Volume 1 - Issue 2
Where your dreams take flight...

Ever notice that all the REALLY good information is shared at The Water Cooler?  This one is no different.  Stop, chat and drink in the plethora of markets for African-American Writers on offer and a few that aren't specifically geared to African-American writers but are good opportunities...

Subscribers: 62

I Wish I Had Waited
by Sylvia Willis Lett

As Rainey, Alicia, and Tamara sit in the tree house pouring out their hearts and souls to each other, it tugs at the heartstrings. These teens are as unforgettable as their stories.

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Editor's Quill

Welcome to the second issue of ATWC an Ezine for writers of color. 

For those of you who are receiving your second issue, glad you're still with us. To the newbies, welcome aboard!

I've got to admit that as I type this, I'm actually mentally cataloguing the contents of my refrigerator and wondering if I could possibly have missed sampling any items?  

I don't know about you, but Thanksgiving seems to start this eat-everything-in-sight downward spiral which doesn't end until the January 1st self-assessment period. You know, the period  where you make resolutions that you're unable to keep past  a month or two, but nevertheless make like clockwork every year?

This year, I'm doing something different, I'm tossing out the what if's, the when I's and the if only's and doing something really amazing...living in the here and now and working with what I've *gasp* got.

What does this have to do with freelance opportunities?  Well, I know I might just be talking to and about myself,
but it took me roughly 22 years to realize the dream of my 17 year old self...to be a writer. I kept postponing getting started.  I waited for the perfect storyline, the perfect education, the perfect surroundings, the perfect mindset.  Guess what? They don't exist, but your dream does.

No matter what obstacles come your way just get started. Write in the morning, write in the evening, write at the dinner table...just write. And then, when you think you're done...write some more, then come on over to the water cooler, pick a likely market and submit. You'll be glad you did!


ATWC is an opt-in newsletter here at your leisure. Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of the newsletter.

Use of this information is at your own risk. Aside from the verification of URLs, ATWC makes no warranty as to accuracy or suitability for your purpose. Use of common sense and normal precautions is advised in the use of information provided.

In addition, our subscriber list is not made available to others.


That being said, crank up that printer, replenish that supply of hi-liters and get busy!



We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. 
          ~Romans 8:28 Amplified Version

(IN OTHER WORDS: See your adversity as an opportunity to fine tune your character.  We are more than conquerors.)

In this issue:
1. Whet Your Whistle (Will return next month)
2. Questions and Answers
3. Thirst Quencher (Freelance Markets)
4. Water Break (Brag Section/Breaking News/Warnings about markets)
5. Tips from the Experts (Will begin in January)
6. Awards/Calls for Submissions/Contests
7. Events & Opportunities
8. Publishers/Publicity

Whet Your Whistle

 Will return next month.

Let's  Talk  Honestly.---- http://www.letstalkhonestly.com

A website of African American commentary, comics, poetry as well as a weekly poetry contest.  For adults open to honest talk on black issues. Come check it out and chill for awhile.

Questions and Answers

Q: Why so racist? A question I received by email.

A: Three short words.  My immediate reaction?  I was gobsmacked!  My second reaction, this has got to be someone Caucasian. My third reaction was somewhat mixed, I was saddened, yet gladdened.  Saddened that my positive intentions were misinterpreted,  yet gladdened that my contribution sparked a reaction.  Forever a polite soul, I replied with something to the effect "so sorry you think so," and was going to leave it at that.  But, I just couldn't do it.  So just to be clear, I looked up the word racist on the merriam-webster site and got this definition:

Main Entry: rac·ism
Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
Function: noun
1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
- rac·ist /-sist also -shist/ noun or adjective

Funnily enough, my initial editorial covered that aspect, as to why I felt or saw the need to start an ezine which would appear to be divisive, but the more I wrote, the the more personal and heavy the piece became.  I began to feel like it was an all about me moment so I said nah...why get all heavy in the first issue and nixed the piece?  

Nope...above description is not me, but obviously, I need a little more practice at listening to the directions of the Holy Spirit or I would not have been blindsided.  I then looked at the email again.  It couldn't quite be classified as anonymous, because the author had used an identifiable email address, but there had been no subject line and were I of the overly cautious mindset, I would have deleted the email without ever reading it.  

