourself and your editor to call it to his or her attention. From a writer's point of view: Before I contact my editor, I try to do some soul-searching and think about whether this is truly an out-and-out error or just a bit of my own vanity showing through; e.g., I thought the segment in question was just perfect the way I originally wrote it. A little flexibility on both sides can do wonders for an editor/author relationship, and it proves that you're serious about the work you do -- whether you're the editor or the author!" --ReeseTee@att.net

"As a writer, I was subject to a massive re-write of my first book at the editor's request. It involved chopping out a favorite scene which I felt added to the authenticity of the story's setting (Papua New Guinea), and rewriting the entire back end of the book (almost four chapters), plus minor amendments. I did all this, then re-submitted. The editor then wanted another two rewrites and contradicted some of the things she'd asked for in the first rewrite, including some factual content. Meanwhile, I'd found out exactly what this publisher was paying for the full rights to books and I withdrew my novel (a calculated business decision). I've subsequently become a publisher myself (moved on), and now I'm the one asking for massive rewrites and storyline changes from several submitting writers. However, I always tell my writers why and ask them to discuss anything they don't feel comfortable changing. I like to work in an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration. I have no problem with an author putting their point of view across. Most things should be able to be resolved with sensible interaction." --Robyn Lidstone (http://www.LivewirePublishing.com.au)

"Whenever I see an error, whether it be factual or cosmetic, I contact an editor as soon as I am aware of it. Generally, they have been happy for the information and made every effort to correct the copy if it was still possible to do so. That is one advantage of writing for the Internet, occasionally an error can be corrected even after it has gone into 'print.'" --Suzanne Montalalou (ZanLouMont@aol.com)

"I chose 'Contact the editor and have it out' even though I feel it's phrased too harshly. I contact the editor and share my concerns, and make it clear where the problem lies. Then we typically work out a new way to put it that improves the writing as the editor was trying to do without introducing factual/intent errors." --Dee-Ann LeBlanc (http://www.Dee-AnnLeBlanc.com)

"It depends. If factual content within a quote from a source is changed, I protest quickly and loudly! If only the overall tone is changed, as happened to me recently by a high profile site that pays well, I fume silently until paid and then not write for that publication again. I am not too proud to accept constructive critique or changes, but an editor cannot capture the 'spirit' of a topic the way I can when I've spent hours conducting phone interviews." --okwriter@peakonline.com

"I'm incredulous that on several occasions I was told by editors that I'm too fussy about accuracy. Can you imagine? In one of those jobs, I was writing health-related articles. Readers could have died because of the errors the editors made on my pieces, and the editors didn't even care!" --Judy Pokras (Vegwriter@aol.com)

"All of the above. It's happened to me often and I've tried each approach, finding the confrontation most damaging to my career. I'm more pragmatic now and snarl a little and then move on." --Betty Rosian (BLRosian@aol.com)

"The great thing about this question is that it goes right to the heart of writing: Do you write for love or for money? If you write for money, you move on. It's part of the biz. Supreme artistic appreciation can only be paid by those five words: "Pay to the order of..." anyway. If you write for love, the next time you write for that editor, tell them you'd like to see the piece in it's final form before it's published, that last time a few meanings got changed, unintentionally of course, and you'd like a look-see before it goes to print." --Wade Nelson (http://www.wadenelson.com)

"Here's the deal. If it's grossly incorrect as a result of editing, point it out. The writer does not want to be the author of incorrect information in their article. This could result in a lawsuit and the editor is sometimes making the assumption that the writer will speak up before anything goes to print. I have one editor who is willing to let me see the finished product, another who's too harried to know when they finish the product. But be mindful. If anything is incorrect, it's your reputation on the line." --DJohn336@aol.com

"One article I'd written was all about how multimedia CDs were made but the article got printed with the words 'music CDs' in the main place instead of multimedia CDs which was a completely wrong thing. I wrote to the editor, pointing out this, and requested [she] put an errata in the following issue as readers shouldn't get the idea that music CDs are also made the same way. But she didn't. And I continued writing for her because it was okay otherwise, and once in a while mistakes do happen. If the editor herself is not aware of the differences, as in this case, or perhaps another slip happened, I wouldn't just stop writing for her." --Hasmita Chander (hasmita@yahoo.com)

"I notified my editors that my column would sometimes turn phrases around. One of them recently changed a phrase when the column was about grandparenting. Because grandparents have 'won' out in the child-raising department, I wrote 'to the victors belong the spoilings.' It got changed to 'spoils' in one paper. Most of the time, however, the errors are mine because they just take the e-mail and print it. I prefer the one who changed my meaning. He was being the editor he is supposed to be. An editor is responsible for the entire publication. All I have to do is meet the deadline with something worth printing. I think writers should also be aware that, in newspapers especially, there are laws regarding a ratio between advertising and news copy. Sometimes a favorite paragraph has to go. So, I'm saying all this is part of the business. If it is serious, ask the editor what happened, but anger solves nothing." --Richard I. Learned (learneds@cyberportal.net)

"Editors have very large egos sometimes. But then, all professions include some individuals who should not be there. I worked for a daily newspaper, for 10 years as a freelancer. I was then hired as a reporter/office manager, full-time. My editor was my mentor. I thought the world of him. Every conversation was a learning experience. I will always be grateful for the love of writing that he inspired, at least at the beginning. That was when I wasn't 'his' employee. Once I began working for him, the relationship changed. He began changing my stories to reflect 'his' style. He also changed facts to reflect 'his' opinions, despite the facts that appeared in the story. The last straw for me was a news story I wrote about baby-sitters -- a couple who sexually abused the children in their care. My editor rewrote my story, using an accusatory tone toward the children's mother. In his mind, she didn't check the baby-sitter's credentials well enough. His accusations were based on nothing but his opinion. I was incensed. Needless to say, I no longer work for him, nor do I even read that paper. My complaints to the managing editor went nowhere. That was, for me, the perfect job. But my self-esteem, reputation and sense of fairness are much too important to ignore. I am now the editor of a weekly newspaper that competes with the former. I make less money, but no longer worry that what appears in the paper is different than what I write." --Carol (rural01@earthlink.net)

"I definitely have it out with the editor, if the issue is an important one. If someone I have interviewed is misquoted or what he says is distorted through editorial action or omission, it is my credibility that is damaged and, with it, my ability to get additional interviews with that person or anyone over whom he has any influence. I would feel very uncomfortable working for any publication that played fast and loose with facts I'd gathered. If the editor was not willing to mend his ways, I'd have no hesitation seeking work elsewhere." --John Gorman (d031689c@dc.seflin.org)

"If there is a glaring error, I would contact the editor to point it out as tactfully as possible. It is more than your pride or vanity on the block when an editing error is made. You, the writer, the editor and the publication all suffer a blow to credibility. Always be tactful and, if the editor is a professional, he will see your point and make the necessary changes. Who knows, if he sees you are dedicated to providing accurate copy, it might land you more gigs. I have worked both sides of the copy desk and took pains to listen to input from writers and photographers, especially if there were errors of fact involved and then really bent over backward to make necessary corrections. Not all editors feed on their young and I only administered beatings on odd-numbered days." --Rick Stivers (rickathome@alltel.net)



You've heard of the Oscars, the Emmys, the Pulitzers and the Webbys. Well now we're sponsoring the 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Awards (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Engravers.html). All of the nominations have been received, and voting has begun. Only subscribers of Inscriptions may vote. If you haven't already received your ballot, send an e-mail to Engravers@inscriptionsmagazine.com.

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
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