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  Issue #36

Free Writers' Newsletter

   Feb 26, 2006  


Poetry contest winners and new magazine

This month, has announced the winner, runners-up, and special commendations of its Fourth International Poetry Competition, as well as releasing Issue 8 of firstwriter.magazine, Turning Leaves

Roland Bastien, of Vancouver, Canada, was announced as the winner of the competition for his poem "Mother", and wins £500. Marisha Huber, of Kansas, wins $150 for submitting the best entry from the United States with her poem "To the Victor", and John Powell of Southampton wins £100 for entering the best runner-up poem from the United Kingdom, "Lekker". The winning poems can be read online at

All the winners will also be published in a future issue of firstwriter.magazine, and receive vouchers worth £20 / $30 – as will the ten Special Commendations:

  • Laura Andrews, United Kingdom, "rag-doll exploration";

  • Helen Belgian, United Kingdom, "Dead Man's Shoes";

  • Therese Down, United Kingdom, "Healing";

  • Nikki Dudley, United Kingdom, "Infiltration";

  • Raanan Hershberg, United States, "still jerking off";

  • Dimitris P. Kraniotis, Greece, "Fictitious line";

  • Anna Meryt, United Kingdom, "Cutting through eternity";

  • Thomas Norris, United Arab Emirates, "Winterís Day, March 1992, Cork, Ireland";

  • Kirsten Rudolph, United Kingdom, "The Bends";

  • Clare Walker, United Kingdom, "A Thing, Brand New".

The Fifth International Poetry Competition is currently underway. To submit your work for the chance of winning £500 (that's over $750) click here

firstwriter.magazine Issue 8: Turning Leaves
The latest issue of firstwriter.magazine has also just been released, featuring quality fiction and poetry submitted from around the world, plus your first chance to see not just the winning story from our First International Short Story Contest, but also all ten Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Second International Short Story Contest click here.

All those whose work has been included in issue 8 have now been notified, so if you submitted work for issue 8 and have not received notification of inclusion then, regretfully, on this occasion your submission was not successful. Please do feel free to try again, however, through

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Magazines calling for submissions

This month at fwn we've received so many news items calling for submissions to magazines that we've compiled them into a special section, below:

Ballyhoo Stories call for submissions
Ballyhoo Stories is a biannual magazine dedicated to publishing quality fiction and nonfiction both in the print edition and the online-only 50 States Project. For the online anthology, the editors seek stories with each of the 50 states as either the subject of the setting.

For more information, visit

The deadline for the next print edition, "Sin and Redemption", is June 30, 2006.

Parthenon West Review call for submissions
Parthenon West Review seeks poetry and translation of all styles. Simultaneous submissions accepted with notification. Send 3–7 poems with name and email address on each page as an attached Word document to: or send to: Parthenon West Review, 15 Littlefield Terrace, San Francisco, CA 94107.

For more information, visit Submissions are accepted year-round on a rolling basis.

The Oklahoma Review call for submissions
The Oklahoma Review is an electronic literary magazine published through the Department of English at Cameron University. The magazine features fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Submit up to three prose fiction pieces (max 30 pages), up to five poems, or up to three nonfiction prose pieces (max 30 pages). Provide a cover paragraph and a short biography. All works must be submitted electronically.

For more information, visit

Deadlines: For the Spring issue and consideration for a $500 award for Best Submission, submit by March 1, 2006.

Offshore, Unregulated and Unregistered Investment, Wealth Creation and Privacy Secrets Club and Online Magazine
A new magazine is to be launched covering offshore and unregulated and unregistered finance and investment, wealth creation, asset protection, offshore services, privacy, second passports, visas, residency and citizenship, permanent travellers, and the global lifestyle.

The publishers are seeking talented writers to contribute to their quarterly publication in this general area of interest. The magazine will follow contemporary formats, including features, regular sections, columns and miscellaneous.

Initially, the publishers would like to see one original piece of any length, which is composed within accepted conventional contemporary magazine formats, as an example of your previously published work, preferably something which is also consistent with their themes.

Alternatively, you can write an original feature or column based on your own choice of topic within the interest area, or by assignment from the publishers, and if selected for the first issue you will be paid the standard rate.

Writers chosen for assignment and publication in the first issue will be paid $75–$500 for a feature piece or smaller column article.

There will also be regular ongoing work in specialty areas of the magazine for selected contributors. For ongoing work there will be a combination of your own suggestions by approval and assignments, and rates of pay will be variable for different applications and areas of the magazine, however typically prose will pay a standard US$0.30 per word.

