Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best of Seekerville from the Archives and First Fives Page Critique

Updated: How to Support Your Contest Habit by Tina Radcliffe

Entering approximately 20 contests a year averages out to about
$1,000 a year. Yes, it’s tax deductible and all part of doing business as a writer. But for every dollar going out it’s nice to have one or two coming in. It seems only poetic that I pay for my habit by well, writing.

  • Freelance Blogging: Blogging can and does bring home the bacon and many gigs are by the week or month. Turn what you know into a paying job. My favorite place for all things freelance? Freelance Writing Jobs. In addition to blogging jobs I have gotten editing and short article jobs from this site.

  • Confession Mags: Don’t scoff. And you didn’t think those stories were true did you? True Romance, True Confessions, True Love. Now owned by Dorchester Media. They have been around since 1922. They buy all rights and pay a month after publication. Stories have the first person appeal of a neighbor chatting over coffee and –confessing. Payments vary and they buy all rights. Essays and columns pay 50-65 dollars. More information can be found in Michael Bracken's guest post and by joining the Yahoo True Writers Group. Send a request to subscribe to this email address:

  • Woman’s World Magazine: The weekly magazine features a romantic short story each week. This magazine pays $800 upon acceptance for 800 words. OOPS sorry it is 800 for 800! The Fiction Editor is Johnene Granger. The style is intimate and sweet, as the audience is a homemaker or working mother. Read several issues to familiarize yourself with what they are buying and check out Seekerville's latest update on the topic here.

  • New Love Stories can be found at your local book retailer. It is a monthly collection of short romantic stories that run from "sweet to heat" -their words! They buy global publishing rights and electronic and internet rights in all languages as well as future anthology rights. Payment is $300.00 on publication along with complementary copies of the magazine. For more information check out their website

I’d love to hear your suggestions for supporting the contest habit.

This post first appeared 10/12/2007 and has been updated to reflect current markets.

Tina Radcliffe has been dreaming and scribbling for years. Originally from Western, N.Y., she left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N. A former library cataloger, she now works for a large mail order pharmacy. Tina currently resides in the foothills of Colorado where she writes heart warming romance. Her debut release from Love Inspired, The Rancher's Reunion is a January release.

Don't forget...

Today is the last day to be considered for our weekly critique.
More info here.


  1. Money. The other lifeblood that supports a writing habit. Always a good thing to have (which reminds me that I need to edit my latest short story attempt for WW).

    -Walt (who's still in a state of shock following his beloved alma mater's comeback win on Friday over our hated rival).

  2. I went to Auburn, in case anyone's wondering. :-)

    - Walt (who's always up for a critique)

  3. Hey Walt,

    That's a great thing to be in shock over! Rah Rah!

    Tina - good resources, thanks!
    I don't have any to add, though I should. I do get the weekly email blog from Writer's Digest and they include items of interest along these lines from time to time...

    Like Walt, I'm always up for a critique.

    And on a hopefully bright note, I'm meeting with a new (and my first) official face-to-face critique partner on Tuesday. She also writes middle grade fiction and lives not TOO far away. So we'll see how we do.

    I gave her the choice of meeting at our new library or at this neat Italian restaurant. Guess where? :)

    I'm a happy camper.

    May at maythek9spy dot com

  4. All right, the beverage table's set up for morning. There's a huge pot of coffee, accompanied by tea, milk, and orange juice.

    The house is back to the quiet of just the two of us again. It's wonderful to have the kids in for the holidays, but's also a lot of work. Exhausting!

    After the week of hiatus it's time to get back to the writing work.

    Hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving.


  5. Sounds like some interesting ways to earn some money. Im not a writer but one way I get a little extra money or a gift voucher or two is online surveys. You have to be careful what ones you choose cos some pay in entries to prize draws or to places you wont spend money. found one of them today it merged with another which had good places to get a voucher but now its prize draws or 2 places for stuff I dont use or buy.
    But a couple are good and in a year I can make $200 - $250+ in money or vouchers to places I shop at. Of course thats not alot to some people but every little bit can help.

  6. Love this article and will check out the suggestions immediately.

    My "go to" money source is my coin jar. Yes, it means using cash through the year but I find I fill my jar and have at least $200 to use.

    Walt, isn't winning over a rival bliss? We did it last week.

    Peace, Julie

  7. Walt, that was SOME WIN, DUDE!!!

    Kind of like Buffalo last week, nothing short of amazing X ten to the second power.

    Oh. My. Stars.

    And if anyone was wondering to what you referred, they should not be allowed to enjoy Thanksgiving ever again without a crash course in NFL and college football...

