Vol. 4 Issue 8
February 19, 2001
Inscriptions, the weekly e-zine for professional
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
~Quote of the Week
~Article -- Writing With Deadly Ink: An Interview With Patti Biringer by Ali Seay
~Article -- Strengthen Your Writing With Better Verbs by Barbara Florio Graham
~Inscriptions Conspiracy Contest
~Publishing News and Notes
~Humor -- Organization for the Creative Writer (a.k.a. Real Life) by Svali
~Link of the Week
~Book Shelf -- "Up Above the World" by Paul Bowles, "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri and "My Wonderful World of Slapstick" by Buster Keaton and Charles Samuels
~Book Reviews -- "Money Magnetism: How to Attract What You Need When You Need It" by J. Donald Walters, "The Divine Ones" by Rosalie Wilde, "The Lord Had Something Better In Mind" by Jane Russell, "Toliver's Forest" by Margaret Vance and "Barrington Oaks" by Jordan Robyns
~Inscriptions Engraver Awards
We are all saddened by the loss of Inkspot.com, and its affiliate e-zine, Inklings. Inkspot was one of the best Web sites for writers, and we hope all of its writers and editors quickly find work elsewhere.
The 2000 Inscriptions Engraver Awards (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Engravers.html) will be announced Monday night at 8 p.m. EST. See which writers and publishers you chose as this year's winners. Some audience members may even win free books.
This is the last week to enter Conspiracy Contest. Turn in your entry today!
Our Book Shelf feature (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/BookShelf.html) has become quite popular. So we've decided to add it to the weekly e-zine. Enjoy.
The Book Signing notices can now be found in two locations on our Web site -- in the literary calendar (http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/inscriptions) and in the Promotions and Marketing section (http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/Signings.html).
CORRECTION: We ran a notice in our News section last week about a reporter who was fired for plagiarism. That reporter worked for the Press-Enterprise in Bloomsburg, Penn.
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
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"The good writer, the great writer, has what I have called the three S's: the power to see, to sense and to say. That is, he is perceptive, he is feeling and he has the power to express in language what he observes and reacts to." --Lawrence Clark Powell
Critics call Wendy Tokunaga's new novel, "No Kidding," a Bridget Jones for the 21st century with its funny but poignant look at mother/daughter relationships; a young woman's self-empowerment; a great romance; and a charming heroine who refuses to succumb to the "baby boom." Check it out at: http://www.culturewave.com/nokidding
LOVE LETTERS: A jealous computer salesman finds a letter in his wife's dresser and can't decide whether or not to read it, so he takes it to work and has a really bad day that gets worse by the hour. Read "One of Those Days, One of Those Nights" by Ed Gorman for less than $1 (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=462&id=6815).
ARTICLE -- Writing With Deadly Ink: An Interview
With Patti Biringer
By Ali Seay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Almost everyone would agree that writers' conferences can be invaluable tools for the seasoned, as well as the fledgling, writer. These gatherings offer an opportunity to meet with fellow writers, and to learn new skills from the pros.
Success stories, horror stories and solutions to common problems are shared in sessions and workshops. These experiences are not only useful, but can also be rejuvenating for writers who often feel isolated by the lonely aspects of the job.
Patti Biringer is a writer who has reveled in her time spent at conferences. Although she thoroughly enjoyed each experience, her one complaint seemed to be "size." Most conferences were too big, too rushed, and didn't offer her much chance to truly connect with fellow writers.
Biringer decided to do something most of us would never dream of doing -- she organized her own conference.
The mission for Biringer was a cozy conference of 100 attendees maximum. This smaller size would offer writers a chance to mingle, share more time with one another and hopefully come away with a richer understanding and experience. The lower cost of this small conference would also be more affordable for writers unable to manage the expense of larger events.
Deadly Ink was organized by Biringer with very little outside help. It debuted in June 2000 to great reviews. It was a hit right down to the "corpse" floating in the hotel pool, surrounded by police tape.
INSCRIPTIONS: What was the impetus behind Deadly Ink?
PATTI BIRINGER: I love going to writing conferences, particularly ones that are mystery-oriented, but it gets expensive. I also have difficulty traveling at times because of a chronic pain condition. I decided to plan Deadly Ink for two reasons:
1) I could plan a small conference, close to home, and one that does not last as long.
2) I think New Jersey is seriously underappreciated by the publishing industry when planning author tours, and I wanted to introduce local mystery fans to new writers and new books.
INSCRIPTIONS: Have you always loved mysteries or was it a learned attraction?
BIRINGER: I have always loved reading, and mysteries were my choice, even as a child. I enjoyed getting lost in the characters and the settings, and I imagined that I could solve the mysteries like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys did. They had such great adventures.
When I was 12-years-old, I had hip surgery and was in a wheelchair for six months. Since I couldn't run and play with my live friends, I spent days with my favorite characters, imagining what I would do when I could walk again. A very difficult year was made more bearable because of my mystery friends.
Today I tend to read suspense more than anything else -- Ridley Pearson, Tami Hoag and John Sandford for instance. I started reading cozies this year and have found many favorites there too.
INSCRIPTIONS: Is setting up and running a conference something you would recommend to the average writer/person?
BIRINGER: I had no idea where to start, but I enjoy a challenge and had a lot of experience attending conferences. I learned as I went along, made some mistakes, and was willing to accept the financial consequences if it did not work out. Deadly Ink was very successful for a first conference, and it took a lot of time and detail work.
I would not recommend it to everyone unless they are able to make the planning process a priority for several months, and are willing to take a chance financially.
INSCRIPTIONS: How long did the process take you from the idea to the actual conference?
BIRINGER: I decided to do it in Oct. 1999 and the first thing I did was reserve the hotel space. Then I started to look for a guest of honor and panelist. Then the real work started. I didn't work on it everyday, but it took about six months to pull together.
I started pulling bits and pieces together for the program book as soon as I decided to do the conference. It took about a week to lay it out and get it printed.
At the same time, I put out requests for giveaways, promo items and door prizes on lists like DorothyL. My room was filled with boxes of books and bookmarks for months.
Two friends volunteered (sort of!) to stuff the goody bags, and spent two hours running around my dining room table 90 times, in 95 degree heat with no air conditioning.
INSCRIPTIONS: How did you go about getting your panels? You managed to snag Parnell Hall, which was impressive.
BIRINGER: I did everything through the Internet and networking. Someone would hear about Deadly Ink, ask to be on a panel, and recommend other authors. I also contacted several authors whose work I admired and asked them to participate.
The guest of honor was probably the most difficult spot to fill. I had an author in mind but after months of trying to contact her, and speaking to everyone in her publishing house, she was not available.
I had seen Parnell at other conferences, and knew what an entertaining speaker he is. He had already agreed to be on a panel, and I contacted him and asked if he would take on the additional responsibility of being my guest of honor luncheon speaker. He graciously accepted, and I know he was meant to fill that spot. Everyone loved him.
INSCRIPTIONS: Deadly Ink had an impressive turn out. Do you think it will continue to grow? If so, how do you feel about that?
BIRINGER: I was very happy with the numbers. We had 93 people, and it was a good size for the hotel. From the reactions and comments I heard afterwards, it should definitely grow. I'm not sure how large I want it to become, since an intimate friendly conference was, and is, my biggest goal.
The hotel we're in right now will not handle more than 125 people, so I may have to make a decision to move in 2002. I'll deal with that problem when, and if, it comes up.
INSCRIPTIONS: When not wrangling mystery writers, what do you write?
BIRINGER: I've concentrated on mysteries for the last six or seven years, but I also enjoy writing humor and journaling. I have a suspense thriller, "Shattered Trust," which will come out [in 2001]. Right now I'm writing a cozy, something new for me. "Murder is No Laughing Matter" will probably take a year or two to complete -- I seem to be pretty busy these days.
INSCRIPTIONS: What are your future projects?
BIRINGER: I just incorporated under the name "Celebrate Writing" and hope to do additional, varied writing conferences in the future. A women's writing conference is a definite possibility for 2001.
Deadly Ink (http://www.deadlyink.com)
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: Be My Masochistic Valentine.
GET PAID FASTER: PayPal (https://email@example.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!
ARTICLE -- Strengthen Your Writing With Better
By Barbara Florio Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the writing workshops I give for federal government departments, non-government organizations and corporate clients, participants often look for quick ways to improve their writing. Although each participant receives a copy of my book, "Five Fast Steps to Better Writing," which reminds them of the process I have summarized in the seminar, I also add exercises to demonstrate various principles.
One exercise offers the key to Step Four in my five steps: Strengthen. After you Prepare, Draft and Revise, and before you Polish, you need to Strengthen verbs, sentence structure and word choices to give your writing power and precision.
I point out in both the book and my seminars that the English language contains many weak verbs which provide a benefit to the individual just learning to speak the language, but which can be detrimental to fine writing. These verbs include all forms of the verb "to be" as well as: have, do, make, go, see, come, get, give, let, look, put, keep, bring, take, send, find and see. Most of these weak verbs require a preposition or an adverb to denote a specific action.
