For Creative Writers Everywhere…

Archive for March, 2012

Prompt for Today

Here’s a prompt for today…happy writing 🙂

Printing Positive Words

Earlier this week a subscriber asked me what date each month Positive Words is printed and posted so she knows when to expect it in the mail.

I try to have the completed manuscript ready about ten days to two weeks before the start of the relevant month and then email it to the printing company. I stayed with the company I used in Traralgon, where I lived all my life until two and a half years ago, when I moved here to Heathcote because they do a great job and are good to deal with. Prior to engaging them about five years ago I had been with a printer from Moe, near Traralgon, but sadly he passed away and the business closed. I will always be indebted to him, his wife and son, for the wonderful help they gave me in starting Positive Words.

Once the printers have the manuscript I wait for a phone call or email telling me the magazines are ready. Sometimes this takes as little as three days, at other times up to two weeks depending on how many other orders they have to fill. Occasionally something goes wrong like an equipment breakdown and once the emailed manuscript went to ‘junk’ so wasn’t noticed for a few days but usually they are ready at the start of the month. True to Murphy’s Law, if I am running a little late it always seems to be the same month the printers also have a problem!

Once I get the phone call/email, I drive to Traralgon to pick them up, usually within a day or two. It’s a long way (566kilometres round trip) and a lot of fuel (which isn’t covered by subscriptions) but my parents live in Traralgon and my youngest son Pip lives in nearby Yarragon, so it is a good chance to visit. I always have the envelopes addressed and stamped and often begin the huge job of filling them while chatting with Mum and Dad, or Pip.

The April 2012 issue was emailed to the printer about ten days ago, so I will ring them on Monday morning to find out if they will be ready for posting before Easter. Fingers crossed!

The May 2012 issue is more than half done but if anyone has any Mother’s Day stories or poems they’d like to submit, there is a little space left if you send them a.s.a.p.   (Hard copy only to: Positive Words Magazine, PO Box 798, Heathcote 3523, Victoria)

Prompt for Today

Here’s a prompt for today…a patchwork quilt.

Writing Prompts

A number of people emailed me after seeing the photo I posted yesterday of one of my geraniums, asking if I would/could add a daily writing prompt. I can’t promise I’ll be able to do it every day but I will post a prompt as often as I can 🙂


Thanks for all the emails and feedback – very encouraging!

A Breath of Fresh Air

It’s a perfect Autumn day here, 24 degrees, a light breeze and enough cotton wool clouds to make it picture perfect. I’ve just spent an hour in the garden enjoying the sun on my back and admiring my geraniums. I hope the photo will provide some of you with inspiration. And if you do write a story or poem…don’t forget, submissions for the magazine are always welcome as long as they are in hard copy first.

I’ve had several queries about where to obtain back copies of Positive Words magazine. Send $2.40 in unused stamps per copy (or one book of stamps for three copies) to PO Box 798, Heathcote 3523, Victoria. If you live outside Australia send 2 x IRCs.

International Competition Entries

The major competition and the mini-competitions are also open to international entrants. I don’t get a lot but several have been short-listed in the mini-competition and I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m announcing our first international winner. Fee payment for these competitions can be a problem. IRCs are a great way of sending the alternative to stamps-as-an-entry-fee but apparently these are not only becoming more and more expensive but are also hard to obtain in some areas. Several prospective entrants have reported that their local Post Office has never heard of them. Some people have friends/relatives in Australia who are able to forward the equivalent amount in Australian stamps for them and others just send stamps from their own country but whatever the problem I’m sure we can come up with an answer 🙂

For the major competition please substitute 3 x IRC per entry for payment or contact me via email for Paypal or other alternatives.

For the mini-competitions substitute 2 x IRC per entry for payment or contact me.

