Literary Links

March/April 2001


Good News and Announcements

Chicago-North RWA--Fire & Ice Contest--Chicago-North RWA is pleased to announce its 3rd Annual Fire & Ice contest. Send your first chapter where the hero and heroine meet. Enter one of two categories--Contemporary or Historical. There's a $50 1st place prize, $25 2nd place prize and $15 3rd place prize for each category, and editors will judge the final round. Check out the contest rules at the chapter web site: http// Deadline for entries is April 16, 2001.  The winners will be announced at the RWA National Conference in New Orleans this year.

The Golden Network--Golden Pen Contest--The Golden Network chapter of RWA is pleased to introduce its Golden Pen Contest.  The contest is open to unpublished RWA members not contracted by April 2, 2001.  Entries consist of the first 20 pages of your manuscript.  There are three categories--Contemporary, Historical and Other.  First place in each category will receive a gold pen engraved with the author's name and book title, and a $20.00 cash prize.  Runner-up in each category will receive $20.00.  Acquiring editors will judge the final round.  For more information, visit the Golden Network website at:

RWA Pro--RWA National has adopted a special program to recognize unpublished members.  For more information, see the RWA National web site.

July 18-21, 2001--New Orleans--Romance Writers of America will hold its annual conference at the Sheraton New Orleans.  See the RWA website for more information.


New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.



How To Get Publicity (And Make The Most Of It Once You've Got It) by William Parkhurst

In Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past by Michael Wood.

Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

Victorian Costume For Ladies, 1860-1900 by Linda Setnik

Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan


Featured Title by Moira Anderson Allen

Researching the Romance

Flora Britannica, The Concise Edition by Richard Mabey

A History of British Publishing by John Feather

How To Get Publicity (And Make The Most Of It Once You've Got It) by William Parkhurst

In Search of England: Journeys Into the English Past by Michael Wood.

Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

Victorian Costume For Ladies, 1860-1900 by Linda Setnik

Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan


Writers' Resources Online


The Charles Dickens Page

The Georgian Index

Victorian London Map

Hereditary Titles

Medieval Names Archive

Charlotte Dillon's Resources for Romance Writers



Feature Article 

Was It Good For You?  Making the Most of Rejection--Part Two

By Myrna Mackenzie


If you have received a rejection with detailed reasons for the rejection but with no invitation to resubmit, you've received a prize.  The fact that an editor took the time to send you details means that your manuscript has some merit in that person's eyes.  In addition, you have been given valuable information that you can use in this book and in subsequent books.

You may simply accept the knowledge that you have made a professional contact, set the rejection aside and send that editor your new and improved next book (be sure to thank her for her time and her critique.)  Or you might decide to make changes based on that editor's suggestions just to see how they work for you, for the instructional value.  You might also make those changes and then send a polite letter to the editor informing her that you have taken her suggestions to heart and improved the manuscript substantially.  Thank her for her time and attention to your work and ask if she would be willing to look at it again.

The answer, of course, may be 'no,' but at the very least you will have learned something worthwhile from this experience, and in this situation you have also been given the opportunity to demonstrate to an editor that you are the type of flexible person she might be interested in working with at some future date.  This is a chance to make an impression and to begin to build a relationship with an editor.  Someday you may sell her a book.  Begin to build your bridges now.

If your rejection, however, included an invitation to resubmit, sit back and ask yourself whether you feel comfortable making those changes.  If you do, the next step is obviously to do the work and send it back right away.  I personally am of the opinion that it would be wise for an inexperienced writer in today's tight market to simply knuckle under and make the changes.  Sales are made this way every day. 

However, if that does not feel like an option to you and if the editor has indicated a willingness to discuss the matter, try suggesting alternate solutions to the problems at hand.  Then complete the work and resubmit in as timely a fashion as possible.  Grasp this opportunity with both hands, for while it may feel like a kick in the pants, this kind of rejection is encouragement of the greatest kind.  It indicates a willingness to "buy" your book if you can revise it to the editor's satisfaction.  That is not just rejection.  It is praise.  This is the jackpot in disguise. 

So, all right, you've taken the time to grieve.  You've examined your individual situation and dealt with the job that had to be done.  Now it's time for the next step.

Sit down and brainstorm your next three of four books.  Call your writing friends and talk shop.  Go out and buy some new office supplies (nothing gets my writer's blood flowing like new little office gadgets.).  Begin the first chapter of the next project.  Think like a pro, act like a pro, feel like a pro.  You are one.  You've faced the ugly but inevitable specter of rejection and you have wrestled a smidgen of success from the experience.  You've fallen off the cliff, but today you know you're going to climb a mountain.  You are, after all, a writer, and falling off cliffs as well as climbing mountains is just what being a writer is all about.

