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SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, February, 2009

Sandra Murphy, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please email 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.

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Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Book Review by Patricia Fry–Publishing Possibilities, 8 Steps to Understanding Your Options, and Choosing the Best Path For Your Book By Cheryl Pickett

- Ask the Book Doctor by Bobbie Christmas–About E-mail Submissions, Standard Manuscript Formats, Using the Names of Periodicals, and What Does Device-y Mean?

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

Editor’s Note

by Sandra Murphy

Every year I vow to become more organized, to be able to find things the first time I look for them, to reduce the chaos in my life. This might just be the Year of Simplification. It sounded so easy–replace a few pipes in the basement–add a new energy–efficient hot water heater and a line for a washer. Then the kitchen sink faucet leaked–and a new faucet moved in. The pipe under the bathroom sink led to a whole new bathroom and meanwhile the kitchen is down to bare wood and Pepto Pink walls. And how do you remove the fuzz of dead padding when the carpet was glued to the ancient linoleum underneath?

The cats are leery of change and I’m starting to agree with them. Each night they come out of the big dog crate where they spend the day and explore the changes in the house. Now they are confined to the bedroom (soon to be Interesting Aqua) as Auggie discovered the Forbidden Zone between the first floor ceiling and the floor above while Reilly thought the fireplace made a good hiding spot. I’m sure we’ll all like it when it’s done but for now, it’s a lot of change to absorb. Every drawer, every closet, every shelf, heck, every item, has been judged Keep, Throw Away, Recycle, or Give Away. All the Keep items are encased in plastic to avoid the plaster dust, paint drops and Dead Padding Fuzz. I still can’t find a thing but I have a feeling that once there’s less clutter in the room, there’ll be less clutter in my mind. The “really have to change that litter box” smell will give way to crispy spring air coming in through clean windows with real curtains. I wrote last month that I believe ideas float in the air like a fine mist–I think there will be a lot more room for them now. And, I’ll be able to find them on the first try.


Editor, SPAWNews

Market Update

by Patricia Fry

The February 2009 edition of the SPAWN Market Update includes nearly 100 opportunities, resources and newsbytes for authors, freelance writers, scriptwriters and artists/photographers. Are you seeking freelance work? Do you want an agent or a publisher? Are you looking for unique and successful ways to promote your book? This edition of the SPAWN Market Update provides all of the above and more. You’ll have access to agent and writers conference directories. We provide links to warning and scam sites so you can become proactive on behalf of your ultimate success. Did you know that there’s a need for books for black teens? Were you aware that Borders has signed an agreement to accept non-returnable books for the first time in dozens of years? Do you know how to establish a career as an artist or photographer? Are you interested in trends and news coming from the publishing industry? Here at SPAWN, we are in constant research mode so that we can provide our members with the most up-to-date and vital information, resources and opportunities related to writing and publishing.

If you are not yet a member, this is a good time to join. Pay only $45/year and earn that amount back many times over through the resources and opportunities listed each month in the SPAWN Market Update. Plus, you have access to our archives and our nifty search tool for ease in locating the materials you desire.

JOIN NOW and get a free book—we give you six titles to choose from—3 e-books and 3 print books.

Book Review

by Patricia Fry

Publishing Possibilities, 8 Steps to Understanding Your Options, and Choosing the Best Path for Your Book

By Cheryl Pickett

Brighter Day Publishing, 2009

ISBN 978-0-615-26080-08

Perfectbound, 11 x 8 ½

100 pages, $21.95

Publishing Possibilities is a pretty complete 8-step program designed to help you understand your publishing options and choose the right one for your particular manuscript. The author offers this through brief, succinct, uncluttered chapters and worksheets.

For example, Step Four focuses on understanding your audience. Step Six is all about exploring your publishing options. And by Step Eight, you’ve gathered the information, resources and tools to make your choice.

To read the full review of Publishing Possibilities, go to

Ask the Book Doctor: About E-mail Submissions, Standard Manuscript Format, Using the Names of Periodicals, and What Does Device-y mean?

Q: Are literary magazines now accepting short stories by e-mail (Word documents)?

A: In general, more periodicals than ever prefer electronic (e-mailed) queries and submissions, but before making any assumptions, always check the submission guidelines for the magazine you want to approach.

To read about these and other interesting topics, go to

SPAWN Members Take a Turn–Member News

Patricia Fry has produced a book of cat stories. This is book number 29 for Patricia and it’s not her usual writing/publishing book. If you like cats and animal stories, you will love her new book, Catscapades, Tales of Ordinary and Extraordinary Cats. Order your copy of the e-book or a spiral bound copy at

Not sure about ordering? Read a FREE Chapter of Catscapades, Tales of Ordinary and Extraordinary Cats by emailing Patricia at


To celebrate the New Year, and her newly redesigned website, Nikki Persley is throwing an e-Party at Everyone’s invited! There’ll be freebies, contests, and bargains. The festivities are happening now thru February 28th. Feel free to forward this invitation.

