Faster! Faster! Fastest Page-Loading Wizard!

1. Put Pointer on Link 2. Click Right Mouse button 3. Open in new Tab
Repeat until desired Pages are open.
Hover over Tabs at top of page. Click it! Whiz to selected Page!


Chapter 1 Ideas and basic information

(c) 2010, Mona Leeson Vanek
*NOTE: All the material in this course is for educational use only and may not be used for any other purpose and may not be published in any format due to the nature of releases I've secured from website owners.
Chapter one topics
  • Surf-Safety checklist
  • Media Awareness Network
  • Where do ideas come from?
  • Generating ideas
  • Using "Writer's Market"
  • More market directories
  • Salaries and statistics in media jobs
Access The World and Write Your Way To $$$, Chapter one and the accompanying Advice From The Pros articles offer a lot of basic information. Plan to return again and again as your writing career progresses. Please leave your comments, because I'll be checking them often. Maybe I'll learn from you how make these resources meet the needs of other writers!

Learning here is akin to attending college to get a degree. I suggest you plan on three hours to skim two or three chapters. Click into the websites, take a quick peek, and close out of them.

Don't be overwhelmed!
  • Relax. Explore at your leisure
  • Don't try to absorb too much at once
Tip: You may want to bookmark websites you feel will be helpful in meeting the goals you set for yourself. Later, as your hunger for knowledge expands, return and spend the amount of time you have available and be selective to continue advancing to your goals.
  • Pace the course to meet your needs!
  • Don't crowd yourself.
  • Take your time.
If you wish, create a computer file and store the posts where you'll easily be able to return, again and again to resources that interest you. Tip: You can easily find the chapters you need in the Archives.

Must Reads
Surf-Safety checklist is a must. You'll find a multitude of good advice at Community Learning Network, (Fast link to safe-surfing information, and
Media Awareness Network, provides Web literacy resources. Select your language to enter. *Be sure to read and adhere to the copyright citation at the bottom of the page.
Pages recommended for study include
  • Special Initiative; read WebAware.
  • Media News.
  • Media ownership, etc.
  • Learn things that affect where you may want to sell your writing.
Where do ideas come from?
Ideas surround you! The lifestyle you've chosen provides you with unique opportunities that you can write about for people who want to read about them.
  • List everything you've ever done
  • List every topic you know anything about
  • Jot down ideas about people you know who are doing things that interest you (or them).
  • Make contact with as wide a variety of people as you can.
Mridu Khullar, a graduated student of this course, is a writer you may come across more than once in your studies. When granting me permission to include her in my course she wrote, "I have a blog and a whole section dedicated to writers on my website as well."

Check out the resources Mridu so generously provides. Visit often at, Check out For Writers link, and don't miss her article, Why the Editor is Not the Enemy, online at The e-Writer's Place,

Generating ideas
Study Idea Calendar at GuestFinder,com, Use it as a resource to spark ideas., is also a fine resource to visit when you're writing an article for publication in a bonafide medium (on spec or assignment.)
*Do not contact the guests before a magazine has assigned your article.

Tip: Read what speakers speak about, where and how to find them, and get ideas for your own articles\speaking engagements here,

Clicking a speaker's name takes you to a site with a list of interview questions which can help you develop a framework for writing an article. (Ie: "The Right Friends Extend Your Life, The Wrong Ones Can Sabotage You," or what does your mind conjure when reading the following speaker's topics? You'll find plenty of variety such as,
"People caught having sex in the workplace."
"You CAN Be Happy At Work, Even If It's Just A Job"
"Simple, Fun Activities Parents can do with their Young Children to Prepare them for School"
"Brain function and medication"
"History and Collecting of Yo-Yos"
Writer's Market is published annually and it's a good selection for your bookshelf. When you're brainstorming for ideas, browse through a copy, new or old - it doesn't matter too much right now. What you're looking for are categories. You might also browse other market directories such as Working Press of the Nation, Religious Writer's Marketplace, Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, etc. Most are available at the reference desk of libraries.

Start with an idea
  • Make a note of it, or a few pages of notes.
  • File it in a folder labeled, Idea Folder.
  • Beginning to Write -- The Process - For everyone who asks the question, How do I begin to become a writer? Athony Johnston shares, from starting point to finished writing project, his successful method, that he uses with a writing software program, Scrivener, It's not only a good outline of the process of writing, and for writers who chose to use a writing software program, it works with many others, not just with Scrivener.
  • Put it away and jot your next idea note on a separate paper.
  • File it in your Idea Folder.
  • Continue to jot down and file ideas as they come to you.
Tip: Use a titled contest/or categories for this assignment and double the use of your time.
Select one idea from your Idea Folder
  1. Brainstorm and topic spoke the idea. (*See Let One Idea = Endless Writing:
  2. Consult a Writer's Market, new or old - it doesn't matter much at this point.
  3. What you're looking for are categories.
You might also browse other market directories such as Working Press of the Nation, Religious Writer's Marketplace, Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, etc. Most are available at the reference desk of libraries.

