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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.

Copyright Law Act The Copyright Law Act of 1976 The Copyright Law Act of 1976 is the basis of the United States copyright laws. The Copyright Law Act states the rights of copyright owners, the doctrine of the fair use copyright laws and it changed the term life of copyrights. Before the Copyright Law Act the law had not been revised since 1909. It was necessary that the copyright laws be revised to take into account technological strides that were being made in radio, sound recordings, motions pictures and more. The Copyright Law Act of 1976 preempted all previous laws that were on the books in the United States, including the Copyright Act of 1909. The Copyright Law Act of 1976 defines ?works of authorship? to include all of the following: * Musical works * Literary works * Dramatic works * Pictorial, sculptural and graphics * Motion Pictures and Audiovisuals * Sound Recordings * Choreographic Works and Pantomimes * An eighth work which falls under ?architectural works? was later added in 1990. What is unique about the United States copyright law is that it is automatic. Once someone has an idea and produces it in tangible form, the creator is the copyright holder and has the authority to enforce his exclusivity to it. In other words, the person is the owner of the creation. It is not necessary that a person register their work. However, it is recommended and it can serve as evidence if someone ever violates a copyright. It is interesting to note that when an employer hires an employee to produce a work that the copyright is given to the employer. Violations of US Copyright Law are generally enforced in a civil court setting. However, there could also be criminal sanctions brought against someone who violates US copyright law. Someone that is in serious violation of US Copyright Law such as counterfeiting can find themselves on the inside of prison looking out. People need to understand that the copyright symbol is not a requirement. Someone may have a copyright, yet their work may not have a copyright notice or symbol. US Copyright Law covers a wide range of things that are derived from artistic expression, intellectual or creative work. This includes things such as literary works, music, drawings, photographs, software, movies, choreographic works such as ballets and plays, poems, paintings and more. The law covers the form of expression, not the concept, facts or the actual idea of the work. This means that someone can use another person?s idea or concept and produce their own take on it. However, copying another person?s work is a violation. It should be noted that some things may not be copyrighted but they may be protected by a patent or trademark. Individuals who have a copyright on a particular piece of work can do with it what they will. They may choose to copy it and sell it. They may display their work or perform it in public and charge admission, or they can assign or sell the work to someone else. Individuals who have a copyright can also choose to do nothing with their work, if that is their desire. However, if someone comes along and takes the work and tries to use it in some way, that person is still in violation of the owner?s copyright. The Copyright Law Act covers published and unpublished work.

Five Ways to Find Free Stuff Are you crazy about web freebies? Do you love free stuff? Who doesn't love free stuff? Most people appreciate the occasional free sample in the mail, but there is a specific group of individuals?freebie hunters?that are dedicated to finding the very best in freebie offers. Fortunately for them, and all of us, the World Wide Web is a treasure trove of freebies, special offers and promotions. Coupons and free samples are just some of what you can get by becoming a dedicated freebies hunter. If you are new to the world of active freebie hunting, here are five ways you can go about finding more free stuff. 1. Getting a Hold of Free Samples. Free samples are the bread and butter of the dedicated freebie hunter. Who doesn't like free samples? Free stuff is good stuff. However, be forewarned that once you get into the world of free samples, it can be easy to get carried away. You may find that your mailbox can fast become flooded with free samples. If not your physical mailbox, your inbox can also become flooded with free coupon offers. Always read the fine print carefully when you are soliciting a free sample directly from a manufacturer. You may inadvertently be signing up for newsletters, promotions and ads. To find the best and latest free samples, visit the StartSampling.com website. StartSampling is an innovative company that allows you to sample new products from exciting companies. If you have a favorite company, you can head to their website and sign up directly for new product samples and discount coupons. For instance, if you are a fan of Crest brand toothpaste or Oil of Olay products, you can sign up with them directly for free samples and coupons. 2. Looking for Free Communications Tools? If you are looking for the best in free telecommunications tools, you are in luck. For those of you tired of being overcharged for faulty 4-1-1 telephone calls, there is now a free directory that you can turn to. Free directory assistance is now available to you at 1-800-FREE-411. This free directory assistance allows you to get most numbers that you need at absolutely no charge. However, you will have to listen to a short advertisement before you are allowed to find your number. For even more free telecommunications tools, check out this handy phone tool. The next time you are stuck in an unpleasant situation and need to escape, plan on using the popularitydialer.com. Simply set the time you need and you will receive a fake call that can pull you out of a less than desirable situation. 3. Finding Free Memory. Need more ways to stay on top of things? Are post-it notes just not cutting it? If you need a little more, you will find that memotome.com can be a great help. Memotome.com is a free scheduling tool that allows you to stay on top of events and dates. It is free to become a member and you even get access to free party and event planning tools. 4. Get Your Fill of Free Literature. Are you an avid reader? If so, you will find that paperbackswap.com is a reader's paradise. All you have to do is choose the book you want to read and request it. You should receive the book in the mail in a few short days. You can also list your own paperback books that you would like to get rid of. 5. Your Free Route to Financial Planning. If you are looking to become a financial planner, check out the very free planning tools that are available online. You can take advantage of free calculators that allow you to figure out your income and savings.