Friday, July 13, 2018

Internet Writing Workshop

The Internet Writing Workshop ( ) has monitored critique groups for fiction, nonfiction, novels, romance, short prose, poetry, scriptwriting, and practice writing.

Each has small participation requirements, but the assistance and comradery are invaluable to writers at every level of development or success. IWW also has groups discussing the art and craft of writing in general, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and marketing. IWW membership is free.

To read about members' successes and learn about markets, check out 's IWWblogspot:


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chapter 1 - Ideas and basic information

*NOTE: All the material in this course is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.
Chapter 1 - Ideas and basic information
Week one supplies a lot of basic information.
  • Don't be overwhelmed! Relax.
  • Explore at your leisure. Don't try to absorb it all at once.
  • I suggest you plan on three hours to skim week one, click into the websites, take a quick peek, and close out of them.
TIP: You may want to bookmark websites you feel will be pertinent to your goals.Later, as your hunger for knowledge needs to be fed, return and spend the amount of time you have available.
  • Pace the course to meet your needs!
  • Don't crowd yourself. Take your time.
  • If you wish, create a computer file and store the posts where you'll easily be able to return, again and again to resources that interest you.
  • TIP: A word search can bring up the chapter you're looking for.
Must Reads!
Surf-Safety checklist is a must. You'll find a multitude of good advice at Community Learning Network: (Fast link to safe-surfing information:

Media Awareness Network at provides Web literacy resources. Select your language to enter. *Be sure to read and adhere to the copyright citation at the bottom of the page.

Pages recommended for study include:
Special Initiative; read WebAware.
Media News. Media ownership, etc.
Learn things that affect where you may want to sell your writing.

Where do ideas come from?
Ideas surround you! The lifestyle you've chosen provides you with unique opportunities that you can write about for people who want to read about them.

List everything you've ever done, list every topic you know anything about, jot down ideas about people you know who are doing things that interest you (or them). Make contact with as wide a variety of people as you can.

Mridu Khullar, a graduated student of this course, is a writer you may come across more than once in your studies. When granting me permission to include her in my course she wrote, "I have a blog and a whole section dedicated to writers on my website as well."

Check out the resources Mridu so generously provides. Visit often at: Check out For Writers link, and don't miss her article, "Why the Editor is Not the Enemy," online at The e-Writer's Place:

Where You Generate ideas Matters
First, use APB Speakers Bureau website as a resource to spark ideas:

Create an Idea Calendar where you'll keep the ideas you generate while browsing the speakers.

Double click a speaker's photo to bring up their profile. Scroll down to see a list of topics, and a wealth of information that will spark ideas for you.

What does your mind conjure when you're reading them? Think out of the box.

Read what speakers speak about, where and how to find them, and get ideas for your own articles\speaking engagements  here,

This is also a fine resource to visit when you're writing an article for publication in a bonafide medium (on spec or assignment.)
*Do check their engagements and fees links.
*Do not contact the guests before a magazine has assigned your article. 
You'll find plenty of variety.
Start with an idea.Make a note of it, or a few pages of notes.
  1. File it in a folder labeled, Idea Folder.
  2. Put it away and jot your next idea note on a separate paper.
  3. File it in your Idea Folder.
  4. Continue to jot down and file ideas as they come to you.
TIP: Use a titled contest/or categories for this assignment and double the use of your time.
  • Select one idea from your Idea Folder.
  • Brainstorm and topic spoke the idea. (*See Topic Spoke handout.)
  • Consult a Writer's Market, new or old - it doesn't matter much at this point.
  • What you're looking for are categories.
You might also browse other market directories such as Working Press of the Nation, Religious Writer's Marketplace, Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, etc. Most are available at the reference desk of libraries.

OLD MAGAZINES-NEWSPAPERS - is an excellent resource to research past publications.

There's no need to ever be at a loss for ideas.
However, since is no longer available from, I'm not sure how long that page will remain accessible. Search the magazines you're interested in now, and compile your own list of magazines and URLs.

The Write Market hosts a guidelines database:, The Internet Directory of Publications (SM) lets you search over 150,000 publications on hundreds of topics from small business to cardiology. Research publishers, order subscriptions, and purchase articles:

That site may still be undergoing reconstruction when I post this, but use the tabs at the top and you'll find plenty of help, and don't skip About Us. Learn about publishers here:

If you type 'associations' into the search, you'll get a list of books available. You can learn a good deal just by reading about a book, who the publisher is, who is associated with it, etc. Try the same thing by typing 'directories' into the search. Go exploring, and let your imagination have free play.
Read the Table Of Contents of all available directories.
From your brainstorming:
  1. Make a list of the categories to target.
  2. List twenty (or more) potential markets for your idea.
TIP: *See Topic Spoke handout. As you topic spoke your idea, decide on THEME, SLANT, STYLE .
Make notes on all magazines that might be interested in your idea -- with the right slant and theme focus.

