Shark’s Teeth!

Last Friday, we decided to play hookie in the afternoon, and take Max and Mason to the beach. It was 70-something degrees, breezy, and partly cloudy and it was the perfect day to go on a shark tooth hunt. We grabbed some towels, spoons (for digging), and bottled water and jumped in the truck. When we were just a few feet out of the driveway, a warning light came on, something beeped, and the transmission started jerking. Oh no……

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the Winter, 2012 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

For the past six weeks, we’ve spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the Winter, 2012 24-Hour Short Story Contest. In case you’re not familiar with our quarterly contest, this is how it works. On the date of the contest, at start-time, we send out the topic for that specific contest to all registered entrants, while also posting it online. Entrants then have 24 hours to write and submit their stories. The stories “must deal with the topic in some way to qualify” and they must not exceed the pre-assigned word count.
After reading the entries for each contest, we can see how difficult it is to come up with a unique plot when working with an assigned topic. But, inevitably, a few writers do manage to successfully break away from the pack.
So, today, hear distant cracking as you step out onto the ice…

Insist on a Contract!

Dear Angela:
As a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience, I am still surprised when companies are not willing to provide clear contracts for writers.
This is something that companies should view as a win-win situation to avoid any confusion or miscommunication, but instead many companies are unwilling to do it.
I was recently offered an online writing project, but the company refused to insert payment dates (it was a 3-month project) as per my request – which is standard for all writing contracts.
Unfortunately (for me) I was unwilling to accept the contract this way, and was surprised when their reply didn’t even consider my request.
I joined the writer’s union years ago because I had a bad contract, and ended up doing a lot of work for free.
Please make writers aware that, especially now with the Internet, a good contract will not only ensure that you get paid, but will protect your copyright.
Nobody should be working for free.
Thanks for all your great work!
Nina Flanagan

PR For My Book Increased My Other Business Income By $60K By Clyde Morgan, MD

In November, 2010, I self published The 2766th Provisional Headquarters Flight WW II with The book generated sufficient PR in the first year to bring in an increased income of $60,000.00 for my clinic during a year when most physicians I know fought to stay even…

I Converted My Teaching Experience Into Paid Writing By Alexandra Lutz

I Converted My Teaching Experience Into Paid Writing By Alexandra Lutz

For about ten years I had juggled motherhood, a job-share teaching position, and a freelance hobby. When my husband broached the possibility of having another baby, I blanched. There wasn’t enough money to quit my job, and there wasn’t enough time for anything (or anyone) new in my life. I knew there had to be a way to convert my teaching experience into paid writing, but how?

Creative and Fun Ways to Avoid Licensing Fees!

Creative and Fun Ways to Avoid Licensing Fees!

At, we often receive books from authors who have quoted song lyrics in their text, usually without permission. Sadly, some authors have quoted song lyrics extensively throughout their books and must do major rewrites if they can’t obtain permission to use the lyrics. Obtaining permission can be a frustrating and expensive pursuit. And, you must obtain permission to use them.

Key West = Clothing Optional?

We took the newlywed in-laws (Richard’s mom and step-dad) to Key West for four days last week. We took the RV but got the in-laws a hotel room. When we arrived, the campground was PACKED and Richard didn’t think we’d ever be able to back the RV into our spot. I am the backer-upper in the family, having years of experience backing boat trailers onto boat ramps, so I always get the fun part of pulling into campgrounds.
The first thing I did was get out of the RV and ask a guy to move his truck. It was right where I needed to be when pulling forward before going back. He did. Then, a bunch of guys came out of their RVs and stood watching. I thought maybe they were impressed by watching a woman drive that big rig. Ah, but that was not the case. They were all standing in front of their own RVs, in protective postures, ready to scream at me…

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