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"No iron can pierce the heart with the force of a well-placed phrase."

-- Isaac Babel

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S
  1. [Editor Notes]
  2. [Resources]
  3. [The Digital Writer]
  4. [Career Advice]
  5. [At C/Oasis]
  6. [My Virtual Space]
  7. [Markets]
  8. [Community]
  9. [Acknowledgments]

E D I T O R  N O T E S

For the past five years I've been the editor of a literary magazine and make these observations on writers and writing:

The difference between an average writer and a good one is that the average writer believes her material is sufficient. The good writer takes nothing for granted and has learned, over time, to put herself into the piece of writing and design it with some mindfulness.

Don't pay anyone, anything. The "secrets" of writing, publishing, and so on are not privileged information handed down to you from on high. Make plans to study the market.

Writers face the same problem that all people face: Too much information in an ambiguous context. Therefore, a great waste of time in finding what will really help them. One of the great tasks in this day and age is to sort the good from the bad information and then put the good to use. If you are unprepared for the onslought you will get slaughtered. It will be a bloody mess.

The one complaint I hear about market books is that they don't keep up with the editorial staff changes. The remedy for that is to find the newest edition of the magazine or write to the magazine in care of the editor, tell him you are a freelance writer and request a sample copy. Then look at the masthead for the current staff.

I still think Writer's Market is tops, esp. the online version which contains a lot of articles and is searchable.

Think out-of-the-box about markets.

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This article outlines the "reader experience project" designed to quantify the "wantedness" of readers in relation to magazines. It's from these sort of studies that editors design the type of content they buy from writers.

An interesting fact is emerging in the upcoming Generation Y. They are Net-savvy and go to that medium more than any other for news. We're talking about people between the ages of 8 and 21 years old. The group has an astounding expense account of some 250 billion dollars. They could fund several wars in foreign lands. But, they spend it on CD's, clothes, make-up and other essentials. This group will dominate in the years to come. The X'ers are squeezed between the Boomers and the Y's.

Special report from Columbia Journalism Review on alternatives in the new media. There's a heavy emphasis on blogging.

Print has dominated for 500 years. How fast will habits really change? And the habit isn't simply reading a book and magazine. It's payment, it's display. It's everything. You have to have game on the Net.

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This marketer outlines some of the fissure-points that will occur between writers and readers, students and professors. It reiterates a simple adage we have emphasized on Sunoasis.com. The Net is as good or as bad as the people who are making and using it. And there is mighty bad on the beast. There are hints of good when some form of experience and knowledge appears to master the raw technology. When the technology is the master, the people become bad.

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"The best prospects for self-publishing are books of local or minority interest for which you can identify the potential audience..." So say this British couple on self-publishing. They make some very good points about what will and won't work in self-publishing. They mention, for instance, "the audience (for fiction and poetry) may be sufficient but is spread out at large among the whole population, so that you have no way of getting at it." The article was written right before the Net became mainstream. So, we can now state that this is not necessarily so. The "spread out" audience is always a click away.

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Some sane advice about choosing a book publisher by Gordon Crump.

Three ways to make yourself irresistible to agents and publishers.

An unpublished, unagented writer is up for the Man Booker Prize.

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I like to think of Sunoasis as a mature blog. It was clear to me when I got online that writers had a great advantage in being able to extract a vast storehouse of information and knowledge and edit it in useful ways for people. The Net is set-up to do that very thing. Blogs are a part of it. A masterblogger would be one who had a comprehensive knowledge base on a particular subject, a talent for poetry or copywriting, and some dexterity in manipulating a few applications. Blogs are the public display of sometimes painful growth and development.

The fact that writers have this infinite space to draw and doodle on presents some problems, of course. Taken to its logical extreme and each writer will end up with exactly one reader.

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We are in the future that is unprecedented; a bit elated, a bit mystified.

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T e c h n i c a l  R e s o u r c e s 

RSS - A Primer for Publishers & Content Providers

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The feedback we've gotten is superb. We're proud of the quality of people who have subscribed to Sunoasis 2003. So, please continue!


