Saturday, July 30, 2005

(GREAT) Writing Op - Oatmeal Studios

This publisher's material is 85%
freelancer generated!

Great writing opportunity!

P.O. Box 138W3
Rochester VT 05767
Phone: (802)767-3171
Contact: Helene Lehrer, creative director.

Editor's Note: "Humor--conversational in tone and format--sells best for us."

85% of material freelance written.
Bought 200-300 ideas/samples last year.

Responds in 6 weeks. Pays on acceptance. Current market list for #10 SASE.

Overview: Also Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Valentine's Day, etc. Will review concepts. Humorous material (clever and very funny) year-round.

Needs: humorous, birthday, friendship, anniversary, get well cards, etc.

Prefers unrhymed verse ideas. Current pay schedule available with guidelines.

Other Product Lines: Notepads, stick-on notes.

"The greeting card market has become more competitive with a greater need for creative and original ideas. We are looking for writers who can communicate situations, thoughts, and relationships in a funny way and apply them to a birthday, get well, etc., greeting. We are willing to work with them in targeting our style. We will be looking for material that says something funny about life in a new way."

Writing Op - Cards & Poetry


2742 14th St. N.
Naples FL 34103-4538

Phone: (239)434-2203
Fax: (239)434-2510
Contact: Carol Fitzgerald, president.

Established: 2003
Submit seasonal/holiday material 6-12 in advance.
Returns submissions with SASE.

Pays on acceptance.
Needs Overview: Send verse submissions via e-mail.

Needs: Conventional, Humorous, Inspirational

Prefers unrhymed verse ideas. Submit maximum 10-15 ideas/batch. Pays $20–40/idea. Pays more if greeting cards are accompanied by artwork or photographs.

Tips: "We specialize in high quality photography. We are looking for verses to go with photographs of children and nature. We need creative and imaginative ideas. Cute thoughts and humor sells well with the children's line. Inspirational does well with nature cards. We do not accept anything off-color, nor do we accept rhyme."

New Magazine Launched - Quick & Simple

Quick & Simple: weekly women's magazine launches
Starting August 2nd, the 60-page oversized magazine will publish its first four issues biweekly, then weekly starting with the October 4th issue. "Quick & Simple joins a burgeoning category of low-cost, newsstand-focused titles, including Time Inc.'s All You and Bauer Publishing's First for Women (it also closely resembles the name and concept of Time Inc.'s Real Simple). The new Hearst title doles out easy recipes as well as beauty, fashion and home tips using vibrant-colored sidebars and graphics. The magazine targets mass-market, mid-30s single women and mothers. Stories in the premiere issue include two-minute hairstyles and diet-friendly fast-food menus." Editor: Susan Toepfer. Source:

New Magazine Seeks Contributors

Info From Country Magazine
(note the many other mags published by Reiman Publications)
Publisher seeking contributions for test issue of national, bi-monthly print magazine. Our audience is largely urban or near-urban and sophisticated with an interest in authentic country living and lifestyles. Our goal is the highest quality writing that delves into all aspects of a thoughtful country life.

We are currently reviewing submissions and queries for features and shorts related to country and small town life including but not limited to home, food, work and business, gardening, farming, livestock, country skills, rural issues, travel, and arts and culture. Features: 1,000 to 4,000 words. Essays and Shorts: 300 to 1,000 words. Related photographs may be considered. We do not accept poetry or fiction. Our only criterion is great writing. We are looking for in-depth, substantive writing rich in detail that demonstrates a fond appreciation of the subject.

Currently 25 cents/word on acceptance and an additional 75 cents/word on publication. We buy First North American Serial Rights. Please include a brief statement of any prior writing and/or publishing experience and include a phone number where we may reach you. Please do not include or attach photos. Do, however, specify if accompanying photos are or could available. Send email submissions, queries, or correspondence to:

Friday, July 29, 2005

Fun for Writers

Here are a few fun days for writers to observe in August.

August Daily Observances

Aug 2 - National Night Out (gotta relax sometime)
Aug 5 - Work Like A Dog Day (to compensate for our night out)
Aug 6 - National Fresh Breath (Halitosis) Day (its all that coffee!)
Aug 6 - National Pamper Yourself Day (Oh Yeah!)
Aug 13 - National Underwear Day (just how many jobs can a person do in their underwear??)
Aug 14 - International Nagging Day (get that article DONE)
Aug 15 - National Relaxation Day (so you can get over the nagging)
Aug 17 - Meaning of "Is" Day (grammar does count)
Aug 18 - Bad Poetry Day (hey, we all can't be GOOD poets)
Aug 19 - Aviation Day (for Shea)
Aug 21 - Poets Day (for Maude)
Aug 22 - National Punctuation Day (NOT for me)
Aug 27 - Sing Out Day (toot your own horn, write your press release today)
Aug 28 - Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day (official goof-off day)
Aug 28 - Crackers Over The Keyboard Day (an OTHER reason for goofing off on he 28th)
Aug 31 - Love Litigating Lawyers Day (for those who goofed off too much)

Fun fun!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Writer Mag - GREAT Show vs Tell Article

If you don't already subscribe to The Writer magazine, you might want to pick up the August copy. There is a TERRIFIC article (in the column Writer at Work) called *It's Show Time* by Bharti Kirchner. Lots of examples and beautifully written. This issue would be worth every penny if *It's Show Time* was the only article in it -- but of course there is plenty more.