More market directories
Gebbie's, is well known as a big resource, but it's no longer free. The site brings an extensive alphabitized list of magazines. Typing any name from that old listing into will locate many magazines, some of which provide a wealth of information useful to writers, such as their demographics, circulation area, special interests, media kit, etc., plus their writer's guidelines.

However, since is no longer available from, I'm not sure how long that page will remain accessible. Search the magazines you're interested in now, and compile your own list of magazines and URLs.
The Write Market hosts a guidelines database,, The Internet Directory of Publications (SM) lets you search over 150,000 publications on hundreds of topics from small business to cardiology. Research publishers, order subscriptions, and purchase articles,

(The site may still be undergoing reconstruction when I post this, but use the tabs at the top and you'll find plenty of help, and don't skip About Us. Learn about publishers here,

If you type associations into the search, you'll get a list of books available. You can learn a good deal just by reading about a book; who the publisher is, who is associated with it, etc. Try the same thing by typing directories into the search.
  • Go exploring, and let your imagination have free play.
  • Read the Table Of Contents of all available directories.
From your brainstorming
  1. Make a list of the categories to target.
  2. List twenty (or more) potential markets for your idea.
Tip: See, Let One Idea = Endless Writing: As you topic spoke your idea, decide on theme, slant, style.
  • Make notes on all magazines that might be interested in your idea -- with the right slant and theme focus.
  • Obtain writers guidelines for each of those magazines (usually online, or available via brief e-mail request.)
  • Search out back issues, preferably the 12 most recent issues. Many magazines have archives online where you can study and learn from the articles they've published what topics interest the editor.
Starting Point is an excellent place to begin, The Directory brings a tremendous source with links to magazines to read. Also, type magazines guidelines into the search box, and then keep scrolling to the bottom of each subsequent page. Click the last number there to get SEVENTY FIVE pages of links to magazine guidelines.
Then --
  1. Review your idea notes.
  2. Make an outline.
  3. Write a draft.
  4. Polish it.
Draft a query letter, and offer to help the editor's readers enjoy learning about your topic. Make use of the publications style and jargon, and include tempting details that show the editor she'll be getting what her readers want.

Discover salaries and statistics in media jobs
Wait, and wait, and don't become impatient. Remember, continuing to write while waiting for query responses is what defines a professional from a wannabe writer!

Guidelines tell you that average response time to queries is anywhere from 3-6 months.
Compare and analyze the replies you receive to become familiar with what individual editors do or do not want. This is another important step that professional writers do not neglect.
You can discern a lot from a rejection.
  • Be sure to acknowledge a rejection that isn't just a form.
  • Reply with a brief thanks for the editor's consideration.
  • If you have another article idea worked up, use this opportunity to ask if your idea might interest the editor.
  • File query rejections in the folder you began for your idea.
  • Do any necessary research and interviews.
  • Access a library database from your desktop computer, and if possible print out a whole bibliography on whatever subject is required.
Begin drafting stories for editors who ask to see your article on speculation. Refer often to the magazine back issues to keep yourself on track.
  • Send your perfected manuscript to the editor who asked to see it.
  • When rejections arrive, immediately send the manuscript to the next editor on your list.
  • Repeat as necessary until you make a sale!
  1. Start an idea file
  2. Study markets and get writers guidelines
  3. Use, 1-8, Let One Idea = Endless Writing: and pick one story idea
  4. Find and target ten markets for your idea
  5. Write query letters
  6. Send requested articles
Advice From The Pros; the important course section where specialized insider tips and articles like those below are archived,

1-1, Daily Warmups,

1-2, Let Multi-Tasking = Efficient Writing,

1-3, Let Toggle = Efficient Writing,

1-4, Let Clip and Save = Efficient Writing,

1-5, Let Filing Methodically = Efficient Writing,

1-6, Let Retrieving Misplaced Data = Efficient Writing,

1-7, Let Right Mouse Button and\or Ctrl Key = Efficient Writing:

1-8, Let One Idea = Endless Writing:

Next: Chapter 2,

Chapter 2 Careers and Marketing

Chapter two contents
  • Databases of Magazines
  • Getting Magazines to Study
  • How and Where to Search The Internet For Magazines
  • Locating Archives
  • Magazine Closing Dates
  • Model Releases
  • Photographs and writing
  • Sell Your Writing Overseas
  • Where to Read Magazines Online
 Careers - Discover your writing interests
Sometimes, beginning writers have a difficult time deciding where their writing interests lie. Writing a variety of things and experimenting with different styles can help you discover what you're comfortable with writing.,, provides concise description of writing positions. Before you start exploring the this well organized blog, a classic example with an exceptional, precisely indexed, collection of excellent articles and links of interest to writers, click About John Hewitt and read about this remarkable man. At the bottom, hover your mouse over the icons to note his networking techniques, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click Home to return to PoeWar and the main categories at the top of this terrific resource. Study and learn from articles at Poewar Main, Poewar Jobs, and Jobs Archive.

