July 2017

Stop Dreaming of Becoming a Wealthy Writer.
Wake Up And Make It Your Reality

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Hi, I’m Ruth Barringham and thank you for being a subscriber to Ruth's Writing Roundup (tentative-title-still-in-thought-process-mode).

I know that it's been years since I sent out a newsletter. Some of you may remember the last one because I know quite a few of you have been subscribed to my emails for years.

The past few weeks have been a busy time for me.

I have been clearing out and cleaning my annex room at home to make it into my writing room. Well...part of the room is mine any way. The annex room is a separate room at the back of the house, not attached, but a short few steps across the back deck.

It is a big room (approx. 26' x 14') and fully carpeted and I've also bought a new writing desk from the local Salvation Army store. It's an old desk with 8 drawers (possibly and antique?) with plenty of room for all my writing paraphernalia.

I've also been reading an extremely thought-provoking and interesting book called Careergasm http://viewbook.at/careergasm.

It was thought-provoking because it's about finding out what you really want to do for a living - exactly - so if you want to write you need to find out exactly what type of writing you want to do (novelist? blogger? freelance?).

One of the exercises in the book was to list all your old jobs and say what it was that you liked about them or didn't like. It was really interesting to do because I began to see a common denominator of why certain jobs appealed to me the most.

It seems I like to work alone and I also like to teach.

The book went further, but I won't go into it now, but I will say that it was great reading. I borrowed the book from the library so I made copious notes. It was only a short book and I thought about typing it all out completely (which is something I should never do but I just can't help myself sometimes, plus I'm a really fast typist), but making my own notes was far more helpful in this instance.

So if you're unsure of what you want to do with your life, take a look at Careergasm http://viewbook.at/careergasm.

And in this month's newsletter, I have some of the lastest writing news, markets, free-to-enter competitions, free Resources and my latest writing article.

So there's no excuse for not writing AND making money from EVERYTHING you write.


“It doesn't matter what others are doing, it matters what you are doing.”

~ Anon



Spencer Johnson, ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’ Author, Dies at 78
Spencer Johnson, who left behind a medical career to write short books about life and business, including “Who Moved My Cheese?” — a parable about embracing change that has sold 28 million copies worldwide — died on Monday 3rd July, in San Diego. He was 78.

An Addict, a Confessed Killer and Now a Debut Author
One October night in 2004, Curtis Dawkins smoked crack, dressed up for Halloween in a gangster costume and terrorized a household, killing one man and taking another hostage in a rampage that drew 24 patrol officers and a six-member SWAT team. He is serving a life sentence without parole in Michigan.On Tuesday, he will also be a published author when his debut story collection is released by Scribner.

Oh the Places You'll Go! Dr. Seuss museum opens its doors
The first national museum dedicated to the beloved children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss has opened in his hometown of Springfield, Mass. But Theodore Geisel’s early controversial political illustrations are conspicuously absent.

J.K. Rowling wrote a secret manuscript on a party dress
In an interview with CNN, Rowling revealed that she has written yet another fairy tale -- but this one may never be published.
Rowling, who famously wrote her first novel longhand in Edinburgh cafés, says that she scrawled the secret manuscript across her 50th birthday party dress. In a disclosure that will shock many die-hard Harry Potter fans, the "book" now hangs in her closet.

Vietnam blogger 'Mother Mushroom' jailed for 10 years
A prominent Vietnamese blogger known as 'Mother Mushroom' was jailed for 10 years on Thursday (June 29), her lawyer said, during a brief trial rights groups decried as "outrageous".
Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, whose pen name derives from her daughter's nickname "mushroom", was arrested in October 2016 and later charged with anti-state propaganda over critical Facebook posts about politics and the environment.

Plagiarism costs author five papers in five different journals
An engineering researcher has written about models tackling a range of complex issues — security problems in Iraq, poverty in Europe, and emergency responses to humanitarian crises. But there may be some limits to his expertise: Between 2016 and 2017, five journals have retracted five of his papers, citing plagiarism.

Google is funding a new software project that will automate writing local news
Google is awarding the Press Association, a large British news agency, $805,000 to build software to automate the writing of 30,000 local stories a month.
Radar aims to automate local reporting with large public databases from government agencies or local law enforcement — basically roboticizing the work of reporters. Stories from the data will be penned using Natural Language Generation, which converts information gleaned from the data into words.


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A funny yet insightful free ebook fro Johnny B Truant.
He gives you the oh so simple 4-step formula for achieveing everything you want in life and becoming legendary.
'You can never succeed with something that is never given a chance to succeed. Or, as Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take.”

What Does It Really Takes To Sell Using Your Sales Letters, Emails And Other Direct Response Ads? Find out in this free MP3 interview with email and copywriting expert, Ben Settle.

Find the keywords in your online content by copying and pasting your text into the box and it will list all your keywords. Great for helping with SEO.

