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  • Lori H. Poppinga "Lori" - The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 *A Must-Have*A "must have" for writers of every persuasion, The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 contains lists of contests, e-books, book publishers, magazine publishers, conferences, workshops, groups, and self-publishers along with the necessary information authors need to make important decisions on where to send their manuscripts, proposals, queries, and ariticles along with groups and other organizations that can help a writer hone his craft. I have been getting The Christian Writer's Market Guide for years and have found it invaluable. When I saw The Christian Writer's Market Guide was available for review, I jumped at the chance to not only get one for free, but to tell other writers about this fantastic resource.
    With just a turn of the page, I can find publishers who are searching for what I am writing and get ideas on which magazines would be the best fit for the article I am currently writing. Yes, much of this information is on-line, but without specific direction, I'm sure I would never stumble across many of the smaller publishing houses listed in this comprehensive review. Jerry Jenkins has done a great job compiling the information and double checking for accuracy. All of the websites I have gone to have been up and running and the information on the site correlates with what is in the book. If you are an author wondering how to get started in the Christian writing market, The Christian Writer's Market Guide 2012 is a must have for your library.
  • Noelle - MSAR = Medical schools at a glance.Like the title says, you really must have this book if you are applying for the current cycle. The first few chapters explain the statistics for accepted students, and was quite the informative read.

    The bulk of the book gives you a two page description of each AMCAS affiliated medical school. On the first, the school's mission statement, curriculum, and geographical details. On the second, are numbers (MCAT, GPA, etc.) and deadlines specific to the school.

    Owning an MSAR before (I also applied in the entering class of 2005 cycle -- that makes me a blip on the graphs in this book!), it was quite interesting to see that medians instead of averages were used for MCAT and GPA considerations. While different by definition, I sort of treated this new fangled thing the same way. When the numbers are on the way high end of the slider, stay away, and if lower, consider. Do realize that the MSAR will only help you give a rough estimate on where you should apply based on numbers or school concentration.

    What I really found it useful for was the school organization by state, making it easier for me to organize my notes before submitting my application. This helps if you are especially interested in the regional considerations of going to a specific school.

    Though the MSAR does contain a summary of information for each specific school, I don't particularly recommend it as a sole source for the completion of secondary applications (once they come of course). Many of the med schools "look" the same on the surface, so use information given (a website or contact for example) as a springboard to more detailed and specific information on any given school. The same advice could go for interviews.

    The MSAR is not exactly perfect (if it was, everyone would get into med school based on their presented numbers). However, it is THE best resource available to med school applicants right now. The people at AAMC did a great job with the amount of detail crammed into this book, along with a great presentation that is pleasing to the eye.