For example, "come in" may mean enter, whereas "come over" may mean either visit or concede (as in "come over to my side of the argument"). You might say the boss "came up" with a raise, or the offer "came up" to your expectations, while other players "came down" to your level or "came out" to watch you. Someone may "come through" for you or "come around" to your way of thinking.
In every case, you're using two words where one, more specific verb would suffice. Moreover, the reader receives a stronger image from a specific verb. "Confiscate," for example, implies a legal seizure, whereas "take away" indicates just physical removal.
Whenever you substitute a precise verb for a weak one, you provide the reader with a strong visual image. In addition, by eliminating parts of the verb "to be" and the helping verb "have," you force yourself to write active rather than passive sentences. This also follows an important rule for all written communication: show rather than tell.
Try this exercise: Write a description (about three paragraphs long) of anything you wish, using as many of the weak verbs listed above as you wish. Then take this draft and eliminate all the weak verbs. Be particularly careful of forms of the verb "to be," including am, are, is, was, were, will be, should be, etc.
Notice the dramatic difference in the two versions.
In some situations, of course, a passive construction offers benefits. For example, you may want to use the verb "to be" in a sentence describing the status quo, or to distance yourself from the information (writing "It was decided," instead of "We decided," when you don't agree with the decision).
Occasionally the object is more important than the subject, and deserves to be placed at the beginning of the sentence (as I have in this sentence). But, in general, you can improve your writing considerably by guarding against weak verbs.
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.
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 and more!
INSCRIPTIONS CONSPIRACY CONTEST
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.
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 TheWrittenWordEZineemail@example.com.
MURDER AND MARRIAGE: A lecherous freight-bum can't believe his luck when his boxcar is invaded by young couple eloping to Philadelphia. Read Harlan Ellison short story, "Riding the Dark Train Out" (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=465&id=6815).
PUBLISHING NEWS and NOTES
~All New (Web sites/Designs/Content/Zines/Publications)
The New York Times (http://www.NYTimes.com) launched a special section devoted to the 2001 Oscars (http://www.nytimes.com/oscars).
The Pulse (http://espn.go.com/magazine/), a guide to the best sports sites and stories, premiered.
Cynthia P. Gallagher (Author40@aol.com) is the new editor of the Boxer Shorts column on Suite 101 (http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/boxer_shorts). The column focuses on the boxer breed of dogs.
MagOmania.com (http://www.magomania.com), a Canadian-based magazine search engine, debuted.
Infantelligence (http://www.infantelligence.com), a parenting magazine about early learning, launched.
Romance novelist Mary-Jo Wormell (a.k.a. Mary Lyons) premiered Heartline, a publishing company of sexy, romantic books.
Jalouse, a French youth-oriented fashion magazine, debuted a U.S. version.
Artist's Sketchbook (http://www.artistsmagazine.com), a magazine to help people find the artist inside, launched.
All Readers (http://www.allreaders.com/default.asp) a Web site for reading enthusiasts, premiered.
Olympio.com (http://www.Olympio.com), a French e-publisher offering vanity and editorial-based services, debuted.
Al-Wehdawi, a weekly newspaper in Syria, launched.
Iumix Ltd. (http://www.iumix.com), an e-book and magazine publisher in the U.K., premiered.
Pendle Writers (http://www.pendlewriters.com), a Web site for the Pendle Writers group in the U.K., debuted.
Rogue Worlds (http://www.specficworld.com/rgworlds.html), an online science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine, will launch on April 15.
~Publishing Industry Changes
Houghton Mifflin Co. (http://www.houghtonmifflin.com) plans to offer college textbooks in electronic format with netLibrary (http://www.netLibrary.com) in the Fall 2001.
The LearningKingdom (http://www.LearningKingdom.com), a publisher of e-mail newsletters, is now charging for subscriptions.
Ebrary.com (http://www.Ebrary.com) has joined forces with London-based publisher Taylor & Francis (http://www.tandf.co.uk) to offer more than 17,000 research titles in electronic format.
Harper's Bazaar plans to publish two smaller versions of the magazine in March and September. The cover price will remain the same for the "compact" versions.
Mademoiselle Magazine (http://www.mademoiselle.com) has changed its focus to target women in their upper 20s and early 30s.
Audible.com (http://www.audible.com) is now offering audio books and downloads in formats compatible with Macintosh computers.
Mad Magazine (http://www.warnerbros.com/pages/madmagazine/home.jsp) plans to start running paid advertisements in its print publication.
The James Michener Prize in Writing (http://www.ncss.org/awards/) is no longer being awarded. The officiating board recently reviewed this award and determined that nominations it received were not meeting the original intent of the award.
Fiction Factor (http://www.fictionfactor.bigstep.com), an online magazine for writers, plans to offer listings of paying markets.
The Writer (http://www.writermag.com), a magazine for writers, has been redesigned.
Sheryl P. Simons (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the new contributing editor for VAR Business Magazine (http://www.varbusiness.com).
~Publishing-Related Mailing Lists/E-zines
SAH Novelist Moms (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/sahnovelistmoms) is a mailing list for stay-at-home moms who are also trying to pursue careers as novelists.
The KidsBookshelf Newsletter is a free bi-monthly publication with book reviews, writing and drawing contests, crafts, recipes and updates on new games and coloring pictures. To subscribe, send a blank e-mail (email@example.com).
ReviewTalk (http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/reviewtalk) is a mailing list for writers who review books, music, movies, Web sites, programs and games.
The Business of Writing (http://www.topica.com/lists/TBOW) is a mailing list devoted to business issues for both freelance and staff writers.
The California court officials who ordered all journalists covering the Cary Stayner murder trail to submit fingerprints for background checks have reversed their decision.
Burt Kennedy, screenwriter, died of cancer. He was 78. Kennedy worked as a successful radio writer after World War II, wrote screenplays for Hollywood and later became a director.
Richard Laymon, horror author, died of a massive heart attack. He was 54. Laymon wrote 25 novels, and published more than 60 short stories.
Sam Malone, veteran journalist, editor and columnist, died. Cause of death was not released. He was 79. Malone spent 60 years in journalism writing for The Seminole Sentinel, The Daily Sentinel and the Sabine County Reporter in Texas. Malone wrote the weekly "Ramblin' Round" column and broadcast a 15-minute radio news show on KLCR-FM six days a week for more than three decades.
Jacqueline Irene Villa, former copy editor for The Arizona Daily Star in Arizona, died. Cause of death was not released. She was 83. Villa spent more than 25 years editing for Newsday, The Nassau Review-Star and The Long Island Press in New York before moving out west. She retired from The Arizona Daily Star in 1999.
Louis H. Wacker, former city editor of the Buffalo Evening News in New York, died. Cause of death was not released. He was 82. Before retiring from journalism in 1977, Wacker covered politics and travel. He also conducted interviews with servicemen on the front lines during the Korean War. Wacker edited for the newspaper for 20 years before teaching journalism at Buffalo State College.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.: The panel discussion, "The Webbed Future: What's in Store for Freelancers?" will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Editorial Freelancers Association National Headquarters, 71 W. 23rd St., Suite 1910 in New York City, N.Y. Guest speakers will be Kerrin Griffith, managing editor of Conde Net, and David Wallis, CEO and founder of Featurewell.com. Cost is $10 for nonmembers. To RSVP, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CHARLOTTE, N.C.: The Southern Writers of Radical Dreams, a group for science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Merlin's Magic Brew, 14113 E. Independence Blvd. in Stallings, N.C. For more information, e-mail (email@example.com).
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.: Scifi.com (http://www.scifi.com) presents an evening of Contemporary Science Fiction hosted by Terry Bisson and Ellen Datlow, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th in New York City, N.Y. Guest speakers will be Esther Friesner and Gahan Wilson. Readings are free. Drinks are liberal. For more information, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.: The panel discussion, "Careers in Book Publishing," will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Media Alliance, 814 Mission St., Suite 205 in San Francisco, Calif. Guest speakers will be Elaine Katzenberger of City Lights, Jennifer Joseph of ManicD Press and Mattie Richardson of Third Wemon's Press. Cost is $15 for nonmembers, $10 for Media Alliance & nonprofit members. For more information, call (415) 546-6491.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.: The panel discussion, "How to Make Money From Speaking Engagements: An ASJA Panel," will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the Society of Illustrators, members' dining room, 128 E. 63rd St. in New York City, N.Y. Guest speakers will be Daylle Deanna Schwartz, Francis Friedman, Arlynn Greenbaum, Leil Lowndes and Laurie H. Meyer. Cost is $18 for ASJA members; $20 for nonmembers. Reservations are suggested. To RSVP, call (212) 997-0947.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.: The Rare, Used & Out-of-Print Book Fair will be held at 10 a.m. on March 10 at the Tip Top Shoe Building, 155 W. 72nd Street, 4th Floor in New York City, N.Y. Cost is free. For more information, e-mail (email@example.com).
