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Getting your work published – a few tips

By Cherie Rohn
New author and freelance writer

firstwriter.com – Monday December 19, 2005

In 1996 at a casino dealer's school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my blackjack teacher, William Hanner, found himself sitting on a dynamite story. With only a third-grade education under his belt, he needed someone to write his true-life Damon Runyonesque tale. William's story hit me like a punch in the solar plexus. The scrawled words he'd set down in his dog-eared notebook so captivated me that I resolved to write his book no matter what it took.

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Are editors evil?

By Bonnie Boots
Full-time writer and part-time designer

firstwriter.com – Monday December 19, 2005

When shopping for my Halloween costume, it's no drooling vampire or motley mummy for me, but the true embodiment of terror, a leering, lurching editor!

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How I got a literary agent - An interview with author Richard E. Dixon

firstwriter.com – Monday December 19, 2005

Richard E. Dixon recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.

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The value of sharing the writing experience

By Dr Naomi Booth
Lecturer in Creative Writing and English Literature, York St John University

firstwriter.com – Saturday November 26, 2005

Many people who begin writing do so with a strong concept of what a writer should be like. Perhaps it’s a serious novelist typing through the night, driven to insomnia by the urgency of their story. Or maybe it’s a dedicated poet, practising their verse forms to perfection. Personally, mine was of a woman living alone somewhere by the sea, utterly devoted to her artistic pursuit to the exclusion of almost everything except a walk on the beach to refresh her inspiration. And possibly the occasional nap, if her muse would leave her alone for a few hours. After completing a degree in English literature many of my peers took themselves off to attempt to become "writers" in the way they imagined writers should be. One went to live in a house in the middle of rural France to write a novel, barely seeing another soul – other than the boulanger at the nearest village – for almost a year. Another spent six months in a beach hut in Zanzibar. What many people’s imagined writers seem to have in common is that they undertake writing alone. The act of writing is so often imagined by aspiring writers as an intensely solitary, almost punishing, pursuit. 

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How I got a literary agent - An interview with Mary Kilgore

firstwriter.com – Saturday November 26, 2005

Mary Kilgore recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.

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Winning writing competitions

firstwriter.com – Saturday October 22, 2005

If you're interested in entering writing competitions, then, like most entrants, you probably know how hard it is to even get a mention, let alone win. Yet some people manage to win competition after competition – so how do they do it? As the deadline for our Fourth International Poetry Competition draws near we took time out to talk to the winner of our First International Short Story Contest, Alexandra Fox (who has won no fewer than seventeen competitions in less than two years), to try and find out what her magic touch is!

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Staying positive about publishing

By J. Paul Dyson
Managing Editor, firstwriter.com

firstwriter.com – Saturday September 24, 2005

One of the great things about working on a writers' site is that you get to see a lot of enthusiastic and exciting new writers. The flip side of this, however, is that you also meet a lot of jaded, bitter writers, who have come to the conclusion that there is some kind of "problem" with the publishing industry, given up any hope of ever seeing their work in print, and spend their days whinging about the terrible scourge of capitalism in the publishing world, blinding people to the value of true art.

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How I got a literary agent - An interview with author Rae Phillips

firstwriter.com – Saturday September 24, 2005

Rae Phillips recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.

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How I got a literary agent - An interview with author Adrienne Schwartz

firstwriter.com – Saturday August 27, 2005

Adrienne Schwartz recently acquired an agent using firstwriter.com's database of literary agencies. We asked her about her writing, and how she found success.

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The dos and don’ts of obtaining a screenwriting agent

By Amy B. Taylor
Owner, Cedar Grove Agency Entertainment

firstwriter.com – Sunday July 31, 2005

Every year record numbers of screenwriters send out queries with hopes of obtaining representation, or even better, having their script optioned or sold. Unfortunately, many would-be successful screenwriters never make it past the receptionist's desk.

Contrary to popular belief, this particular agent's heart is not as black as her coffee. As a literary agent and judge for many competitions, I continually see four basic mistakes become major pitfalls to up and coming writers: format; structure; over-writing; and querying. So, I thought I'd offer some guidance on these fundamentals.

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