Nikki Persley

Fantasy Sci-fi Novelist

Author of Serpent of Eternity (ISBN: 1-59594-047-2)

Volume one of the Divine Serpent Trilogy


Patricia Fry is now accepting new editorial clients. Get the best of both worlds–hire a seasoned editor who can also guide you through the publishing process. Contact her at or through her website at


Emma Ward of Bookhitch sends this news of the most searched genres for 2008. Romance, Fiction, and Science Fiction hold the same top spots for two years straight. This year architecture books made an appearance in our top ten, knocking poetry books out of the top ten and down to number 13.

Most Searched Genres of 2008:

  1. Romance
  2. Fiction
  3. Science Fiction
  4. Medical
  5. Children’s
  6. Religion
  7. Travel
  8. Architecture
  9. Education
  10. Cooking
  11. Psychology
  12. History
  13. Poetry
  14. Art
  15. Business and Economics
  16. Biography and Autobiography
  17. Foreign Language Study
  18. Reference (General)
  19. Photography

Bookhitch had over 2 million hits in 2008, an increase from 1.2 million in 2007 and has worked with over 1,000 participating organizations to list their books. For more information, contact Emma Ward 845-463-0024


Sarah Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, has started a blog. You are invited to visit Sarah’s blog on Marketing Christian Books at or visit CREST Publications at


Note: To have your announcements included in this section, you must be a paid member of SPAWN. Please email your news to


Independent Book Publishers Association Affiliate Scholarships

The purpose of the IBPA scholarships is to provide opportunities for affiliate members who are interested in developing their publishing companies to attend IBPA’s annual Publishing University and to move into the arena of successful independent publishing. IBPA makes one scholarship available to each affiliate per year. With certain restrictions, each affiliate is entitled to award the scholarship to a member of its own choosing.

The scholarship is to be awarded to a publisher who needs assistance in growing his or her company. The recipient will be able to attend at no charge any seminars during the three-day program. IBPA will also provide a stipend of $500 to partially cover the cost of travel and/or accommodations for this event. Affiliates are encouraged to offer additional assistance with any other costs so that the recipient can receive a true scholarship.

Scholarships are granted through the individual affiliates. The affiliate, through its board or its officers, should receive all the applications, examine and rank them. Since the scholarship is granted by IBPA, the affiliate liaison should present all applications to the IBPA board and the affiliate’s recommendation for the recipient. IBPA will normally follow the recommendation of the affiliate, but it does reserve the right to make the final choice.

The sole purpose of the scholarship is to enable the recipient to develop further as a publisher. IBPA also asks that the recipient share his or her experiences with the affiliate.

Among the points to consider in evaluating the applications are:

  • How will the scholarship assist the individual and/or his/her press? How will attendance at these seminars be translated into the day-to-day operation of the publishing company?
  • How will the scholarship winner share the information learned at the Publishing University with the entire affiliate group?

Winners must be members of the sponsoring affiliate group and of IBPA, actively participating in the publishing process as the publisher or key employee of a publishing company and in a position to benefit immediately from the scholarship. Members can only win once.

The link for the application is The deadline is February 28th, 2009.


Level Best Books is an independent publishing cooperative devoted to publishing literature to enjoy and share with other readers. Primarily interested in works of fiction, the cooperative has published six anthologies: Undertow: Crime Stories by New England Writers (November 2003); Riptide (November 2004); Windchill (October 2005); Seasmoke (November 2006); and Still Waters (November 2007) and Deadfall (November 2008). They plan to publish a collection of crime stories each fall, which will be introduced at the New England mystery conference Crime Bake.

They are currently accepting submissions for the seventh anthology, currently untitled. They want to see original crime stories by New England writers in the following genres: mystery, thriller, suspense, caper, and horror. They will consider stories with elements of the supernatural.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Original stories should be no more than 5,000 words in length and should not have been previously published anywhere, including on the web via an e-zine or your own website.
  • Each story should be 12 pt., double-spaced. Please number the pages in the upper right-hand corner, and include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and word count.
  • Please submit hard copy with a SASE and include a brief cover letter describing your publishing experience. They do not accept electronic submissions.
  • Level Best Books will accept submissions from January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009.
  • If you have any questions about whether you qualify as a New England writer, please query before submitting,

Mail submissions to:

Level Best Books

P.O. Box 161

Prides Crossing, MA 01965

PLEASE NOTE: Level Best Books is not accepting submissions other than the above short stories at this time.


Read about the latest contests at:


Read about the coming events at:

Note: SPAWNews advises “caveat emptor” when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you. SPAWN is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.

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Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book! 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.
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Join SPAWN now by clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button at the top of this page.

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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

Sandra Murphy

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Webmaster


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Executive Director


Patricia Fry

SPAWN President



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 Sandra Murphy, Editor, SPAWNews

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

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



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