Myrna Mackenzie, winner of the Holt Medallion Award honoring outstanding literary talent, is a former teacher turned writer.  Her first professional foray into the writing arena was in the form of penning greeting card verse, primarily for Oatmeal Studios, but she always knew that her real goal was to publish a romance.  In 1993, she finally achieved that goal when her first book, THE BABY WISH, sold to Silhouette Books.  It was originally published in 1994, was a finalist in both the HOLT and Reader’s Choice contests, and was reissued in 1999 in a hardcover version by Mills & Boon.  Subsequent hardcover editions have followed for PRINCE CHARMING’S RETURN and BABIES AND A BLUE-EYED MAN. 

Her second book, THE DADDY LIST, won the Holt Medallion.  Since then, she has gone on to sell twelve more books.  Her books have sold worldwide and have been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Greek, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Czech and Portuguese.


JUST PRETENDING – part of the Montana Maverick series – a four book direct mail series published in October 2000 – still available by contacting customer service at  THE BILLIONAIRE IS BACK – Silhouette Romance – May 2001

BLIND-DATE BRIDE – Silhouette Romance – June 2001

A VERY SPECIAL DELIVERY – Silhouette Romance – October 2001 (part of a 3 book Maitland Maternity spin-off )



Editor's Note

Dear Readers--

It's hard to believe it's time for another newsletter.  Is it me, or does it take longer and longer to recover from the holidays?  Perhaps it was the absolutely horrific weather we've been having this winter.  Thankfully, we are finally out from under several feet of snow that piled up in December, but we are a long way from seeing green, despite the fact that St. Patricks' Day is just around the corner.  It just won't warm up here in Chicago.  And our family trip for spring break is only as far south as Indiana to see the Monkees in concert.  Remind me of this lamenting when I'm down in New Orleans in July for the RWA conference this year.  

Just a quick recap on what our new additions are--be sure to read Part Two of Myrna Mackenzie's Rejection article.  We've all experienced it at some time in our careers.  Also, we've added several books on a variety of topics, and a few web sites.  Forgive me if some older links aren't working properly.  I haven't had time to check them recently.  Some still aren't, and will eventually be deleted if the links continue to prove ineffective.  Unfortunately, web sites come and go.  I've lost some of my favorites.  But I hope to continue bringing you new ones in the future, as well as new features.  More on that later.  

And once again, if you have any good news to share with us, please feel free to do so.  We like to hear the positives!

---Michelle Hoppe, Editor


Q&A Column

Q: My name is Barbara S. and I am very interested in writing. I've been trying my hand at it since 1992, no luck yet. I have been submitting my work; but I'm being told they are not accepting any original material at this time. If you could offer and suggestions or help of any kind it would be greatly appreciated.  

--Barbara S.


A:   It seems we are in a similar situation. I started writing in 1992 also. Unfortunately, the publishing industry has undergone some serious downsizing since then. There are fewer and fewer avenues open to new authors.  My best advice to an unpublished writer is to join a local writer's organization such as Romance Writers or Mystery Writers of America to keep up with industry news. Also, find a good critique partner. Do this either through your local writer's group or on-line. Search out 
newsgroups or organizations that would best suit your needs. Try the Arts -&- Humanities section of or Keep your eyes and ears open. The best contacts are made through mutual friends. Network, network, network. 
I hope this helps. Good luck!

Michelle Hoppe
President, Literary Liaisons


Historical Calendar of Events


J. M. Barrie, Scottish dramatist

Salvatore di Giacoma, Italian poet

Anton Chekhov, Russian author

Philip Wilson Steer, English artist

Gustav Mahler, German composer

Ignace Paderewski, Polish pianist and statesman

Hugo Wolf, Austrian composer



A. G. Decamps, French painter


The Treaty of Turin cedes Nice and Savoy to France; the first Italian Parliament convenes at Turin.

Garibaldi and his 1000 redshirts take Palermo and Naples.

Victor Emmanual, King of Sardinia, invades Papal States and defeats papal troops.

Garibaldi proclaims Victor Emmanual King of Italy.

The Second Maori War begins.

The world’s first breech-loading rifled artillery is used August 12 in China as Armstrong 18-pounders bombard Sinho to force admission of foreign diplomats by Beijing. 

Anglo-French troops defeat the Chinese at Pa-li-Chau; the Treaty of Peking is signed.

Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th President of the United States.

South Carolina secedes from the Union in protest.

Montenegro’s Danilo I is assassinated August 12 after a 9-year reign in which he has tried to reform and modernize the Balkan state. Danilo is succeeded by his nephew, 19, who will reign until 1918 as Nicholas I.

The U.S. Army’s Fort Defiance in New Mexico Territory is attacked April 30 by 1,000 Navajo whose sheep and goats have been shot by soldiers from the fort. 


