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B U S Y F R E E L A N C E R

Monthly Publication For Freelancing Parents

December 1, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 12

ISSN 1538-8107

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Busy Freelancer is a division of Write From Home
http://www.writefromhome.com
Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services

You are receiving Busy Freelancer because you, or someone
using your e-mail address subscribed to it.

You are welcome to send this publication to friends,
discussion lists, and associates as long as you do so in
its entirety.

SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE DIRECTIONS

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In This Issue...


>>>> Letter From the Editor, Kim Wilson

>>>> Article:
"Writers Block or Just Exhaustion?"
by Andrea Mack

>>>> Write From Home Site Updates

>>>> Column: Regional Reviews
by Hilary Evans

>>>> Article:
"Writing From the Heart...Your Kids Heart"
by Kathryn Lay

>>>> Success Spotlight

>>>> Article:
"From Small Favors to Big Problems"
by Hilary Evans

>>>> Paying Markets

>>>> Classifieds

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°°°°° LETTER FROM THE EDITOR °°°°°

Dear Writers,

Happy Holidays!

You're receiving this issue a few days early because I'll
be out of town November 30-December 3.

I want to thank you for your feedback about the
Drexel Online Journal; a market featured in last month's
issue. Several people wrote to me about having a similar
experience regarding the reader e-mail I posted. I did
receive e-mail from writers wanting to share with me
their positive experience with this particular market. I
have never submitted to them, so I'm unable to relate with
you a personal experience. I guess the bottom line is to
use your own judgment when deciding whether to query or
submit to them.

Finally, I'd like to ask you a favor, something that has
nothing to do with writing.

I've recently teamed up with another military wife on a
project to help defray the cost of groceries to military
families living on bases overseas. I would be thrilled if
you would please send me any grocery store coupons that you
are not going to redeem.

Your coupons will be sent to an overseas military base to
help military families. Manufacturers honor coupons
redeemed at overseas military bases up to six months past
the expiration date.

You can send your coupons to:

Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

If you decide you'd like to be a part of this project, I
want to thank you in advance from all the families that
you'll be helping. Please feel free to pass along my
address to any friends, relatives or colleagues that you
think might want to be a part of this program. I can assure
you, addresses are not being collected and they
will not be sold, rented, or given out. I simply want
your coupons.

I want to wish all of you a blessed, healthy and happy
holiday season. Remember, don't forget to relax and
enjoy the festivities!

Warmly,

Kim Wilson

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"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure
is trying to please everybody." ---Bill Cosby

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ARTICLE
·······
"Writers Block or Just Exhaustion?"
by Andrea L. Mack
··························

Over the last two weeks, my writing productivity has
plummeted. I used to crank out an article or query every
weekday, but now I'm lucky if I manage one or two a week.
The reason? It's not writer's block. It's a lack of sleep.

All parents have experienced child-interrupted sleep.
You've just dropped off into dreamland, and suddenly little
feet are tapping on the floor of your room or someone in
the room down the hall is crying. The problem is that with
young children, one night's sleep disturbance easily
becomes an every-night habit. Several nights in a row with
less than an optimal amount of sleep and creativity can
really suffer.

Work-at-home writers already need a huge amount of will
power to keep on track with all the distractions that can
come up. Add to that a groggy mind and you are left sitting
in front of your computer, staring at words that don't seem
to mesh. How can you tame fatigue-induced inertia?

* Pick the Right Time

If you're short on sleep to begin with, don't pick your
snooziest time of day to begin writing. When I'm really
tired, I don't even bother trying to grab that extra hour
after the kids are in bed. Nothing productive happens, and
I'm just contributing to the fatigue. Far better to get
some rest and tackle it the next day, hopefully after some
sleep.

* Set Small Goals

When you're sleep deprived, even something simple like
reading e-mail messages can seem overwhelming. Intensive
projects, like writing a draft of a feature article or the
next chapter in your novel, require too much energy to
think about, let alone work on. Try giving yourself a small
assignment--a short poem, a magazine filler, or even a
descriptive paragraph that you can use later. If you have a
deadline to meet for a larger project, break it into small
chunks. Small goals seem more do-able when your brain is
only half-awake, and you'll have a better shot at actually
finishing something. Plus, if you do manage to accomplish
something, the energy rush you get might inspire you to go
on to greater things.

