SPAWNews, February, 2003
Wendy Dager, Editor
Join SPAWN now at http://www.spawn.org and be sure to try our new SPAWN Metasearch. In one quick run, the SPAWN Metasearch will search six different search engines. You wait only a few moments to get extensive, targeted results to your search.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
- EDITOR'S NOTE
- SPAWN MEMBER AREA MARKET UPDATE
- LETTERS TO SPAWN
- FEATURE ARTICLE: Using Natural Laws to Achieve Success
- SPAWN MEMBER NEWS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- CONTESTS AND AWARDS
- EVENTS AND MORE FOR WRITERS
- FEATURE ARTICLE: How to Write for the Regionals
- MISSION STATEMENT
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I was on a supermarket run when I saw row upon row of Valentine's Day candy. It's not as if you can miss those huge displays-there they are, calling to us, reminding us to buy sweets for our sweethearts. I like chocolate just as much as the next person-probably more-but seeing it all wrapped up in garish holiday pink and red made me think maybe this ISN'T what I want on February 14th. For the record, I also don't want flowers. Or even jewelry-and anyone who knows me knows how much I adore jewelry. No, what I really want from my terrific husband and wonderful children is something that can't be measured in karats or bouquets or calories. I would like to have the intangible: Support of my career.
What I crave is what many artists and writers want from family and friends. We want our loved ones to understand that what we do IS work. Sure, it's a labor of love, but it's also a career that requires time, energy and diligence, just like any other job. It's frustrating when those we care most about don't understand our never-ending thoughts of deadlines, story ideas, and word counts. What we need is to be taken seriously; to be allowed quiet time to work; and to be given an occasional pat on the back when we do well.
In our house, the big joke is that mom is a newspaper columnist during the week and the woman who cleans the toilets every weekend. Still, there's a glimmer of hope. It's great to see my husband beam with pride when he meets someone around town who's a fan of my columns. And it's nice when a stranger sees me at a store, recognizes me from my picture in the paper, and compliments my work in front of my daughters, who puff up a little. For writers and artists, our family's acceptance of our choice of craft is a holiday present that doesn't need to be gussied up in Valentine red and pink-because it's already been gift-wrapped, delivered, and appreciated more than the finest chocolates in the world. -Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. She writes a biweekly column for the Ventura County Star, and is currently seeking a publisher for her comic mystery novel, I Murdered the PTA.
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SPAWN MEMBER AREA MARKET UPDATE
Here are excerpts from interviews in the February issue of The SPAWN Market Update, which is published in the Member's Only area of the SPAWN Web site, http://www.spawn.org. Join SPAWN now and read a year's worth of Market Updates including listings of over 50 Web sites for writers, interviews with nearly 35 agents, editors, publishers and writers and much, much more.
"Best Life is for the man who knows there are more important things in life than babes, beer, abs exercises, and Hugh Grant's next movie." Jeff Csatari, Executive Editor of Best Life.
"A press release is a delicately crafted work of science. It needs strategic thinking-the writer must know what aspects of a story to highlight, how much to highlight and what to underplay. One must include enough information to evoke curiosity but not enough to satisfy it. A good press release does not just get you publicity, it provides a reason for the media to contact you and develop an ongoing interaction." Sonali, Writer at Work.
All back issues of the Market Update are available in the Member's Only area of the SPAWN Web site (http://www.spawn.org/private).
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LETTERS TO SPAWN
Hello! I have a quick question for you. My mother died suddenly in Dec. and I have found hundreds of poems that she had written and submitted to contests around the country. She was a member of several writing guilds in Missouri and traveled to conferences around the Midwest. I am wanting to put together a book of her poems not to sell nationwide necessarily, but for family and friends like she was talking about. I don't have any idea on how to go about getting this started. Can you give me any ideas on how to go about this? Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I would appreciate any help or direction you could give me.
I'm sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Your idea about publishing her poems as a gift for family and friends is touching. It's a wonderful way to memorialize her. And the process is not as daunting as you might think.
First, gather the poems and decide how many and which ones you want to include in the book--what size book you'd like to create, etc. Go to your local bookstore and look in the poetry section for ideas.
