WeBook – A Possible Opportunity for Unpublished Writers to Get Discovered

First, before I go an inch further, let me say upfront that I have no idea whether WeBook is legitimate or not. All I know is that the concept sounded interesting enough to share with you guys in hopes that maybe one of you has had experience with this writing community. For those who are not familiar with WeBook, let me give you a quick snapshot of what they’re all about.

Apparently WeBook was created for the purpose of discovering unpublished writing talent. The way this is accomplished is through the collective voice of readers. Using a five-point rating system, readers read pages submitted by unpublished writers, and effectively they cast a vote for who they think should advance from round one to round four—literary agent showcase.

In round one, the writer submits the first page of their manuscript, round two the writer submits the first five pages, round three 50 pages, and round four the completed manuscript. Readers read and then rate the writer’s work and based on the ratings the writer advances through the rounds or they are eliminated from the consideration process.

Overall, this sounds like an interesting concept. I’d be curious to know if any writers have been discovered through WeBook. From what I gather, each time a writer’s work is elevated to the next round a literary agent reviews their work. The cost is free for readers, but for writers there is a one-time fee of $9.95 for full-length books. For shorter works the fee is $4.95. The cost doesn’t appear to be outrageous, but then again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Hum…

Related Posts:

NetGalley – Discover, Request, and Review New Books

Helpful Grammar Resources

FictionFinder.com: Finding Christian fiction the easy way

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

2010 ACFW Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana

I’m so bummed that I won’t be able to attend this year’s American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. Last year I had a wonderful time meeting new people and making new friends, and I’ll miss seeing everyone again. While I’m disappointed that I won’t be attending, I’m thrilled for the people who will have the opportunity to go and enjoy the conference experience.

This year the keynote speaker is Tim Downs, an award-winning author of nonfiction and fiction writing. In addition to a fabulous keynote speaker, the conference will also offer an early bird session that will be taught by James Scott Bell. I’ve had the privilege of hearing James speak on a few occasions and I can tell you this…not only is he a wealth of information, the man is hilariously funny as well.

The conference is September 17 – 20 and there is still time to register if you’re interested in going.

Are any of you planning to attend the conference this year? Are you pitching a book idea or completed manuscript?

 

 

Related Posts:

Confessions of a Writers Conference Attendee

How to Prepare For a Writers Conference

ACFW Conference Update

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

A Web Conferencing Solution by Citrix

I haven’t had a need to try gotomeeting.com, but I’ve bookmarked the site so that next time I need to schedule a meeting, training, or webinar with people who are scattered around the city, state, or world, for that matter, I’ll have the means to do so with this easy-to-use solution.

At gotomeeting.com a user can do online demos, collaborate with small groups, present to large groups online, conduct interactive training, post materials, and much more. I think the product is pretty nifty and offers a lot of options for individuals or businesses who need to connect, for whatever reason, with people who are not close by. Here is a demo of the product in case you’re wondering how gotomeeting.com actually works.

 

 

Have you ever held a webinar or had the occasion to use audio or video conferencing?

 

 

Related Posts:

Social Bookmarking 101

The Vook is Here

Websites with Freelance Writing Jobs

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

Dragon Speech Recognition Software

I heard about Nuance, the makers of Dragon Speech Recognition Software, while listening to a Grammer Girl podcast, and I thought the concept of the product sounded very interesting. While the basic premise of what Dragon software offers is pretty straight forward, the long range benefits and uses for the product are tremendous. Before I get ahead of myself, let me begin by explaining what the product does. In a nutshell, Dragon Speech Recognition Software turns talk into type.

Since most people talk an average of 120 words per minute, but type much slower, an average of 40 words per minute, DSR software offers a fast and convenient method for boosting productivity. Through speech recognition, all a person needs to do is speak to their computer and they’ll be able to completely bypass typing on the keyboard, thereby saving precious time.

Imagine being able to control your PC, create and send email, letters, spreadsheets, etc. all with your voice and without the necessity of typing. How cool would it be to talk to your computer and write your manuscript without having to type it? I wear wrist guards on both hands because of constant wrist pain. I have to say, the notion of being able to give my hands a rest sounds pretty darn appealing.

“With speech recognition software from Nuance Communications, you can turn your voice into text three times faster than most people type. Just start talking, and the software will recognize your voice instantly, delivering up to 99% accuracy as soon as you get started. Accuracy will continually improve the more you use the software.” Nuance.com

Think about it, how much faster and more productive could you be if you could speak commands to your computer or just talk as opposed to typing everything? Just the time factor alone is amazing, not to mention the physical benefits of comfort and pain-free productivity.