How to read a literary magazine By Gregg Rosenblum
A top TV writer on how a script is born By Kinney Littlefield
Turn one interview into multiple articles By Robert Bittner
Building a literary life By Sarah Anne johnson
Set the scene [Step by Step] By Quinn Dalton
How to create suspense [Step by Step] By William G. Tapply
Revise your manuscript to get it published [Step by Step] By Sam McCarver
Get Started - How to prepare your short story for submission By Tom Bailey
Breakthrough - A family gets published By Joyce Litz
Syntax - Number know-how By Arthur Plotnik
Off the cuff - Reader's wish list By Peter P. Jacobi
Literary Spotlight - Zoetrope: All Story profile By Gregg Rosenblum
Market focus - Taking aim at mystery By Michael Bracken
Get Published - Putting the power in writers' hands By Andrea Campbell
Writer at Work - It's show time By Bharti Kirchner
AND More...

Description, Narration, Exposition

Description, Narration, Exposition
Presented by Louise Bergmann DuMont at the NJCWG - 7/25/05

Most of prose is divided into: Description, Narration, Exposition, and Dialog. This lesson will discuss the first three.

Most authors aren't conscious of what they use and when they use it, but new writers should make an effort to know the difference. You produce better writing when you use all four in your manuscript.

DESCRIPTION - to give sensory impressions of a thing.
Good description includes: 1) accurate observation 2) an appropriate level of detail 3) optimal word choice

Accurate Observation
When writing description you must not include speculation or the probable outcome of a scene. You simply describe what you see (from the POV you've chosen) -- as accurately as all of your senses can discern it. This means that you do not limit yourself to what you see. You may want to include in your description some of what you smell, hear, taste, feel and/or see.

Level of Detail
How much detail a writer uses to describe something to an audience depends on what the reader needs to know. You determine this by deciding what you want and need to convey -- the specific point of the manuscript.


How-To-Article -- In a "how to build a staircase" article you need to convey the specific size and weight of the lumber used, the type and size of the bolts/ screws/ nails, various lumber treatments used to waterproof wood (if it is for outdoors), and many other specifics.

Murder Mystery -- You may want to mention some portion of the staircase construction if the murderer deliberately creates a fault in a staircase he is building - which he will use to kill his mistress.

Romance Novel -- You will mention very little about the construction of the staircase if the only thing that hero and heroine do is kiss at the foot of the stairs.

I am reminded of the colleague I dread to meeting. When you greet her with, "Good-morning, how's it going?" she proceed to inundate me with every ache and pain that ever assaulted her. Then there was the new mom who shared each grueling moment of her long and painful delivery. The birth of her beautiful child was an anti-climax to her pain. On the flip-side, there have been times when I've wanted to know exactly how something looked or felt, only to be frustrated with vague generalities. Balance is everything. How do you achieve balance? Analyze the intended audience and their needs.

Optimal Word Choice
Effective writing uses specific words and should connect with as many of the senses as appropriate. For example, do not say, "It was delicious," when you could say, "It felt smooth and cold on my tongue and reminded me of fresh kiwi, but sweeter. When you offer only your own feelings, you distance your reader. To say, "I cried through the first half of the movie," does not engage the reader. It is better to say, "When George left his family to find work at the very beginning of the movie, I remembered the loneliness when my father left home for six months to find work in another state. The women who played the part of George's wife did an excellent job of acting and she reminded me of my own mom who had to keep the family together during the time when my father was away." Now the reader not only knows why you cried but is allowed to experience part of the movie with you.

Avoid judgment words like "good" or "bad." Give specific details that SHOW the good or bad and allow your reader to experience the event.

Every word must carry its own weight. Chose your words carefully.

NARRATION - to tell, in detail, what happened. Read about giving details under 'description.'
Most stories begin with Narration. That is where the hook is usually set. When a person tells a story during a conversation, they are most often using narration.

Imagine meeting an old girlfriend (or boyfriend) outside a coffee shop. You decide to have a cup of coffee and talk over old times. During that time you realize that she's recently divorced and now she's hitting you. What sort of conversation would you have with your current girlfriend to tell her about this event? What sort of conversation might you have with your best "buddy" when you meet for tennis next weekend? In both cases the extent of the details may be different but you are essentially telling about the same event. People narrate verbal stories all of the time. Good written narration becomes great with practice. Excellent writing becomes evident when you show the appropriate details and your purpose in telling the story is clear -- also honed with practice.

In the case of telling your current girlfriend about meeting your former girlfriend, your purpose is to be honest but not alarming. When you tell your best friend about it after your tennis game, your purpose might be to show that you've got a much better girlfriend now than you did before -- and maybe, that you've still "got it" when it comes to attracting the ladies. In both cases you will use details that contribute to your purpose rather than detract from it.

EXPOSITION - the setting forth of the meaning or purpose of something, especially in writing.

