Doing It Write

A Free E-Newsletter for Writers
Now in its 13th Year of Publication

Doing It Write is a FREE newsletter providing information on all aspects of writing, from beginning to advanced. Helen's e-newsletter has subscribers throughout the United States and around the globe.

DOING IT WRITE!, a weekly e-zine, features a regular Hot Topic column on some aspect of writing or an interview with an author, updates on contests and conferences, news about the publishing world, and links to websites for authors.

All this -- FREE -- delivered right to your email box every week. All you have to do to join friends and other writers from around the world is: SIGN UP

The easiest way is to send an email to:

If you have problems, email me: (

Informative, free, and easy to subscribe -- what more could you ask for?


Sample Issue of
Doing It Write


A FREE newsletter providing information on all aspects of writing, from beginning to advanced.

Doing It Write!, now in its tenth year of publication, has subscribers throughout the United States and around the world.


Pre-Published or Unpublished?

About a week ago, I joined an online discussion group for mystery writers. So far, I've just been reading the comments and haven't "spoken" up.

The entire week has been taken up with discussion of the term "prepublished." You've probably heard the term; I have. Prepublished is basically an euphemism for "unpublished." Writers who use the term aren't pretending to be something other than unpublished, but prepublished has a softer ring to it, a hint of their surety that they'll be published in the future.

Some writers prefer the term. Some writers do not.

The consensus online is that even if you use it to describe yourself, you should be careful where and around whom you use it. A lot of agents, apparently, hate the term. To them, it screams amateur. It also conflicts with what an agent would view as an author who is prepublished. To them, a
prepublished author would be one who has sold their book, but it's not out in print yet.

Not to say you don't want to ever use the term, but you might want to be careful around agents.

It is a term that a lot of authors and writers use, though. I did a google search on the phrase "pre-published author."

Got back results for 42,300 hits.

If you haven't been published yet, which term do you use: prepublished or unpublished? If you'd like to comment, you can do so at my blog, Straight from Hel:


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Endeavor continues to build up its presence in the book business with the hiring of Dutton editor-in-chief Trena Keating as an agent in the New York office.

Publishers Lunch


(To view other contests and opportunities, visit:


Deadline: March 15, 2011

The 2011 Gulf Coast Contests, awarding publication and $1,000 each in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction, are now open.

Honorable mentions in each category will receive a $250 second prize.

Ilya Kaminsky will judge the contest in poetry, Frederick Reiken will judge in fiction, and John D'Agata will judge in nonfiction.

To enter online (preferred), visit the online submissions manager and be sure to choose "CONTEST: Fiction," "CONTEST: Poetry," or "CONTEST: Nonfiction/Lyric Essay" as your genre.

Upload one previously unpublished story or essay (25 double-spaced pages max) or up to five previously unpublished poems (10 pages max). You will be redirected to PayPal to pay your $23 online reading fee.

To enter by mail, send one previously unpublished story or essay (25 double-spaced pages max) or up to five  previously unpublished poems (10 pages max). You will need to include a $20 postal reading fee.


(To view other events and opportunities, visit:


Atlanta, GA

March 25 - 27, 2011

This year, we're offering two one-day comprehensive seminars featuring 10 experts on the book business. Both seminars will be held in classrooms at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Attend either or both, and you get free admission to the Spring Book Show, a $75 value.

The first comprehensive seminar, Authorship 101, is "How To Become a Successful Author - The Basics." It will be held Friday, March 25.

Saturday, March 26, is the date for the one-day Authorship 201 seminar on “Authorship 201: How To Become a Successful Author - Getting Down to Business.”

Check out the site to see the list of multiple presenters for each of the seminars.



"Don't Discount the Newbery"

There are "no limitations as to the character of the book," so authors of fiction, nonfiction and poetry for kids up to age 14 are all eligible.

Valerie Strauss reported in the Washington Post last month that "the literary world is debating the Newbery's value, asking whether the books that have won recently are so complicated and inaccessible to most children that they are effectively turning off kids to reading.

The intent of the Newbery, like certain adult literary awards, is to "encourage good writing," whether or not the book has broad popular appeal.

Even though I was a slow reader and some of the books were hard for me (and some I didn't like at all), the ones I loved held me in their grip and made me want more.

The book made me decide to become a writer.

In my experience, children who read award books by choice and for pleasure became, as readers, more confident, competent and eager.

To read this article by Susan Patron in The Los Angeles Times, go to:,0,5330448.story



** Kate Monk's Onomastikon
Looking for character names? Here's a great source, from the Ancient World to Africa to Medieval to the Middle East and beyond.

** The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers
Wonder what this is? "Our books are original tie-in novels, comic books and short stories based on existing characters from movie, TV series, books, games, and cartoons..." Check 'em out.


Feel free to share this newsletter with friends. But, please, forward it in its entirety.

To subscribe, visit my web site or send an email with subscribe as the subject to:

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To visit Helen's blog, go to:


Doing It Write! is a FREE ezine and does not take advertisements. In order to keep expenses down, I use Topica to distribute the newsletter. In return for doing this at no charge, they sometimes tack on an advertisement at the beginning and sometimes the end of an issue.

Please note that these ads are neither endorsed by me or Doing It Write! nor are they even available for me to screen ahead of time.

Please feel free to do as I do: Scroll right on past them without even reading.

As for the contests and events mentioned each week: Although I try to find contests, conferences, workshops, and other events that are legit and beneficial to writers, I can't guarantee anything. I always try to include as URL so you can check them out and make your own decisions.

Copyright 2010 Helen Ginger
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