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Saturday, September 29, 2007

WooHoo Pat Wahler - Published in Cup of Comfort

Coffee and Critique memeber Pat Wahler's story "Motherly Ties" will appear in Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers, scheduled to be released in Spring, 2008.

Way to go, Pat. She ran the story through the critique group. See, it works people!

Friday, September 28, 2007

EBook Readers and the Library Police

I am a total bibliophile. I want books when I want them, and I'm always out because I read fast. And as a member of the three-minutes-in-a-drive-through, make-my-internet-faster, get-me-a-scannable-credit-card generation, I don't want to wait five to seven days for Amazon to deliver.

Yeah, I could go to the library - that is if the library police didn't have a warrant for my arrest. I still can't find that one book. But I'm looking library people! Honest!

So I'm thinking about trying eBooks. Instant gratification, right? And many print books are being scanned into electronic formats. It's cheap and easy for publishers. And it's a lot cheaper for me than those new $16 books I want to read. (Although Harlequin, I've got news for you - I'm not paying as much for an ebook as you charge for the real thing. Some of your eBook prices are delusional over there. We aren't stupid. E versions don't cost near as much as printing, paper, and shelf space).

Which leads, of course, to the question of how to access them. Ellora's Cave has a nice guide for those new to eBooks that outlines the options (they sell eBook erotica, so don't go there if you'll be offended). But they breakdown your ebook options.

I want to take my eBooks with me, or read it in the bathtub (hey, I'll be careful. I only dropped that one book that one time). I don't own a palm thingie, an IPod, laptop, tiny computer, or one of those jet-packed phones. The screens are tiny and hard to read anyway, and I'm old-fashioned enough to want it to look a little like a book.

So I've been drooling over the Sony Ebook Reader, which is way expensive (averages $280 on Amazon, but that's down from $350 at debut). But it's about the size of a paperback and can hold, like, 80 books. That is an 8 and 0 = 80. Squeeeee.

For a woman who chooses her purse based on how many books she can fit in that puppy, that's tome heaven. At first I didn't think these things had much of a future. I mean, all it does is hold books. It doesn't play fifty-thousand ring tones or connect you with Mars (it can play some unencrypted music files and display black and white photos). But I don't want a lot of crap calendars and stuff - I just want it to have books - lots and lots of luscious books.

And I started reading comments from people on different websites pointing out future advantages. On day my children may not have curvature of the spine or be able to claim they "forgot" one of their books at school if they're all on a ebook reader they carry with them.

Once most books have an electronic version, lawyers could carry around a whole law library, doctors medical texts, and me, the complete collection of Janet Evanovich books! No more buying bookshelves!

So it looks like I'll be saving up my money. And then the library police will never catch me. Bwuhoohahahaha!

New U.K. Teen Magazine

The U.K.'s Christian Magazine Inspire is reporting the launch of a new spiritual magazine for girls called Caris.

The magazine, aimed at 11-16-year-olds, features inspiring stories for and about teen girls. It's focus is more on activism and empowerment, with the fun stuff thrown on the side - music, fashion, beauty tips - but no sex stories or celeb focus.

Their tag line: Caris "with an ethical edge and a campaigning spirit
for girls with body, mind and soul!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Missouri Writer's Guild and Springfield Writer's Guild Contest Deadlines Soon

Just a reminder, entries to both the Missouri Writer's Guild Winter Contest and the Springfield Writer's Guild Contest must be postmarked by October 1st.

Both contests accept fiction, non-fiction, and poetry entries, so you have to have something you can send, right? You can't win if you don't enter... I've heard that somewhere before.

Of course, entering contests can get to be expensive. The Springfield Contest is really reasonable at $1 & $2 entry fees, and even the $5 at the Missouri Writer's Guild isn't bad. I usually stick to contests I'm familiar with, so I know they are reputable. Some contests are as legit as the latest capital hill lobbyist headed to jail. So let's be careful out there, people. (Ancient television reference dating me horribly)

Anthology Seeks Stories About "Coming Out" in the South

Over at Feminist Writers they are posting info on an anthology seeking true stories about "coming out" in the South.

Stories are due by February 15, 2008. Check out the submission guidelines for more info.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Personal Essay Markets

Which comes first the essay or the market? For me it's usually the essay. I decide today I want to write about purple chocolate covered swimming pools, and then I have to stalk a market for it. No easy task.

