Issue #113

Free Writers' Newsletter

Aug 30, 2012  



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The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation Announces the III Edition of the International Flash Fiction Competition “Museum of Words”

  • The prize of $20,000 goes to the winning story. There are three consolation prizes of $1,000 each. 
  • In the Second Edition 14,253 writers from 89 countries participated in the contest. 
  • In addition to Spanish, flash fictions may be submitted in English, Arabic, and Hebrew.

One of the goals of the Foundation is to unite peoples by using words. This is why the motto of the Museum of Words is "Words are the bond of humankind". Words being used by their double condition of communicative elements and language as cultural heritage of human beings.


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In this competition (as in the previous), short stories may be submitted in Spanish, English, Arabic and Hebrew. In this third edition the number of entries is expected to exceed the level of participation of the second edition where 14,253 writers from 89 countries entered.

The Foundation will perform an Institutional launch from world heritage site, the city of Toledo, with clear international and intercultural connotations, including the diplomatic representatives of the three monotheistic religions, from the synagogue, the mosque and the Cathedral, and the Foundation will be broadcast all over the world: an unequivocal message of co-existence among peoples, consistent with the fundamental aim of the Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation.

As one of the objectives of the Foundation is to value the ability that dialogue and words has to unite peoples, the slogan of this contest edition will be "Words and freedom". The competition rules are as follows:

  1. Any number of writers from any country in the world may participate. 
  2. Theme is open. Maximum two entries per author. Entries must be written in any of the following languages: Hebrew, English, Arabic, or Spanish. 
  3. $ 20,000 prize money for the best flash fiction written in any language authorised in the contest. 
  4. $1,000 will be awarded to three runners- up for the best stories from the languages supported in the competition. 
  5. The Flash Fictions may not exceed 100 words. They will be sent exclusively by filling in the form that can be found on the websites of the Foundation: or The texts must be original, unpublished in any format (paper, blogs, electronic publications, network, etc.) and not have received awards in any other contest. Those who do not meet this condition will forfeit the entry. 
  6. The competition will end on November 23, 2012 GMT+1, on the International Day of Words as a Bond of Humankind. 
  7. The evaluator jury will select the best finalists. The list of finalist’s titles will be published on the website of the Fundación César Egido Serrano. 
  8. The final decision of the jury will be made public in the year 2013. 
  9. The César Egido Serrano Foundation reserves the right to publish the finalist’s stories. 
  10. The decision of the jury is final.
  11. Entry in this contest implies the total acceptance of their rules. 
  12. Texts failing to comply with any of the rules will be disqualified.

For details of over 150 other writing competitions, click here



Poetry journal seeks submissions

The poetry journal Ardent is seeking submissions of poetry with strong emotion.

Send up to three poems not previously published in a formal printed book or anthology (poems published in chapbooks or online are acceptable) by email to, in the body of the email (preferred method). All styles are accepted and the ongoing theme is ardent: passion, strong emotions, heat. The editors are looking for poetry that reads well on and off the page.

Up to five poems can be submitted, up to 32 lines each. No crude or vulgar language. Poems not used will be destroyed, so do not send SASEs. Submissions must, however, include a "permission to use statement" with submissions, including: name, complete mailing address, email and telephone with submission and any subsequent correspondence. Also include a short bio.

International submissions are encouraged and there is no reading fee. Selected poets will be notified. Payment is a complimentary copy of the issue.

Since Ardent is an ongoing journal, there is no submission deadline. The magazine currently publishes twice a year. Target dates are May and November.

For details of over 1,500 other magazines, click here


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Site for sharing poems adds new poetry site directory 

Open Mic Voices, a social network for poetry, has announced the addition of a new Poetry Site Directory page. 

"Adding a poetry site directory is a major addition," announces Henry Hunter, Co-founder of "Open Mic Voices is about uniting good people, worldwide, who speak, or enjoy, one language: Poetry. A poetry site directory is right in line with our objectives. We want to offer everyone an opportunity to be heard, through the commonality of poetry, worldwide. And that includes sharing information and resources, like poetry sites, or sites where one can find poems." 