Obtain writers guidelines for each of those magazines (usually online, or available via brief e-mail request.) Search out back issues (preferably the 12 most recent issues.) Many magazines have archives online where you can STUDY and learn what interests the editor, from what they've published.

Starting Point is an excellent place to begin: The Directory brings a tremendous source with links to magazines to read. Also, type magazines guidelines into the search box, and then keep scrolling to the bottom of each subsequent page. Click the last number there to get SEVENTY FIVE pages of links to magazine guidelines.

Then --
  1. Review your idea notes.
  2. Make an outline. Write a draft and then polish it.
  3. Draft a query letter, and offer to HELP the editor's readers ENJOY learning about your topic. Make use of the publications style and jargon, and include tempting details that 'show' the editor she'll be getting what her readers want.
Wait, and wait, don't become impatient. Guidelines tell you that average response time to queries is anywhere from 3-6 months. Meanwhile, continue to write while you're waiting!!
Compare and ANALYZE the replies you receive to become familiar with what individual editors DO or DO NOT want. This is an important step. You can descern a lot from a rejection. Be sure to acknowledge a rejection that isn't just a form. Reply with a BRIEF thanks for the editor's consideration. If you have another article idea worked up, use this opportunity to ask if your idea might interest the editor.

File query rejections in the folder you began for your idea.
Do any necessary research and interviews.
Access a library database from your desktop computer, and if possible print out a whole bibliography on whatever subject is required.

Begin drafting stories for editors who ask to see your article 'on speculation.' Refer often to the magazine back issues to keep yourself on track.


Send your perfected manuscript to the editor who asked to see it.

When rejections arrive, immediately send the manuscript to the next editor on your list. Repeat as necessary until you make a sale!


See salaries and statistics in media jobs at JobSmart:

At FolioMag:, type the word salaries into the home page search space.

Finally, learn all you can at The Wall Street Career Journal,

EXERCISE 1: Start an idea file
EXERCISE 2: Study markets & get writers guidelines
EXERCISE 3: UseTopic Spoke handout; pick one story idea and find 20 markets for it
EXERCISE 4: Find & target twenty markets
EXERCISE 5: Write query letters
EXERCISE 6: Send requested articles

Next: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - Careers and Markets

*NOTE: The following material is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.
Chapter 2 -- Careers and Markets

Sometimes, beginning writers have a difficult time deciding where their writing interests lie. Writing a variety of things and experimenting with different styles can help you discover what you're comfortable with writing., provides concise description of writing positions. Before you start exploring the this well organized blog, a classic example with an exceptional, precisely indexed, collection of excellent articles and links of interest to writers, click About John Hewitt and read about this remarkable man. At the bottom, hover your mouse over the icons to note his networking techniques, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click Home to return to PoeWar and the main categories at the top of this terrific resource. Study and learn from articles at Poewar Main, Poewar Jobs, and Jobs Archive.

Get more magazines and study them.

While studying, make notes in your idea journal, and keep this important fact in mind: The magazine closing date is an important date.

Advertising is locked in, and stories are decided on and assigned in staff meetings by this closing date.

Final manuscripts for assigned stories have to be in by the 'due date.'

Knowing these dates will help you select the best time to send your query. Target a certain issue (month published) and query several weeks BEFORE the closing date for that month's issue -- but not right on the closing date for the previous issue -- things get pretty hectic in the office on closing dates.
Issue closing dates:
  • Jan/Feb 2010 issue closes November 10 (copy due by November 30 2009)
  • March/April 2010 issue closes January 1 (copy due by January 30, 2010)
  • May/June 2010 issue closes March 1 (copy due by March 30, 2010)
  • July/August 2010 issue closes May 1 (copy due by May 30, 2010)
  • Sept/Oct 2010 issue closes July 1 (copy due by July 30, 2010)
  • Nov/Dec 2010 closes September 1 (copy due by September 30, 2010)
Getting magazines for study
You MUST get magazines to study, and the more most recent back issues you study the better you'll understand your target market. Libraries have back issues. ask friends to save magazines for you, and ask doctors and dentists offices to save back issues for you.

You can also read some stories from back issues of magazines online. However, this does not let you study the entire magazine so you can't analyze the market properly.

