We survived our vacation and we’re very happy to be back home. It was 37 degrees the morning we left Tennessee and the weather is now PERFECT in Florida! Our highs are in the low 80’s and our lows are in the upper 50’s. Aaaahhh!!
In Maine, we had to wear two pairs of socks and mittens to go Trick or Treating. In Florida, you don’t have to wear a heavy coat over your costume…

Topic, Common Themes, and Winners of the Fall, 2013 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

For the past six weeks, we’ve spent every spare moment judging the hundreds of entries submitted for the WritersWeekly Fall, 2013 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 must be registered before the contest begins and there is a limit of 500 participants per contest. 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, which is announced with the topic.
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…

13 Signs You Shouldn’t Include That Risky Content In Your Book

Hi, Angela.
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your article “13 Signs You Shouldn’t Include That Risky Content In Your Book.” Your experience shines here.
Through my first reading, I found myself nodding and even laughing. But then, on second reading, it occurred to me that even we seasoned writers and editors can, without thinking about it, fall into one of the 13 traps. In fact, just this morning I was mulling inserting the horrible Dr. ____, who created financial distress for me years ago, into a novel I’m writing. Reading your piece this evening, I saw that I’d combined #1 “She’ll probably never read it” and #12 “It’s been years since it happened…”
Thanks as always,

Earn Extra Money Writing Creative Online Auction Descriptions! By Drema Drudge

“I kicked Barbie to the curb. Everything must go,” the online auction headline said. Intrigued, I read on, amused at the tale of Ken and Barbie’s “divorce.” Just because the description was so amusing, I almost bid on the grimy plastic dollhouse – of dingy furniture and frizzy-haired dolls. At a garage sale I wouldn’t have paid $10 for it all, so I was stunned to see it go for $50…

Am I at Risk of Being Sued?

I just read your troubling article on the risk to writers of being sued. I’m writing a mystery that names no actual person and is not based on actual events. It’s pure fiction, BUT it is set in Naples, Florida, and it focuses on invented rich people in an unflattering way (I lived there for a number of years).
Based on this obviously superficial description, do you see any reason I should be worried? People have an egotistical way of seeing themselves in what’s written, even or perhaps especially when it’s negative. And the rich can do something about it, even when there’s no basis for offense other than–in the case of my story–being rich themselves.

Whispers And Warnings For October 30th

Links to the stories below can be found here:
Yelpers Suing Review Site Over “Unpaid Wages”
WritersWeekly predicts this lawsuit will be dismissed.
UMaine professor: Newspapers lied about ‘War of the Worlds’ hysteria to smear radio
“There’s only one problem: The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast.”
Conde Nast Ends Intern Program, Raising Question: Are Internships About the Money?
“Conde Nast’s decision to discontinue its program next year comes as the company faces a class-action lawsuit over its intern pay practices. Earlier this year, two former interns filed a lawsuit claiming the publisher failed to pay them minimum wage.”
Is The NFL Committing Copyright Infringement By Using Photos Without Consent?
“On October 21, 2013, seven photographers filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the National Football League (NFL), Replay Photos, Getty Images and the Associated Press. The lawsuit requests damages for copyright infringement.”
Links to the stories above can be found here:

On Vacation!

Well, our vacation cabin is acceptable but it’s not great. Considering the amount of money we’re paying, we expected something a bit nicer. Here’s a list of the problems we’ve encountered…

Whispers And Warnings For October 23rd

Links to the stories below can be found here:
Writer/Biologist who refused to write for free was (allegedly) called an Urban Whore by editor.
Biology-Online had (allegedly) only offered her the old “exposure” line we writers hear all the time. The editor has since been fired.
Beatles documentary sparks $100 million lawsuit against Sony/ATV
“According to the suit, filed in U.S. district court in New York last week, the company that filmed the concert allowed the film to be transferred without copyright protection, and that no copyright was ever filed on the performances, putting them in the public domain.”
Harper Lee sues hometown museum
“The legendary author doesn’t like the museum using her name and the book’s title on souvenirs without her approval or any compensation.”
Damages in E-Book Case Pegged at $307 Million
“A filing from the plaintiff states and consumer class made public this week puts the total damages in their lawsuit against Apple over fixing e-book prices at more than $307 million.”
Links to the stories above can be found here:

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