Media misdirection, again and again…

The link:

A little love on a Saturday, Off The Wall…

Kathy Mcferrin writes… “Wow what a douchbag you have been with this whole Masonry competition thing. You came off very badly my stupid friend!”

Tigernan Douglas Quinn says… “I see you’ve stooped to scolding little girls about their character. That’s lovely.”

Derek Hanna reveals… “I never realized you were such an asshole. Very disappointing.”

Howdy kids. How’s your weekend going? I’m going to take a wild guess and assume you’ve been pursuing the headlines over at The Raw Story. Am I right? I knew it!

Back in college, I had a professor named Dr. Vatz who taught a wonderful course called Rhetoric and Persuasion. I remember an exercise where we were instructed to take an article from the local paper, and without changing the underlying facts, rewrite it in such a way that left the reader with a completely different version of the truth. To this day, I think about that exercise whenever I come across an article whose sole purpose is to make people angry.

Happily for the writer in question – a guy named Tom Boggioni – The Raw Story does not appear to be terribly concerned with the facts. I suspect his future there is a bright one. However, since I have nothing better to do on this fine Saturday but defend myself from the slings and arrows of outrageous bloggers, I thought it might be fun to juxtapose “The Raw Story, as told by Tom Boggionia” with “The Real Story, as told by Mike Rowe.” Perhaps if Dr. Vatz sees this, he’ll let us know which version is the more fanciful…

The Raw Story: HEADLINE: “TV’s Mike Rowe Trashes Ohio Girl’s ‘Character’ After She’s Stripped of Prize in Contest He Helps Run”

The Real Story: HEADLINE: “Mike Rowe Defends the Importance of Fair Play – Encourages Observers to Look Beyond Politics and Gender Stereotypes in Recent Controversy.”

The Raw Story: TV host and pitch man Mike Rowe took to his Facebook page to address the controversy over Ohio teen Shania Clifford being denied a spot in a national masonry contests and ended up smearing her character in the process. Rowe, who hosts the Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs and is affiliated with contest sponsor SkillWorks, responded to a question on his Facebook page about Clifford based on an article found here on The Raw Story.

The Real Story: Yesterday on Facebook, Mike Rowe answered hundreds of readers who asked him to comment on a petition demanding that a female contestant be allowed to compete in a competition she didn’t actually qualify for. Rowe, who now runs mikeroweWORKS – the countries most visible foundation in support of the skilled trades – is a longtime supporter of SkillsUSA, (though he has nothing to do with “running” the organization.) In that capacity, Rowe responded to an article that first appeared in The Columbus Dispatch, and was subsequently picked up a number of websites desperate to generate traffic by ginning up imaginary controversies and posting unflattering images of Rowe’s giant and wrinkly face.

The Raw Story: Clifford thought she was going to a national leadership and skills conference after coming in first place in a SkillsUSA Ohio masonry competition, only to find out that her spot had been awarded to boy who came in third. It was later determined that the scores had been input incorrectly. However Clifford was never notified and only found out that she wasn’t passed over by reading about it on Facebook.
The Real Story: In a most unfortunate mistake, Shania Clifford’s actual score in the Masonry competition was incorrectly entered into the master spreadsheet, leading all concerned to assume that Shania had earned the highest score. In fact, she had not. Unfortunately, Shania was not properly notified about the discrepancy and got the bad news on Facebook. The good news is, the mistake was corrected, and the student with the highest score went to the Nationals.

The Raw Story: Clifford’s place in the local competition was downgraded to third based upon the correction in the scores, but she was still allowed to keep the first place gold medal after the controversy embarrassed all involved. For some reason this annoyed Rowe who, after explaining the errors involved, pushed the teen to return the medal to prove that she is a person of good character while playing the “everybody gets a trophy” card.

