...  Publishing New Writers

Opt-In Publication for AuthorMe.com, AuthorMARK.com, Cookcom.net

Watch for the imminent opening of our new poetry sites: Enskyment.org and InnisfreePoetry.org


 September, 2005


Please rate this Ezine at the Cumuli Ezine Finder. http://www.cumuli.com/ezines/ra79672.rate AOL Users Click Here


The Basics: Point of View (Part 3)

by Sandy Tritt


(continued from last month)

Gary scooted deeper under the Cadillac and loosened the drain plug. Heavy oil clumped out in globs, some splashing on his already-stained shirt. He scowled. Surely, people could take better care of their cars.

Something kicked at his foot. Probably the new kid again. He couldn’t do anything without asking questions. Gary set the plug aside and rolled from beneath the car.
His brother Ray waited. “We gotta talk.”
Gary swiped at the sweat on his forehead. It wasn’t like Ray to interrupt him at work. “I get off at three.”


Gary stood and wiped his hands on an oily rag. “What’s up?”

“Let’s walk.”

He followed Ray outside and toward town. “What did the doctor say about Mom?”

“He put her in the hospital.”

Colorful leaves swirled around their ankles, the drier ones crunching under their heavy steps. Gary kicked them out of his way. “Why?”

“He got the tests back.”


A young mother, her sweater flapping in the wind, pushed a baby carriage over the uneven sidewalk with one hand and pulled a stubborn toddler with the other. Ray stepped into the street to let her pass.

“What did the doctor say?” Gary repeated.

“She’s got cancer.”

Gary stopped walking. “Cancer?”

Ray slowed down until Gary caught up. “Something about a mass in her brain.”

Gary’s hand automatically went to his own head. He looked at Ray, waiting for more, waiting for reassurance that it would be all right.

But Ray was silent.

“Does she need surgery? Does she have to take chemo? Or radiation?”

“He says there ain’t nothing they can do. He says it’s too late.”

“Too late? Too late for what?”

“Dr. Brown says . . .” Ray rubbed his head. “He says it’s too late. He says she ain’t coming home.”

They walked slower, silently, past the library and into the park. Pre-schoolers played on the swings and slide, laughing and shouting. Gary leaned against an oak tree, his dirty gray jumpsuit blending into the trunk. He had always thought of his mother as being like a tree, strong and immovable. “What’re we gonna do?” he said.

“About what?”

Gary took a new pack of Marlboros from his pocket and tapped it against his palm. “The boys.”

“I guess we gotta pick them up from school and fix them something to eat.”
“I don’t mean now,” Gary said, opening the cigarettes. “Until they’re grown. Who’ll take care of them?”

“Mom will.”

Gary stared at his older brother. The dull, distant look in Ray’s copper eyes worried him. “You okay?”

Ray scratched the five-day-old stubble on his chin. “They made a mistake. We just gotta find Dad and get this all straightened out. Dad will know what to do.”

Gary lit a cigarette and slowly exhaled. Their father wasn’t coming home. He knew it. Ray knew it. And now their mother. A cold wind blew from the north and he shivered. It would be a long winter.

(continued next month)

(c) copyright 2002 by Sandy Tritt. All rights reserved, except for those listed here. September be reproduced for educational purposes (such as for writer's workshops), as long as this copyright notice and the url: http://tritt.wirefire.com are distributed with the pages. For use in conferences or other uses not mentioned here, please contact Sandy Tritt at tritt@wvadventures.net for permission and additional resources at no or limited charge.

   Keep writing!

Sandy Tritt

Inspiration for Writers tritt@wvadventures.net







Setting up a Writer's Website

by Leslie J. Weddell


A year or so ago, trying to build a website without professional help was daunting to say the least. But the technology is here right now to enable you to do just that. One of the very best website builders that I have found on the Internet is http://www.Freewebs.com

Their online state-of-the art software is user friendly and simple to use, and there is nothing to download. I am not a ‘techno’ and never will be, but I have managed to build my own website using their tools. They hold your hand (so to speak) all the way through the simple process of building your site.

Building your own website at Free Webs.com is a great way to get started. Later, if you want to pay for a website of your own – then you can simply upgrade your existing site. This means you can have your own domain and a shorter address. Handy if you want to run a business from it, but I see no ‘status-loss’ in having a free website address for your own personal use.

As an example of building your own website, simply go to mine and see how I’ve laid it out. You don’t have to copy mine of course, although you are welcome to do so if you wish. And there is an abundance of ‘bells and whistles’ if you wish to use any of them!