Next, have someone type the poems into Pagemaker or another program through which you can create your book pages. You might want to add simple graphics or designs to the pages or photographs of your mother growing up on opposite pages. You can even design your cover. Make it simple--something you can do in your computer or hire a cover designer. A cover designer might charge you anywhere from $300 - $2,500. Perhaps there are family members or friends who would be qualified and willing to do this work for you.
Since you want only a few copies printed--say 50 to 150 or so--you have two great options. Either take your project to a POD (Print on Demand) company or produce it at home. A POD company will want the book on disk. They will ask for it to be "camera ready." Most POD companies will work with you in the details of preparing the book and cover for them. And most will charge you from $5 to $25 per book depending on dimensions of the book, page number, number of copies, etc. Most POD companies are set up to print and bind books in certain sizes, so check with them before choosing your book dimensions.
You can save money by producing the book yourself. Simply select your paper and cover stock, print out the pages and cover and either saddle stitch the books (using staples) or put it together with comb binding. If you don't have access to a saddle stitching or a comb binding machine, you can have this process done at most Kinko's-type stores for around $1.50 each.
I hope this has helped and I wish you success with your project.
Patricia Fry, President
SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network)
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Thanks so much for featuring my Suite101 topic at your site. I enjoyed taking a look at your website and am very intrigued by your organization. I subscribed to the newsletter. I am a freelance writer, but have not yet branched out into writing books, but have been thinking seriously about it. Your organization looks like a wonderful place to learn all I need to know about publishing. I'm now in the process of deciding which networking organizations I will join this year to help grow my business and I am definitely considering yours.
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Using Natural Laws to Achieve Success
By Leah Tribolo
Sitting under a tree one day, Isaac Newton saw an apple fall. Watching the apple fall led him to theorize there was an unseen force, which he later called gravity, which causes objects to not fly off of the earth. Natural laws like the law of gravity are fundamental truths and can be applied to our own endeavors.
Let me give you a silly example: If you drop a rock, what will happen? It will fall to the ground unless something is holding it up. No matter how much you wish otherwise, that rock will not float-it will drop, like a rock. So, what is the point?
Life is easier if we notice the way things work and use that knowledge to our advantage.
Obviously, it is easier to work with the force of gravity, than against it. You can achieve wondrous results by trying to work with natural inclinations.
How does that apply to our lives? Let's take a look at other natural phenomena. One thing we notice in nature is that trees start small and take a long time to grow into their full maturity. They can grow very large, given time and a nurturing environment.
Perhaps you would like to change some habits. Make something part of your schedule for one month and it will become second nature for the rest of your life.You might want to write a novel, finish a screenplay, or become a poet. Those are all worthwhile goals, but most of us get frustrated trying to accomplish such abstract goals. We just can't imagine the reality of being a novelist, screenwriter or poet. These are long-term goals, so they will only succeed if we manage to change our lives to support them. This is best accomplished gradually and permanently, so we actually accomplish our goal instead of hoping the rock will float against its very natural urge to fall.
Do not be afraid to dream big. You can accomplish big things without ever doing anything heroic or noteworthy. You need to begin small, taking small, determined steps towards your goal. Write ten pages each and every week, or read a few pages in a helpful book regularly, not a lot one week and none the next. Make a habit of regular progress to your ultimate destination. If you fail one day, get right back on track. You won't go far in one day, but you will cover a lot of ground over time.
Consider writing a novel. Suppose you write ten pages every week and you continued to do that for ten years. That is not a large amount to write; however over ten years, you would have written 5200 pages. It really does not take a big shift in your lifestyle to move you from dreaming of writing to being a writer.
You might think you would have a tough time writing ten pages a week. Could you write half a page a day? That is three and a half pages per week. In just one year you would have written 182 pages. That is the length of some novels! Again, a small change in direction can make a large difference.
It is not quite so easy to quantify writing, as we all know. Quality can go up and down from day to day; our muse might be with us, then suddenly depart, leaving us to struggle in inspiration's wake. The principle is still the same, however. If we do not work towards our goal, we will never get there. If we work against what is natural, getting to our destination will be, if not impossible, at least infinitely more difficult.