* Do Research

Take a break from writing. All kinds of writing-related
tasks steal time away from writing. If your mind isn't
alert enough for productive writing, you don't need to
waste the time you've set aside. Use the Internet to dig
up some material to support the points you were planning
to make in an article, or look up the background facts you
need for the story you're writing. Another productive thing
you can do when you're not able to focus on writing is to
research potential markets. Your story may not get finished
today, but when it is finished, you'll know where to submit
it.

* Edit, But Don't Revise

If it doesn't put you to sleep, checking minor grammar,
spelling and word usage in a piece of writing that you're
almost ready to send out can be a good way to use down
time. Just keep your changes minor. If you're feeling too
weary to write, it probably isn't the time to tackle major
revisions like introducing a new subplot or changing the
slant of your lead paragraph. If you do end up finishing
some editing, don't rush to send off your work to a
publisher. A tired mind can overlook small details (the
spelling of the editor's name) that are obvious when you're
rested.

Whatever you do, don't read over work you've submitted or
published.

When you're already feeling less than inspired, reading
over perfectly polished work can just make you feel worse.
Whatever you manage to write when you're exhausted isn't
going to be as good. Reading good stuff first gives you an
impossible standard to reach--and you might just give up
before you've started.

If all else fails, use your writing time to read and relax.
After all, reading other people's writing can only help
yours. And, {yawn} if you happen to fall asleep? Let
yourself nap. A well-rested writer might accomplish more in
half an hour than a sleep-deprived one does in two.

***********************************************************

Andrea L. Mack is a freelance writer/researcher and the
mother of two avid readers. Her areas of expertise include
writing, child development, parenting, literacy and
gardening. She also writes fiction and nonfiction for
children.

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°°°°° WRITE FROM HOME SITE UPDATES °°°°°
http://www.writefromhome.com

==>>"Life of a Writer Mom" Column by Carla Charter
This month read "Fanning the Spark" at
http://www.writefromhome.com/LWM/283.htm

==>>Articles Added to Write From Home

Direct links to these articles can be found at
http://www.writefromhome.com

* "The Niggling Voice"
by Lori Alexander

* "Sit Back, Relax and Learn!"
by Heidi Hoff

* "Christmas Fitness"
by Jason Meuschke

* "10 Dumb Things Writers Do To Get More Rejections"
by Emily Bridges

* "Writing for the Web"
by Hasmita Chander

* "Writer Wanted"
by Kristin Espinasse

* "10 Writing Helpers"
by Sharon Wren

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COLUMN-----> REGIONAL REVIEWS
by Hilary Evans

...................................


Regionals will always be fun to write for. Not just
because of the variety, but because of the curve balls. You
heard me right. Quirks. Regional parenting magazines do
some things that you just don't hear about with other
markets. It doesn't make the editors any less professional.
If anything, these oddities add to the niche's personality.

A few weeks ago I got a quick note from the editor of a
very well-put-together publication. She wanted to use my
story, and wanted to know if it was still available. I said,
"yes," she said, "great," and it was printed...the very
next day! After I e-mailed her though, I had to wonder; Had
she written me about it earlier, and never gotten a
response? And truthfully, yes, I was wondering if she'd
remember to pay me on time...what a silly worry. In a week
I received my check, AND a copy of the magazine. In fact,
it's one of my favorite clips.

Northwest Baby & Child
http://www.nwbaby.com/
15417 204th Avenue SE
Renton, WA 98059
Phone: 425-235-6826
Fax: 425-228-2503
E-mailto:editor@nwbaby.com

Northwest Baby & Child is a newsprint publication put out
by a diapering service! It's such a unique concept, and
it's really working. The magazine is nearly as beautiful
as their Web site.

Writer's guidelines and an editorial calendar can be found
online. Writers who submit their work are offering both
one-time print and electronic rights. The editor, Betty
Freeman, is especially nice to work with. If you have a
problem with your article appearing on the Web site, you
are encouraged to send a notice when you submit your
manuscript.