The other good thing I found about Free Web is that you don’t have to panic if you make a mistake, because unless you press ‘delete’ your work will still be there when you log back onto the website.

Just take your time in reading the simple instructions, and if you mess up, look at the left column and you will find the answer to fix it.

So there you have it. What are you waiting for? Go build your own website now!

Just click the link; http://www.Freewebs.com

My website address is; http://www.Freewebs.com/authorlesliejweddell/

        - Leslie J. Weddell

Critiquing Special

  • Limited time special, one cent per word.  Just mention Publishing New Writers  Newsletter (September, 2005).

    Critiques by Sandy Tritt

  • Unlike most editors, I consider my role to be a mentor or a coach. Instead of just telling you what is wrong, I explain how to correct the problem, and I work with you to teach you how to write effective prose. More than 50% of my business is repeat business, and I relish establishing long-term relationships with other writers.

  • Treat you with respect and compassion. All criticism will be of the "constructive" sort. My purpose is to improve your writing, not to destroy your confidence.

  • Mark your manuscript, correcting grammatical and spelling errors and suggesting alternative wording where appropriate, line-by-line.

  • Highlight areas that are especially well-written, so you will know where your strengths are.

  • Where appropriate, offer suggestions for plot development, character development or other areas that could be strengthened.

  • Return a two-to-four page written analysis of your work. This will include evaluation of: plot, setting, characterization, dialogue, special effects (flash forwards, flashbacks, etc.), voice, point of view and any other areas particular to your work.

  • If appropriate, recommend reading or resources to strengthen your areas of weakness.

  • Answer any questions you  have via email.

  • Provide my telephone number for a personal follow-up, if you desire.

For Sandy's success stories, see http://tritt.wirefire.com/Manuscript_Critique.html

Write Sandy at tritt@wvadventures.net

(See Sandy's article - above.)








What is Fiction in Social Work and Fiction as Social Work? Is There Room for A Writer?

by Dr. Valerie Bradley-Holliday

Prior to beginning, a working definition of social work needs to be established. According to the International Federation of Social Workers:

The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. (IFSW, 2000).

Social work, then, covers a lot of ground but is typically known for pragmatism and immediacy. The media often maligns social workers but this article is written to address social work from the perspective of writing and not to cajole or force an attitude about the profession itself. Specifically, this article addresses to aspects of writing: fiction in social work and fiction as social work.

Fiction in Social Work

Fiction in the field of social work has been used for a number of years, especially in the areas of teaching, self-help and group work. Although social workers are better known for writing reports, case notes and grants, social workers themselves have been taught using vignettes—fictionalized accounts of realistic situations. With the ever increasing strictness of regulations on privacy (refer to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), in teaching it is easier, safer and legal to provide realistic, fictionalized accounts to teach issues regarding the unlimited duties of a social worker, such as, advocate, educator, guide, liaison, advisor, community worker, counselor, group facilitator, planner, case manager and administrator. In social work education, "one innovative educational method of particular relevance to social work educators is the incorporation of contemporary fiction and non-fiction literature into social justice and human behavior courses (Vigianni, Charlesworth, Hutchison, Faria, 2005). In order to be effective, social work has to empower clients.

Sself-help has been a burgeoning area for book writers. Most social workers’ consider self-help to be empowerment that is accomplished through the use of bibliotherapy in their clinical practice. According to PsychOptions (2001) "bibliotherapy refers to book therapy or a list of books that may be helpful in understanding a newly developed problem, a diagnosis, or suggested treatment . . . and the more you understand, the better you will be able to place your problem in perspective and inquire about or discuss your concerns with mental and medical health practitioners, as well as concerned family members." For example, work books are available for clients to use that combine accounts of situations in which they respond with reflection and writing with respect to their own experience and how they would respond given the same particular situation. Thus, in a pseudo journaling fashion, even clients who would not identify themselves as writers are able to work through problems in their past and present lived experience with the help of fictionalized stories and situations in an organized guiding tool. An example of a guiding tool is Dr. Phillip C. McGraw’s ("Dr. Phil") The Life Strategies Workbook: Exercises and Self-Tests to Help You Change Your Life. Self-help is still a viable area within which to write. Jean Marie Stine, an author, writes how-to books on writing self-help books. Promoting individual change can sometimes be isolating. Staving off isolation warrants an approach that promotes individual change through the collection and synthesis of information with others in group work. Group work utilizing fiction also serves as a powerful teaching tool.

Group work provides a wider scope of experience with fictionalized accounts to teach such subjects such as ethics, crisis work or clinical counseling to emphasize there are often no "right" answers. Fictionalized, but realistic situations help social workers in training to boost their critical thinking skills where they will eventually be called to face challenges in the field that require them to work through situations in "real" time ("think on their feet"). Other less threatening situations are where fictionalized accounts are given and the groups have to help the client through the situation. In this situation, students often learn more about themselves as well. In extreme cases, the students’ judgments come out. Used with clients to promote individual change, group interventions that utilize literary works can be skill based, culturally specific and socially contextual. Although the use of bibliotherapy or literary based group work requires a professional facilitator, the literature that is utilized does not. For example, look at Scott McPherson’s book, Marvin’s Room, which deals with the interactions of family members around the needs of an elderly father and his chronically ill, care giving daughter. McPherson’s fictionalized story speaks to chronic illness and pain, depression, dementia, elder rights and caregiving. In children’s literature, an area that needs further exploration and may provide opportunities to write is children’s view of dementia "as a plot and character device and contemporary fiction" which could be used by "social-work practitioners, educationalists and voluntary-sector support or self-help groups working in dementia care and in older people's services" (Manthorpe, 2005).. This takes us into the widening world of fiction as Social Work.

Fiction as Social Work

A less explored area is fiction as social work! The most popular is personal journaling. How many people have been pulled out of a mire of despair through the use of writing out their past, present and future experiences, fears and aspirations? Currently, the most famous person is Tyler Perry who reached great heights from the depths of homelessness. Perry has developed powerful, moving, evangelistic plays based on the fictionalized people he knew in the past. His journal based play have healed his, as well as, others’ hearts and souls.

Use of narrative based techniques as interventions with children and adults and to deal with serious issues, such as dying and death, are very old. The most ancient examples of fiction as social work is so common place that its power is often overlooked—folklore. The archetypes presented in folklore, from African village folktales to urban legends, reflect the best of what we want to be, the worst we want to avoid or just poke fun at our own human foibles. As in the past, the biggest purpose of fiction in social work is to deal with ambiguity in human interactions, societal issues and environmental events. Believability and credibility in realistic, but fictionalized stories, allow people to interpret and analyze the impact of human interactions, societal issues and environmental events in a personalized way. Future implications for fiction in social work may be the use of Blogs. Blogs, written by the web site owner or several users, is short for web logs that use a dated log format for regular input of new information.

Blogs have brought fiction as social work into a new age. People write about their own personal stories or fictionalized stories of others with respect to human interactions, societal issues and environmental events. The Blog allows for an amalgamation of communication from others with their own personalized fiction, which may have the potential to be life altering in positive ways. The main issue with Blogs is property rights seem to be blurred emphasizing greater care on the part of the Blog author(s) to make sure that what they write remains their own intellectual property but this discussion is for a future article.

© Valerie Bradley-Holliday, Ph.D.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.5/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.



United States Department of Health and Human Services. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Retrieved August 5, 2005 from www.cms.hhs.gov/hipaa

International Federation of Social Workers (2004). General information about IFSW. Retrieved August 5, 2005 from IFSW Organization Web site at http://www.ifsw.org/Info/1.info.html

Manthorpe, J. (2005). A child's eye view: Dementia in children's literature. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

McGraw, P. C. (2001). The Life Strategies Workbook: Exercises and Self-Tests to Help You Change Your Life. New York: Hyperion

PsychOptions (2001). Bibliotherapy. Retrieved August 5, 2005 from http://www.psychoptions.com/bibliotherapy.htm.

McPherson, S. (1998). Marvin’s Room. New York: Penguin Books.


God Created You: A Guide to Temperament Therapy

New AuthorMe Paperback...   (Released 2005)

By Dr. Rick Martin

From chapter 2... "How a person behaves is a combination of temperament, living in the strengths and/or weaknesses of their temperament environment, decisions they have made or not made, conclusions they have drawn about right and wrong, their relationship with God or the lack thereof..."

Click here for more info...

Go Back in Time!...

Check out our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook III.  You'll become a true believer. Visit... 

Religion Category

AuthorMe.com is dedicated to the memory of David C. Cook III.

From Paul the Apostle...

 Chosen Instrument

By Kurt Schuller

 Another inspired work recreating

Bible times.

Visit our sister websites...





Publishing New Writers,

September, 2005 (no. 609)


Publisher: Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.  Fax (847) 428-8974.

Submissions /comments  cookcomm@gte.net.

Links are welcome.


To subscribe and/or  review our archive of past newsletters, go to

















© Cook Communication 1999 - 2006     (not affiliated with Cook Communication Ministries)