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  #1  
Old 12-29-2016, 09:08 PM
TrueCrimeAuthor TrueCrimeAuthor is offline
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Default Seeking submissions: nonfiction articles about crime, prisons, criminals

Hello, I am a true crime author who has won awards for my work. I am also a criminologist who teaches crime prevention & domestic violence education/prevention. I am a former officer and trainer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I hold a degree in CJ and working on my PhD.
So why am I on prison talk??
I am also editor of a magazine called True Crime: Case Files. We accept submissions for our magazine that is released 4 times a year. I hope you will go by the webpage to look at it. We are seeking submissions on nonfiction articles about crime, prisons, criminals, unsolved, missing, and cold cases.
If you are interested in submitting your work, all the information is on the website. I also encourage incarcerated persons to send in work.
Thanks for allowing me on!
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:11 PM
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Last edited by patchouli; 12-29-2016 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TrueCrimeAuthor View Post
Hello, I am a true crime author who has won awards for my work. I am also a criminologist who teaches crime prevention & domestic violence education/prevention. I am a former officer and trainer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I hold a degree in CJ and working on my PhD.
So why am I on prison talk??
I am also editor of a magazine called True Crime: Case Files. We accept submissions for our magazine that is released 4 times a year. I hope you will go by the webpage to look at it. We are seeking submissions on nonfiction articles about crime, prisons, criminals, unsolved, missing, and cold cases.
If you are interested in submitting your work, all the information is on the website. I also encourage incarcerated persons to send in work.
Thanks for allowing me on!
So, let me get this straight; you are a pro prosecution publisher of non fiction, I.e. True, accounts of crimes. Barring unsolved cold to the point that you can't possibly know the truth of the matter and nobody's going to be thrown in the can as a result, or your sentence isn't going to get extended by adding new charges, there's really nothing anybody can give you. Nobody can get paid for true crime that they are involved in or that they are related to - that whole Son of Sam thing gets in the way of actually making money off of your own crime, no matter how well written. I suppose somebody who's pissed at a parent or something can get some revenge out of such a thing, but most people here cannot make money off this stuff, and it doesn't look like you're into innocence as you are much to bent towards prosecution by your stated CV.

So why are you posting? Are you posting so that you can get free info from convicts? Maybe a few new convictions on inmates? Trying to seduce them into confessing? Seriously, this is how your statement reads to me. So why are you here?
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:12 AM
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I'm a strong believer of paying people for their labor. This includes telling their life stories of their LO's incarceration. I've seen many people come to a forum to get more information for free for their blog, article, book, podcast etc. I'm sure anyone willing to participate would enjoy some financial compensation that could help them while their LO is gone, for helping fund a LO's prison expenses or anything else they need.

It's not required per the TOS of the site but any financial compensation to any willing participant would be a great place to start.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:02 PM
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I'm a strong believer of paying people for their labor. This includes telling their life stories of their LO's incarceration. I've seen many people come to a forum to get more information for free for their blog, article, book, podcast etc. I'm sure anyone willing to participate would enjoy some financial compensation that could help them while their LO is gone, for helping fund a LO's prison expenses or anything else they need.

It's not required per the TOS of the site but any financial compensation to any willing participant would be a great place to start.
The only problem with this is that anything to do with the crime is covered by Son of Sam laws which usually strip a person of their compensation as proceeds from criminal activities, meant to prevent people from making a profit from their crimes by selling their stories. Wally Lamb works with women in the CT prison system doing writing workshops for free. He has put together and published two or three volumes of their writing - stories, memoirs, and poetry. They submit, revise, get things publication worthy, and he contracts with them so that they get ALL the profits from their books, after all, they are their stories. Both books have had assets frozen pursuant to the CT version of Son of Sam laws, and they are litigating about who owns these stories, even when crimes are only tangentially mentioned in a couple of memoirs. I haven't looked recently, but last time I did look, the cases were still being litigated. Lamb went into the max women's prisons to teach creative writing after a flurry of suicides, to try to help prevent suicides by allowing some people an outlet for processing all of those complex emotions associated with incarceration. The writing started slowly, but got very good (and I highly recommend reading those books). He talked with his publisher, and the publisher agreed and published. In the interim between at least one of the women was released to abject poverty with no job skills, and no prospect of getting royalties from her writing and committed suicide. Screwed up, eh?

