This is a FREE service you may unsubscribe from AT ANY TIME - see the bottom of this email for details.
  Issue #65

Free Writers' Newsletter

   Jul 18, 2008  


Short story contest winners and new magazine

This month, has announced the winner and special commendations of its Fourth International Short Story Contest, as well as releasing Issue 13 of firstwriter.magazine, Missing Marbles

Paul McGuire of Merseyside, United Kingdom, was announced as the winner of the competition for his short story "Alice's Bones", and wins £200. The winning story can be read online at Writing Contests - Click Here

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

  • Nick Macfie, China, "Archer Street";

  • Matthew Boedy, United States, "Sleepy Sunday"; 

  • David Chandler, Spain, "Farewell to Innocence"; 

  • Laura Alpern, Switzerland, "Friday in the Park"; 

  • Frances Andrews, United Kingdom, "The Red Bicycle"; 

  • Christine Cox, United Kingdom, "The Winking Virgin of Liverpool"; 

  • Sonia Suedfeld, Canada, "A Moment in Time"; 

  • Jacqueline Winn, Australia, "The Burden of Flesh"; 

  • Malcolm Stewart, United Kingdom, "John Major’s Friend"; 

  • James Corbin, United States, "Night Eagles".

The Fifth International Short Story Contest is currently underway. To submit your work for the chance of winning £200 (that's around $400) click here

Unsent Emails - click here

firstwriter.magazine Issue 13: Missing Marbles
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 poems from our Sixth International Poetry Competition, but also all ten Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Seventh International Poetry Competition click here.

All those whose work has been included in issue 13 have now been notified, so if you submitted work for issue 13 and have not received notification of inclusion then, regrettably, on this occasion your submission was not successful. Please do feel free to try again, however, through We have now begun accepting submissions for Issue 15.

Previous authors published in firstwriter.magazine include Sean Egan, whose new collection of short stories, Don't Mess with the Best, has just been published by Askill Publishing. The collection includes the short story "The Interview", originally published in issue 1 of firstwriter.magazine and shortlisted in the London Writers' competition. The book comes with cover endorsements from two former winners of the Booker Prize, David Storey and Stanley Middleton, and is available to buy now via and

Go to Contents

Have you protected your Copyright? Copyright piracy is estimated to cost millions annually. Before sending your work to agents, publishers, or contests, make sure you take out copyright protection. Click here for more information.

My first published work
By Marcella Simmons

Writing has played an important role in my life, and for the most part, I took my career pretty serious. Humorous writing wasn’t one of my specialties, but looking back at some of my first published pieces, I have to laugh because some of the stories or articles are some of the worse I’ve ever read (or written). Editors published my work regularly back in the early nineties – why is beyond me. Some of my manuscripts were nothing less than an unedited first draft with numerous mistakes and flaws that made reading an unpleasant experience to say the least.

I appreciate the opportunity the small press newsletters and little magazines afforded me, and the chance to become a professional writer in training was worth every stamp. Getting paid in copies was a lot better than not getting paid at all, and the valuable lessons I learned was worth it all. Through trial and error, I learned how to be a writer.

Years have passed since my training years and much water has travelled under the bridge, so to speak, and I am still writing. It is time to venture out of my safety mode and move into the larger, paying markets. It’s time I start earning my keep doing what I know how to do – write.

Remember, if you’re just starting out, start small – earn a published bio and then move up the ladder of success to larger paying markets. Learning to become a professional writer is half the fun. The other half is reaping the benefits after the training is over! Keep trying and never give up – you’ll get there eventually! We made it and so can you!

About the author
Marcella Simmons has been writing professionally since 1988 – she has over 650 published credits in over 350 small press publications nationwide. In 2005, Simmons had her first book of poetry published, and is working on several book projects at this time. She continues to write a regular weekly column for a local newspaper in her hometown, as well as many other writing projects. "Writing is a way of life for me," she says. Simmons is the mother of eight children (all are grown now) and she has seven grandchildren with another on the way. "My family is also a way of life for me, and my inspiration."

Go to Contents

Click here for great value writing classes!

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

Go to Contents

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. 


New romance imprint seeks authors
In 2009, Sunpenny Publishing will launch a new imprint, Rose & Crown Books, to publish romance with an inspirational flavour.

Several manuscripts are already underway, but the company is seeking more authors before the launch. For more details, click here

For over 1,000 other publishers, click here

Go to Contents

Agent sues websites over scam accusations
Barbara Bauer, who appears on an online list of the 20 worst literary agents, is suing 19 bloggers and websites, including Wikipedia and, for labelling her a "scam agent" for alleged fee-charging practices.

For over 700 agents who don't charge fees, click here

Go to Contents

Publishing News to close after 29 years
On July 25, book trade weekly Publishing News will release its final issue. The magazine blames changes in advertisers' marketing for the closure, with more attention being paid to online advertising and direct sales.

For over 950 other magazines, click here 

Go to Contents

The Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize
The closing date for the Sean O'Faolain Short Story Prize is fast approaching. Writers can submit short fiction up to 3,000 words until July 31, 2008. Prizes include €1,500, €500, and publication in Southward.

Send entries with entry fee of €10, or £10 stg or US$15 or AU$18 or Can$16 to The Munster Literature Centre, Frank O'Connor House, 84 Douglas Street, Cork, Ireland. No entry form required. 

Alternatively, pay by PayPal and email entries to seanofaolainshortstory
, with "SOF 2008 Entry" in the subject line and quoting PayPal payment reference number.

For over 180 other contests, click here

Go to Contents receives award
As in 2006, has in 2008 once again been named one of Writer's Digest's "101 Top Web Sites for Writers". 

Go to Contents

© 2008
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.