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To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests (writing contests) If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there. Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work. Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities. There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this? Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors. Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes. A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.

Preparing Questions to Ask in your Upcoming Job Interview When you get ready for a job interview, chances are you have spent a lot of time trying to guess the questions you will be asked and prepare your answers to them. How will you explain that gap in your work history? What will you say when they ask you why you left your last job? In the rush to make sure that you have all of your answers perfectly prepared and ready, don?t forget to prepare a few questions of your own to ask the person who is interviewing you. Asking questions is an important part of your interview. When you get asked the old ?do you have any questions for us? one, it pays to actually be able to come back with a few questions instead of a, ?no, I don?t think so.? Asking questions will show that you are engaged in the interview and have done some thinking about the position, plus, the questions you ask will help you elicit valuable information you need when you have to decide whether or not to actually take the job, should it be offered to you. The first thing you should want to find out is why the job is open in the first place. Is the job you are applying for a new position? That means you can expect to have a lot of transitional bumps along the way as you are integrated into the company. If the job is not new, and the person before you was fired, then you can expect things to be in a state of disarray when you take over and that you will have to spend a lot of time up front cleaning up spilled milk. If the job is open because the person who had it before you moved up in the company, then you will know that this is a job with a lot of future potential. Next, find out a little bit about the person who will actually be your boss if you get the job. Sometimes, this person will be involved in the interview, but often they will not. Finding out how high up in the company chain you will be reporting will help you gauge how important the position for which you are applying is to the company. Also, it helps to know a little bit about the personality type of the boss to be. If you like to keep your head down and do your work, and your potential new boss is one of those ?wacky? types, then you may want to look elsewhere. From there, ask about the kinds of responsibilities you will need to take on board right out of the gate. When companies are hiring for a new position, they usually have a few ideas about what that person will need to start working on right away. Getting a clue about your first project will help you decide if this job is right for you. This is also a good time to ask the interviewer about their job and why they like working the company. You may find out that this really could be your dream job, or you may end up sensing from your interviewer that you should run away, fast. Last but not least, ask your interview when you should follow-up on your interview. Don?t open the door for a ?don?t call us, we?ll call you? kind of interview closing. Let the interviewer know to their face that will be making the effort to contact them again. You may get the vibe from your interviewer that the job probably will be going to someone else, so you can move on quickly, or you may end up being offered the job on the spot. Either way, you will have opened the lines of communication to take the next step.

Clean Up your Digital Profile and Land that Job Whether you are looking for a job after getting fired or you are looking for a job other than the one you are working at currently, many steps in that process are the same. You need to get your résumé up to date and conform to newest standards, you need to get your wardrobe together and most of all you need to be prepared to go for the interview. But did you know that in a fast paced society with all the high technology gadgets, employers and companies appreciate a good digital profile? When it is time to land a new job it is time for you to clean up your digital profile. For those of you who might not know what a digital profile is, let?s reminisce about digital profiles for just a second here. A digital profile is any and all information about you that can be found online. It can be anything from your own homepage, over articles and answers that you have posted on the Internet to videos and pictures of you. Anything that is somehow connected to you and your name and can be found through Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and other crawlers belongs to your digital profile or e-portfolio. Believe it or not, many employers have started to check out your digital profile online by doing a little research on the Internet and finding any information about you. If it is on the Internet it is public information and therefore not illegal. Information on the Internet does not necessarily have to be positive. What if one of your friends posted some stories or pictures/movies about you on the Internet? Employers might see that and think that you are not fir for the tasks that are asked form you by the new job and might just plain throw your nice résumé into the trash before they ever have a chance to meet you in person. Therefore before going onto your next job-hunt, clean up your digital profile. Steps you can take to clean up your e-profile are many and one of the easiest ones is a regular search with different Internet search engines about things that are related to your name. See what comes up and try to clean it up. If there are pictures or movies posted on such pages as u-tube about you, try to get friends or the owners of the page to take them down or at least take your name of the page in such a way that a search engine cannot find this information when somebody is searching for your name. A very important positive step in cleaning up your digital profile is to create your own positive statements and information on the Internet, such as online résumé, Personal web pages or a personal development plan (PDP). If the amount of positive information, academic achievements, and plans for the future are greater than any negative amount of information they can find, the light shed on you is of good nature and your chances are greater to land that job than when they only find negative information for the reasons that you never knew about a digital profile. Should you still be new to all of this and you are not quite as well versed on the Internet, there are places that can help you. Many Universities and development centers offer help and tools just for this kind of situation. Public libraries also offer you free time on the Internet as well as other resources in connection with the job-hunt and digital profiles. So before you actually send out your résumé, make sure that you checked online for any information that might harm you.

Getting Paid to Work for Yourself: Writing Grants and Grants for Writers (grants for writers) Do you have a fantastic idea to improve the world? Are you frustrated because no one is addressing the issues that you know are important? Writing is a powerful tool that can bring change and improvement to the world. Grants are available from various sources in order to fund important work that is not being done in the corporate world. If you are inspired to make improvements and make life better, you may be an ideal candidate for grant writing. How Do Grants Work? Grants are sums of money awarded by the government or other entities to those who can use that money effectively. Candidates for grants are usually those who can serve their community with the money given to them. The way it works is that you start with an idea. Your idea could benefit your community in areas that range from tourism to health care. If you have the capabilities to implement your idea, you then decide how much money it would take to do so. At that point you begin to write. You must convince those with the grant money of why they should give it to you. The writing of the grant may be the most important step in the process of receiving that grant money. Writing a Grant Writing a grant is a very precise process. It involves explaining very clearly what your idea for improvement is as well as why it is a worthwhile pursuit. In the actual grant writing, you must be very clear in your explanations as well as persuasive in your arguments. You can find actual templates or set up guidelines online or in style handbooks. Those resources will help you ensure that you are following proper procedures in writing grants. Grants for writers are potential job opportunities. Since some brilliant minds do not necessarily have the appropriate writing talent, they may hire a writer to actually complete the grant proposal. Writers have more opportunities to enter into the grant writing process than just being the executer though. Is it Possible to Get Grants to Write? Grants for writers are definitely available. What would you write that would be worthy of a grant? There are many possibilities. You may be able to write a guidebook that fulfills a community need. A tourism guide would be of particular interest to the government. Keep in mind though, that only unfulfilled needs will merit grants. Grants for writers are not given to those who are writing redundantly on a topic or who are writing about an issue that no one cares about. You may be thinking that writing is free. Aside from the actual printing and publishing costs, there is no money required to produce text. Especially if you think of writing as opposed to creating a clean burning engine, the costs are not even comparable. The great thing is that even if you don?t need very much money to get the words on the page, there are grants available just to write you a paycheck. On top of any costs incurred through research and development of your ideas, you will also get paid should you be awarded grant money. There are two different meanings for the phrase, ?grants for writers.? A grant may need to be written by a qualified writer. The other possibility is that a writer could actually be awarded grant money for their contributions. Writing is a powerful tool. It can persuade and benefit people from where it sits on the page. For that reason, writers and grants are inseparable. If you have a great idea that needs funding, consider writing a grant. If you are not a writer yourself, be comforted by the fact that there is someone out there who can do the writing for you.