Sometimes it's a lot like Snipe hunting, but there are more and more markets for essays these days. Got a personal essay burning a hole in your pocket?

Send it to:
Nostalgia and Americana
Cappers
Grit
The Good Life

Inspirational - Guideposts

Women's - Skirt! Magazine

Parenting - Brain, Child

St. Louis Sisters in Crime Invites the Public to their "Make Mine Mystery" Halloween Party

From the flyer:
For Grownups Who Never Lost Their Love of Dressing Up in Costume

Proceeds to benefit the St. Charles County Library Foundation

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 Middendorf-Kredell Library Branch
7:30 - 10 p.m. 2750 Hwy K; O'fallon, MO

  • Enjoy Fashion parade by legends of mystery in the March of the Mysterious and Macabe presented by SinC members.
  • Strut your Stuff in the Sultans of Sleuth and Kingpins of Crime Costume Competition. Come as your favorite real life or fictional sleuth or villan to win a special basket of prizes.
  • Guess who's who in the Sultans of Sleuth and Kingpins of Crime Contest.
  • Can you mystify and amuse the audience in just three minutes? Try your wit in the Make Mine Mystery Open Mike Slam.
You'll find freaky food, fanatical entertainment from St. Louis Sisters in Crime, and fabulous one-of-a-kind items up for auction such as lunch and a critique session with three published authors.
Want to know more? See http://www.sincstl.org/

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pat Parnell Poetry Contest

The Creative Writing Contests blog posted this info. The Chester College of New England is hosting the Pat Parnell Poetry Contest.

Entry fee is $3 per poem. The deadline is November 1, 2007.

The prize is $400 and publication in Compass Rose.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Man Booker Finalist Reads at 3rd Grade Level

Janice Harayda has posted her book review of Man Booker prize finalist Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones. As I discussed in an earlier blog post, I recently won a book called The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. that recommended keeping your Flesch-Kincaid Reader's Scale level at sixth grade or lower in your manuscript to maximize your audience.

It's pretty clear that recommendation is for genre fiction rather than Man Booker fodder. While I enjoy the snarky tone of Ms. Harayda book review, I still feel a little uncomfortable with the topic because I'm not convinced that simple writing is bad literature. But to speak with any authority, I certainly need to read the book, which I have not done.

The book in question is narrated by a thirteen-year-old girl, so the reading level might be lower. But the review points out quite correctly that most kids in school would be reading at ninth grade level by that point (whether they would be writing/speaking at that level is a separate issue).

Another review from the U.K's Spectator has a more positive view of the book. Bringing the two reviews together raises some interesting questions about what qualities literature must have to be considered worthy of reading. I'll guess I'll just have to get the book and find out.

Flesch-Kincaid level of this blog post is grade 10.1.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Iowa Wants Sin

The Iowa scriptwriters alliance wants sin-filled plays for an upcoming seven deadly sins play night. The deadline is December 1st and the selected plays will be announced in January. You must be an Iowa resident to submit.

Check their website for further guidelines.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Morning Photo Essay





















“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” E.B. White.




Thursday, September 20, 2007

Readablity of Your Novel/Manuscript

Thanks to Jan Harayda of One-Minute Book Reviews for stopping by to leave a great comment on my blog about The Readability of Your Novel/Manuscript. She wrote the Mitch Albom book review that I referred to in the blog post.

She's also running a helpful series on Great Small Presses on her site One-Minute Book Reviews, and plans to do another review on a Man Booker Prize Finalist that has a Flesch-Kincaid score similar to Mitch Albom's. I can't wait to see if she thinks the lower reading level works in that novel.

Voices Anthology Contest

This is an anthology contest announcement from Lou.

Voices: An Anthology of Short Stories

Contest Guidelines:

Unpublished short stories only, up to 3,000 words, no essays or poetry.

Standard manuscript format. Times New Roman, 12 point font. Mail two copies of each entry, along with your entry fee, to: Voices P. O. Box, 9076, Fayetteville, AR 72703

You many enter as many times as you like, but each entry must be accompanied by a $10 entry fee. No SASE required, manuscripts will be destroyed after contest. First North American Rights, rights revert back to author after 30 days of publication.

Include a cover letter with all contact information, including e-mail address, and a 50-word bio.

All genres, except erotica. No gratuitous foul language, violence, or gore.