FULLERTON, CALIF.: The California Writers Club will meet at 10 a.m. on March 10 at the Downey Savings & Loan, 201 W. Bastanchury in Fullerton, Calif. Guest speaker will be Judy Kancigor, author of "Melting Pot Memories," who will discuss "Writing the Family History Cookbook." Cost is free. For more information, call (714) 525-2988.
~Writers Needing Input
P.M. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is researching artist/etchers, or individuals who create lines on copper and zinc plates and print onto paper after inking the lines in the plate. Johnson is examining the history of women who have created art using this method and would like examples, history and stories of these individuals.
Christina Katz (email@example.com) is writing an article about interesting ways corporate mothers relax with their families over the weekend. If you know a corporate mother who would like to spout about the benefits of good, old-fashioned R&R, please e-mail.
Music.com (http://www.Music.com) laid off 65 employees, or 15% of its staff.
CNBC.com (http://www.CNBC.com) laid off 26 employees, or about 25% of its staff.
Art.com (http://www.Art.com) plans to lay off 50 people, or about 40% of its staff, over the next two months.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (http://www.rcfp.org) have formally protested the way the U.S. Secret Service treated a college journalist who wrote a satirical editorial about President Bush. The student's op-ed piece, published in The Stony Brook Press in New York, called for Jesus to smite the president and Carson Daly, the host of the MTV show, "TRL." The Secret Service responded by questioning the student and searching his home.
Quokka Sports (http://www.quokka.com) plans to lay off 59% of its staff by the end of the second quarter.
The Industry Standard (http://www.thestandard.com) plans to lay off 65 people this week. The company already laid off 36 employees in January.
WetFeet.com (http://www.WetFeet.com) laid off 21 employees.
Sesame Workshop (http://www.ctw.org) laid off 60 people, and plans to turn over Sesame Street Magazine to AOL Time Warner's Parenting Group.
CNNfn (http://cnnfn.cnn.com) plans to lay off 65 people this week.
Xlibris (http://www.Xlibris.com) laid off 22 people from its New York office and canceled plans to expand into Europe. The company decided to shut down Inkspot (http://www.inkspot.com) and lay off its entire staff of writers and editors. And, Xlibris announced plans to charge a minimum of $200 for vanity press services. The new fee structure will be effective March 1.
Sesame Street Parents (http://www.sesameworkshop.org/parents/) will close after the April issue.
FreeWorks.com (http://www.FreeWorks.com) laid off its entire staff and will no longer be updated after Feb. 28.
Kids City will cease publishing after the April issue.
ComputerCredible (http://www.credible.com) will shut down after the February issue.
Content Kids will not be published after the April issue.
Etown.com (http://www.Etown.com) has closed.
Gamecenter.com (http://www.Gamecenter.com) will no longer be published.
ImproveMyBusiness.com (http://www.ImproveMyBusiness.com) has ceased publishing.
BroadbandSports (http://www.BroadbandSports.com) has closed.
Future Network laid off 350 employees and plans to close 20 magazines, including Revolution (http://www.revolution.haynet.com) and T3 (http://www.t3.co.uk).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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The winner of the 2000 Best of Soft SF Competition (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Den/5752/) is "The Meek Inherit" by Stephen D. Rogers.
~Book Signings and Author Appearances
Lorenzo Carcaterra will sign copies of his book, "Gangster," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Tattered Cover in Denver, Colo.; at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Calif.; at 4 p.m. on Feb. 22 at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood, Calif.; at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Nobel, 1201 3rd St. in Santa Monica, Calif.; and at 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Chapter 11 in Atlanta, Ga.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips will discuss her book, "This Heart of Mine," during an online chat at 10 p.m. on Feb. 20 on iVillage (http://www.ivillage.com/books/articles/0,3359,12166~289,00.html).
Patricia Elam and Donna Hemans will discuss their books with Washington Post Book World senior editor Jabari Asim at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Borders Books & Music, 1801 K St., N.W. in Washington D.C. For more information, e-mail Mary Ann Brownlow (email@example.com).
Octavia E. Butler will discuss her book, "Kindred," during an online chat at 9 p.m. on Feb. 21 on Scifi.com (http://www.scifi.com/chat/).
Thomas Lynch will discuss his book, "Bodies in Motion and at Rest," during a radio interview at 5:30 p.m. at Feb. 22 on KCRW (http://www.kcrw.org/cgi-bin/db/kcrw.pl?tmplt_type=program&show_code=bw).
Robert B. Reich, former Secretary of Labor, will discuss his book, "Future of Success," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, Calif. Tickets are free with the purchase of a book, or $3 for just the ticket. For more information, call Linda Urban at (626) 449-5320.
Amy Tan will sign copies of her book, "Bonesetter's Daughter," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Borders Book Shop, 1727 Walnut St. in Philadelphia, Penn. For more information, call (215) 568-7400. She will also discuss her book at 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 at 92nd Street Y, Unterberg Poetry Center, 1395 Lexington Ave. in New York City, N.Y. Cost is $15. For tickets, call (212) 996-1100. Tan will sign books at 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan in Chicago, Ill. For more information, call (312) 573-0564.
Tracy Hogg will sign copies of her book, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E. in Seattle, Wash. For more information, call (206) 634-3400. Hogg will appear at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at Barnes and Noble, 16461 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, Calif. For more information, call (818) 380-1636. She will also sign books at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Borders Books & Music, 3700 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance, Calif. For more information, call (310) 540-7000.
Kristin Hannah, will discuss her book, "Summer Island," during an online chat at 8 p.m. on Feb. 22 on iVillage (http://www.ivillage.com/books/articles/0,3359,12166~289,00.html).
Dennis Lehane will discuss his book, "Mystic River," during an online chat at 9 p.m. on Feb. 22 on Borders.com (http://go.borders.com/nc/future.xcv).
Nevada Barr will discuss the book, "Blood Lure," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Vero Beach Book Center, 2145 Indian River Blvd. in Vero Beach, Fla. For more information, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Michael Connelly will sign copies of his book, "A Darkness More Than Night," at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Book Revue, 313 New York Ave. in Huntington, N.Y. For more information, e-mail Tamathajane Nagle (email@example.com). He will also appear at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Barnes and Noble, 720 Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr, Penn. For more information, call (610) 520-0355.
A'Lelia Bundles will sign copies of her book, "On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker," at 12 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Countee Cullen Library, 104 West 136th St. in New York City, N.Y.
Josh Ryan Evans will sign copies of his book, "Hidden Passions," at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24 at Borders Books & Music, 330 S. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, call (310) 659-4045.
Emmanuel Carrere will sign copies of his book, "The Adversary," at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 at The Booksmith, 1644 Haight St. in San Francisco, Calif. For more information, call (415) 863-8688.
Luanne Rice will sign copies of her book, "Dream
Country," at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 at Barnes and Noble, 2103
Highway 35, Suite 101 in Holmdel, N.J. For more information, call
Rebecca Walker will discuss her book, "Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self," during an online chat at 9 p.m. on Feb. 26 on Yahoo! Chat (http://chat.yahoo.com).
~Published Articles, Stories, Poems and Interviews
Faith L. Justice (http://pages.prodigy.net/fljustice/) published an interview with James Morrow in the Fictioneer section of Inkspot.com (http://www.inkspot.com/fiction/articles/morrow.html).
Angela Giles Klocke (http://klockepresents.com) published the article, "Be a Friend, Not a Foe," on E-YOUth.com (http://members.tripod.com/empowering_youth/id70.htm).
~Published Books -- Fiction
Jervey Tervalon published the novel, "Dead Above Ground," in paperback with Pocket Books.
Lorenzo Carcaterra published the novel, "Gangster," in hardcover with Ballantine Books.
Gayle Trent (http://hometown.aol.com/gayletrent/myhomepage/profile.html) published the children's book, "Mama Liked Blue," in electronic format with Kudlicka Publishing.
Tabitha Day published the historical romance, "Betrothed," in electronic format with Wordbeams.
Della Borton published the mystery, "Slow Dissolve," in paperback with Ballantine Books.
Norma McPhee published the futuristic romance, "Into the Fire," in electronic format with LTDBooks.
Amanda Cross published the mystery, "Poetic Justice," in paperback with Ballantine Books.
Judy Bagshaw, Patricia Crossley, Daisy Dexter Dobbs, Pamela Johnson, Tracy Jones, Joyce and Jim Lavene, Celia Ann Leaman, Jennifer L.B. Leese, Michelle Marr, Rose Murray, Ross Richdale, Kimberly Roberts, Ursula Roeder, Betty Jo Schuler and Carolyn Scott published the romance anthology, "Lovey-Dovey," in electronic format with Wordbeams.
Colin Dexter published the mystery, "The Remorseful Day," in paperback with Ballantine Books.
Sylvie Kaye published the contemporary romance, "Never Dare a Cowboy," in electronic format with LTDBooks.
Ken Swarner published the humor book, "Children: The Story of a Corporate Merger," in paperback with Booklocker.
Lee A. Eide (LEide86498@aol.com) published the novel, "Dead Man's Plan," with Denlinger's Publishers.