The Real Story: Rowe, a longtime critic of so called “participation trophies,” was troubled by the fact that so many uninformed observers would rush to sign a petition demanding Shania be rewarded on the basis of a clerical error. He encouraged Shania not to allow anyone to define her as a victim of gender discrimination if such a claim was untrue – which it clearly was in this case. Rowe also pointed out that those demanding “justice for Shania” were not acting in her best interest. In fact, Rowe went so far as to imply that those who signed the petition were insulting all women in the most insidious way possible – by demanding special treatment based on nothing but gender. Rowe then asked, “Would anyone be demanding “justice for Shania,” if she were a boy? How in the world is it good for women to benefit from a clerical error? When Steve Harvey mistakenly awarded the title of Ms. Universe to Ms. Colombia instead of Ms. Philippines, should the mistake have gone uncorrected? Should Ms. Colombia be Ms. Universe today, simply because Steve Harvey screwed up?” 

Finally, Rowe offered Shania some unsolicited advice that would surely catch the eye of a prospective employer – he encouraged her to “return the Gold Medal, along with her sincere thanks for the opportunity to compete, her heartfelt congratulations to the actual winner, and her steadfast resolve to come back next year and kick some serious ass.”

The Raw Story: After the uproar over the SkillsUSA competition went viral, Clifford was given an invitation to compete in the Mason Contractors Association of America’s convention next year.

The Real Story: After the uproar over the SkillsUSA competition went viral, a dubious assortment of hysterical activists masquerading as journalists continued to look for a story that simply wasn’t there, and encourage people with no real knowledge of the facts to sign a bogus petition. The Raw Story actually accused Rowe of “trashing Shania’s character,” when in fact, he did nothing but point out how important character actually is. Even now – after the Columbus Dispatch clarified their original story – The Raw Story continues to fan the flames of confusion and self-righteous indignation, driving many of their nearly two dozen readers to clutter up Rowe’s Facebook Wall with the kind of insults most often associated with a petulant eight-year old.

Mike Rowe

(Managing Editor of The Real Story with Mike Rowe)


Blogs that Pay Writers $50+ for Guest Posts

Guest blogging is one option to getting your name out there or widening your network. Below is one of the most comprehensive, high-quality list* of blogs that accept guest posts compiled and available on the web, most paying $50 (and up) for posts. Some sites want longer articles, but for the purposes of this list, a guest post is a non-contractual appearance on a site. All of these sites are looking for guest writers and freelancers and cover a wide range of fields.


  • Dorklypublishes articles about pop culture. Topics include: anime, video games, movies, and television. They pay $75 per published article, with an aesthetic that runs to the clickbait style. Submission guidelines.
  • Paste Magazinepublishes articles about music, tv, video games, and comedy, with a broad focus on popular culture. They pay $50 for articles. Submission guidelines.
  • Two Plus Two is an online website about poker that publishes technical articles about playing poker, as well as interviews and biographies of poker personalities. They pay $200 per published article. Submission guidelines.
  • Gothamist is a major news and lifestyle blog covering New York City. According to their guidelines, “A well-sourced, 1,500-word indictment of governmental incompetence is just as welcome as a 500-word profile of the rat-slaying building super who listens to Van Halen while on the hunt”. Submission guidelines.


  • The Penny Hoarderpublishes articles about earning, saving, and growing money, and are interested in posts about any and all “wacky and weird ways to make extra money.” They pay $75 for a 700-900 word article. Submission guidelines.
  • The Motley Foolhelps investors make the most of their money and provides financial advice of all kinds. They pay $100 for articles that are “analytically sound, thoughtful, and well-written”. Writers who publish multiple posts will be offered a contract for long-term work. Submission guidelines (click on ‘Personal Finance Writer’).
  • The Dollar Stretcherprovides practical advice about saving money. Their articles range from frugal spending ideas to 401(k) advice. They pay $0.10 per word ($25 for a 250-word article) for pieces that are published in their monthly print publication. Submission guidelines.
  • Doctor of Creditpublishes articles on anything and everything about credit. They welcome pitches on any finance topics, especially sign-up bonuses and money-making opportunities. They pay $50 for accepted guest posts. Submission guidelines.