Magazine issue closing dates

•Jan/Feb 2010 issue closes November 10 (copy due by November 30 2009)
•March/April 2010 issue closes January 1 (copy due by January 30, 2010)
•May/June 2010 issue closes March 1 (copy due by March 30, 2010)
•July/August 2010 issue closes May 1 (copy due by May 30, 2010)
•Sept/Oct 2010 issue closes July 1 (copy due by July 30, 2010)
•Nov/Dec 2010 closes September 1 (copy due by September 30, 2010)
Getting magazines to study

Final manuscripts for assigned stories have to be in by the due date. Knowing these dates will help you select the best time to send your query.

Target a certain issue (month published) and query several weeks before the closing date for that month's issue -- but not right on the closing date for the previous issue -- things get pretty hectic in the office on closing dates.

You must get magazines and study them.

While studying, make notes in your idea journal, and keep this important fact in mind: The magazine closing date is an important date. Advertising is locked in, and stories are decided on and assigned in staff meetings by this closing date.

Getting magazines to study
  • Libraries have back issues
  • Ask friends to save magazines for you
  • Ask doctors and dentists offices to save back issues for you 
How and where to search the Internet for magazines
You can also read some stories from back issues of magazines online. However, this does not let you study the entire magazine so you can't analyze the market properly.

The main reasons for going online and searching for magazines are
  • You can do it using your computer
  • You find and read an amazing number and variety of magazine features online
  • There are searchable lists for hundreds of names and address of publications
Before you begin searching online read Advice From The Pros, 1-3, Let Toggle = Efficient Writing,

Then, start at PubList, where you can learn valuable tips for searching. (The site may still undergoing reconstruction. Be sure to register, as it helps them to better meet the needs of site-users.)

When you sign in, fill in name, etc., and check Publisher in list. When you're signed in, type your subject in the search box. You'll get a list of publications. Along with publication details, you'll find addresses for requesting sample copies, too. Online magazines can be located by copying the magazine title into or Pay attention to the URL at the bottom of each listing returned because the Link listing title may be misleading.

When searching, be specific. For example, dolls returned seven magazines, but doll returned twenty two publications! Let your imagination help you find what interests you.

Also, be sure to read and adhere to Infotrieve's copyrights,

You'll find news and columns, as well as magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and much more at The American Journalism Review, Drop down lists from top tabs make locating information easy.

An excellent source to find trade magazines is FreeTradeMagazines, These magazines are offered to trade professionals that are currently active in their industry. You can use the magazines for education but you must fill the forms out for each subscription. When subscribing, be professional and tell the publisher why you're subscribing.

ipl2 is the result of a merger of the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII). Begin here:

Search "magazines" to get here, Browse the many categories within categories. Follow the same steps to locate newspaper links.

Ark Royal is another resource to find magazine titles,

Guidelines for many magazines are at: Type hot markets in the search to get The Writer's Digest Top 100. Each magazine listed posts their writers guidelines.

Pine Magazine, Ontario's magazine for history, heritage, nostalgia, nature, environment, travel and the arts, is located in the heart of the Madawaska Valley, on the York River. Guidelines,

Be sure to study guides carefully. Many magazines want stories only about a specific area or country. is a good example: "We accept only Canadian content by Canadian authors." Their guidelines are very specific as to what they do and do not want, and queries are mandatory.

*** Explore, explore, explore. Find and read as many magazines as you can, online or in libraries, doctor's offices, anywhere, until you get a clear understanding of the definitive differences of each magazine. If all other resources fail, buy magazines at your supermarket or nearest bookstore.***

Starting Point (TM),, is a tremendous source with links to magazines to read (Click Directory.) It's one of the best databases to search any topic and the magazines catering to it. It's very good place to start when you're studying magazine content -- both ezines and print magazines are listed. Read the magazine reviews to get inside the magazine's readers minds.

Also, type magazines guidelines into Starting Point's search box,, and then keep scrolling to the bottom of each subsequent page. Click the last number there to get SEVENTY FIVE pages of links to magazine guidelines.

You can also contact magazines' advertising departments and ask them to send you their media kit (and your editor will never have to know.) Study the media kit to learn even more about the behind the scenes operation of magazines.

Databases of magazines
Guidelines for many magazines are linked at these websites
Always surf websites! You just never know what goodies you'll find.

Where to read magazines online,, provides three main tabs. Click Alphabetical Lists to be able to search by name alphabetically. includes each magazine's website URL in their listing, making it easy to surf to a magazine.

Many magazines have indexes, where you can read published stories to get an idea of what the editor wants, see how a magazine focus changes over several years, and what topics have been published.

Lots of magazines offer free trials. It's fine to order magazines, but don't feel obligated to subscribe. Unless you are truly interested and want the subscription, *immediately write cancel on the statement when it arrives and drop it back into the mail the same day, or very soon afterwards., also has search options. I have to totally agree with the publishers claim that is
"the most comprehensive consumer magazine resource on the net!"
It's certainly true that when you want to locate information on a particular magazine's publisher contact, subscription information, back issues, etc., is the place to look.

Options allow you to quickly find publisher information, including the e-mail address, which makes your job much easier. On the few occasions when a magazine's web site link failed, I copied the magazine title into or and selected from the resulting list. Always include the word magazine in your search. Ie: [title] magazine.