John Orizon (http://www.WTPMTP.com) published the science fiction novel, "When the Past Meets the Present," in paperback with iUniverse.
Brenda Dow published the Regency romance, "Earl for a Season," in electronic format with LTDBooks.
Wolfgang Niesielski (firstname.lastname@example.org) published the comic strip collection, "A Parallel Universe," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.
Jenoyne Adams published the novel, "Resurrecting Mingus," in hardcover with Free Press.
Phillip Tomasso III (email@example.com) published the thriller, "Tenth House," with Dry Bones Press.
Susie Bright published the collection, "The Best American Erotica 2001," in paperback with Touchstone.
Drew Williams published the horror novel, "Night Terrors," in electronic format with Wordbeams.
Patricia Elam published the romance, "Breathing Room," in hardcover with Pocket Books.
~Published Books -- Nonfiction
Robert and Theresa Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) published the novel, "Bed, Breakfast & Bike Midwest," with Anacus Press.
Lyn Halper (email@example.com) published the nonfiction book, "Adventures of a Suburban Mystic: A True Story of Spiritual Transformation and Supernatural Encounters," in paperback with Trafford Publishing.
Kathy Lamancusa published the self-help book, "Flowers Are for Love: A Bouquet of Inspirational Stories," in paperback with Fireside.
Sam R. Hamburg published the nonfiction book, "Will Our Love Last?: A Couple's Road Map," in hardcover with Scribner.
Sallie Christensen and Gina Hillier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
published the nonfiction book, "The Highest and the Best:
A Gifted Healer's Vision of Third-Millennium Medicine and Humanity's
Intuitive Evolution," in paperback and 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 (email@example.com).
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.
Organization for the Creative Writer (a.k.a.
By Svali (http://svali.50megs.com)
First, it is important to realize that there are two categories of human beings: the organized, punctual, detail-oriented people and the creative, free-flowing, artistic ones. Usually they are married to each other.
Normal articles on organization are directed toward the first category. But this article is for those of us who are creative writers.
1. Organizing your workplace. In most business articles, we're told to use office organizers to hold pens and pencils, and a file folder for papers. But in the creative household, pens cannot be found and pencils mysteriously disappear. When children or spouses are queried as to where these items might be, the questioner is greeted with a blank look or shoulders shrugged upwards and the phrase "I dunno."
After hours of searching, the creative writer finds a pen, three pencils and other missing items under the sofa cushions in the dayroom.
Tip number one: Look under the cushions first. You will save hours out of your day. Don't bother asking where things are, no one ever knows. Once you find said items, place them in a box on your computer table with a taped sign that says "Warning: toxic virus inside." This may keep people from stealing them for a day or two.
2. Organize your paper work. Most organization articles state that the writer should have a filing cabinet with neatly labeled folders for papers. In reality, the creative writer hasn't seen the computer room floor in the past two years due to stacks of notes, articles, query letter copies and writing contracts littering the area.
Tip number two: Get a big box. Put the stacks in there. Now you can walk to your computer to write. If you want to really organize, take some manila folders and separate your papers into three piles:
* possible legal action if I throw these away (put them in a folder labeled "important")
* notes for current articles, or article ideas (place them in a folder called "pretty necessary")
* Throw away the rest.
Now take the important papers (legal contracts, etc.) and hide them in your closet where your children can't find them and scribble over them or use them for paper airplanes.
3. Create a business plan. Most organization articles discuss creating business plans for your writing. This means having contracts, and learning the ins and outs of billing for services, taxes and other things. The creative writer has a much simpler method:
* take all your receipts for money earned in the fiscal year and add them into a column. This is called "income."
* take out 33%. This is called "taxes."
* take your bills from the past year, and subtract them from the income left (the bills are called "debits").
The number left will be your net income for the year. If it is a negative number, don't panic. You can become creative with your deductions (does cat food count as a business expense if the writer can only create when Fluffy is purring on her lap?).
Or, you can go to the backup plan: find an accountant to do this for you. His bill will be a "debit," but he may help you find ways to lower your taxes. Legally.
4. Organize your queries. Most working freelance writers query and query frequently. Organized people will archive queries, print them, place them in neatly labeled folders and create a checklist of magazines and companies queried, with check back dates.
The creative writer has a simpler plan. Query every company on your list simultaneously with different ideas. Get them all out of the way in one massive mailing. To keep track of who you mailed, the creative writer looks under the "sent box" in the e-mail program. Then, just repeat the process once a month. That way you're sure to reach everyone on your query list.
5. Organize your time to write. Organized people call and e-mail their friends, and let them know that they are working between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., so do not disturb. The creative writer has found that when they do this, they are inundated with calls from:
* sales people (no one told them not to call)
* friends who "forgot" Aunt Sally in Iowa
* hang up calls from bored teenagers
* bill collectors (see item 2, when income is less than debts)
The creative writer turns the ringer off when writing. He or she sends an e-mail address to each child's school. When parents and others complain that they can't be reached, the creative writer smiles sweetly.
However, it is important to turn the phone ringer back on when finished. This can be easy to forget, and the creative writer will then get a visit from the local police department since he or she may be reported as a "missing person."
The creative writer with children will find that they can only work on school days, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. The creative writer learns to like coffee due to the late hours they keep.
6. Network. The organized person has a wide network of writing contacts, all indexed and archived. A personal planner even includes regular call back dates to said contacts. The creative writer is too busy writing and driving children places to remember to call anyone, and the phone ringer is turned off anyway, so no one can call them. To actually network, the creative writer does visit the local writer's group that meets in the library at 8 p.m. once a month, and enjoys hearing from fellow writers.
7. Create a Web page. The organized person has a professional quality Web page, that shows accomplishments, background, skills, and serves as an advertisement for available services. The creative writer teaches themselves HTML, and starts experimenting with chartreuse and teal backgrounds and creative borders.
If you have any writing, publishing or media-related humor or insights, please send them to Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com with the subject heading "Humor."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading "News."
BECOME A MOVIE REVIEWER -- Not only will you be able to offer your opinion about the latest flicks and favorite video rentals, you can also win free movies by playing Hollywood Trio. To subscribe, send an e-mail to MoviePollemail@example.com or go to http://www.topica.com/lists/MoviePoll.
Educational publishing company in Greensboro, N.C., is seeking a full-time Copy Editor to proofread educational materials for spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. Must be meticulous and detail-oriented and have working knowledge of the basics for correct writing style following editorial guidelines and consistency standards (house style based on The Chicago Manual of Style). Previous copy editing required, as well as an English or Journalism degree. Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) resume or send to Human Resources/CE, The Education Center, Inc. 3515 West Market St., Suite 200, Greensboro, N.C. 27403.
China Daily (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn) is looking for native English-speaking journalists to fill copyediting positions. A minimum of three years copy editing journalism experience is required. Contracts are for one year. Foreign employees are paid monthly salary of RBM 6,000 Yuan, 70% of which is in U.S. dollars.
China Daily offers air fare, housing, medical insurance and four weeks' paid leave. Applicants are invited to send a resume, two letters of recommendation and samples of work in e-mail (email@example.com) or by snail mail to Mr. Wang Yanping, Foreign Liaison Office, China Daily 15 Huixin Dongjie Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100029 China.
Talk Magazine (http://www.talkmagazine.com) is seeking a copy editor for two-person department. Applicants should have at least two to three years magazine copyediting experience, broad knowledge of popular culture, love of good writing and implacable hostility toward bad writing and solid computer skills, including familiarity with Quark XPress and Microsoft Word.
Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) resume, fax to (212) 641-3599, or mail to Talk, attn.: James Lochart, 118 W. 20th St., 3rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10011. No phone calls, please.
~Freelance Copy Editors
Artech House (a subsidiary of Horizon House Publications, Inc.) is seeking freelance copy editors. We publish technical books in many fields, including wireless communications, e-commerce, optoelectronics, microwave and electromagnetics. Copyedit professional and technical manuscripts to conform to our house style and The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. You need not be an expert in the subject areas.
Skills: Minimum two years of experience copyediting professional text for books, journals or newsletters (including some math). Knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed., familiarity with Math Into Type is a plus. Must have licensed copy of MS Word (Windows or Mac) and experience using edit-tracking features.
E-mail (email@example.com) resume or fax to (781) 769-6334, attn.: Human Resources, Artech House Inc.
~Various Editorial Positions
Media Central (http://www.mediacentral.com), the country's premier media-coverage company, is looking for topnotch editorial talent. We are entering a new era of growth, visibility and importance under the leadership of Steven Brill, and we are raising the standards of journalism among our tough and respected trade publications, whose job is to cover the media with insider savvy. Our titles include such well-known magazines as Cable World, Folio and American Demographics, and the authoritative newsletters of the Simba and Paul Kagan organizations.
We are seeking writers, editors and researchers at all levels of experience. Ideal candidates will want to develop specialist expertise, will have a passion for fair and accurate reporting and will ache to be the first to report the kind of attention-grabbing media stories that'll top newscasts and be featured on front pages nationwide.
