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"The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new."

  -- Samuel Johnson

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
  1. [Editor Notes; Trend-spotting]
  2. [The Writing Life]
  3. [Resources]
  4. [Sunoasis Opinion]
  5. [Career Advice]
  6. [At C/Oasis]
  7. [Markets]
  8. [Community]
  9. [Acknowledgments]

E D I T O R  N O T E S

Trend-spotting is a good sport for the young at heart. For writers, it's an important tool to gather information that might be of interest to editors in the coming year.

These trends are not silly fads that appear and disappear like pet rocks. They can be silly but indicate something that involves a good many people such as the trend of outsourcing jobs to India and Malaysia.

Here are some 2004 trends as reported in various media: Mobile Phones; China; Home Theater; Broadband; Pharmaceuticals; Baby Boomers

There is a top tier of trend-spotting referred to as Metatrends (from Trendsetters 2004):

  • Time Compression
  • Fountain of Youth
  • Generation X-tasy
  • Multitasking

Every type of magazine is looking for ways to use these trends in stories fit to their editorial slant.

The word "trend" was used to describe the way a river or stream ran in physical space. Now we use it to describe events running through time. From the writer's point of view the best tool is simple observation, intuition, and reading in the right places.

One thing that characterizes a trend is that it has, like a river, momentum.

The list above indicate trends in the general culture. But within every industry and community of people there are trends that can be developed as ideas and sold to editors.

All a writer needs to do is write a one or two sentence description of what the trend is. And then brainstorm to build up ideas, take each idea and break it down, ask questions of it, begin to research and interview and look for markets that will want interesting reports on the trend.

Resources abound for trend-spotting. Most magazines try to highlight the trends for their subject whether it is fashion or computers. Futurist think-tanks publish books and papers on trends. And sometimes just a sharp eye on what young people are doing can give a writer a sense of what will be hot and marketable in a short while.

One of the best sources come from marketing groups like Iconoclast. Another excellent resource is the magazine, American Demographics.

Here are some examples of how trends appear in print:

An example of a meta trend in the software infrastructure industry. It's very technical but if you are able to interpret the arcane information and relate it to possible advances in the near-term, it can lead you to some good stories.

An example of a consumer trend that can be the source of all kinds of ideas.

Six trends in the fashion world.

Often an institute or organization will send out a press release, like this one, about the Top 10 functional food trends for 2004.

You can get the more extensive article on trend-spotting from Sunoasis X 2004 by subscribing today. You pay what you believe it's worth to you for a whole year of resources, articles, tips, and market information.

T H E  W R I T I N G  L I F E 

Books on freelance writing are always popular and usually serve to give a sense of structure to a freelance career. I buy a few of the books even though most of the information is available on-line or is old, recycled material I read years ago.

The dirty, little secret is that most information is re-circulated as each generation goes through its stages of development. An innovation like the Internet will pry loose new forms that can be stimulating but they, too, get re-purposed after a time. The old heavies like writing query letters, fighting writer's block, and preparing manuscripts have been done ad nauseam.

The best freelance books say this to a writer. "The moment you decide to be a professional writer, you are in business. And here are the aspects about the business to watch out for, to sharpen up on, etc." I would stay away from freelance books that promise on their jacket, "Make over one hundred thousand dollars writing!" Or, some such thing. It's not that a writer can't make a sizeable income from freelance writing; it's that it takes a very long time and if your business smarts aren't there then all the talent in the world won't matter.

Books that are appealing are the ones that feature interviews with important players in the writing game, such as editors or agents. It's always good to find those gems. I'm reading Agents, Editors, And You from Writer's Market Library, edited by Michelle Howry. If you are preparing to write a book I recommend reading through this 250-page volume. It has prime material as, for instance, when an editor says, "yes, we go out and find writers." What greater signal do you need to get yourself seen in publications and conferences?

There are more book reviews on Sunoasis X 2004

For Freelancers Only

A sample invoice from about.com

How to jump start your career from about.com

Sources and Experts Web Page.

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We want the primary resource. It can be the person who does the deed or a witness to the deed, responding as it is occurring. It can be the document that initiates action. Some of the famed primary resources include the White House tapes during the Watergate era, the memo sent from Einstein to FDR telling him the possibility of making an atomic bomb, and the Zapruder film.

In each case questions have been raised about the credibility of those resources. Were they doctored? Did they truly initiate the event? Was the film able to show everything occurring in the Plaza at that time?

History and journalism are driven by the primary resource and its interpretation.

Every story has its primary resource, even the infamous "man bites dog," story. In this case the man can be a primary resource (if he's not ashamed to talk about it), as can the photograph of the dog after the strange deed, and any witnesses who may have seen the oddity occur.

Then years later a writer is looking for background material for her feature, "Men Who Bite Dogs," and comes across your story and uses it. That is a secondary resource. It's very important to know and understand what type of resource is in front of you.

