Archive for the 'C. Hope Clark' Category

Books for your library by Writers on the Rise Contributors

Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz


By Christina Katz
For Writer’s Digest Books

The Writer's Digest Guide to Query Letters

Coming in December!
By Wendy Burt Thomas
For Writer’s Digest Books

Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen

Coming in March 2009!
By Sage Cohen
For Writer’s Digest Books

Writing for Newspapers by Sue Fagalde Lick

By Sue Fagalde Lick
For Quill Driver Books

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine
By C. Hope Clark
For Funds for Writers


Writer Mama by Christina Katz

By Christina Katz
For Writer’s Digest Books

Time Management Mastery: Stationary Packs a One-Two Punch

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy C. Hope Clark
Writing magazines often carry articles about how to format a query or proposal to look professional. But what about the other times we communicate? We email so much these days that we forget about letter etiquette, even though letter etiquette is important, as there are many times that an email isn’t appropriate. Here are a list of supplies you may want to keep on hand:

  1. Plain paper. Make it white, crisp and clean. Insure your ink or toner is at the high quality level and doesn’t smudge.
  2. Printed stationery. That split-second of recognition achieved with pre-printed paper and envelopes places you a tiny bit ahead of the game. Professionalism opens so many doors and may be what it takes to snare someone’s attention long enough to read your proposal.
  3. Thank-you cards. A supply of tasteful, very simple thank-you notes should be within arm’s reach at all times and oft remembered. In these busy times, we forget to send words of appreciation outside a quick email with a one-line “thank you.” Drop a hand-written thank-you note in the real mail when you feel honored or grateful for the attention or assistance from another.
  4. Note cards. You mail books and magazines, often to customers and peer writers, and don’t want the formality of a typed letter. Keep a supply of writing-related note cards or simple cards with your initial. Spirited Woman offers beautiful note cards with embedded wild flower seeds in them for those special notes of appreciation.
  5. Postcards. Keep a supply of postcards that flaunt your work or website. They can deliver that short note in a package or be a means to contact someone whose e-mail address you forgot. Vistaprint and Earthly Charms are just two online suppliers of reasonably-priced postcards.

If you want to go a step further, consider personalized sticky notes and holiday/Christmas cards. Try not to let an opportunity pass to exploit your writing career. You never know when that extra effort results in a sale or a contract gig.

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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

Time Management Mastery: The Online Resumé

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy C. Hope Clark

Most writers are accustomed to writing short biographies for articles or query letters, but few possess a full-fledged resumé of their attributes and abilities. That’s because few editors or agents request such a thing. While you may never need to send a paper resumé, an online resumé can fill several needs with little effort and doesn’t have to be limited to one or two pages like its paper counterpart. Here are three reasons an online resumé is handy:

1. For your personal record. As you publish more, or as you accomplish more in your career, you need a place to record the facts. Flipping into your website, you can note the latest byline, possibly with a link to where it’s located on the Web. I’ve referred to my resumé often when creating or updating my short bio or promotional blurb.

2. For editors and agents. While they say they don’t want your life’s history, they may be intrigued by your previous job experience or that strange degree that has nothing to do with writing. They may check out your website before signing with you, just to have a peek at who you are. I once had an editor call me out of the blue to do a piece on agricultural careers for a teenage magazine. She found me from my resumé, which also confirmed my degree in agronomy and background with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For this assignment, my online resumé earned me $750.

3. For your readership. When a reader discovers your work and likes your writing, he wants to know more about the author. Your resume feeds that hunger, keeping him interested in your writing career and your future releases.

The items in a resumé consist of identification, employment, published material,
education, awards and professional affiliations. Make the font bold and legible and the layout professionally simple. For an example of my online resumé. For a great lesson on how to prepare an online and an email resumé, see The Riley Guide. Some free examples and templates can be found at 1st Writers.

Emphasize the writing aspect of your life and abbreviate anything else. This resumé is for your writing career.

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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

Time Management Mastery: Making the Most of a Writing Conference

October 2007 Family Fun Magazine
I admit it. I used to adlib at conferences. Planning for what is heavily a social event seemed over the top. But after missing a few opportunities, I’ve changed. Coordination before a conference saves time, improves your odds and possibly opens doors for your writing future.