Send resume and writing samples to Amy DiTullio, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 16th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10020 or fax (212) 332-6350. No phone calls, please.
News publisher for the golf course industry seeks a managing editor to supervise day-to-day operations of monthly magazine, biweekly newsletters and daily news service (http://www.crittendengolfinc.com).
Candidates should have experience as a news reporter, editor and manager. Position duties include reporting, editing and supervision of five reporters. Competitive salary, based on experience, with full health benefits, 401(k).
Send resume, salary requirements and five clips to Personnel E1, Crittenden Magazines, 2035 N. Lincoln St., Suite 205, Arlington, Va. 22207 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
~Freelance Business Reporter
GlobeSt.com (http://www.GlobeSt.com), a Web site covering news for the commercial real estate market nationwide, is seeking a freelance reporter -- a true news hound who understands the business markets in Austin, Texas. We need a reporter who can file three stories daily.
No Web experience is needed, just a knack for digging for news and producing tight and accurate articles. Minimal word counts. Send resume and clips to John Salustri (email@example.com), National Online Editor.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (http://www.nrdc.org), a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization with more than 400,000 members nationwide, seeks an associate editor for its Web site. The job entails writing compelling, Web-savvy copy on environmental issues, with associated editorial and Web-production responsibilities.
NRDC, with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco, is dedicated to protecting the environment and improving the quality of public health. This position is located in NRDC's New York City office and reports to the Managing Editor, who in turn reports to NRDC's Internet Strategist.
Responsibilities: Write and edit clear, accurate content for NRDC's Internet presence in a style that appeals to a broad audience. Collaborate with scientific and legal staff, citizen action coordinator and other Web and communications staffers and consultants on substance of content.
Projects will include news and feature style articles, Web and e-mail-based activism alerts and introductory, summary and navigational copy for Web site structure. All work is deadline-sensitive, and in some cases fast turnaround is of paramount importance. Track NRDC issues and update/maintain Web site articles as necessary. Participate in creative development of special feature sections of Web site.
Produce Web pages in accordance with NRDC Web site standards and guidelines. This includes basic HTML coding, use of "scripting" (programming) templates, file/data transfer procedures, and to a lesser degree, graphics creation using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Assist in maintenance of house style guides and standards.
Qualifications: Exceptional writing and editing ability -- successful candidate must be able to translate complex legal, environmental or scientific issues for a general audience. Minimum one year editorial experience; demonstrable skill writing specifically for this medium preferred, with background in news or feature writing a big plus.
Web-related production experience -- HTML coding, content and site design, etc. -- helpful but not required. English/Journalism degree preferred; interest in environmental issues, natural history and environmental science a must. Salary: Competitive; commensurate with experience
NRDC is an equal opportunity employer. People of color are encouraged to apply. We offer a great work environment and full benefits package. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale. Please forward resume, cover letter and one or two (not more) brief writing samples with salary requirements to Web Department, NRDC, 40 West 20th St., New York, N.Y. 10011, or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). No calls please.
~Various Editorial Positions
Dow Jones Newswires (http://dowjones.com), a leading supplier of real-time news and market information to the business and financial community, has the following openings:
Deputy Chief for the Asia-Pacific Global Desk -- Singapore. The primary focus of the job will be to monitor editing quality and train copy editors for a far-flung operation with staff in Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo. The deputy will work closely with the desk chief, assistant news editors and senior copy editors, copy editors, reporters and bureau chiefs in the region. Extensive copy editing and/or reporting experience within newswires, excellent interpersonal skills and a taste for management are essential. Some knowledge of Asia markets is preferable.
Copy Editor -- Sydney. Copy editor for the Australian/New Zealand regional desk to edit headlines and news stories from reporters in Australia and New Zealand. The editing of Australian Equities Market Talk items is part of the job. The copy editor will report to the senior copy editor of the Sydney desk and will need to work closely with the reporters and bureau chiefs in the region. Copyediting experience, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work under pressure are essential. Knowledge of financial markets in the two countries would be an advantage.
Staff Reporter - Seoul and Beijing. Applicants should have several years of newswires or financial news experience. The successful candidate will possess a strong sense of news judgment, excellent writing and research skills and be able to work independently. Other qualifications include detailed knowledge of one or more Asia-Pacific financial markets. Besides excellent command in written and spoken English, candidates should be proficient in Korean or Chinese depending on the location assigned to.
If you want to work for one of the world's top financial and business news companies, you are invited to submit in confidence, a cover letter, your salary expectation, a comprehensive résumé stating your qualifications and your contact information to Julie Koh, Dow Jones Newswires, 10 Anson Road, International Plaza, #32-09, Singapore 079903, or e-mail (email@example.com).
The online producer will be a mainstay in updating Fayetteville Online (http://www.fayettevillenc.com), a service of The Fayetteville Observer. Our family-owned metro daily is the dominant news source for the Cape Fear region of North Carolina, and we have a renewed focus on making our Web site the dominant source of local news, community information and interactivity. We are entering a phase of rapid improvement and growth in our online offerings.
Duties will include a mix of posting news and creating permanent site enhancements, which could include handling video, planning message boards or any number of other new features. The bulk of the job will, however, relate to producing the daily site. The schedule will include nights and weekends. Currently, we use a compressed schedule that gives our nightside producers three-day weekends of either Wed-Thu-Fri, or Sat-Sun-Mon. Salary is mid-$20s, and the job includes truly generous retirement benefits that are vested immediately.
Experience: At least one year of experience as a professional reporter, copy editor or online producer for a daily newspaper or similar news site, or equivalent experience; attention to detail; knowledge of HTML and other Web training is useful but not necessary. We want a journalist who's enthusiastic about helping us transform our site from a parallel to the daily print edition to something unique, wonderful and vital. Knowledge of North Carolina and the Cape Fear region are helpful but not required.
Send resume to Keith Jordan (firstname.lastname@example.org). No phone calls, please.
Freelance writers and editors with a strong background in financial topics needed to help develop Web-based educational courses for multimedia "e-learning" company (http://www.widelearning.com).
You will help develop course material on a wide range of financial topics -- from basic investing to advanced treatment of OTC derivatives -- choose appropriate formats for the most effective presentation of material and work with scripters and Flash animators to see the project through to completion. Writers with actual market experience encouraged to apply. Competitive rates paid. E-mail (email@example.com) resume.
~Freelance Copy Editor
New food and travel magazine is seeking freelance copy editor in New York City. Candidate must be dependable and deadline oriented. At least three years magazine experience and solid knowledge of Quark XPress. Salary: $20/hr. E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) resume.
Seeking an experienced, skilled copy editor with a keen eye for detail, a developed ear for prose and an extensive knowledge of grammar. Ideal candidates will have several years copyediting experience, strong proofreading and line editing skills, and familiarity with Chicago style and WIT. Must work well on-screen and on pages. Extended hours during closing required; one week off every month.
E-mail cover letter and resume to Kim Bernstein (email@example.com). No phone calls, please.
Gruvetv.com (http://www.Gruvetv.com) is looking for a script writer (insane lunatic) for a 30 minute upscale-underground weekly TV show. You need to be able to write segments in a hip, urban-upscale San Francisco club scene entertaining format.
From limos to hummers, you must know the lifestyle and lingo of the 18 to 30 hip underground age demographic. You must know all elements of writing for television from story boarding to segments to commercial time slot. You must be able to write snappy, quick-witted segways, funny, cool slang. Hip Hop DJ style Jargon.
Please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) a writing sample, or give me your take on the San Francisco club scene from backflip to ruby skye to dj's online to dork.com (http://www.dork.com). This has got to be the dopest show ever. It will go local then national then international in a year if you the writer are the BOMB!!!! We have the talent and the Web site to kick some serious booty, so come on and come fast.
Los Angeles-based daily entertainment trade paper seeks international news editor to join its fast-paced newsroom. Position involves managing daily news flow from international bureau chiefs and correspondents regarding breaking news and feature articles.
Must have three years experience in assigning stories and packaging news content. Excellent editing and headline writing abilities a must. Pro-active, detail-oriented nature essential. Excellent communication skills, proven multitasking and ability to thrive in a daily deadline environment essential. Business entertainment knowledge required. Interest in international a plus.
Administrative skills integral (e.g. budgeting). College degree required. Full benefits. Position based in Los Angeles. Send resume and cover letter to International News Editor, 5055 Wilshire Blvd., 6th Floor, Los Angeles, Calif. 90036, or E-mail (email@example.com). EOE.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com), a national weekly newspaper, seeks an experienced copy editor for its award-winning Web site. Duties will include editing daily news articles for the Web site as well as some production work. Applicants must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including Sundays and evenings.
Experience: Knowledge of Web publishing is useful, but not required. The perfect candidate will be capable of heavy content editing but will also be able to recognize when an article needs only a nip here, a tuck there and a great headline. A careful eye and an ability to juggle tasks are vital.