C r a f t :

The Opaui Guide to Lists of Acronyms
Mistakes made in capitalizing headlines.
How to write titles.
Guide to grammar and writing by Professor Charles Darling.
The Phrase Finder
Society of Environmental Journalists
Religion Newswriters Association
Organization of News Ombudsmen
National Communication Association
The Society of Authors for our British friends.
e p u b l i s h i n g :

There is a future for e-books. "Two audiences that will benefit best are young people who loathe the idea of a library...and aging people who want the convenience of large type on demand, or freedom from lugging heavy hardcover tomes
A very extensive, thorough discussion of e-books, plus and minus. It has some links to other resources as well.
According to this report of 34 e-book publishers and retailers, "...the top three genres based on sales were science fiction/fantasy, reference and general fiction..."
Will you pay to read columnists online?
Here are a list of 700 of them you don't have to pay to read.
M e d i a:

With 450 magazine launches in the past six months, "it's starting to feel like the industry is mushrooming again," says Samir Husni. "But one frost could kill them."

What is participatory journalism? Asks J.D. Lasica

The advent of the Internet and 24-hour broadcast news has changed the business of news gathering for the better and worse, says Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame.

T H E  D I G I T A L  W R I T E R

All free people love an alternative to monstrous systems. And the print publishing system, for all its good and good people, is a monstrous system where the writer is simply another worker bee in the process of making things safe for the marketplace. Therefore, the literary values of the writer are nugatory. It reminds me of conversations I've had with people in the medical profession who complain that they work in a terrible system that's trying to monetize the art of healing, making the healer a cog in the money-making machine. Who can trust institutions based on these values?

Click for full column!

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

The hightlights in this annual survey on job-finding success in journalism and mass communications, should be reviewed by every student.

The two reasons for failure among good writers is the (1) inability to market on an ongoing basis, and (2) the inability to turn copy over quickly. For instance, holding onto a short story for fifteen years before publishing it. That will not make for a successful freelance career.

It could make for a good literary career, no question about it.

There are many questions thrown at Sunoasis by young people who are curious about freelance writing. It can be very alluring to those who view working in an office as a benign form of slavery. But, if you don't have those two qualities stated above, you will fail as a freelance writer. That's one of the first things to get out of the way. And the semi-tragedy is that most writers hate the concept of marketing. And they don't like to feel a lot pressure when writing. Since that's the case, the winnowing process is fast and efficient.

The best concept of marketing I'm come across is that of targeted marketing. In other words, know what you want to write and where that writing will go. Fix on the universe of publications that will buy your work and work them unmercifully. And that means buying the publications, reading them, keeping up on the changing editors, looking at the archives, getting files of writer guidelines and, over time, developing a good relation with editors. Even running a small literary magazine I can sympathize for the problem editors have in getting so much material thrown at them.

Keep your communications short, sweet, and to the point. Respect both the editor and your own work. Have a good form of scheduling follow-ups on the work you send out. Editors don't mind being contacted as long as you are professional, to the point, and don't get emotional.

We are happy to note that Sunoasis Jobs is in the Top 101 sites for 2003, according to Writers Digest.

The decline in reading is often a general decline in economy and morale of a nation. Vide, Egypt.

S u n o a s i s   Q & A

I am currently a student, but I would very much like to know how to get started in the writing business. How do I submit articles to magazines? What are the best sites around? Is there any way to get a job working online?? Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. Sincerely, Andrea H.

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Hi, I'm a practicing small animal veterinarian. I'm interested in pursuing a career in medical editing or proofreading. Can someone help guide me toward additional courses/degree I would need or how to break into this field? My degrees are in science only. Thanks! Joan

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I am majoring in management and communication in school right now and I love to write and I was interested in knowing on how a person can get a job in a magazine or work for a publishing company?

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I keep reminding people that Sunoasis Jobs is filled with a great deal more resource than it first appears. On every regional page there is a link to an association or group that hosts free writing, journalism ads.

Take advantage of the fact!

Ask a question about your career!

A T    C/ O A S I S

I spent a fine afternoon in the San Francisco sunshine, laid back and listening to writers read their works at the San Francisco Literary Festival. It was a spacious park in SOMA. There were some fine talents there like Juvenal Acosta, Sylvia Brownrigg, Diane di Prima, and many others. I reflected on the fact that, at least in SF, it's not like the glory days when 20,000 people would show up for a poetry reading by Ginsberg and Robert Bly.

Several conclusions I have come to:

  1. Short stories should not be read out loud in public parks.
  2. Literature is not, primarily, an entertainment now.

It should be celebrated but shouldn't be confused with the entertainment arts that have been taken over by TV, movies, music, sports, etc. Literature is the pursuit of meaning, the designs of intelligent imagination, the recovery of self that is hard to bring to a public forum. It's not impossible but difficult. That is the core of it. It then integrates whatever entertainment value it needs in order to make things dance a bit.