$200 and publication awarded for Best Short story. A guaranteed twenty-five other winners will be published in the anthology and receive one contributor's copy.

By submitting to this contest, you are giving permission to publish your work in Voices, An Anthology of Short Stories Volume One. No other contract will be required.

Initial Deadline for entries: December 31, 2007. Winners will be notified 30 days after submissions close.

Hint from the editors: we’re looking for good stories with a well-defined voice.

For more information contact: LouTurn@aol.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Readability of Your Novel/Manuscript: Flesch-Kincaid and Beyond

I won a book called The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. from Writer Mama's September contest (thanks to Christina Katz for a great contest), and it has a "Reading Ease" section I have questions about.

Some software programs scan your manuscript and report how readable your text is based on the Flesch-Kincaid Reader's Scale. Each number on the scale corresponds with a grade level. Score a 6, and you're writing at about a sixth grade level. Microsoft has just such a readability check (for mine, it's located in Tools under Spelling and Grammar).

Smith, who writes a series under the pen name John Harriman, recommends keeping your reading ease at 6 or lower to maximize the amount of people who can read your work easily.

I googled to read more about this and found, courtesy of Miss Snark's now retired blog (I miss you, Oh Snarkalicious One) a link to a Mitch Albom book review that compares the readability of some famous authors to Albom's - and basically ditzes Albom for having a 3.4 readability.

Yet my new little helper tome says you should strive for a readability of 6 or under. So is it snobbery to look down on simple language? Or is plain writing catering to the masses? Don't we want to cater to the masses? Should we strive to write books that are accessible only to people we think literary enough? Does anyone out there consider this when writing their manuscripts? Should I? What readability level is your novel?

Whew. I feel like The Riddler today. Holy readability, Batman.

By the way, this blog rates as an 8.2 on the Flesch-Kincaid scale according to my Word program.

Founder of Parenting Magazine Launches New Baby Boomer Site

Robin Walner, founder of Parenting magazine has started a new social networking site for people over 40 - yes, baby boomers. It's called TeeBeeDee (stands for To Be Determined). They haven't posted jobs or writers guidelines yet.

According to Wolaner, "TeeBeeDee enables members to share experiences and information about everything from relationships to work, families, hobbies, and passions."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kiki Magazine - For Tweens Developing Their Own Style

I mentioned on a previous blog that the new tween magazine, Kiki, is launching. According to their website, it's now available and they've also posted their writers' guidelines.

I blogged about it previously - but I want to clarify a comment I made that might be misleading. In my blog comment about the post, I said it would be nice if it had more than how-to-get-a-guy articles. I didn't mean to imply it had those articles - just that it will be great to have a magazine that has more substance.

In fact their letter to parents clearly says they have no guy-oriented or sexualized stories at all. According to their website:

"Kiki has a unique point of view. It takes the college fashion design curriculum and tailors it to a reader 9 to 14 years old. Through the lens of fashion, Kiki encourages girls to explore other disciplines (business, geography, fine art, craft, history, world culture, even math) and shows them that having fun with style and artistry is completely compatible with intelligence and creativity."

So no fluff stories at all. No boys, gossip, or overly mature themes.

All I can say is it's about time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Japanese Game Show's Figurative Language

So I'm watching television last night and hubby has on Ninja Warrior. It's a Japanese game show where contestants compete to earn the Ninja title by defeating insane obstacle courses of rolling logs, sheer walls, and rain-slick towers. The first bit is like the early round of American Idol, a total try-out for a wheelchair for most contestants.

I was surprised that the Japanese transvestite wasn't a gimmick. She almost made it. Though I could have told her she'd lose time having to stop and adjust that black leather thong before she got on the rolling log - dress for comfort when doing an obstacle course, hon.

The announcer just cracked me up. Now, he's talking in Japanese and the subtitles, oh my God - how exact is the translation? I understand he has to describe someone going through the same obstacle course over and over, so he must use different descriptions each time. I just couldn't stop listening to his figurative language, so I made a list of the ones I thought most original:

He is swinging like a meaty pendulum!

They're like the ramparts of hell!

He's crawling through the tunnel like a feral baby!

He's going through the tunnel like a superhuman baby!

It's like a merry-go-round of pain and anguish!

They all have exclamation points because that's how he talked the whole time. He must have been exhausted by the end, but he certainly kept my attention. The power of figurative language!