Like most RPPs, Northwest Baby & Child accepts electronic
submissions with the text pasted into the body of the
e-mail. You may also fax articles to them, which sets them
apart from other mags. Manuscripts should include your
name, address, phone number, and e-mail address on each
page.

"Photos must be at least 3 inches by 5 inches," state the
guidelines. "Photos can be sent via e-mail as well, in
TIFF or PDF formats." Note, this is one of the few
magazines that also takes poetry.

While payment is on the better side of modest, $10-40
depending on length and depth of research, the quality of
the publication makes writing for Northwest Baby & Child a
wonderful experience. You may also rest assured that even
when accepted at the last minute, your clip and payment
will arrive in a timely manner.

Western New York Family Magazine
http://www.wnyfamilymagazine.com/
3147 Delaware Ave, Suite B
Buffalo, NY 14217
Phone: 716-836-3486
Fax: 716-836-3680
E-mailto:wnyfamily@aol.com

"If your unsolicited article is used, you won't necessarily
be notified in advance. You will receive a check and a copy
of the issue in which it appears," states the guidelines
for Western New York Family. Unfortunately, this is an
unwritten policy for some regional parenting magazines.

This can cause problems for both writer and magazine when
the same article is sent to more than one market. Problems
can be avoided, however, by paying attention to who you
are submitting to. Stay away from magazines in the same
region, and wait a reasonable amount of time before
submitting it to the competition.

I've been encouraged to add a time clause to cover letters.
Something reading along the lines of, "After four months
I'll assume this article did not meet your editorial
needs." However, there are mixed opinions on those kind of
comments. My advice would be to call the magazine, and
find out how they prefer simultaneous submissions be
handled. According to Western New York Family, they have
no direct competition at this time, so exclusivity won't
be a problem.

The editor, Michele Miller, keeps an extensive set of
guidelines on the Web site. Manuscripts are preferred over
queries. They accept manuscripts in Microsoft Word on
disk (first choice-Macintosh), pasted into the body of
e-mails and by snail mail. Include name, address, e-mail
address, phone number, social security number, word count,
and short bio. Include a SASP (self-addressed, stamped
postcard) and be prepared to wait up to 18 months for an
answer. Although, it is worth it.

The rates for Western New York Family go from moderate to
good; $25-150 depending on length and research going into a
piece. Rates are always less for reprints, so make sure
you label exclusive submissions as such. Local writers are
given preference, and local tie-ins are especially
important, but evergreen pieces are also needed.

"RPP editors never know till close to deadline how much
space they will have since it all depends on ad sales.
Things are cut or added at the last minute all the time,"
says Brette McWhorter Sember, author of "Successful Selling
to Regional Parenting Publications." So you see, there is a
method to this madness. Regional Parenting Magazines are in
a class all their own, a "niche" with needs and
expectations separate them from other markets. Sometimes
surprising, sometimes confusing, but the variety is always
entertaining.

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Hilary Evans is the mother of three children, and lives
with her family in Fort Dodge, IA. Her work has appeared in
several regional parenting magazines both online and in
print.

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ATTENTION AUTHORS OF WRITING RELATED BOOKS!

If you'd like your book considered for the "Featured Book of
the Month" at Write From Home please send a review copy or
galley to:

Book Reviews
Write From Home
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610

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ARTICLE
·······
"Writing From the Heart...Your Kids Heart"
by Kathryn Lay
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Whether you want to write FOR kids or about them, sometimes
the most difficult part of it all is getting into their
head and getting it down realistically on paper. Dialogue,
scene, situation, plot, interest...kids can give up on a
short story or book before you can say 'zit.' And all these
elements that make a good adult story good is the same ones
kids need, except with a much smaller word count.

Do you want to write for the juvenile market? Do you wonder
what is popular, 'with it,' or cool?

You don't have to go far to find out. Your kids have all
the answers. My daughter often tells me that she should be
getting my writing checks, since she inspires me so much of
the time.

It isn't difficult to begin learning about kids for your
stories. Begin a notebook of questions and find the answers.

1. What do your kids say? How do they say it? Capture their
dialogue, their body language, and their banter back and
forth. Watch out for slang though, it is easily outdated.
Listen for unusual slang that isn't 'in,' but perhaps your
child's own idea; it may be a good character tag.