Taking small steps that are easy to measure and attain on a regular basis is a sure way to achieve your goals. When a pattern has become habit, such as writing ten good pages a week, reading a chapter in a helpful book, or practicing your haiku, then it is time to take stock of what you have done. If you are able to accomplish more without jeopardizing what you already have, then it is time to take another small step towards your goal- success.
Take the first step, and then the second small step towards your goal. Take stock of your achievements on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. When your destination seems far off, sit back and think of what you have accomplished and remember that every tree started out small, the turtle beat the hare and that you are busy pursuing your dreams ... and succeeding!
-Leah Tribolo is a SPAWN member and freelance writer in Frankfurt, Germany. She has been living and working abroad in various countries for the last ten years. Leah shares her time and sanity with three cats, three kids, a plethora of papers and one patient husband. Her first short story, "The Plum," was published in Pronto! Writings From Rome ISBN# 0-9716638-1-5. She is working on her first novel and welcomes any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SPAWNews welcomes article submissions by SPAWN members! E-mail email@example.com.
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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:
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- 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.
- A simple Poll where you can tell SPAWN what you think about the Member Area.
SPAWN MEMBER NEWS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
SPAWN member Judy Wiedhopf, who writes as Arlene Graham, has published her first book, "To Walk Among the Stones." The book is available through Whimrose Press, P.O. Box 387, Simi Valley, CA 93062-0387, or can be ordered online at Amazon.com. Readers may wish to go to the "new and used" section and order a signed copy offered by Whimrose.
Patricia Fry's ebook, The Successful Writer's Handbook, is now selling at three different locations: http://www.spawn.org/store, http://www.booklocker/books/771.html and at http://www.absolutewrite.com.
Read Patricia Fry's latest writing-related article in the December 2002 issue of The World and I Magazine. It's called, "Trends in Publishing: Meet the Millennium Author" and it features several modern day writers/publishers-some of them you might know. http://www.worldandi.com or 800-822-2822. Watch for her article on creativity in writing appearing in Writer's Digest this spring.
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CONTESTS & AWARDS
The Washington Prize, sponsored by The Word Works, is an annual poetry competition that awards $1500 and book publication to a full-length poetry manuscript submitted by a living American poet. Submissions should be postmarked between February 1 and March 1, 2003 (inclusive). For full details on the competition, check http://www.wordworksdc.com.
AuthorMania.com announces its short story writing contest. Winner receives $1,000 and publication on AuthorMania.com. Contest began January 8, 2003. Postmark Deadline: February 14, 2004.Winner will be announced by or on April 20, 2004. Entry fee is $20. For full details: http://www.authormania.com.
The following are novel, nonfiction, poetry and short story guidelines for the Author's Venue Writing Contest, sponsored by The Writer magazine.
Deadline: entries must be postmarked by February 15, 2993.
Novel: Submit the first
20 pages and a 3-page synopsis;
Nonfiction Book: Submit a two-page query letter, a ten-page proposal and the first ten pages of chapter one;
Poetry: Submit 50 lines or less of your poem;
Short Stories: Submit the first 25 pages or less.
First Prize: Journey Conference in Lake Tahoe (a $1000 value), plus pre-conference sessions (a $500 value);
Second Prize: The Writer Handbook;
Third Prize: One year The Writer subscription.
For more information and official rules, call (505) 244-9337, fax (800) 853-7655, or email info@AuthorsVenue.com.
The Pacific Northwest Writers Association encourages all writers to enter their work in the 2003 Literary Contest, with more than $9,000 in cash awards. In addition to the possibility of being selected as a finalist and winning, each entry will receive two critiques, valuable tools for all writers. Deadline is February 18, 2003.
For an entry form and rules for submission go to PNWA's Web site: http://www.pnwa.org.