Bolstered by the erroneous definition, I decided to do a little investigation of my own.  I ran a google search of the name attached to the email and found another writer on the end of it, with far more credits behind his name than I have to date.  He was also as I had surmised, not a person of color.  A couple more thoughts crossed my mind.  He is also a writer, did he look up the definition of the word racist, before aiming it my way?

Since only he can answer those questions, I am sending a copy of this article to him, in the hopes that he will expound on the basis of his question.

(c)  2004 D.S. White
D.S. White is the author of "Age is Just a Number" Email your questions to questions@atwc1.com and as space allows, they will be answered in this column.
Computer running slow?  Try CompuWizard - Specializing in sales, repairs, installations, upgrades, home or office networking, training and the Internet.  For a total list of services click hereSubscribers of ATWC receive a five percent  (5%) discount off all hardware/software, equipment and/or services.  Be sure to mention ATWC (At The Water Cooler) when ordering - Call Toll Free - 1 (888) 334-3383.

Thirst Quencher - Freelance Markets!

BBM Magazine
NWWP Media is always on the “look-out” for excellent writers and dynamic material.  Types of writing: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, social interest, African American history, and political analysis… We look forward to reading your work! 
Submitted material chosen for publication will be paid upon publication. 

COMMISSIONED MATERIAL: NEW-WORLD WRITERS PUBLISHING LLC, retains all copyright and license.  Commissioned material will be paid 50% upon assignment and 50% upon publication


Thank you for your interest in writing for ESSENCE, the magazine for African-American and Caribbean women. We feature personal-growth articles, celebrity profiles, and well-reported pieces on political and social issues. We also look for articles on relationships, careers, money, health and fitness. And we run short items on community activists and people in the arts. Word length is given upon assignment.

If we think your subject is of interest to our readers but you are a writer new to ESSENCE, you may be asked to submit the completed manuscript on speculation.  Payment will be made if the article is accepted for publication.


 Family Digest Magazine - for Black women juggling marriage, family, work and dreams.
Publisher's note: In a world that has ignored, demeaned, devalued and berated the Black family, we stand forth to celebrate and empower Black mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. Come join us in this movement! 

Family Digest Magazine is a magazine for Black Moms/Female heads-of-household; helping them get more out of their roles as wife, mother, home-manager - with special emphasis on areas of interest to Black Americans.

We pay upon publication. Writing fees vary based on budget and need. We will contact you with rate at time of initial contact.  Please feel free to contact editor@familydigest.com with any questions or comments.

Authors/writers/poets/freelancers...need a web presence?  Get  a  simple yet professionally designed banner-free and ad-free author/writer web page right here at ATWC hosted for as low as $0.75 per month!  For more information email webpage@atwc1.com 

Water Break- Breaking News

Friday, October 29, 2004

Rodale Editors Respond to Nation's Flu Crisis

In an effort to empower Americans affected by the flu vaccine shortage, Rodale Inc.'s editors responded today by issuing a compilation of the top preventative health care measures available. The recommendations, free of charge on www.rodale.com, provide a succinct distillation of user-friendly tips and how-tos.

When Rodale Inc. was notified that its traditional vaccine allocation was to be withheld this year for its subsidized employee program, its book and magazine editors began compiling and distributing its preventative tips to the company at large. The company also made its highly successful book The Immune Advantage (retail $29.95) available free of charge to all employees for a limited time. Due to the extensive internal interest in the information, the company decided to make the material available on a public basis through this Rodale.com initiative.

The Immune Advantage, by Ellen Mazo and the Editors of Prevention Health Books, is available at www.Rodalestore.com, or by calling Rodale Customer Service at 1-800-848-4735.

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Tips from the Expert

Will begin in January.

Subscription email: 54803-subscribe@zinester.com
website: http://exhale.atwc1.com

Awards/Calls for Submissions/Contests


The Hurston/Wright Award™ for College Writers

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award™ has been established by novelist Marita Golden to honor excellence in fiction writing by students of African descent enrolled full time as undergraduate or graduate students in any college or university in the United States.

The first place award of $1,000 and two finalist awards of $500 will be presented at a ceremony in April 2005 to the writers of the best previously unpublished short story or novel excerpt. This ceremony will take place in Washington, D.C.


At the time of submission, applicants must be enrolled in a college or university full time as an undergraduate or graduate student. Writers who have published a book in any genre are ineligible.