Exposition is always objective. The writer informs or explains but does not express their opinion. News (both print and broadcast) is an example of exposition. This would, of course exclude the editorials. Textbooks, instruction manuals and reports are also exposition. A writer may tell or interpret facts but it must be without personal bias. The writer's "voice" may come through his writing (making it uniquely his) but his opinion on the topic in question should not appear in the writing.

A writer can "slant" a piece by choosing to include some facts and by leaving others out. This makes exposition not entirely objective, but as a whole, writing that would be considered "useful" is exposition. Because of this, exposition is not necessarily the most interesting writing to everyone who reads it (think 'owner's manual'). The purpose of exposition is to convey information clearly and accurately. If you are writing a novel you want to seriously limit your exposition because few people read novels for instruction. If you are writing a book about the care and feeding of new puppies, anyone seeking that information will find your exposition interesting enough. "Cat people," those who don't currently have a puppy and people who don't like animals won't care about your writing no matter what fascinating writing techniques you use. Exposition, more than any other writing, requires the author to know their topic well and know their audience and have an expertise

Important things to remember when writing exposition:

*Know what you are talking about. Only people seriously interested in your topic will read exposition. Fakers are quickly exposed.
*Know your purpose. A clear purpose will help you decide on things like what order to provide your information and what you should emphasize.
*Know what your audience knows and doesn't know. Don't write for both the beginner and the expert. You'll bore both.
*Use headings, short paragraphs, lists, subtopics, and bold print to make your reader's search for information easier.

Blog by Bethany House Editor - David Long

David Long, an editor for Bethany House happens to have a blog on It is called Faith and Fiction. You might want to check it out. His current thread is called "DaWhy Bother?” – Who Is Reading Anyway?"


Here is an interesting (secular) new site that is still in its Beta test. It hosts a section for television & film news and for publishing news. An example of what it brings to its readers follows:

Crowded markets: chic-lit, science fiction, and murder mystery. Loyal
readers to a select group of writers generating good sales figures, but
publishers are wary to admit any newcomers into this over-competitive

Check it out at:

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lesson for Tonight's Meeting

Tonight's agenda is packed.

The topic of tonight's lesson will be: Description, Narration & Exposition
What are the differences between these three types of writing? When should each be used? What are some techniques that will make each stand out as superior writing?

The NJCWG Sampler
I'll have copies of the guidelines for the NJCWG Sampler Book we are creating. Ideally every member of the group will submit at least one piece to this book.

Chat Time
Come to spend a few minutes chatting with other writers in a social setting. Bring your dinner or nice cold beverage and relax in the company of your friends and writing colleagues.

A Reason To Write - October 8, 2005
Update on our October conference, what still needs to be done, etc.

We'll also spend a few minutes tonight talking about what we've accomplished in the first half of this year and where we'd like our writing to go for the remainder of 2005.

Hope to see our NJCWG Members tonight!

Louise Bergmann DuMont
Facilitator, NJCWG

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Next Meeting of the NJCWG

For Members of the NJCWG
Monday, July 25, 2005
6:15-7:00 Chat Time
7:00-8:00 Discussion/Teaching
8:00-9:00 Critiques

We've had a few weeks off from regular meetings but now we're getting back in to the swing. I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow evening! God Bless

Louise Bergmann DuMont
Facilitator, NJCWG

Hooks - Msg From Patrick O'Tool

Patrick O'Toole, a NJCWG member who will be teaching at our October 8 -- A Reason to Write Conference just posted an excellent article on his blog about "Hooks." You might want to take a moment to read it. I'm posting Patrick's blog address below but you'll also find his address, along with many other great web and blog sites, to the right of this message listed under the "LINKS" section of our NJCWG blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Writing Op - Family Seeds Magazine

Family Seeds Magazine

E-mail query letters, in the body of the e-mail, to:

Family Seeds Magazine is a monthly Christian family magazine. Our readers are Christians of all denominations from all around the world. They are Christian writers, musicians, artists, carpenters, ministers, laypeople, farmers, factory workers, executives, professionals, secretaries, and retired folks, especially families and anyone in between - anyone and everyone who truly believes in living to serve God.

E-mail first to let them know you want to send a submission as an attachment. They don't open attachments from people they don't know. MS Word attachments are preferred (.doc files). Always include: a cover letter of introduction, a 50-75 word biography which may be included if your work is published, an optional photo (actual photo or .jpg or .tif files at 300 dpi accepted), Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) if contacting us by snail mail or e-mail address if you wish to receive a reply. E-mail queries and submissions welcome. All work is subject to editing if accepted. NO Simultaneous submissions.

Writers will receive $100 to $200 per article, depending on length and quality in exchange for one-time print rights. In addition, they will receive a free one-year subscription to Family Seeds Magazine, either for themselves or to give as a gift to someone else.

Writing Op - Angelica Magazine --- Contemporary Christian Art & Fiction

Angelica Publishing is launching a new quarterly magazine of contemporary Christian art and fiction (suspense/thrillers). The first issue will go to press in early 2006 and they are buying stories for it now.