Locating archives
While you're reading magazines online, also click the link to the magazine's archives. You'll be able to read published stories that are often categorized by month or year. Sometimes you'll find an alphabetized listing of archived articles.

Archives are very useful for discovering what type of story the magazine leans towards. Also, be sure to search back to see if the same topic is covered periodically. When you discover that, it's an opportunity for you to target the magazine with an article on previously covered topics ~~ at a later date!

Disney's,, is a terrific location to search for places to go and things to do that you can write about. Use the search engine at the top, typing magazine. Explore, explore, explore! Let your imagination wander. Jot down ideas!

Magatopia,,a good site to find links to 1000 online magazines to study. is a top Meta Search Engine, Visit this excellent site, learn about it, and use it to search for magazines and other topics to benefit your writing career. Ie: query letters, writers guidelines, agents, publishers, grammar, etc.

Moria Allen's Website for writers, is good, It also offers many links to various other markets and writers' sites. Explore.

Photographs and writing
Apogee Photo...The Internet's Photography Magazine,, is a free online magazine designed to inform and entertain photographers of all ages and levels. At Apogee Photo… learn all about marketing photos. Be sure to read Kimberly Baldwin Radford's article, Write Way to Sell Photos, which includes seventeen links (the last time I visited) to help with every facet of the writing process:

Joan Airey's article in Writer' archives, Increase Your Freelance Income Through Stock Photography, (Use your find function keys, ctrl f, to quickly locate it.)

Other interesting information about photographs and photography worth your time to study can be found at City Gallery,

Model releases
At, you'll find examples of Model releases:

Sell your writing overseas
To learn the aspects of international marketing for writers, International writer and marketer Mike Sedge reveals the secrets of success in overseas writers' markets in his course.

Serious writers often enroll in online courses (most are fee based, but some good ones are free.) But  you can learn a lot on your own about international marketing through research and independent study.

Remember to read carefully at any website. Some have content only available to paid subscribers. Keep searching and you'll find the good freebie listings.

EXERCISE 1. Get magazines and study them.

Advice FromThe Pros:

1-9, Treasure Hunting For Markets:

1-10, Write What You Know? Ha!, by Bob Freiday:

Next: Chapter 3: The e-World and e-Zine Publishing,

Return to top, Chapter 2 - Careers and Marketing,

Chapter 3 The e-World and e-Zine Publishing

Chapter three topics
Learning about and finding ezines
Writing e-queries

e-Newsletters are one of the best Internet marketing tools available and highly valuable to readers as quick, concise ways to receive information.

Scroll down the right panel in the home page of Publishers Weekly,, to locate Publishers Weekly e-Newsletter Subscription Center where you can quickly and easily manage your preferences.

Learning about and finding e-Zines
e-Zines 101:

Search around on,

At, click the e-zine that interests you and you'll find address, contacts, guidelines, prices, etc. From here you can view back issues to learn what the magazine publishes, what their readers want.

If you're looking for paying markets Media New Group publication might slip under your radar, and although payment may be minimal, editors have accepted reprints. Media New Group lists many publications, organized by states at Las Cruces Sun-News is a Media New Group publication. No submission guidelines that I could find, but NEWS team contacts are listed here,

I can't remind you often enough ~~ always scroll to the bottom of the page when looking for contact information if you can't locate it on the home page. Site Map and About Us also often lead to contacts.

When searching for markets, try adding a specialty to your search. For example,  searching "regional health magazine" will bring a number of sites to expand your research for markets that might slip under the radar,

Online lists
Go to Yahoo! Groups, where you can locate groups by searching "e-publishing" , or "e-zines", or any other topic of interest to you.

You can also use to search for "E-zines".

Writing e-queries
When you're writing your e-query, don't think like a writer; think like an editor. Make your idea fully complete. As you write your e-query, have a strong visual image in mind of the article already published.
  • What is its title?
  • Does it have a blurb?
  • On the e-zine cover, will there be cover lines announcing its appearance inside?
  • Is a sidebar included at the end?
In general, readers of online e-zines tend to scan while reading so:
  • Keep to your point
  • Use short sentences
  • Be brief
  1. Study E-zines
  2. Analyze 3 of the target magazines you pick for your idea
  3. Select one story idea and find 20 markets for it. (TIP: See Let One Idea = Endless Writing:
 Advice From The Pros; the important course section where you'll find specialized insider tips and information:

1-9, Treasure Hunting For Markets:

Next -- Chapter 4, Writers Guidelines and Magazine Calendars

Chapter 4 Writers Guidelines and Magazine Calendars

Chapter four topics
  • Finding Writers Guidelines
  • Getting Guidelines For Print or e-Zine Magazines
  • Guidelines Database
  • Magazine calendar
It's essential to get and study the writers guidelines for any magazine you're interested in writing for. Guidelines tell you what and how the editor wants stories to be sent, often in great detail. Some guidelines also tell fees paid.

Tip: When an editor requests work, either on speculation (spec) or on assignment, that is the time to clarify word count, payment, and rights. Asking for this information is the mark of professionalism! And you will avoid embarrassing problems later.

If you can't accept any of the publisher's contract terms and can not negotiate what's important to you, look for another acceptance elsewhere. Do not write your article (or book) until you're in agreement with the publisher.