How To Be A Creative Genius And Have An Abundance Of Ideas Plus The Inspiration
And Motivation To Write.
Do you want to write more but you feel stuck and don't know what to write?
Do you see others always writing and wish you could do the same?
Find out how you can turn Writer's Block into Idea Overload.
It's so easy.


Are you a writer concocting fiendishly fantastic ideas in the witching hours?
As an innovative addition to this year’s main event, which runs from Aug 24 - Aug 28, Horror Channel FrightFest has teamed up with international production company MPI Media and their sister production company Dark Sky Films to create NEW BLOOD, an initiative which aims to find new genre writers and nurture their projects from script to screen.
At this stage, we are only asking for log lines and a short 400-word synopsis. This is regardless of whether or not you already have written the completed screenplay. Do not send completed screenplays.
You must be a UK citizen or permanent resident and over 18 years of age to enter.
Closing date: Friday 4th August

For this anthology, we want glimpses into the world of those we love to hate. Monsters, demons, murderers, etc. Are they as evil as they seem? What made them do those horrible things? What was their breaking point? Were they good once or has their heart always been black? A broader take on the fairy tale villains anthology.

Any time period and sub-genre are accepted, however there must be a villain/bad guy as the focus of your story. Villains may be taken from fairy tales, mythology, folklore, monster legends, history, or entirely original.

Deadline: August 10, 2017
Length: 500-10,500 words
Payment: one half-cent per word ($5 minimum, $15 max)

Focuses on marriage and parenting from a biblical perspective.
We always accept hands-on, practical ideas for parenting kids. Think about the most unique thing you did that worked, or what you were surprised worked, or what you did to help your children better understand how to accept responsibility, calm their emotions, become motivated, mature in some way or draw closer to God.
Audience: Parents with children in the home.
Submission: Each article must be directed at only one age group.
Word count: 50 to 300 words
Rights: First nonexclusive rights
Payment: $50, on acceptance
Due date: None; this is an ongoing call
Byline: Yes — whether in print or online

Sugar Shower Company, Chicago, Illinois, a bath, skincare and beauty company is looking for a monthly writer to contribute to their blog.
We are looking for an experienced writer to contribute an SEO optimized, fun and informative article every month! We've recently added a blog to our site and want an experienced SEO writer to help drive traffic.
Send resume.
Include links to TWO published articles
Writing sample-Send us a 350 word blog that you think would be a great first article for you to publish with us! Head to our site, see what products we have to offer, pick and topic (beauty trend, hot bath and beauty topic, how-to article) and include one or more of our products! We currently have one blog on our site that you can refer to as an example.
Articles: 350-450 words
Payment: $0.05 per word
Submit Articles: Monthly, submitted on the 1st of each month
Articles will be published with your byline.

The platform was launched in September 2016, and has rapidly grown to 20,000 freelancers. When a member of their team reached out to me, I was intrigued and went poking around. What I discovered made Hubstaff Talent seem almost too good to be true. So, I emailed the team member who had contacted me back, and asked for some more direct detail.
Following is how she responded to the questions I sent her. I think you’ll be curious enough to give the platform a try.

Looking for an experienced ghostwriter for a paranormal romance series. Please provide examples of past work and let me know how fast you can complete a 40-50k novel.
Pay rate is $0.0075 for book 1 as a trial, $0.01 per word for all ongoing books.
Looking for long term comittment. Open to negotiation for raise for future work to the right applicant.
Payment: up to $500

We are looking for an experienced writer for a 6-month writing position. The opening entails both content and article writing and for the article writing position, the applicant must be skilled in SEO and keyword-based writing, as well as be wable to write on a variety of topics.
Payment: up to $800

Chiro Recruit is looking for a resident blogger. Out site is a job board for Chiropractors and we are looking for a writer who is happy to research chiropractic and job related news and write punchy, intellectual articles which will appeal to our audience.
Chiropractors like articles by chiropractors and are a close knit community so you will either be a chiropractor or able to write in the style of one.
We require two articles a month 1000+ words.
Payment: £50 per article



The free-to-enter competition invites stories up to 4,000 words to win prizes of £3,500, £1,000 and £500. Stories must be original, previously unpublished, unbroadcast and up to 4,000 words, and written by writers whose primary residence is in the UK or Ireland.
Entry is free. The closing date is 4 August 2017.

Lee & Low Books offers two annual writing contests that encourage writers of color to submit their manuscripts to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent.

New Voices Award - Picture Book Manuscripts:
Manuscripts may be FICTION, NON-FICTION, or POETRY for children ages 5-12. Manuscripts should address the needs of children of color or native children by providing stories they can identify with and which promote greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to non-traditional family structures, gender identity, or disabilities are also of interest.
Submission Period: May 1, 2017-September 30, 2017

New Visions Award - Middle Grade/Young Adult Manuscripts:
Manuscripts may be novels or graphic novels in any fictional genre for children ages 8 to 12 or young adults ages 12 to 18. Manuscripts should address the needs of children and teens of color by providing stories the can identify with and which promote greater understanding of one another. Themes relating to LGBTQ+ topics or disabilities may also be included.

