Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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!  

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