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"Fine writers should split hairs together, and sit side by side like friendly apes, to pick the fleas from each other's fur."

-- Logan Pearsall Smith

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
  1. [Editor Notes; Reading]
  2. [Feature Article: 10 Tips For A Polished Public Reading ]
  3. [Resource Notes]
  4. [Markets and Leads: Journalism and Writing Publications]
  5. [C/Oasis- new stories]
  6. [New Forms of Publishing]
  7. [The Free Media ]
  8. [Community]
  9. [Etc/Etc/Etc]

Welcome back! Some changes have been made to Sunoasis. The premium and regular issues have been merged. Each issue will be dominated by one theme but will have plenty of resources to pick and choose from. Every issue will have up-to-date market information.

I'm not charging for subscriptions but will use the Amazon Honor System. I like to think I'm more like PBS than CBS.

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E D I T O R  N O T E S

I get out "The Art of Writing," and read this quote from Su Dongpo, "The secret of writing lies in reading more and writing more..." That was written during the Song Dynasty around the twelfth century. And it got me thinking about the magic and necessity of reading.

There's no reason to lecture writers about reading. And I don't know of anyone successful or ambitious who does not take time to read a good deal. Of course, there is the President of the United States but he had connections and married a librarian.

"If you want to be a writer," Marge Piercy and Ira Wood declare, "be a reader." This quote is from Chip Scanlan and is part of his "joy of reading" column. Scanlan has a lot of articles on useful books on writing. Check it out.

Now, for a computer junkie such as myself the screen has become a marvelous reading oasis. It's like the old science fiction program that declared, "We control the horizontal....we control the vertical."

One lesson I've learned is that a rich reading life will subvert the horrendous overload of information that comes pouring through the Net.

The best books on writing emphasize the need for concision and putting life back into old worn out words.

So, what should writers read? That's a rather impossible question to answer. For the sake of convenience let's divide reading into:

  • Resource
  • Enrichment
  • Fact and Information.
>>>>>>>>>R e a d i n g   F o r   R e s o u r c e<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The shake-out is fierce in the writing game.

One way to survive is to avail yourself of the best resource books around.

Any book that throws light on the procedures of the writing business is good for someone, like me, who lacks them. One of the better ones is The ASJA Guide to Freelance Writing.

Some of the most useful books are written by agents and/or editors who explain to writers what they are looking for and what they expect. Read these books because the editor or agent is usually telling the writer exactly what they need know. "Forest For the Trees" by Betsy Lerner to put forward one such book.

And I'm the first to agree that the writer should be the center of the publishing world but they should learn to trust the people who can help them.

After reading this snide article on j-schools I thought to myself, "writing is a profession of masters, not licenses. You don't go take a board test to certify yourself as a writer. You read the masters, assimilate, imitate, fight them, move on, and start to feel your sea-legs." School is important to get the basics and to get exposed to resources the students usually don't use. But, the more experience you get the more important the resources become. Don't wait until you are fifty to find this out.

Go into a reference library and partake of all that is there and familiarize yourself with the resources in the library and online. Make friends with the reference librarian. Follow up references to credible things you read.

When excellent writers like Jon Franklin or James Stewart tell you what they have done in writing a feature story, listen.

Encyclopedia's, Roget's Thesaurus, an oddity like Fowler's Modern English Usage, the AP Stylebook, and a few decent books on grammar and editing also help.

Even though a lot of these resources are online I still prefer the book form. The internet contains a vast conversation on the craft and art of writing by writers and teachers. It is a storehouse for every agency, every institution that a writer can plunder for the enrichment of stories.

>>>>R e a d i n g  f o r   E n r i c h m e n t<<<<<<<<<<

Enrichment is an eternal component that draws in the young and naive. And it arrives again after a terrible battle with disillusionment as one makes their way into middle-age.

The books we go back to time and again and never seem to wear out are called classics. I would hope young writers would get the opportunity to lay siege to an excellent library, either in a great city or on a great campus and read until the eyeballs fall out. And learn everything you have not learned in school. And walk among the great personalities of the past. And take on problems that people in history have had to take on. And let the mind walk on the vibrant avenues of Rome at the time of Tactitus or Cicero. Or hunt with the bushmen of the Khalahari.

