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SPAWNews, November, 2003

Wendy Dager, Editor














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I usually try to make the editor’s note upbeat and inspiring, since it is the first thing our subscribers and members see before scrolling down to read news, feature articles, and event information. This time, however, I’m going into a bit of a scolding mode, and I beg forgiveness from those of you who always STUDY THOSE MARKETS!

As a working writer who has written her first novel, I know that before I submit my manuscript for publication, I must study potential markets. That is, I check a publisher’s Web site or "The Writers Market" to make sure it is right for my novel. For instance, if the publisher clearly states "no unagented submissions," I—having recently "lost" my literary agent—do not send a query. I also check to see if they want authors to send a few sample chapters rather than the entire manuscript; if they accept online queries; and if they have published books similar to mine. It would be a huge no-no to submit my humorous mystery to a publisher that only prints nonfiction civil war books.

Sounds simple, right? Well, recently, I received two submissions within days of each other that were inappropriate for SPAWNews. One was from a writer outside the U.S. who had written a romance novel. She thought SPAWN was a publisher. Granted, English was not her first language, but she should have checked the site and learned that we are a networking organization. The other e-mail was from someone who queried first. I told her we accept brief articles on writing, publishing, syndicating and other topics of interest to our readers. She then sent me a poem! I am sure these are lovely people who only want to see their work in print, but they did not study their markets—which is why publishers generally ask for a query prior to sending a complete manuscript. And which is also why all of the larger publishing houses—and many small ones—only accept agented submissions.

Now, with that off my chest, we at SPAWNews would love to see your articles and essays pertaining to publishing, art and writing. We are also pleased to hear member success stories for inclusion in our member news section. If you are a newsletter subscriber and not yet a member, join now online, In addition to many other benefits, our Member Area has plenty of markets for you to study!

Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews.

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For those of us residing in Southern California, the recent wildfires have been a frightening--and sometimes harrowing--experience. We would like to offer our sympathies to those who have lost loved ones or personal property, and give our gratitude to the firefighters who bravely battled the fires.


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I had an insight this morning. I was reading through one of the many writing/publishing-related newsletters I receive each month and realized how valuable they are to my business. As many of you know, writing/publishing is my full-time work.

I often hear people complain about all of the information they receive in their email box. Folks cancel their subscriptions to useful newsletters such as SPAWNews because they are on overload. I'm on overload as much as the next person, yet I find a lot of value in taking the time to read my writing/publishing-related newsletters.

I must receive 25 e-newsletters each month. If I don't have time to read one when it arrives, I print it out and read it later—while waiting for my car to get new tires, while eating my lunch or while relaxing in the evening. I've found over the years that I simply cannot read one of these newsletters without learning something or without gleaning a piece of data that I can use.

Just this morning, I found a potential publisher for one of my manuscripts—a publisher I hadn't thought of before. I discovered that an editor I've worked with quite often is no longer with a particular magazine and I now know who the new editor is. How professional will I look the next time I contact that magazine and address the new editor by name? And I already have a foot in the door at the magazine where the former editor now works. A letter published in this newsletter gave me an idea for another article. And I picked up some information to publish in the monthly SPAWN Market Update.

In my opinion, unsubscribing to a newsletter in your area of interest or field of business is like shooting yourself in the foot.

–Patricia Fry is President of SPAWN. Contact her at

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The Market Update is an additional benefit provided for SPAWN members. Each month we publish 8-15 pages of information and resources for writers and publishers. This month's Market Update, posted in the members only area of the SPAWN Web site, features 9 interesting job opportunities for writers and artists, 3 ways to get your book reviewed, tips and resources for getting newspaper publicity for your book and an interview with one of our most fascinating and successful members, Eva Rosenberg.

Here's a quote from our interview with Eva: "Good luck comes when you pick up the phone or send out a letter. It never comes while you're sitting and hoping someone will respond. Keep shotgunning material out there. Sooner or later, you'll be in the right place at the right time."

