Saturday, January 16, 2010

Writing for Women with a Cause

Rural Champion Moms Unite! Contest 2010 is organised by eHomemakers in collaboration with Nestle Malaysia Berhad.

What you have to do: Nominate a mother who is committed to understanding and responding to the needs of rural people. Write a 600 word essay to acknowledge her work.

What you will win: It doesn't say on the brochure.

The deadline: March 31, 2010.

For more information on eligibility and criteria: Click here.

Email your nomination to:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reading Islam is Looking for Writers

If you want to join one of the most prominent da'wa based websites, you can write for Islam Online (IOL). More specifically, Reading Islam, a subset of IOL is in need of writers. This is a paying market and you can contact them here. Below are the guidelines.


Reading Islam invites you to be a part of the team. Should you be interested to write for Reading Islam, send us an email (via the Contact Us page). We will be contacting you as soon as we receive your mail. Expect to be asked for a sample of your writing as well as an updated CV.

Payment for writing is available and negotiated with the editors after acceptance of the article or the proposal sent.

Copyright Issues

Reading Islam expects writers to submit original material. If the material submitted to Reading Islam has been published elsewhere, please make that clear on submission.

Republication of material is allowed only after permission has been given by both the writer and Reading Islam. The website respects the rights of writers to protect their work and will not give other media outlets the right to republish material until permission is sought from the writer.

All republished material should contain a clear reference to Reading Islam as the first publisher.

Editorial Guidelines

1. Writer should be as clear as possible so as not to leave room for misunderstanding.

2. Writer should not attack or propagate any group's ideology. Should remain as objective as possible regarding the different sects/groups within Islam.

3. Writer should uphold proper manners while discussing areas of contention.

4. Writer should not be insulting towards anyone regardless of religion, sex, race, or nationality.

5. Writer should respect all peoples, regardless of their background, who strive to implement the human values that Islam endorses.

6. The length of the article should be between 1000 - 1500 words.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Attribute all information you get from other sources to those sources, whether they be a person, a web site or another publication. Footnotes or source listings are to be used to reference information used in the article as follows:

Book citations

Author. Title, edition. (place of publication, publisher, year), page numbers

For periodicals: journals, magazines, newspapers, reviews, etc.

Author. 'Title of the article'. Title of the periodical or its accepted abbreviation, date, volume (part number of the issue in which it appears) page numbers

For online material

Author or authoring organization, document date or date of last revision, 'Title of the Document', Title of the complete work if any. (The title of the document should be hyperlinked to the original online source). The date the document was last accessed at.


I write for Reading Islam and mashaallah it's a great writing experience. Other writers have also said the same.

Muslim Writers Awards Accepting Submissions

This is a great network to join if you are in the UK and love the fine arts, especially writing. Muslim Writers Awards accepts publications from fiction to published journalism.

If you feel your work warrants recognition and support, there is no harm in looking into submitting to the MWA. It looks like plenty of writers have benefited from their support and programmes.

They also have plenty of programmes designed to cater to those who want to pursue writing as careers or as an important leisure outlet. It is also a good place to network with potential publishers, agents and more experienced writers.
I wish I was in the UK.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I LOVE Passive Income

Who doesn't? Who wouldn't?

Many writers aspire to write, and only write - and that their writing will be able to support their living. A few writers achieve this - those very successful writers who really make their names in their respective niches. I would like to be one of those.

Who wouldn't? Who doesn't?

Anyhow, baby steps of passive income can help realise this dream. My main source of passive income has come from Suite 101. Suite 101 is a content mill that pays perpetual residual income to their writers based on page views and their adsense revenue.

You can literally write what you like, when you like. The "how" is a little complicated, because they have strict guidelines as to the structure, wordcount, word density, etc. But if you follow their informative tutorials, you will learn great tips on how to drive traffic to your articles.