2. What do they do? What are your children's interests and
hobbies? Make a list of theirs and their friends. Ask them
if they have any friends who do anything unusual. Do they
know a kid in school who is the youngest magician champion?
Or someone who volunteers at the zoo and cares for baby
birds? Plots and subplots can come from hobbies and
activities.

3. Where do they go? Do they enjoy the park, the pool, the
corner pizza place? Are they in the Scouts and go on
exciting backpacking trips? What are some of the vacations
you've had as a family? Ask your kids to tell you places
that are memorable, odd, exciting, or creepy. Write down
what their feelings are about the places, what are the
senses they remember, and do they think other kids would
enjoy it?

4. What do they like or hate? What are they afraid of?
What makes them squeamish? Kids' fears can be put into a
story and given a solution that helps the reader who has
the same fear. You can take a fear and solve it in a new
and creative way, such as my story coming out in Spider
about a boy afraid of the dark and finds a creative way to
survive a hike through a cave.

5. What hurts their feelings? Being called names or teased
about something? Being ignored by friends? Left out of
activities or chosen last for a sports team? You're not
trying to 'use' your children's pain. But as you are
reminded about children's problems, you can write
stories that will help those going through them to see they
aren't alone, and hopefully for the ones causing the
problems to see the other side.

6. What do they watch on television? Do they prefer
cartoons or more realistic shows? Do they like humor,
fantasy, action, or animal shows? Take a poll of them and
their friends to get an idea of what's popular. For novels,
changes can outdate your book. But a short story that will
be published in a few months can include a kid watching a
popular show.

7. What about music?

8. What makes girls squeal and boys laugh? A toad hidden in
someone's burger? What about the things that make girls
excited and boys groan? Makeup, cute boy bands, etc.

9. What do they call their pets? Make a list of fun pet
names. Ask them what their friends have named their pets.
Ask them what the most unusual pet someone they know has?
What do they wish they could own. Let it be fantastical.
It could make for a great story.

10. How do they treat and react to their siblings? You may
be used to the friendships and fights, but really pay
attention and watch how they interact. What irritates them
about their siblings? What have they done that is extremely
kind and loving? Not only might you have ideas for kids
stories, but think of the essay possibilities for Chicken
Soup and other such books.

Once you've really gotten into your own children's world,
find ways to watch children in groups. Spend an afternoon
visiting your child's classroom or doing story time at a
library or bookstore. Go where kids hang out and study
them. Branch out. Watch the paper for kids doing
amazing things.

Then, you can find the child you once were. Look through
old diaries or journals if you have them. Some problems
are universal and timeless. Remember your own joys and
fears, friendships found and lost, hopes and silly times.

Before long, you'll have more ideas than you can write.
And, your writing will be realistic and believable to your
audience.


***********************************************************

Kathryn Lay has sold over 700 articles, stories, and
essays for children and adults to Woman's Day, Cricket,
Boys' Life, U.S. Kids, Guideposts, The Writer and
hundreds more. Her Web site is at
http://hometown.aol.com/rlay15/index.html. You may write
her at mailto:rlay15@aol.com

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SUCCESS SPOTLIGHT

Share your success with others. Regardless of how big or
small, I want to know about your accomplishments. If you
sell an article, receive a book contract, or met a writing
goal send the information to
e-mailto:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com with the subject
'success spotlight' and I'll print your news item in the
next issue. (Hint: this a great area to do a little
shameless self promotion.)

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ARTICLE
·······
"From Small Favors to Big Problems"
by Hilary Evans
··························

Working at home can be isolating, especially for people who
are at home for the first time. It's tempting to fill your
time helping, and reconnecting with your friends, but be
careful. At-homers can quickly turn into full-time
volunteers.

* Setting a Schedule

We had several weeks, err months, okay, a year or two where
my schedule was nonexistent. I worked when I felt like it.
I teetered between brushing off assignments and making them
my central focus. My attitude toward working at home
wasn't, well, working. I had to find specific times to
concentrate on writing that also allowed me to be an
effective mother. Once I found them, I wasn't letting go.