Priced at $199, the software is fairly affordable. Although DSR software isn’t in my budget today, I’m definitely going to keep my eye on this product. How about you, do you think you would want voice recoginition software?

 

 

Related Posts:

Barnes and Noble Nook vs. the Amazon Kindle

The Vook is Here

CLASSeminars – Training for Christian Communicators

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

Websites with Freelance Writing Jobs

The strangest thing happened to me this year. After years of writing my novel and making zero dollars from my words, out of the blue, I was hit with this intense desire to actually make money as a writer. Imagine that…I write something, and someone actually pays me money for it. How cool is that? Maybe I need a break from the rejection letters piling up in my office or maybe momma just wants a few new toys—a new Mac computer is at the top of my list—but doggone it I’m going to make money as a writer even if it kills me. So off I went, looking for freelance writing jobs, and hoping to find something that would pay more than pennies.

Wow, what an eye-opener. I was amazed at how many opportunities have the exact same markings as other scams I’ve encountered on the internet. To say, “Writer beware” is an understatement. But on the plus side, there are a few sites that are worth taking a look at, as long as you don’t go in with blinders on.

Suite101.com

DemandStudios.com

Odesk.com

Elance.com

Examiner.com

Hubpages.com

Always remember…if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Related Posts:

Internet Fraud – Beware of Online Scams

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Online Free Royalty Free Images

[tweetmeme source=”your_twitter_name”]

I recently discovered several online websites with thousands of high quality free images. Since I know many of you reading this blog are fellow bloggers like me, I thought I’d pass along these helpful resources. As with all things, make sure to read the fine print. While free images are available on these sites, the photographers often request photo credit for the original creation, as well as, other terms for usage.

stock.xchng.com – A leading free stock photo site ( over 390,000 photos online)

FreeStockPhotos.com – Free photography for personal and some commercial use

morgueFile.com – Public image archive

Image*After – A directory of free high resolution images

Free Range Stock – Free images for commercial and personal projects

ImageBase – Searchable, high resolution, free images

Pixel Perfect Digital – Free stock photography

Photo Rack – Free stock photos

Free Digital Photos – Thousands of royalty free photos and illustrations

FreePhotosBank – Free stock photos

 

If you have a favorite website for finding free images that I’ve not included on this list, please be sure to tell us about it.

 

 

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

 

 

Related Posts:

Helpful Grammar Resources

Typing – How to Eliminate Mistakes

How to Prepare of a Writers Conference

 

Creating a Writer’s Resume by Moira Allen

Moira Allen is the editor of Writing-World.com (http://www.writing-world.com) and the author of more than 300 published articles. Her books on writing include Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer and The Writer’s Guide to Queries, Pitches and Proposals.

  

Do you know what a writer’s resume looks like? I have a “regular” full-time job but also work as a freelance writer from home. Recently I saw two ads for writing jobs, requiring a resume along with clips and a query letter. Should I include only my writing credits and education? Or should I include my whole employment history even though many of those jobs had nothing to do with writing?

Here’s a dilemma freelance writers often face: How do you go about getting a “day job” in the writing or publishing business? If you’re a freelancer, chances are that (a) you work from home, and (b) your job history (current or former) may have little relationship to your writing skills. You know that you have the skills to handle a regular writing or editorial position, but how do you convince an employer?

Don’t despair: There is an alternative. Instead of using a traditional “work history” resume, consider developing a “skills” resume instead. This type of resume is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the chronological resume, and enables you to focus on the skills and experience that are directly relevant to the job for which you’re applying.

Putting Your Credentials First

A skills resume differs from a job-history resume in that it lists your skills and qualifications in a separate section, rather than as a subset of your work history. The basic framework for such a resume might look something like this:

Section 1: Name, address, telephone, fax, e-mail, URL

If you’re using a print resume, center these in a larger, attractive (but not too fancy) font, as follows:

Ima Great Writer

123 Quill Pen Rd. • Hometown, CA 94000

(555) 123-4567 • (555) 123-4568 (fax) • e-mail

Great Writings Page • http://www.greatwritings.com

 

Section 2: Objectives

Optional. If you choose to list your objectives, use no more than two lines here.