Every time is "existential." Shakespeare, as he walked in the streets of London, knew and felt himself to be at the very end of time. And here we are, at the very end. And we know we won't be the last. And Shakespeare knew he and his cohorts weren't the last. Therefore, melancholy and, even, tragedy.

Reading is an enrichment because we can be everywhere present within the hard casing of our own skulls.

When language is creating mindfulness or play or wisdom, then it is enriching us. That's fairly common when young but it is trickier as one gets older. So, how to keep that wonderful sense of enrichment alive?

You start off with a thousand enrichments and end up with five. Those five are meaningful. And, in truth, the other 995 are meaningful as well because you can't get to the five without going through all the others.

 >>>>>>>>>R e a d i n g  f o r  F a c t s<<<<<<<<<<<<< 

This necessary activity should be rationalized as fully as possible and be part of the writer's disciplined day. Read good newspapers. Cut things out and create folders for different subjects. Use colored pens to circle concepts and facts you want to further investigate. Question the facts you read. Get a good book on fact-finding. Newsweek has proven lately why fact-finding is so important an activity in non-fiction writing.

On my media resource page I have links to the great daily papers, the great opinion journals and a few of the decent columnists.

If nothing else blogging is quick to jump on a fact and discredit it if it's warranted. While I trust most media to be fairly vigilant about fact-finding, I trust the instincts of the bloggers to ferret out the wrong facts. Neither can be fully trusted.

The following are excellent journalism sites for fact gathering. I always say that journalists and librarians are the most resourceful people around and to trust their ability to find the right things.

Some of AssignmentEditor.com is fee-based.

The Annotated New York Times is resourceful enough.

So is journalismnet.com.

_______________________________A  F E A T U R E  A R T I C L E

I was reading a Poets & Writers magazine several months ago and came across an article by Erika Dreifus. Lo and behold, the next week she sent me some submissions and I'm proud to run one of them, "10 Tips For A Polished Public Reading."

* * * * * * * *

"Not long ago I read one of my short stories aloud at a writers' conference. It was hardly the first time I'd presented my work publicly before an audience (comprised primarily of strangers) seated and listening to my words, but nonetheless I experienced some twinges of anxiety.

The truth is, I almost always do.

At the same time, I'm also always reassured by the awareness that my fifteen minutes of fame (and more often than not my reading usually does run just about that long) forms part of my job as a writer-and by the fact that I've prepared fairly thoroughly for the occasion. I'm not just talking about all the time and effort that I've put into crafting the work to be read. I'm also calmed by the knowledge that I've learned and can follow some "rules for readings" that have worked in the past, for me and for others.

Whatever your genre you, too, can prepare for public readings, and you can follow some guidelines that will demonstrate your professionalism whether the moment marks your first reading or your fortieth."

For more of Dr. Dreifus' article click here: click here.

_____________M O R E   N O T E S   F R O M   T H E   E D I T O R

Poynter did a study on online reading. They used newspaper websites for the most part and came up with a graphic way to track the eyeballs moving about the screen. It proved to them that people do read text online and that the eye does seem to search out a pattern. If you write for the web or have a site I recommend looking at this study.

* * * * * * * *

We need to filter out opinion as much as hard news. We sponge everything up at the risk of losing all sense and being carried away by one nonsense or another. And, after the deluge, a feeling of great waste; that we've become bankrupt rather than enriched. A hungry mind can get fat and happy very quickly.

* * * * * * * *

A lot of blogging is a kind of positioning in the new world order. It will all change very quickly. Perhaps, in the long run, blogging will produce a new class of readers.

* * * * * * * *


All-time Sunoasis List of Writing Books
  • Follow The Story by James Stewart
  • Writing For Story by Jon Franklin
  • Fiction Writer's Handbook by Hallie and Whit Burnett
  • The Elements of Authorship by Arthur Plotnik
  • The Art of Writing edited by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping
  • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
  • On Writer's Block by Victoria Nelson
  • Forest For the Trees by Betsy Lerner
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
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Read Nick Usborne's review of Bob Bly's course, "Selling Yourself as a Copywriter - How to Earn $100,000 a Year".