How to get guidelines
Many magazines today put their writer's guidelines online and you can simply download them. If you are writing via snail mail for them, use the following example.
"I am a freelance writer and I'm interested in your magazine. I'd appreciate receiving a copy of your writers' guidelines. Enclosed is my S.A.S.E. Thanks for your time and assistance."
S.A.S.E. means Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. Address it to the editor, unless you only have the magazine title and haven't been able to find out who the editor is. Then you can say: "Hello" without a name or title.

Editors expect professional writers to be constantly asking for guidelines and to be updating their guideline files frequently because as editors come and go (and they do like to play musical chairs in this profession) the focus and preferences at the magazine change. So if you can't locate the writer's guidelines online, don't be afraid to request them.

Finding guidelines
Can't find the guidelines to a magazine? Use a search engine and type in "writers guidelines" (include the quotes but leave out the apostrophe.) You'll get the same results either way. You'll get a HUGE list. But most of them probably don't pay. Be more specific by adding the word pay after "writers guidelines" - after the quote.

Also search: "authors guidelines" "contributors guidelines" "guidelines for writers" "guidelines for authors." Get the idea? Reverse the order of your words, too. (ie: "guidelines for contributors".)

Tip: IF a different method to get the guidelines is specified in Writer's Market, follow instructions. If all that's required is a postcard, say, "I'm a freelance writer and I am updating my writers' guidelines. Will you please send me a copy? Thanks for your time and assistance." If the magazine is online, chances are you simply need to locate where they have their writer's guidelines on the website. However, if they aren't there or you cannot find them, e-mail that message to the appropriate contact listed.

Online guidelines
Writer's Digest,
Writer's Digest,
The Misc. Writing List,

Guidelines database
Amador Books,
Click Favorite Links. Then Opportunities for Writers.
BellaOnline, The Voice of Women, > It numbers more than 100, and many of the links connect to others.

Tip: The guidelines may request that stories be submitted in Rich Text Format. What does that mean? Word processors often allow you to select which format to save as a document (there's a drop down list beneath the space where you type the file name before saving). Rich Text Format is one of them, or instead, it may have Ascii format or Text or Plain text. They save a file in Ascii -- which is the file format you need to PASTE into your e-mail, or save on the diskette your editor specifies as a means of getting it to him\her.
*See How to Double-space e-mail,

Magazine calendars
You may feel as taken by surprise as I was when I first heard about editorial calendars. Don't fall into the trap of becoming a cynic (unless you intend to capitalize on it and become a well known cynic writer, as many op-ed columnists are) and think that a magazine actually plans articles and tells advertisers when the issue closes for ads -- and then writes an article on orange juice and voila there are a million ads for orange juice in that issue.

You see, the magazine ad department sells ads.

There are definite seasons when some companies are going to buy space to advertise. So the magazine, knowing they'll snag a few advertiser's bucks, tries hard to get good articles that will result in people paying more attention to the ads. Makes sense, when you stop to think about it.

Everything we experience (through all of our five senses) influences us in some way. Writing is influencing. Bear that in mind when you're working: you are influencing others! The magazine manager has a responsibility to pull all the departments together to create as fine a magazine as possible.

Look at the masthead and see how many departments there are -- and you'll get an inkling of how hard the "managing editor" job is!

Request a magazine's advertising calendar, also.

See if you can get a magazine's editorial calendar. i.e., Search at for 2010 editorial calendar, and add the magazine's name. Analyze as many editorial calendars as possible, and you'll notice definite trends.

Tip: Use what you learn to topic spoke ideas. Magazine editors constantly research to learn what their competitors are planning, so when you select your target market also check what their competitor has planned for that time-slot.

Remember to read carefully at any website. Some have content only available to paid subscribers. Keep searching and you'll find the good freebie listings!

Angela Adair-Hoy's web site, WritersWeekly. com is widely known as "Your Only Source of Markets Needing Writers TODAY." Visit it often, check the archives and subscribe to the free newsletter at their site: New subscribers receive the FREE ebook, How to Be a Freelance Writer, which includes 103 paying markets.

Articles tab is where you'll find Angela's archives; scroll down and click Browse complete archives.

  1. Analyze 3 of the target magazines you pick for your idea.
  2. Get (print) guidelines from the three magazines you decided to target your story to.
  3. Find a magazine calendar online.
Advice FromThe Pros:

2-1, How To Be Your Editor's Favorite Freelancer:

2-2, Tools for Writing Online:

2-3, Make Tiny URLs:

2-4, Electronic Publishing:

2-5, Grammar Resources:

Next, Chapter 5 - Copyrights, Previously Published Works, and Using Quotations:

Chapter 5 Copyrights Previously Published Works and Using Quotations

Chapter five topics
  • History of Copyright in the United States
  • Copyrights: History of Copyright in the United States
  • E-Filing Copyrights
  • Newspaper Copyrights
  • Database of Copyrights
  • Website Copyright
  • The Cyberlaw Encyclopedia
  • Termination of Copyrights
  • Citing Your Sources
  • Law Freedom of Information Act
  • Getting Quotations
  • Megasources For Finding Experts to Quote
Every writer needs to know and understand Copyrights. United States Copyright Office official site, and the history of US Copyrights,
Check this link, Cornell Copyright Information Center,, it clearly defines what works are now public domain, by year.
Several private websites explain US copyright law. These are two of the best I've found:
  1. Brad Templeton's "10 Big Myths about copyright explained,"
  2. Alan Gahtan's, The Cyberlaw Encyclopedia, Be sure to refer to their Terms of Use.
Copyrights and publishing Letters,

E-Filing for copyright is cheap and easy, should you choose to go that route. Visit the website for details, The site has an on-line tutorial and a FAQ section.
Newspaper copyrights
Everything in the newspaper is copyrighted. None of it -- except the actual information -- is public domain. There is a legal reason to not plagrize a newspaper. The paper *probably* won't do anything about it if you make copies to hand to your group, but if you take one of their articles and resell it as your own, I bet they would find you quick. They can -- and would be more than willing -- to do something about it.

It is considered unethical to plagarize newspapers. What is not copyrightable is the actual news -- the facts. You can read a news article in the paper, and reword it, using them as your only source, and be perfectly legal. It's sloppy, but legal. But if you use their lead, organization, format, and conclusion, you're plagarizing.

Newspapers, magazines, books, newsletters, brochures, those little flyers you pick up in the doctor's office ~~ if it's written down, it's copyrighted.

Database of copyrights
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of TX web site contains a link to WATCH File, The WATCH File (Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders) is a database containing primarily, but not exclusively, the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for authors and artists whose archives are housed, in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom.

Tip: You'll find useful information regarding copyrights and holders by exploring all of the links. Answers to questions here,

Website copyright
Laws protect website graphics, content, everything, from being used without permission. Study the Cyberlaw Encyclopedia,

Termination of copyrights
Copyright Termination: How Authors (and their Heirs) Can Recapture their pre-1978 Copyrights,  by Lloyd J. Jassin,

Copyrights and derivative works
When you wonder if revising and or excerpting original works changes copyrights read Ivan Hoffman's excellent article on the subject,

Ivan wrote that in part US Copyright law states, a “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

Read Ivan's entire article for the rest of the legalities involved in a derivative work.

Using previously published works
Citing your sources ~~ Research and Documentation Online is a guide to using Internet sources. Citation styles is one of the many useful links you'll find,

Law and the Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act is a federal law that applies only to federal executive agencies and has no jurisdiction over state or local agencies, Congress or the courts. In case you aren't familiar with this Act, which can come in extremely handy when some government clerk isn't too cooperative when you're doing research, here's the Freedom of Information Act site where you can learn your rights to government information,

In many states such as Montana, access to government records is governed by state law and the state's constitution. For more on state law, I would advise you to visit a specific portion of the University of Montana's School of Journalism website,

While there, you might also want to keep current by clicking Articles \ Trends \ and then read Tweet Responsibility, written by Troy Warzocha,

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has the entire text of the Freedom of Information Act on its website,, as well as a guide for using the act. You'll find the text at, There you'll also find the Open Government Guide, a complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws, organized alphabetically by states,

Also, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) site, includes the text of the 1996 electronic amendments to the FOIA. Click, Freedom of Information to find links to what you want to know. Self-Help Law Center,, Your legal companion, where you'll find a multitude of answers.

Tip: Remember, websites that do not end in .org are not government sites They're private websites.

Getting quotations
Question: How does a new writer get quotes? If I'm writing an article for instance on ear infections, do I call my own doctor and get his\her quote so I have a professional? Do I call the University and talk to the medical staff?

When approaching experts you want to make them as comfortable as possible.
  • Tell them who you are
  • Where you got their name
  • What you are doing
Outline the questions you want answered. Ask them if they have any other comments, and be sure to thank them for their time. You should also ask for their titles and association \ organization name so you'll be able to credit them properly.

Megasources for finding experts to quote
Websites where you can get in touch with experts to quote:
Ryerson University:

Typing Find experts in the search box brought a page full of resource links. The Faculty Experts link brings you here,

Finding Answers, by Ryerson University Emeritus Professor, Dean Tudor,  provides online resources to an enormous variety of pertinent topics, as well as links to publications.

American Society of Association Executives ("ASAE"), brings a "Oh, no sorry ..." message, but don't be dismayed. Click on the provided search to be whisked to,

Click Publications and Resources (top tab.) It will take you to directories of associations, including those that are online. Very useful for contacting sources for articles.

The Yearbook of Experts is available at, Want to find a topic to write about? Click Find Experts (provides experts by topic) then select your topic. You can also search by Participant, and Geography. Ideas are limitless! Read About Us, Site Map brings opportunities to choose your preference to Join.

ProfNet, which you're bound to read about, is a source -- for professionals only. It enables journalists to ask a group of academic, business contacts and other experts for comments on virtually any subject. ProfNet does not welcome queries from amatuers or students,

A Journalist's Guide at Robert site is a great place that will help writers and non-writers alike to find information and data (such as US Census),

Statistics can sometimes tell you as much as your human sources. Start at, Be sure to scroll down to Finding Data on the Internet.

