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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.

What Career Coaching Can Do to Help Land a Better Job A career coach is something many people have heard of but few actually understand what they do. Career coaching has become more popular in recent years, and they are actually used by many people who already are employed to help them stay on the right track in their career. If you are looking for a job, however, and especially if your job search is proving difficult and painful, a career coach might be just what you need to get your search on track. Career coaches get a lot of flack by trade. Some people laugh them off as the latest in the line of self help gurus that people spend a lot of money to see, often with mixed results. To some people, career coaches are up there with psychoanalysts and personal trainers ? accessories of the rich but not very relevant to your every day kind of person. This assessment of career coaches might not be entirely fair, however. Career coaches can, and have, helped tons of people get on the right track in their job searches and have helped even more people not only find a job, but find a career that they love. So, just what can a career coach do for you? If you are job hunting within a certain industry, a career coach can help you narrow down your choices while simultaneously making sure you are putting your best foot forward when you go out there on the hunt. Sometimes, especially if you have been in a field for a long time, the skills you are highlighting on your resume are stale or the language you use to talk about your work history is outdated. In addition, a career coach can help you make sure that when you go into a job interview you can present yourself as on top of the latest developments in the field and as a person who could jump right into the job without needing a lot of training or guidance. The same goes for someone who is trying to get a job in a new field. A career coach will give you pointers about that field and the companies in the field as well as giving you general advice about the typical culture of that business ? what kind of lingo is used, where the industry is centered, who the big players are, and even how to dress for your interview so that you look the part. Career coaches can also make sure your resume is in order and showing off your skills in the best light possible. This help a career coach provides when you know what kind of job you are looking for is all well and good, but they can do even more when you know you need a job, but you just don?t know what you want to do. If you have been frustrated in your career goals in the past, a career coach will work with you to decide exactly what kind of job you really want to have. They can help you figure out which industries are best suited to your interests, your skills and your personality. If you want to start your own business, they can walk you through the process from start to finish. A good career coach could be the key to finding the career of your dreams instead of just one more job. Last but not least, a career coach can let you know what you are doing wrong in your career. Do you have a problem with your interpersonal working relationships, or are you bad at delegating so you always end up doing all of the work? A career coach will work with your to set these problems right. When you need a better job, a career coach can clear the path for job improvement.

What is copyright infringement What Is Copyright Infringement? The Layperson's Copyright Primer Copyright laws are constantly changing, and knowing exactly what copyright infringement is, whether you?re creating an eBook, publishing articles, using music as a backtrack to your podcast - or what have you - is essential to selling your online media. Although the laws change from one jurisdiction to another, knowing the basic rules of copyright infringement will ensure you?re following the proper rules of engagement when it comes to creating your works. Before you make any final decisions regarding the use of a work that has been copyrighted, please contact a copyright attorney to ensure you?re following the law ? this will keep you from being sued or, even worse, punished in a court of law. What is Copyright Infringement? Copyright infringement, as defined by Wikipedia.org, states: ?Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.? So, what is copyright infringement in plain English? It means that if you?re not allowed to use something, then don?t use it ? plain and simple. It can be very simple to get permission to use a work ? many times you?ll be able to use a ?sample? of music or excerpt of written work for a nominal fee, or small attribution. However, if you do not have the permission of the copyright holder ? whether it?s an author or a publishing house ? you can be sued for copyright infringement or worse. What is Copyright Infringement in America? In many jurisdictions, such as the United States of America, this act is known as a strict liability crime or tort (a tort is a civil wrong ? not a criminal wrong). This means that the person who infringes the copyright - whether intentionally or not - will be responsible for the damage or loss. Also, the prosecutor (in criminal court) or plaintiff (in civil court) must only prove that the act of copying was committed by the defendant ? they do not need to prove guilty intent. This means, even if you had no intention of committing copyright fraud or infringement, you can (and in present times, in many cases, WILL) be prosecuted, even if you used the material in good faith. What is Copyright Infringement in action? Many cases of copyright infringement are difficult to see to the layperson, because the violation is not limited to exact copying. In many cases, when something is inspired by another thing ? such as in music, when the inspiration of one song is used to create an entirely different song ? it?s difficult to see where the new product or ?thing? has crossed the line to something illegal. Some works aren?t even protected by copyright, such as compilation of facts that lack the creativity necessary to be covered by copyright, or works that are in the public domain because the copyright has expired. Knowing the difference is often very difficult to see, and because of this we?ve seen a number of copyright infringement cases in recent years, especially in tandem with the music industry. As you can see, copyright infringement is a very difficult, albeit necessary, act to define. However, if you make sure that you?re using works that are in the public domain, or have long since been out of copyright (think Beethoven or Frankenstein) you?ll be safe. Do you fair research, and if you have any questions contact a copyright lawyer and ask ?what is copyright infringement? to learn the most up-to-date information for your jurisdiction.

Education Copyright Law The Nuts and Bolts of Education Copyright Law It is a wonderful thing that Education Copyright Law is available for educators. It isn?t only teachers that can take advantage of education copyright law. Students are also covered under education copyright law -- to a degree. Teachers are able to use copyrighted materials in their classroom and make copies of them. Students are also able to use copyrighted materials in school projects. The key to education copyright law is how often a teacher or student uses copyrighted material, in what way they are using it and how many copies they have of it. It is important that teachers and students do not cross the line of education copyright law or they could be in for some stiff penalties. It helps many students and teachers to learn what exactly is not copyrighted. Any work that is in the public domain is not copyrighted and can be used in school and for school projects. Work that is not in the public domain is copyrighted and if you use it you should make sure you fall within the fair use or education copyright law regulations. Many people do not know what exactly fair use copyright regulations are. When you are trying to see if you can use another?s words, you should keep a few things in mind. The answer to the following questions will help you gage whether you would be violating a copyright. First, are you transforming someone else?s work or are you copying it directly? If you are using another person?s work directly, for what purpose and how much of the original author?s work are you using? Many publishing companies have set rules on how much material they will allow to be quoted in other sources. Some of these ranges start at 100 words or less. However, there are truly no standards to go by, so be careful. You can not assume that keeping your copying fewer than 50 words will allow you to pass under the radar ? especially if the original piece is hovering around 125 words itself! There is a greater amount of room to maneuver when it comes to technical writing. For instance, if you are writing a report on something that involves a lot of reporting from an expert, you would probably need to quote more of their work than you would a fiction novelist?s work. The fair use copyright law enables people to use portions of material that is copyrighted for the purposes of criticism or as commentary. Individuals who are involved in the distance education field should take a look at the TEACH Act that was made into law in 2002. This Act clearly outlines the requirements that a university or school must be in compliance with when it comes to transmitting copyrighted works via the Internet. The TEACH Act allows students and teachers to transmit copyrighted works, but they must be within certain guidelines. If the school or university cannot meet these guidelines, the material that is being transmitted via the Internet needs to fall within the fair use copyright act ? or the individuals involved need to have permission from the copyright owner. If you are an educator and you are using copyrighted material make sure it falls within the education copyright law.