Tag Archives: Arts

2011 Good Housekeeping Fiction Contest deadline nears

write it


I ran across this contest on one of my favorite blogs, Sherry Zander’s  Writing4Effect.  This is a great opp for many of my writing buddies, but time is running out to enter.  The Good Housekeeping Short Story Fiction Contest deadline is September 1st!  Get your manuscript in.  Check out more about the content, including rules and potential prizes at the contest link on the Good Housekeeping website.

This is just one of many opportunities that are out there.  Check out the local writers’ associations where you live for more contests that may interest you.

Why participate in writing contests?  Aside from the potential monetary and publication benefits, you’ll develop your writing portfolio and it’s also a great exercise in tuning not only your writing skills, but also those of performing within guidelines.  Deadlines, word counts, focusing on a specific subject, accepting critique of your writing — all of these are important areas that will help you be a more polished professional.  So let’s talk about these ideas.

Deadlines – Sticking to deadlines is a valuable skill.  If you aspire to do freelance work, this is something you will have to learn to keep your clients!

Word Counts  – Many of us writers have a hard time saying what we need to say in a concise and “to the point” manner.  Again, this is an important skill.  And entering these contests that set guidelines for you to work within will help you improve your ability to adhere to word counts.  If you want to write for newspapers and/or magazines, you’ve got to pay attention to word counts.  And what’s more, you cannot let yourself get upset when parts of your writing gets cut.  It’s all part of the territory.  It’s okay to get upset, but get over it.  As someone who has been on the editor side of a publication, I understand the importance of balance copy with advertising space.  Now that I am more on the writer side, it helps me to keep things in perspective when I do find parts of my column getting cut.

Subject focus  –  staying on target with your writing is another challenge.  If you run off on  tangents when you write,  try practicing developing an outline for your writing project.  Sometimes if you “map it” you can see how ideas fit into each other and this will assure that you are staying on the path.

Criticism of Writing  –  Like I said above, it is important that you are willing to let your writing be edited and this includes accepting constructive criticism by others.  Think about joining a writing group that has a critique sector where you can practice both giving and accepting criticism.

Okay now you’re ready to start on those contest submissions.  It might be too late for you to get your manuscript ready for the 2011 Good Housekeeping Fiction Contest,  but there are plenty more opps out there (see the links below).   Talk to your fellow writers, look online and be sure to check with some of your favorite publications to explore some of their contests.

Check it out and happy writing and competing!!

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Filed under communication, success, Uncategorized, writing

Do you think sewing is a lost art? Think again!

Needle plate, foot and transporter of a sewing...

Image via Wikipedia

Christine Speno: Sewing guild coming to Palm Coast | StAugustine.com.

Just when you thought that the world of technology has totally taken over our lives, something comes to light that makes you realize that some things from generations past never go out of style.  Now I love a story based on history and when I received a request to post some information on a new sewing group forming in my community, I grabbed the opportunity to do a little research about a hobby that I enjoyed for many years — sewing.

People have been sewing as far back as the last Ice Age —  more than 20,000 years ago.  Bone needles have been discovered in archaeology digs with evidence that these needles were probably used to sew together skins and furs.  Our innovative forefathers in Germany created needles from iron way back in the 3rd century B.C.

In 1790, Thomas Saint, a British inventor patented the first running sewing machine, and the craft has been evolving ever since.  Although sewing first was a necessary part of our ancestors’ daily lives, today it can be much more than sewing clothes.  So forget about that Home Ec disaster you may have created back in high school.  Today’s sewers use their creative vision and embrace quilt making and even some ancient arts – like Kanzashi  – a centuries-old art of creating Japanese hair ornaments that were used in traditional Japanese hairstyles.

And today’s sewers in the U.S. have the support of a national organization, the American Sewing Guild (ASG) that promotes sewing as a art form and life skill to be passed on to our future generations.  You can learn more about sewing and its history and movement into the 21st century at ASG or by doing your own research online.  I found links to several sewing guilds and organizations the world over.

So now you know about  one more way to express your creativity through the art of sewing.  Communication knows no limits.  Click on the link above or below to see how sewing is enjoying life in our community of Palm Coast, Florida.

Christine Speno: Sewing guild coming to Palm Coast | StAugustine.com.

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Filed under communciation, communication, community, sewing