The People Before Profits Poetry Prize wishes to reward a poet whose
writing: Inspires others to value human life and the natural
world instead of values based on short-term economic
advantage; speaks for community-centered values, democratic
processes, especially; those whose voices are seldom heard; demonstrates poetic excellence; educates readers of the
relevance of the past to the present and future. First prize is $200
and publication in In Our Own Words. Deadline is March 1, 2003.
For more details: http://www.bbbooks.com/contests.html.
The 5th Annual Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition boasts "The usual suspects: $10,000 first place prize, software and the precious Hollywood contacts which include established production companies and literary representatives such as A Band Apart, Samuel Goldwyn, Evolution, Lawrence Mark Prods. and Marc Platt Prods."
The competition is sponsored by screenwriting software company Write Brothers Inc. (formerly Screenplay Systems), The Writers Store, Script Magazine and WritersScriptNetwork.com. For application and rules visit http://www.scriptapalooza.com or call the office 323-654-5809. Regular deadline is March 3 and the Final deadline is April 15, 2003.
The Independent Publishers have announced their Book Awards Contest for 2003. Entries will be accepted until April 15, 2003 for titles released in 2002. It's the 7th annual Independent Book Awards. They call this the IPPY Awards. They have 52 categories including some new ones this year.
For more info http://www.independentpublisher.com or 1-800-706-4636, extension 1011. Contact person: Jim Barnes. firstname.lastname@example.org
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EVENTS AND MORE FOR WRITERS
According to Cathy Burburuz, Editor, the new issue of Champagne Shivers goes live on February 1, 2003, then will reopen for submissions on February 10 for the May l issue. Please read the guidelines for submissions: http://www.samsdotpublishing.com/champagne/cover.html. Also, February 1, a new issue of Expressions goes live, http://samsdotpublishing.com/expressions.htm. It'll contain lots of paying markets for writers, the latest news about the publishing industry, and the nominees for the James Award (a trophy to honor the memory of the late James B. Baker) will be announced in this issue for best poet, fiction writer and artist for 2002. Three contributors to Champagne Shivers have been nominated. Winners will be announced in a future issue.
The Third Annual DIY Convention For Independent Film, Music & Books will be held Feb. 8, 2003 at the American Film Institute, 2021 N. Western Avenue, Hollywood, CA. The DIY Convention is a series of panels and workshops focused on teaching musicians, filmmakers, authors and entrepreneurs how to create, promote, protect and distribute independent film, music and books. The convention is part of a three-day package of events that includes the DIY Film Festival and DIY Music Festival.
Registration information for the DIY Convention, which includes admission to the DIY Film Festival and DIY Music Festival, is available online at http://www.diyconvention.com.
According to its press release: "The Creativity Workshop's goal is to help individuals believe in and develop their creative process and break through the fears and blocks that inhibit creativity through using memoir, creative writing, visual arts exercises, and storytelling. It was established in 1993 by writer Shelley Berc and multimedia artist Alejandro Fogel to provide an alternative to traditional forms of education and thinking. The organization is dedicated to teaching individuals and groups about their creative processes. The Workshop's end product is expanded perception, innovative problem solving, and ways of looking at one's life and work as exciting and transformative." Workshops take place in New York City during the year and in Europe in the summer. All workshops are taught exclusively by Master Teachers Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel. Workshops are either 2, 4, 7 or 9 days. The summer 9-day workshops are held in Crete, Florence, Barcelona, Paris, Prague and London.
You can secure your place in any of these workshops now for only a $50 deposit. Upcoming weekend Creativity Workshops will be taking place in New York City on: February 15 - 16 and March 15 - 16
The Second City Council (art gallery) is hosting the "2003 Women's Festival of the Arts" March 8 & 9, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m., in honor of International Women's Day. The visual arts exhibition will run March 8 - April 18, 2003. Ruth Weisberg, Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California (USC) an internationally known and respected artist, will be juror. There are cash awards plus the infamous Eye-Opener statue. Full details and an entry form can be obtained from the Web site: http://www.2ndcitycouncil.org.
