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Marquee Mailbox

Welcome to The Marquee Mailbox. Here we will publish all emails/comments from our readers.
Remember, each Marquee Editor welcomes comments/suggestions/questions to their own email addy which can be found in MEET THE EDITORS or within their columns.
If you have found one or all of the Editors columns to have helped you in your writing, please feel free to email us and let us know. Sharing what worked for you may help another writer.
Thank you.

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She is da bomb! The entire Marquee is always 
so helpful and as well as entertaining. 
                                    just read the Muse Marquee December issue - great
                                    layout, an enjoyable read. --Glory
From Mother Hen's Bin on RESOLUTIONS:
I, too, had vowed not to make resolutions this year.  (I read an article recommending this.)  But your column reminded me that a person DOES need to have goals.  I like the idea of sending out once a month - that's very doable.  I'll do this in the short story department.
I'm doing a sort of NanNoWriMo in February, trying to complete a rewrite, then my goal is to send, umm, I don't know yet - a certain number of queries every two weeks.  Maybe 5?  That's in the novel department.
And I have a musical composition to work on.  When?  Ummm.....
Kaye George
Kaye, let me add that reasonable goals are usually met by all. The unrealistic ones are the ones that usually get sighs and disappointing feelings. And now that you mentioned your February goal, you can be sure I will be asking you how you did. :)  Good luck!  -Lea

aninew.gif Mother Hen's Bin response to her 'What If' exercise.
Hi Lea,
Here are the three things I see in front of me right now:
1. A box of Trix
2. My refrigerator
3. My husband
What if...the Trix rabbit popped out of the cereal box when I opened it.
What if...the Trix rabbit popped out of my refrigerator  (just kidding!)
What if...the food in my refrigerator tried to hide when I reached for it?
What if husband (ran away with the Trix rabbit that popped out of the cereal box hiding in my refrigerator?  Sorry, Lea, I must be in a goofy mood tonight!)
What husband told me we were going on an African safari tomorrow?
Marcia Berneger
Marcia, goofy mood or not, I kinda liked that one. Imagine what a humorous tale that would be, "Trix Rabbit Snares Woman's Man!" hehehe Hey, ideas come from anywhere and I am happy to see that the 'what if' factor brought you a few good ideas to work with.

Praise about Les Stephenson's column: Up From Down Under
The only thing I've actually read so far is the column on speech tags, but it was enough to get me to subscribe - loved it!  Need more!  --Kaye George

Kaye, thank you for taking the time to let us know how much you have enjoyed Les' column. I can assure you he has more goodies up his sleeve. --Lea

This is in response to one of Mother Hen's prompts: "Why I Write".
Hi Lea,

You ask why I write. I write because I have to: the words race through my mind, pounding to get out, allowing me no peace until I surrender to their demands to be captured on paper. Just as a child's mentality is, "I see it, I want it, and I want it NOW!" with me it's "I think it, I write it," the "NOW" part pulsating throughout my entire being until I find a journal (usually close at hand), a scrap of paper, an old Target receipt--anything will do in a pinch, and satisfy the latest compulsive urge to compose. Sitting in the bathroom, pencil and flashlight in hand at 3:00 in the morning is one sure sign of my obsession. Answering prompts from Muselings (this is the second one I've responded to from this issue, and it's only August 2) instead of cleaning the kitchen (okay, procrastination plays a part in that one) is another example. I think a true writer is compelled to get the words from his/her head to the paper.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing. It is one of the most intoxicating, satisfying, and truly pleasurable things I do. I write because I have to, but also because I want to.

Marcia B.

Marcia, you have the 'true-blue writer mojo' going on for you.  Kudos!  A true writer wants to write, has so many words and thoughts floating in there they need to pen them down before they forget them. I have spent many hours trying to hide from one of my five kids, penning ideas as they come to me. They always find me but I've managed to write at least a few down before the muse escapes me.

Keep penning and keep us posted of any good news to come your way. We would love to post your publication bragging. :)



Contact: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Phone: 818-790-0502

For Immediate Release

Reach for the Stars: A Contest for the Best Frugal Promoter of 2005.