C r a f t :
Style Manuals and Writing Guides

American Heritage Book of English Usage

Punctuation Made Simple

Effective Writing

Public Speaking and Speech Writing
O r g a n i z a t i o n s :
Electronic Literature Organization

Publishing Law Center

Association of Health Care Journalists
P r i n t P u b l i s h i n g :
Do you want to reach teens? They are looking for short, concise articles and lots of bullet points. "They don't want the news dumbed down, they just want it more concise," says the researcher for a study on teen newspaper readers.

Does the press have an ax to grind?

A cookbook author gets into the fray.
e p u b l i s h i n g :
Blogs are not the transformative entity after all. The News, One Entry at a Time

Blogs give a voice to former journalists who have been shut out by mainstream media...

Electronic publishing at university presses.
M e d i a:
Lack of unions makes for good convergence?

The public is very cynical of the press.

TV and the Web appear to be the most popular media for breaking news among the young, says a study by the Online Publishers Association. They downplay newspapers for the news.

S U N O A S I S  O P I N I O N

Sunoasis Opinion is a new page that contains some of our responses to things. No thinking man or woman should let the world pass without a few comments to throw in the way.

C A R E E R  A D V I C E

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A T    C/ O A S I S

Read the memoir of Martha Nemes Fried about her time in China in the late 40's.

Hey, we even have a new literary newsletter and you can get it free if you click here!

M A R K E T S  A N D  L E A D S

Seeking copywriter living in Los Angeles, CA or San Fernando Valley, CA only. Min.4-5 years experience in professional copywriting field, with technology based clients. Must be able to work on-site and at home. BA or Masters Degree in English, Journalism, or equivalent. Skills in: MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, a must. Marketing experience a+. For full ad go here: http://www.sunoasis.com/monarch2.html

Technical Writer
Company Information
Hyperwave is an international company with an enthusiastic, committed team of employees. We produce enterprise knowledge management software for Global 500 companies.

Our office is in Graz, Austria’s second largest city, located only 2 hours away from Vienna. Graz is a beautiful city with a well-preserved historic downtown and is surrounded by the picturesque countryside of southern Austria.

We are looking for a Technical Writer with one or both of the following:

  • a degree in technical writing or English
  • at least 3 years of experience in technical writing
For full ad go here: http://www.sunoasis.com/hyperware.html

Seeking Senior Editor (Located at Stanford University) Job Description: The Stanford Social Innovation Review a new quarterly covering nonprofit and social sector management published by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has an immediate opening for a senior editor. Join a dynamic new organization with growth plans. You will work with leading academics, journalists, and thought leaders, editing research-based articles on nonprofit and social enterprise strategy.

This is a full time position with benefits. You must be able to work on site at Stanford University.

For more information click and go!

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POSITION Web Content Writer/Coordinator
LOCATION Alexandria, Virginia
TYPE Full-Time Employment

Position will coordinate with all NCMEC departments to ensure timely, accurate, and complete content for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children web sites. Individual will gather, write and edit material.

For more information click and go!

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On Sunoasis X 2004 there are market listings for Animal and Pet publications that pay very good rates. Many are directly linked to their writer guidelines. Subscribe today and get a year's worth of resource for only $10.

Job Links for new leads!

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Colossal Directory of Children's Publishers

How to find foreign writing markets.

The National Writer's Union has a list of markets that pay $1/word and up.

Job Links for new leads!

If you have any suggestions about markets you want guidelines for, just drop a line


The international Cat Writers' Association (CWA) announces its 11th annual writing competition for published writers, photographers and editors in print, on-line and broadcast media. The CWA offers corporate-sponsored special awards of $500 to $1,300, as well as its own Muse Medallions to winners in 38 categories.

More information on the CWA competition!

Shaw Guide for Writing Conferences in May.


Want to keep Sunoasis going? Donate through the Amazon Honor System and wonderful things will happen!

Thanks to Lynda Lester from the Digital Information Group of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado for her generous contribution to Sunoasis! Thanks Lynda!


Put an ad in Sunoasis 2004 and reach its 4,400 subscribers. Just $25 a month! Contact mailto:eide491@earthlink.net

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Have a story you want to tell--and sell--but don't know where to start?

Let me help!

Award-winning writer/editor will help you harness the power of your words and make your stories sing! Call or e-mail for your free consultation:

J&J Publications
(630) 889-1979
E-mail: jjpub1995@aol.com

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What's the difference between good writing and great writing? Professional editing. Let me help you get your book-length manuscript into shape for submission to an agent or for self-publication. Structural, stylistic and copy editing are my specialties; inspiration is the energy my clients say I bring to the process. Reasonable rates, timely service!

Email me at gaylv@yahoo.com

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Team of experienced professionals, which includes a Pulitzer Prize nominee and several published authors, will edit your fiction or non-fiction manuscript for today's tough market. Reputable firm. References. First-time writers our specialty. See us at http://www.a1editing.com

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Sunoasis--You're amazing! A mere five hours after I sent in the text for my classified ad I got a call for a writing project, and within two days, the project was mine. Thanks so much for your invaluable services! Debbie Lerman, freelance writer

E T C/ E T C/ E T C

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