Section 3: Qualifications

This is the critical part of your resume. You may want to give this section a more definitive title, such as Writing and Editing Experience. Here, you’ll want to list each type of skill that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, if the job listing asks for demonstrated writing and editing skills, plus familiarity with Internet publishing and HTML, your “qualifications” section might look something like this:

Writing: Professional writer for XX years, with experience in magazine, newspaper, and business writing. Author of XXX articles in XX national publications; co-author of two books; author of three book chapters. Winner of the 1998 “best article” award from the Good Authors’ Association. (See attached publications list for details.)

Editing: Editor of two electronic newsletters, various corporate and business materials (including reports, white papers, and brochures) and one organizational newsletter. Experienced in copyediting, content editing, and proofreading.

Business and Corporate Writing: Developer, writer, editor and designer of a wide range of business materials, including brochures, newsletters, and annual reports. Clients include…

Internet, HTML, and Desktop Publishing: Webmaster for the Great Writings Page (http://www.greatwritings.com). Familiar with HTML, VTML, and java. Familiar with several desktop publishing programs for both electronic and print publishing, including [list programs you’ve used].

Anything else that might seem relevant…

Section 4: Work History

Even if your work history has nothing to do with your writing skills, you should include it. A history of employment indicates to a potential employer that you are, in fact, employable. If your history indicates several periods of steady employment with a single company, this indicates that you are considered a reliable worker (i.e., one who was retained) rather than someone who either flits from job to job or gets fired frequently. If you’ve been promoted within your company (past or present), list this as well, as this is another good indication of your ability to function well as an employee.

Unlike the job-history listings in a regular chronological resume, however, you’ll want to keep these sections short. List your job title, dates, the name of the company and its location, and a contact name and number if you wish. Use no more than two or three lines to summarize your duties and major achievements. Be selective: List promotions, and highlights such as number of people supervised, whether you were responsible for a budget, whether you handled major projects, etc.

If you have been self-employed as a freelance writer for a period of time, list this as your most recent “job.” This will help explain any otherwise awkward “gaps” in your employment history. For example:

Freelance Writer – June 1997 to present

City, state

Brief description of your primary writing activities, including the names of any major clients or publications for which you have provided material or services. Don’t bother to recap the skills you’ve already listed above.

Previous Job Title – April 1990 to June 1997

Company Name

City, state; contact name and phone number if desired.

Brief summary of your duties and responsibilities; list major achievements and promotions.

Job Before That – January 1985 to March 1990

Company Name (etc.)

Needless to say, if you can find any duties in your work history that relate to writing or the job you’re trying to obtain, list them — even if it’s something as obscure as “contributed to the company newsletter.” Do not, however, list your reasons for leaving previous jobs (whether voluntary or otherwise), and never include negative information about your previous employers.

Section 5: Education

Every resume should include your educational history, starting with the most recent degrees and working backwards. If you have a college education, omit information about high school. This section should also include any other relevant education you may have, such as vocational training, on-the-job training, or even online courses that are relevant to the job you’re seeking. (Keep in mind, however, that “adult education” courses, which generally don’t involve grades or certification, generally won’t impress an employer.)

Many writing and editorial jobs ask for a degree in writing (e.g., journalism, English, etc.). Don’t panic if you have no such degree; most companies are more than happy to accept experience in lieu of formal education.

Section 6: Awards and Memberships

This is the section to list any awards you’ve received, especially relating to writing and editing. (Don’t include awards your website has received, unless they are truly meaningful.) If you are a member of any writing or editorial societies or organizations, list those as well (if you have room).

Section 7: Personal Information

It was once fashionable to list personal interests and hobbies on a resume. Now, however, that is considered inappropriate. If you have specific “hobby” skills that somehow relate to the job in question, try to find a way to list those under “skills” instead. (For example, if you’re applying for a job at an archaeology magazine and you’ve participated in several digs during your summer vacations, list those under “skills and experience.”).

Pulling it All Together…

Here’s what your resume might look like when you’re finished:

Ima Great Writer

123 Quill Pen Rd. • Hometown, CA 94000

(555) 123-4567 • (555) 123-4568 (fax) • e-mail

Great Writings Page • http://www.greatwritings.com

 

Objectives: An editorial position that will enable me to contribute to the creative development of a publication and expansion of its circulation.

Writing and Editorial Background

Writing: Professional writer for XX years, with experience in magazine, newspaper, and business writing. Author of XXX articles in XX national publications; co-author of two books; author of three book chapters. Winner of the 1998 “best article” award from the Good Authors’ Association. (See attached publications list for details.)