Public relations is neither advertising nor free ink. It is the dissemination of information that sets a standard for how you would like to be perceived. First and foremost, it must be undertaken with the highest ethical standards.


Star Publish and Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter, will give writers a chance to prove their promotion mettle. Their first-ever contest, Reach for the Stars: Win a Contest for the Best Frugal Writing Promoter of 2005 will award prizes and publish the winners' entries in an e-book designed to help other writers hone their public relations skills and encourage those who are not promoting to better realize their publishing goals. As a service, the e-booklet will be given to any writer who would like a copy.

Six winners will be chosen. Grand prize winner receives $50, a free e-copy of THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON'T by Howard-Johnson, and will be honored by having his/her promotion plan published in the e-book along with either a headshot or a book cover shot and a biography. The others' entries will be similarly published and will receive a copy of The Frugal Book Promoter which David Herrle, editor of called "The Frugal Promo Bible." The handling fee for entering the contest is $5.

For guidelines and an entry form writers should go to and click on "Reach for the Stars Promotion Contest." .All fees must be paid using PayPal. The deadline for entries is October 30. Winners will be notified on January 1st and the public will be notified of the winners and the availability of the e-book as soon as it is released.

The contest judges will be Kristie Leigh Maguire, publisher of Star Publish, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author, and Irwin Zucker, founder of Book Publicists of Southern California and President of Promotion in Motion.. A writer need not be published to enter. Writers may submit campaigns design to build a package to present to agents and publishers before their work is published, or promotion plans used to promote a given work or body of work after it is in print. How a writer uses a promotion campaign will be considered in selecting the winning entry as well as the actual promotion process. Originality and thoroughness will also be considered. Complete guidelines and entry information are available at:

Star Publish is a different kind of publisher where the author is the Star. It offers near self-publish profits on your paperback and several alternatives to fit the needs and pocketbook of an author.

Co-sponsor of the contest, Carolyn Howard-Johnson is an award-winning novelist and her first chapbook of poetry will be released in the fall of 2005. Her The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, is published by StarPublish. It is the winner of USA Book News' "Best Professional Book 2004," and was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature.

Learn more about Howard-Johnson at

Learn more about the contest and Star Publish at:

Learn more about Book PUblicists of Souther California at


Support Materials Available on Request



CONTACT: Carolyn Howard-Johnson

For Immediate Release

Finishing Line Press Offers Advance Sale on Award-Winning Author's First Poetry Chapbook

Cincinnati, Ohio: Finishing Line Press has signed award-winning novelist Carolyn Howard-Johnson for her first chapbook of poetry, Tracings.

To be published the fall of 2005, Tracings will touch chords--both major and minor--for readers interested in nostalgia, tolerance, culture and aging. The author traces her life's experiences and for her it feels like "a movie reel running backwards." It may be ordered with free shipping now with delivery in time for fall and winter gift-giving. Go to:

Howard-Johnson's poetry has appeared in literary journals like the Mochila Review, Banyan Review and Poetic Voices and in a variety of journals and magazines, both print and online. One of her poems won The Pedestal Magazine's first annual Readers' Award and her poetry has also been honored by Long Story Short.

The author's first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards. Her book of creative nonfiction has won three. She is a columnist for Home D√©cor Buyer as well as several online review sites like, and, and reviews theater and movies for The Glendale News-Press. She also is an extension division instructor for UCLA‚€™s Writers‚€™ Program and her book THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER: HOW TO DO WHAT YOUR PUBLISHER WON‚€™T is USA Book News' Best Professional Book of the Year. It is published by Star Publish,

The Finishing Line Press has been providing a place for today's poets including a women's series and annual prize since 1998. J. C. Morrison is the editor.

Learn more about Carolyn Howard-Johnson at

The Finishing Line Press is at:

# # # #

Support Materials available on request.


& Yep, you NEED to Know What E-books Can Do for You!

