Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where can I find lists of writers' guidelines?

Here are a few websites that list writers' guidelines and/or provide direct links to them.

One tip for finding them through individual publication websites - they are sometimes buried quite deep in the site, and you might find them by searching 'contacts', 'submissions' or 'contributors'.

Worldwide Freelance Writer
Writer’s Digest - You need to type in a search word to bring up related listings.
Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau - A British site – useful in finding other English-language markets.
Writers Write
Writing-World - Writers Wanted pages by paying and non paying markets.

Drop me a note if you know of other useful sites.

And don't forget to try using online databases for marketing purposes (check my previous post). Most databases include a section called Publications which lists the source from which their archived material comes, and hot links will take you directly to the publication website to find out more about the magazine or journal.

An overlooked resource - online databases

Spent a few hours this morning conducting a short workshop for local writers on using online databases.

Never heard of them? You would not be the only one. And even though libraries understand just how valuable these tools are in today's information world, the fact that so few laypeople know about them is a sign that they need marketing more strongly.

But it continues to surprise me that so few writers know about this invaluable resource. They are a tool that can help with all kinds of research and marketing questions, and you've a btter chance of including credible material using them, rather than general Internet searching.

Online database are electronic collections of articles, papers and information that's a far superior source of research information that general web searches.

Below is the list of those that my library offers. This will give you an idea of the range of information available. If you live in Surrey, most of the the highlighted links will take you right into the database, where you simply have to enter your library card number to go any further. (In a few cases you have to be in the library iteself to access the db.) If you are elsewhere in the world, go to your own library website to see what online databases your card gives you access to.

AccessScience - a science encyclopedia, plus biographies, study guides and more, for high school through university.
Alldata - automotive repair information for technicians, from manufacturer's manuals, 1982 - present.
Ancestry Library -International genealogy resource with the largest online Canadian family history collection, searchable by surname. Includes many digitized full records.
Ancient & Medieval History Online - Learn about the cultures of ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient and medieval Africa, medieval Europe, the Americas, and ancient and medieval Asia.
Auto Repair Reference Center - automotive repair information for the layperson, from Chilton's manuals, 1945 - present
BC Codes - BC Building Code, BC Fire Code, and BC Plumbing Code.
BC Stats Releases - Up-to-date business and economic indicators such as the Consumer Price Index, Earnings & Employment Trends, Small Business Quarterly, etc.
usiness Source Premier is the industry’s most used business research database, providing articles from more than 8,800 top business magazines
Canadian Newsstand - 200 Canadian newspapers online including major dailies like The Vancouver Sun, The Province, The Globe & Mail, and The National Post, plus many community papers including The Surrey Now, The Surrey Leader, The Langley Advance, etc.
CBCA - Canadian general interest and business magazines, newspapers, and broadcast transcripts. Good for current affairs, scholarly articles, book reviews, company information, and a range of Canadian topics.
Consumer Health Complete - articles on all areas of wellness, from mainstream medicine to complementary and alternative approaches. Includes information from encyclopedias, reference books and academic journals.
Contemporary Authors - biographical and bibliographical information on over 120,000 authors
Contemporary Literary Criticism - 35,000 critical essays on the works of contemporary authors
Discovering Collection - for middle to high school students on literature, history, biography, science and social studies, including essays, criticism, biographies, timelines and multimedia.
EBSCO - a collection of databases, including: Masterfile -- over 1700 magazines covering all subjects, Academic Search - over 2000 periodicals Computer Source - over 300 computer publications, Hospitality & Tourism Index, Religion & Philosophy Collection.
EBSCO Kids Search - articles and encyclopedias for K-8.
EBSCO Searchasaurus - a dinosaur guide to articles and encyclopedias for K-8.
eBooks & eAudio - read or listen to ebooks online, or download eaudiobooks to a PC or portable device...
Encyclopedia of BC - over 4,000 articles on BC places and things including photographs, statistics, maps, web links, sound & video clips
E-STAT - Statistics about Canada and Canadians, designed especially for students and teachers. Available in library only at all Surrey Public Library branches.
JobFreeway - job search, post your resume or search candidates for BC.
LitFinder - Poems, Stories, Plays & Speeches.
Naxos Music Library - An online listening music library containing over 85,000 streaming audio tracks of classical, jazz, world, and folk music. Sound quality near CD. While listening online, you can read notes on the works being played or biographies of composers.
Naxos Spoken Word Library - 275 audiobooks online including classics for kids and adults, biographies, non-fiction and poetry.
NoveList - your guide to fiction for adults, teens and children, including plot summaries, author read-alikes, award winners, book reviews, discussion guides and more.
Opposing Viewpoints - books and magazines about social issues.
Oxford Reference - 100 specialized language and subject dictionaries.
Press Display - Today's newspapers online in 35 languages, from 65 countries. QPLegalEze - BC laws, regulations and legal information.
Reference Canada - Comprehensive database of 1.5 million Canadian businesses, great for market research and job hunting. Search by name, industry, location, business size, phone, etc.
Science Online - diagrams, experiments, biographies and more, for school projects and homework grades 4 - 12.
Tumblebook Library - A collection of animated picturebooks, games and puzzles for kids.
What Do I Read Next? - a guide to fiction and non-fiction for adults, teens and children.
World Book Online - an all around great encyclopedia for elementary school and above.

