AWAI Writing Challenge Honorable Mention:
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Swordfish

We were 1309 miles away from the World Trade Center and yet … the bombings of 9/11 ruined my swanky little bistro.

After that dreadful day in September of 2001, people were afraid to fly. Tourism in New Orleans plummeted, the streets of the French Quarter were deserted, and on some evenings, the population of our dining room was zero.

Everything ground to a halt – except the bills.

I didn’t go into the restaurant business to go broke, so …

I thought and thought about how to replace the vanished tourists with local diners. We had no money. Newspaper advertising was out of the question.

The chef laughed at my first newsletter. It was a single typewritten page with a snowflake border. The waiters helped lick the stamps and hand-address the envelopes. The recipients were people whose business cards were scrounged out of the dark corners of desk drawers.

We waited … for 48 long hours … certain that the letter was a flop. Praying that something would come of it.

On the third day, a fellow walked through our door saying, “Hey, I got your letter.”

At that exact moment, a monster mega-watt light bulb came on in my head. It’s working, it’s working, I chortled to myself! In a split second I learned …

Words are powerful.

Yes, the chef’s exquisite cuisine had gotten write-ups in glossy, national magazines and had made our restaurant the toast of the town. But it was words – my words – that kept the customers coming back week after week from then on.

Words rescued my restaurant. Words can create an entirely new life for you.

Back then, I modeled my messages on everything from pre-paid funeral plan letters to tabloid newspapers. If it got my attention, I ‘borrowed’ it.

Back then, I had no idea that this kind of writing even had a name – much less a course of instruction

Back then, I didn’t know about American Writers & Artists Inc.

Was it sheer coincidence or good luck? I don’t know, but somehow I found AWAI and the rest is history.

Nowadays, I thank AWAI for the courage to seek clients in diverse industries. Marketing one small restaurant has given way to selling heavy marine equipment, home décor, yoga lessons, an SEO company, custom-made Mardi Gras masks, and yes … more restaurants.

No longer do I struggle to puzzle out the attraction of automobile ads or lurid Bat Boy books. Because of AWAI, I know how to push people’s hot buttons.

I’m no longer tied to the restaurant’s grueling schedule.

And guess what else? I make a heckuva lot more money!

If I can do it, you can too. You have nothing to lose. It’s fun, it’s easy, it makes sense … and it actually works!

Ending Soon: Get AWAI’s Entire Home Study Catalog for “Pennies on the Dollar”

Our most popular offer of the year is ending …

This is your last chance to enjoy lifetime access to every book, guide, resource, home study course, and program AWAI offers for 91% off. That’s over 100 items, valued at $40,000+. Plus you get all our future resources, no you need never pay another penny for one of our business tools.

Sign up for AWAI’s best value deal at the lowest possible price.

Hurry, enrollment is closing!


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: August 13, 2009

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)