Each issue will contain approximately seven short fiction pieces (1800 to 4500 words) and will include moving Christian art and photography with a message. They will pay 20 cents a word. Each issue will consist of 80-96 pages, both color and B&W. Stories can be submitted via an e-mail attachment in a Word document, or copied/pasted in the body of the email. Send to or mail to: Lynette Fuller, Editor, 207 Grinders Place, Vicksburg, MS 39180.

Read their statement of faith and writers guidelines at their Web site, .

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

VERY "SPECIAL" Writing Op - Parables Magazine

Parables has a help not hurt policy. If they are unable to use your story, they will write you with specific reasons and suggestions for improvements. This takes considerable effort on their part, but I commend them for going this extra mile.
Parables is a Christian fiction magazine offering six well-crafted Christian Fiction short stories, interviews with the top authors in Christian fiction, book reviews, CBA industry news, and an edge of your seat serial!
Submissions: Yes, accepting submissions
Word Count: 1000-5000 wds
Format: Please send all submissions to Please send the stories as attachments in either Word or Text format. Please include a professional cover letter in the body of the email and tell us your targeted genre* in the subject line. For instance: Contemporary Fiction Submission or Romantic Suspense Fiction Submission, etc.

*Targeted Genre: Each month we target two genres
Jan and Feb: Romance, Contemporary
Mar and Apr: Comedy, Contemporary
May and Jun: Historical, Contempory
Jul and Aug: Thriller/Mystery/Suspense, Contemporary
Sep and Oct: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Supernatural, Contemporary
Nov and Dec: Biblical, Contemporary
Address: 1400 East 35th St., Texarkana, AR 71854
Email submissions: Yes
Web site:
Guidelines (READ THESE):
Contacts: Rosalind Morris, Editor
Categories: other
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Si-fi, Mystery, Humor
Notes: This market does NOT consider simultaneous submissions. This market does NOT consider previously published work.

Writing Op _ Eclectic Homeschool Online

Eclectic Homeschool Online promotes creative homeschooling and is seeking articles covering any topic that deals with homeschooling or Christian living. Eclectic Homeschool Online promotes creative homeschooling and is seeking articles covering any topic that deals with homeschooling or Christian living.
Pays: $100 for articles 1000-3000 words.
Address: PO Box 5304, Fallon, NV 89407-5304
Email submissions: Yes
Notes: This market does NOT consider simultaneous submissions.This market does NOT consider previously published work.
Updated: May 23, 2005.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New - Chicken Soup For the Soul Magazine

Chicken Soup: women's magazine launches

Inspired by the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books, the magazine version will be "geared toward women 35 to 54 with articles on food, fashion, beauty, home life and entertainment -- all with a healthy dose of inspiration." Two issues are scheduled this year and six next year.
Writers Guidelines:

Query Letter Do's and Don'ts

* Present only your best work.
* Be professional.
* Use a copy of the publication’s current guidelines. Carefully follow their instructions and format information.
* Get the correct publication name and address out of a market guide. Be sure to address your letter to the correct editor – then verify all the information with a phone call.
* Keep your letter short (one page).
* Check your spelling and grammar. They do count.
* Remember that the person you are writing to wants to find a great story.
* Target an appropriate publication / publishing house. This will substantially reduce your chance of rejection.
* Read numerous copies of the publication you are submitting to (or books published by the house you want to work with).
* Read the ads in the publication and find out what type of person reads that publication. This is the best way to know your audience because I guarantee that the marketing department who sells the ads knows who buys that publication.
* Show that you’ve done your homework by indicating that you know who your target audience is, word length (or projected length) of your manuscript, genre, etc.
* Politely follow-up on your submission after the suggested period of time.
* Keep a positive attitude. If one publication rejects your work it does not necessarily mean that another won’t pick it up.
* Avoid gimmicks (colored paper, colored ink, glitter, fancy fonts, unusual sized paper or envelopes.
* Include a self-addressed stamped envelope for the agent or editor to respond to you.
* Title your work.
*Know what the editor is looking for and what they need.
* Take advantage of e-queries where appropriate.

* Announce that you are an amateur, a new writer, or an unpublished writer. All of this is irrelevant if your manuscript is up to par.
* Include other people’s statements about your work.
* Tell an editor how hard you worked on your piece.
* Mention who helped you with the piece (ie "my critique group reviewed and edited this article")
* Tell the editor that you will "make any changes he/she wants" or that the piece still needs work.
* Tell the editor how "thrilled" you would be to have your article published in this particular magazine or that you’ve had a subscription to it for twenty years.
* Confuse a sales tool (query / cover letter) with a sales pitch ("oh, ah, pick me, pick me!!!).
* Tease the editor by omitting the ending or other important facts, with the hope that this will entice him to contact you for more information. They don’t have time for games.
* Neglect spelling, grammar, clean presentation, clear wording and vivid description.
* Include information about your family, how much you love writing or a long description of the story/book/article.
* Query more than one article/story in one letter
* Discuss payment, copyright information or the rights you wish to sell in your letter. All this will come after they contract you.