Thankfully we all have room in our busy
mom-wife-doctor-goddess lives for personal time. Writing is
just that -- time for you to concentrate on making money
through your craft. We could be flipping burgers to bring
in the dough, but mastering the words that dash in and out
of our heads all day is fulfilling in many ways. It's
necessary, and not just because it takes care of finances.
That is reason number one why our work must be a priority.
The second reason is because we need to pay our bills, and
this is the job we have at this given moment.

It's okay if you are just diving in after dipping your feet
in the pond for awhile. When a friend calls or stops by,
tell them you've "revised your schedule." Words like
"revise" sound so business-y. You can also say things like,
"I'll have to check my work calendar," or "Can I call you
back? I'm in the middle of an article."

The point isn't sounding like a big shot, or making your
friends feel alienated. It's creating an atmosphere that
you are serious about your goals. Saying it is not enough.
You believe in yourself, so stand behind your intentions
and focus! Work during your working hours, play during your
playing hours, and don't let friends lure you away.

* Handling Emergencies

Of course, it isn't just fun time that drags you away from
work. Your family, and friends, will find a million things
that no one else but you can do the second your schedule
isn't set in stone. Are you the sole soul with the
knowledge of opening the mustard jar? Does your way with
sick children make you the back-up sitter of choice? If you
aren't careful, these types of things will slowly fill up
your days.

Fellow writer, Bea Sheftel, found that her good friend
expected her to be available any time. Finally, Bea
stated, "I told her frankly I can't go out during the week
because I'm behind schedule in my writing. So far she has
understood and lets me tell her when I'm free."

This isn't to say friends never have emergencies. When I
broke my foot, I honestly needed my husband to come home
and take me to the doctor. That is an emergency. Not
wanting to drive to the grocery store for food coloring is
not. Trust your instincts, and follow your heart. Don't be
afraid to lend a hand when it really is necessary, but when
people interrupt your private writing time to do something
they can do themselves you absolutely must say no. If you
have trouble figuring out when to say yes, or when to say
no, ask yourself this: "Would my friends call me for this
if I worked for someone else."

* How To Avoid Getting Angry

When our friends and family take our time for granted, or
worse, don't take our writing seriously, it's easy to get
hurt and lash out. Starting your business out on the right
foot will prevent some bad attitudes from forming, but
nothing gets through to some people.

Writer, Apryl Chapman Thomas, met with abrasive comments
from her family. Upon hearing that she worked at home, her
cousin commented, "You went to college and now you stay at
home; wasn't it a waste of time?" Regardless of the
paycheck you bring home, how many people you support or the
brilliance of your credits, some people will always see
being at home as a sign of waste. You have to let it roll
off your back. As for the others in your life, take actions
to stop those ideas before they start.

"I am a work-at-home mom. I think up front that I have made
it perfectly clear that I don't have too much free time; no
one has really ever taken advantage," says Apryl
confidently. Obviously the bad attitude of a few people
haven't had an effect on this writer's determination. Her
self confidence has gotten the point across that her time
to work is important.

At first a new schedule, and the fact that we have
dedicated time set aside for family, friends, crafts,
taxes, whatever is very exciting. It's almost like a real
business! It reminds me of playing school when we were
little, dictating to row after row of raptly attentive
pupils, and reviving "the paddle" as the classroom
punishment of choice.

Only, this isn't make believe. We are serious, capable
writers with schedules. We can't stop in the middle of the
game and switch to hopscotch, or basketball, or even
bicycling. If we truly want to be professional writers, we
must stay on target during our working hours.

There are times when our friends do need our help, and
being there for them is definitely one benefit of being
home. It is not, however, the purpose behind cramping into
the corner of the living room or organizing everything out
in the shed to scribble our thoughts, our lives, onto page
after page.

Writing for a living is fulfilling a commitment to
ourselves, and selling that writing provides income for our
families. We can keep our dreams alive by keeping our goals
in mind, and keep our friends by showing them our work is a
priority.


***********************************************************

Hilary Evans is the mother of three children, and lives
with her family in Fort Dodge, IA. Her work has appeared in
several regional parenting magazines both online and in
print.

===========================================================

Obadiah 2002 Writers’ Contest

Write a 1,000 to 2,000 word original article or essay based
on the theme "Faith" and you could win $5000*. To learn more
visit http://obadiahpress.com/contest_writers_2002.htm and
enter before December 31, 2002!

