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The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

How to Avoid Spam and Junk Email and Still Enjoy Freebies Free stuff is great, but when you are facing an inbox that is literally choking on spam, than you may find yourself wondering just how free your freebies really are. Spam and junk email are the unwanted consequences of cashing in on great free deals online, and it is enough to keep some people away from freebie offers entirely. Here?s the good news, however ? you might not able to stop the spammers in their tracks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to keep the annoyance caused by junk email to a minimum. Get on the defensive and reclaim the control you have over your inbox. Rule number one for cashing in on freebies is to set up a separate email account that you use only for your free stuff hunting. There are tons of web based email programs that you can join for free, and you can use these new email accounts as your point of contact for the companies from who you get freebie offers. After all, giving your email address to a company is simply part of getting freebies ? that is why the company is giving away freebies in the first place. They want to collect your email address so they can email you about their products and hopefully convince you to shell out some cash for them in the future. By protecting your main email address, you can easily control the amount of spam you have to wade through when you just want to read your personal or business emails. You know that a company wants your email address in a exchange for a freebie, and you know why they want it, but what you might not know is that not all companies are created equal when it comes to it how the treat your email address. To know this, you have to check out a company?s privacy policy. Some companies will allow you to opt out of all future emails, including the ones from them, meaning in theory that your email address should never end up on any junk email solicitation list after your get your freebie. Other companies don?t let you opt out of their emails, but they let you choose whether or not they can give your address to partner companies who have products to offer that you ?might be interested in.? With these companies, at least you can keep the amount of solicitations to a minimum. Still other companies follow a ?no holds barred? kind of plan, in which they are allowed to share your email address with anyone they choose. These last kinds of companies are the kinds that end up loading you up with the spam, because they often sell the lists of email addresses they collect to companies that send out spam messages. Proceed with caution when a company has a policy like this one. If you can?t find a privacy policy at all on the website from which you are getting your freebie, then it might be best to move on to a different free offer. Another spam reducing trick that a lot of people miss out on is ignoring spam completely. Don?t open your spam messages, and whatever you do, don?t ask to be removed from a mailing list. That might seem like the logical way to stop the spam, but all you do when you do that is confirm to the spammers that their email is going to a real, live person. Last but not least, if even your dedicated freebie email address is gasping under the pressure of the spam, abandon it and start a new one. If you collect freebies on a regular basis, the word will eventually get out and the junk emailers will find you. Start a new address and get a clean slate.

Bring These Important Tips to the Table in a Telecommuting Argument Are you tired of the sound of the alarm clock every morning? Are you equally tired of trying to figure out what to wear every day (ladies) and fighting the rush hour traffic to get to the office in time? How about spending almost your entire paycheck on gas to put in your car to get you to work? There is a way around all of this of course ? telecommuting. When you telecommute to work, you can catch a little bit of extra shut eye and head to work in your pajamas, without even getting in the shower. But aside from the convenience factor, there can be a lot of other good reasons why telecommuting makes sense. If you can put together a convincing enough argument for your employer, you may find yourself going to work in your bedroom slippers before you know it. The first thing you have to keep in mind about your telecommuting argument is that you have to make sure you have plenty of evidence that telecommuting will be beneficial to your employer, not just you. Sure, you would love to be able to see the kids off to school in the morning and take your coffee break in front of your favorite soap operas, but your boss doesn?t care about all of that. Though you don?t have to hide the fact that telecommuting will obviously have its privileges for you from your boss, remember to include plenty of ammunition for benefits to the company as well. What can you bring to the table in terms of telecommuting advantages for your boss? Point your boss to a growing amount of research on the internet that shows that big companies have seen big increases in productivity when they started letting people telecommute and work from the comfort of their homes. Everyone knows that a rested and stress free employee is a productive one, and offices can be filled with more distractions than your home (gossiping employees, phones always ringing). Some companies have seen increases in productivity of over 50%, something that is sure to get your boss?s attention. You can also point out to your boss that absenteeism takes a nosedive when people telecommute. No need to take a fake sick day to get out of going to office when you work from home, and even when people are under the weather, when the office is in the next room, they still tend to get a few things done on a day that would have been a total write off otherwise. Another selling point for your boss may be that everyone else is already doing it. More than half of the companies in the US have employees that telecommute, with great results. Your boss won?t want to let the company fall behind ? and your boss will know that offering what other companies have is important for employee retention. Make sure your boss knows that what you are asking for is not out of the ordinary in any way. Beyond the selling points for your boss, you can be specific about a few benefits to you. Bosses know that gas is major issue for employees ? telecommuting is a way they can let you cut back on that big expense, without feeling under pressure to respond with wage hikes. If you have customers that live near your house, let your boss know it will be easier to meet them face-to-face if you work from home. Last but not least, let your boss know that you believe you can deliver more to the company from the comfort of your home - more work for the same pay is always music to an employer?s ears.

Helpful Hints for Finding Free Stuff Online The World Wide Web is awash in wonderful freebies. The problem is finding them, and sorting out the real freebies from those that will cost you in the long run. Fortunately for those of us that resist the notion of not finding cool freebies, there are many tips that can help you filter out the bad results as quickly as possible. Why is it So Hard to Find True Freebies on the World Wide Web? Why is it so hard to find true freebies on the Web, and what can you do to improve your search results? Finding freebies is harder than ever. First, try searching for freebies by typing in the word 'free' into any search engine, and chances are that you will receive a lot of filler pages that do not contain any useful information, much less any true freebies. Many websites use the word 'free' in order to draw in the web traffic, but will not actually offer you any freebies. Another problem with web freebies is that they are often not as free as you would like. In many cases, you will not be allowed to access your freebies of choice until you to watch advertisements or put up with obtrusive pop-up and banner ads. Sometimes you may also be forced to subscribe to an email newsletter that results in your inbox becoming flooded with unwanted messages. Here are some tips that can help you find the real freebies. Check Out Forums Known for Their Freebies There are many well-established online forums where you can find the latest freebies. One of these websites is SlickDeals, which has established itself as a place to find authentic freebies. Check out the freebie forum to find free samples from a wide range of products and services. You will be amazed by how many free things you can find by checking these forums regularly. Share and exchange your own favorite freebies with other forum contributors and users. Check Out the Hot Deals and Coupons to Be Found Online Another favorite site for web freebie-hunters is Hot Coupon World. This site is home to a very active forum that provides users with freebie offers in a variety of different areas and topics. Check out the many different folders to find hot coupons and freebie offers. Share and read the member secrets on how to get the best free stuff. There is even a fun Adopt a Newbie program that allows you to do just that?bring more freebie hunters into the fold. The more freebie hunters, the more chances of someone finding something worth holding on to. Does Your Free Cup Runneth Over? If you want to discover the best in online freebies, A Full Cup is not a bad place to start looking. This is yet another very popular freebie website that provides its members with the greatest in freebie deals and offers. This is a great place to peruse for the latest and the greatest in new freebie offers. The Message Board Hot Spot for Web Freebies Another freebie hot spot on the web is known as Teri's Message Board. This well-regarded web forum is family-oriented. If it is your first visit to this vibrant website, check out the Hot Deals, Rebates and Samples folders. Chances are, you will find more than one great freebie deal on this very active website. A Great Place to Gather for Long-Standing Freebies Looking for a well-established freebie website that offers the best in freebies in a well-organized manner? If so, check out the FreeSite.com. This website have been around for many years and it shows: it is well organized, with a large selection of web freebies.