    Writing Op - Funny Times Mag

    Funny Times
    Publisher: Funny Times Inc.
    Established: 1986
    Frequency: Monthly
    Circulation: 62,000
    Accepts Email Submissions: No
    Website URL:
    Description: Funny Times employs some of America's best cartoonists and writers to bring their humorous perspectives to a variety of topics, including politics, the environment, and pop culture.
    Phone: 216/371-8600
    Fax: 216/371-8696
    Guidelines URL: Click here for writer's guidelines information.
    Newsstand Listing: Subscription Information
    Address: The Funny Times c/o The Editors P.O. Box 18530 Cleveland Heights , OH 44118

    Writing Op - Flight Journal Mag

    Flight Journal
    Publisher: Air Age Publishing
    Accepts Email Submissions: Yes
    Website URL:
    Description: Flight Journal is a magazine created expressly to capture the vital spirit, drama, and evolution of man's winged adventures.
    Editor(s): Tom Atwood
    Fax: (203) 431-3000
    Guidelines URL: Click here for writer's guidelines information.
    Newsstand Listing: Subscription Information
    Address: Flight Journal magazine c/o Dana Donia Air Age Publishing 100 East RidgeRidgefield , CT 06877-4606

    Writing Op - CLASS ACT

    Class Act
    Publisher: Class Act, Inc.
    Established: 1993Circulation: c. 500
    Accepts Email Submissions: YesWebsite URL:
    Description: Practical ideas for language arts teachers in grades 5-12.Editor(s): Susan ThurmanEmail:
    Newsstand Listing: Subscription Information
    Address: PO Box 802Henderson, KY 42419
    Rights: We purchase all rights.
    Needs: We need practical, tested ideas for English classrooms, grades 5-12. We look for articles that have ideas that teachers can use the day they read them. It helps to know what teenager don't know in order to write for them. Writing with a sense of humor helps, too.
    Length: 500-200 words.
    Art/Photo Needs: n/a
    Payment: Payment ranges from $10-$40, plus an author's copy. We do not have a kill fee; we pay the full amount upon receiving a signed contract.
    How to Submit: Please send to Dotty Denton in a cut-and-paste form (no attachments).
    Response Time: Generally we respond in less than 1 month.
    Tips for Writers: We are seeing far too many submissions that are not geared toward our format or our audience. Please be familiar with both.
    Sample Copies/Subscription Information: Samples=$3. Subscription (for nine issues)=$25.

    Writing Op - Cat Fancy Mag

    Cat Fancy
    Publisher: Fancy PublicationsWebsite URL:
    Description: Cat Fancy is your complete guide to help you better understand, care for, and enjoy your cat. Get important healthcare advice, nutrition tips, in-depth breed profiles, and insights into your cat’s behavior.
    Email: query@catfancy.comGuidelines
    URL: Click here for writer's guidelines information.
    Newsstand Listing: Subscription Information
    Address: Features EditorCat Fancy3 Burroughs IrvineMission Viejo, CA 92618 USA
    Art/Photo Needs: See the Photographer's Guidelines

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    Writers' Resources

    Here are a few select writing resources that you can find on the web.

    Almanacs and Factbooks
    Business of Writing
    Dictionaries Online
    Encyclopedias Online
    Magazines for Writers
    Market Information
    Media Centers
    Media Research
    Thesauruses Online
    Writing Instruction is looking for positive stories and features from your community. They pay $0.03 per word plus bonuses for related photographs. Click on the Submit Story link on the front page to get started.

    Hint: What abbout a postive article about the Ringwood Mine Llantern Tours, a kid who works with senior citizens at The King's Kitchen or maybe a list of the best family-friendly movies of the summer???

    Worth a Look - (lower) Paying Markets

    Here is a website that lists dozens of lower paying markets ($25/article or $.05/wrd). Don't discount these markets though. They are well worth a look.

    Travel Articles

    Travel Writing - $20 per small article OR chance for $800
    When you check out the site, you'll notice that there are NO travel stories for New Jersey! This could be a great opportunity for you to be published!

    Submit Form:

    Time To Get On Board!

    It h-o-t outside and may have you dreaming of the beach... but autumn is closer than you think!!! Our NJCWG - A REASON TO WRITE conference is scheduled for October 8, 2005 -- less than 12 weeks away. Are you ready?

    October 8, 2005

    $30.00 (includes breakfast, lunch and all your materials)
    8:00-8:30 -- Meet & Greet, Registration, Breakfast

    8:45 - 9:15 -- Opening Remarks
    9:15 - 12:30 -- Classes & Workshops

    12:30 - 1:15 -- Lunch
    1:15 - 4:30 -- Classes & Workshops
    4:30 - 5:00 -- Closing Remarks

    If you haven't already registered, please contact Nancy Baker ASAP ( We have secured a wonderful staff and will offer a great selection of courses. Signing up for the ones you want will be on a first come, first serve basis. All the course info and staff bios are listed on my website ( When you get there, simply click on the NJCWG button and find the link to the conference info (Note: There is a glitch in the on-line registration form and it is currently NOT working - sorry. To register you must contact Nancy.)

    Please share all conference info with church, friends, family and co-workers. I'm eager to make this conference the best it can be. A larger attendance offers more interaction and a better overall experience for our attendees.

