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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.

Sweepstakes Entries Can Garner some Freebies Are you ready to cash in on the web's best sweepstakes and freebies? When it comes to finding the best of freebies on the web, sweepstakes entries and freebies go hand on hand. There are many fine websites that act as repositories for free stuff and sweepstakes. Here are some tips for finding the best sweepstakes entries and cashing in on the best freebies to be found on the World Web. Tips and Hints for Finding the Best Sweepstakes on the Web There are many websites out there that advertise the best of the free web. These sites often list dozens (if not more) of freebies and sweepstakes. Unfortunately, there are good deals of disreputable and not-legitimate websites that offer erroneous information or simply dozens of outdated sweepstakes links. Fortunately, there are many easy to use tips that you can use to find the best in sweepstakes. Ordering Your Sweepstakes Entries by Category Part of the secret in winning sweepstakes is that winners are able to organize their sweepstakes entries. First, you want to order sweepstakes by category. What are you most interested in winning? Are you lusting after a brand new car, or are you coveting that full makeover and shopping spree? Remember?sweepstakes usually come in big packages, so it does not hurt to think and dream big. Of course, it is important to keep a healthy sense of perspective when you go about filling out sweepstakes entries, but you want to make sure that you are focusing on the right kinds of sweepstakes. Ordering Sweepstakes Entries by Entry Deadline Date Another easy way to bring order to the crazy world of sweepstakes entries and freebies is to organize all of your sweepstakes entries by the deadline date. The last thing you want to do is to focus your energies on sweepstakes entries that are already expired. Purchase a notebook with file pockets that allows you to organize all of your sweepstakes entries by category and date. Keep a calendar handy and make sure that you note the various deadline dates for submitting to sweepstakes contests that you want to enter. Keep an Eye on Your Favorite Companies and Sponsors Once you have been in the sweepstakes business long enough, you begin to notice a definite pattern?your favorite companies, businesses and corporations probably sponsor their sweepstakes contests on a regular schedule. Make sure you bookmark your favorites?those companies that are frequent sponsors of sweepstakes contests?and visit their site often. You want to get a leg up on the competition by knowing who will be holding a sweepstake contest at any given time. Make the Sweepstakes Directory Your Best Friend If you are serious about winning sweepstakes freebies, you will want to become very well acquainted with sweepstakes directories. The World Wide Web is a haven and treasure trove for sweepstakes directories. These are websites that contain libraries of links that can connect you to new sweepstakes. Thank the organizers out there, who feel the need to collect and label links for the rest of us. These websites can be great places to start your search for the perfect sweepstakes entry. Sign Up for Newsletters that Keep You in Touch with Sweepstakes Sponsors If you know that certain companies sponsor sweepstakes contests, consider joining the newsletters of the contest sponsors. Many sponsors use their free newsletters to promote sweepstakes contests. This is a good way to learn more about their giveaway patterns. You will also be the first to know whether about sweepstakes contests as soon as they go online. You can search the Internet for the best of these newsletters. Be warned that your inbox will quickly fill up if you rely on this method.