How to Apply:

Those interested in applying for the 2005 Hurston/Wright Award should submit two (2) copies of a typed (double spaced) manuscript of no more than twenty-five (25) pages to:

The Hurston/Wright Awards
6525 Belcrest Road
Suite 531
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Please indicate on each of the two (2) copies of the manuscript whether it is a short story or novel excerpt. Only one story may be submitted per applicant. Manuscripts will not be returned. Your name, address, phone number, and school in which you are enrolled should be enclosed on a separate sheet. Do not include your name on any manuscript page.

To ensure acknowledgement of receipt of your submission, you may send it by certified mail, receipt requested.

Entries must be postmarked no later than December 31, 2004. The award will be announced during the first week of March 2005. Nominated winners will be required to provide verification of college enrollment. Previous winners and finalists are ineligible.

Calls for Submissions...

Call for Submissions and Contest Information: 
Words & Images http://www.wordsandimages.org

Words and Images is now accepting submissions for our 2005 edition.  Submitting entries is free and the deadline is December 31.  Send works of previously unpublished prose (20 pages or less), poetry (10 pages or less) or prints of artwork to:

Words & Images
University of Southern Maine
11 Baxter Blvd.
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME, 04104-9300. 

Words & Images is also sponsoring the third annual Stephen Dunn Poetry Award and the Andre Dubus Short Fiction Award. For a $12.00 reading fee, submissions will be entered into award consideration. Award winners will automatically be published in the 2005 edition of Words & Images. Please specify which award you are entering for and enclose a check or money order addressed to Words & Images. Each award winner will receive special recognition in the 2005 edition as well as a monetary award. For more information about Words & Images, including submission guidelines, contest rules, and deadlines, please visit our website at http://www.wordsandimages.org

Submissions can be sent via U.S. mail to: 

Words and Images
11 Baxter Blvd.
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, ME, 04104-9300. 



The editors of  To This Revolution We Will Rise: Poets of Color Dissent from Around the Globe are calling for submissions for the forthcoming anthology to be published by Third World Press. 

This anthology will serve as a space for contemporary radical poets of color to speak to a primarily U.S. and English speaking audience about issues relating to anti-colonialism, self-determination, occupation and resistance. The editors seek the works of Third World peoples in their homes and diasporas to address how internal and external colonialism and occupation have impacted issues related to:    

Culture, Religion, Gender, Tourism, Violence, Economics, Ecology, Land Rights and Agriculture.         

We are especially seeking poets representing:     - Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, The Arab region, Aboriginal Australia, Asia South Asia, Indigenous North America and their diasporas.  

-Name and address (please include email address if applicable)
-Short Bio        
-Country of residence         
-Place of origin         

*** No more than 5 poems and their English translation (if necessary).     


Send submissions to:         

Matthew Shenoda/Anthology     
College of Ethnic Studies     
San Francisco State University     
1600 Holloway Ave     
San Francisco, CA 94132-4100, USA     

***Electronic submissions accepted from poets residing outside of the United States can be mailed to: shenoda@sfsu.edu (please include "Anthology" in the subject line).  

Okay, we know you all have some kind of families...so here's our CALL FOR MANUSCRIPTS 2004-2005 FAMILY POEMS Bottom Dog Press, Inc. is looking for poems dealing with family.  They plan to publish FAMILY POEMS in 2005 edited by Larry Smith and Ann Smith.   The poems may relate to such sub-themes as: Couples & Marriage (Lovers & Mates), Divorce, Grandparents, Parents and Children, Brothers and Sisters, Family Struggles, Family Types and Rites" Class, Ethnicity, Change, Diversity. They will consider reprints if rights are cleared. Payment is $10 and 1 copy of the book.

Send 3-5 poems with a self-addressed stamped envelope with adequate postage for return to

Bottom Dog Press
PO Box 425
Huron, OH 44839.

Deadline is May 1, 2005.

They are the publishers of the award winning anthology O Taste and See: Food Poems and America Zen: A Gathering of Poets.


2nd Annual Editors' Prize for Best Essay/Memoir

About the Award:
Fourth Genre is currently seeking the best creative nonfiction essay/memoir for its second annual Editor's Prize. Authors of previously unpublished manuscripts in English are encouraged to enter. The award amount is $750 for First Prize and $250 for Runner-up. Both winners will be featured in an upcoming issue of Fourth Genre.

