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SPAWNews, October, 2000

Archives Available

SPAWN Poetry Contest III

See the guidelines and deadline, then join in today!.


See November meeting topics and dates

Poetry Book

Electric Rain

You may now order SPAWN’s poetry book, Electric Rain. The poetry collection was chosen from those poets who entered our first and second poetry contests. The winners were automatically picked and others were selected by a committee composed of SPAWN members. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate all of the winners, so not all of the winning poems were included. We hated to omit them but couldn’t print them without the poets’ written permission.

The book of poetry is being published by Archer Books who is donating the proceeds to SPAWN. Thus, when you purchase a book (or several) you are not only getting an excellent book of poetry but are also contributing to your organization. You may want to order several to have on hand for birthday or Christmas gifts for those special people in your life.

The cover price of the book is $14. Please add $2.50 per book for shipping and handling and 7.25% tax if you are a California resident. S&H charges for 2-3 books is $3 and for 4-5 books is $3.50. If you order 10 or more books at a time, SPAWN will pay S&H.

Come to a SPAWN meeting in October or November and buy one and you won’t have to pay S&H.

Please make checks or money orders payable to SPAWN. Send to SPAWN Poetry Book, P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002. Be sure to include your name, address, and phone number.

Six Steps to Getting Your Articles Published

by Patricia L. Fry

Do you have ideas that you’d like to develop into articles? Would you like to promote your book through magazine articles? Here’s how:

Research the market.

Study the magazines that you want to write for. What type of articles do they publish? What is the writing style and the tone of the articles? Even the letters-to-the-editor and the ads will reveal something about the readership.

List your article ideas.

Start with familiar topics. Study the listings in Writer’s Market to come up with more ideas.

Write a query letter.

Although some magazine editors ask for the complete manuscript, most want a query letter. On your letterhead, write a brief synopsis of the article, your writing credits and qualifications to write this article. Send your query letter to more than one editor simultaneously. Enclose a self-addressed-stamped envelope (SASE).

Write the article.

Once you get the go-ahead from an editor, note their required word count and deadline. Write the article to their specifications. Do they want a profile piece or a how to? Don’t send them an essay when they want quotes from experts, for example.

Recycle your article.

Once you’ve sold an article on a favorite topic, write another one or two or three. If you sold first time or one-time rights to your previously published articles, you can submit them to new magazines. Check the listings in Writer’s Market for magazines that publish reprints.

Keep good records.

Be sure to log each query letter and article. Keep track of expenses and payments. An efficient record-keeping system will help in your communications with editors.

Patricia Fry is the author of

A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit (Matilija Press, 2000)

Contests & Awards

Walt Whitman Award

This award is to honor a poet’s first book. The winner will receive $5,000 and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Manuscripts must be between 50 and 100 pages, typed, one poem per page, and original poetry by one poet. The submission fee is $20 payable to the Academy of American Poets.

Manuscripts must be postmarked between September 15 and November 15, 2000. For complete guidelines and entry form send SASE to

The Walt Whitman Award

The Academy of American Poets

584 Broadway, Suite 1208

New York, NY 10012-3250

Or go to FMI contact Michael Tyrell, Awards Administrator, 212/274-0343, Ext. 17 or e-mail

Sow’s Ear Poetry Prize

Awards for this competition are $1000, $250, and $100 and the option of publication for about 20 finalists. Do not put your name on page with poems; include a separate sheet with poem title, your name, address, phone, and e-mail. There is no length limit. Entering five poems or more entitles you to a subscription to The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.

Send mss in September or October. Postmark Deadline November 1. Reading fee is $2 per poem. Send to

Poetry Competition

Sow’s Ear Poetry Review

19535 Pleasant View Drive

Abingdon, VA 24211-6827

FMI Larry Richman, 540/628-2651; email

2001 Benjamin Franklin Awards (PMA)

This award competition is open to publishers of books, videos, CDs, or audiobooks copyrighted in 2000. Awards are for excellence in publishing, including Book of the Year for Excellence and Innovation in Marketing, and awards for editorial and design.

The deadlines are September 30, 2000 for titles published January 1 through June 30, 2000; and January 31, 2001 for titles published July 1 through December 31, 2000.

The winners in each category will be announced at the PMA Benjamin Franklin Awards presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 31.

Entry fees are $50 per title, per category for PMA members; for nonmembers, $110 and $50 for additional titles and categories.