Technology/Online Business

  • WorkOnlineBlog focuses more on client/contractor relationships, as opposed to SEO or affiliate marketing. They pays $50 to freelance writers, bloggers, contractors, or business owners. Most articles are 1,500 to 3,000 words. Submission guidelines.
  • A List Apartpublishes articles about web design, development, and web content. They pay $200 per article, typically between 1,500 and 2,000 words.  Submission guidelines.
  • SitePoint is a resource geared at web professionals. They’re looking for articles and tutorials on HTML and CSS. They pay $150 for articles, $200 for tutorials, and $300 or more for lengthier pieces that the editors “feel will do well traffic-wise”. Submission guidelines.
  • Treehouseis an educational site for web designers and developers. They publish queries for articles that discuss any area of web design and development, and have a list of possible topics on the site. They pay $100 to $200 per published post. Submission guidelines.
  • AppStormpublishes articles that discuss great business apps for the iPad. They accept queries for reviews, how-to articles, and roundups and pay $60 per article. Submission guidelines.
  • eCommerce Insiders publishes “commentary and insights for online retailers”. Writers should be subject experts on retail, and submissions should be either educational or commentary. They pay $75 for 400-600 word articles and $125 for articles of 600 words or more. Submission guidelines.
  • The Layoutis a daily design publication that features how-to articles on WordPress. Their articles range from 700 to 1,200 words. They pay between $50 and $150 per article, depending on the subject and word count. Additionally, they provide a list of articles they need written that you can choose from. Submission guidelines.
  • wspublishes a wide range of articles and tutorials on Photoshop. They pay $25-$50 for articles, $50 for quick tips, and $150-$300 for full tutorials. Submission guidelines.
  • VPS Web Hostingpublishes a variety of articles on VPS web hosting. They pay $50 for VPS related articles, $100 for how-to guides, and $150 for VPS hosting reviews. Submission guidelines.
  • Polygonpublishes engaging stories based on video game artists, fans, and culture. They pay $0.25 per word ($125 for a 500-word article). Submission guidelines.
  • Biz helps entrepreneurs grow their online businesses. They publish original guest posts that provide helpful tips and strategies, and pay $100 per post. Submission guidelines.
  • Compose publishes articles about database programming and pays $200 per article. Submission guidelines.


  • Scary Mommyhas over a million likes on Facebook. They publish parenting humor, as well as practical advice for moms. Their basic idea: you don’t have to be a perfect mom. They pay $100 per article. Submission guidelines.
  • Babbleis a parenting website owned by Disney. They publish articles in a number of categories including pregnancy, parenting, lifestyle, and relationships. Sources say they pay around $150 for a 1,200 word article. Submission guidelines.
  • Metro Parent is a regional parenting magazine covering Southwest Michigan. According to their website, their general goal is “to have a good mix of fun and substantive local stories of interest to local parents”. They pay as much as $350 for feature articles, and as little as $35 for other pieces. Submission guidelines.
  • Lies About Parenting publishes thought-provoking articles on all aspects of parenting. They accept pitches for articles that share surprising advice, a personal story, or a revelation. They pay $50 per post. Submission guidelines.


  • Great Escape Publishinghelps writers get paid to travel. They accept articles in a variety of categories, including articles about travel blogging, creating your own tours, import/export business, travel writing, and photography. They pay between $50 and $200, depending on the nature of the writing. Submission guidelines.
  • Transitions Abroadpublishes articles on “travel, work, study, living, and volunteering abroad”, and want practical information gained from first-hand experience. They pay up to $150 an article. Submission guidelines.
  • The Viator Travel Blogaccepts pitches for feature length contributions. They want to share an “insider’s view of travel” with a focus on more traditional tourism. They also have a helpful list of cities they need articles about. They pay $100-$150 for features. Submission guidelines.
  • International Living publishes articles on living overseas. They’re looking for unique, personal articles from international writers. They pay $75 for “daily postcards” which share stories from expats. Submission guidelines.
  • BootsnAll is a travel blog geared toward indie travelers. They accept pitches for feature articles that cover a range of topics, from traveler interviews to “indie flight hacking”. They pay $50 per feature. Submission guidelines.
  • DesertUSA publishes all kinds of articles about the North American Desert regions. They accept submissions for several sections of their site, including Wildlife, Adventure, and Desert Lore. They pay $100 per article with accompanying photos. Submission guidelines.
  • The Mountain Blog celebrates “the Mountain Gear Community, its people, and their adventures”, and publishes articles about mountain adventures, trips, and gear. They pay $50-$75 per article. Submission guidelines.