The Arts

"Spartan Boys and Girls Exercising" by Degas

"Finding of the Saviour in the Temple" by W. Holman Hunt

"Spanish Guitar Player" by Edouard Manet


The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Maleska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter by Anne S. W. Stephens--the first 'dime novel'

"Tithonus" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Rock Me to Sleep, Mother" by Florence Perry

The Storm by Russian dramatist Alexander Ostrovski

The Queen Mother by A. C. Swinburne

The Colleen Bawn, or The Brides of Garryowen by Dion Boucicault premieres March 29 in New York

Rip Van Winkle premieres December 24 in New York

Popular songs:

"Old Black Joe" and "The Glendy Burk" by Stephen Foster

"Annie Lisle" by H. S. Thompson


Daily Life
"The Cornhill Magazine" is founded, with W. M. Thackeray as the editor.

"The Catholic Times" is first published.

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody opens the first U.S. English-speaking kindergarten at Boston.

Louisiana State University and Louisiana A&M College are founded at Baton Rouge. 

The English Church Union is founded.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church is founded at Battle Creek, Mich.

The Russian Orthodox Church establishes a monastery in Jerusalem.

Baseball becomes popular in New York and Boston; the first recorded game in San Francisco is played.

The British Open Golf Championship starts; the first champion is W. Park.

Skiing begins as a competitive sport.

U.S. sportsmen begin wearing knickerbockers (plus-fours). 

April 17--The first world heavyweight boxing championship bout is held at Farnborough, Hampshire, pitting U.S. champion John C. Heenan against the British champion Tom Sayers, and continues for 42 rounds.

Australia’s Melbourne Cup horse race has its first running in the Victoria colony.

During the last decade, 424,000 people have emigrated from Britain to the United States, and 914,000 from Ireland.

The U.S. wheat crop reaches 173 million bushels, more than double its 1840 level, the corn crop reaches 839 million bushels, up from 377 million in 1840, and the cotton crop reaches 3.48 million bales, most of which is shipped to Liverpool for England’s textile industry. 

The first Pony Express riders leave St. Joseph, Mo., April 3 and deliver mail to Sacramento, Cal., 10 days later. Eighty riders are in the saddle at all times of day.  The service ends October 24, 1861.

Feb. 22--approximately 20,000 New England shoe workers strike and win higher wages.

The United States has 372 daily newspapers, but they remain too expensive for the average citizen to afford.

The Food and Drugs Act is enacted in Britain.

Parliament passes the first British Adulteration of Food Law, ceasing the practice of using sulfide of arsenic to color Bath buns yellow.

Godey’s Lady’s Book advises U.S. women to cook tomatoes for at least 3 hours.

German traders sent by Woermann and Co. open a factory (trading post) on West Africa’s Cameroons coast. 

John Davison Rockefeller enters the oil business at age 20.

Vladivostok is founded by Russian pioneers on the Pacific Coast. The port is icebound 3 months of the year.

German adventurer Karl Klaus von der Decken explores East Africa. He proposes plans for a vast German colony in the area but natives murder him in 1865.

The first expedition to cross Australia from south to north leaves Melbourne with 17 men, 26 camels, and 28 horses under the leadership of Irish-Australian Robert O’Hara Burke. The group reaches the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1861.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton urges woman suffrage in an address to a joint session of the New York State Legislature.

The U.S. population reaches 31.4 million, with 4 million of the total foreign-born.

Native American population in the United States and its territories is 300,000, down from over 600,000 in 1607.

Hawaii’s native population has fallen from 150,000 in 1819 to less than 37,000 as a consequence of contagious diseases introduced from Europe and America.

Cigarette smoking increases in America. Richmond, Va., has more than 50 cigarette factories; North Carolina and Virginia together have more than 348, up from 119 in 1840.



Bunsen and Kirchhoff discover the elements cesium and rubidium.

Lenoir constructs the first practical internal-combustion engine.

Frederick Walton invents cork linoleum.

Christopher L. Sholes, American inventor, devises a primitive form of typewriter.

Texas cattleman Richard King imports Durham cattle to improve his breeding stock

Louis Pasteur sterilizes milk by heating it to 125° Centigrade at a pressure of 1.5° atmospheres.

Armstrong Cork Co. has its beginnings in a firm founded by Pennsylvania entrepreneurs Thomas Armstrong and John D. Glass. 

Paris physician Etienne Lancereaux discovers that diabetes is the result of a pancreas disorder.

The clinical symptoms of acute trichinosis are noted for the first time by German pathologist Friedrich Albert von Zenker, but the cause-effect relationship remains unknown.

The Henry rifle, patented by U.S. gunsmith D. Tyler Henry, is the first truly practical lever-action rifle.

French railway trackage reaches 5,918 miles, up from 336 in 1842.

The first Japanese-built ship to reach the United States, the 300-ton iron steamship S.S. Kanrinmaru, arrives at San Francisco February 16 after a 34-day voyage. 

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