And, while laying there, I thought, "the future of literature is on the Net because the Net can combine the privacy necessary for real discourse and communication, yet, adapt the devices of entertainment like voice and video."

The Net is able to combine the written word with its twin brother, the spoken word dramatized by something animating it from below so to speak. All things are possible. Those who have cut themselves off from possibility have not found the right key yet. But, the key is always the expansion of resources, now, at the fingertips. Never take it for granted.

The Net is many things. It is a blank screen. Anything can be projected on it. Anything can be built. It is a deep reservoir of resource with all of history depicted. It is the depth of communication. It is deceit. It is carnival.

The sirens ran hot in the afternoon and grinding, spurting noises were coming from a complex of buildings under construction. The best entertainment the whole day was provided by the back-up band who hailed, apparently, from Tennessee and spoke southern and made a wonderful contrast to the strained voices of the coasters.

The ex-husband of Sharon Stone was one of the hosts. Perhaps it was a coincidence that in the evening, the movie Basic Instinct came on. I watched the whole movie, even though I've seen it twice. Now, that is entertainment.

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We will be focusing on the new literary and publishing system in the foreseeable future, while providing good links to resources helpful to any writer, professional or not.

Poetry as performance.

The decline in reading is often a measure of the general decline in the economy and morale of a nation.

Meanwhile, explore the three new words at Wordbirth.
Hoax; Minstrel Show; Ice Cream

There's always an assortment of surprises so look around and enjoy yourself.

M Y   V I R T U A L   S P A C E 

On reflection, the hypothetical citizen saw that the citizens who made up the daily and annual politics were the same ones who had occupied, not simply Rome but Egypt, Japan, and Ethiopia as well. They were the anguished types, deeply divided between the animal and the human.

Even if the system was not repressive, the politics of any given time certainly was. It repressed the ability to build anything beyond the petty squabbles. It repressed any enlargement beyond the stupidity of politicization. It repressed the natural growth of the individual and pinned him between the nihilists and the fearful. Read on

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

Job Links for new leads!

M2M magazine

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


Digital Story Master Class, Dec. 7-11

Shaw Guide for Writing Conferences in September.


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


Put an ad in Sunoasis 2003 and reach its 4,400 subscribers. Just $25 a month! Contact mailto:eide491@earthlink.net

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Freelance pro available for any and all writing challenges. Writer with over 15 years experience and over a dozen books and 250 articles published ready and willing to write for you. Experienced in press releases, ad copy, marketing material - you name it, he's probably written it! Fast, accurate, and easy to work with.

Extremely reasonable rates. You could do worse looking for a writer but you can't do better! Contact Russ Roberts at 609-298-9652 or russrob@erols.com

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SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT SERVICES offered by Professional in NYC.
To Playwrights, Screenwriters, Composer/Librettists

I have 14 years of experience assisting professional and aspiring writers. Let me assist you in preparing your script for submission to: agents, theatres, university programs, contests, and publications. You are more likely to succeed if you consult with an experienced professional. I offer personalized assistance at your level.

Contact: hamiltonlit@hotmail.com

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CleanCopy Editorial Services
Professional editor and journalist with 10 years experience will perfect your documents quickly and affordably. Available 24/7 and specializing in fiction, nonfiction, and academic writing. New authors welcome. References.

We offer free sample edits and fee quotes to give you a better idea of what we can do for you. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

E-mail us at newsgal@vbe.com or visit http://cleancopy.tripod.com

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If you need someone for Layout & Design work, then contact Jack Landry at www.jacklandry.com I also write Resumes, and other material related to resumes.

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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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Master speech writer and trainer: Make your speeches inspire and motivate your audience. With years of training and experience in speech writing and delivery, I can help you develop the perfect speech for any occasion. Coaching for delivery is also available. call 306-546-5717 or email jhillyer@devry.com

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Castle Walls Editing provides copy editing for novels, screenplays, and other documents. Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and consistency are signs of professionalism in the eyes of agents and publishers. Visit our site for more information about protecting your work from embarrassing errors.

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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

Editor/Publisher: David Eide
Sunoasis Jobs
My Virtual Space

Sunoasis 2003 is fully protected by copyright. Sunoasis 2003 can be distributed in any way deemed intelligent by the reader as long as it is distributed in full for non-commercial uses. Reprint rights belong to the authors. Contact them if you wish to use their material. Unauthorized use of any material is strictly forbidden.

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