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PAYING MARKETS

ATTENTION PUBLISHERS! If you are a paying market send your
guidelines to mailto:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com and
they'll be printed in this publication.

===========================================================

Reminder About Paying Markets:

Make sure and read the complete writer's guidelines by
either visiting the Web site or requesting them via e-mail
or postal mail.

You'll notice I usually don't publish the editor's name
with a listing. Because editorial positions frequently
change it's in your best interest to visit the Web site or
contact the publication prior to querying or submitting and
request the name of the current editor. (I'd hate to supply
you with a name, only for you to submit to the wrong
editor.)

-----------------------------------------------------------

Coast To Coast
http://www.rv.net

2575 Vista del Mar Dr.
Ventura, CA 93001

Membership magazine for RV resorts across North America.
Focused on travel and outdoor recreation.

Seeks: Essays, destination features, activity & recreation
features and RV lifestyle features.

Pays on acceptance $300-600 for articles & essays between
1,200-3,500 words. Buys FNSR. Accepts e-queries and
unsolicited manuscripts.

Request complete guidelines by writing to the above listed
address. Be sure to include an SASE.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Pizza Today
http://www.pizzatoday.com

P.O. Box 1347
New Albany, IN 47151
Emailto:jwhite@pizzatoday

Publication focused on the business aspects of owning a
pizza parlor.

Seeks articles about food preparation, marketing,
management and training employees.

Pays on acceptance 50 cents/word for articles between
500-1,500 words.

Prefers queries versus completed manuscript. Accepts
queries by e-mail, fax or postal mail.

-----------------------------------------------------------

The New York Times Upfront
http://www.upfrontmagazine.com

557 Broadway
New York, NY 10012-3999
E-mailto:pyoung@scholastic.com

Biweekly news publication for teens.

Seeks news articles of interest to teens.

Pays on acceptance $150 and up for articles between
500-1,500 words.

Prefers queries over completed manuscripts.


-----------------------------------------------------------

inMotion
Amputee Coalition of America
http://www.amputee-coalition.org

900 E. Hill Ave., Suite 285
Knoxville, TN 37915

Bimonthly magazine covering topics of interest for
amputees.

Seeks articles on new technology and inspirational
profiles.

Pays on publication 25 cents/word for articles up to
3,000 words.

-----------------------------------------------------------

True Story Online
http://www.truestorymail.com/true_guides.shtml

233 Park Avenue South
6th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Publishes true life stories about romance, parenthood,
relationships, career and family.

Pays on publication 5 cents/word for stories between
2,000-10,000 words. Buys all world rights.

Only considers stories on spec sent via postal mail. See
required format at the link listed above.


===========================================================

°°°°° CLASSIFIEDS °°°°°

Cornerstone Consortium and One Month Intensive Creative
Writing workshops is pleased to announce the launch of our
new free opt-in only biweekly e-zine, "Write Angles" that
debuted on January 7th, 2002. "Write Angles" is an e-zine
devoted to all kinds of writers, by writers, for writers,
with a zero irrelevant content policy. No more ads for
pantyhose, trash cans, or shoe organization systems in a
writer's newsletter. Something for everyone, including
"Find the Typo" Contest, sections on product reviews for
writers, recommendations on writing equipment and software
top ten lists, article sections specifically for fiction
writers, nonfiction writers, authors, newbies and
Webmasters, Write Recipes: A Writer food section, Right
brain/Left Brain writing, links, and so much more.

"Write Angles", the Zero BS newsletter for Writers.
subscribe by sending any e-mail to:
Mailto:subscriptions@cornerstoneconsortium.com

-----------------------------------------------------------

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BellaOnline's Writing Zine
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visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bellaonlinewriting

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Thank you for reading this issue of Busy Freelancer. C-ya
next month and remember:
"Take action and make no excuses!"---Kim Wilson

Copyright (c) 2002, Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services
All Rights Reserved.

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To contact Kim Wilson:

send e-mailto:busyfreelancer@writefromhome.com

Busy Freelancer
Kim Wilson
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610
Phone: 609-888-1683
Fax: 609-888-1672

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Copyright © 2001-2013 Kim Wilson/Kim Wilson Creative Services.