    If you need brochures and/or registration forms for your church or for any writing groups you belong to, please give me a call or email me at ( Thank you.

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Director, NJCWG - A Reason to Write 2005

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    Free Writing for Anthologies Course

    Received this message from a member of an other writers group.

    Dear Writing/Publishing friends,

    I am excited to announce that I'm now able to offer a free course to writers who want to write for the popular anthology/compilation market.

    I'd be VERY grateful if you would let your friends and readers know about the "Writing for Anthologies" course (a four-session do-it-at-your-own-pace), which is offered via Writers' Helper:

    Thanks, and have a wonderful week!

    Dena Dyer
    Author, Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms (Barbour)
    Co-author, The Groovy Chicks' Roadtrip to Peace (Cook/LifeJourney)

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    New Cafe Mocha "Light"

    My new Cafe Mocha "Light" column is posted on


    Jehovah-Tsbaoth (The Lord of Hosts) 1 Samuel 1:3

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Recent Releases: Faith-Dipped Chocolate: Rich Encouragement to Sweeten Your Day and Grace by the Cup: A Break From the Daily Grind

    Excellent Speech

    THE MENDING STRING by Cliff Coon
    Moody Publishers
    ISBN: 0802440843

    Below is of the address to the Christy Awards banquet for Christian fiction, July 9, 2005.

    Take a few minutes to read this. It makes an excellent commentary on society in general, their fiction "needs," and why/how some of those needs have come to be.

    To see the 2005 Christy Award Winners you can go to:

    God Bless...

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    Another Great Blog - Jeff Schick

    Another NJCWG member is using a blog to get their message out. His coments on the recent London bombings are profound. Some of his earlier posts on creating a vision statement are excellent as well and pertain to our goals as writers.

    Check out Jeff Schick's blog at:

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Publisher's Obituary
    Today's Meal announced: Publisher Preiss Dies In Auto Accident
    Publisher, packager, digital publishing pioneer and longtime force in the rise of graphic novels Byron Preiss died tragically in an auto accident in East Hampton on Saturday. Just 52, making his weekly trip to Shabbat services, Preiss's car was hit by a bus. The funeral service will be held tomorrow morning. In a posted notice, the family requests that any donations be made to the UJA of New York, where Preiss was co-chair of the Publishing Committee.

    August Issue of Writers Digest

    The August issue of Writers Digest Magazine is filled with resources for every level or writer.

    Author, Miriam Sagan, shows you how to use alternate sources to find poetic inspiration. She says:

    "Take a page of prose that interests you. It can be anything—from the dense, imagistic writing of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude to a passage from a Virginia Woolf novel to a manual on a home renovation technique. Now, break it into poetry. Take out anything that doesn’t interest you. Prune out small words such as ‘the’ and ‘a,’ and look for surprises, metaphors and unexpected combinations. The result may be a complete poem (be sure to credit the original) or simply an exercise to stretch your imagination. Adding your own lines of response can make it into an entirely different poem."
    Writer's Digest's InkWell section poses a thought-provoking question each month. This month's question:

    In the August issue of WD, we discuss how to kill off characters in your
    fiction. Which literary character(s) do you feel deserved to live? Or maybe you
    think thereÂ’s one who shouloffered been offed in Chapter 1 but makes it to the end.

    To be part of the WD monthly Conversation, e-mail your brief response (up to 50 words) to with "Dearly Departed" as the subject line.

    Is the western alive and well in 21st Century America? Author, Loren Estleman, responds:

    "Yes, and the audience is there. For one thing, we have increasingly
    sophisticated readers. TheyÂ’re less inclined to accept that old chivalric
    code of the fast-draw contest and want to know more about the grittiness of
    the actual West. And if youÂ’re asking me if thereÂ’s a market for it, think
    about writers such as Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Jane Smiley and
    Barbara Kingsolver. All of these people are writing historical Westerns now,
    but theyÂ’re painting on a much broader canvas.

    There are also greater repercussions now to the actual points of action than weÂ’ve seen in the past. These days, writers arenÂ’t just dealing with the fact that somebody
    was shot down in the street. They’re also dealing with the family—the characters left behind.

    The modern Western is more rooted in humanity than it was in the past. This was always true of the great Westerns. But when so many people tried to imitate them, it became like a 10th carbon copy—it just got worse and worse. Unfortunately, the Western has always been judged by its more mediocre work."

    Each month Writers Digest offers its readers a "writing prompt." Here is the prompt for August.

    YouÂ’ve been given a one-year deadline and a $1 million signing bonus to write a
    300-page novel. ItÂ’s the day before the deadline and youÂ’ve written one page.
    What are you going to tell your editor? Write an elaborate excuse thatÂ’s so
    clever and believable that it becomes the plot of your novel.
    This issue holds so much information that I can't begin to share it all with you. If you are not yet a subscriber to a writers magazine (like Writers Digest or The Writer) you should seriously consider becoming one. These magazines do not simply teach, they inspire and motive a writer to excellence.

    If you would like a discounted subscription, see me -- and, no, I don't get any perks for getting new subscriptions.