As the newspaper of academe, The Chronicle serves a highly educated readership with expertise in a broad range of fields. We strive to make complex articles readable to everyone in the academic community.
Salary is commensurate with experience, but a minimum of five years is required. The Chronicle, an equal-opportunity employer, offers generous vacation time and benefits, as well as an intellectually stimulating environment.
Send your resume and cover letter to Don Troop (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail to Don Troop, Senior Copy Editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1255 23rd St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037. No phone calls, please.
Inscriptions reprints job notices for free to benefit writers and editors looking for publishing jobs. We find that these free ads help both the company looking for content providers and the writers/editors searching for work. Inscriptions is not responsible for positions that fill quickly. While most editorial jobs have freelance or telecommuting capabilities, individual companies have the right to refuse such offers. If you have a writing or publishing-related (paying) job opportunity, feel free to e-mail (Editor@inscriptionsmagazine.com) with the Subject heading "Jobs." We do not charge to publish classified ads in the Jobs section.
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SANDS OF TIME: Edward Davis of the Time Service is on a rescue mission. Eighteen months ago, two Service personnel going to Tiberius's Rome were lost when their Jump Field missed and put them in Thebes around 1390 B.C. Now that the Service has finally calculated their location, Edward, with his background in Egyptology, is to go back 35 and a half C's to bring them home ... if they're still alive. Read "Thebes of the Hundred Gates" by Robert Silverberg (http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book.htm&bookid=417&id=6815).
~Deadline is Feb. 25.
WriteLink Contest (http://www.writelink.dabsol.co.uk) -- Did you know that March 1 is World Book Day? To celebrate, WriteLink is running a subscribers-only competition with a cash prize of £10 for the winner and publication on the Web site.
We're looking for a mini novel of 100 words or less, including the title. The theme is open but stories must have a beginning, middle and end. Submissions must be sent in the body of an e-mail. No attachments. All entries must be from WriteLink subscribers. One entry per subscriber. E-mail (email@example.com) entries with "Competition" in the subject line.
~Deadline is Feb. 28.
ASC, GB & ENE Poetry Contest Adult Story Corner (http://www.adultstorycorner.com) & ENE's Home Page (http://kahtt.tripod.com/ENE_Entry.html) are hosting a poetry contest seeking the best eromantica -- erotic, romantic poem.
The top five poems will be posted on both ASC
and ENE. Poets will receive a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.Com
or equivalent cash prize. One of the five poets will also receive
a chapbook by Gary Blankenship
(http://gardawg.homestead.com/homestead.html) and a set of erotic poems from him, published only for this contest.
One entry per poet, up to 50 lines. E-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) all submissions with "Poetry Contest: Name of Poem" in the subject line.
~Deadline is Feb. 28.
The Second Annual Verse Prize (http://www.versemag.org/prize.html#guide) -- The winning poet will receive a $1,000 advance and have his or her book published by Verse Press. The author will receive a standard book contract, which includes royalties.
Eligibility: Any poet writing in English is eligible, unless that person has studied with or is a close friend of the judge, in which case that person will be ineligible to enter or win the contest. Age and previous book publication are not considerations for eligibility. Poems published in print or online periodicals, anthologies or chapbooks may be included in the manuscript, but the manuscript itself must be unpublished. Translations are not eligible.
Suggested length: 40 to 70 pages, single-spaced, paginated. The manuscript must be typed (clear photocopies are acceptable) and if bound, bound only by a clip. Include two title pages (one with book title, name, address, telephone and e-mail; one with book title only), table of contents, and acknowledgments page with manuscript. The author's name should not appear anywhere but on the first title page. Biographical information should not be included.
Notification: Enclose SASE for notification of contest winner (manuscripts will not be returned). Winner will be announced in June 2001.
Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but an entrant must notify Verse if his or her manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
Multiple Submissions: Submission of more than one manuscript is acceptable. Each manuscript must be submitted separately, each with entry fee and SASE.
Revisions: The winner will be able to revise the manuscript before publication. No revisions will be considered during the reading period.
Entry Fee: A $20 entry fee, payable to Verse in the form of a check or money order, must accompany all submissions. All entrants can receive a copy of the winning book. For a complimentary copy, include an 8x10 or larger envelope with $3.20 in postage affixed to the envelope. No Federal Express, UPS or other overnight mail services. No fax or electronic submissions.
Submissions should be sent first-class mail to Verse, c/o Verse Prize, Department of English, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602.
~Deadline is March 1.
Andre Dubus Novella Award (http://www.smallmouthpress.com/dubuscontest.html) -- As a fiction writer, Andre Dubus was the patron saint of wounded American families. His work was suffused with a kind of compassion that can only be called religious, so great was its intensity and so enormous its tenderness.
He loved his characters, especially those who had suffered a run of just average bad luck -- divorce, crappy job, afternoons of loneliness. So it's probably no accident that he was the master of the novella -- a form that has often been ignored for being ungainly and uncommercial. As he did with his characters, Dubus exalted that humble form.
The novella allowed him to develop stories with the contingencies of time and accident, narratives that in their ease of movement, their very dailiness, seemed, yes, more like our lives than fiction. Read "We Don't Live Here Anymore," "Adultery" and "The Pretty Girl" to see what we mean.
In such a loud and crass literary culture, Dubus's devotion to writing and the mastery of his craft demands recognition, remembrance. We feel privileged that the Dubus family has allowed us to pay tribute by naming our novella competition in his honor.
Smallmouth Press offers $1,000 and electronic publication for the winning novella; final selection to be made by an independent judge, to be announced. Send double-spaced manuscripts, 75 to 150 pages. Your name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Include a cover sheet with your name, address, phone, e-mail and manuscript title. One entry per person. All finalists will be considered for publication.
Manuscripts must be postmarked between Oct. 1, 2000 and March 1, 2001. Send entries to Andre Dubus Novella Award, Smallmouth Press, P.O. Box 661, New York, N.Y. 10185. For more information e-mail (email@example.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.
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.
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!
Skin Inc. (http://www.skininc.com) -- Manuscripts are considered for publication that contain original and new information in the general fields of skin care and makeup, dermatological, plastic and reconstructive surgical techniques. The subject may cover the science of skin, the business of skin care and makeup establishments or of an individual esthetician, or treatments performed by estheticians, dermatologists and plastic surgeons on healthy (i.e. non-diseased) skin. Subjects may also deal with raw materials, formulations and regulations governing claims for products and equipment.
A manuscript must be written exclusively for this publication, that is, not submitted to any other publication, and contain significant material not previously published elsewhere. Publication rights for reprints and other re-publication purposes is normally granted on request.
Acceptance for publication is in the hands of our Editorial Committee. A decision will be given to an author within one month.
A manuscript must be submitted in English, although perfect grammar and style are not required. We reserve the right to edit all manuscripts accepted for publication. Any editing required will be done by our editorial staff. Whenever possible, please submit your manuscript to us on a 3.25" DS/DD PC disk. Manuscript file must be submitted in Microsoft Word or ASCII format.
All product tradenames for product lines, drugs, equipment, etc., must be credited to their manufacturers including the city and state of manufacture. All facts quoted or used in the manuscript text from other literature sources must be properly referenced.
Two copies of the manuscript should be supplied in clean typewritten fashion, double-spaced on only one side of the sheet of paper with 1" or 3 cm. minimum margins on top and bottom and both sides.
The usual scheduling of manuscripts is done four to eight months in advance of publication. This will be the usual time between acceptance of a manuscript for publication and its appearance in the magazine. Galleys will be sent only to authors who request them, providing time permits before publication.
In the case of original material written exclusively for this magazine, an honorarium will paid to the author upon publication. This will be a cash payment unless the author requests 100 reprints.
c/o Allured Publishing Corp.
362 S. Schmale Road
Carol Stream, Ill. 60188-2787
Avon Romance (http://www.harpercollins.com/hc/features/romance/) authors need no introduction. These are the authors so many of you know and love -- Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Elizabeth Lowell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas and Catherine Anderson.
If your dream is to join the ranks as an Avon romance writer, here's the information you'll need to get you started. At Avon Books we are eagerly seeking the best and brightest new voices of historical and contemporary romance. Remember, your dream can come true!
Avon Romance (100,000 words/approximately 400 ms. pages/two published each month) -- A man and a woman meet. She's like no other woman's he's ever known. She tantalizes him in ways he never thought possible, and he'll stop at nothing to make her his -- forever.
Set primarily in Great Britain and the United States, in any time period before 1900, Avon Romance is the perfect starting point for new authors. If you think your deliciously romantic historical novel is right for Avon, please don't hesitate to send it to us.
Avon Contemporary Romance (100,000 words/approximately 400 ms. pages/one published each month) -- With their sexy heroes, sizzling sensuality and boldly innovative covers, Avon contemporary romances are changing the face of romance. And Avon's contemporary authors are some of the genre's brightest new stars.
Could your manuscript be the next break-out contemporary romance? You'll never know unless you send it to Avon. If your manuscript is exciting, electrifying and exceptional, then we want to see it.