So, in a nutshell - the more, better quality articles you have published with them, the higher your passive income. Maybe you will only earn USD20 per month in the beginning, but it's USD20 more than nothing. Who knows, in a while you may chucking away 20 big G's a month - cetainly gives leeway to concentrate on other things besides work.

[I just received my monthly passive income from them. That's why I'm sharing.] Write for Suite 101, it's a good learning experience.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Screen Animation Writers in the UK

I just could not resist this opportunity to post.

Fine Media Children, a company based in London, the UK, are pooling a team of screenwriters who are fluent in English, creative and dedicated to telling the story of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). They are only looking for writers based in the UK.

The project involves writing one whole season: 30 episodes @ 26 minutes per episode. Experienced writers are preferred. Writers are expected to work in a team and focus on da'wa work throughout the writing of the animation series. This is a paying job.

If you are interested, contact / send your CV in to Hisham Muhra ( now as they are apparently starting interview next week.

Mashaallah what an opportunity. I wish I was in the UK.

Friday, January 8, 2010

When an Article gets Rejected

One of my editors bumped out an article I wrote for their weekly publication today. It is a good thing that it happened now rather than later. It was actually my fault, as I had written here, that I would stay out of politics. That is another reminder to myself: stay out of politics, again.

As a rebound, I have tendered the same article to another publication to see if there is a match. I'll have to make a few amendments to meet the readership there but it will be worth it if it gets accepted.

Freelancing requires one to make the best of every hour spent working. The trade off has to be close to perfect, in order to reduce time wasted on assignments that will not generate revenue. This is especially true for those who have very limited time to spend at the writing desk, like me.

The first step after a rejection - I have learned - is to move on to other options immediately. Unless the piece is timeless, obsolescence is news' biggest enemy - unless you can come up with a different spin of a new flavour.

And after moving on to other options, move ON. Get cracking on the next big idea, the next great project or the next weekly assignment. A rejection is not the end of the world - it provides an opportunity for better focus, especially after learning from that one mistake.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writing Resumes, Borrowing Resumes

In the past week, I have had two requests for my resume from sisters who were looking into compiling their own. I think I enjoyed writing resumes some years back and well, a practiced skill becomes a fabulous one, especially when you're job-hopping all over the place right out of graduation. You just have to keep your resume updated to the T. All job-hungry, satisfaction-searching graduates know that, and I was definitely one of them.

Alhamdulillah, nearly four years down the line the job-hopping stopped, but unfortunately, so has my resume writing - and I feel the skills needed in composing the most basic document are also deteriorating quickly.

I just handed over my resumes to the two sisters without much advice as to how to write or even improve theirs. It's a shame and I feel bad. I should find the time to do so, because there is no one single way to represent each and every unique person with different qualifications, skills and interests on a single piece of paper.
Even when I was writing resumes for friends earlier in the decade, I would "change" the voice of the document to represent them. All of them got to the job interview - note, job INTERVIEW and not necessarily the job. Only one of them never did have any potential employers call her back, and that was her fault for taking my original resume and changing the name ONLY. Yeah, you know who you are....

Anyway, luckily there are mountains and valleys worth of templates and free softwares to do the nitty-gritty self-marketing for job-hunters nowadays. So it does make life a lot more easier, though I would still emphasise on the uniqueness of each individual.
I should write another post on resume writing, because it is really interesting, and all this talk about resumes is bringing back teary memories. Hmmm, sort of.

In the end, it really is more than just copying off someone else's employment and education history. I remember a friend who customised one resume per application, just to be safe and to "speak" directly to this potential employer. Me thinks he had OCD. But it certainly worked out well for him.
I too had a few samples that were used for different markets and jobs - it was a cover to ensure that my resume wasn't just a simple piece of paper I was sending out. But one that was well thought-for and one that represented my abilities in that particular field.

Well, much like resumes are "kept-in-view," this post is a self-reminder to elaborate a little more on writing resumes. As it can also turn into writing opportunities for some writers. Job-hopping experience is not necessarily needed.