Oh, and there are the cases of Carroll Chessman, the Red Light Bandit and rapist who was executed for rape in the early '60's with a fairly large bank account as a result of smuggling out his writing and having something like 6 books published against the then rules of the California DOC. His publications and royalties truly offended the public.

Anyway, it's a complex issue.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:07 PM
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I didn't know that about Wally and the CT prisons and I have read all of his fiction work. Not my favorite author, but he just got moved up a notch or two learning about him trying to help those women.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
The only problem with this is that anything to do with the crime is covered by Son of Sam laws which usually strip a person of their compensation as proceeds from criminal activities, meant to prevent people from making a profit from their crimes by selling their stories. Wally Lamb works with women in the CT prison system doing writing workshops for free. He has put together and published two or three volumes of their writing - stories, memoirs, and poetry. They submit, revise, get things publication worthy, and he contracts with them so that they get ALL the profits from their books, after all, they are their stories. Both books have had assets frozen pursuant to the CT version of Son of Sam laws, and they are litigating about who owns these stories, even when crimes are only tangentially mentioned in a couple of memoirs. I haven't looked recently, but last time I did look, the cases were still being litigated. Lamb went into the max women's prisons to teach creative writing after a flurry of suicides, to try to help prevent suicides by allowing some people an outlet for processing all of those complex emotions associated with incarceration. The writing started slowly, but got very good (and I highly recommend reading those books). He talked with his publisher, and the publisher agreed and published. In the interim between at least one of the women was released to abject poverty with no job skills, and no prospect of getting royalties from her writing and committed suicide. Screwed up, eh?

Oh, and there are the cases of Carroll Chessman, the Red Light Bandit and rapist who was executed for rape in the early '60's with a fairly large bank account as a result of smuggling out his writing and having something like 6 books published against the then rules of the California DOC. His publications and royalties truly offended the public.

Anyway, it's a complex issue.
There are similar volunteer programs offered by a couple of accomplished writers here in California. They come to a couple of prisons and provide writing courses. I have heard they are popular and I think is a great program. This makes me wonder if the volunteers or participants might not realize some implications. I have heard some states have overturned Son of Sam Laws? Is there any truth to that or is that just rumor?
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:42 AM
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There are similar volunteer programs offered by a couple of accomplished writers here in California. They come to a couple of prisons and provide writing courses. I have heard they are popular and I think is a great program. This makes me wonder if the volunteers or participants might not realize some implications. I have heard some states have overturned Son of Sam Laws? Is there any truth to that or is that just rumor?
Son of Sam isn't my area of specialty, so I haven't looked to changes in quite some time. I hope that they narrow it down quite a bit, so that people can talk about their lives and get remuneration for it. I waffle on the issue of compensation for stories that detail the actual crimes that got them into prison, especially if of a notorious nature - but then there's always restitution, and people can seek civil remedies against any, ANY compensation recevied for any work done while in prison. Or out. Ask OJ about that one.

SAN Quentin used to have an outstanding writing program. Very popular, and several of the in ages there had books of poetry and fiction published. As a result SQ dismantled the programs. I heard that some writing programs were coming back in SQ, whether they can reach the quality of the former programs has yet to be determined, but I think that writing is just a good method of self expression, and of putting things into perspective and new light. Motivated writers write, whether they can get published or not in this age of disappearing oresses and self publishing, I don't know, but there's a huge value in putting together zines and the like, sponsored by SQ, that can be distributed to inmates, maybe for a nominal fee. Reading the expressions of others gets people reading, and perhaps writing themselves, and finding your name in print in a publication is always a joy (and fodder for the parole board). Anyway, I hope SQ is back, and that other prisons in the California system are putting together writing programs. nY has a writing program, sometimes for college credit, in some of its prisons, and others are experimenting with it as a way to release stress for prisoners - if a lot of crime is a maladaptive form of expression, actually teaching an adaptive form of expression is a good thing, don't you think? And writing is a lot less expensive and problematic in general than art classes or music classes.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:27 AM
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SAN Quentin used to have an outstanding writing program. Very popular, and several of the in ages there had books of poetry and fiction published. As a result SQ dismantled the programs. I heard that some writing programs were coming back in SQ, whether they can reach the quality of the former programs has yet to be determined, but I think that writing is just a good method of self expression, and of putting things into perspective and new light.
I did a little research. I believe the new writing program was started at San Quentin and is also offered at California Health Care Facility in Stockton. Authors Kent and Keith Zimmerman volunteer weekly and come in once per week or so to teach inmates. They appear to have about a dozen books - I looked on Amazon. Niche area of writing that fits in with prison and inmates. They're donating their time to help. Good for them, right.
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by yourself View Post
Son of Sam isn't my area of specialty, so I haven't looked to changes in quite some time. I hope that they narrow it down quite a bit, so that people can talk about their lives and get remuneration for it. I waffle on the issue of compensation for stories that detail the actual crimes that got them into prison, especially if of a notorious nature - but then there's always restitution, and people can seek civil remedies against any, ANY compensation recevied for any work done while in prison. Or out. Ask OJ about that one.