The main reasons for going online and searching for magazines are:
  • You can do it by tapping your computer keypad
  • You find and read an amazing number and variety of magazine features online
  • There are searchable lists for hundreds of names and address of publications
Before you begin searching online, read the handout "Using A Web Page."

You will need to sign in to browse around. Fill in name, etc., and check Publisher in list. When you're signed in, type your subject in the search box. You'll get a list of publications. Along with publication details, you'll find addresses for requesting sample copies, too.

When searching, be specific. For example, dolls returned seven magazines, but doll returned twenty two publications! Let your imagination help you find what interests you.

You'll find magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and more at The American Journalism Review site,

For news and columns from American Journalism Review magazine and other online features visit: Find guidelines by scrolling in the left hand column.

The link to Magazines lets you also get to the real magazines, where you can study publications:

Excellent trade magazines site: These magazines are offered to trade professionals that are currently active in their industry. You can use the magazines for education but you must fill the forms out for each subscription. When subscribing, be professional and tell the publisher why you're subscribing.

ipl2 is the result of a merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII). Begin here:

Search "magazines" to get here: Browse the many categories within categories. Follow the same steps for newspapers,

Guidelines for many magazines are at Writer'sDigest: Hover your mouse over Get Published to locate the drop down line where you can click Hot Markets and get The Writer's Digest Top 100. Each magazine title you click will take you to that magazine's 'writers guidelines.'

Explore, explore, explore. Find and read (online or in libraries, doctor's offices, anywhere) as many magazines as you can, until you get a clear understanding of the definitive differences of each magazine.

Starting Point (TM),, is a tremendous source with links to magazines to read (Click Directory.) It's one of the best databases to search any topic and the magazines catering to it. It's very good place to start when you're studying magazine content -- both ezines & print magazines are listed. Read the magazine reviews to get inside the magazine's readers minds.

You can also contact magazines' advertising departments and ask them to send you their media kit (and your editor will never have to know.) Study the media kit to learn even more about the behind the scenes operation of magazines. If all other resources fail, buy sample issues from magazines at your supermarket.

Databases of magazines 
Guidelines for many magazines are linked at the following databases:

Always thoroughly surf websites! You just never know what goodies you'll find.

Where to read magazines online
Many magazines have indexes, where you can read published stories to get an idea of what the editor wants, see how a magazine focus changes over several years, and what topics have been published. Many magazines offer free trials. It's fine to order magazines, but don't feel obligated to subscribe. Unless you are truly interested, and want the subscription, *immediately write cancel on the statement when it arrives and drop it back into the mail the same day, or very soon afterwards., also has search options. When a magazine's website link failed, I copied the magazine title into and selected from the resulting list of websites. Always include the word magazine in your search. Ie: [magazine title] magazine.

Locating archives
While you're reading magazines online, also click the link to the magazine's archives. You'll be able to read published stories that are often categorized by month or year. Sometimes you'll find an alphabetized listing of archived articles.

Archives are very useful for discovering what type of story the magazine leans towards. Also, be sure to search back to see if the same topic is covered periodically. When you discover that, it's an opportunity for you to target the magazine with an article on previously covered topics ~~ at a later date!

Disney's,, is a terrific location to search for places to go & things to do that you can write about. Use the search engine at the top, typing 'magazine'. Explore, explore, explore! Let your imagination wander. Jot down ideas! us a good site to find lnks to 1000 online magazines to study: is a top Meta Search Engine, found at: Visit this excellent site, learn about it, and use it to search for "magazines" and other topics to benefit your writing career. Ie: query letters, writers guidelines, agents, publishers, grammar, etc.

Moria Allen's Website for writers, is another of the best you'll find free online. It also offers many links to various other markets and writers' sites. Explore it yourself at,

Photographs and Writing
Apogee Photo...The Internet's Photography Magazine,, is a free online magazine designed to inform and entertain photographers of all ages and levels. At Apogee Photo… learn all about marketing photos. Be sure to read Kimberly Baldwin Radford's article, "Write Way to Sell Photos," which includes eighteen links to help with every facet of the writing process:

At Writer', locate Joan Airey's article, Your Freelance Income Through Stock Photography, in WW archives. If that search returns a 'cannot be found' error, type Joan Airey into and go the the website returned for, Increase Your Freelance Income Through Stock Photography By Joan Airey.

