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Dead Metaphor: A metaphor that has lost its intensity due to overuse.

Deadline: The latest date that a piece of assigned writing is due on for submission.

Denotation: The exact meaning of a word, without the feelings or suggestions that the word may imply.

Denouement: The final outcome of the main complication of a story or play. It usually occurs after the climax and reveals all the secrets and misunderstandings connected to the plot.

Dialogue: The words spoken by the characters of a story.

Diction: A writer’s choice of words, phrases, sentence structures, and figurative language, which combine to help create meaning.

Didactic: Instructional or informative literature.

Double Entendre: A phrase that can be interpreted in two different ways.

Double-Entry Journal: A journal with two columns. In the left hand column brief quotes, first impressions and ideas are written. In the right hand column, the responses to the writings of the left hand column are written – like what they remind you of, their implications, and your final thoughts on them

Draft: A completed version of a writing which may be rewritten, revised, or polished

Dummy: Hand drawn mock-up of what a page will look like in print.

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Edit: To review a piece of writing to correct grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. Editing often includes shortening or lengthening of a piece of writing to fit an available space before publication.

Editor: A professional commissioned to edit (and sometimes write) articles for a publication.

Editorial: A short article expressing an opinion or point of view. Often, but not always, written by a member of the publication staff.

Electronic Submission: Submission made through electronic means – that is, e-mail or computer disks.

Elegy: A mournful, contemplative lyric poem written to commemorate someone who is dead, often ending in a consolation.

Embargo: Prohibition against publishing information until a specific date. This is done in journalism to ensure that all news outlets release the news on the same day.

Epic: A long narrative poem, told in a formal, elevated style that focuses on a serious subject and chronicles heroic deeds and events important to a culture or nation.

Epigram: A short witty poem, usually makes a satiric or humorous point.

Euphemism: A phrase used in place of something disagreeable or upsetting. For example – “passed out” for “fainted”.

Euphony: Smooth and musically pleasant language.

E-zine: Electronic magazine. A magazine published online.   

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Fair Use: Reproduction of short excerpts from a copyrighted work for educational or review purposes. This does not infringe upon the writer’s copyrights.

Fees: Money paid to the writer for his/her services.

Figures of Speech: Ways of using language that deviate from the literal meanings of words in order to suggest additional meanings or effects.

First Electronic Rights: The rights to publish a piece of writing electronically (online) for the first time. Once the rights have been assigned, the work cannot be published in another electronic medium, however reprint rights can be sold.

First Print Rights: The rights anywhere in the world to a piece of writing in the medium it’s published in. 

Flash Fiction: A piece of fiction written in less than 500 words.

Flat Fee: Money paid to the author for his or her work in one lump sum. The author does not receive any royalty after this payment. 

Formatting: The manner in which a manuscript is prepared and presented.

Free Verse: Verse that has neither regular rhyme nor regular meter. Also called open form poetry.

Freewriting: Writing continuously without worrying about how well you are writing. This kind of informal writing is meant to explore one’s thoughts, unload one’s feelings, or reflect on something.

Frontlist: Books being published in the current year.

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Galleys: The initial typeset of a manuscript sent to the author for review before it is printed. Type size and column format are set, but page divisions are not made.

Genre: The type or category of writing – like mystery, science fiction, romance, fantasy, etc.

Ghostwriter: A writer who is paid to write for someone else. A ghostwriter does not get a byline or any credit. Usually celebrities hire ghostwriters and then sell the book under their own names.

Go-ahead: A positive response to a query that assigns an article to you.

Guidelines: Instructions for submitting work to a publication.

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Haiku: A three line, seventeen syllable poem, usually about nature.

Hardcover: Book bound with hard cardboard cover, then covered with a paper dust jacket.

High Concept: A storyline that can easily be described in one sentence and seems to be especially unique and commercially viable.

Hook:  A narrative trick in the lead paragraph of a work that grabs the attention of the readers and keeps them reading.

Homographs: Words which are spelled alike but are different in origin, meaning, or pronunciation. For example – fair (the adjective meaning beautiful or not dark) and fair (the noun meaning a periodical gathering with sales, shows and entertainment).   

Homonyms: Words that are spelled and pronounced alike but have different meanings. For example – pool (of water) and pool (the game).

Hyperbole: Deliberate exaggeration. Short form is “hype”.

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Imagery: Collection of images in a literary work, used to evoke atmosphere or mood.

Imprint: Division within a publishing house that deals with a specific category of books.

Invoice: A record of payment due, given to an accounting department or person of a publication.

Irony: When a person, situation, statement, or circumstance is not what it seems to be, but the exact opposite. 

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Jargon: Mode of speech familiar only to a group or profession. For example – medical jargon or technical jargon.

Journal: A diary or record of events, feelings, and thoughts usually recorded by date.

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Kicker: In journalism – a sudden, surprising turn of events or ending; a twist.

Kill Fee: Compensatory payment made for an assigned article which was completed but not used or published.

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