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For Freelancers Only:

Wendy Hoke is a Cleveland writer who has interesting things to say about writing "extreme stories." That is, freelance writers who go trekking in the outback with old nasty characters or going to an Amazonian village no one knew existed. One of the best ways to get ideas, according to her, is to talk with people who are wild and crazy themselves.

This is a very informative discussion on freelance writing from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.


C r a f t :

The Craft of Writing for Film and Television
WriteCraft Writers Resource Center
Common Errors in English
Phrase Thesaurus from England. There's a fee.
Deadwood Phrases
O r g a n i z a t i o n s :

Association of Health Care Journlists
Construction Writers Association
Committee to Protect Journalists
Education Writers Association
Inland Press Foundation
National Press Club
Travel Journalists Guild
P u b l i s h i n g :

A story on the future of newsmagazines.
And this writer says that, relatively soon, magazines will simply be ways to get people into their websites.
Another take on it by a former copy editor.
This fair analysis suggests one solution to the "death of newspapers and magazines." Get school kids to read more.
Thoughts about the "death of the book" and the "napsterization of publishing," from the Guardian Unlimited.
Google and publishers are at odds over Google's intention to digitize public domain works for libraries.

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

JOURNALISM AND WRITING MAGAZINES: Make sure you locate the editor of a magazine, contact her and request a sample copy and writer guidelines. If you think you have a story for her, send an excellent query. Search back issues and try to understand the type of articles the editor looks for. We provide the guidelines or mail addresses and phone number of the publications when available.

American Journalism Review
Pays $1,500-$2,000 for feature articles
E Content Magazine
Pays up to 50cents/word for features
Masthead, The magazine about magazines
Pays up to $350 Canadian for articles
Poets & Writers Magazine
Pays up to $300 for articles
Writers Digest
Pays up to 40cents for feature article
Writing That Works
Pays up to $150 for 500 word article

Don't hesitate to tell us what you are looking for.

Here is an index of writer guidelines.


Seeking Full-time Copywriter
Location: Chicago, IL
RPM Advertising, Inc. is a full service marketing communications agency serving regional and national automotive, retail, financial, home furnishings, technology, and gaming and entertainment product categories. We are seeking a fulltime Copywriter to join our creative team! The Copywriter will report to the Creative Director.
For full ad.

Location: Chicago area
One of the most facilitated advertising, publishing and production companies in the country is growing its magazine publishing division. To assist our growth, we are seeking a Senior Editor.
For full ad.

Seeking Experienced Ezine Copywriter
Freelance/Contract position
This small e-commerce company is seeking a copywriter who has experience writing for ezines, & understands not any writer will do.
For Full Ad

Job Links for new leads!

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

A T    C/ O A S I S

Sidewalks, a short story by Marta Palos
He spotted the woman coming his way for the second time that week. Shoulders hunched, nose thrust forward, she scurried along the sidewalk, now and then casting a glance about her as if on guard against some invisible danger. The Mouse Woman, he called her.

Poetry by Jim McCurry
The Calm Desperado

Two Poems by Marina Lee Sable
The Mystic Dancer and the Hookah Pipe
Inhabiting a Distant Moon

Two Poems by Sabyasachi Roy
Angel in Disguise
Metropolis, this

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

>>>>>>>N e w    f o r m s   o f   p u b l i s h i n g<<<<<<

How old media can survive a new world from the Wall Street Journal
Read about a new class of "citizen editors."
The Ventury County Star has stopped posting reader comments on its website. The explanation they give tells a lot about the beast.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> t h e   f r e e   p r e s s <<<<<<<<<<<<<

One place newspapers are booming is in India.
The call for the amateur journalist.
What is ailing 60 Minutes?


The 2005 Iowa Summer Writing Festival runs from June 12th through July 29th.

Shaw Guide for Writing Conferences in June.


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 2005 and reach its 4,400 subscribers. Just $25 a month! Contact mailto:eide491@earthlink.net

* * * * * * * *

Staff of experienced editors, including several published authors, will edit your fiction and nonfiction Free sample and critique. First-time writers our specialty. www.alphaediting.com

* * * * * * * *

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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