International Submissions & Subscriptions

Stories, poems, articles and, of course, subscriptions are always welcome from overseas writers. Over the years I’ve used work from the UK, USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain, Luxemborg and Finland. You don’t have to be a subscriber to send your work but it does need to be in hard copy first as I live out-of-town and rely on a USB internet connection which really can’t handle large volumes of mail. Once accepted, I will request an email copy for longer pieces to save re-typing 🙂 I’ll post the general information below and if there is anything else you want to know, please email me…

Selection Criteria

Positive Words publishes poetry, short stories and articles. Preference is given to poems up to one page and stories and articles up to 1000 words. Please remember that Positive Words is a family magazine and submissions should reflect this (i.e. no bad language or explicit sex scenes). (Items should be sent in hard copy, although an email copy may be requested where possible once accepted.) Please include an addressed envelope and IRC for return and notification. (or an email address)

Positive Words magazine – Sandra James (Editor), PO Box 798, Heathcote 3523, Victoria, Australia.

International subscription rates for POSITIVE WORDS

Single issue……………$8.00 (Australian) includes postage

Six month subscription………$45.00 (Australian) includes postage

Twelve month subscription……….$88.00 (Australian) includes postage

Sample copy……..3 x International Reply Coupons.

# For gift subscriptions please send the relevant amount together with address and details of the occasion (birthday, Christmas etc) and the relevant issues with a suitable card will be forwarded to the recipient.

# Payment should be via bank draft drawn on an Australian bank and made out to Sandra  James or Rainbow Press (not POSITIVE WORDS). Some people choose to send cash and although I have not had any problems over the past ten years, it is at your own risk.

## Alternatively, subscriptions etc can be organised through Paypal. Please contact me by email if you would like to use this option.

Advertising in POSITIVE WORDS

Small classified advertisements for services, publications etc are available for $8.00(Australian) per issue or $88.00(Australian) for twelve months. Please send relevant details together with bank draft drawn on an Australian bank.

Sample ad:

AHOY THERE, CONVICTS……….The tale of an American in Oz.

By John Smith

A true story that will have you rolling with laughter at every turn of the page.

Available from the author for $20.00 (American) post paid.

Send payment to John Smith, 222 Smith St, Smithsville, Ohio.



I’ve had a couple of queries regarding the closing date for the Mini-Competitions. Entries need to be posted by the last day of the month; it doesn’t matter if I don’t receive them until a few days later. I decided on this a few years ago after realising that although most of the time the snail mail we entrust to those big red boxes reaches its destination within a couple of business days, a few contrary envelopes go by the scenic route and the entries we send in good faith, sure they will arrive by the closing date are sadly disqualified 😦  Since I started Positive Words in 2002 I’ve had some letters arrive with postmarks from up to half a dozen different Post Offices and one took fourteen days to travel less than 100 kilometres. So…as long as you get your entry in the box by midnight on the last day of the month it will be considered 🙂

Of course, for next month and those following, you could post your entries at the beginning of the month and remove all doubt but if you are like me, you will have every intention of doing just that but instead you will procrastinate and find yourself standing at that red box on 30 April vowing that next month you’ll post much earlier…

Positive Words Mini-Competitions 2012

Only four days left to post entries in this month’s Mini-Competition. A great challenge to get your creativity flowing, a modest entry fee and terrific prize for one hundred words of prose, ten lines of poetry, or less!

Positive Words Mini-Competitions 2012

Prize: Six months subscription to Positive Words

Entry Fee: $1.20 in unused postage stamps. No entry form required.

Entries must be posted by the last day of the relevant month and the winning entry will appear in a future issue. The winner will be notified.

Send entries to: The Editor, Sandra James, PO Box 798 Heathcote, Victoria 3523. Please include SSAE or email address for results.

 Mini-Competition for March 2012: Write a short story in 100 words or less, or a poem in ten lines or less using the word HARVEST at least once. Entries must be posted by 31 March 2012.



April 2012 – MAGIC


May 2012 – GOLDFISH




July 2012 – BLIND


August 2012 – UNDERDOG


September 2012 – RICH


October 2012 – ARROW


November 2012 – TOPAZ


December 2012 – STOCKING

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has emailed me after seeing the blog. Your encouragement is priceless and I truly appreciate it 🙂

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