Mystery Writers of America, Inc.'s Florida Chapter's "S" is for SleuthFest 2003,
March 13-16 at the Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton Hilton. Special Guests: Sue Grafton and Dr. Henry Lee. Thursday, March 13: Writer's workshops, including critiques of attendee samples by NYT Bestseller, Barbara Parker, techniques of establishing setting through World Building with award-winning Carole Nelson Douglas, and how to give a pitch to an agent/editor. Friday, March 14-Sunday March 16: Over 35 panels open to writers of all levels and genres, National Shooting Sports Foundation Shootout, and editor/agent appointments. Registration: Thursday workshops: $50; Friday thru Sunday: $165, members, $180, non-members before 1/1/03. Registration forms: http://www.SleuthFest.com or send SASE to Anne K. Walsh, 6056 NW 56th Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33067, e-mail Rwymer55@aol.com, or call: Jody Lebel at (954) 782-8872.
The International Women's Writing Guild is presenting a retreat/conference Friday, March 14 to Sunday, March 16 at Bosch Bahai School in Santa Cruz, CA. You can attend all or part of the workshops. Fee for a day for nonmembers is $90. For both weekend days, it's $150 plus meals ($10 each meal). Full registration for all 3 days, including room and board, $345 (nonmembers). For information, http://www.iwwg.com or email@example.com or phone 212-737-7536
Sell your script at PITCHFEST (Voted the #1 pitch event by Script
Magazine), the 9th ANNUAL FROM CONCEPT TO SALE CONFERENCE
Hyatt Hotel, West Hollywood, CA, March 15 & 16, 2003. This is an opportunity for you to present your story ideas, script, book or TV project directly to Hollywood buyers in one-on-one (7-minute) pitch meetings. Over 50 film and television industry top professionals to pitch to/meet with, plus one full day of individual craft sessions with this year's Oscar-nominated filmmakers. To reserve your space or find out more: (310) 275-0287 or (800) 646-3896 or http://www.fadeinonline.com. Reserve before Feb. 10 and receive an early-bird discount. Sponsored by Borders Books and Fade In Magazine.
Mary Embree will be leading a writers' workshop at Ventura College on February 22, 9 a.m. to noon. The workshop, titled "The Hook That Sells the Book" will cover essential writing and editing principles that can move a writer ahead by giant steps. It includes planning the book, researching, and producing a book of professional quality. It also covers copyrighting and contacting literary agents and publishers. FMI call 805/654-6459.
Patricia Fry will teach a workshop on Saturday, March 22 from 9 - noon at Ventura College. If you want to earn your living writing magazine articles or promote your book through articles, this is the workshop for you. Fry will help you feel more comfortable with the dreaded query letter, show you how to find the right markets for your works and write the right works for the publication. She will also demonstrate how to tap into a constant flow of article ideas. It will be an inspiring and educational morning. For more information, call Ventura College at 805-654-6459 or go to http://www.venturacollege.edu. The workshop is $45. Class Code: ZW203. Fry is the author of 12 books, including A Writer's Guide to Magazine Articles and The Successful Writer's Handbook. Books number 13 and 14 are scheduled for publication in 2003. She has been writing for magazines for 30 years, having contributed to Writer's Digest, The World and I, Woman's Own, The Toastmaster, Authorship, Canadian Author, Writer's Journal, Pages, Cat Fancy, Your Health and many, many others.
A Music and Arts Expo will be held April 19 at California State University, Northridge, from 10 am to 8 pm. The 2003 Call to Arts! Expo has been gaining a great deal of momentum and cooperation with a wide range of artists and organizations. The expo will be a large and unique gathering of artists and arts leaders working at grassroots, community and industry levels and across various artistic disciplines, but sharing a common purpose in arts and music. It is a place where musicians, fine artists, songwriters, designers, singers, managers, visionaries, publishers, poets, promoters, authors and those who administer arts organizations, businesses or non profits are coming together to MAKE CONNECTIONS... and MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Register before Feb 15, 2003 for only $35 (Price goes up to $55 on Feb 15th). Make check payable to Artists Helping Artists and send to Artists Helping Artists, PO Box 8323, La Crescenta, CA 91224. For more information: http://www.CallToArts.ArtistsHelpingArtists.org or Info@ArtistsHelpingArtists.org.