  • Back to Collegepublishes information for adult re-entry students who are pursuing an advanced degree. They accept unsolicited articles that discuss all aspects of the re-entry experience, from finding financial aid to mastering online education. They pay $65 and up for features. Submission guidelines.
  • The Change Agent publishes articles written by adult educators and students. Published biannually, the magazine’s pieces promote advocacy skills and social action. They pay a $50 stipend for accepted articles. Submission guidelines.
  • TakeLessons is an educational site that connects teachers with students. They invite writers to join their team of teachers and submit articles to their blog. Teachers can choose from a list of topics and write a 500-800 word post for consideration. They pay $50 per post by a site-registered teacher; non-teachers do not receive payment. Submission guidelines.


  • Author Magazineis a website published by the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. Their mission is to “develop writing talent through education, participation, and accessibility”. They publish how-to articles about writing, as well as emotional/inspirational articles for writers. They pay $50 for articles, and $30 for book reviews. Submission guidelines.
  • Funds for Writerspublishes a weekly newsletter that showcases paying markets, grants, contests, and other opportunities to make money with writing. They’re looking for original articles about any sort of financial tips or paying markets for writers. For a 500-600 word article, they pay $50 via PayPal or $45 via check. For reprints, they pay $15 via PayPal or $10 via check. Submission guidelines.
  • Write Naked is a writing blog focused on the “writing life cut open”. They accept queries for guest posts that discuss the freelance writing life, from publishing trends to a-day-in-the-life of a writer. They pay $50 per guest post; however, if they are “particularly impressed” with a post, they’ll pay $200. Submission guidelines.
  • Make A Living Writing helps writers all over the world find real success in their careers. They accept queries for guest posts that provide “firsthand, practical advice” to freelance writers. In order to query, you must either be a current or former member of the Freelance Writers’ Den or a student or graduate of Jon Morrow’s blog mentoring program. However, they do run open pitch periods. They pay $50 per guest post. Submission guidelines.
  • Writers Weeklypublishes articles that help writers increase their income, and they accept queries for guest posts that focus on selling the written word. They pay $60 for features. Submission guidelines.
  • The SFWA Blog is the official blog of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. They want articles related to publishing, writing, and writers. They pay 6 cents per word, up to 1000 words. Submission guidelines.


  • Lawyerist is an online magazine about law practice. They cover topics such as technology, marketing, ethics, practice management, and law school. They pay $100 per article or articles 1,000 words or longer. Submission guidelines.
  • Conspiracy Clubpays $50 for well-researched, fact-based articles about conspiracy theories. They accept pitches for articles and pay $50 for published articles. Typical length is 1,500 to 2,000 words. Submission guidelines.
  • Hakai Magazine “explores science and society in coastal ecosystem”. They accept queries for feature articles. Features range from 1,000 to 3,000 words, shorter articles are around 350 words. When first launched, their guidelines said they pay $1/word. Though pay is not listed on the guidelines anymore, it should still be quite competitive. Submission guidelines.
  • Funny Timesis a monthly humor magazine that publishes funny stories and cartoons. They pay $60 for stories, and all contributors receive a complimentary subscription to the magazine. Submission guidelines.
  • The IWA Wine Blog is the official blog of International Wine Accessories. They publish articles that help wine collectors and connoisseurs store and enjoy wine. They pay $50 per post. Submission guidelines.
  • The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) Blog publishes informative articles on “holistic health and wellness”. They’re looking for graduates, students, and industry experts with experience in the healthcare field. They pay $50 per post (600-1,000 words). Submission guidelines.
  • The Partially Examined Life is a philosophy blog and podcast that discusses all aspects of various philosophies and texts. They publish thoughtful blog posts and essays that discuss philosophy in any and all contexts. They pay up to $60 per post/article.  Submission guidelines.
  • Submittable is a widely-used submissions portal that publishes its own blog. They accept articles that discuss publishing or digital media, and are also looking for book reviews and essays on any topic, as long as they “of high literary quality”. They pay $50 per post. Submission guidelines.
  • Big Grey Horse seeks Texans to blog about their state, especially if they have experience with travel writing. They pay $125-$200 per pieces, photos required. Submission guidelines.
  • LiisBeth is “a reader and community supported zine that examines entrepreneurship, start-up culture, and the innovation eco-system through a progressive feminist lens”. They pay $500-$1,000 per article. Submission guidelines.

