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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, May, 2006

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.

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Table of Contents

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Book Review

- Why Do We Write?

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

I’m pleased to announce that the Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network,, is among the top 101 Web sites for writers featured in the May edition of Writer’s Digest magazine. SPAWN was founded in 1996 by author, editor and literary consultant Mary Embree. This is the third time SPAWN, a nonprofit organization, has been named to the Writer’s Digest list.

Not only is this an accomplishment, but it’s a great honor for everyone who works behind the scenes at SPAWN in order to bring its members the most recent news, the very best resources, and numerous pathways to a successful networking experience for those of us in the fields of writing, publishing and art.

The SPAWN staff consists of dedicated professionals who have outside careers and familial obligations, yet work many hours, including evenings, holidays, and weekends, taking care of myriad SPAWN-related issues. For instance, if a member has a question about his or her membership benefits, there’s often a flurry of e-mails between SPAWN Executive Director Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN President Patricia Fry and myself, as the three of us confer about how to best serve our members. Patricia and Virginia also write informative articles, keep our Web site updated, research venues for showcasing our members’ work, and forward press releases to me for inclusion in the monthly newsletter.

We also have a wonderful advisory council, as well as three more invaluable contributors: Cindi Jurgensmeier, who creates the Web pages for each new SPAWNews and Market Update; Bobbie Christmas, who writes our "Ask the Book Doctor" column; and Dennis Mullican who pulls our catalog together and designs the pages.

Of equal importance, of course, are our members, without whom we wouldn’t have such a fine organization. A huge thank you to everyone who helped SPAWN once again earn a spot on the Writer’s Digest list of top 101 Web sites for writers.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Visit her Web site at

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The May edition of the SPAWN Market Update contains over 75 tips, techniques, ideas and resources for the writer, artist and author. For example, learn how to promote your book by talking about it. Find out how to establish a greater rapport with your audience. Discover dozens of writing and bookselling opportunities. You’ll discover:

  • Who’s looking for guests on her Internet radio show
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about a galley but were afraid to ask
  • How this themed merchandise venue can be used to promote your book
  • Great suggestions for honing your speaking skills
  • Why you should be your listening audience’s "ally" rather than the "authority"
  • Learn which magazines are new, making a comeback, or saying "adios"
  • A "heads up" for authors and writers
  • How reading to your children can help with your book promotion strategy

Each month that you let go by without reading the SPAWN Market Update is one more month that you remain uninformed in some important areas.

If you are not yet a member of SPAWN and would like to access Market Update and enjoy other benefits of membership, please join now online at

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Book Review

By Patricia Fry

Five Fast Steps to Better Writing

By Barbara Florio Graham

Opus Mundi Canada, 1985

ISBN 0-910870-03-1

110 pages, $15

I decided to review this 21-year-old book for two reasons: First, because I told SPAWN member/author, Barbara Florio Graham that I would and because it is still highly relevant to writers and authors today.

To read the full review of "Five Fast Steps to Better Writing," go to

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Why Do We Write?

By Patricia Fry

While attending a Pen Women’s Writers’ Conference in Honolulu a few weeks ago as a workshop leader, I had the pleasure of meeting women and a few men from all walks of writing life. I listened to women describe their passion for writing. I read some of the words that came from their hearts. And I discovered something about myself: I’ve forgotten the joy of writing just for me. I’ve been a hardcore career writer for so many years that I can scarcely recall the process of writing from the heart and the feelings that this activity evokes.

To read more about steps you can take to recapture the joy in your own writing, go to

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Career Writing and Writing Through Grief

By Bobbie Christmas

To read about these and other interesting topics, go to

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Member News

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

Essayists, take note! Member Erika Dreifus will be teaching a Saturday seminar on "Publishing Your Essays" on May 20, 2006, at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit Erika's Web site: (click "News & Events").

"Anna’s Wish" has won the Silver ADDY at this year’s American Advertising Awards. The ceremony was held on the evening of February 17, 2006 at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. SPAWN member Paul Daniel, co-author and designer of the novel’s cover, accepted the award before 200 invited guests. "For Bear Cave Press to win an ADDY Award its first time at bat is a tremendous honor," Daniel said. "A lot of hard work went into the design and production of the book’s dust jacket and the reaction to it has been wonderful." The ADDY Awards recognize excellence in design in media, including TV, radio, web and print. The novel’s cover was designed by Paul and Nancy Daniel of Bear Cave Press. Paul and Nancy have a combined 60 years experience in graphic design. Paul worked 26 years for the Columbia Daily Tribune as a graphic designer and News Page Coordinator. Nancy currently works for the University of Missouri-Columbia as Director of Marketing in the Extensions Department.

Anne Louise Grimm’s tells us that her first book "INTIMATE REFLECTIONS, Two Years at the Panama Canal" has been published by Author House, Another, "TERRALIMBO, Out of Time" is ready to be printed, and galley approval/pricing is all that remains for "SOMETHING FISHY At the Panama Canal." The first began as journal entries during the 1968 Panama Revolution which happened at the same time as the pandemic Hong Kong Flu. The next two are fantasy/science fiction covering much of the same geographic area. All can be found at the Author House web site by doing a search on the name Anne Louise Grimm.

