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Items Of INterest
January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

Breakthrough Novel Award
A book deal, tech package, $25,000 contest
By  IN House Staff

Will you be the lucky winner of this first ever Amazon novel writing award?
Open to entrants world-wide, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Japan, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award seeks to find the next great novel. Beginning October 1st and continuing through to November 5th, authors with an unpublished English-language novel manuscript can submit their work for consideration via CreateSpace at

CreateSpace, which IN reported on last month (D-I-Y P-O-D), is part of the group of companies providing authors, filmmakers, and musicians with on-demand self-publishing services and distribution through and other channels.

Vice President of books for Amazon, Russell Grandinetti, comments, "The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is an opportunity for our customers to have an exciting, significant voice in the process of discovering a new novelist. This contest is also an opportunity for us to give back to the author community by enabling all aspiring novelists who enter the contest to self-publish on CreateSpace at no cost."

The contest, conducted over the next six months, provides Amazon customers the opportunity to read, write about, and rate their favourites. Submissions will be reviewed first by Top Reviewers – individuals recognized for the high-quality and frequency of their comments on the Amazon website.

The next stage of the review process will be conducted by reviewers from Publishers Weekly, editors from Penguin Group (USA), and then a panel of seasoned publishing professionals (a critic, an agent, a publisher, and an author) will give the submissions a once-over.

In the final month, ten finalists will be selected. customers will then vote on these finalists to choose the grand prize winner. The winner, announced April 7, 2007, will receive a publishing contract with Penguin Group (USA), including a $25,000 advance.

In addition to the Penguin publishing contract, the winning author will receive an entertainment technology package from Hewlett-Packard that will include an HP 50-inch Plasma TV, Digital Entertainment Center, HP Pavilion Notebook, HP LaserJet All-in-One and HP PhotoSmart Digital camera.

CreateSpace will also offer contest entrants free proof copies of their books via its self-publishing platform allowing authors to make their books available on-demand to a global audience through,, and author websites. BookSurge, part of the group of companies, will provide discounted publishing services to entrants, such as custom cover creation, formatting, and editorial services.

For complete terms and conditions on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award as well as more information about the contest, please visit For more information on the CreateSpace Print on Demand self-publishing service, please visit For more information on BookSurge publishing services, please visit

Source: CreateSpace News Release IN Icon

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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