When you decide to attend a conference, list what you hope to derive from the trip before you go. You’re paying serious dollars to participate, so get your money’s worth. Research the conference inside and out beforehand. Study the speakers’ and panelists’ accomplishments to better prepare for their presentations. Become familiar with the conference chairman and active organizers of the event. Tell them thanks and hand them your card. Who knows? Maybe the next year your might come to mind as they’re seeking speakers and panelists.

Have your one-liners ready. Ponder what you’d be inclined to ask another writer and prepare a one-liner answer. Of course there’s the one-liner for your book, but what about the ones that explain: what you write, what you’ve published, why you write, what’s your latest project, what your goals are for your writing career. Memorize those answers and jot them in your notebook.

Make a point of greeting and conversing with at least six people per hour–that’s one every ten minutes. Of course you’ll speak with one for five minutes and another for fifteen. Don’t worry about being precise; just work the room. As a shy person this is painful, but setting a goal gives me a sense of determination to accomplish the task. I’m always glad I followed through. Have your business cards, postcards and bookmarks on hand-and share them with the people you meet.

Have your notepad handy to jot down items to remember after you finish a conversation. Make notes during breaks. You will not remember those blinding flashes of brilliance by the end of the conference. Be sure to come equipped with your list of goals so you can make any impromptu additions.

Write on the backs of business cards to remember which opportunity goes to which person. At the end of each day, review your notes, jot down any scattered thoughts, and prepare for the following day.

Finally, plan your wardrobe carefully, packing with clear definition for each day–down to the shoes that are comfortable and the shoes that look good at a banquet. Business casual is fine, but make it crisp and sharp. The better you look, the more confident you will feel and the more memorable you will be.

TIP: The best source for finding writing conferences is Shaw Guides. Another is Writers’ Conferences & Centers.

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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

Time Management Mastery: Fingertip Promotion

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy C. Hope Clark

We all know that writers must have websites and blogs. But what about the age-old tools I call fingertip promotional items? Regardless of how much you write and promote your work online, sooner or later you have to meet face-to-face, shake hands and exchange information. Are you prepared with the tools to make those meetings productive? Business cards, postcards and bookmarks still mean business. These inexpensive promotions can make a big difference.

Business cards are a sign of good common sense and manners. You shake hands with an individual, make conversation and hand her your card as a courtesy. Some will toss them out and others collect them like souvenirs, but one card in the right hand can catapult your career. The key features of a professional card include:

  • Standard size of 3.5″ x 2″. Some people collect cards in folders or use card scanners. Unusual sizes often do not fit. Using a standard size makes it easy for people to save your information.
  • Basic information. Include your name, website and/or blog URL, phone number, email address and/or postal address. Mine has the FundsforWriters (my business) logo first and foremost, my name, the website URL, email and mailing address.
  • Define your role or title. Note briefly on the card what you are or what you do, such as: editor, freelance writer, educational writer, novelist, poet, etc.
  • Visual or graphical element. Whether logo, book cover or photo, make sure to include a visual. Using generic graphics doesn’t cut it if you want to be memorable after you pass off the card. I have one business card with just my book cover, the website URL, my name and the ISBN.
  • Individuality. For a couple of dollars more, you can get creative with business cards at discount places like Vistaprint. Can you guess how many writers have a card with a pen, pencil, typewriter or generic book on it? If you don’t want to blend in, I’d advise spending a little more to stand out from the crowd.


Postcards are a step up from business cards. At conferences I pass out postcards as well as business cards. Business acquaintances get the business card. Readers, newsletter members and fans get the postcards. Why? The postcard has more information on it, and it’s usable. I also use postcards to mail small reminders or simple requests. I want the post office to know about me, too.

Bookmarks are similar to the postcards. They are usable and large enough to print information and reference material such as where to buy your book–or even include an excerpt. Autograph your bookmark so people will want to save it.

You’ll want to keep a variety of each on hand at all times. I have a business card and postcard for FundsforWriters, my business, as well as for my book The Shy Writer. No matter the correspondence, one or the other goes into the envelope. Who knows who might get their hands on a card and wander to the website or email me about a fabulous opportunity?

TIPS: Most business card companies offer advice on designing a great and effective business card. Great FX Business Card is a good reference site. For a fantastic first impression, place your cards in a custom case from Netique.


