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September 2019 Writing Contest: Meet the Judges – Part 2

We are excited to introduce you to The RAC Magazine’s three judges for the 2019 Short Story Writing Contest. (See details here.)

Our first introduction was to Daniel Scott White. See more about Daniel here.

The next judge we’d like to introduce you to is Suzan St Maur. Thank you, Suzan, for your willingness to take time out of your busy schedule to be a judge for our first annual short story contest.

Suzan is a writing and publishing professional, best-selling author and humorist. Check out her award-winning website that helps you get better results from all types of writing: https://HowToWriteBetter.net.

Read on for more about Suzan.

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Canadian born Suzan St Maur was transported to the UK when a child and despite resultant cultural challenges managed to graduate from British high school, but with no talent for anything other than writing – so her career options were fairly clear cut.

Afterwards she attended and graduated from the then-famous Watford Art School advertising writing/visual communications course and worked in London ad agencies as a copywriter for a few years, before deciding she was far too bolshie to be an employee and so became a freelancer.

Since then she has worked as a video/TV scriptwriter and producer, a speechwriter, a copywriter, a marcomms consultant, a business writing/blogging trainer, a keynote speaker and various other guises … but always with the common link of writing. She works mainly in the UK but also spends several weeks a year giving talks and workshops on writing in her native Canada (southern Ontario), where she has many friends and family.

However, writing books is still the main love of Suzan’s working life. (Suzan has written/co-written over thirty books!)

Suzan has had cancer twice and now works extensively (voluntary basis) leading an award-winning charity of cancer patient representatives in south-central England. This group is a partnership with health professionals in acute and primary care plus support groups and other cancer resources/charities across the region.

The partnership is achieving very positive and pro-active progress in improving communication and resources for cancer patients and carers. More on that here – http://MKCPP.org.

Before health issues intervened Suzan was a keen horse rider and to this day she is very involved in the equestrian discipline of “dressage.” Other hobbies include writing restaurant reviews, joke books, and rather potty-mouthed but very funny poetry … and of course spending time with her son, his partner, family in Canada and friends – both online and offline – everywhere.

She lives near Milton Keynes, England with three rescued dogs and two rescued cats.

Authors, keep those stories coming in. The top twelve stories will be published in The RAC’s Sept 2019 issue, which is also our one-year celebration issue!  Whoop-Whoop!

Not a subscriber to The RAC (Reader/Author Connection) Magazine? Go here for subscription info, and here for a single issue purchase. See our free issue here.

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Short Story Writers Wanted!

The RAC (Reader/Author Connection) Magazine is now open to submissions for its May 10, 2019 Issue #5.

Theme: Transitions

Stories up to 1,000 words accepted. Those who submit receive a free e-version of the issue; a discounted print issue (pay only shipping); a free ad space; and potential new readers and fans.

Submit to: theracauthor@gmail.com
Deadline: April 15, 2019

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Sept 2019 Writing Contest: Meet the Judges – Part 1

We are excited to introduce you to The RAC Magazine’s three judges for the 2019 Short Story Writing Contest. (See details here.)

Our first introduction is to Daniel Scott White. Thank you, Daniel, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be a judge for our first annual writing contest.

Here is Daniel Scott White’s bio:

Daniel Scott White runs Longshot Press, known for publishing short works by great authors such as Martha Wells, David Brin, Ken Liu, and Orson Scott Card. He studied the music business at Columbia College in Chicago and went on to assist in the recording of a project for Bob Dylan. In addition to earning an MBA degree, he worked for an international publisher focusing on children’s books and textbooks. While his expertise is in business, his passion is in writing. He’s an author lost in the land of words.

Connect with him at http://www.thelandofwords.com/

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Authors, keep those stories coming in. The top twelve stories will be published in The RAC’s Sept 2019 issue, which is also our one-year celebration issue!  Whoop-Whoop!

Not a subscriber to The RAC (Reader/Author Connection) Magazine? Go here for subscription info, and here for a single issue purchase. See our free issue here.

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Vinegar Valentines ~ Submitted by C.A. Asbrey

In The RAC Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2019 Romance…or Not (Issue #3), C.A. Asbrey’s submission Vinegar Valentines was a fascinating read. Vinegar Valentines were all the rage back in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. They were sarcastic and mean-spirited cards which were often sent to “a rejected suitor or a rival-in-love.”

An excerpt from Author Asbrey’s submission:

These cynical, sarcastic, often mean-spirited greeting cards were first produced in America as early as the 1840s by a variety of printing companies, including Elton, Fisher, Strong and Turner. By the 1870s, other entrepreneurs such as New York printer, John McLoughlin, and his cartoonist, Charles Howard were creating their own lines of cards.

Sold in the United States and Britain, these cards featured an illustration and a short line or poem that, rather than offering messages of love and affection, insulted the recipient.

People sent vinegar valentines as far back as at least 1840. Back then, they were called “mocking,” “insulting,” or “comic” valentines—“vinegar” seems to be a modern description.

So specialized were these cards, particularly those sold in the U.S., Shank writes, that they actually “documented the changing shape of the middle classes.”

Just as card makers today sell valentines targeted for siblings, in-laws, grandparents, or pets, manufacturers during Valentine’s Day’s heyday saw these insulting messages as a way to make money, and it’s clear that consumers liked what they were selling. According to the writer Ruth Webb Lee, by the mid-19th century, vinegar valentines represented about half of all valentine sales in the U.S.

Not everyone was a fan of these mean valentines. In 1857, The Newcastle Weekly Courant complained that “the stationers’ shop windows are full, not of pretty love-tokens, but of vile, ugly, misshapen caricatures of men and women, designed for the special benefit of those who by some chance render themselves unpopular in the humbler circles of life.” 

We love Author Asbrey’s conclusion:

These cards are a good reminder that no matter how much people complain that the holiday makes them feel either too pressured to buy the perfect gift or too sad about being single, it could be worse. You could get a message about how everyone thinks you’re an ass.

About the Author:
Chris Asbrey has lived and worked all over the world in the Police Service, Civil Service, and private industry, working for the safety, legal rights, and security of the public. A life-changing injury meant a change of course into contract law and consumer protection for a department attached to the Home Office.
In that role she produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law and wrote guides for the Consumer Direct Website. She was Media Trained, by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC’s One Show and Watchdog. She has also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.
She lives with her husband and two daft cats in Northamptonshire, England—for now. She’s moving to the beautiful medieval city of York.
Blog – C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period
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