Model releases
At, you'll get an error message but you can find examples of Model releases by typing model release into the search box:

Sell your writing overseas
To learn the aspects of international marketing for writers, International writer and marketer Mike Sedge reveals the secrets of success in overseas writers' markets in his course. Serious writers often enroll in online courses (most are fee based, but some good ones are free.) Do a thorough research and you can learn a lot on your own: international marketing.

Remember to read carefully at any website. Some have content only available to paid subscribers. Keep searching and you'll find the good freebie listings.

Handout -- Electronic Publishing

Electronic Publishing
(c) 2010 by Mona Vanek

Electronic submission requirements differ with each e-zine, but a few general rules (and some experience) will help you master writing for them. Get e-zine guides, or query the editor of an e-zine, electronically.

Go to the magazine's website online and read the magazine. Read the archived (back) issues, too. Save a few into your word processor to dissect and study. Run your grammar check and word count on them. Use Find function to search out repeated words and buzz words -- those colorful ones editors love.

If the magazine's website doesn't offer writers guidelines, find the editor's e-mail address (on the e-zine site) and send an e-mail asking for guidelines. By following them to the letter you'll learn how the editor wants your story submitted.

For example,'s writers guidelines -- study them here:
You can locate other e-zine guidelines using Search e-zine writers guidelines.

Some editors will say what goes in bold, never to use italics, etc. Some want the story sent in the body of a regular e-mail, no italics or bold of any kind. Straight text all the way. Other magazines want the story sent as an RTF attachment to an e-mail. Pay close attention and follow the guidelines to the letter.

Write your e-query letters and e-articles in your word processor where it's easy to edit and polish them until they're impressive.
  • Single space your story, double space between paragraphs.
  • Remember that nothing on the web is underscored except a web link (URL). So those are the only things in your manuscript that should ever be underscored.
Let the editor know you envision certain words emphasized; you can use an asterisk (*) before a word. The editor will decide whether to print it bold or italic. Generally, if it's a title, or something you want underlined, here's one way to show that:
_Kids Master E-Zine Writing Quickly_.
 (*see Chapter 10 to learn more about HTML)

If you are uncertain about how the editor wants your article submitted, e-mail the editor and ask. Editors never mind answering those kinds of questions.

When you're writing your e-query, don't think like a writer; think like an editor. Explain your idea completely, so the editor knows what he or she is getting. As you write your e-query, have a strong visual image in mind of the article already published.
  • What is its title?
  • Does it have a blurb?
  • On the e-zine cover, will there be cover lines announcing its appearance inside?
  • Is a sidebar included at the end?
In general, readers of online e-zines tend to scan while reading so keep to your point, use short sentences, and be brief.

These simple steps will get your writing from your word processor into your e-mail program. (Refer to Control Key Function handout for keyboarding instructions.)
  • Open the file.
  • Save file\SaveAs.
  • In the drop down box that lets you choose how to save your file, select Rich text format (or ASCII text.)
  • Close the file and then reopen it.
  • Use your Right mouse button and choose Copy to save a copy to your clipboard. If you want your work saved in a different format, before closing your word processor file, use SaveAs again and select your usual file style. When it says 'this file exists shall I overwrite it?' Answer Yes. That replaces the .rft file. It's not a bad idea to save both files, so if you want both, answer No to keep both file formats.
  • Next, close your word processor.
  • Open your e-mail program and open a new message.
  • In the body, use Right mouse button to paste your query into the e-mail message.
Address your query to the editor. Before you click Send, read the message carefully. Correct anything that needs it. WYSIWEG! (whatyousee is whateditorgets.)

Tip: Before you click the Send button, to ensure that your face isn't going to be as red as a Valentine Heart, have at least a good outline of the article you plan to write handy.

Faster than you can zip up your backpack, the editor might reply, asking for more information, or maybe even for the whole article if he\she thinks it's already written.

Editors are too busy to fiddle around with half baked cookies. All you'll get is a bad reputation by offering something you can't produce in a timely manner. If your idea is only an idea, say so in your query. If the editor is interested he may ask you to write it, and may even give you tips on what he wants in it.

Your published story will get wide exposure. Other editors may see it and contact you to write for them, too. Sometimes your online story can still be submit elsewhere. Be aware though, publishers that buy your story generally want exclusive 'rights'. Some editors won't let you send it to anyone else for 90 days, others ask for a year. Each one differs, according to their editorial policy.

Writing for e-zines if fun and can be profitable, but *never, ever send off a story that you've had published to another magazine without _first_asking the original publisher for permission!

when permission granted

One of the best ways to learn and grow as a writer is to join Internet Writing Workshop: Access blogspot here,, and check the Internet Resources link to get here,

IWW membership is free. Requirements are simple, straight forward, and adaptable to your schedule. Membership participation networks you with writers in a variety of genres, affords free critiques of your writing, and gives you the opportunity to help and encourage other writers.

