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4-5 Writers and Networking

(c) 2009 Jamie Proctor

Jamie Proctor, who teaches writing in Kentucky shared these tips about the importance of networking with other writers.
  • Go out of the way to engage writers, all writers, in conversations.
  • Take writing classes whenever possible.
  • Submit to the same editors over and over, particularly when a personal note is received.* Let all friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances know you're a writer -- you never know who knows a pro!
  • Join online groups, and be active in them.
  • Join local writer's groups. Start your own if you can't find one anywhere. A good place to find one is at the library -- just ask a librarian.
  • Attend conventions in the genre of your interest. They're out there -- just run a Google search for, say, mystery convention, or romance convention. And, then talk to the writers, attending the writing workshops, striking up conversations with workshop participants and coordinators. At a convention, your mouth is your best friend. At science fiction conventions, chicks have an edge, too, if you don't mind flirting a little. :) you don't have to look like Carmen Electra for that to work!)
  • When meeting a writer, try to start a friendship. It's surprising how many writers have close friendships with several other writers!
  • Writers are genuinely friendly and interested in other people, but be selective about who you befriend. Don't mess with people who don't take writing seriously; it's a waste of time. (I don't mean drop long standing friendships, either! This category includes, but is not limited to
    • The guy who wants you to read his stuff, but can't take criticism.
    • The person who takes writing classes, but never gets around to writing.
    • The person who is afraid to submit -- these folks are redeemable, however, if you have patience and don't mind your own writing taking a hit for a while. Jamie Proctor

Chapter 9 - Querying and Related Issues:

Next: 4-6, The 'Rights' You Market:

1-12 How to double-space e-mail

Greg Gunther, Co-Administrator on Internet Writing Workshop,, shared this tip on how to create manuscripts so you can email them in double-spaced format, as required by some media. For instance, Christian Science Monitor specifies double-spaced for manuscripts submitted via email or snailmail. Greg is always willing to share tips on getting the most from your computer programs. Contact him at:
  1. Open the file in Word.
  2. Click File, Page Setup. Set the left margin to 1 inch, and the right margin to 2.5 inches. (This will set the text line to be 5 inches long.)
  3. Select the text, excluding the title.
  4. Click Format, Font. In the Font name pane, scroll down to the Courier New font, and select it. Make the Size as 12. Click Ok. (Courier New font at 12 point size creates all characters at 0.1 inches width. That way, in the 5 inch space, each line will be 50 characters, max.)
  5. Click anywhere on page to get rid of the selection and show the file's text normally. Manually put the cursor at the beginning of each line and press the Enter key twice to add a blank line. Do that for all lines except the title.
  6. Click File, Save As. In the resulting screen, down at the bottom, click the downward facing triangle at the right end of the Save As Type: line. Scroll down until you see MS-DOS Text with Line Breaks (*.txt). Click that line. Click the Save button. (I prefer to add MS-DOS to the filename of the new files it's creating.)
  7. Close Word.
  8. Open the .txt file you just saved. Review the file to make sure all your lines have formatted double-spaced. Correct as needed.
  9. Select, copy, and paste it into your email. Send it to yourself as a test. It ought to be exactly what you want.
So long as you have not saved it during any of these intermediate steps, your original .doc file will remain as before.
Chapter 3 - The e-World and e-Zine Publishing,

Next: Chapter 4 - Writers Guidelines and Magazine Calendars