Writing Contest for People Who Work at Home

WHY (Work, Home, You) an online magazine for home workers, is sponsoring a contest for great stories about the challenges of working at home.

Entries must be 1,000 words or less and can be short fiction or creative non-fiction, and they must have working at home as the central theme.

There is a $10 entry fee. The winner will receive $500 and 2nd and 3rd will receive cash prizes also. The deadline is December 31, 2007. Check out their FAQ for more information.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Renegade Writer's Market Wicki - Info on Magazine Markets

Go over to the Renegade Writer's Market Wicki and join up for the inside scoop on magazine markets.

The wiki is written by and for freelancers and has magazine guidelines and query tips. I just added information for Fiery-Foods and BBQ Magazine, which is publishing an article of mine soon. Stop by and find a new market, or add a market for your fellow writers.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Acronyms/Abbreviations Used to Talk about Writing on the Internet

When I first started participating in online writing activities, I noticed a strange secret code in effect. I knew many of the acronyms used in chat - like LOL and such. But novel writing has its own special acronyms, so I thought I'd share some I've learned. I know I've forgotten some, so if you notice any I missed, remind me in the comments and I'll add them to the list.

WIP - Work in Progress (Your current writing project, usually a novel)

MC - Main Character

POV - Point of View

ARC - Advanced Reader Copy (The copies authors and reviewers receive before the book is actually available to the public)

HEA - Happily Ever After (Used by romance genre to indicate a happy ending)

HFN - Happy For Now (The characters end up together, but no indication it's a forever relationship)

H/H - Hero/Heroine (A couple in a romance novel) M/F - Male/Female (Romance between a male and female character)

GLB - Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual

het - Heterosexual

YA - Young Adult

SF - Science Fiction

NanNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month (Participants who join this website complete a 50,000 word novel in a month, toiling along with their fellow writers: November 1 - November 30th).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fast Track Your YA Query to Agent Nephele Tempest

For a limited time only...

You have until Friday at 5 p.m. to post your query for a Young Adult novel directly on agent Nephele Tempest's blog.

Anyone who does goes straight to the top of her pile, and she will respond to all queries posted. It's a great opportunity if you've finished a YA manuscript.

Chase the Dream Contest

Authors Leigh Michaels and Rachelle Chase are sponsoring the "Chase the Dream Contest" for writers. The rules say submit the first 1,000 words of your romance, chick lit, or mainstream novel/novella with romantic elements.

Submit your entries between September 1 and November 20, 2007. Staring on September 18, 2007, each Tuesday a finalist will be selected from that week's entries and posted on the finalist page. She will also select a non-winning entry each week for a mini-critique and post it on their mini-critique page.

Between November 21 and November 30, visitors will vote for their top three finalists. In addition to winning prizes, the top three authors will have their 1,000 words reviewed by panel experts - agents and editors. Several books from last year's contest have since been published.

I made a humble 1,000 word submission of my paranormal book with romantic elements, Zombies Are Forever. Manolo was very helful and supportive during its creation. Good luck to all who enter. If you get posted, leave a comment so we can check out your entry.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Writer Mama Comment for Today's Contest

I love today's question over at Writer Mama's contest.

What would your work day look like if you were making six figures freelancing? I couldn't resist, so here's my answer:

My manservant Manolo wakes me gently with fresh tea and scones. Then the nanny brings my beautiful children into the bedroom for a kiss from me before they are off to school.

After breakfast, Manolo brings me my laptop and goes over my scheduled tasks for the day (he’s so cute with that pencil behind his ear). I nod thoughtfully and make notes about which projects I need to work on.

I rise and dress. Manolo brings me the phone and dials the number for interviews I must conduct for my articles. I gently clear my throat and begin the day’s work.

I tip tap type until luncheon (Manolo is so good with chicken kiev). After my repast, I finish any projects due for that day and make notes on what must be accomplished for the next day and send out several more queries to prime the pump.

The children come home and we laugh, talk, and go over their homework. We have dinner and then I put them to bed for the evening and write on my WIP which has just been purchased by Major Publishing, Inc.

At bedtime, Manolo tucks me in. It must end here. I don’t kiss and tell.


Ya'll know I write fantasy, right? ;)

101 Reasons to Freelance and the Freelancer's Electronic Toolkit

Inkthinker has a blog about HR World's list of reasons to freelance. They give 101 reasons freelancers have it better than those poor slobs on The Office. And they go beyond the obvious ones of working in your jammies and vacationing at a whim (though those are included).

