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Words Matter Week Set for March 1–7

Words Matter Week, which is in its 12th year, is a holiday that is celebrated annually the first full week in March by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

During Words Matter Week, we host a writing challenge. Each day we are posting a question on our blog and various social media outlets. Respond to the question on your blog or social media page (be sure to include #WordsMatterWeek in your response), and then link back to your blog in the comments of the corresponding article on the NAIWE blog. For each challenge you respond to, you will receive one entry (and a bonus entry for each response written on your NAIWE blog). At the end of the week, we will have a drawing, and one person will win a fabulous prize, along with a mention and link in the next newsletter.

March Webinar: Retirement and Taxes: Need-To-Know Essentials

We wanted to get to know Kajli Prince (NAIWE's Tax Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here's what he shared with us.

For self-employed individuals, what is considered proof of income for tax purposes?

Documentation as proof of income can be very broad for self-employed individuals. For example, you can record the fact that you paid for goods or services on a napkin while doing a business transaction in a bar. At the end of the day, you just have to be able to show documentation for whatever income and expenses you are reporting on your tax return.


You can join in this conversation March 27, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a webinar on retirement and taxes! The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members.

To register for this webinar, please visit the NAIWE website.

Be a Better Freelancer Conference Trains Professionals

Whether you are new to freelancing or already established and looking for ways to enhance your marketing efforts, techniques to find (more and better-paying) clients, tools of the trade such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, networking resources, tips on making the most of social media, or advice on buying new equipment, the 2020 Be a Better Freelancer conference can help you on your journey to a more successful freelance business and career.

This conference is the ultimate place for networking. I’ve attended other much larger conferences, but I feel I have gained so much more by attending this one simply due to being able to closely connect with literally everyone there. I made friends and connections that I never would have made at larger conferences. Will definitely make the trip again!

—Amanda Berthault

Interested in showcasing your product or service? Conference sponsorships are available!

Many thanks to our first sponsor!

April Webinar: The Way of Networking: Connecting Effectively

In April, we will be chatting with Ruth Thaler-Carter, NAIWE's Networking Expert, on the very important topic of networking effectively.

Networking is more than a common buzzword; it’s an important key to success as an independent writer or editor. Learn about the best ways to make networking an effective, functional element of your independent business, as well as what not to do.


Ruth Thaler-Carter has been a full-time freelance writer, editor, proofreader, and desktop publisher for more than 30 years. She has been published locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally in, and does editing and proofreading for, publications, websites, service firms, and businesses. She sold her first freelance articles when she was still in high school. Renowned as a skilled networker, Ruth is a newsletter editor, publication author, speaker/presenter, blogger, program host or planner, and chapter leader. In 2006, Ruth launched the Communication Central “Be a Better Freelancer”® annual conference to help aspiring and established freelancers find greater success and connections with colleagues. Ruth received the Philip M. Stern Award of Washington (DC) Independent Writers for service to freelancers; the Writers and Books Big Pencil Award for teaching adults and contributions to the literary community; EFfie awards for writing, editing, and newsletters; and the APEX award for feature writing. Ruth was also the IABC/DC Communicator of the Year.

The cost for NAIWE members is $10 and $30 for non-members. To register for this webinar, which will be held on April 28 at 7 pm eastern, please visit the NAIWE website.

How to Write a Novel: Starting with Desire

Alright, if you’ve been following my “How to Write a Novel” series, I hope you have found these posts helpful in creating fleshed out characters. Audiences are drawn to characters with identifiable weaknesses and needs, and to the conflict those needs create. If you are writing fiction, this should be one of the biggest steps in storycraft.

Now, we come to the next stage: Determining your hero’s desire. At this point in character construction, your hero should have a weakness (something inside or outside that is holding him back from having a better life) and a need (what the hero must overcome within himself in order to have a more fulfilling life). But even with these two facets built into your character giving him depth and complexity, we still don’t have a story. The story does not begin unless your character sets out to accomplish his desire.

A desire is what the hero wants in his story, a goal. Without it, your character is just sitting there wallowing in his weakness and need, and nothing changes. What sets the story in motion is that your character wants something, and goes out and gets it. The audience then rides along with your hero on this journey to see whether or not he achieves the thing that he wants.

To read the rest of this article, please visit NAIWE member Teresa Gonzalez's blog.

February's New & Renewing NAIWE Members

May Amantha May (Dripping Springs, TX); Emma Bardin (Oceanside, CA); Carol Beck (Wendell, NC); Laurie Cohen (Silver Spring, MD); Suzelle Fiedler (Frederick, MD); Lea Galanter (Kirkland, WA); Lori Garside (Clearwater, FL); Mallory Herrmann (Overland Park, KS); Lisa LaPaglia (Parker, CO); James Lee (Portales, NM); Linda Maxie (Critz, VA); Marshall Murdaugh (Henrico, VA); Caleb Price (Hickory, NC); Liza Rassner (Surprise, AZ); Ann Robertson; Suzanne Scacca (Providence, RI); Stacey Stern (Boulder, CO; Fawzia Tung (Mesa, AZ); Cindy Vallar (Keller, TX); Ellen Webster (Chantilly, VA).

Be sure to post on your NAIWE website, and we will link to it when you renew!

From CMOS Shop Talk

Q. In running text, should “at” be included before an Instagram or Twitter handle? For example, “To learn more, tweet her @username” or “To learn more, tweet her at @username”?

A. Treat the handle as an ordinary noun and include the preposition, redundant as it may seem: “tweet her at @username.” If you were to read your example out loud, you could either emphasize the second “at” (“tweet her at at username”) or ignore it (“tweet her at username”). The first option will make it clear that you are referring to a handle as such. But a handle as handle is a special case. When you mention @Rihanna’s latest creations or an entry in @MerriamWebster—which would be read out loud as “Rihanna’s latest creations or an entry in Merriam-Webster”—the symbol is merely a tool for facilitating platform interactivity. Ignoring the at sign relative to the surrounding text allows for maximum flexibility. And these days, as any old hippie will tell you, that’s where it’s really @.

Why Should You Join an Association?

Most of us don’t have the luxury of writing only fiction or editing only academic monographs. In fact, we encourage NAIWE members to create multiple streams of writing income because it’s your best guarantee of financial stability.

Member Benefit

Discount on The Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style Online is the undisputed authority for style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. Completely searchable and easy to use, CMS Online is available to individuals and small user groups, as well as academic, private, and public libraries, through annual, IP-based subscriptions. Subscribers receive full access to the 17th and 16th editions of CMS, as well as access to the online CMS Users Forum.

Log in and visit the Member Area of the NAIWE website to get the discount code for 20% off the book or online subscription!

Visit the NAIWE website to see all of the member benefits.


"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

—John Steinbeck


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