Among other important items, you'll find these answers in this month’s Market Update:

  • a list of publishers who publish memoirs and where to find more

  • a newsletter company ready to pay for good newsletter articles

  • a magazine looking for nonfiction articles for children

  • a publisher who needs more children’s books to publish

  • two greeting card publishers who pay for verses

  • details on how and where to get your book reviewed

  • an article on how to start a writing critique group

  • Eva Rosenberg telling how she’s selling her e-book online

Click on the Join SPAWN Now button in the upper left of this page to join SPAWN and gain access to this generous issue of SPAWN Market Update. All back issues of the Market Update are also available in the Member's Only area of the SPAWN Web site,

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SPAWN members are writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing an astounding array of high quality books. To read the latest full printed SPAWN catalog of Member Books, just go to and click on "Download the SPAWN Catalog of Member Books now" and you can download the catalog in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.

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In October, we shared the excitement of the upcoming Texas Book Festival! We'll be showing off SPAWN members’ publishing efforts, as well as educating the public about our group and the world of publishing. Thank you to those of you who have submitted items for display. We will be going through those this week. The Austin chapter meetings take place on the first Wednesday of each month. Our November meeting will include taking care of last-minute issues with the book festival. In next month’s edition of SPAWNews, we'll report the outcome of the festival and tell you about our December speaker.

–Tamara Dever is the Austin Chapter Leader. Contact her at


Barnes and Noble moved the Baltimore chapter meetings to the 4th Friday of the month at 8:00 p.m. However, our Barnes and Noble contact was out of town in October, so the event was not posted and there were no attendees. Please e-mail me if you wish to know about the next meeting and I will send you the information as soon as I speak with our contact.

–Ramona Davis is the Baltimore Chapter Leader. Contact her at

If you're interested in starting a SPAWN Chapter in your area, find out more at, then contact Patricia Fry at

Please remember that you must be a paid SPAWN member prior to becoming a SPAWN chapter leader.

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Virginia Lawrence

The mystery novel is alive and well. Bouchercon, the mystery writer/fan conference held in Las Vegas on October 16-19 boasted 1,500 attendees. The bookstore room was so crowded that we could hardly move through the aisles. Every 1 1/2 hours we had a choice of five panels of authors, agents, publicists, or publishers, and all author panels were followed by book signings. Those panels were great fun, loaded with writing and marketing tips. There were plenty of funny stories too¾ like the one about the mystery author who wanted to know what it was like to ride in the trunk of a car. His dutiful wife drove the car around the block twice, and when she went to let him out of the trunk, she found that the lock had jammed!

Read the entire article at

Online Book Marketing Tips from Bouchercon

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Patricia L. Fry

If you have a book to promote, sooner or later you’ll probably participate in a book festival. There are hundreds of book and author festivals held throughout the U.S. each year where you—or your publisher—can rent a booth and sell books. Organizations such as the Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network (SPAWN) often purchase booth space at book festivals and invite members to come and sell their books or to send books for display.

Read the entire information-packed article at How to Work a Book Festival So that it Works for You.

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The program director at Ojai Valley Youth Foundation was thrilled with the program outline we gave him for the SPAWN Children's Writing Project. We are set to go with our 8-week course in January of 2004. Because of the generosity of a donor, we will be able to publish the kids' work and present each youngster with copies of a book containing his/her story or poem.

We’ll be giving you regular updates on the progress of this exciting new project. If you are a member of SPAWN and you are interested in starting such a project in your area, contact Patricia Fry,

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Several members have sent their books for display at the Austin Book Festival November 8 and 9. SPAWN purchased two booths and Austin Chapter Leader Tami Dever and fellow chapter members have made the arrangements. We appreciate their hard work and look forward to a report in the December issue of SPAWNews.