A few of my favorites include:
  • You avoid having a One Crazy Person who works with you and never seems to get fired or leave the company.

  • You can powernap at home.

  • Your house will be cleaner because you're at home all the time. (Obviously they haven't met me)

  • And last, you get cool tools. They link to a list of electronic tools great for freelancers - everything from calendars to ways to keep track of finances. I'm checking out FreshBooks. They do your billing and invoices for you. I'll try to post a review here after I try them for free.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Free Writers' Workshop on Poisons and Audio Interview

Choose your poison.

The Missouri Romance Writers of America and the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime are sponsoring an evening with "The Poison Lady" Lucy H. Zahray. Ms. Zahray is a registered pharmacist with a master's in toxicology from Texas A&M University.

Her class, Behold, Here Poison, talks about poisons and poison detection from a writer's perspective. The session discusses types of poison, doses, methods of exposing victims, and the physical symptoms.

Date: Tuesday, October 23
Time: 6:30 - 9:30
Location: Barnes and Noble at 9618 Watson Rd, Sappington, MO. 314-843-9480
Cost: Free

Audio Interview On Poisons:
The pamphlet on the workshop also recommend you check out NPR's interview with John Emsley, author of The Elements of Murder: A History of Poison. So if you can't make the conference, listen to the interview.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sisters in Crime's Forensic University of St. Louis: 50 Ways to Catch a Killer

Sisters in Crime is hosting a writing workshop called the Forensic University of St. Louis at the Hilton St. Louis Airport November 1-4, 2007.

The postmark deadline is September 15, 2007.
Fee: $250 for Sisters in Crime member
$290 for non-members (includes a year membership in Sisters in Crime)

After September 15 (subject to space)
Fee: $300 Walk-in Sisters in Crime member
$340 Walk-in non-members (includes a year membership in Sisters in Crime)

Examples of Workshops:
The ABC's of Forensic Science
Poisons: Basics of Toxicology
DNA 101
Forensic Anthropology: Finding and Recovering Remains
The CSI Effect: Forensic Science and the Courts
Interviews and Interrogation
Firearms

And many more.... So learn how to kill them softly in your books - or at least using correct forensic science techniques.

Seeking Short Stories on Gambling

English professor and anthologist Laurie Champion is seeking short stories about gambling for a new anthology. Pay rates will be negotiated after she obtains a publisher. Stories must be between 5-30 pages and have gambling as the main focus.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Writer's Website

Tricia S. sent me this link to The Scriptorium website. It has great resources for fiction writers, including a special section for young writers.

If you need some help or inspiration, go check them out. Sherry D. Ramsey has an interesting editorial called "Writing Experiments" about playing with how you write - plan it all vs. go with the flow - how do you approach writing? Damn. I just pray I can get to the computer and control my ADD long enough to write something.

Friday, September 7, 2007

New Coffee and Critique Schedule

Great news. Everyone in the Coffee and Critique Writers' Group is so prolific with the prose that we've started meeting every Tuesday, both mornings and evenings.

Thank God. Now my poor mushy grey matter doesn't have to remember if we're on a morning or evening meeting that week. It's both.

So the September schedule shapes up like so:

September 11th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings
September 18th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings
September 25th - 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. meetings

Come to one or both - yeah Paul, I'm talking to you! Slavish, devoted practice makes perfect! Ow. I'm getting carpal tunnel. Better write an article about it...

Seeking Stories from Travelers and Christians

Travelerstales.com seeks true travel stories to publish in their annual anthologies. Their website lists the book titles and their submission deadlines.

Right now they want funny travel stories from everyone, and from women specifically. They also want true stories of dangerous and exciting women's travel. Some deadlines have passed, so be sure to read the submission guidelines carefully. But they generally retain stories submitted after the deadline for the following year's books. They pay $100 and a contributor's copy.

And the God Allows U-Turns series has just reopened their submissions for three books:

Parents Setting Boundaries (with adult children) - stories on how adult children or grandchildren violate boundaries and how parents deal with these issues.

Boomer Babes Rock - Faith-based stories about baby boomer women, their issues, and connection to God.

Writing from the Heart and Soul - Writers of all kinds (published and unpublished) will share their stories of the writing life and how their faith contributes to being a wordsmith.