FMI and entry form call 310/372-2732 or e-mail Web site: or write Publishers Marketing Association, 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.

Use the Resources of the SPAWN Web Site

By Virginia Lawrence

Member Web Pages

Every SPAWN member gets a personal Web page in the searchable member directory. Anyone who comes to the SPAWN site can search for members by name, profession, location, or any chosen aspect of publishing. Other sites have linked to our member page. The pages of lapsed members are removed.

E-Book Publishing

The site includes the SPAWN E-Book Store. You can visit the store to purchase books for immediate download. The current e-books are The Author's Toolkit, a nonfiction guide by Mary Embree, and Secrets of a Nun, a biography by Elizabeth Upton Longmire. You can purchase the e-books today, or sign up online to have your own books turned into e-books for sale in the online SPAWN E-Book Store.

Book Reviews

You can come to to read about the best books for writers, illustrators, and publishers. The site gives you honest reviews of new and classic books on writing, publishing, illustrating, book marketing, and the legal issues of publishing. You can read the opinions of SPAWN members, then quickly purchase your book through

Articles on Writing and Editing

Mary Embree, experienced book doctor and professional editor, has written six articles on writing and editing your own work.

Articles on Using the Internet

In addition to being SPAWN Webmaster and professional Information Architect, I have written 17 articles on using the Internet. These articles discuss: conducting research online, setting up a Web site, online security, and online marketing. You can read those articles starting at the Internet index page.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be adding a Frequently Asked questions area. We need your help for this one. Just send an e-mail to with your Internet question; one question per e-mail, and SPAWN members only. I’ll answer your question, then post the question and answer on the site to serve as a resource for all SPAWN members.

Links to Online Resources gives you lists of links to the Web sites of book printers and book preparers, legal services, and other writing and publishing organizations. There is also information on airfare deals, book and writing awards, free fax numbers, address look-up sites, job sites, and more.

Coming soon — Discounts on Book Printing for Members Only

Three members of the SPAWN Board recently met with a representative from an outstanding print-on-demand book printer. This printer, who already offers good prices and fast turnaround for high-quality books, is now willing to offer discounts on printing for SPAWN members. We expect to announce the SPAWN Book Printing Discount program in the November SPAWNews.

When the program is in full gear, you will go to and fill in a form with your book printing requirements, then receive your discounted quote in response. Telephone requests will also be accepted. These discounts are for SPAWN members only. The Discount Program will be worth far more than the price of admission! is for You

The site has been created to fill your needs for writing, illustrating, and publishing information. The site is open to the public, but the public cannot participate fully. Only SPAWN members receive the full benefits of Enjoy!

~© 2000 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

The author is a professional Web Designer and Information Architect who publishes in print and online.Contact her at or visit her Web site at

Member News

Dan Poynter puts out a free newsletter every two weeks that is full of important information for writers and publishers. His eZine is called Publishing Poynters: Book and Information-Marketing News and Ideas from Dan Poynter.

He also invites you to send your news items and promotion ideas to

To subscribe to the newsletter, go to

Mary Embree will present a mini-seminar on writing a book at Barnes & Noble in Ventura on Wednesday, October 4th at 8 p.m. Afterward she will be available to sign her book, The Author’s Toolkit: a Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Book.

The book is on bookshelves at Borders in Thousand Oaks and Barnes & Noble in Ventura. It is also available through or by contacting the publisher directly: Seaview Publishing, P.O. Box 2625, Ventura, CA 93002; phone 805/643-6279.

Send check for $15.95 plus $1.50 shipping and handling; Californians add 7.25% tax (a total of $18.72).

Mary is offering an autographed copy of the book to SPAWN members at the special price of $15 including S&H and tax. FMI e-mail

Joyce M. Kennedy, Ph.D. reports that her book, Distant Thunder: Canada’s Citizen Soldiers on the Western Front is out and getting great reviews. The book is $22.95 and published by Sunflower University Press. It is available from your local bookseller or from the publisher. To order, call 800/258-1232. FMI e-mail

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Mary Embree

Senior Editor


Hal Ranzenhofer

Managing Editor

Telephone: 805/984-3216


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Jean Wade

President, Santa Barbara County Chapter.


Carol Doering

President, Ventura County Chapter.


Patricia Fry

Vice President


Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer and Membership Chair


Advisory Council

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Mary Embree

Author, Publishing Consultant

Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Patricia Fry

Vice President

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard


Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant


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




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