All public libraries subscribe to suites of online databases, and any person holding a library card from that library can access the databases from home through the library website - or by visiting the library.

My next post answers one question that came up during the workshop - Where can I find lists of writer's guidelines?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Conference round-up

The 15th annual Surrey International Writer's Conference is over. And I bet there are a lot of participants out there who have already marked their calendars with the dates for next year's (Oct. 24-26).

I've lost count of how many Surrey conferences I've attended, but this was as good as any - if more tiring. This year I presented one workshop (to standing-room only crowd of 65 - perhaps my first full house ever!) moderated a panel of children's writers, publishers and editors, did a handful of Blue Pencil Cafe manuscript consultations, hung out a little with old friends and new, and even pitched a project.

(Oh! And sold a few copies of my book 101 - and more - Writing Exercises to Get You Started & Keep You Going. And came home with a new idea for a kids' novel - something that came to me watching a friend wash her hands in the bathroom. I've never figured out why so many ideas come to me in bathrooms!)

But I did get to hang out with some wonderful people, put a few faces to names of those with whom I share a virtual space from time to time, watched an old friend get newly-inspired and a new writer find her feet in the throngs of eager conference-goers.

By the time Sunday rolled around I was ready for a long retreat somewhere very quiet, but had to turn around and head straight for a symposium for which I was hired to do some contract work. Now the deadline for that project is staring me in the face before I've even had the chance to read through the few conference handouts I managed to snag.

But life's like that. Between now and Nov. 7 I have the symposium report to compile, a 4-week class to wind up, a reading to give, a new workshop to present, and a load of laundry to get through, plus a couple of other deadlines that need to be wrestled to the ground.

Not to mention that I am still awaiting news of the fate of Tansy Here and Now, my kids' novel currently under consideration at a BC publisher. I was told I could expect to hear by the end of the month; I'm watching the days slip away as my nails get shorter and shorter!

In less than an hour I'm off to do my first reading of Tansy Here and Now, a gig I am sharing with kc dyer. She's an old hand, and warns me that there's no way of knowing if anyone will show up. If not, we'll read to each other and enjoy the first downtime either of us have had in a while (she did a stellar job as the SiWC's new conference coordinator this year, and deserves all the accolades coming her way).

But if there's an audience, I'll get my husband to take a picture or two so I have it for my archives.

But now I had better go and change, then figure out which passage of the book I'm going to read.

Friday, October 05, 2007


My annual trip 'home' to visit my 'aged parents' and other relatives - all of whom live in the UK - is coming up fast, and my to-do list does not seem to be getting any shorter.

Detail from The Spirit of Haida Gwai,
pic. by Lois J. Peterson

But I do have my eye on the date - Nov. 7. By mid-afternoon that day I'll be in my favourite spot at the airport, sitting on the steps watching people interact with Bill Reid's Spirit of Haida Gwai, and knowing that whatever I've left undone will stay undone until I get back on Nov. 21.

D. is not coming with me this time - too little time, too few $$. But we are planning another trip to the UK in the spring, which will include a week in Cornwall, where I grew up. I haven't been back since the last of my relatives moved away from there. I am looking forward to dragging him up the hill to see Truro High School where I spent six years as a boarder, to my grandmother's village of Tresillian, and to the lovely Perranporth beaches where I spent many summer holidays.

We'll be staying for a week in Mevagissey, where we've rented a cottage for seven days, and from where we will be able to explore much of the peninusular - as you can get almost anywhere from anywhere in a day in Cornwall. One trip I'm looking forward to is the 35-minute ferry ride across to Fowey, where Daphne du Maurier lived - and wrote about - for many years.
My favourite DdM books are Vanishing Cornwall, and The Loving Spirit which may well be set in Fowey itself.

While I try and get through the next hectic month until I go away in November, D. is reading books about hiking COrnwall's Coastal Path, and counting sleeps until April.