Issue #89

Free Writers' Newsletter

Aug 28, 2010  



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Affiliate Program sponsors London Screenwriters' Festival is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the London Screenwriters' Festival 2010

Picking up where The Cheltenham Screenwriters’ Festival left off, the organisers are delighted to bring to the writers' community a dynamic and diversified festival, which is designed for the emerging to professional writers and writer/directors alike. Writing Contests - Click Here

With renowned speakers, individual workshops, writing clinics, pitching classes, agent and producer networking sessions and writing competitions, this is the one annual writer’s festival no writer should miss!
Placed in the heart of the London film community, the LSF touches the broader community of writers and writer/directors: enabling delegates to take proactive control over their careers while offering them a place to network with like-minded individuals and establish professional relationships.

Teamed by the collective talents of Author and Film Maker Chris Jones, Literary Agent Julian Friedmann and Writer/Producer David Chamberlain, the festival directors are primed to bring lasting stability though strong relationships within our film industry, while assuring a financial responsibility future for the festival.

Passes are on sale now. Buy now by clicking here and enter the code "firstwriter" to receive a special £37 discount!


Writing is like...
By Marcella Simmons

What is writing like?

Every day is different to some extent – every piece of writing is never the same. I write for many different reasons, mainly to become published, but owning a publishing business requires all kinds of writing such as letter writing, list writing, instruction writing, articles, press releases, news paper features and front page news, and on and on. Each day, I turn out something in writing - never knowing what it will be, where I am going with it, or how it will turn out. Forrest Gump once said, "Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get".

In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction. Fiction writing is like that too, you really never know what you're getting until you start and finish a piece. I usually write an outline before beginning the story (a "story
sketch" – a rough outline of sorts) but as I write, the story sometimes takes on new form and shape that is nothing like the outline. When this happens, the story usually flows on but it gets jammed occasionally and I have a hard time finding a solution to tie it in with the rest of the story.

My outline usually helps me keep the story going in the right direction but sometimes following my gut instinct, I get off on a different path. Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn't. The point is, I never really know until it is near completion how it will turn out or what will actually happen in the story. My "piece of chocolate" may look like a fruit bar or peanut butter cup before it is completed! 

Writing is like that. You really never know what you're going to get!

About the author
Marcella Simmons has over 700 published credits in over 375 newspapers, small press publications and websites as well as a book of poetry published. She has completed three book projects and is working on a fourth one at this time. 

Simmons is the leader of the Ark-La-Tex Writer's Circle in Logansport ( She recently started a website to attract travel writers called The Sisterhood of Traveling Writers ( Travel writers are encouraged to stop by! Simmons is also an active member in the Shreveport Writers Club ( 


International Copyright Registration 
Register your copyright online for instant copyright protection in more than 160 different countries worldwide. Click here for more information.

Call for submissions: "Sixteen Pimples... because awkward gave birth to cool"

Think about some of your most awkward middle and high school memories. Which ones make you laugh today? 

Submit then and now photos, plus any and all humorous stories from your teenage years, how they relate to the person you are today, and what you miss most from those hormone-ridden years to

To check out the blog, visit

Ascent Aspirations anthology

Ascent Aspirations Publishing have decided to create one anthology a year in the spring, and for this year they have discarded a theme and are open to your best and most exciting work within their guidelines.

The contest closes October 10, 2010, and the anthology will be published by the end of February 2011. The publication will be a perfect-bound book (ISBN rather than ISSN) with a glossy art designed cover. 

  • First Prize for Poetry: $100 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • First Prize for Flash Fiction - $100 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • Second Prize for Poetry - $50 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • Second Prize for Flash Fiction - $50 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • Third Prize for Poetry - $25 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • Third Prize for Flash Fiction - $25 (CND) and one copy of the anthology;
  • plus six $10 (CND) honourable mention awards with one copy of the anthology;
  • plus all additional contributors in the collection will receive one copy of the anthology.

The goal is for the contest to generate the costs for publishing the anthology. If the entry fees and sales of the anthology exceed the costs, then the additional money will be used to fund future print anthologies with prize money being more widely distributed among all the authors who appear in the anthology. 


Smories site relaunched

Smories is a free website for kids to watch little films of new stories being read by other kids (see fwn 85 for details of the site's original launch). The smories site has now been relaunched with lots of new developments: 

  • The site now includes a search filter and keyword search on the homepage, the aim being to make it easier for users to find the smories they want. There are currently 165 smories up there. See
  • From now on, a new smory will be added to the site every single day.
  • From the homepage you can sign up for a daily alert, so that if you add your details, you will be sent a very short, linked description of the daily smory. Pick and choose the ones you want to watch. 
  • A "submit a filmed smory" tool has been added. This lets users submit their own film, which will be hosted privately on the site. So, for example, students can narrate their own stories, while they can be hosted in a secure environment on the smories site. The link is This is going to be significantly expanded in coming months as a literacy tool, allowing teachers to build their own smories micro-sites, in a safe, secure environment. 
  • From now on, all new smories will have "read-along" subtitles. 

Authors are still being urged to send through their writing. You'll retain all rights and with the dailies, there is now a constant need for great new smories. If your smory is already on the site, or has been accepted for filming, you can send through your bio and photo for the author page.

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Resources for writers at

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About fwn

fwn is a free newsletter from, providing articles, news, interviews and opportunities of interest to writers.

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


Writing Contests

Enter our Poetry Competition and Short Story Contest for kudos and cash prizes! 

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