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  Issue #77

Free Writers' Newsletter

   July 26, 2009  


Short story contest winners and new magazine
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This month, has announced the winner and special commendations of its Fifth International Short Story Contest, as well as releasing Issue 15 of firstwriter.magazine, Pastures New

Ali Cronin of Berkhamsted, United Kingdom, was announced as the winner of the competition for her short story "The Jumper", 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:

  • Liz Kenney, United Kingdom, "An Inhospitable Place";

  • Ben Harpwood, United Kingdom, "Raspberry Picking";

  • Jonathan Stone, United Kingdom, "The Wax Crayons";

  • Jacqueline Winn, Australia, "Sing With Me, Peg";

  • Mark Frankel, United Kingdom, "A Bottle of Chardonnay";

  • Gemma Wise, United Kingdom, "It Felt Like Waking Up";

  • Elisabeth Johansson, Sweden, "The Living Room";

  • Bernard Bourdeau, United States, "The Jump";

  • Shaun El-Ters, United States, "Bailey in the Truck";

  • Andrew White, United Kingdom, "Pirates and Mermaids".

The Sixth International Short Story Contest is currently underway. To submit your work for the chance of winning £200 (that's around $400) click here - A new sales website created by Jayne & Terry Mason to enable new writers struggling to find a publisher in the present economic climate a way to potentially bring their work to market.

This is not vanity publishing and we will not ask you for money, quite the reverse in fact. Check out our website for details.   

firstwriter.magazine Issue 15: Pastures New
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 Seventh International Poetry Competition, but also all ten Special Commendations. To view the magazine click here. To enter your work in our Eighth International Poetry Competition click here.

All those whose work has been included in issue 15 have now been notified, so if you submitted work for issue 15 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 17.

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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.

Why is it so hard to sit down and write?
By Emily Hanlon
Writing and Creativity Coach

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Creativity is a subtle and magnificent dance between the rational and the intuitive, between the left and right parts of the brains, between technique and imagination. Both partners in this dance are absolutely necessary and are needed in equal proportion, which means that imagination is not more important than technique and visa versa. 

If you only live in the imagination, you will never get organised, you will never complete your story. However, if you start from the rational, linear, organisational part of the process, (i.e. Gotta have the perfect opening sentence and first paragraph… better yet, an outline…) you will never fall into the rich, passionate cosmic landscape of the imagination where anything is possible. 

Overwhelming, the main problem I have seen in my thirty years of teaching writing is over-dependence on the rational part of the equation. People want to get the story written and "get it out". They want to leapfrog the process, get the words down on the page and finish the story. Not that there is anything wrong with finishing your story! There's not. It is a great accomplishment, one to be celebrated, regardless of whether or not the story or book ever gets accepted for publication! However, it is in the writing that the writer experiences the deeper life-enhancing journey of creativity.

There are so many examples of ways we short-cut the gifts the creative process offers. Take, for example, the adage, "Write what you know". If you write from what you know, if you remain slavish to the facts of what happened, you are writing out of your conscious mind and will remain stuck in the straightjacket of your conscious perception of "reality". This is contradictory to creativity which, by definitions, is brings into existence that which has not been before. 

Click here for great value writing classes!

That said, there is nothing wrong with using your life or any aspect of your experiences as a jumping off point or a doorway into the unconscious. The key is not to be slavish to the known. Rather we need to have our writer's antenna on the lookout for the doorway into the unknown and the unseen. Gertrude Stein put it this way: "You cannot go into the womb to form the child... What will be best in it (your writing) is what your really do not know now. If you knew it all it would not be creation but dictation."

About the author
Emily Hanlon has been a writing coach for over thirty years. She demystifies the writing process with her two pronged approach of teaching technique and unleashing creativity. In addition to private coaching, she offers, workshops, retreats, teleseminars and teleworkshops. Her novel, Petersburg, reached the best sellers list in England. In addition to five other works of fiction, she has written a book on writing, The Art of Fiction Writing or How to Fall Down the Rabbit Hole Without Really Trying. Her websites are: and

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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. 


Publisher seeks short stories for anthology
Bridge House Publishing are seeking short stories their first anthology for charity, being launched in support of the Born Free Foundation.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words, aimed at adults, with an animal as the central character / point of view.

The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2009. For more details, click here 

For over 1,200 other publishers, click here

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Power of Words Conference
The Power of Words Conference has been organised by the Transformative Language Network, and is set to run between September 3 and 7, 2009, in Plainfield, VT.

The conference seeks to explore how we use words -- written,  spoken or sung -- to make community, deepen healing, witness one another, wake ourselves up, and foster empowerment and transformation.

For more information, click here

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Aeon Award second shortlist announced
The second shortlist for the Aeon Award has been announced on the Albedo One website. However, the competition is still open to entries till the end of November, 2009. To enter, click here

For over 150 other contests, click here

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Poetry competition for free magazine
Kudos is offering a free copy of the magazine for the best haiku, quatrain, or limerick incorporating the words "Manga Jiman" submitted by email before July 31, 2009. The best entries may be considered for publication in Orbis.

For over 1,100 other magazines, click here

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© 2009
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.