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Advice/Q&A
January, 2008


Word Wright

Neubauer's Nuggets
No writing problem is too big for our Joan
By  Joan R. Neubauer

Each month, award-winning author Joan R. Neubauer answers questions from you, her readers. She will answer questions about writing, promotion, publishing, and any other aspect of the publishing industry you can think of. Send your questions to her emailbox at submissions@fwointl.com Subject: Neubauer Nuggets and maybe yours will be the question she answers next month.

Q: Dear Joan:

I just finished my first magazine assignment and am getting ready to send it to the editor. Should I copyright it before I send it out? I just don't want anyone to steal my work.

Mae Taylor

A: Dear Mae,

Don't worry that someone will steal your work. As a writer, I understand your concern to protect your work, but by and large, as soon as an editor sees any kind of copyright notice on a manuscript, she immediately views the author as an amateur, and may choose not to buy the article on that basis alone.

Then of course, you must consider that the publication to which you are sending your article has a reputation to protect. They don't want to become known in the industry as a publication that steals work.

You have your name on your work. Copyright law is written so that at the moment you create a work, copyright law protects it. You sign your name to it and the law assigns that protection to you.

Rest easy. Do not copyright your article. Get it into the editor on time and show her the professional you are. Then work on getting future assignments.

Good luck,
Joan

Q: Dear Joan,

I've been writing for a few years and have sold a few articles to local newspapers and magazines. In the past few weeks I have found a writers group on the other side of town. I went to their meeting but it seems that they're all real new writers. I don't see an advantage to me to join this group, but my husband says I should. What would you do?

Jenny Doolin

A: Dear Jenny,

Your husband is right. You should join. Writing is such a solitary profession that you should take advantage of any opportunity to meet and share information with other writers. Just because you have a little experience under your belt, doesn't mean that you can't learn anything from these fledgling writers.

Then of course there is the fact that because you are already a selling author, you can perhaps teach these new writers a few lessons. Remember, none of us ever succeeds alone. I'll bet you that somewhere along the line you had someone you could ask for advice. I mean look here, you're asking me a question. Wouldn't it be nice if you could become a kind of "godmother" to this group and nurture some new talent? Think of it as an opportunity to do some good, advance your own career, and maybe show someone else to publication.

Network. Network. Network.

And keep writing,

Joan

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Joan R. Neubauer is an author and works as a publisher at WordWright.biz. Visit her website at http://www.WordWright.biz email at JoanNeubauer@WordWright.biz or JNwriter@aol.com. You can sign up for WordWright's monthly email newsletter at the site as well.


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Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

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.

Poetry
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.

Pegasus
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.

Re-Verse
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 FatherGoose.com


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