spawn spawn logo






Sign Up for the
SPAWNews Newsletter and
Get a FREE Report Too!



SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
Not sure? Check out back issues of SPAWNews on our blog, or in the older SPAWNews archives)

SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, January, 2005

Wendy Dager, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail the editor of SPAWNews:

Those of you who are SPAWN members, be sure to go to the first page of the site, and click on the "Visit Member Area" button. You will be asked to log in.

* * * * *

Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Free Book Offer

- L.A. Times Festival

- Market Update

- Chapter Reports

- A Writer’s Resolutions

- Q&A

- Step 8 in Developing a Web Site

- Of Mailing Lists and Blogs

- Member Web Site of the Month

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests and Awards

- Events and More

* * * * *

Editor’s Note

Exercising Your Options

By Wendy Dager

I despise getting up in the morning and knowing I have to hit the treadmill. Makes me want to actually, literally hit the treadmill. Now, before you report me to the proper authorities (treadmill abuse hotline?) for assaulting my own exercise equipment, let me assure you my violence is restricted to fantasy and that I do realize working out is necessary to physical fitness.

Not that I’m going to win any bikini pageants in the near future. I only exercise enough to be able to squeeze into my favorite lowrise black pants with their decorative zippers and d-rings. Still, I admit that brisk walking starts the day with a boost and ends up helping me get a decent night’s sleep.

Exercise is also good fuel for the brain. Three years ago, I was bent on taking an idea and turning it into a complete novel. I needed motivation. At that time, I didn’t have a treadmill. I was slapping on the headphones and walking through my suburban Southern California neighborhood a half hour each weekday morning. As I walked, I’d mentally weave the plot of my novel and come up with a chapter a day. The fresh air, the pounding of my steps, the need to finish my walk quickly so I could get home and start writing before I forgot the trouble I’d created for my main character…it all came from a clarity—through exercise—that compelled me to write and finish that comic mystery novel.

So, even though I’m almost as reluctant to make New Year’s resolutions as I am to exercise, I hope you resolve to get in some walking or other moderate physical activity for a few minutes each day. And, in turn, I hope the clarity that comes with exercise helps bring you great success in 2005.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. E-mail her at For more about Dager, visit her Web site,

* * * * *

Special SPAWN Offer: Free Book With SPAWN Renewal or Membership!

If you would like to become a SPAWN member or if you haven’t yet renewed your membership, do so now and receive a FREE book. For details:

* * * * *

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

SPAWN Member Offer

The very popular 25th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is scheduled for April 23-24, 2005.

This year, SPAWN is purchasing two booths so that we can offer members the opportunity to join us in the booths to sell their own books. We are accepting paid reservations only and you should reserve now as space is filling up fast. (If there is enough demand, we may get a third booth.)

SPAWN is offering you two ways to participate:

Option 1 - You sell your book in a SPAWN booth

1 day: ¼ booth for $170 (only Sunday spaces remaining)

Option 2 - SPAWN sells your books and distributes your marketing materials in a SPAWN booth at $75 per title

The Los Angeles Times Book Festival is an exciting event and a great way to get your book before the reading public. Be sure to take advantage of this economical way to participate in the festival. Contact Patricia Fry at right away and tell her which option you choose or go directly to the secure signup form:

* * * * *

Market Update

The Happy New Year edition of the SPAWN Market Update spills over onto 14 pages. This month, members will be treated to numerous opportunities for freelance writers and authors including fiction writers and poets. You’ll find valuable information, resources and tips. For example, would it benefit your writing business to know…

  • What agency will purchase your books by the thousands?
  • Where you can find poetry Scam Buster sites?
  • How you can land lucrative speaking engagements?
  • What new publishers are seeking poetry and fiction works?
  • What the ISBN changes mean to you?
  • How you can get books reviewed?
  • Is POD publishing for you?
  • Where you can find reliable newspaper directories?