Submission Guidelines:
All submissions will be considered individually for publication. Entry must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but author must give notice if work is accepted elsewhere. Entry fee is $15 for each submission. Checks should be made payable to Michigan State University Press. Included in the fee is a sample copy of Fourth Genre. 

The reading period is from December 20, 2004 to January 20, 2005. Please do not send manuscripts outside of reading period. Manuscript should be 6000 words maximum, double-spaced, and bound with a clip. Please include SASE and cover letter with name, address, phone number, email address, the piece's title, and an approximate word count. Manuscripts will not be returned; all are recycled. Please do not send corrections. Winners will be allowed to make changes after notification. 

Send completed manuscript to:

Fourth Genre Editor's Prize 
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures 
Michigan State University 
229 Bessey Hall Easy 
Lansing, MI 48824-1033 

About the Judge:
Robert L. Root Jr. has written three books on nonfiction, E. B. White: The Emergence of an Essayist; Working at Writing: Columnists and Critics Composing; Wordsmithery; and, with Michael Steinberg, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction. He is the interviews and roundtable editor of Fourth Genre and taught composition and creative nonfiction at Central Michigan University. He is a widely published essayist and author of the memoir Recovering Ruth: A Biographer's Tale. Good luck to all authors!  We look forward to hearing from you.


Announcing the First Annual Dorrie Wheeler/Sparkledoll Productions New Author Contest

Sparkledoll Productions is seeking manuscripts for the mature teen/college age female audience. We are seeking stories about real life subject matters, written in first person with strong female leads. We want stories with an edge with characters that readers will be able to relate to.

One lucky author will have the opportunity to have his/her manuscript published by Sparkledoll Productions and will also receive a gift certificate in the amount of $150. Second runner up will receive a $25 gift certificate. All participants will have the opportunity to have their name and website listed on our contest results page.

This contest is co-sponsored by author Dorrie Williams-Wheeler. "I created this contest because I wanted to give a new writer the opportunity to have his/her manuscript published without having to pay a lot of money or losing their rights forever. This contest is crafted to be a stepping stone for a new author in the writing industry."

The 2004 Dorrie Wheeler/Sparkledoll Productions Writing Contest
is open to all unpublished authors. If you have published no more than one title via a print on demand company or a company that is similar in nature to a POD company (high priced non returnable titles) you are still eligible to participate. Please submit original, unpublished work that you own all rights to. Men are able to participate, but please remember when are looking for stories written with a female main character. Manuscripts should be at least 25,000 words in length. Participants must be 18 years or older.

Entry Fee
There is an entry fee of $8. This is a legitimate contest. The entry fee will go to offset the cost for prizes and promotion of the contest. We prefer payment via Paypal for the entry fee. Entry fee includes the reading of one manuscript per entrant. If you wish to submit multiple entries please pay one fee per entry.


E-Mail Submissions
We prefer electronic submissions in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works or Wordpad. Please e-mail submissions to contest2004@sparkledoll.com. Contest entries will not be returned. With all entries please include your name, e-mail address, and a contact phone number. You may use the Paypal button below to pay the entry fee.

Mail Submissions
Please send mail submissions to:
Sparkledoll Productions
PO Box 56173
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

If you wish to pay the fee via mail please send money order payable to Dorrie Wheeler.

All entries must be postmarked no later than December 15th 2004.

The winner will be announced on February 1, 2005. The name of the winner will be posted on the Sparkledoll Productions website.

Forward questions to contest2004@sparkledoll.com.
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Events & Opportunities



Admission to LABBE is absolutely free and open to all

FRIDAY: JUNE 10, 2005 7-10pm [+]

Ahmanson Senior Center
Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Center
3980 S. Menlo Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90037
For further information, Call: 310.825.6060

SATURDAY: JUNE 11, 2005 10am-6pm [+]

Ahmanson Senior Center
Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Center
3980 S. Menlo Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90037
For further information, Call: 310.825.6060

EVENT SCHEDULE for Saturday, June 11, 2005 includes presentations by authors, storytellers, spoken word and poetry performances, musicians, children's book authors, emerging writers, publishers, booksellers, editors and book reviewers. [Event Schedule] THE PURPOSE OF THE LOS ANGELES BLACK BOOK EXPO  [+]

LOS ANGELES BOOK EXPO is a forum for public and private businesses and organizations to exhibit and articulate the need and necessity of independent African and African American and African and African American centered print and electronic media. The event is essential to informing the general public of the wealth and talent within the ranks of the independent African and African American press in the U.S. and around the world who warrant greater attention in the print and electronic information industry. 


BlackStudents.com Winter 2004
Scholarship Essay Contest 

The BlackStudents.com 2004 Fall Scholarship will award $500 to an African-American student. The scholarship is NOT an academic scholarship - It is entirely based on an essay submission.

Who's Eligible?
To be eligible for the scholarship award, one or both of your parents must be African-American. The award is not open to students who live in Africa. You must live in the United States, and attend or plan to attend a school in the United States. The institution you choose can be any trade school, college, or university.

How Do I Apply?
There Are Just Two Steps Involved:

If you haven't already, you must subscribe to BlackStudents.com - It's 100% free, and we will email you weekly opportunities designed for African-American students.

2) After you register with BlackStudents.com, you have until December 31, 2004 to write a 800-1000 word essay entitled "Is Rap Music Responsible For The Crime, Violence, and Drugs in Black Communities?"

Your submission must be emailed to: scholarship@blackstudents.com
Do not submit your essay through postal mail.

Important Guidelines:
The subject of your email must be: "Winter 2004 Scholarship Entry". Also, your essay submission must be within the body of the email along with your name and contact info.
Do not email your essay as an attachment.

If you do not follow these instructions precisely, your entry will be disregarded.

We will review all submissions and select a winner based on the quality, uniqueness, and creativity of the content in your essay. On January 20, 2005, the winner will be awarded $500. We will not publish the winning essay, but will announce the name of the winner, and the school he/she attends. If you are the winner, the check will be written out to you, not your school. So really you can use the money however you'd like to.

Important Note:
For questions not answered on this page, you MUST email us at support@blackstudents.com -- However, we will not respond to pointless inquiries or questions that have already been answered.

If you are having doubts about whether or not you qualify for this scholarship, then you probably don't.

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 Genesis Press

Submission Guidelines  

The following are our submission guidelines for writers interested in being published by Genesis Press, Inc.  Please follow these guidelines if you wish to have your work considered for publication.  We do not accept queries or submissions by phone, fax or e-mail.  Please include with your submission a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for a reply.  If you wish for all of your materials to be returned, ensure that a SASE sufficient in size and postage is included.  Please do not use metered mail.  We do not return a manuscript if a SASE is not included.  We will, however, keep materials for a period of 30 days in case a SASE should be sent afterwards.  All queries should be mailed to the following address:

Genesis Press, Inc.
1213 Hwy 45 N
Columbus, MS 39705

General Guidelines

Full novels, when requested, should be between 75,000 and 100,000 words. Except for Fiction/Non-Fiction where up to 180,000 words are acceptable. Main characters must be African-American or cross-cultural. 

When sending a submission, we ask for a substantial outline/synopsis as well as the first three chapters of your work, along with your query letter and SASE.

We are primarily looking for original works, but we will consider works which have been self-published, e-published or are out of print.  Unagented writers are considered.

We are open to non-traditional stories as well as traditional.  Elements we accept include, but are not limited to: multi-racial/ethnic, cross-cultural, and erotica.

Submissions should be typed and double-spaced with one-inch margins.

Please allow 60 – 90 days for initial review and response to any inquiry and an additional 60 – 90 days for replies regarding favorable manuscripts.



Book-Remarks.com is a top viewed web site that promotes literary works which may reflect the African-American culture.  In addition to posting information regarding new releases by mainstream as well as self-published writers, we also provide readers with monthly author interviews, book previews, book reviews, postings about upcoming literary events, a list of anticipated releases for the current year and beyond, and press releases regarding events, awards, and other related web content.

The web site was launched in March 2000 in order to promote books written by or about African-Americans. Author Interviews are posted monthly and are scheduled at least three months in advance. BookRemarks is not a book club, but an online resource that posts literary information of interest to readers and writers.

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Information & Credits

At The Water Cooler Ezine (ATWC) is published by D.S. White, Editor & Contributing Author. The fourth Monday of every Month.

You can send your feedback to feedback@atwc1.com 

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Copyright © 2004 At The Water Cooler (ATWC) Ezine, D.S. White. All Rights Reserved

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