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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.
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Time Management Mastery: The Postal Service Maze

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy C. Hope Clark
A busy writer who learns the ins and outs of the U.S. Postal Service can save hundreds of dollars in the course of a year. While it seems that  post office employees ask way more questions than necessary when you wait in line, in actuality, they may not ask all the questions needed to obtain the best rate for your mailings. Here are some tips for how to make the most of your USPS experience–and your budget.

First, request Media Mail (a lower rate for a slower delivery) if your package contains magazines, books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, printed music, or recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes). Media Mail cannot contain advertising except for incidental announcements of books. The maximum weight is 70 lbs, and the delivery time is usually ten days.

For magazines, newsletters and newspapers mailed at least four times a year, you have another lower cost called the Periodicals Rate. You need to apply to the Post Office to receive this rate.

Bound Printed Rate is another reduced expense rate for advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material securely bound and not in a loose-leaf binder. It cannot contain personal correspondence or stationery.

Parcel Post is the standard way to send a package. It’s a higher rate usually than Media Mail, but these days the determinants for postage are based not only on weight but also on the shape and size of the package. The same weight in two different boxes can vary in cost. If you don’t want to wait the ten days for Media Mail, consider this rate.

If you are mailing books, sometimes Priority Flat Rate is best. Using the Postal Service’s Flat Rate mailing supplies, you get the same rate no matter how full you pack the box or envelope or how much it weighs. They charge nothing for these boxes, and you can keep a supply on hand.

Finding all these names and rates confusing? Want to make sure that you get the best rate? Visit the user friendly Postal Service website.

And while you’re shopping and educating yourself about postal options, don’t forget UPS, Federal Express and others. They offer competitive rates in many cases. (Note, however, they do not offer a reduced Media Rate.)

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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.

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Time Management Mastery: Mail Management Tips

October 2007 Family Fun MagazineBy C. Hope Clark

I didn’t realize the complexity of mail management until I became a writer. In stocking up the materials I need for my regular correspondence, my office has become a mini-office supply store. I recommend that you do the same by stocking up on these mailing basics:

· #10 envelopes — 4 1/8″ x 9 ½” business envelope for a tri-fold letter. These are absolutely necessary for the SASE required by agents, editors and publishers. Use self-adhesive envelopes (with peel-off tabs) if you can afford them. The folks on the other end will appreciate not having to lick the envelope. Make sure not to use these for submissions, even if only sending a query letter. Unfolding paper is one more obstacle between you and that editorial assistant reading tons of proposals

· 9″ x 12″ flat white envelopes — Use this envelope for your submissions, as it will hold your query and sample chapter or your magazine pitch neatly with no folds. The white has a cleaner, more professional appeal than yellow or manila-colored.

· 8.5″ x 11″ bubble envelopes — The perfect size for a trade paperback or a side-by-side stack of postcards about your book or business.

· Manuscript boxes, white 9″ x 12″ x 2 ½” — These will hold your manuscripts in neat order. Papyrus Place offers a sturdy box at a low price.

· Stationery — If you can afford it, and if you have committed to your writing business, splurge for stationery with a logo, address and url. A ream of paper and a box of 250 matching envelopes will last forever, and the professional image may get your foot in the door of a writing gig that can easily pay for the investment.

· Return labels — Unless you have a logo, go with plain black text on white, preferably Times New Roman or whatever font best matches your mailing label.

· Mailing labels — If your envelope won’t fit in your printer, use address-size labels for smaller envelopes and mailing-size labels for boxes and large envelopes. Learn how to prepare them centered and place them perfectly straight on the outside of the envelope. Use your best print quality. To mail The Shy Writer, I put a picture of the book to the left of the mailing address so the recipient can see what’s inside the envelope before she opens it. For more ideas, go to Avery.com , a well-known label manufacturer . Even the infamous Miss Snark, the blogging literary agent, has an Avery address label recommendation.

Neatness and a professional appearance send a significant message to the receiver.

Don’t cut corners after devoting hours, weeks and months on your masterpiece. Treat the mailing container as tenderly as you do the manuscript. Show the recipient that you are a class act with everything you do.

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C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of FundsforWriters.com, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at www.fundsforwriters.com & www.theshywriter.com.


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  • This Blog Moving to ChristinaKatz.com as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: http://christinakatz.com. And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
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