Editing: Editor of two electronic newsletters, various corporate and business materials (including reports, white papers, and brochures) and one organizational newsletter. Experienced in copyediting, content editing, and proofreading.

Business and Corporate Writing: Developer, writer, editor and designer of a wide range of business materials, including brochures, newsletters, and annual reports. Clients include…

Internet, HTML, and Desktop Publishing: Webmaster for the Great Writings Page (http://www.greatwritings.com). Familiar with HTML, VTML, and java. Familiar with several desktop publishing programs for both electronic and print publishing, including [list programs you’ve used].

Speaker: Invited speaker to several writing conferences, including…

Employment History

Freelance Writer – June 1997 to present

City, state

Brief description of your primary writing activities, including the names of any major clients or publications for which you have provided material or services. Don’t bother to recap the skills you’ve already listed above.

Previous Job Title – April 1990 to June 1997

Company Name

City, state; contact name and phone number if desired.

Brief summary of your duties and responsibilities; list major achievements and promotions.

Previous Job Title – January 1985 to March 1990

Company Name

Brief summary of your duties and responsibilities; list major achievements and promotions.

Education

M.A., University of Somewhere, 1989 – Journalism

B.A., University of Somewhere Else, 1985 – English

Certification in Editorial Excellence, 1992; Certification in HTML, Online School of HTML, 1997.

Awards and Memberships

Cat Writers’ Association, “Best Article,” 1998

Speakers’ Bureau Certificate of Excellence, 1997

Member, Authors’ Guild

Member, Mystery Writers’ Association of America

Member, Mytown Writers’ Consortium; Vice-President

1997-1998

  

Extra Materials

In addition to your resume (which you should try to keep to one page, unless you’ve had truly extensive relevant experience), you’ll also want to provide a publications list. This should also be kept to a single page. Give it the same header (name, address, etc) as your resume, and use it to list your most significant publications or those that are most relevant to the position. Double-space the list, which should include the title of each article or story, the publication in which it appeared, and the date of publication. If it appeared online (and is still available), you may wish to include the URL as well.

You may also be asked for clips. Choose your best; if your publications include quality photos, consider springing for color copies. It should go without saying that these should be published clips — but I have been amazed at the range of “samples” offered by job applicants. One individual who was applying to a job I was about to vacate offered the first three pages of two unfinished short stories as “samples” of her writing ability (need I say that she wasn’t hired?).

If you haven’t assembled a portfolio of your best work, this is a good time to do so. Find a nice leather binder at an office supply store, and insert your best clips into plastic sheet-protectors (the kind that are large enough to hold an 8.5×11 page without the need to actually hole-punch your clips themselves). Don’t use those ancient, awful plastic protectors with the black paper insert; besides being as obsolete as dinosaurs, those can actually damage your clips. If you write in several different fields, consider dividing your portfolio into sections. Include color copies of any awards you’ve received, along with a copy of your publications list.

Preparing in Advance

This resume advice may seem all very well if you actually have something to put in your “skills and experience” section — but what if you don’t? The short answer is that you’re not likely to get the job of your dreams. The long answer is: If you know you’d like to be able to apply for a job in the writing, editing, or publishing business in the future, start preparing now.
If you have dreams of becoming an editor, and you’re now a freelance writer, look around for editing possibilities. Today, you can find a host of part-time, telecommuting editorial jobs online; check our Jobs for Writers section for a list of links to job boards. For many of these jobs, all you need is skill and a modem.

Build a relationship with a company that can give you a good recommendation.

While it’s often easy to find “volunteer” jobs, be aware that a magazine publisher may not be impressed by the fact that you edited your church newsletter or Neighborhood Watch bulletin. A history of “paid” positions, even part-time contract jobs, will serve far better (and put food on your table at the same time). Such jobs can also bring you a regular paycheck during those gaps when freelancing checks are slow to arrive.

A good “skills” resume may be all you need to get your foot in the door. After that, it’s up to you. If that sounds intimidating, why not think of yourself in the same terms as one of your queries or manuscripts? With the proper presentation — the right envelope, a professional approach, and appropriate credentials — you’ll be well on your way to the job of your dreams.

Copyright © 2001 Moira Allen

 

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

 

 

Related Posts:

Copyright Law: What a Writer Needs to Know

Tips for Getting Started With Book Promotion

Article Writing Q&A with Darlene ‘Dee’ Bishop