    Which I think really needs to start paying young players to attend their schools for three or four years, because the NCAA makes a boatload of money off these kids who may (or may not) actually get an education.

    End of that soapbox. ;)

    Loving this Saturday. A little peace in the kingdom this morning.

    Blessed peace.

    Tina, what a great post about paying our way. It's so important not to make excuses, but make a plan.

    I worked an extra job to pay for my writing habit (contests, computer, paper, ink, OH THAT INK...$$$$$$$$) because our budget had no wiggle room. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    This is a great article that shows ways of doing something we all LOVE (writing) and making it possible to do something we all LOVE (writing...)

    I sense a theme here. And someone unplugged my Keurig yesterday.

    I did not discover it until this morning. My heart was VERY SAD to have to wait four minutes for my coffee.

    very sad....

    I am such a needy person. ;)

  8. Tina,

    This is a fantastic, helpful post!
    I'm checking these sites out immediately!!

  9. As always, great info. I've never seen the Love Stories magazine before, so I plan to peruse that link.

    How is everyone doing on their NaNoWriMo projects? I'm down to my last 4000 words which is also the last chapter. As I was muddling through the middle of the book, I thought geez, this will never end and now I'm thinking, I don't have far to go! Like Ruthy said yesterday, those daily 1000 words add up!

    I'd be up for a critque.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  10. I have JUST gotten addicted to contests. Thanks SO much for this post! (And I THINK I already entered this week for the critique, but just in case, here I go again)

  11. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraNovember 27, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Thanks for all the great idea's on how to get extra money. We all could use some every now and then. Don't enter me for the critique. Give it to someone who has already written a story. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!!

    fantum2004 AT sbcglobal DOT net

  12. good morning everyone! I'm working today - well just did a marathon work session and am now waiting for some stuff to finish then the next wave of stuff!

    brought some breakfast tacos - didn't cook 'em but got Tornado Taco drive-thru to do 'em right! The green sauce is pretty hot so be careful! The red is milder.

    man I finished Cheryl's Wings of Refuge last night and want Brock's story NOW! The book Im reading now I'm barely sticking with 'cause I want to stay in Refuge darn it! oh well guess I'll have to wait.


  13. Good morning Seekerville.

    Hope today is a productive writing and reading day for you all.

    I am off the mail The Rancher's Reunion to some winners and then to the library to revise.

  14. Walt, congratulations on beating your rival.

    Here I thought you were on the couch. Silly me. You were playing football.


    What is your job? You work nights I thought???

  15. Thank you Helen for the beverages.

    Who loves homemade marshmallows on their hot chocolate. I love those things. Going to have to do a giveaway of those soon.

  16. Rose - good for you!!!!

    I'm still hovering at 28127. I'm supposed to go to Panera and write all day but DH is in a funky mood and I'm afraid it may not happen :(.

    If not, I'll do what I can here but my 10K Day will be history. If I can pull out 5-6K at home, it'll be a miracle. I CAN do it - I am CAPABLE of it but I need the cooperation of others and I'm much less likely to have that... :(

    Ah well.

    Put me down for the critique or whatever else we've got going on...

    carol at carolmoncado dot ocm

  17. Tina, you almost make me want to start writing articles/short stories/essays to support my writing habit. Almost. Because heaven knows my books don't!!! :)

    Congrats on the win, Walt -- go, Auburn!!

    Oooo, K.C., everything goes better with pasta, even critiques!!

    Thanks for the bevs, Helen and, Tina, I could do with some homemade marshmallows on hot chocolate right about now as I sit before the fire and stare out at the snow-crusted woods behind me. Sigh. I love Saturdays ... :) Happy revising, sweetie.

    And happy weekend, all!


  18. ROSE!!!

    Oh my goodness, girlfriend, keep on keepin' on! That rocks!!! I'm so proud of you, kiddo.

    And it does add up, doesn't it? Kind of sneaks up on you, especially when you get in the upper 30's and you're like, "Whoa. Can I fit everything else in????"

    and you do and it's wonderful!

    And I love it when I'm right. Just ask Mary.

  19. Ah, Carol....

    We've all had those days. Hugs to you from WNY.

    Big hugs.


    (Sorry, Walt. Vince.)


  20. Ah yes, men! I am going to head out here in 30m or so - just 2-2.5 hours later than I'd planned :P.

    {{{RUTHY}}} Thanks :). Needed that.

    Oh - and that should be dot COM not dot ocm but I'm sure you ladies are smart enough to figure that out on the off chance I were to win something ;).

    And I'm not taking Passion Denied with me to Panera because I know what would happen. I would finish the book but not mine!

    I've been there Rose - one year I stared at the rest of my outline and was like 'um, is there really 15K words worth or story left?!?!?!' It turned out there was way more than that but oy.