Extra! Extra! Getting into the Newspaper Business (writing news articles) The news is now and those who write it know the stories first. Getting into the newspaper business can be difficult because of the competitive nature of the news. The successful reporter needs to be organized, efficient and able to work under extreme pressure. The flip side is that a newspaper writer is almost always a celebrity. If he or she works for a large newspaper, his name may be known all over the country. If he only works for a small town paper, that town will recognize his name. Writing news articles involves ups and downs, so read on to learn more about it. Newspaper Overview A newspaper office is an interesting place to be. Bright and early at eight o?clock in the morning, the office is quiet and dark. As the rest of the world is counting down the minutes to quitting time, the reporters? desks start to fill up with hurried typing and flipping through notes. Well after dark, the last stories get wrapped up and put to bed. They may have been changed a couple of time as new developments occurred. Some stories written will make it to the front page. Some stories though will get significantly cut or cut from the paper all together. Writing news articles may be very rewarding, but it also requires a different kind of lifestyle than most careers. Becoming a Reporter If you are interested in writing news articles, you may also be interested in learning a little bit more about what is involved in becoming a reporter. Writing is a very important piece of being a successful reporter. Writing news articles involves close attention to journalistic style. Most full time reporters have journalism degrees. Those that don?t have learned to imitate the style with precision. A good journalist must learn the art of interviewing a subject. Freelancing If the full time reporting job is not for you, look into writing news articles on a freelance basis. It will help if you develop a relationship with the editor of the newspaper you intend to write for. Since so many people want to see their names in print, it can be hard to break into the freelance newspaper business. Writing news articles on a freelance basis requires a good eye for newsworthy topics as well as a thorough and fair representation of the facts. Freelancing takes practice. Don?t be discouraged if the editor doesn?t like your work initially. If you keep trying, you?re bound to stumble onto something great. Once you are in and an editor likes you, you?ll be able to work more freely. What?s News? Before you are ready for writing news articles, you should be ready to judge for yourself what news is and what it is not. Regular reporters are assigned stories to write, so they rarely have to come up with topics on their own. Freelancers write their stories and then try to sell them. The first rule about deciding what is news is that if someone asks you to write about it, it?s not news. You should have to dig up the good stories. If you need inspiration, just start talking to people. Get to know a few of the prominent people in your community. Build relationships and keep asking questions. The stories will come out eventually. You can also take a tour of your community with your eyes wide open. Look for anything suspicious, dangerous or exceedingly beautiful. Take your camera wherever you go just in case you happen to be an eyewitness to something newsworthy. Writing news articles can be done as a career or as a freelance pursuit. Whichever you choose, you?re sure to lead a life with some adventure. The news is always happening and it?s always something new.

Software company patent A Software Company Patent is the Door to a World of Confusion There is no universal understanding of exactly what a software company patent is. In general, owning a patent allows a company certain rights (or exclusivity) for a prescribed amount of time. Individuals or corporations seeking a patent must apply for a patent in each and every country in which they wish to have one. Unlike copyrights, patents are not automatically granted to applicants and can take quite a while in order to be approved. Another thing to remember, particularly with a software company patent, is that a patent may issue in one or more of the countries in which you've applied but not all of them. The real problem lies in the fact that there really is no central agreement about what a software company patent actually grants among any of the nations so those who are awarded patents may not be getting exactly what they think they are getting in the process. With no universal agreement there really can't be universal enforcement about the laws and the rights surrounding a software company patent. The growth of Internet business and e-commerce in general has led to many patent applications for software, particularly software that was designed for specific business applications. The problem is that while the cases are granted and successfully tried and defended in some countries, other countries offer no enforcement or legal recourse for those who do not honor the software company patent even if the patents were granted in those countries. The fine line between nations about what is and isn't patentable is another challenge when it comes to establishing and honoring patents. In other words, the issue of a software company patent is a rather confusing process at best. Patents differ greatly from copyrights, which are issued automatically and recognized and enforced internationally. Copyrights protect the source code of software from being copied and registration is generally not required in order for your work to be protected. Lately there is a new term, copyleft, which is an obvious play on words and represents the rights to not only redistribute the works that are covered by this but also to modify and freely distribute those modifications. This term is very much in the spirit of many open source types of software and music. The catch for copyleft protection is that the newly created work be distributed in the same manner and spirit in which it was received. In other words if you were freely given the software, then you must freely provide the improvements and modifications you made to that software. Of course this is a long way from the idea of a software company patent. It is also important that you are sure you understand exactly what you are applying for as far as your patent goes. Different countries will grant patents for different things and those are closely regulated and carefully regarded when it comes to software-know what you are applying for and understand what you are being granted. A software company patent means different things to different people in different places and it nearly impossible to get other countries to honor a patent that they would not have granted at the same time they shouldn't expect other countries to honor patents based on their decision to do so either. One unfortunate circumstance surrounding patents is that there seems to be an unequal and obvious disparity between the haves and the have not's. Patent enforcement for software, unlike literature and music is largely subjective. In literature and music, it is rather obvious that the copyright has been abused or that the work has been copied, this isn't as simple with software which is one other reason that software company patent is such a hotly debated subject in the software industry.