Send your examples of previous work, or sample piece to, where you may also request further info about the interest area, assignment of a topic, the membership program, the magazine generally and any further questions you may have about the jobs available or the general offer of employment, or write in to discuss your aptitudes and objectives in this field, or with the magazine.

Ascent Aspirations call for submissions
Online magazine Ascent Aspirations has just published its first print issue. It is now seeking submissions for its May 2006 online issue. See for details.

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An author's experience of POD
An interview with author, Beate Goodall

fwn: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your book, Beate. What is it called, and what is it about?

BG: The title of my book is Written in Sand. It's a fiction / romance / suspense book. The story starts in Australia, then continues in Egypt, and involves the heroine's search for her missing twin brother. She is accompanied by her brother's best friend, who hides his love from her. Their journey through the desert, pyramids and historical sites is fraught with danger and ends in a horrid ordeal. Along the way, a Bedouin, son of a Sheikh, modern and well-educated, comes to their aid. Love is in the air, but tradition and cultures trap both in their own world. There will never be a future for the heroine and Bedouin. Will fate play a hand?

fwn: Where did you get your idea inspiration from?

BG: Just a lot of imagination and interest in Egyptology.

fwn: Did you have to do a lot of research into Egypt?

BG: I did a lot of research into pharaonic and Egypt's history and archaeological sites. I like to get my facts as right and truthful as possible. It took several weeks of research, then about six month to perfect the novel, re-writing, correcting it three times. I always find something new or different to add, correct or omit (especially as English is my secondary language).

fwn: What's your primary language?

BG: My native tongue is German, but I write in English because I live in Australia. It still presents plenty of challenges – grammar, similar sounding words and meanings, after 47 years learning and speaking English.

fwn: Is this your first attempt at writing?

BG: Written in Sand is my third book. My first one, a family saga (quite large) entitled In Destiny's Path, has been published in the United States by iUniverse Inc. in 2003 and can also be found on the net at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

My second book, Chance Meeting, is also a film script, but both are unpublished as yet. Presently, I am writing another fiction, involving a female journalist having a precarious relationship with an Intelligence Agent, though his real profession is unknown to her. Their rollercoaster life brings danger, heartbreak and eventually the end. In the background lingers a Foreign Correspondent, who also loves the journalist. Different circumstance and assignments bring them closer, but what will the future hold? Her heart still belongs to the Undercover Agent.

fwn: A lot of people would accuse companies like iUniverse of being "vanity publishers". What made you follow this route, rather than approaching traditional publishers? Was it "vanity"? Practical considerations? Part of a larger strategy?

BG: I sent several manuscripts off to Harlequin, Rocky Road Romance, Reader's Digest, magazines, but I was rejected because some of my stories didn't fit their criteria. Hence, POD publishing seems the better way.

fwn: What in particular attracted you to POD?

BG: Mostly costs and my storyline was accepted as I wrote it. I found Australian publishers way too expensive and unreliable, so, possessing only limited funds, I chose iUniverse.

fwn: Have your booksales been encouraging? Or are you not really in it for selling large volumes of books?

BG: I am in it to sell lots of my books to get some of my money back, to get royalties and have the titles advertised on the internet, but the results are negative. I've sold five books through iUniverse, received a few dollars royalties, only by telling people myself about it. The rest of my books are being sold privately.

fwn: Do you have any regrets about publishing your book through iUniverse?

BG: No regrets! The service was good and helpful, though cost a lot more in the long run. Mainly because of currency changes, shipping and import duty.

When I first started trying to get my book published I contacted several Australian Publishers. They were either too expensive or wanted to split my book in half. Then I searched the internet and found iUniverse Inc. Their initial cost was much less than the Australian publishers, but later became a high cost for me. Mainly through ordering copies of my book from America, the shipping, import duty in Australia of which I was totally unaware, and then the currency exchange rates.

For my new book I only approached this one Australian Publisher, as I did not want to experience the same overseas problems from before.

fwn: Which publisher is releasing your new book?

BG: Andrew Byrne, Author & Publisher of Carpe Diem – Shamino's Realm. I have already recommended this publisher to other aspiring concerns, as I am satisfied with the progress of my book and he asked me for my testimonials.

fwn: Is this also a POD publisher?

BG: It is POD, but the cost is very reasonable. Besides that, Andrew is friendly and professional.

fwn: How has having a publisher helped you?

BG: It instils confidence, which one can loose by receiving too many rejections.

fwn: What are your hopes and expectations for your new book?

BG: To have more success with this book, as it has already created much interest. Several electronic copies are already in Germany.

fwn: Do you think you will ever try and promote your books to traditional publishers, or do you feel you are more suited to POD publishing?