National Science Teachers Association has just recommended Troy Corley’s "Let's Go Buggy! The Ultimate Family Guide to Insect Zoos & Butterfly Houses" to its 55,000-member organization. This is a highly regarded honor for the educational travel guide to the best live bug and butterfly exhibits in the United States. Reviewed by behavioral biologist Jill Nugent, "Let's Go Buggy!" is recommended for educators who want to introduce their students to the spineless wonders of the world. "Its unique approach to field trips just outside the classroom window will be treasured by teachers, too. So, if you’re itching to take a bug-related field trip with your students, then ‘Lets Go Buggy!’ is ideal for you!"  Let's Go Buggy! (256-page trade paper back, $14.95, ISBN: 09706-242-04) is distributed by IPG Books (800-888-4741) and can be purchased at Barnes & Noble, Borders or through, or You can also purchase a signed copy at

Editor’s Note: A profile of Troy Corley appeared in the Ventura County Star newspaper on October 25:,1375,VCS_168_2376263,00.html. Congratulations, Troy!

Keith Hemmerling’s book "Manic Impression" was at the DIY Book Festival and will be at the Frankfurt Book Festival. Barnes and Noble advertises that people who’ve bought Keith’s book have also purchased titles such as "Living History" by Hillary Rodham Clinton, "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" Walter Isaacson, "Bleachers" by John Grisham, "Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles" by Anthony Swofford, and "It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" by Lance Armstrong, with Sally Jenkins.

Congratulations to member Tonya M. Evans whose book "Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Plain Language"(by attorneys Tonya M. Evans and Susan Borden Evans with foreword by Dan Poynter) is now a Writer's Digest Selection.

For more about this book and others:

Barbara Florio Graham is offering her popular online course, Tapping Your Innate Creativity, beginning in January. A detailed description of the course is on her website:, or e-mail her at">

Patricia Fry's revised print edition of "The Successful Writer's Handbook" ($15.95) is now available for sale. This 192-page paperback offers practical tools, creative ideas, useful techniques and scads of valuable resources for authors and publishers. Includes everything from how to find writing work to a timeline for self-publishing. Available only through at this time. In addition, Fry’s Young Writer's Handbook—the test version—is ready for distribution. Any child or teen who buys this book for $10 (plus shipping) and who responds to the questionnaire in the back of the book before December 1, 2003, will receive a free copy of the revised/expanded edition. This book includes mini workshops for kids and it features over 100 resources specifically for young writers. Learn more about Young Writer's Handbook by visiting

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

To request your free copy of "McHugh’s Rights and Publishing Glossary" call 414-351-3056 or email The publication defines 61 rights and publishing terms, which provides a working vocabulary for those seeking familiarization with rights and permissions. Visit to read free McHugh Publications on these topics: Association Publishing, Book Publishing, Copyright, Executive Recruiting, Journal Publishing, Product Development, and Publishing Management.

Book Talk Radio on WXXA-AM 790 in Louisville, KY is seeking authors. Interested authors should email Steve Hudson at and submit book synopsis, author bio and contact info.

The Reference Shelf is a way to showcase your titles before 65,000 librarians and library administrators. For more information:

Boox Review is seeking submissions and also accepting paid advertising. For more information: For the advertising info page:

Writer Online has developed an innovative support program for published authors, called WOLves. This support program serves as an exciting and viable alternative to classes and workshops that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and stop helping the writer when they end. The support program, on the other hand, is ongoing. It begins after the information has been absorbed by the student. WOLves: WOLves Media Room:

There will be book exhibits held in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Maine, New York and California through December. For more information on the Combined Book Exhibit:

Members of the Sacramento Publishers and Authors are planning to reserve a booth at the ALA Convention in Seattle on February 24-28, 2004. They are seeking other authors who wish to have their books displayed to keep the costs down. They ask that any interested SPAWN members contact Ernie Spencer at

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Scriptapalooza TV is currently accepting submissions and the deadline is November 17, 2003. There are three winners in each category. The three categories include existing one hour spec scripts, existing half hour spec scripts and pilots. For entry rules and an application, or email

Eraserhead Press is having its first annual contest for new authors who have not had a novel or short story collection published or accepted for publication. It's open to all genres. The award is publication. Entry fee $20. Deadline, November 30, 2003. For more information: Eraserhead Press, or 6105 NE 19 Ave., Portland, OR  97211

PEP Writers' Contest. Write a story in 500 words or less and win $250 to $750. The story must begin with this sentence, "He collapsed into the chair next to the open window and muttered, ‘What have I done?’"Deadline December 15, 2003. Entry fee: $10.00. For more information:

Publishers Marketing Association announces The 16th Annual Benjamin Franklin Awards Competition for excellence in publishing during 2003; submission deadline is December 31, 2003 for titles published July 1-December 31, 2003. For more information:

The MonkeyHawk Playwrights’ Competition is now accepting submissions for 10-minute, One Act, and Full Length scripts. Top Entry wins over $1000 in cash and prizes, plus professional production during the Spring 2004 MonkeyHawk Playwrights’ Festival in Hollywood. For more details:

The People’s Pilot is for those of you with great new series ideas, and all you have to do is send in your perfectly written presentation for a show of any genre. Prizes include $500 from Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts, representation by Terry Porter, admission to the next TV Summer Intensive Seminar, admission Guy Magar’s Action/Cut Film Making SEminar, Final Draft, a Featured Creator Page at, "Killer Coverage" on your next work from, two Registrations at, a "First-Look" by members of the Cloud Creek Institute for the Arts Board of Advisors & inclusion on the TV List of Recommended Writers. For more information:

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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.

Barbara Florio Graham, who is leading a workshop on self-publishing at the Cat Writers' Association conference in Houston in November, is now offering mentoring for self-publishers. See the new Mentoring page on her website:, or e-mail her at

The next Basic Online Workshop, given by Larry Brody and featuring "everything you need to know but were so clueless you couldn't ask about writing for TV and films" starts early in January of 2004. For more information:

The Maui Writers Conference sets sail on an adventure that is unparalleled in the book world. Cruise into history with New York Times best-selling authors Janet Evanovich, John Saul, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth George, Terry Brooks, Susan Wiggs and Gail Tsukiyama who will set sail aboard the MS Rotterdam for the 1st Annual MWC Panama Canal Cruise for Book Lovers and Writers, March 3-13, 2004. E-mail Georja Skinner, for more information.

The American Self-Publisher Association is the largest national organization devoted to self-published writers and is a not-for-profit association. Bobbie Christensen, Director of the ASPA, will present the day-long conference Writing, Publishing & Marketing Your 1st Book (or 7th) for all authors and potential authors, fiction or non-fiction, for the following organizations.

November 1st 10:00am-5pm $29 Pasadena, CA, Pasadena Community College 626-585-7601

November 9th 10:00am-5pm $35 Fresno, CA, Fresno Community College 559-457-6015

November 15th 10:00am-5pm $29 Seattle, WA, Discover U 206-365-0400

November 22nd 10:00am-5pm $25 Chico, CA, Butte Cmty. College 530-895-2289

January 31st 10:00am-5pm $29 Portland, OR, Portland Cmty. College 503-977-4933

For more information: 916-422-8435 or email

Publishers Association of the West plans a national publishing conference and book industry trade show November 1-3, 2003. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. For more info or an enrollment form contact

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Electronic Scrip Incorporated (ESI) is a California-based corporation dedicated to establishing relationships between commerce and community. Since 1999, over $40 million has been distributed to schools and groups. eScrip is a fantastic resource for fundraising where participating business partners contribute a percentage of your grocery loyalty cards, credit card, and debit/ ATM card purchases to up to three schools, groups or organizations of your choice. You register any one or all of your existing grocery loyalty, debit and credit card for use in the program. Participating merchants will make contributions to your chosen group, based on purchases made by you, just by using the cards you have registered. You can go to, click on the orange Sign Up button, type in SPAWN, then register your grocery cards and/or credit cards. SPAWN, a 501(c)3 organization, gets a little over 2% in donations from all purchases from participating merchants. If you already have an eScrip account, please remember that you can list up to three groups. Thank you for supporting SPAWN.

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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.
  • Metasearch where you can run a single search and get results from six of the top search engines.
  • 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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November, 2002

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

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

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



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