Barbara Florio Graham tells us her Simon Teakettle dominated the top of page D12 of the Ottawa Citizen on Friday, March 31. This is the page that begins the classified section, a prized spot which would cost close to a thousand dollars if one purchased a display ad, but they began a feature a few weeks ago called "Pet of the Week," with brief descriptions of readers' pets, accompanied by a photo. Barbara wrote 400 words about Simon, sent his professional portrait and made sure to mention MEWSINGS/MUSINGS and her Web site, Congratulations to Barbara for her skill at creative promotion!

Washington state-based publisher Tamara Kaye Sellman announces the release of the anthology "SOUTHERN REVIVAL--Deep Magic For Hurricane Relief," featuring the work of Stephen Alcorn, Louis E. Bourgeois, Bill Branley, Geraldine Cannon, Susan Deefholts, Rebecca Seté Jacobson, Dorothy Laurence, Michael Lythgoe, Jack A. Neal, Carol D. O'Dell, Susan Roney-O'Brien, Shira Richman, Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld, Larri Ann Rosser, Dr. Lynn Veach Sadler, Tamara Kaye Sellman, Sheree Renée Thomas and Doris Umbers. "SOUTHERN REVIVAL: Deep Magic for Hurricane Relief" aims to help restore hurricane-ravaged libraries in the south as well as put books back into the hands of evacuees. 100% of donations to and sales of the anthology benefit First Book, First Book is a national nonprofit organization that gives children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. Book Relief,, is First Book's massive publishing industry-wide relief initiative to place at least five million new books into the hands, schools and libraries of those affected by the hurricanes. Sellman hopes that "SOUTHERN REVIVAL," a 40-page anthology offering diverse poetry and prose honoring and celebrating the cultural magic of the Gulf Coast, will generate enough donations from sales to assist First Book in re-supplying an entire community library in the hurricane-ravaged South with new books. Copies will sell for a minimum purchase donation of $10, "but we expect a lot of people will give more—$20 or $25," said Sellman. She explained, "For every $1 donated to First Book, two new books will be distributed by the charity to a library or an evacuee in need. When someone gives $25, that's the same as providing fifty books. That's a great investment for charity." She recommends people reserve their copies by contacting her online at The anthology will be sold online, through local bookstores and via private events. Readings and promotional events are also being arranged for Seattle, Atlanta, New Orleans, Florida and Oxford. For purchasing information, visit

Barbara Florio Graham is giving a workshop on Protecting Your Writing Business: Contracts, Copyright and More. The half-day, hands-on session will be held at Ottawa's National Library on May 6. It includes protecting your copyright to allow you to sell your work over and over again to maximize your income, along with advice about analyzing a contract with a publisher or a magazine, essential wording, and how to handle those who infringe your copyright. Workshop participants will receive a kit containing more than a dozen informative handouts. Copies of "Five Fast Steps to Better Writing," "Five Fast Steps to Low-Cost Publicity," and "MEWSINGS/MUSINGS" will be available for sale. To register, contact Ottawa Independent Writers via Space is limited, but some of the handouts will be available in a few months on Barbara's Web site,

Meg La Borde announces that Greenleaf Book Group has launched a blog: Virginia Lawrence reports being impressed with the depth of writing and publishing information in the blog. SPAWNews readers are invited to check it out and offer feedback.

Dindy Robinson of Swimming Kangaroo Books is pleased to announce their first newsletter, Dindy also hosts a weekly radio show every Tuesday night at 8:00 CST on The show is an online writing club. Writers can e-mail a few pages of their manuscripts to and they will be discussed on air.

Chuck Hillig is on a 2- to 3-month book promotion tour in India. His publisher there has come out with new English editions of all five of his books and arranged for Chuck to travel around the country with him, doing newspaper and radio interviews as well as appearing on local and national TV. When Chuck returns to California at the end of June, he will be buying an RV and traveling around this country to sell and promote his books. For more information about Chuck Hillig and his books, or

SPAWN president Patricia Fry will teach a 3-week workshop "Learn How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" for Focus on the Masters in Ventura, CA, June 3, June 10 and June 17 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The title of the course is: "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book." The fee for all 3 weeks is $80. For more information:

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

St. Louis Writers Guild has launched a writing project to involve the public in writing a tongue-in-cheek book about the Mississippi River--what it's REALLY like! It's an anthology of brief recollections, observations, laments, celebrations, humor, and soapbox tirades--all aimed at revealing aspects of life on the Big Muddy. The working title is "MIGHTY OR MUDDY? Reflections on the Mississippi River by Those Who Know it Well." Publication is planned for October 2006, after which the original submissions binder (with autographed submissions) will be raffled or auctioned off. This is a St. Louis literary, historical event. For more information: Deadline is August 31, 2006. The address to send submissions is St. Louis Writers Guild, Collaborative Book Project, POB 771765, St. Louis, MO 63177, or fax: 314-821-3823.

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

Read about the latest contests at:

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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 the coming events at:

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

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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.

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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

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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