BG: I am definitely going to try again with future manuscripts, now that I know the difference between POD and traditional publishing. I am also more experienced in writing suitable, interesting stories. I might approach some literary agents as well.

fwn: What do you see as the benefits and drawbacks of POD publishing, as compared to traditional publishing?

BG: POD is more accessible, but costs money and an author remains unknown. Selling and advertising the books is left to the author. I think, traditional publishers will pay and / or contract the author and publicise the writer's name.

fwn: What are your plans for the future of your writing?

BG: I will submit my next book # 4, to Carpe Diem again, as we are working well together and see what happens then. Time will tell.

fwn: Best of luck. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

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Resources for writers at

Visit for the following invaluable resources for writers:

To advertise on this newsletter for as little as $30 / £20 click here

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In this issue:

Spelling conventions

fwn uses English spelling conventions. Spellings such as "realise" "colour", "theatre", "cancelled", etc. differ from other spelling conventions but are nonetheless correct. 


Literary agency news round-up
Rachel Vater joins Lowenstein-Yost Associates as a literary agent where she'll be handling fiction and nonfiction, leaving her position at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is actively looking for commercial fiction, literary fiction, fantasy, mysteries, thrillers and chick-lit, as well as business, personal finance, career books, women's issues, social issues, spirituality, psychology, health, and narrative nonfiction by well-credentialed authors with a strong platform.

Joseph S. Ajlouny has terminated his agency business as of January 1, 2006. His current clients will stay with him for two years, but he is not accepting any new clients.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Running Water Literary Agency has closed. All manuscript originals and file copies are being shipped to the authors, including a second copy of the Letter of Release, on or before February 21 by first class mail. All original files and copies of manuscripts have now been destroyed. 

Please contact with any questions, until March 31, 2006.

For over 600 other agencies, click here

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Tom Howard Short Story Contest
14th year. US$3,000 in prizes. Fiction and nonfiction welcome. March 31 deadline. Submit online or by mail. 

New service to help get you published
Shoshana Lepon, published author, editor, writing teacher and coach, is offering a new service to writers.

Shoshana will accept publishable book-length manuscripts with potential to see well, and work with the author to help them improve their work and secure an agent. Payment for this service will be 25% of any royalties the book then earns.

Interested parties should send a one-page cover letter with synopsis and outline, or first five pages, to No explicit or violent material, science fiction, poetry, essays, short stories, or children books. 

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Asla Writing Contest open for entries
The Asla Spring 2006 Writing Competition is now accepting entries of short stories up to 2,500 words for its Romantic Theme and Open Theme categories, as well as Open Poetry up to 36 lines and Mother Theme Poetry up to 36 lines. Prizes are £250 and runners up for each category. Closing date is 31st March 2006. Entry forms are available from www.searle
, forms@searle
, or by post with SAE from Searle Publications Ltd, PO Box 52, Welshpool, Powys SY21 8WQ, United Kingdom.

The first pound of every entry we receive will be donated to SEED Africa. To find out more visit

For more writing competitions click here

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Free course on promoting books online
A free course has been published on how to build an online book campaign without having to spend any money, using a free website builder.

The course has been developed in response to the surge in the numbers of self-published authors, and aims to give writers free exposure by managing their site's content for high search engine ranking.

For more details, click here 

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StorySouth 2006 Million Writers Award
The purpose of the Million Writers Award is to honour and promote the best fiction published in online literary journals and magazines during 2005. Most of the major literary prizes for short fiction (such as the Best American Short Stories series and the O. Henry Awards) have ignored web-published fiction. This award aims to show that world-class fiction is being published online and to promote this fiction to the larger reading and literary community.

Any story over 1,000 words can be nominated, provided it was selected by an editorial process and published in an online magazine in 2005. For more information go to click here or email Jason Sanford at storysouth

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Partner sites:

WriterOnLine is an e-publication dedicated to writers and lovers of writing. Fiction, poetry, business and technical writing, how-tos, articles, reviews, freelance markets, jobs for writers and much more, published bi-weekly. Completely renewed! Visit us at

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© 2006
While every effort is made to ensure that all information contained within this newsletter is accurate, readers are reminded that this information is provided only as a collection of potential leads that the reader should follow up with his or her own investigations. Unless otherwise stated, is not associated with and does not endorse, recommend, or guarantee any of the organisations, events, persons or promotions contained within this newsletter, and cannot be held responsible for any loss incurred as a result of actions taken in relation to information provided. Inclusion does not constitute recommendation.