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come to my office, look over your work and write you direct if it can be used. Your MS. will remain with me and if not used will be returned to you.
H. D. Hitchcock,
Associate Editor. held
Shortly afterward, in January, I received another form letter, also without date, printed to imitate typewriting,
with only “Dear Miss Nichols” and “The Bell” typewritten in, which reads as follows : MSS. PLACED
MSS. SUPPLIED FOR AUTHORS
A National Medium for
Washington, D. C. Dear Miss Nichols : We have carefully considered : The Bell presented to our attention at the office of the Associate Editor of the Woman's National Magazine and we are very much interested. Our service to authors is fully explained on the enclosed leaflet. Owing to the fact that your work was recommended to us, we are willing to add an extra clause to the contract which guar. antees acceptance and payment for your work. We cannot hold this proposition open much longer than 10 days, as we might not have as good an opportunity to place the MS. at a later date. If you cannot accept this matter, request for the return of your work should be sent to the Woman's National Magazine, as the MS. is in their office.
Very truly yours,
J. S. Claire,
Secretary. “ The enclosed leaflet” read as follows :
practice to make a number of copies of the Ms. and get these copies out quickly, thus placing them before several editors at once. We hold back the newspaper syndicate acceptances until we hear from the magazines as a MS. cannot be published in more than one magazine, but can be in newspapers and journals. This means a wide field, and with stories it includes motion picture rights, which may come before or alter magazine acceptance. With poetry it includes post-cards, calendars, booklets, novelties, etc.
Through our method, in which the author retains the copyright to his work, we enable the author to secure the maximum cash returns possible from his writings. Our service is simple, yet exact. We are constantly selling material and we handle few MSS. which do not bring some returns, which under the usual literary agent's " method result in failure.
The recommendations that editors give us are very gratify. ing. Sometimes authors waste their time and ours asking us useless questions such as the exact amount they can expect from the sale of. their MSS., the time necessary, for such sale, etc. All such matters cannot be stated exactly in advance and much depends on the nature of the MS. Only by actually submitting a MS. can satisfactory results be obtained.
The fee for handling any MS. or poem is a very reasonable one when it is taken into consideration that we stand all the expenses of preparation, mailing, correspondence, postage. copyright, etc. Our commission of ten per cent. applies on sales' returns when such returns exceed the specified amount named in contract.
Our service is designed for professional authors and deserving amateur authors whose work is saleable after revision. We make no charge for revising after accepting work for placement,
cannot make comments criticise MSS. that we are forced to return as not acceptable by us for placement. Every MSS. we handle is given personal attention and every effort is made to secure its sale in as broad a field as possible. In
writing kindly address J. S. Claire, Secretary, THE PUBLISHERS' SERVICE BUREAU,
Washington, D. C. [ The reader will note the interesting description of the method of the Publishers Service Bureau, in the second paragraph of this circular, which seems to be really ideal from the author's point of view
if newspaper syndicate managers and editors of magazines, newspapers, and journals” will only do their
But editors are so notional ! Editor The WRITER.)
Also enclosed was the following printed “Agreement," with clause 12 at the bottom
OUR SERVICE TO AUTHORS The Publishers' Service Bureau Washington, D. C.
Our service is one designed for the exclusive use of authors and publishers. We do not accept work for placement unless we believe our service will be a benefit. We do not burden publishers with material they do not find use for, in the main. We make a business of care. fully studying the literary market, and can make the most out of everything we handle. Through our knowledge of the material used by publishers and our personal acquaintance with editors we are placed in an intimate contact with the literary field.
In order to make the most out of any literary work, whether article, story or poem, it is our
12. It is further understood and agreed that the
Publishers' Service Bureau hereby agrees to secure at least one acceptance for above MS. and that payment for
will be ( P.) secured
the full amount of publishers' acceptance rate remitted direct to the author within 90 days from the date on which the contract is returned by the author.
to magazine editors in the United States,
whom we believe would be interested. We agree to submit your poem to the prin.
cipal newspaper syndicates in the United States, and to such other publications publishing poems, as we believe would be interested, including post-card, calendar and
novelty publishers. 3. We agree to revise the poem if it is neces. sary,
but not in such manner as to change the ideas of the author.
expenses of the preparation of copies, mailing, postage and correspondence to be
borne by us entirely. S.
It is understood that this story will be pub.
lished with full credit to its author and no other and that all rights will be owned by
the author. 6. It is understood that payment for each copy
accepted will be reported directly to the author and that we will deduct no commis. sion unless the amount received from publishers exceeds $50 in the total, then our
commission shall be ten per cent. 7. It is understood that all rights of this poem
remain in the author's possession, including its use on post cards, calendars, etc., either
for cash or on royalty basis. 8. Further agreed that in addition to the Ser
vice stipulated in this contract for the above-named MS. the author is entitled to our six months' MS. service which includes : Reading of all MSS. sent in by author in six months from date of signing this agreement, the criticism of such MSS. and suggestions as regards their sale ; we to have the privilege of handling any such
MSS. on a 10 per cent. commission basis. 9. Further agreed that THE PUBLISHERS'
SERVICE BUREAU will make an effort to secure as many acceptances for above MS. as possible ; that we guarantee to ful. fill every clause of this contract and render the service herein stipulated or refund in
full the amount paid. to. In consideration of the above special and
specific service and work, it is agreed that you will pay us the sum of ten dollars ( $10) when signing this contract, which
[ The reader will note that this printed Agreement refers to a “poem manuscript". in all the clauses except clause 5, in which the manuscript is referred to as a story. He will note also that the Publishers' Service Bureau will not deduct a commission unless the amount received from publishers exceeds fifty dollars in the total, being satisfied in such case with the advance fee of ten dollars. Also he will note that in the gratifying special clause 12, while one acceptance for the manuscript is guaranteed no special price is promised to the author. However, if the single sale should bring only a dollar, or maybe fifty cents, the Bureau under the terms of the clause would, of course, remit the whole amount to the author, without deducting the commission, and in that case its profit would be only what was left of the author's ten dollars after all the expenses of handling had been paid. For instance, Rev. R. L. Smith, of Rocheport, Missouri, writes : “I sent a story to the Woman's National Magazine, and they turned it over to the Publishers' Service Bureau, and, under contract, the Bureau sold the story to tíre Feature Magazine Company, 5 North La Salle street, who sent me a check for four doliars, so that I am out eleven dollars on the deal.” Editor THE WRITER.) Observe the cost of the service
ten dollars for verses which I afterward sold for just what I considered them worth, four dollars, – twenty-five cents a line. HAVERHILL, Mass.
dicating ; the value of accuracy ; using the
wire, mails and specials ; shorthand repor:Published monthly by The Writer Publishing Co.,
ing; the picture story ; marketing manuRoom 63, 244 Washington street, B on, Mass.
script ; covering a country murder case ; WILLIAM H. HILLS,
writing heads ; long-distance reporting ; the EDITOR.
newspaper “scoop " ; the “ follow-up" ; clean *** THE WRITER is published the first of every
journalism vs. yellow ; court reporting ; month. It will be sent, postpaid, for $1.50 a year. loyalty to your paper ; the element of luck. The price of Canadian and foreign subscriptions is To this list of topics add exchange reading ; $1.62, including postage.
dramatic criticism ; book reviewing ; the city All drafts and money orders should be made payable to the Writer Publishing Co. If local
editor ; the desk editor ; editorial writing ; checks are sent, ten cents should be added for col. and department editors, and it will cover lection charges.
pretty nearly everything that the newspaper THE WRITER will be sent only to those who have paid for it in advance. Accounts cannot be
man needs to know. opened for subscriptions, and
will not be entered on the list unless the subscription order is
The Ladies' Home Journal has n't had room accompanied by a remittance.
lately for any articles criticising “newspaper The American News Company, of New York, and the New England News Company, of Boston, English,” but the story, “Red and Black,” in and their branches are wholesale agents for THE the March number includes this gem :WRITER. It may be ordered from any newsdealer, or
" ...... that subject which has employed so many direct from the publishers.
clever pens and brushes since the war began, The rate for advertising in The WRITER is two
but than which there is none so universally pow. dollars an inch for each insertion, with no discount
erful in its importunity." for either time or space ; remittance required with the order. Advertising is accepted only for two cover pages. For special position, if available, “The Piper A Monthly Chat with Booktwenty per cent. advance is charged. No advertise.
sellers and Book Buyers” presents the views ment of less than one-half inch will be accepted. Contributions not used will be returned, if a
of the Houghton Mifflin Company, and for stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed.
that reason its suggestions regarding "the THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO., public's sudden change of interest from war P. O. Box 1905, Boston, Mass. literature to fiction " should interest writers
making manuscripts to sell. “For four Vol. XXXI. MAY, 1919.
years,” says the Piper, “people have been
reading facts facts so tremendous that Short practical articles on topics connected
they have left no time for the wandering of with literary work are always wanted for fancy. During those four years war was all THE WRITER. Readers of the magazine are that mattered, but with peace gradually invited to join in making it a medium of mu
coming overseas, people's thoughts are turntual help, and to contribute to it any ideas ing into new channels. Our imaginations, that may occur to them. The pages of The
held spell-bound so long by the fearful drama WRITER are always open for any one who
overseas, crave fresh stimulus. Adventure, has anything helpful and practical to say. romance, love, fantasy, caprice – these are Articles should be closely condensed ; the the things we crave to find between the covers ideal length is about 1,000 words.
of a book. These are refreshing and restful
after the terrible reality to which the printed The program for the course of lectures on page has delivered us during the past years. "Practical Newspaper Work” being delivered The Piper does not wish to be understood to by A. L. T. Cummings to students in the prophesy that war books are dead, but he school of journalism at the University of does most emphatically assert that a Maine includes lectures on these topics : Prep- book must be an exceptional one to comaration of copy ; newspaper office style ; the mand our interest at the present time. . . ubiquitous reporter ; the correspondent ; the The note of most profound interest which editorial staff ; the proofreader ; covering an fiction can strike is the personal one ; the assignment ; getting an interview ; news syn- story in which you see yourself mirrored is
the one which most easily absorbs your interest. What girl has not identified herself with the romantic life of an adored heroine ? What man has not dreamt himself along with the adventures of a compelling hero – seeing himself in that hero's very thoughts ? Now that the facts of life are less compelling, less tragic, let us
more dream our dreams of romance.”
Miss Kerr's experience began on the Chronicle-Telegraph, in Pittsburgh, for which she edited the woman's page. Later she went to the Pittsburgh Gazette-Times, to edit the woman's Sunday Supplement. In 1906 Miss Kerr came to New York, and for a few years did free-lance work. At present she is
Sometimes statements of editors as to what they do not want in the way of manuscripts are highly significant. For instance, H. L. Mencken, editor of the Smart Set, in his list of manuscripts that he does not want to see, includes : “Stories in which the man and the girl meet in a Pullman car, or in a Greenwich Village eating-house ; stories of politics, of the occult, of college life, of the cow-country, or of A.D. 2,000 ; stories and poems dealing with death " and thinking of these last he sighs in a sad parenthesis : “We already have four hundred and three on hand.”
W. H. H.
The editor of the Smart Set, however, setting forth his manuscript wants, calls among other things for "prose poems,” but says that he does n't want vers libre. What's the difference ?
managing editor of the Woman's Home ComSKETCHES OF WRITERS.
Sophie Kerr's novels and short stories are XXII. SOPHIE KERR.
all distinguished by the gift of the realist, Sophie Kerr (Mrs. Sophie Kerr Under- accurate touch, and sure knowledge of backwood ), whose novel, “The See Saw," has grounds. The scenes have familiar settings ; attracted wide notice, not only on account of the people ring true. Combined with this, a the very human tangle it pictures, but also play of invention and a keen ingenuity of because of its careful workmanship in details plot command attention for her work. and realistic characterizations, has published New YORK, N. Y.
W’illa Roberts. short stories in Harper's, the Century, McClure's, the Woman's Home Companion, the
LITERARY SHOP TALK. Saturday Evening Post, and other period. icals.
[ This department is open to readers of The “Love at Large” was brought out by
WRITER for the relation of interesting experiences
in writing or in dealing with editors, and for the Harper's in 1916, and is a series of closely
free discussion of any topic connected with literary connected stories of suburban life ; “The
work. Contributors are requested to be brief.) Blue Envelope” ( 1917 ) is full of vigorous action, and found a natural path to the Referring to Physical Culture's offer moving pictures, where Lillian Walker and of $1,000 in prizes in the “How I Keep John D. Bennett played in it. “The Golden Fit” contest, announced in The WRITER for Block” is a tale of business life, presenting March, Carl Easton Williams, the editor of the case of a successful woman who has the magazine, gives some advice about writing proved that "there is no sex in brains." in general which many writers may well consider. “First of all," he says, write simply. provided an embarrassment of riches in the Do not try to be literary. Do not strain for way of all sorts of compositions in every key flowery phrases. That is a school-boy method, and form, all begging to be recognized offiand signifies self-consciousness or even affec- cially. The Governor, says the Etude, is altation. The best writers are simple, direct. most sorry he spoke. Write your story as you would write a letter, or as you would talk. Good writing is a mat- Here is a soulful poem in the modern style ter of clear thinking. The idea is the thing, by Wytter Bynner, printed in Contemporary and if you have the idea clearly in your mind Verse : the words will take care of themselves.
A GARDEN. “The play-writing method is a good one Go and plant a lilac tree to use for many kinds of literary work. Good
With water and with sun.
Gardens are a surety, plays are not 'written,' they are built. A play
Gardening's never done. is entirely a matter of construction. The dialogue is not written until the scenario is
Shut the gateway and let pass perfect, and by that time the words almost
The windy throng of war, write themselves.
See the sky in the water glass
Ripple as before "If you would write an article or a story intelligently, think it all out first. Build it.
A rosebud bending at a cloud, You can always write better with the help of
A mountain and a tree, some scheme or system in your assembling of
A shadow telling what a shroud
Rain can be. ideas than you can if you set out to write haphazardly from the beginning.
Would you bring unruly folk "After you have written your story, go
To a ruly land ? over it carefully, pruning and polishing, but Would you plant the poison oak
For the sake of a poisoned hand ? especially pruning. Some of the best authors do a great deal of the hardest kind of work
Shut them out and have no ruth, on a manuscript after the first draft' has
Bid them all good-by, been written.
All who have not learned the truth “Coming back now to our ‘How I Keep
That beauty dares to die. Fit' contest, remember that for the best let
And if ruin seem to come awhile, ters the first prize is $500, the second $200,
In and the third $100, with four $50 prizes. The gradual beauty, mile by mile, Other letters available will be published and
Which is always you. paid for at one cent a word. Photographs, What does it mean in detail ? though not necessary, are welcome ; they will
Why plant a lilac tree meaning a lilac not affect the judging and awarding of prizes, bush ? “with water and with sun" ? however. Write and tell us what your dis- Would n't it be better to transplant with water coveries in exercise, diet, sleep, recreation,
a cloudy day? Why are gardens a relaxation, and other matters have done to
surety ? To be sure, gardening's never done. make you more fit and capable. Keep a copy Is "a windy throng of war" an inspired of your letter, for return thereof is not guar
phrase, or just - ? Where is the "water anteed. Your letter should contain no more
glass” in the average garden ? Even after a than three thousand words and should be
shower, the puddles are generally muddy. submitted by June 1."
Why should a rosebud bend "at a cloud and
a mountain and a tree"? What is a "ruly" The Pennsylvania State Song, which was land ? Of course, most of us recognize the urged by Governor Brumbaugh as a matter of evils of unrestricted immigration, but why patriotic duty, threatens to swamp the machi- should the test be learning “the truth that nery of the department deputed to receive the beauty dares to die" ? Is n't ability to read contributions sent in to be considered. Mu- and write and freedom from “constitutional sical talent in the State of Pennsylvania has psycopathic inferiority”
your grave renew