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Facilitator, NJCWG
    Director, A Reason To Write Conference - October 8, 2005

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    Book Reviews - Problems and Solutions

    A book review that I did is now posted at the WordSmith Writer.
    For those of you who have trouble writing reviews for books that came across a bit less than stellar, you might want to take a look at this review. I was honest and spoke positively of those things that were true but allowed myself a comment on something that was lacking.

    Writing book reviews is a great way to get started in the writing industry AND you get to read free books! My website ( accepts book reviews.

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Author, Speaker & Young Writing Mentor
    Recent Releases: Faith-Dipped Chocolate: Rich Encouragement to Sweeten Your Day and Grace by the Cup: A Break From the Daily Grind

    Contest - Nonfiction

    NWA Non-fiction contest
    Deadline: December 31

    Note From Louise - This contest offers an excellent opportunity to not only enter a contest, but to gain valuable insight from a professional writer's critique.

    *The purpose of the National Writers Assn. Nonfiction Contest is to encourage the writing of nonfiction and recognize those who excel in this field.
    *Contest opens October 1, 2005
    *All entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2005
    *Only unpublished works may be submitted
    *Anthology rights will be requested for the first through third place winners
    The entry must be accompanied by entry form (photocopies are acceptable)
    *Entry fee - $18 per submission, and return SASE if you wish the material and rating sheets returned

    Judging will be based on originality, marketability, research, and reader interest. Copies of the judges' evaluation sheets will be sent to entrants furnishing an SASE with their entry. First through fifth place awards will be presented at the NWAF Conference. Other winners will be notified by March. 1st Prize -- $200 and Clearinghouse representation if winner is book proposal; 2nd Prize -- $100; 3rd Prize -- $50; 4th through 10th Places will receive a book of the winner's choice. Honorable Mentions receive a certificate. The entry fee per submission is $18.

    If you wish to have your submission critiqued, please request this on the entry form. Entry fees are used to pay judges and prize money. See complete rules and guidelines at our website:

    Contest - Dog Stories

    2005 Second Annual Dog Story Contest
    Deadline: August 1, 2005

    Dog Lovers, put your dog out, sit down and write yourfavorite dog story!

    To celebrate dog stories and the human-dog bond (andbecause we just love a good dog story), announces its Second Annual Dog Story Contest.

    The contest is for non-fiction stories of dog heroes, favorite dogs, and interesting or funny dog stories.

    The winner will receive $125, second place $75, and third place $50. Fourth and fifth places will each receive $25. Winning stories (and up to ten honorable mention stories) will be posted on and considered for publication in an anthology of dog stories.
    For complete rules and guidelines, visit our website at:

    Monday, July 11, 2005


    Special Message for the NJCWG
    NO meeting tonight. The Ringwood Baptist Church is hosting their Serengti Safari (VBS program) tonight. I'm telling the Bible Stories - a task I feel well suited for.

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Faciliator, NJCWG

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    150th Anniversary of Walt Whitman's, Leaves of Grass

    "I lean and loafe at my ease... observing a spear of summer grass."
    From Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

    On July 4, 1855, an unknown poet, Walt Whitman, changed forever the way we would look at poetry. Leaves of Grass came out to mixed reviews and widespread disinterest. It took many years but eventually this book changed the way poets wrote... and the way they thought of themselves.

    This summer marks the 150th anniversary of Walt Whitman's, first of its kind, free-verse. Published in July 1855, Leaves of Grass expanded poetry's boundaries.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    New Blog -

    Our very own, Patrick O'Toole has great new blog. His review of the hit movie, War of the Worlds was very intereresting and... written with a unique slant. He did more than simply re-cap the movie, he gave it a very personal touch. Nice job!

    Stop by his blog and be sure to leave a "comment." When you do, you might mention that you are a fellow member of the NJCWG and that you saw mention of his blog here - on OUR blog (grin)...

    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Facilitator NJCWG

    Show vs. Tell

    Why you should SHOW, rather than TELL, your story...

    TELLING gives the reader information about what happened but does not ask them to "be there" for the event.
    SHOWING creates a mental picture for the reader. Our society is more visual than ever before and readers insist on visual narrative.

    TELLING holds the reader at arms-length. The author is involved -- the reader is not.
    SHOWING is participatory. It involves the reader in the story by evoking feelings and by forcing the reader to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

    TELLING asks the reader to think or act a certain way.
    SHOWING unveils the event and lets the reader draw their own conclusion.

    TELLING preaches "at" the reader.
    SHOWING helps to avoid preachy writing.

    TELLING makes the reader feel "dumb" because the author tends to bang them over the head with the details.
    SHOWING lets the reader know you think they are smart enough to "get the point" of your manuscript.

    Points offered by:
    Louise Bergmann DuMont
    Founder and Facilitator of the NJCWG
    Director of the NJCWG - A Reason to Write Conference

    Philadelphia Christian Writers' Conference

    This message came to me from Marlene Bagnull. She gave me permission to post this on our blog.

    TO NJCWG MEMBERS: A number of NJCWG members have attended the Philly conference in the past. If you want to attend this year's conference, let me know and I'll see who else is going. You might be able to car pool.


    Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference
    August 18 - 20, 2005
    Holding Out the Word of Life
    Shine out among them like beacon lights,
    holding out to them the Word of Life.
    Philippians 2:16 tlb
    Marlene Bagnull
    Founder & Director

    New Hands-On Opportunities at This Year's Conference & Scholarship Help (if needed) for a Member of Your Group
    In 1983 I founded the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship and planned our first day-long seminar. I've often said that if I knew how God was going to grow this ministry, my lack of confidence in myself would have caused me to run the other way. But God has patiently shown me that self-confidence isn't the answer. God-confidence is what's important! And so what started as a day-long seminar in 1983 has grown to a three-day conference with a faculty, this year, of 53 authors, editors, and agents. God surely is doing "exceedingly, abundantly beyond . . ."

    One of the challenges of directing for over twenty years is to keep the conference fresh and new. Therefore, this year, I've expanded the hands-on opportunities.
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    Fiction Clinic with editor and fiction coach, Kathleen Wright
    Energize your stalled story.
    Revitalize your flat characters.
    Discover how to draw readers into your character's journey
    while building to an exciting climax.
    In this six-hour clinic, Kathleen will analyze a 1-2 page synopsis and first chapter (maximum 12 pages) of your novel and determine its strengths and weaknesses. She will demonstrate hands-on techniques that you will practice on your own story. Learn by doing! "In working with clients," Kathleen says, "I have observed that problems fall into common areas: tension through focus, The Five Levels of Intensity, goal-motivation-conflict and story gaps with the Hero's Journey."
    Best-selling novelist, Lauraine Snelling, says:
    "Kathleen has an innate sense of story structure. She can find holes in the
    story and problems with point of view and characters with the accuracy of an
    Olympic marksman."
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    Nonfiction Clinic with Mark Littleton, a prolific author of more than 80 books and literary agent.
    Do those rejection letters keep rolling in? Learn how to hone a manuscript that will excite an agent or an editor. Find and fix common problems that can get in the way of becoming a successful non-fiction writer. In this six-hour clinic Mark will demonstrate hands-on techniques for you to practice in each session based on the book proposal and first chapter (maximum 12 pages) submitted by group members prior to the conference. By the end of this clinic, you’ll have a marketable proposal ready to go . . . or close to it!
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    Each clinic is LIMITED to 10 serious authors. You need to be registered for the entire conference to participate in one of the clinics. Click on "Clinics" at for an application. Your application needs to be received (via email) no later than JULY 23. The clinics are held during the 6 hour-long workshops.
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    New Hands-On Workshop Track (for those not in one of the clinics)
    Choose 6 hour-long workshops from the 42 offered, including these new hands-on workshops:
    Spurring Your Creativity
    Selling What You Write
    Beware: 28 Pitfalls Ahead
    Overcoming Writer's Block
    Bringing People to Life
    How to Edit Your Own Manuscript
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    8 Continuing Sessions
    Fiction 101 ~ Randy Ingermanson
    Let There Be Lights...Camera...Action ~ Kathryn Mackel
    Nonfiction that Impacts Lives and the Kingdom ~ Craig Bubeck
    Spirituality vs Strategy ~ Allison Gappa Bottke
    Write Expectations ~ Lisa Crayton
    Writing to Change Lives ~ Donna Partow
    Writing for Children ~ Cindy Kenney,
    Tim Shoemaker, Etta Wilson, Jennifer Reed, & Karen Whiting
    and new this year
    The Nangie Experience for Advanced Novelists
    Nancy Rue & Angie Hunt
    NOTE: The application for The Nangie Experience
    (click Continuing Sessions at
    needs to be received by email no later than July 23.
    ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
    Please forward this email to members of your group and encourage them to pray about coming. If there is someone in your group who has financial need, I'll be glad to work with you. Please contact me ASAP either by email or calling 610-626-6833 or (if you get a recording) 610-209-2623.
    In His Service - Marlene
    For more conference info visit:

    The Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference
    is more than a place to meet editors and learn the craft.
    It is truly a spiritual retreat
    for all those called to write as ministry and mission.
    Even as a teacher, I always leave hearing God more clearly.
    Nancy Rue - Award-winning author

    Encouraging and equipping you to write about a God who is real,
    who is reachable, and who changes lives!
    Marlene Bagnull, Litt.D.
    Encouraging & equipping Christians to "write His answer" through
    books, tapes, seminars, mentoring, and conferences since 1983!

    Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference
    August 18-20, 2005 at Philadelphia Biblical University, Langhorne, PA

    Colorado Christian Writers Conference
    May 17-20, 2006 at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO
    316 Blanchard Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026-3507

    "Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone
    can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2 TLB

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Writing Op - Terrain.Org A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments is an online twice-yearly journal critically acclaimed for its literary and technical contributions relating to the built and natural environments.

    PRIZES: Publication (in other words -- no monetary payment at this time)
    REQUIREMENTS: We accept fiction and articles. View at for samples of what we prefer, as well as submission guidelines.
    CONTACT: Simmons Buntin
    TELEPHONE: (520) 241-7390