Eligibility: Contestants must meet all of the following criteria to be considered:

• Self-identify as a person of color or a Native/indigenous person.
• Be at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
• Be a resident of the United States.
• Not have had a children's picture book published.
Submission Period: June 1, 2017-October 31, 2017

Winners of each contest receive a cash prize of $1000 and a standard publishing contract with Lee & Low Books. Honor Award winners receive a cash prize of $500.

FutureScapes is an annual writing competition that asks writers to envision a particular future, and tell us its story. We could run projections and publish reports, but there’s a reason why Oscar Wilde didn’t say, “Life imitates empirical studies.” We want to help writers of excellent potential find their voice while shaping tomorrow.

For 2017, the Futurescapes Contest theme is “Blue Sky Cities.” We’re seeking stories set in a near-future city where significant strides have been made toward improving air quality, climate adaptation, or even net positive impacts on climate and air quality.
We want to see your vivid ideas and concepts, but don’t forget the basics of story: strong voice, compelling characters driven by real desires, facing serious obstacles that sum to an engaging plot and story.
You need not paint us a utopia – we don’t really believe in those. We believe that at any given time, depending on individual perspective, every city has dystopian and utopian aspects. The key is to show us a solution, but don’t strip it of realistic political, scientific, or logistical obstacles, and don’t neglect the possibility and ramifications of unintended consequences from even the best solution.

Compelling stories that explore the nuance of technology, science, politics, and/or policy, without forgetting about plot and character!
Stories that show us both the positives and negatives of this possible future.

Deadline is October 13, 2017

Prize money: $2,000 prize for first place, 5 runners up each receive prize of $500, publication in anthology distrubted to mayors, governors and members of the U S Congress.

The 2017 Peter K. Hixson Memorial Award will be presented to two writers:

Poetry: Send 5 previously unpublished poems.
Short Stories (fiction): Send two short stories, less than 3,000 words each.

Inlcude a personal statement, and please tell us (in first person):

A little about yourself
Any personal circumstances (financial or other hardships) that would make this award especially meaningful/helpful for you
How this award would improve your writing career/life
The personal statement may not exceed two paragraphs (1,000 characters MAX).

Prize: Each winner will receive $1,800 in Writer’s Relief submission services free of charge.
Deadline: 28th July 2017


How I Earn Money From Cleaning My Own Home

Read it online at:

Every week I clean my house.

In fact, I clean it 3 times a week, but the second and third cleaning are only minor catch-ups.

But once a week I do a complete clean through which starts with a big bucket of soapy water to clean the bathroom and continues with polishing/dusting, vacuuming, wiping down the kitchen and laundry and mopping the floors.

How long does this take me?

Usually between 2 to 3 hours (it’s surprising how much I can get done once I start).

And even though I earn all my money from my writing, most of it comes from when I’m cleaning my house.

You see, while I’m cleaning, I plug in my earbuds and listen to several podcasts that I download every week.

And it’s so amazing how many ideas I get this way.

I keep my ideas book and pen nearby and every time a great idea hits me, I write it down.

Sometimes I get a brilliant idea from what I’m listening to.

Sometimes it’s an idea that seems to literally come from nowhere.

And sometimes it’s a writing problem I’ve been trying to work out for a while and suddenly I’ll have a “Eureka!” moment.

But whatever it is, I get it written down fast so that I don’t forget it.

Once I’ve finished cleaning I look through all my notes and sometimes even more ideas will jump into my marvellous monkey mind and other times I’ll sit and flesh out a few of the notes I’ve already made.

So What Podcasts Am I Listening To?

There are several that I subscribe to and they are mostly about emails, auto-responders, blogging, creating online courses, novel writing, making money from writing, online business and entrepreneurship.

It’s quite a mix really.

But some that I listen to regularly are The Tony Robbins Podcast, Ben Settle dot com podcast, Copy Chief Radio and Entrepreneurs-Journey.

I sometimes listen to audio books too, all on similar subjects as the podcasts.

Working this way means that I actually look forward to cleaning my house because I get to listen to all my podcasts.

And because I’m so deep into listening, the time seems to fly while I’m busy.

I always call this busy-hands-empty-mind time because cleaning is a job I’ve done so many times, I don’t have to think about it and I work virtually on auto-pilot.

So while I’m busy, as well as my house getting a really good clean, I’m also earning money through all the great ideas I get as I work.

Not only that, but it works equally well for car cleaning, weeding and gardening, although I’ve found that it’s impossible to listen to anything at all when I’m mowing the lawn, because the mower is far too noisy (sad face).

So next time you’ve got a mind-numbingly boring job to do that’s going to take you a while, subscribe to a few podcasts on iTunes and make money while you’re busy.

It works for me.


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That’s all for now. I hope you found plenty to help and inspire you to become the writer you always dreamed of being.