    Off to get ready.

    Captcha... not here but on a blog yesterday - hating. Oy.

  21. Hey everyone,

    Great tips, Tina. Still trying to sell a story to WW. One of these days!

    Will check out the other sites, too!

    Good luck to all you doing the Nano writing (I never remember what that's called). Very brave to even attempt it!

    Must go do my Saturday cleaning (sigh). It snowed here a bit overnight, but it's already starting to melt. Yay! I haven't dug my boots out of the basement yet. Guess I better do that today!

    Have a great, relaxing weekend everyone! The family might go see Harry Potter tomorrow - if darling son and daughter can agree on a time and place! It's hard to get us all to one movie that we like anymore - so bless Harry Potter for that!


  22. This is fantastic information....though you scared me with the cost of contest entering!!!!!! Yikes! My budget doesn't have much leeway. About all I could give up is book buying -- snort, as if that's gonna happen! So finding an alternate way to earn money aside from my full-time and part-time jobs is the way I'm going to have to go. I'll definitely be checking these links out closer when I get home from work. Thanks for sharing your 'wealth' of knowledge!!!!

  23. Carol do you write at Panera?????????????????????????????

    I love this idea. Food and writing.

    I am stunned I haven't thought of it before.

    I am off to the library or Tattered Cover. Whichever is warmest.

    Yes. Yes. I am mailing my book to you winners on the way.

  24. Rose! Congrats on muddling through to the end.

    I'm a horrible muddler.

    Just sayin'

    I REALLY need to work on pushing through.

  25. I'm intrigued by the marshmallows, too.

    Must learn more.

  26. Tina - I'm sitting here right now! You should come join me :).

    Big comfy booths [but in the back so theoretically less distractions]. Self serve refills on drinks. Cinnamon rolls and soup in bread bowls.

    What more do you need?!

    I'm at about 1000 words since I got here. Plus chatting with my writing buddy for the day and getting to know her better. Well, Google IMing. Close enough ;).

    Time to set the timer for another 15 minutes and get a move on!

    Captcha - mysin. EEP! 'nough said.

  27. Okay I'm at the library and it's freezing.

    Tomorrow I try Panera. It has a fireplace at least.

  28. Okay I don't want to lead you astray. These aren't like homemade by me. They are handcrafted and bought at Williams and Sonoma. And not cheap but boy are they a wonderful treat.

    Handcrafted Marshmallows

    Because frankly..I AM WORTH IT!

  29. /hands Tina a Snuggie/ Our Panera doesn't have a fireplace but it's warm enough. Last year I went to McAllister's in my town for NaNo writingness. Panera is a bit further but more comfortable with more outlets.

    So far today, 3319. My last 15 minute burst - 795. If I'd realized that i wouldn't have backspaced to fix that word and tried to get 5 more in ;).

  30. WAY TO GO CAROL!!!!

    Seriously wordage going on there.

    Have an asiago cheese bagel for me.

  31. Internet went down here and I had a cinnamon roll while I was waiting. Am up to about 4500 for the day. Daily goal is 10K officially, but I'd LOVE to be over 40K for the month before I leave [and get a couple chapters edited, but I'm not being over ambitious am I?] ;)

    Total for the month is currently 32463.

    Will think about that bagel for dinner here in a bit, Tina, but I'm thinking a potato soup bread bowl is calling my name [since the tomato one for lunch was yucky].

  32. Carol, you go girl!

    Tina, I believe Woman's World has changed the word count to 800 words. It is $800 for 800 words.

    Walt, good to see you back!

    Poor Ruthie! I bet the four minutes seemed like four hours. :D

    Handcrafted marshmallows? Sounds fun!

    I'm always up for a critique!


  33. Yes. Typo! 800 for 800.

    Oh, and my 7th story comes out December 23rd--shameless plug here.

  34. Okay - checking out of Panera with 10523 for the day and 38650 for the month :).

    Still hoping to hit 40K for the month today but if so, it'll be at home.

    Either way, I'll take it;).

  35. I love, love, love contests. They've been good to me. And even when I didn't win money, other prizes were blessings. Exposure, publication (clips!), books, and membership in The Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. They are a great way to help defray the cost of working our way to publication.

    Thanks, Tina, for the new resources.

    Exciting time for you with your first book in your hands (and on Amazon, etc!). Enjoy!

    Blessings, all,
    Mary Kay

  36. Thanks for the kind words Mary Kay.

    Yes. This journey is all about helping each other get one step closer to that boat off the island.

  37. I'm so glad to see how open and helpful everyone is. I didn't know how competitive writing would be, and I am encouraged by this site. Thanks for the community help.