Chapter 3 - The e-World and e-Zine Publishing

*NOTE: The following material is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.

Chapter 3 - The e-World and e-Zine Publishing

eNewsletters are one of the best Internet marketing tools available and highly valuable to readers as quick, concise ways to receive information.

A link at top of home page,, brings the Publishers Weekly eNewsletter Subscription Center where you can quickly and easily manage your preferences and settings.

Learning about and finding e-Zines
E-Zines 101:

Search around on, At, click the e-zine that interests you and you'll find address, contacts, guidelines, prices, etc. From here you can view back issues to learn what the magazine publishes, what their readers want.

Online lists
Go to where you can locate groups by searching "e-publishing" , or "e-zines", or any other topic of interest to you.

You can also use to search for "E-zines".

Writing e-queries
When you're writing your e-query, don't think like a writer; think like an editor. Make your idea fully complete. As you write your e-query, have a strong visual image in mind of the article already published.

· What is its title?
· Does it have a blurb?
·  Will there be cover lines on the e-zine cover announcing its appearance inside?
· Is a sidebar included at the end?

In general, readers of online e-zines tend to scan while reading so:

· Keep to your point
· Use short sentences
· Be brief

· EXERCISE 1 -- Study E-zines
· EXERCISE 2 -- Analyze 3 of the target magazines you pick for your idea.

Next: Chapter 4

Grammar Resources

*NOTE: The following material is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.

Grammar Resources
(c) 2010 Mona Leeson Vanek

Where do you go for answers to grammar questions?
The following websites can help:, a grammar forum for the gray areas of the English language offers excellent help,

At you can learn when and when not to use dashes, including the en dash and the em dash. In addition, you'll discover the en dash is about the width of the letter n, and is slightly longer than a hyphen.

By comparison the em dash is the width of the letter m.

A visit to will demystify when and why to use one or the other.

Using your PCs keyboard to form an en dash, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of the keyboard. Then type the second number or word.

Using your PCs keyboard to form an em dash, type the first word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0151 on the numerical pad on the right side of the keyboard. Then type the second word. You can also form an em dash by typing the first word, hitting the hyphen key twice, and then typing the second word. Your word processor program will turn the two hyphens into an em dash.

Also, be sure to visit BLOGGERdotCOM where you'll find Cheatsheet For Bloggers .

Saturday, May 29, 2010


*Please note: All the material in this course is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.

"Access The World And Write Your Way To $$$"
(c) 2010 by Mona Leeson Vanek

Welcome! Designed to study at the pace you set for yourself, twenty one Chapters plus the Advice From The Pros provided by professionals to encourage you to develop your own goals, and the websites, were selected from the best of the best, to help you learn rapidly.

156 chapter topics (alphabetical index):

71 Advice From The Pros (alphabetical index):

Chapters and advice from professional writers contain links that guide you to expert online help to becoming a successful professional writer.

By studying what you need -- when you need it -- you'll achieve your writing goals in record time. Use the indexes to quickly locate free online writing resources.

Don't expect to visit all of the online sites in this course.

The field of writing is vast! It embodies many specialties. This material will lead you to some, but by no means to all, fields of writing. My goal is to help you find the information to help your reach your writing goals. Your responsibility is to study and learn until you achieve your goals.

Read the Content Index and note what interests you. If you wish, click pertinent URLs to bookmark for study later.

The exercises are guidelines to prompt you, and are not meant to be submitted to me. However, if you e-mail me your question, I'll help if I can.

Feel free to save the contents in your computer or on CD, and to print any or all posts for your own use, and please respect all copyrights.

I love hearing about your progress, and getting feedback that lets me know something more could be added to the course.

Because mastering articles is one step that brings a writer closer to writing books, the material focuses most heavily on publishing non-fiction. However, published fiction, as well as published articles builds your reputation and increases your chances of attracting book publishers, or successfully marketing your self-published e-books.

One of the best ways to learn and grow as a writer is to join Internet Writing Workshop:

Access the blogspot here,, and check the Internet Resources link here,

IWW membership is free. Requirements are simple, straight forward, and adaptable to your schedule. Membership participation networks you with writers in a variety of genres, affords free critiques of your writing, and gives you the opportunity to help and encourage other writers.

REQUEST: If links no longer work, please let me know right away. I'll try to find alternative resources.

Thanks ~~ Mona