Avon Romantic Treasure (100,000 words/approximately 400 ms. pages/one published each month) -- Treasure authors are primarily grown from Avon's Romance program. These books are sensuous, passionate historical love stories by writers who we believe are on their way to becoming the superstars of tomorrow. These are love stories filled with all the promise and passion that Avon readers have come to expect.
AVON ROMANCE SUPERLEADER: This lead position is reserved for best-selling authors of historical and contemporary romance, whose stellar sales allow them to compete against non-romance titles on national bestseller lists. You'll find many of your favorite authors here, including Christina Dodd, Kathleen Eagle, Samantha James, Barbara Freethy, Susan Andersen, Lorraine Heath, Cathy Maxwell, Stephanie Laurens, Constance O'Day-Flannery and Judith Ivory.
We're excited to announce that we have listened to many of our readers, and are now actively seeking romance with African-American heroes and heroines. These should be contemporary love stories of approximately 100,000 words, set primarily in the United States. This is not a "line." Each author will be packaged, and developed, individually. So, if your manuscript has the unforgettable emotion, irresistible characters -- especially the hero -- and sizzling sensuality that are hallmarks of Avon romance, please send it right away.
HOW TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT: All manuscripts should be typed or letter quality printed on plain bond paper, double-spaced with generous margins. Please include a cover letter briefly describing your book and telling us a bit about your background as a writer. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope big enough to contain your manuscript, in case we have to return it to you. We cannot return manuscripts without a SASE. And be sure to keep a copy of your manuscript.
Please send either a query letter, or the first three chapters (50 to 100 pages) and a five to 10 page synopsis of the whole story -- not the complete manuscript. If we like that partial, we will ask to see the whole manuscript.
Send your manuscript to Avon Books/Harper Collins, 10 E. 53rd St., New York, N.Y. 10022, to the attention of any of the following Avon editors:
Carrie Feron, Executive Editor
Lucia Macro, Senior Editor
Lyssa Keusch, Senior Editor
Micki Nuding, Associate Editor
Monique Patterson, Assistant Editor
Krista Stroever, Editorial Assistant
Because of the many submissions we receive, it takes four to six weeks to answer a query letter and three to six months to evaluate a manuscript. If you haven't received a response after that time, please drop us a postcard listing your name, address, phone number, title of manuscript, whether it was partial or complete, when you originally sent it and to whom.
Community College Week is a twice-monthly independent national newspaper covering policy, legal, governmental and pedagogical issues important to community, technical and junior colleges.
Always query (preferably by e-mail) before writing. We currently pay $.35/word for non-exclusive rights in all media. Community College Week uses AP style with this exception: On first reference to people who have earned doctorates, use the title "Dr."
Scott Cech (firstname.lastname@example.org), Editor
Community College Week
National Wildlife Magazine (http://www.nwf.org/natlwild/) is published six times a year by the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit, nongovernment organization with 50 state affiliates. The largest conservation group in the U.S., the Federation has long been a leader in educating the public about environmental issues.
National Wildlife Magazine is a membership publication. A National Wildlife membership is $20/year. Readers will find beauty, adventure, human interest, an occasional shock, some humor and a little crusading in National Wildlife. We try to be provocative, sometimes challenging, and always interesting and relevant.
Although we have staff writers and roving editors, we depend heavily upon outside contributions. Therefore, we are eager for your ideas and suggestions.
Audience: Our 570,000 subscribers are concerned about the environment, and they appreciate the drama and beauty of all wildlife, both plant and animal. Some of them are environmental activists; some are hunters and fisherman; and some are armchair travelers who enjoy reading about fascinating places and wildlife.
Style: We want vital, active writing that holds the reader once our dramatic photography and art work have attracted interest in the story. Our style is heavily anecdotal.
Length: Most stories run 1,500 to 2,500 words. The magazine also publishes short features of about 700 words.
Queries: In several paragraphs, give us a clear feeling for the story's content, structure, topical peg and illustration needs. If you like, you can also submit samples of previously published material that you've written. We will reply within six weeks.
Payment: Payment begins at $600 for short features and ranges substantially upwards for longer stories. The magazine buys all rights to text, plus reprint and promotion rights for the National Wildlife Federation. Pictures and text submitted together will be purchased as a package. Payment is on acceptance.
Types of Articles Needed: We are looking for story ideas and articles covering a wide variety of subjects. For example:
* Wildlife: In-depth stories about wildlife in all parts of the U.S. Birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, flowers, trees.
* In-depth profiles of a single species. Example: "Can the grizzly survive the 20th century?" Or the mountain lion, the osprey, the buffalo, etc.? Interesting historical lore about the species should be included, as well as habitat, behavior, anecdotes, etc.
* Constant battle between diminishing habitat and encroachment of humans. The confrontation between the needs of an industrial society and the need to preserve our environment.
* New scientific discoveries regarding wild animal behavior or other aspects of the natural sciences.
* Natural Gardening: How-to articles that offer insight into new ways to attract wildlife to a backyard or how to garden using only native species of plants.
* People and the Outdoors: Profiles of people who have been involved in the environment or conservation in interesting ways. For example, a day in the life of an Oregon forester, or the last of the old decoy makers.
* What You Can Do: Many of our readers are activists. They like to get things done or lead life-styles that are compatible with a safe, clean environment. We try to give them appropriate tips on how to do so.
* Nature Essays: These can be written in first-person (but not necessarily) and generally make a poignant point about nature or the environment.
The creative and editorial functions of National Wildlife Magazine are the responsibility of the National Wildlife Federation, 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Virginia, 22184. Send all editorial correspondence to this address.
Mark Wexler, Editor
National Wildlife Magazine
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."
LINK OF THE WEEK
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:
The Market List
Writers of genre fiction will find The Market List to be incredibly useful. This online market resource publishes useful articles on the craft of writing, interviews with editors and writers and plenty of magazine reviews. Current market news is featured in the "Through the Cracks" section. Then there are the market notices, which can be easily searched by format, pay rate and size.
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
THE WEBSITE 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?
Who knows more about finding great books than writers??? Find out what your colleagues are reading:
I am: Daniel A. Olivas (Olivasdan@aol.com)
What I'm Reading: "Up Above the World" by Paul Bowles
My Thoughts: "This dark, hypnotic book, first published in 1966, centers around an American couple traveling in Central America. Their marriage and lives take a tailspin when they are befriended by a rather strange, apparently wealthy couple. Whether you love reading for reading's sake, or you're an aspiring writer, Paul Bowles' beautifully crafted book will take you down a nightmarish, but thrilling path."
I am: Diane M. Schuller (email@example.com)
What I'm Reading: "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri
Short Story Collection
My Thoughts: "Interpreter of Maladies is a brilliant collection of masterfully wrought short stories. The best collection I've read in a long time. Jhumpa Lahiri eloquently weaves poignant or thought-provoking tales about first-generation Americans and expatriates. Like sampling a perfect creme caramel, she writes a mellow, yet decadently rich story without all the unnecessary clutter, and leaves you wanting more. I'm buying a stack of these to give as gifts throughout the year!"
I am: Joshua M. Sparks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What I'm Reading: "My Wonderful World of Slapstick" by Buster Keaton and Charles Samuels
My Thoughts: "I think this book is like a clean shave. It is cool and lean, and if I'm lucky, I'm not bleeding by the end of it. I love Buster Keaton and his numerous silent short and feature length comedy films, and I think this book perfectly captures his innocence and his genius. If I could meet one dead guy, it'd have to be Buster Keaton. (Close second: Zeppo Marx.) He was an acrobatic comic clown with the knack for making falling on his ass look hilarious. He is the single most gifted comedian who ever made a movie, and this autobiography is filled with funny stories about his adventures in vaudeville with his father and in Hollywood. It is sad and rich with experience. It is a life, the life of Buster Keaton, told by Buster Keaton and some guy named Charles Samuels. It is beautiful."
--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.
* * * * Outstanding book, engrossing, a classic
* * * An interesting read, very likable
* * Good, but not great.
* Not recommended.
"Money Magnetism: How to Attract What
You Need When You Need It" by J. Donald Walters
Reviewed by Marion E. Cason (Marione@the-casons.mv.com)
Publisher: Crystal Clarity
Rating: * * * stars
"Developing money magnetism depends to a great extent on understanding how to use money properly." J. Donald Walters explains the principles of money magnetism and then expands on the method for attracting it. The first step is to have crystal clarity of purpose.
One fact that Walters emphasizes is that "wealth is something we create. It is not merely there, waiting for us to find it and lay claim to it." Another idea Walters puts forth is that energy generates magnetism. The stronger the flow of energy, the greater our magnetism. This magnetism attracts to us all that we receive in life.
"Money Magnetism" is well written, concise and one of those books you will find yourself returning to many times. Unlike most self-help authors, Walters does not lecture -- he suggests ways on how to use his ideas successfully. He presents good ideas of what works and why it works.
Walters presents a clear plan on how to find true wealth and attract everything you need when you need it. This book is not about personal finance but rather how to attract money to you when you need it to fulfill your goals. Use "Money Magnetism" to ponder when you experience a few bumps in your life.
