Skip to main content

Do You Want in on The Scoop?

From the desk of the Excuse Editor:

First, I decided I wanted to write. That was easy enough. I'd kept a diary since I was a little girl. As a grown up, I attended a few journaling, fiction and poetry workshops.

Great, my interest was peaked, my pen desperate to start moving.

But, what kinds of writing should I start with? How long should it be?

My workshops focused on self-expression, and I was rightly told: write whatever you want to, write what's in your heart, write what's on your mind. Write until it's done.

OK. I agree. But...

What if I want to share my writing?

...if I want to get published?

...and of course, what if I want to make some money?

I started to research writing markets and writing contests. Sure, I could focus on writing the Great American Novel and send it off to Oprah and hope for the best. Or Ellen. Or maybe I could get the "Colbert Bump". Instead, I kept my head out of the clouds and put my butt in the chair. Using the Internet, I found dozens and dozens of different places looking for written words ("submissions", they called them). Literary magazines, Online magazines, Newspapers, Blogs, Consumer Magazines (and more!) were looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, poems, articles (and more!) of all shapes, sizes, genres.

The all-you-can-eat-buffet was laid out in front of me, and I wanted to dive in. Ooo, maybe I could try writing for this. Hey, I can see myself writing for that. Hours and hours later, I stepped away, my mind too full. I could barely even move, much less write.

When I found myself back at the computer, I would work on some of those submissions that intrigued me the most. But in times of writer's block, or procrastination, or just plain laziness, I would wander back into the numerous websites and blogs with writer's market information. I would search for new ones.

I was hooked.

Even away from the computer I wasn't free from my market searching addiction. Some days, I would be missing for hours, only to be discovered in a well-lit corner of the library, hunched over the latest copies of the Writer's Market book or Writer's Digest Magazine.

I began to hoard all of these special snippets of information. I printed out lists to stare at, imagining all the possible publishing credits that were within my reach.

Well, they would be. If I quit adding to the seemingly boundless list. And spent more time Writing!

Instead, like a TV addict rationalizing her TIVO purchase, I came to terms with the need to plan my writing life around this habit. Now, I schedule my writing time, and my research time. The running list continues to get longer. I continue to add markets I'm pretty sure I have no interest in,  just in case.

But no matter what, I can't write to them all.

This is where you come in. I'm not going to stop collecting markets, because I'm not going to stop submitting. Somebody should benefit from the cultivation of these listings. There are so many listings I won't write to. What a waste if that market or contest doesn't get seen by the right writer! Before I started the Scoop, I released about 10 upcoming market deadlines from my own list, just for that reason. A reader may have been looking for JUST that market.

The thing is, I spend hours developing the Excuse Editor Market & Contest Scoop. Now, you don't have to waste any of your writing time searching for markets. Because I've done it for you.

You don't need to procrastinate about what your next writing project should be. I've found it for you. Let my procrastination work for you.

What could all of that additional writing time mean for you?

Time to get to that 80,000 word mark in your novel? Time to breath life into a new batch of poems?

Time to submit to a contest with a prize of $5000, like one in this month's Scoop?

How much is that worth to you?

Well, this month, set you can sign up to the newsletter to order The Scoop, and see where it takes you.

You'll get:
  • Over 40 contest and market listings emailed to you in minutes!
    • short story, poetry, novel, essay, memoir, more...
  • Listings arranged in a coherent and convenient manner-- Deadlines for the next 4 months! 

  • Best Wishes for You and Your Writing,
    Tina Haapala 
    Excuse Editor
    P.S. When you get something published from a market you learned about in The Scoop, email me and I will share your experience on, along with a link to your blog or website. Good Luck!  



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

Don't Let Too Many Cooks Create a Recipe for Disaster
I love great food, I savor the tastes and textures of all kinds of cuisine; but unless I have specific, de…

Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…