E-books? Yes, they might well work well for you! For publishing and promoting the easy way. is offering a fr~e, end-of-the-summer teleclass.

o Topic: *How to Use E-books to Publish and to Market Your Book or Yourself*
o Guest Speaker: The Queen of Frugal Promotions, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and Marilyn Peake, award-winning author of The Fisherman*s Son Trilogy, published in both e-Book and paperback and expert on the pros and cons of both.
o Date: Thursday, September 1 2005
o Time: 4 p.m. ET (1 pm, PT, 2 pm MT, 3 pm, CT)
o It*s easy! Just call: (563) 843-7000 Then punch in the access code: 314092#.
o Advance registration taken. E-mail

& Fr~e! Come to the UCLA Writers* Faire. Sunday, Sept. 11, Young Hall Courtyard, 11 am to 3 pm. Carolyn*s panel is in the Court of Sciences, Room Number 24 at 2:20 pm. Here is the info but there are dozens of other panels for you to choose from!

Getting Published

To get published in today*s literary market-place you need to write a quality book. That done, you need to be your own advocate, have a winning marketing strategy, and find an agent or publisher you can work with. Join four established authors to learn how they get, and keep, their books in print. Noel Alumit, Claire Carmichael, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Jessica Barksdale Incl√°n (chair)

Learn more about participating author/instructors here: A couple of Sharing with Writers subscribers are on the list of panelists. They appear in color and linked. (-:

Learn more at . Click on Events, then on Writers* Faire.

& Duarte Festival of Authors, at Westminster Gardens, Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 am to 3 pm, Ray Bradbury, keynote speaker. Consult program for Carolyn*s segment. No charge. 1420 Santa Domingo Ave., Duarte, CA. Information: 626-256-1212.

& Diamond Bar Festival, Sunday, Oct. 23, at Diamond Bar Center, 1600 S. Grand Ave, D.B, CA, Noon to 4 pm. Check the program for Carolyn*s Presentation.

& Come to LA for a weekend! My class, Creating a Promotion Package for Your Fiction or Non-fiction Book, Saturday, Nov. 5th, at UCLA. A one-day class, it is affordable in terms of time and tuition. Contact Marcus Hennessey at or (310) 825-9415.

& Palm Springs Lovers unite! Circle December 3rd on your calendar for The Desert Woman*s annual authors* luncheon. I will be sharing my chapbook of poetry Tracings, and, of course, Frugal. One feeds the soul of writers, the other feeds their careers.

& I will be conducting a workshop on Jump-start Your Credibility and Salability: Publish a Book at the American Board of Hypnotherapy*s 2006 Convention: Newport Beach, CA, Radisson, Feb. 21, 2006, 3:30 pm. I will also be presenting a seminar on writing a book to establish credibility in the professional world on Sunday, Feb. 19th at 9 am. Visit their site at:

& Dayton University*s Erma Bombeck Writers* Workshop, March 23-25, 2006. Nearly a thousand writers have attended The Erma Bombeck Writers* Workshop since it started in 2000, they have learned from New York Times bestselling authors, Pulitzer prize-winning columnists, agents and editors. This year*s lineup includes Dave Barry, Susan Reinhardt, Gordon Kirkland, Craig Wilson, Jodie Lynn, Kristin Godsey, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Leigh Anne Jasheway Bryant, Mark Shatz and Richard Hunt. Learn more at

Candace Wiggins - Contributing Editor of Apollo's Lyre
Lea, I am very happy with the Marquee and with the work you and your staff have put into this. (Do you ever slow down? Like the Ancient Greeks believed about
women in general and some women in particular, you *must* be one of those "forces of nature".)

The Editors' columns are great to read; I find myself alternating between nodding my head in recognition or approval (what a little snob I am), then re-thinking a
"set in stone" philosophy, and discovering (to me, sort of, anyway) 'new' editors/writers I am only familiar with through the 'Boards'. The layout is
good, user-friendly.
Your site gave me new sites to go to and I am about to submit a recently finished short to yet another site.
Nice! Kudos to you all on another worthy contribution to the writing community.

Candace Wiggins
Thank you, Candace, for the compliments. We try very hard here at the Muse Marquee to offer our writers different angles to hone their writing. Each and every month brings a new flavouring to our subscribers and it's feedback like yours that fuels our spirits.

Hi Lox,

This is the first time I have ever written anything entirely in 2nd 
person. I had to go back and fix some of it, because I slipped into 
3rd person in spots. However, this does have more immediacy in 2nd 
person. Having a prompt was a challenge for me, because I always get 
my first sentence and write the rest of the story from that. Having 
to provide the 3rd sentence was different.