So tell your faith-based stories on one of these themes and you may get $30, a by-line in one of their new anthologies, and a contributor's copy. The deadline is December 31, 2007. Their computer had a melt down and they lost all the stories submitted so far for 2007, so if you previously submitted, be sure to resubmit.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Get Your Photo Simpsonized!




Get Simpsonized! I did. I found the link for this on Vicki Lane's Blog, and she traces it back a bit to where it's being passed around the blogosphere. Just upload a head shot of yourself to Burger King's Simpsons' promo site. You can even customize your character after getting a stock image.
Then save it on your computer or email to a friend. Doh!

Writer's Market Guide 2008 Set Contest

Over at Writer Unboxed, they're giving a way a full set of 2008 Writer's Market Guides in a contest. To enter you have to make up a word and leave it as a comment. Heck, I make up words accidentally all the time just trying to speak - how hard can it be?

The contest runs through September 14, and you can enter whenever you come up with a new term. The top ten terms will be put up for a vote. Winner takes all those lovely books.

My contribution to the contest for today:

Nunya - Meaning "it's none of your business." My daughter coined this term to use on her brother 10,000 times a day and drive me nuts.

Kidzheimers - the memory loss that comes from your children sucking out your brain cells when they're born.

The prizes include the following books:
Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition 2008, which comes with a ONE-YEAR to SUBSCRIPTION WritersMarket.com
Guide to Literary Agents 2008
Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2008
Poet’s Market 2008
Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2008

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

2007 Zoetrope Short Fiction Contest - Judged by Joyce Carol Oates

Zoetrope is sponsoring their 11th Annual Short Fiction Contest, judged by Joyce Carol Oates. Submit your unpublished story of 5,000 words or less by October 1, 2007. They have reasonable entry fee of $15 per story and tantalizing prizes:

1st Place $1,000
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250

Plus the winner and top seven finalists will get a shot at representation with one of the following agencies:

William Morris Agency
ICM
Regal Literary
The Elaine Markson Literary Agency
Inkwell Management
Sterling Lord Literistic
The Georges Borchardt Literary Agency.

You can't win if you don't play...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Reminder: The Writer Mama Contest is Going On Now


Stop by and leave a comment on the Writer Mama's blog for your chance to win fabulous prizes each day in September. Tell them the Coffee and Critique Blog sent you.

WOW Fall 2007 Essay Contest with Skirt! Magazine

WOW - the Women on Writing Website is sponsoring a Fall 2007 Essay Contest in conjunction with Skirt! Magazine. Essays must be between 800-1200 words and follow the following prompt from their website:

"Describe a time in your life when you overheard a conversation, or found a lucky item on the ground (coin, jewelry, other), or discovered something that wasn’t intended for your eyes (mail, letter, photos, or other). Write about this “chance” event and describe what it brought to you: good or bad luck, serendipity, a missed opportunity, or karma. This is a nonfiction essay, but be descriptive enough so your readers can see the event through your eyes.
Story slant: Geared toward women readers, light-hearted to funny, imaginative, creative—you get it--*original*."

There is a $5 entry fee and winners receive the following prize packages:

1st Place $200 and publication in Skirt! and on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.

2nd Place $150 and publication on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.

3rd Place $100 and publication on WOW website, Skirt! book goodie bag, and $50 WOW boutique gift certificate, and interview on WOW.

WOW has great resources for writers, and the Missouri Writers' Guild's Margo Dill has an article in this month's issue called "Writers' Conferences: 5 Reasons Why You Should Go NOW & How to Get the Most For Your Money".

Skirt! is a sassy women's publication with essays and features about everything female. Check out their guidelines for submitting essays according to their themes for each month. Submit your essay or just enjoy the great writing already published on Skirt!.

They've also started a new book publishing division in partnership with Globe Pequot Publishers. No book submission guidelines yet, but stay tuned.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pen Knife Press Contest Seeks Short Stories on Current Issues

This contest has big prizes for winners and no entry fee. Do be sure to read the rules before submitting. Stories that don't win won't get more than a contributor's copy if published in their collection.

The Leicester Review of Books has announced Penknife Press's 2nd annual short story contest. Submit stories between 5,000-10,000 about a current social or political issue. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2007. No entry fee. Submit your entry to contest@penknifepress.com.

Prizes:
1st Place: $1,000
2nd Place $600
3rd Place $400

The winning stories and some runner-ups will also appear in a collection published by Penknife Press.