Open Mic Voices is an all inclusive social network for sharing poems and poetry. Members range from Ivy League grads and professors to high school dropouts; from published poets to novice poets; and every style and type of poetry in between. Members can write poems, read poems, and record poems, in audio and video, right on Open Mic Voices' site. Members may create groups, events, and join discussions, or debates, about poems and poetry in the forum. The free live video chat allows members to have a more meaningful and personal interaction with family, friends, or poetry groups. 

Those interested in sharing their poems, or sharing their favourite poetry site links, can do so by going to, sign up to be a member, then, go to the Poetry Sites tab, on the top menu, and enter your poetry site information. A good tip is to upload a screenshot, or photo, to represent the poetry site you submit. Open Mic Voices has a Google Page Rank of 4 – so, adding your poetry site link to Open Mic Voices will benefit your poetry site’s value to search engines, like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. Ranking well with search engines enhances your poetry site’s chances of increasing the number of visitors to your poetry site.

“Open Mic Voices is only 5 months old. We feel good about our early accomplishments,” Henry proclaims. ”In February, we had 16,000 Google search results ... Today, if you do a Google search of "Open Mic Voices" you'll see the 2.5 million searches. We have had such a positive response, worldwide. Published poets and non-published poets are digging in those old notebooks and posting poems and creating 
new Poetry. Fans of Poetry are connecting and giving their feedback. Venues and members are sharing information about resources and where to go to read one’s Poetry, or enjoy hearing it. Open Mic Voices is a new good. It’s an exciting time.”



Writing what you know
By Marcella Simmons

For many years, we writers were taught to stick with the old adage of "write what you know". That may well be good advice for new writers who haven't developed their writing talent well enough to take on a major assignment that they have no knowledge of, and may not be able to write it well, or for those who have yet to be published and don't wish to take on the workload of tons of research, collecting of necessary data, interviewing, writing and rewriting.

But "write what you know" can be misleading because even new writers, whether they write it well or not, can learn new things as well as the next person. And they eventually become published writers because they ventured out of their "comfort zone" of writing only what they know about and wrote about something their readers were wanting to read.

All in all, writing what you know can be a good thing too. There is so much a writer knows about that he or she can share with the world. If you are a parent, there's things you can share about parenting. If you're a gardener or you grow herbs for home remedies, that's something worth sharing with the world. If you are a good cook or enjoy photography, then you have something to share. Every person is unique and knows about something. Every writer is different in their approach of presenting it in written form. Expert or not, your knowledge is unique and is not the same as that of your sister, your neighbour or even your spouse. In this case, writing about what you know gives you the opportunity of sharing your ideas with your readers.

What if you know nothing about chiropractors and what they do, and an editor asks you to write a 1,500 word article about the different techniques used at a chiropractors office and how they help people with back and neck pain?

  1. First of all, since you don't know anything about the subject matter (let's just say you never even been to one in your life), call the administrative office and tell the manager at the front desk what you are doing. 
  2. Be prepared to come in that week for a one-on-one interview with the chiropractor or their office manager. 
  3. Tell them that you are in the dark about the practice and ask if they could help with interview questions. Remember, being honest is the best way to get more and better inside information for your research. 
  4. Take a camera; ask for permission to take photographs of procedures used at a chiropractor's office. Get quotes from different staff members, making sure you spell all names and positions correctly. 
  5. The internet is another great resource to find tons of valuable information about the different procedures of a chiropractor – you'll find more information than you'll ever use for one article. But hang onto those notes. You can write several different articles for different magazines – just write with a new angle and topic.

Never been on the table at a chiropractor's office? Here's your chance. For a small fee (or maybe for free since you're writing about their office!) you can get a back rub or massage like you've never had before and come off that table feeling like you could climb Mt. Everest. All the research and data that you have, coupled with your experience on that table, qualifies you as one who knows about chiropractors and what they do to make your neck or back pain disappear!

Now that all your information is intact and your article is ready to submit, think about some other things that you know about that might make for quality reading! And consider the things that you don't know about but would like to learn about, no matter what it might be. Start with step one above and you're well on your way to learning a new thing!

The next time you're at a writers' conference, group, or an editor tells you to "stick with writing what you know", then find a way to prove that this old age trick only qualifies for those who are unwilling to learn and write about new things!

There is nothing new under the sun and every person can learn something new if they really want to. Writing about it sure makes for great stories that are waiting to be read!  


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