This is the 39th edition of the SPAWN Market Update and all back issues are archived in the member area of the SPAWN Web site. All you have to do is read one or two editions of the SPAWN Market Update to realize the value of a SPAWN membership. Join SPAWN and watch your $45 membership fee multiply many times over as you land jobs, sell more books, perhaps locate a publisher for your latest project, discover resources to expand your horizons, learn new techniques and skills you can use in your freelance writing/publishing business and keep abreast of trends in the publishing industry.

For more information about membership in SPAWN contact Patricia Fry at

* * * * *

SPAWN Chapter Reports

If there is no chapter near you, join with other members or nonmembers to start one. For more information, contact Patricia Fry at


SPAWN announces the formation of its Colorado Chapter, led by writers Tom and Karen SternerHowe of Lafayette, Colorado. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please e-mail or


Chapter Leader Tamara Dever is hoping to restart meetings in February. "If we get a good response, the meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Borders Books," says Tami. For meeting information, contact


If you are interested in attending SPAWN chapter meetings in the Baltimore, MD area, or wish to be a guest speaker at a meeting, please contact Ramona Davis, Baltimore Chapter Leader,

* * * * *

A Writer’s Resolutions

By Patricia Fry

It’s time, once again, to take stock of your accomplishments. Did you meet all of your goals for the year? Did you finish that book, send twenty query letters to magazines each month or start working on your memoirs? If so, congratulations! Keep up the good work. If not, you aren’t alone. Millions of people break their New Year’s resolutions and this is generally because they set their standards too high.

Read about some typical writers’ resolutions and some plans to help you get started on an adventure toward meeting your personal and professional goals at:

* * * * *


Q: I have one book published through AuthorHouse and another that I'm showing around to publishers. I'm also considering self-publishing as an option. What's in SPAWN for me?


A: Dear Curious:

If you've visited the SPAWN Web site (at, you know that we are a networking organization primarily for freelance writers, authors, artists and small publishers. We strive to offer the information and resources you need for any phase of your publishing project.

Not only are the leaders of SPAWN knowledgeable and experienced professionals who are always available to respond to your questions and concerns, we also offer opportunities for networking among members who may have the information or perspective you seek. Our monthly newsletter fulfills our obligation to bring you the latest in publishing-related events and activities as well as publishing news you can use. Through the monthly SPAWN Market Update we keep members advised of industry trends, we report important changes and updates and we provide alerts, warnings and recommendations on significant publishing issues. (One hot issue we discuss regularly is whether or not to use POD Publishing Houses.)

SPAWN provides opportunities for members to participate in at least 4 book festivals each year. We publish a catalog of member books, which is posted at our Web site and is also produced in print form and distributed at half dozen or so venues throughout the year. Last year, we handed out the catalog in Florida, Texas, St. Louis, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. We also offer member discounts on various products and services.

There's a lot of publishing information being presented through Web sites, at seminars and through newsletters. Not all of it is useful or even correct. We here at SPAWN strive to gather the latest, information and resources from many sources, evaluate it and bring the most pertinent material together for your perusal.

Can you benefit from what SPAWN has to offer? If you are interested in or involved in writing as a hobby or a profession, you can definitely benefit from a SPAWN membership. The only writers, authors, small publishers who do not benefit from membership in SPAWN are those who do not read the monthly newsletter and Market Update, who neglect to study the wide array of free material we provide on the Web site, who avoid participation in the forum, discussion group and book festivals and who don't take advantage of our expertise here.

Make your mark in the publishing world in 2005. Start or continue your writing/publishing/book promotion journey by joining SPAWN and partaking of everything we offer.

Good luck,


Patricia Fry, President


* * * * *

The Clear Guide to Online Business  Step Eight in Developing a Web Site

By Virginia Lawrence

Besides designing a handsome site, you must prepare your Web site to sell.

Read about how to set up secure ordering and protect your customers from hackers at:

* * * * *

Of Mailing Lists and Blogs

By Richard F.X. O’Connor

One tip for a winning book proposal would be: Don’t tell what you are going to do, but rather what you have done.

I can’t count the number of times, as an acquiring editor, a proposal would say something like this: "And the author intends to set up a Web site that will cover the following points, blah, blah, blah…."

