Bennet Pomerantz

I get many e-mails from writers who read my 'A Piece of My Mind' column (for those who have written in, THANK YOU for your support and feedback). One of the items I get a lot in these e-mail is requests for story ideas and/or writing exercises.

Thanks should go to the lovely publisher of the mostest, Carol who tends to love my ideas. She said she loves reading my other columns and liked these ideas as well.

The first assignment I gave all of you, if you think of it, is my annual "When do you consider yourself a writer?" (The second annual installment appears next month in my "A Piece of My Mind" column). I note that some of you overzealous writers do not follow directions well. For example, one writer who stated he was a perfectionist . . . did not get the point of the assignment was when do (or did) YOU and not rant about writing in general. Another wrote me a 1500 word e-mail about why writing is surreal and did not address the question that was asked.

If I teach all of you anything, let it be this . . . FOLLOW DIRECTIONS THE FIRST TIME! If I were an editor, I would not print your pieces. Also follow the 50-150 word limit. Some writers do get carried away. Their pieces bloom to 500-1500 word e-mails. I know I've done that myself. This is when you learn to edit.

New Column

SO this column was created to help writers who want a writing assignment. This column was created for both exercis and fun. The winner in this column is you the real writer who use these exercises to help you grow as writers.

It is not about a prize. So those who want a prize . . . I offer a fabulous, amazing "No-Prize." However to the best entry I receive, I am making an offer.  I offer the prize of a by-line. Your chance to write a one-time-only "To Be or What" (my newspaper) Column (that is if you win) which I will edit.


Write is simple. There is an old joke: a good sales man can sell Ice to Eskimos.

 A query letter is your best sales tool to editors and publishers.

So your assignment is to write a query letter . . . 50-200 words . . . I don't care if it's serious or humorous. The book that the query letter is to be about, the book you are selling is a self-help book about selling ice to Eskimos. I am not looking for a form letter, just the meat of the piece, the sales pitch for this book. Of course, send this to [email protected] with the words ASSIGNMENT ONE in the subject line. ( NO ATTACHMENTS PLEASE). This assignment deadline is February second (Ground Hog's day), so beat the Christmas rush and send now. Any entries after February 2 will be null and void. I will reprint some of the best in the March column of ASSIGNMENT: WRITER.

Those who need help in what to write in a query letter, I suggest this web site from author Charlotte Dillon. It is one of the best I have seen on the web.

So lets have fun out there!

This article is the sole property of the author. It is produced here with the author's permission.  The unauthorized use or reprinting of an article is illegal, and will be prosecuted at the discretion of the author.

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About the Writer:

Bennet Pomerantz is a media review columnist in 175 newspapers with his weekly column AUDIOWORLD. His fiction and reviews have appeared in the pages of Affaire De Coeur, Gateways, Mystery Scene, Power Star, The Hot Corner, Washington Entertainment Magazine, and many others. He is also known for his review appearances on the MCN Forum. View his web site at Audioworld.