For Creative Writers Everywhere…

Archive for the ‘FAQs’ Category

Facebook Page

Bear in mind that I am not very Facebook savvy but I have started a page for Positive Words magazine. Hopefully, I will be able to post information, competition results etc and reach more writers.

Check it out and let me know what you think 🙂

Back to the Beginning…

The October 2017 issue of Positive Words magazine completes 15 years of publication 🙂

I really had no idea how far it would go way back in 2002 when I first decided it was time to ‘have a go’. Since then 100s of writers from all over Australia and  few from overseas have been published; established writers, beginners, young writers, not-so-young writers and a wide range of themes, topics and styles. Many have enjoyed success in Positive Words and other literary competitions and quite a few have published novels or anthologies.

Thank you everyone for all the support – I do appreciate it and hope to continue as long as possible. Positive Words is a labour-of-love; I do not receive any wages or compensation and it is often difficult to cover the postage and printing costs, especially now that on-line publishing has become so popular. Fortunately, there are a number of people who share the load, sending a few extra stamps or dollars with submissions or subscriptions and it really does help! Thank you 🙂

A few people have asked about the very first issue and I still have a few copies available (I was a bit too enthusiastic with my first print run!). Although I suspect it won’t become a valuable collectors item in the near future, if anyone would like a copy please send $3 in unused stamps to The Editor, Sandra James, Positive Words magazine, PO Box 798, Heathcote Victoria 3523.

If you would like a more recent back copy for great reading or to see if you think your work would fit with the magazine, again send $3 in unused stamps (or $5 for two). The cover price is regularly $6 per issue (incudes postage), a six-month subscription $35 and twelve months $60.

For submission or subscription details see above under ‘information’ or email me –

Take 5

In the latest issue of Take 5 magazine (page 10) there’s a half page story about my poetry writing history and some great publicity for Positive Words magazine 🙂

Do have a look and let me know what you think!

For any new writers who read the story and found this blog – welcome! Many subscribers to Positive Words magazine have described it as a big writing group and I think that is a wonderful description. The readership and content consists of writers at all stages and ages, from first time beginners to others who have been writing for many years. The most important thing is having a go and enjoying what you do. Don’t be shy and never let anyone put you or your efforts down…if it comes from the heart there is something special in every piece of writing. Many writers just write for fun while others are hoping for a career in writing…there’s a place for everyone in Positive Words 🙂

Positive Words runs on a very tight budget and barely covers printing and postage costs. I don’t receive and wages or compensation for putting it together, it’s a labour-of-love but hundreds of writers have been published on the pages over the past fourteen years and I hope the Take 5 article will encourage many more of you to have a go 🙂

If you would like to submit a story or poem they need to be in hard copy (i.e. posted) to The Editor, Sandra James, PO Box 798, Heathcote, Victoria 3523. Submission guidelines are at the top of the page or you can email me for further information

Subscriptions are vital for keeping the magazine going (printing and postage are expensive). You do not have to be a subscriber to send in your poem or short story but subscriptions are very welcome. You can order a sample copy by sending $3 in unused stamps to the above address, $5.50 for the current issue, $30 for a six-month subscription or $55 for twelve months.

I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Making Life Easier

To make it much easier to find the information about submissions, subscription and competitions, I have added new pages next to the ABOUT page. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything or there is anything else you would like to know 🙂

And…a big Thank You to Pseu from  for her kind help and suggestions 🙂

Do What You Can, When You Can…

I’ve had several emails and letters from past subscribers who tell me they’ve been unable to re-new their subscriptions to Positive Words magazine due to financial reasons or the Global Financial Crisis. I do understand. Times are tough for many of us and we all have to make cuts according to our family situations and lifestyles. Some subscribers have been with me for almost ten years and I truly appreciate that support, and I also appreciate every other subscription, stamp donation, competition entry etc.

What I do want everyone to know is that you can still submit stories and poems, even if your subs have lapsed. I don’t discriminate. I simply trust that everyone does what they can, when they can. For some it is a full subscription, for others competition entries, postage stamp donations to help with the mail-out each month or promotion by telling friends and fellow writers, spreading the word at writing groups and gatherings. It all adds up.

I have been happily married to my second husband for almost six years now and my children have all grown and left home but, for many years I was a sole parent and for me a magazine subscription was totally out of the question. I struggled to afford writing group fees. I’m still not rich, just moderately comfortable but I would hate to think anyone felt they couldn’t submit their work because they couldn’t afford a subscription.

Some contributors support other publications and competitions, and that’s great – we need as many opportunities as possible.

A few subscribers get their subscriptions by asking friends or family to forgo the chocolates and flowers and buy a subscription for birthdays or Christmas instead. A great idea and guaranteed not to put on weight or cause hay fever!

I’ll be honest – Positive Words magazine runs on the smell of an oily rag and survives on the breadline! Ten years ago when I started, I raised the necessary funds by selling my craft work and plants at local markets. Now, subscriptions, sales and competition fees cover printing and postage costs but I have never drawn a wage or any compensation since I started. I’m not complaining, it’s a labour of love and the magazine has given me a wonderful sense of accomplishment and the chance to help so many people reach their publication dreams. And many, many friends. I am very grateful.

But…if any subscriber/contributor/entrant/generous benefactor goes on to get that big break, rise to J K Rowling-style success and make a million or two… please, don’t forget us 🙂


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)

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