Wrong! What that tells the agent or editor reading the proposal is that the writer will put in the energy and time to create a Web site after the publisher issues a contract. It doesn’t work that way. The editor wants to click onto your Web site to see how you write, how many hits the site has had, how the content of the book is relevant to those viewing the site, what links there are, and what is for sale on the site.

In short, there ain’t no shortcuts.

Read about the importance of Web pages, Web logs (blogs) and mailing lists at:

* * * * *

Member Web Site of the Month

Erika Dreifus launched The Practicing Writer,, during the summer of 2004. Its mission, she says, is to "support the craft and business of excellent writing," with a focus on the work of short story writers, novelists, poets, essayists, and writers of book-length nonfiction. Among its offerings the site provides a comprehensive "Resources" page that lists links for writing programs and conferences, grants and awards, teaching resources, and professional organizations. Its "Writing" page includes downloadable articles on the practice of writing. Visitors to the site can also subscribe to Erika's free monthly newsletter, also titled "The Practicing Writer." You'll also find information on Erika's own e-books and courses for writers. Surf on over to and take a look.

SPAWN Members: Do you want your Web site featured in SPAWNews? E-mail editor Wendy Dager,

* * * * *

Member News

Dr. Katherine Poehlmann will discuss health information from her award-winning book "Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Infection Connection" followed by a book signing at the Barnes & Noble store at 791 S. Main Street, Orange, CA on January 29th at 3 p.m. See for details about her book. Katherine's co-panelist, Dr. John Newport, will present general wellness and recovery topics.

Katherine will be the featured guest on a two-part health advice program hosted by radio interviewer Patricia Boyce on her show "360". The first 45-minute segment airs at 12:15 p.m. on January 20th on AM 1400 covering Longview, WA to Bend, OR. Part Two continues the discussion on January 27th in the same time slot.

* * * * *


Note: SPAWNews advises "caveat emptor" when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you.

Submissions are now being accepted for astonishing, amusing and aggravating experiences with cats. Write a true short story, article or poem on the comfort, joy and meaning cats bring to our lives. Deadline March 1, 2005. Or, do you have a great fish story? Hunting story? A funny camping story that included wildlife? An astonishing survival experience that involved wildlife? Deadline April 1, 2005. All work must be unpublished. E-mail or postal mail as a Word document, or include it in the body of the email. Include your name, address and phone number on the first page of the piece. For more information, or

* * * * *

Contests and Awards

Read about the latest contests at:

* * * * *

Events and More

Please note: Although SPAWNews does its best to filter announcements and press releases for various events, seminars, and classes, we cannot guarantee a successful experience for all who attend.

Read about all the coming events at:

* * * * *

SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

* * * * *

Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book by Patricia Fry. See the selection from which you can choose your book at the Member Benefits page. As a member, you can enjoy the benefits of the Members Only Area. There you will find:

  • Member Forum. In the SPAWN Forum, you can discuss publishing with knowledgeable published writers and publishers.
  • Market Update. This valuable Market Update will appear every month, letting us know exactly what is going on with magazine and book publishers.
  • Event Calendar where you can submit your events. After approval, your events will be available for all members to see.
  • Member Webpages where you can upload your HTML pages to build your own Web site. Your Web pages will be viewable by everyone on the Internet.
  • Member Catalog where you can list your books and services
  • Member Discussion list where you can discuss your triumphs and questions with your publishing peers.

Join SPAWN now by clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button at the top of this page.

* * * * *

SPAWNews SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023


Telephone: 805-646-3045

Fax: 805-640-8213

Wendy Dager

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Webmaster


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Executive Director


Patricia Fry

SPAWN President


Advisory Council

Carol Doering

Dallas Glenn

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Jean Wade


Board of Directors (as of December 1, 2003)

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Executive Director of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer of SPAWN

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant

Tamara Dever

Book Designer

SPAWN Founder

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant of SPAWN


To promote the literary arts and provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to Wendy Dager, Editor, SPAWNews, P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653 or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653. Or click on Member Application to fill out the secure online form and pay your dues by credit card.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and Web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023



Popular Articles
on Writing, Editing
Publishing &


spawn spawn