I am attaching the story to this email.  I have to commend you for  getting me to do this, since as I said it was really a double  challenge for me. I hope you like it. I wrote it for children,  because the story came to me. Actually, I would never have written  anything at all on this topic if not prompted. So thank you for  showing me that I can write on this topic.

Your column was very inspirational and I look forward to the next

Barbara Ehrentreu
Barbara, once again, thank you for taking the time to write to us. Lox's column, along with the other Editors, are very inspiring and educational. It's amazing how one writer never thinks of attempting another style apart from the one they write in now. I am thrilled to read you enjoyed this new point of view writing. Keep us informed on future writings from you and please feel free to submit to us anytime you want.

I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your last two columns in the Muse Marquee. 

I’ve been writing for a while but haven’t had anything published to speak of.  I love reading mysteries so that’s what I’ve been trying to write, although lately I’ve been thinking this isn’t the right genre for me.  My Significant Other suggested Romance because he thinks my strongest writing is when I write about relationships. So, that’s what let me to read your columns in the first place.

After reading them, I’m more excited than I have been in a long time about writing.  Lately it’s been mostly angst. J 

Thanks, again, for your articles.  I look forward to the next ones.

Mary Schenten

Hi Mary and thank you for taking time to write to Ann Durand. All of us here at the Muse Marquee welcome emails letting us know how our columns are helping each of our subscribers. Please feel free to email Ann with perhaps a short sub of your own to place in a future issue of The Muse Marquee.


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BARBARA EHRENTREU - Author of a children's story published in Story Station 
"I started reading the Muse Marquee because Robert is the leader of  our message board, RealWritingTeachers. So I read your column and you 
inspired me to write a flash story."
"I liked the idea of having a prompt to write a flash piece. Writing flash is so different from writing other things, because you need to have a specific incident or just a few scenes. I liked the discipline of keeping to under a 1000 words. If you knew my writing you would understand how hard that is usually for me. Thank you again for taking the time to critique my work.
Barbara, we thank you for taking the time and contacting Chick. In July's issue, Chick Lang will tackle "In The Flashy Beginning" , a very informative column on writing catchy beginnings.

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Your site looks terrific, and the inaugural issue looks very interesting even though I have just skimmed it.  My question is with a paid subscription do I get the ezine in a pdf file that I could choose to keep for future reference, and archive?

Thank you for writing to us, Lynn. No, The Muse Marquee will not be in a PDF file but our subscribers will have access to our archives each and every month so there is no need to store and waste space on your hard drive. Our July issue is almost ready and the Editors have done another magnificent job supplying writers with tons of info.


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Lea, the Muse Marquee looks fantastic. I especially like the way each section has its own color. Absolutely loved the Muselings column. Susan's opener "Well, you're not a pineapple, are you?" made me laugh out loud. All the other content is very good quality also. I'm sure you'll get a lot of subscriptions.

Mridu Khullar

Thank you, Mridu. And I agree, Susan's opener gave me a chuckle, too. The Editors are working hard right now with the second issue already. Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
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Kristie Leigh Maguire - Publisher of STAR PUBLISH - wrote:

You have put together a first class zine here, Lea, one that Star Publish is proud to sponsor. Each column looks great, each one is uniquely different, and I love that each one has its own theme.
Lea Schizas - Founder of The Muse Marquee:
Kristie, on behalf of the Editors of The Muse Marquee, we want to thank you for your comments on the sneak peek we gave you this week of our column/zine. And also for sponsoring us even though you had no clue as to our direction for this zine.
Thank you.
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Rev.Marie Davies-Director of Chaplains - The Maryland State Police - wrote

What a wonderful e-zine! This will take me a week to get through all the articles and information. I already found a contest I want to enter on the contest and markets page.

And what I look for in my own writing when editing is missed prepositions and contractions.

Marie, thank you for your kind words. The Muse Marquee has alot to offer to our subscribers in the months to come. Keep reading and please keep sending us feedback. We depend on our subscribers to fine tune The Muse Marquee.

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The Muse Marquee is sponsored by STAR PUBLISH