*Credit for the original list goes to Ian Chandler with Freedom With Writing (

A 40-agers thoughts… pet peeve on career

Some of my work involves draft contracts, this doesn’t make me an attorney.

Some projects require me to design flyers, brochures, etc., this doesn’t make me a marketing professional.

I am a writer and a grants professional.

I have legitimately worked in this capacity since my employment in a biological oceanography professor’s research laboratory at Texas A&M University back when I was a student there in 1990. After that introduction, all of my future full-time employment positions have been centered in the grants world.

Grants professionals (legitimate ones) hold themselves to a high ethical standard. As professionals, most follow the guidelines outlined by the Grant Professionals Association (GPA),;  and the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP)

My pet peeve is… all of the people I run across out there that are marketing themselves as “award-winning grant writers”, peddling their “trade secrets” and “grant award winning strategies” to unsuspecting, desperate people and organizations — no matter their actual field of professional experience, or in what area their educational degrees were attained.

Having a Masters or Doctorate degree in ‘whatever’ does not qualify a person to serve as a professional in any ol’ field or industry that they see fit.

Having a minor/supportive hand in the overall compilation of a grant proposal does not give one the right to claim ownership of its success.

Why do these people think that grants work is a field that’s ‘fair game’?

It’s disrespectful to those of us that have put our blood, sweat and tears into assisting organizations to secure grant funding in support of reputable, society-serving projects and programs.

It’s a disservice to those unsuspecting non-profits and individuals that are simply seeking out some legitimate help in learning how to navigate the federal, state, foundation and/or corporate grant-giving world.

Let’s be professional about all respective careers.

Give credit where credit is due and stop over-inflating our own PR in the interests of prestige and the pursuit of the almighty dollar.


We know you want to protect women in bathrooms. What about from actual rapists?

knitting soul


I keep waiting, but it hasn’t happened yet.

A few weeks ago, there were lots of men looking out for the safety of American women everywhere by wanting to ban transgender women from using the ladies’ rooms at Target and other public places. We were told how women were precious, how they needed protected from “men in dresses.” When the current administration sent out messages to schools giving guidelines on how to treat transgender students, eleven states sued to make sure that our girls are safe in their locker rooms from transgender girls.

Oh, I heard them say that it wasn’t REALLY the trans people they were worried about. Sure, there would be plenty of opportunities to call them freaks and perverts. Lots of chances to remind us that there are just a few of them, so why should we bow to their desires. Lots of dismissive language that told trans…

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‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ – submission deadlines for 11 upcoming books

Writers who are interested in submitting to ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ should be aware of approaching deadlines. According to their website:

“If we publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 ($100 for devotionals) one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family, you will receive our exclusive contributors’ communiqué and you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount.”

The following books have deadlines that are approaching:

  1. Stories About Teachers and Teaching / June 30, 2016
  2. Blended Families / June 30, 2016
  3. Curvy and Confident / June 30, 2016
  4. Stories about Teachers and Teaching / June 30, 2016
  5. College Student Stories / July 31, 2016
  6. Parent to Parent / July 31, 2016
  7. Dreams and Synchronicities / August 31, 2016
  8. The Spirit of Canada / August 31, 2016
  9. Stories about Cats / October 31, 2016
  10. Stories About Dogs / October 31, 2016
  11. Best Mom Ever! / September 30, 2016

Writers should expect a response within 60 days of the book’s “on sale” date. If you haven’t heard back by that time, they have not selected your story for publication. Their company culture discourages negative communication – thus they don’t send rejection letters.

For more information, please visit their website: