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 Issue #140

Writers' Newsletter

November 2014  



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Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency closes

The Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency Inc. was founded in 1994, in New York. After twenty years of running her agency, Doris Michaels has decided to make a "transition" in her life, resulting in the closure of her agency and the transfer of her list to Sheree Bykovsky Associates:

"Sheree and Doris realized that they ran their agencies in much the same way and Doris decided to look no further in her search for the perfect home for her list. It has been an extremely smooth transition, and they both feel like this was meant to be.

Doris Michaels and Sheree Bykovsky have been acquainted for over twenty years, and Michaels describes Bykovsky as having acted as her mentor when she was setting up her business. Bykovsky's specialties include business and self-help books from professionals in their fields of expertise; books in categories such as psychology, current affairs, narrative, biography, lifestyle, social sciences, gender, history, health, music, sports and women’s issues; and literary fiction that has commercial appeal and strong screen potential.

Sheree Bykovsky Associates is actively seeking new clients. For more details, click here.

For the details of over 800 other literary agencies, click here


International Copyright Registration 
Register your copyright online for instant copyright protection in more than 160 different countries worldwide. Click here for more information. switches to universal secure socket layer

This month, is pleased to announce that it has switched to a universal secure socket layer for all of its pages.

Like most websites, has traditionally served most of its pages over a normal internet connection (http://), and only used a secure connection (https://) for pages containing private information, such as payment pages and the private subscribers' area at

However, as demand increases for improved security and privacy on the internet, some websites are taking the decision to serve all their pages over https:// as a matter of course. The most obvious example is Google: any attempt to visit will now automatically redirect you to

While other big websites like Bing, the Huffington Post, and the BBC are all still using unsecured connections, has joined the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook, by enforcing them across the board.

So, as with Google, any attempt to visit will now automatically redirect to

The change all happens behind the scenes, so there shouldn't be any impact on users. The only thing you may find is that you might have to update any bookmarks you have to to start with "https://", instead of "http://".

You may also find that some of the pages show up as "mixed" security. This is perfectly normal (it even happens on Google's news pages) and just indicates that even though the page itself is transmitted securely there may be elements on it (such as images) which aren't. We'll be tidying this up as pages are re-released, but rest assured that it's no reason for concern, and it's still a higher level of security than is offered by most sites! is a big site with many thousands of pages. While we've made every effort to ensure that the transition to a universally secure site has been as smooth as possible, there is a chance that you may encounter something hidden away on the site which has stopped working as a result. If you do, please let us know about it through our "Contact Us" page and we'll take a look. It will probably just need an "s" adding after "http" somewhere!



New magazine open to poetry and fiction submissions

Carbon Culture Review is a a new magazine founded in 2014, which describes itself as being at the intersection of technology, literature, and art. The magazine is available in bookstores in the United States and features monthly creative work, literature and art as well as articles and reviews on exciting new tech online alongside the annual print edition.

The magazine has already published its first issue, and is now accepting submissions of fiction up to 7,500 words, groups of three to six unpublished poems, and nonfiction up to 5,000 words. It also accepts visual art, multimedia, and translations.

You can submit online via the magazine's website. For more information, see the full listing at

For the details of over 1,850 other magazines, click here


Click here for great value writing classes!


Crime and Punishment 2015

Crime and Punishment, a weekend of crime-writing masterclasses, is set to return on March 6-8, 2015. The line-up of speakers includes David Thomas (Tom Cain), R.C. Bridgestock, Caro Ramsay and David Headley, who is one of the United Kingdom's top agents.

Tutors will be providing attendees with guidance on:

  • using fact in fiction;

  • gripping their readers;

  • getting procedural details right;

  • making perfect pitches; and

  • the power of reviews.

For more information, go to



New online literary journal seeks poetry and fiction for young readers

BALLOONS Lit. Journal (BLJ) is a new biannual online literary journal of poetry, fiction and art, primarily for young readers aged around 10–16, which is currently seeking content for its inaugural issue.

"We see it an important mission to bring the art of literature, and the creation of it, to our younger generation."

The journal, which is downloadable in PDF format, is free to access.

The magazine welcomes submissions from people anywhere in the world and in all walks of life, in particular school teachers:

"We particularly welcome school teachers to submit their work to BLJ because we think (we're teachers ourselves!) that while we frequently encourage our children to keep reading and writing, we should not forget to do the same!"

For more details, see the listing at

For the details of over 1,850 other magazines, cliclick here


Write with an editorial eye

By Marcella Simmons

Before I even start telling you what you should do to become a better writer, let me tell you a story about my latest book project first, and why what I am about to say is so important. A writer needs to have an editorial eye, that sixth sense, that expertise to make that story, article or book as error-free as possible before submitting to any publisher. For one, no-one knows that work of art better than the writer. It takes more than once, more than twice, even more than ten times sometimes to produce a manuscript that is 100 per cent free of errors, typos, misspelled words, and unfinished sentences or paragraphs.

Recently I had a book published. I wrote it, rewrote it at least three times, edited and revised it at least five times, and the publisher hired an editor to revise and edit it, and then she returned it to me for further proofing before going to press with it that one last time.

I almost lost my publishing contact because I not only proofed it but rewrote two chapters in their entirety and added several pages to it in certain chapters. I edited it to the best of my ability, and hoped that it would get one final proofing before going to press. Months later, both my personal and professional experience as a reader and writer sent shivers up my spine in the first chapter when typos started cropping up. Where did that come from? Why wasn't it corrected? Looking back over my last corrected proof, the corrections were made on this end but apparently, the editor and the publisher overlooked them when I sent in the final copy.

I am ashamed to admit this is partly my fault. I saw errors on the website of the publisher before submitting my manuscript. Red flags soared in my head. It was not only my duty to have a manuscript that was next to perfect but my responsibility to do research on the publisher as well. My book as a whole is very good (toot my horn!).

But the errors inside it made me take a second look as I was reading and made me want to put it down. The reaction of my readers will be: why wasn't this book edited before it went to print? Why didn't the author proof it

Having said that, what's worse is that it will be on the market for five years before rights revert to me. I can't fix it for five years.

Remember, "as is" is never good enough. Losing a contract is not as bad as discrediting your writing ability and qualifications.

A writer needs to have an editorial eye, or a sixth sense to detect writing errors on their manuscript. Editors may detect most of it but those working under deadline and sheer pressure may not have the time to do their job efficiently. That's why it is our duty – our responsibility to edit, rewrite and edit some more until the manuscript is next to perfect. "As is" is unacceptable!

I can tell you one simple fact if you want to be a writer: when you write, make sure you edit and rewrite before submitting. The old adage that you can write something to death may be true but the truth that errors can kill your manuscript is even more true. Don't accept "as is" quality – it is not professional and will label you as sloppy and unprofessional. That is the best piece of writing advice you may get all day.

To get an instant online quote for having your work professionally edited, click here

About the author
Marcella has hundreds of articles published in over 350 newspapers and magazines nationwide. You may read her blog at Family Life Focus at  


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