Use this resource to search out published works, Online Books Page,

Xpress Press News Service hosts a e-mail free service, Press Query, for reporters looking for public relations professionals, information officers, authors and expert sources, Click For Journalists and Subscribe (it's free.) Queries are sent within a few hours of receipt during business hours (9 - 6 EST). Follow the directions at the site to send your request.

Ask An Expert Sources offers useful, catergorized links,
One of the newer resources is HARO (Help A Reporter Out), Read about it at, And scroll to the bottom for useful, current links.

Rebeca, a member of InternetWritingWorkshop,, explained,
"It's a tool for publicists to get in touch with reporters who have specific story queries. But if you're a freelance writer who needs sources for a story, you can post your query and be flooded by publicists' emails. HARO operates in the same way as PROFNET, but it's more user-friendly."
Now, get started ~~ develop your topic and get expert quotes!

  1. Get a quote from an online source for a real or imagined story.
  2. Make the proper source citation in a real or imagined story.

Advice FromThe Pros,

3-1, Copyright Infringements and Abstracts: ht

3-2, Publishing letters:

3-3, Critiquing How-To:

3-4, Interviewing to Write Profiles:

3-5, Quoting Quotes:

Next, Chapter 6 - Permissions:

Chapter 6 Permissions and Writer Beware

Chapter six topics
  • Getting permissions
  • Quoting music lyrics
  • Writer beware
Getting permissions
QUESTION: Do I need permission from the web site owner to talk about his site or quote from it?

Perhaps not, legally, but maybe so. However, during my research to create this course (and when I periodically update it) routinely requesting permission from each site owner, as I've been doing annually for ten years, has morfed into notifying each web site owner that I've linked them. The process plays an increasingly important roll in my success.

In my e-mailed notification I include the URL where I've linked them, and explain my intended use. I not only receive hundreds of thank you replies, but along with them an abundance of good luck wishes, and an occasional job offer!

Some site owners reciprocate by including information on their websites about Access The World and Write Your Way To $$$, and link me!

Best of all, I often receive some wonderful insights to the site-content that I'd otherwise miss. Just about every place in this material where I include in-depth information with the URL it came from a quote I received as a result of following this courtesy protocol!

Occasionally I receive a request to remove the link, but a reason for that is always given. I send a thank you right back, saying I will not include the site. Then I search for a suitable alternative.

The time I spend sending notifications avoids difficulties, builds an ever-expanding network of writers, and results in friendships which I maintain. It's time very well spent.

It pays to be thoughtful and courteous when you want to use what other people create.

Example of my notification:
Dear ......

First, thank you for the wealth of information you provide on your website. I've directed students from all over the world to visit.

I have included your URL link in my free writing course, Access The World And Write Your Way To $$$,, in appropriate chapters and in Advice From Professionals section here, A contents index is here, A link to Access The World And Write Your Way To $$$ will also be embedded in Montana Scribbler,, and it's expected that an increasing number of writers will ask to link.

****** I do not include content from any web sites. The intent of the course is to help writers find what they need, and encourage them to study. ****

My course is not designed to encourage students to PAY to learn. Because, when I began what eventually turned into a career in writing, I was too poor and couldn't afford classes. Thus, my primary goal is providing a FREE guide to excellent FREE online education resources; and to alert them to the opportunities and pitfalls in the business of writing.

I have linked you here, (insert post tag and URL)

Please let me know if you have any objection, or would like to add anything. Let me know why you object to being linked and your wishes will be honored immediately.

I'd certainly appreciate it if you linked or promoted me, using any or all of the following,
Montana Scribbler,
Access The World and Write Your Way To $$$,
Advice From The Pros,

For ten years, the e-mailed based version of this course has been received by students world-wide.

Thank you for your time, and I'll appreciate your suggestions.

Mona Vanek, Freelance Writer\Author\Instructor
# # # # # # # #

Songwriters register their works with organizations that channel royalties to them. Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), represents 140,000 U.S. songwriters and composers and over 60,000 U.S. publishers.

Read here first:, to understand how to use BMI.

Locate song title, writer, publisher, and artist by scrolling to the links near the page bottom.

Other music-writers organizations include American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers ("ASCAP") ASCAP members are "authors" as composers and lyricists. ASCAP's focus is on "music" writing. Further, ASCAP expects all users of its website to follow its terms and conditions. E-mail:

ASCAP and BMI license, on behalf of its members and affiliates, the right to perform copyrighted music publicly. Also add, where you discuss ASCAP, that one can search online for song title, author and publisher through ASCAP's ACE Database found on ASCAP's website.

