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Club News
By Jenifer Nipps

Sharon Ervin and Mary Ann Kerl:

Mary Ann Kerl:

Jenifer Nipps:

Georgia Pace:

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Tips from the Group
This issue’s tip is from: Jenifer Nipps

Five Ways to Immediately Improve Your Writing

As a writer it is all too easy to concentrate on the mechanics of submitting work to editors and to forget that the writing itself is of primary importance. We should all be constantly seeking to improve. If we do that, editorial approval will become that much easier.

To that end, here are five things you can start doing today that will immediately improve your writing, and with it your chances of getting published.

1. Improve your vocabulary
Buy a good dictionary, and learn a word every day. Play around with it, using it in sentences, in dialogue and description. As you go along, make a list of the words you've learned. At the end of the month, try to write down a definition beside each word. If you can't remember what the word means, look it up again, play with it again, and leave it on the list for another month. I guarantee your vocabulary will grow in leaps and bounds.

2. Read more
You can't come up with an original idea unless you know what isn't original. So read as widely as you can, both within your chosen area and beyond. I write, and read, horror fiction, but I also read the classics, crime fiction, science-fiction, fantasy and the occasional airport blockbuster. I also read non-fiction, in the fields of astronomy, biology, parapsychology, archaeology, religious history and mythology.

Everything is grist to the mill, and little is ever wasted. If nothing else, it allows you to feel superior while watching “The Weakest Link”.

3. Deconstruct writing that works
When you read something that strikes you as a fine piece of writing, or something that has had success in your chosen area, go back and read it again. This time take notes:

You can also do this when you see bad writing. After a while, you'll find yourself doing it automatically with almost everything you read. From the notes you can make up a list of writing tips for yourself. Add to it as you go along, read it often, and follow your own guidance. Improvements will follow.

4. Edit yourself
You have to develop a thick skin, and an ability to look at your work dispassionately. After you've written something, put it away for a few days, then come back and look at it critically.

“Cheque yure speling”
“Grammar your check”

Remove any superfluous unnecessary adjectives. Remove any repeating repetitious repetition. Are your verbs will use the right tense?

If you are writing about a man, is she the right gender? Never use a long word when a short individual will do. Hone your work until it is as good as you can make it. If you don't respect your writing, how can you expect anyone else to do so?

5. Read your work out loud
Reading aloud enables you to check the rhythm of your work. Check that your writing flows. If it feels uncomfortable to say it, it's time to rewrite. At the same time check your sentence lengths. If you need to take a breath in mid-sentence, then it probably needs editing. You might feel self-conscious at first, but stick with it. I've found this to be one of the best ways to find your writer's voice.

Go on. Start now. You'll feel the benefits immediately, and you'll be a better writer for it. And that's what we all want, isn't it?

Willie Meikle 2001
http://www.willie.meikle.btinternet.co.uk

(Reprinted with permission.)

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Market Watch
(contributed by Priscilla Maine)

NexusTeq Publications

This information is reprinted with permission from the publisher:

NexusTeq Publications is a royalty paying publisher of works for sale in electronic format. We've just launched our website-in-progress with our author information section.

Look for our online bookstore, author directory, new and upcoming releases, and more, coming soon.

At NexusTeq Publications, we are actively seeking unique storylines told from original perspectives; authors who write from the heart.

For submission guidelines, email guidelines@nexusteq.com. This address is for submission guidelines only. Please direct all other questions and comments to info@nexusteq.com. Or visit our website at http://ebooks.nexusteq.com.

Nancy Rose, Acquisitons Editor
NexusTeq Publications
http://ebooks.nexusteq.com

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Contest News
(contributed by Priscilla Maine)

THE SUZANNAH

(Formerly known as the Suzannah Nelson Davis Novel Beginnings Contest) Sponsored by: The North Louisiana StoryTellers and Authors of Romance )

Enter your prologue/first chapter (30 pages max) and one-page, unjudged synopsis in contemporary, historical or paranormal. Each entry will be judged by three experienced critiquers including at least one published author. Final round judges: Ann Leslie Tuttle, Harlequin Historicals (Historical), Patience Smith, Silhouette (Contemporary) and Kate Seaver, Dorchester/Leisure (Paranormal/fantasy/time travel-- A new category this year!) SCORE SHEETS RETURNED IN TIME TO PREPARE FOR THE GOLDEN HEART!

First place in each category: $100 and the Suzannah Award. Second and third in each category: cash prize and certificate Deadline: October 1, 2001. Open to unpublished writers. Entry fee: $25 For more information, send SASE to

Beth Cornelison,
213 Briarcliff Drive,
West Monroe, LA 71291.
E-mail pbcornel@bayou.com

Score sheet, rules and entry forms available at our website! Visit www.shreve.net/~nola

* You can't argue with success! Look what has happened for the finalists from the 2000 Suzannah Nelson Davis Contest:

Both first place winners received requests for FULL manuscripts from the final round editor judge in their category! Two 2000 finalists have already sold their finaling manuscripts! The third place winner in historical sold to Harlequin as a direct result of the Suzannah Nelson Davis Contest! At least two of the 1999 finalists have sold their manuscripts!

Beth Cornelison, pbcornel@bayou.com

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Recommended Sites
(contributed by group members)

Correction from last month’s newsletter. The correct address for the Oklahoma Writers Federation: http://www.owfi.net 

McAlester’s McSherry Writers: http://mcwriters0.tripod.com 

http://www.rosedog.com 

Write Personal: http://www.writepersonal.com 

FreelanceWriting.com: http://www.freelancewriting.com 

How to Write a Query Letter: http://www.teleport.com/~until/query.htm

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Questions or comments?  E-mail them to jen.nipps@klynk.com