"The Divine Ones" by Rosalie Wilde
Reviewed by Lisa Landis (email@example.com)
Publisher: Internet Book Company
Rating: * * * stars
Emmeline Browning began her life on a plantation in Richmond, Va. during the early 1800s. As soon as she is born, Emmeline becomes the center of life for her half-brother, Jonathan. Their relationship is extremely close, in part because Emmeline's mother, Geraldine, became an invalid following the girl's birth.
While this relationship did not bother Geraldine very much at first, she does begin to find her stepson's total devotion to the child quite strange, even pathological, as Emmeline grows older. But Emmeline always finds her half-brother's devotion to be an intensely thrilling, emotionally gratifying experience. Something so intoxicating that she firmly believed she could not possibly survive without it.
As the novel progresses, and Emmeline grows into a beautiful, voluptuous young woman, the relationship between the two siblings becomes even closer.
The character of Emmeline is painted in vivid, feminine detail, and her actions remain true to the story line. Although she knows her half-brother's devotion to her goes against the norms of society, she is enthralled by his complete adoration.
Jonathan's character becomes increasingly possessive and bizarre as the book progresses. He believes he and Emmeline are perfect human specimens, and have a destiny to fulfill. The evil undertones that thread throughout the novel are captivating and intense, pulling the reader along.
The plot is solid and utterly believable. This is the book's primary strength, with the characterization and dialogue close behind.
"The Divine Ones" suffers only from too much telling. There are occasions when the novel reads like a nonfiction accounting of the Browning family history. Still, the book is entertaining because of Rosalie Wilde's strong talent for plotting, description, characterization and attention to detail. At less than 200 pages, it is a fascinating, bizarre story and a quick read.
"The Lord Had Something Better in Mind"
by Jane Russell
Reviewed by Angie Mangino (ArnyMag@aol.com)
Publisher: Internet Book Co.
Rating: * * * stars
Ponchatoula, Louisiana -- the "Strawberry Capital of the World" -- is the home of Magnolia Roussell.
Her mother, Myrtle, superstitious and overprotective, plays strongly in the story. Losing her husband when Magnolia was just four years old, Myrtle wavers between her superstitious beliefs and her belief in God. Magnolia, however, holds truer to the Bible and her trust and belief in God. She humors most of her mother's superstitions, while trying to instill what the Bible teaches.
Magnolia's long friendship with the strong and handsome Glenn Carr develops into true love. Jane Russell presents the challenges this love brings to them -- from initially winning over Myrtle to accept Glenn as the son she never had, but always wanted, to experiencing the terror of Glenn's disappearance.
Was history to repeat itself or did God, indeed, have something better in mind?
Throughout the book, the day-to-day life experiences of Magnolia and Glenn show the couple as familiar neighbors. Readers are treated to the everyday events of their lives, get comfortable with them and get caught up in the events leading to Glenn's disappearance.
Fear strikes. Rumors fly. Magnolia hurts. Yet she forces herself to go on with her life, holding onto hope, as she clings to her love of Glenn, her belief in her husband and her trust in God. Making use of the lonely time without him, Magnolia furthers her education rather than giving up on life and on herself.
The strength of "The Lord Had Something Better in Mind" was in the general introduction of Glenn's disappearance in the prologue. With the knowledge of what crisis was to come, the reader gets through the calmer rendition of their lives without losing interest.
Without the hint of foreboding, the story would tend to be too slow moving. With it, the slower paced telling makes the reader experience the slower paced country life they lived, yet still maintain the hidden anxiety that something big was just about to happen.
"Toliver's Forest" by Margaret Vance
Reviewed by Audrey Snowden (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Publisher: Three Owls Press
Rating: * * * * stars
John Toliver devoted his life to studying and preserving nature. With his cabin in the woods, his solid, dependable research team and a cadre of like-minded friends, he found contentment -- except when his work took him outside the redwood forest and into the public eye.
When Reynolds Lumber threatened a particularly important piece of land, John feared he'd be pressed into service as a spokesperson. He knew the American Wilderness Foundation would help by sending a representative to check out the jeopardized spot, but he didn't know that the representative would be the daughter of the president of the United States.
Dr. Rose Brennan is brilliant, beautiful and charming. And she is being stalked.
Margaret Vance uses an initially familiar plot of "man, embittered by the loss of his lover, meets talented younger woman." Additionally and simultaneously, though, man, friends and woman fight big business to prevent environmental destruction. And that stalker's not just twiddling his thumbs. Nothing's overly complex here, but nothing feels forced.
Vance covers lots of ground without muddling her narrative or distorting its pace. Her story unfolds naturally and the physical presentation of her tale is lovely, with photographs at the beginning of each chapter to enhance the text's impact.
Part of the story's success is due to Vance's characters. She uses just enough detail to bring her characters to life and give them weight. Skinny graduate student Ethan can't enter a room without looking for food. Hot-tempered Isabelle serves as the team's smart aleck, warden and mother. Vance deftly establishes John's individualism and love of solitude. And Rose, who in the wrong hands could have been a caricature, is shown as intriguing and complex.
Rose's relationship with Secret Service agent Daniel Carter parallels John's familial ties with his colleagues. Vance successfully mixes the two camps and develops a romance that fits naturally into the plot without overpowering the book's other plotlines. Aside from the John/Rose romance, this mixture creates an unexpected partnership between John and Daniel -- not necessarily what Rose had in mind. Then again, she hadn't expected to be fascinated by anything on this job except by the redwoods.
Vance gracefully communicates her own passion for nature, and she does this without preachiness. In fact, "Toliver's Forest" succeeds in inspiring environmental awareness, and environmental appreciation. Her afterword speaks of a desire to do something lasting for her world and to inspire in others the exact feelings she evokes.
Vance's prose does hit a grammatical hitch now and then, however, her gift for dialogue make the novel much more than just a call to action. With its camaraderie, well-drawn settings, humor, romance and great characters, "Toliver's Forest" is simply an excellent read.
"Barrington Oaks" by Jordan Robyns
Reviewed by Jennifer McCaig-Cox (email@example.com)
Publisher: Internet Book Company
Rating: * 1/2 stars
Soon after receiving a telegram from his London solicitor, Edmond Barrington becomes distraught. The contents of the telegram weighs heavily on his mind and so he sends his driver, Markham, out into a snow storm to retrieve a "package' from the ship, Sea Watcher.
When Markham reaches the docks and begins to ask for help finding the ship, he's met with some strange reactions. He is warned by another ship's captain to avoid the Sea Watcher all together. However, Markham is bound to complete his duty and so he continues to search for the ship.
Once he does locate it, the Sea Watcher's captain
and crew meet Markham with open hostility. When he asks about
the "package," Captain Hebrew Web tells him it's been
misplaced. Upon his arrival back at the house, Markham learns
that a servant has also gone missing.
"Barrington Oaks" is a dark book. It contains many evils including deception, extortion, kidnapping, murder, rape, corruption, suicide and adultery. A prime example is a letter is found aboard the Sea Watcher that goes into graphic detail about the treatment of the "passengers' aboard. These gut wrenching scenes are difficult to read.
This evil is personified mostly in Captain Web and his crew. They were without compassion or even basic human feelings. Web takes his power as the captain and grossly abuses it.
Overall "Barrington Oaks" is a bit confusing. Many story lines did not tie in together when the story came to a close. It was also somewhat unclear as to who was who and what connection they had within the story. Readers may find that when finished, they are left with too many unanswered questions.
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.
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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: Profanity. The Web site, Fuckedcompany.com, provides a useful service to the online writing community -- it tells when sites are laying off staff and/or closing. However, its name includes a profanity. Are you offended when magazines include this site's title in stories?
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: 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 -- 57%
No -- 31%
Maybe -- 11%
Total: 63 votes
"I understand the need to protect the public but you can't treat everyone like hardened criminals -- that generates hostility, in my opinion. I had my purse searched once (thoroughly, even my lipstick was inspected), and I was outraged." --firstname.lastname@example.org
"Freedom does not imply complete secrecy. The protection of society cannot be held hostage to individual privacy." --ALR (WriteBites@aol.com)
"No, this doesn't violate the right to free speech. It only means that they need to be 'real' reporters who are there to report the facts." --Gini Wilson (http://www.vvm.com/~ginideer)
INSCRIPTIONS ENGRAVER AWARDS
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 ballots have been received, and the winners will be announced at 8 p.m. EST online. To attend the "ceremony," go to:
A) Inscriptions Chat Room -- http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/Inscriptions. You must be a member to enter the chat, but it only takes a moment to sign up. Instructions can be found by clicking on the "Sign On" link at the top right corner of the screen.
B) AOL Private Chat Room -- Log on to AOL and go to Keyword (aol://2719:2-2-Engravers2000).
Winners in each category will be allowed a few moments to share a prepared, typed thank you speech, if they so desire. A complete list of winners will be posted at the end of the ceremony. Prizes will also be given out to ceremony attendees.
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