Music rights
Permission to quote the lyrics of a song is called print rights. You will need to obtain this permission directly from the publisher who owns the rights to the song. You can locate the copyright owner by sending an e-mail query to:

Also, to find out publisher information for song titles, please contact ASCAP @ 212 621-6160, www,, or BMI @ 212 586-2000,

Writer beware
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. HOME page offers great information for writers:

Become a frequent visitor to:

  • Get permission from an online source to quote material for a (real or imagined) story.
 Next, Chapter 7 - Resources:

Chapter 7 Resources

Chapter seven topics
  • Online writer's resources
  • Inspirations and resource links
  • Writer's lists
  • Teacher's research sources
  • For Teachers of children who are writing
Online Writer's Resources and Weblogs
Writer's Toolbox: 35 Best Tools For Writing Online, by Paul Glazowski, was published on on December 13, 2008,

Nicely organized, Glazowski's list of resources provides links to many tools, some of which are free. "You'll find WordProcessing, Blogging, Microblogging, Jotting Ideas, Social Networking, Jobs and Employment Resources, Book Fairs/Shows, iPhone Apps, and under Other Resources, much more helpful information."

Weblogs are popular. Learn about them at Wikipedia,, and, WIRED,
Good links at Clocktower Books, Click left top tab links to locate best selling authors by name and genre, a valuable tool when making comparisons with other books in your genre.

Writers Write:

Search frequently at typing "writers resources" (including the quotation marks.)

The  Eclectic Writer,, has a writers' message board, fiction writers' character chart, and a free (online) promotion newsletter for authors. Scroll down the page to find links to how to write in a wide variety of genres, including romance, crime, horror, children, screen, technical, etc.

Angela Adair-Hoy's newsletter,,, is sent weekly and has about 50,000 subscribers. Basically, if you e-mail them about a publisher who owes you money and you have made a decent effort to get your money, they will go after your money for you, Yes, for free, and they will spread the word about the evil publisher.

They have helped many writers get payment from non-responsive publishers. They are most helpful when you provide them with written information on what your agreement was, what happened, what you did next, etc. Because so much happens by email, it's often easy to forward them copies of the emails you've exchanged with editors and/or publishers. They act quickly and they do get the word out.

Inspirations & resource links
A Journalist's Guide to the Internet, maintained by Christopher Callahan from the University of Maryland. (DRO):

Christopher Callahan is dean of Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and author of the second edition of A Journalist's Guide to the Internet (Allyn & Bacon - 2002). You can reach him at or (480) 965-5012. (page last updated 2003.)

Writers' lists
There are hundreds of writers lists. Find them by using a search engine and typing in "writerslist". My favorite search engine is:

The Internet Writing Workshop is an excellent list for writers. I highly recommend writers to join it,

Other good lists to subscribe to can be found at the following:
Writing For DOLLARS, Fill in the form provided on the home page to subscribe, and, if you wish, subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking the RSS logo and subscribe. To learn more about RSS (the acronym RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication), click the Learn more about feeds link provided by the editor. Subscribe to "Writing For Dollars", or send a blank email to

Enter your email address and click Subscribe (in the left column.) Or send a blank e-mail to:

Writer's Digest, Subscribe to FREE newsletter by sending e-mail with SUBSCRIBE NEWSLETTER in the body of the message to, or sign up online at

For teachers of children who are writing
"Mid Link, The Digital Magazine for Kids by Kids 8 to 18,
Guidelines to Mid Link Magazine Team and instructions are located at,

Use their links to learn. I discovered this about digital story telling using the Projects drop-down list at top, then Archives, and then, Hidden Stories to get to,

Children who write
Many children are excellent writers and there are markets that publish their manuscripts. The following resources help jump start a youngsters's writing career.

KidPub, Books and stories for kids, by kids since 1995, Free membership required. Visit the FAQ to learn about this wonderful site for children who write, Frequent contests have valuable awards.

Kid Writers Club, You'll need to create your User ID and your password and register to log in.

FundsForWriters offers a WRITING KID newsletter. Scroll down to read the issue on the page here, Scrolling through the page brings links to a wealth of writing contests and information. Alternately, use the following links to locate the newsletter,

Find the current newsletter online at, Read the archived editions at,

PBS Kids Go! holds writing contests for grades K-3 at, Visit the site and click on Writers Contest Guide (the little red book toward the upper right corner) to get a great step-by-step 15-ge Contest Writing Guide (in PDF that you can print), Originally created by Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest.,, runs a contest for original stores for kids, read by kids. The Smory that gets the most views in the month wins $300. 2nd place = $250. 3rd place = $200. 4th place = $150. 5th place = $100. Fiction for ages 3-8. Written in English. No longer than 700 words. Poetry and rhyme is accepted. Submissions to are currently on hold. Join the maillist, and they'll let you know when submissions reopen. Check their site to read past winning stories, and you'll also be able to learn about the authors and read other stories they've published.

Carus/CricketPublisher Cricket, also publishes children's stories in many magazines. For guidelines to each magazine scroll down the sitemap, here, ,to find the link for submission guidelines.

Coblestone and Cricket,, (scroll to find the sitemap),, where you'll find links that lead to sample articles from a wealth of magazines geared to children of various age groups. You can quickly find thirty five magazines, and learn what each is interested in here,

Happy studies!

  • Join The Internet Writing Workshop for one week and participate by critiquing three stories in any genre of your choice.
Tip: Read Critiquing How-to. Go to the following web site and read FAQ, then follow instructions,

 Advice FromThe Pros:

Next, Chapter 8 - Newsgroups, Forums and Reference Desks: