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THE WRITER is published the first day of every month. It will be sent, postpaid, ONE YEAR for ONE DOLLAR.

All drafts and money orders should be made payable to The Writer Publishing Co. Stamps, or local checks, should not be sent in payment for subscriptions.

THE WRITER will be sent only to those who have paid for it in advance. Accounts cannot be opened for subscriptions, and names will not be entered on the list unless the subscription order is accompanied by a remittance.

The American News Company, of New York, and the New England News Company, of Boston, and their branches, are wholesale agents for THE WRITER. It may be ordered from any newsdealer, or direct, by mail, from the publishers.

Not one line of paid advertisement will be printed in THE WRITER outside of the advertising pages.

Advertising in THE WRITER costs fifteen cents a line, or $2.10 an inch; seven dollars a quarter page; twelve dollars a half page; or twenty dollars a page, for one insertion, remittance with the order. Discounts are five, ten, and fifteen per cent. for three, six, and twelve months. For continued advertising payments must be made quarterly in advance.

Contributions not used will be returned, if a stamped and addressed envelope is enclosed. THE WRITER PUBLISHING CO., 88 Broad Street, Room 416, BOSTON, MASS.

P. O. Box 1905.

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to subscribers who are more than a year in arrears, unless there has been a payment or a request for renewal and a definite promise of payment. Subscribers for THE WRITER, therefore, are asked to look at the address label on the wrapper of the magazine. If the date on the label is earlier than February, 1912, it is necessary for them to send a remittance, or a request to continue sending the magazine, with a definite promise of payment. Will subscribers kindly give this matter their immediate attention?

The unwisdom of contracting with a publisher for the publication at a fixed date of a book unwritten has been brought home to Jeffery Farnol. "When S. S. McClure was in England a year ago last spring," he says, "I arranged with him for serial publication of The Amateur Gentleman' in McClure's Magazine previous to book publication by my Boston publishers. Unfortunately it was announced that the serial would begin in April, and despite my appeal for a postponement the editors told me they must keep faith with their readers and begin the story in that month. Then commenced the struggle to keep the magazine supplied with 'copy,' for I was besieged with letters and cablegrams asking me to hurry more manuscript or the magazine would be delayed. The more I hurried the less satisfied I was with my work, and I tore up ten chapters. Now it is finished and I feel relieved."

In such a case not only is the author kept under a constant nervous strain, but the quality of his work is likely to suffer, because he is hurried as he writes. It is better for an author to have his manuscript completed, or practically so, before he makes a contract for its publication.

One result of the strike of a hundred or SO reporters and writers on four large Yiddish daily papers in New York is the formation of Newspaper Writers' Union, No. 4, organized and chartered by the Inter

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Edwin Balmer, author of the story, "A Diplomat," in the Red Book for January, was graduated from the Northwestern University in 1902, and took a master's degree at Harvard in 1903. He then went on the staff of the Chicago Tribune, and after a few months there went into the work at the Chicago Commons, where he was associated with the sociological publications of the Commons for about two years. Before leaving Harvard Mr. Balmer had begun writing occasional short stories, which immediately sold. One of them was accepted in the first big Collier's Weekly prize competition, although it did not win a prize. Mr. Balmer traveled for about two years in Cuba, Mexico, Europe, and Japan; for the last three or four years he has been mostly in Chicago, writing. Most of his work has appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly, the American Magazine, the Ladies' Home Journal, Hampton's Magazine, the Outlook, the Red Book, the Popular Magazine, and the Youth's Companion. His best-known stories were probably his first wireless stories, which ran in the Saturday Evening Post about five years ago, and from which the play, "Via Wireless," was written. Three years ago Mr. Balmer began working with William MacHarg, and with him wrote the Luther Trant" stories, which were one of the features of Hampton's Magazine. He has also done with Mr. MacHarg work which is appearing in the Saturday Evening Post,

the most recent of which is a story, "The Surakarta," which appeared last fall. Mr. Balmer is the author of the following books: "Waylaid by Wireless," Small, Maynard Company, 1909; "The Achievements of Luther Trant," Small, Maynard Company, 1910, and The Science of Advertising," Duffield & Co., 1911.

Amy Crosby, who had a story, "The Tuning of Huldah," in the January Lippincott's, began writing stories about three years ago, and says that while she finds New York a hot-bed full of story germs, her ideas grow better in the little town of Brewster, N. Y., where there is plenty of sun and air to bring out color. "The Tuning of Huldah" was founded on fact. An old lady of her acquaintance, who saw life at an oblique angle, needed a remedy, and Miss Crosby came across her prescription in a New York boarding-house, where a girl's simple charm and her dogged determination to succeed suggested the tuning fork. Miss Crosby's first story, entitled "The Stronger Claim," she sold to Munsey's Magazine for $150. Other stories she sold to the Ridgway Company and to the Smart Set.

Edward Lyell Fox, who had a story, entitled "The Quitter," in the December Red Book, was born in New York city, and educated at Rutgers College, N. J. While at college he was fond of athletics, and played 'varsity football and baseball. Leaving college unexpectedly, and needing a fair salary quickly, he turned to newspaper work, and began writing for the New York Evening Sun as football expert. He gradually drifted into writing for the newspapers, and liked it so well that he began to have ambitions, and so studied style, reading especially Dumas, Balzac, Turgenief, Stevenson, Stephen French Whitman, author of "Predestined." Frank Norris, and Vance Thompson. He read everything of these men that he could lay his hands on, and gradually the study and following the rule,


"Write, tear up. Write, tear up," brought results. Mr. Fox worked at home, writing four nights every week until midnight, writing and tearing up. He also wrote from 2,000 to 2,500 words a day for the Evening Sun. As his style improved he obtained better assignments, and in time was writing the "color" on all the out-of-town "stories" New London on Regatta Day, Philadelphia, Cambridge, and New Haven football games, disasters, and so on. He grew to like 'color writing," and worked and worked on it. He wrote a color article" called "The Speed Kings," which Hampton's Magazine published in July, 1910. That determined his life work. From that time on he developed his magazine work more and more, and was son selling practically everything he wrote first to Hampton's, then to the Columbian, and Outing, then to the American Magazine, and next to the Century. Last year he wrote for Outing, Everybody's, the Century, Pearson's, the Red Book, and for the illustrated syndicated Sunday magazines. Leaving the Sun, he joined the forces of the Wildman Magazine and News Service, Inc., of New York, of which he is now editor.


Alice Hartich, whose poem, 'Painted on a Fan," in Lippincott's for January, has been very widely copied, was born in 1888, and attended the Froebel Academy and the Girls' High School in Brooklyn, and was graduated from the Brooklyn Training School for Teachers in 1904. Since then she has been

teaching. She has written quite a number of verses, but has had only two published thus far, the Lippincott poem and "The Little Tea House," in Good Housekeeping for July, 1911.

Lucy Huffaker, whose story, "The Way of Life," was published in the Atlantic Monthly for January, has been writing fiction for less than a year, although it has been her ambition all her life to write stories. When she was seventeen years old she received her first assignment on a weekly paper in Marshalltown, Iowa, where

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she had lived since coming from Memphis. when a little girl. She had not finished college at this time, so she held her first position with the Reflector during a summer vacation. She received $3.50 a week for the first two weeks, with the stipulation that if she made good" she was to receive five dollars a week. She says her pride when she peeped into her pay envelope and found the five dollars has never been surpassed. The next year Miss Huffaker was graduated from Drake University at Des Moines, and returned to work on the little paper. Then she was offered a position on 'the Daily," as the Times-Republican is called in Marshalltown. After a year she went to Des Moines to work on the Capital, and in another year was in Chicago trying to become a city reporter. During this year she wrote circular letters for a photograph gallery and worked on a number of trade journals usually for ten or twelve dollars a week. Then she went to work in a publishing house at a living wage, and was one of the compilers of a dictionary. She did not give up her ambition to be a reporter, however, and after two years she was taken on the staff of the Chicago Evening Post, and later was a reporter on the Inter Ocean. Then she went to New York, where she did' space work for a number of papers. she spent a year in Paris, sending specials to the New York Sunday papers, and doing "potboilers" for the lesser magazines, to pay expenses. Now Miss Huffaker calls She is one of that New York her home.


group of writers, artists, and musicians who have discovered the charm of Greenwich Village, as the old part of New York near Washington square and below Fourteenth street is called. She has an apartment on Bank street, but spends her summers at Provincetown, Mass., where she and Susan Keating Glaspell, author of "The Glory of the Conquered" and "The Visioning," have a cottage.

William B. Ridsdale, whose poem, "The Moon Maiden," appeared in Lippincott's Magazine for November, is a young English

journalist on the staff of the Daily News, the largest and most important organ of the present Liberal government. For a few years Mr. Ridsdale was employed on the Citizen, published in Gloucester (England), where he regularly wrote verse, usually of a light and topical character, to which he turned as a pleasing change from the distinctly prose work of leader writing. He has also contributed verses, stories, and articles to several other English papers and periodicals. "The Moon Maiden' was inspired by a beautiful night on the Channel Islands, of which the first two verses give an accurate description. Mr. Ridsdale's facility for verse writing seems to be in some measure inherited, for several of his family have achieved poetic distinction.

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Burnett. It would take Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett considerably less than a year to write a novel of 350 pages if she were to remain in one place and work regularly; but every novel she has ever written has been interrupted by her travels. She always writes in longhand, beginning at any hour of the day that suits her, and finishing when tired. She re-reads her manuscript as typewritten by her secretary, but seldom finds it necessary to do any recasting. New Haven Register.

Montague. -"I was much surprised," said Margaret Prescott Montague, author of "Linda," "when my friends told me that the plot of my last book had such a grip on them that they stayed up nights reading it, for that is the last thing I had thought of in putting it together. To me, plot is a secondary consideration, and is throughout subordinate to characterization.

"I write my stories for the most part in detached scenes which strike me vividly from time to time, and then fit them together later. I cannot always write the scene just as it occurs to me, for usually I do my composing in the morning, sitting down diligently every morning for three hours.

But no matter when I do the writing, my story is created in separate scenes, and the plot, originally arranged but vaguely in my mind, must be rearranged and adapted to suit the conditions.

"Of course, it suffers to some extent, but that is as it should be. When a real live plot results it is merely an additional advantage."

"But why this uncertain way of going at a book?" the interviewer naturally asked. "Why, perfectly simple. Characterization must dominate a good book, and it has always been so with stories that have a lasting value. Given the characters, one must have the circumstances to modify them, not a series of carefully-connected circumstances, for then the plot will dominate; but a series of greatly-varied, possibly disconnected circumstances which then show every side of the nature of the character to be described, and make the book a complete study of the individual.

"I shall sometime invent a plot, I think — probably for a short story and then create two or three different sets of characters and carry them through the story, just to see what the result will be.

"Of course, I re-write my finished book at least two and usually three times, so that eventually things arrange themselves smoothly.

"Take 'Linda,' for example. There is a great variety of situations in this book. Many people have criticised some of them as improbable but of course they do not seem so to me, else I should never have written them.

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Likewise the ending, which realists say is peculiar. Realists think no story can be true and end happily, but there are just as many true stories which culminate in joy as there are those which are enshrouded in a cloud of sorrow."

Miss Montague was asked whether she had written any short stories.

"Oh, my, yes!" was the rejoinder, "but they're much harder to write than a long book. You know my style is so leisurely and easy-going that it is not suited to that

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Marse Chan," a tale of the Civil war, was accepted by the same magazine in 1881, and Page was paid eighty dollars for it, but the publication was deferred for three years, the editor explaining that the war was too recent to admit of its earlier publication. It appeared in book form soon after it had appeared in the magazine, and quickly established the author's reputation.

"The story of Marse Chan' started in my mind from an old letter which a friend of mine showed me," said Mr. Page, in reminiscent mood. "This letter was from an illiterate girl in Georgia to her soldier sweetheart. The letter was poorly written and poorly spelled, but full of pathos. The girl had, it seemed, trifled with the man, but after he had left for the war she had realized her great love for him and written.

"She wrote: I know I have treated you · mean. I ain't never done right with you all my life, and I loved you all the time. When you asked me to marry you I laughed and said I would n't have you, and it makes me cry to think you are gone away to war. Now I want you to know I love you, and I want you to git a furlow and come home and I'll marry you.' With a few words of affection the letter closed, but a postcript below was added: Don't come without a furlow, for unless you come home honorable I won't marry you.'

"This letter was received by the soldier only a few days before the battle of Seven

Pines, and after he was shot it was found in his breast pocket, just over his heart. The pathos of it struck me so forcibly that out of it came the story Marse Chan.'"Chicago Record-Herald.

Swinburne. -The poet's emotions in the face of death ought not to be unworthy of record when that poet happens to be one of the greatest of his time, if not of all time.

Swinburne nearly lost his life in the summer of 1868 while bathing. The timely appearance of a fishing smack prevented the premature silencing of the voice that was presently to entrance the world with the Songs Before Sunrise."

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I asked him what he thought about in that dreadful contingency, and he replied that he had no experience of what people often profess to witness, the concentrated panorama of past life hurrying across the memory. He did not reflect on the past at all.

He was filled with annoyance that he had not finished his "Songs Before Sunrise," and then with satisfaction that so much of it was ready for the press, and that Mazzini would be pleased with him.

"I reflected with resignation that I was exactly the same age as Shelley was when he was drowned," he said. This, however, was not the case. Swinburne had reached that age in March, 1867; but this was part of a curious delusion of Swinburne's that he was younger by two or three years than his real age.

Then he began to be, I suppose, a little benumbed by the water, his thoughts fixed on the clothes he had left on the beach, and he worried his clouded brain about some unfinished verses in the pocket of his coat. Edmund Gosse, in the Cornhill Magazine.


A Dramatist's Blackmail Ecok.- William C. de Mille, playwright, said in his study at 230 West 107th street last evening that he is going to keep a blackmail book, so that he can stop paying attorney's fees that his literary veracity may be preserved against

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