SAN Quentin used to have an outstanding writing program. Very popular, and several of the in ages there had books of poetry and fiction published. As a result SQ dismantled the programs. I heard that some writing programs were coming back in SQ, whether they can reach the quality of the former programs has yet to be determined, but I think that writing is just a good method of self expression, and of putting things into perspective and new light. Motivated writers write, whether they can get published or not in this age of disappearing oresses and self publishing, I don't know, but there's a huge value in putting together zines and the like, sponsored by SQ, that can be distributed to inmates, maybe for a nominal fee. Reading the expressions of others gets people reading, and perhaps writing themselves, and finding your name in print in a publication is always a joy (and fodder for the parole board). Anyway, I hope SQ is back, and that other prisons in the California system are putting together writing programs. nY has a writing program, sometimes for college credit, in some of its prisons, and others are experimenting with it as a way to release stress for prisoners - if a lot of crime is a maladaptive form of expression, actually teaching an adaptive form of expression is a good thing, don't you think? And writing is a lot less expensive and problematic in general than art classes or music classes.
There is a book titled Disguised as a Poem, My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin, by Judith Tannenbaum. Tannenbaum began facilitating writing courses in SQ in the mid-80's. Prior to teaching behind the walls, she had zero exposure to prison culture, so the narrative shifts between her own learning curve and the development of the program to raw portraits of her students and their unique stories. It includes a good number of pieces written by her students. I'm not sure if this is the program yourself is referring to, but it's a good read and demonstrates the benefit of such opportunities.

If anyone has a LO inside who enjoys writing, I'd suggest looking into the PEN Prison Writing Program. They have resources available to improve your writing, mentors and they host an annual competition.

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Old 01-11-2017, 03:00 PM
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PEN is great. Just wish there were more writing programs, especially those geared towards those with mental health issues and the like as an optional adjunct for those dealing with anger issues, etc as we really need to get people dealing with feelings through productive means. Yes, sometimes something can be made from these writings financially, bout the true value is to the author. PEN also allows for recognition of the craft of writing and that's fantastic.

What we don't need are exaggerated expectations - that just by writing something, it'll be a best seller, and they'll be the next Steven King. Fwiw, when my brother was doing his major first stretch of prison, he wrote a bunch of poetry. As somebody who reads and has a degree in literature, I recognized it for what it was - a bunch of self serving mental vomit that really accomplished nothing. He didn't even bother to revise it because it was perfect as is. He also took the liberty of telling me how I should write and what I should write (I was doing an MFA program in poetry at the time). I ignored the suggestions - he didn't read poetry, didn't write poetry except for that small collection, and had no "chops" to tell me anything. Apparently, I lacked the chops to siuggest that he read poetry and reviews them despite my few minor publications. He considered himself better than anybody who'd ever come before. His prerogative, but an actual writing class might have gotten him to really look at his writing, and deal with the problems inherent to it. With other students responding honestly, in a supportive manner, Maybe he could have learned a thing or two, developed some discipline in writing, and exorcisedhis demons. But, not to happen.
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:46 PM
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Let's stay on topic please. The OP's post:

Quote:
Seeking submissions: nonfiction articles about crime, prisons, criminals
Hello, I am a true crime author who has won awards for my work. I am also a criminologist who teaches crime prevention & domestic violence education/prevention. I am a former officer and trainer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I hold a degree in CJ and working on my PhD.
So why am I on prison talk??
I am also editor of a magazine called True Crime: Case Files. We accept submissions for our magazine that is released 4 times a year. I hope you will go by the webpage to look at it. We are seeking submissions on nonfiction articles about crime, prisons, criminals, unsolved, missing, and cold cases.
If you are interested in submitting your work, all the information is on the website. I also encourage incarcerated persons to send in work.
Thanks for allowing me on!
Thanks.
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