Letters to the Editor For November 24th

Donna’s 24-Hour Contest Entry Evolves and Gets Published!


I’ve been a fan and a participant of Writers Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Contest for years and just wanted to tell you what became of an entry I sent to one of the contests. The story was “Pretty Charlie” and it was about a personal coach in the palm of your hand.

In October 2010, a longer version of the story (thanks to suggestions and encouragement from three very good editors) appeared in Airborne, a speculative fiction anthology from Third Person Press.

I would never have written a speculative fiction story if it hadn’t been for the 24-Hour Short Story Contest. I have written and been published for more than 25 years, mostly nonfiction, but I find the 24-hour deadline for your contest inspires me to think quickly and creatively. The results often surprise me since the stories seem to come out of thin air.

Thanks for the inspiration and for all the useful information you pass on through your website and newsletter.

Donna D’Amour
Member of Professional Writers Association of Canada

Does Amazon Remove Old Book Listings? No!

Hi Angela

Funny story regarding Amazon removing old books. In 1995, I was asked to write a book on running business meetings. I finished the manuscript and handed it in. A short time later, the editor told my agent that she wanted a number of changes. But before any changes could be made, the editor left the company. The assumption was that a new editor would come in and take over the book. So, we waited to see who would work on completing the project. Nobody ever picked up the book again.

I moved on to other books and essentially forgot about the book altogether, until I saw it listed on Amazon.com under my name with an IBSN number. At first, I thought that perhaps someone had finished the book. However, my agent found out that nobody had ever worked on it again. So, for years, the book remained listed on Amazon, but was always out of print. You could order it, but you would never get it. Why? Because it did not exist.

So, after seeing it listed for about 10 years, I decided to write a review, which I posted on Amazon. I wrote something to the effect that this would be a very informative and helpful book for people running meetings but that there was one drawback, the book did not exist. I gave it four stars. So, for the next several years, the non-existent book remained on Amazon.com with a glowing four star review. Finally, some 15 years later, I believe it is gone, as I could no longer find it on Amazon.com. I did, however, recently find that on Amazon.com.jp, the Japanese version of Amazon.

It’s good to know that in some part of the world, the phantom book still exists. I hope they kept my four-star review.

Rich Mintzer

Amazon – Do They Draw The Line ANYWHERE?

Hello Angela,

My father was a juvenile judge for many years. Obviously, I had a front row seat into the problems families have. However, what Amazon did with the pedophile books shows a total lack of conscience, not to mention the consequences for innocent children.

So, even though they have finally removed the books, I emailed several people, and gave my opinion. Since most of these are mothers, you can imagine the response. On the Internet, news travels fast, to say the least. I won’write what I personally think as the language would get into the gutter. However, as a mother and grandmother, you know what I think of perverts already.

Thank you for letting us know!