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How to Write for the Regionals
By Patricia Fry
If you're like most freelance writers, you submit articles to national magazines and you query the editors of special interest journals, but you don't pursue regional publications. Do you have any idea what you're missing by not exploring the regional market?
Writer's Market has nearly 50 pages of regional magazine or about 150 listings. Altogether, regional magazines publish approximately 5,000 articles per year and they pay anywhere from $25 to $5,000 per article with the average in the $300-$500 range. And there are always new regional magazines cropping up. We featured almost 20 new ones in the SPAWN Market Update during 2002.
Of course, a good place to start is locally. Discover your own community and state publications. Interview the girl who made the junior varsity football team at your local high school. Write about the volunteers behind your community's entry in a major New Year's Day parade. Or suggest a piece featuring the haunted houses in your city.
I wrote an article for a local technology magazine featuring county teen entrepreneurs in the technology field. They also published my two-part story featuring local women who are making their mark in technology. A local food-related magazine recently published my article on a unique item a quilt shop owner has come up with to sell otherwise unpopular shades of fabric. She is packaging her brown, orange and green fabrics to look like food and it is selling like hotcakes.
Write about the places you've visited. Tourists often have a different perspective than those people who live in a community. The last time I visited my brother and his family in Winchester, Idaho, I came home and queried Northwest Travel about a piece on this small, out of the way town. The article is scheduled to run this winter.
Maybe while touring the northwest last summer, a particular site, place of business or local historical figure piqued your interest. With a little research and a fresh angle, you might be able to sell Oregon Coast, Seattle Weekly or San Francisco Magazine on your idea.
Write about your childhood memories. Whether you grew up in the state where you live or in another community, you have a unique perspective about life during that era. Some regional magazines love to publish nostalgia pieces. Back Home in Kentucky, is one. Others include: Louisville Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, Cape Cod Life, Traverse (Northern Michigan's Magazine), New Jersey Living and Charlotte Magazine.
But you don't have to live in or even visit a city or a state in order to write for their regional magazines. Information is so accessible now that you can research nearly any aspect of the place from your home. And you can do necessary interviews by email or phone. I've been locating library cats throughout the U.S. and querying appropriate magazines about articles featuring those library cats in their region. I contacted New Hampshire Magazine about library cats in the New Hampshire area, for example, Southern Living about a piece on library and shop cats in the southern states and Ohio Magazine, hoping they would publish my article on library cats in Ohio.
You might query the editors of Texas Highways regarding an article featuring a little known historical aspect of Texas-an early hotel, a long forgotten pioneer cemetery or a town that is either gone now or that was replaced by another town, for example. Are you aware of a little known but fascinating sports figure in New Jersey? Contact Christopher Hann at the New Jersey Monthly with your story and earn yourself up to $2000.
While most editors want only local material for their regional publications, others are open to more general topics. I sold articles on grandparenting to Lifestyles Plus (a now defunct Indiana regional) and Ruralite (a publication for readers in ten western states). Northwest Family, L. A. Parent, Seattle's Child, South Florida Parent and Central CA Parent each published some of my general child-rearing articles. And some of my general travel pieces have appeared in Western RV News. I even sold my article on how to successfully use small talk in business to Florida Realtors.
This year, make a commitment to step outside your comfort zone and break into the wide-open field of regional magazines. Set a goal-send 5 or 10 queries to regional magazines each week, for example. Come up with at least one new idea for a regional magazine each month. This might mean reading obscure history books, keying in on the daily news and/or reading travel magazines, for example. You'll also want to study the regional magazines for which you want to write.
Make this commitment and you will increase your sales for 2003.
-Patricia Fry has written hundreds of articles for about 175 different regional and national publications. She is also the author of The Successful Writer's Handbook, an ebook available for purchase at http://www.spawn.org/store
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NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR SPAWN
From the retiring Executive Director:
I am delighted to announce the appointment of the new Executive Director of SPAWN, Virginia Lawrence. Most of those familiar with SPAWN know Virginia as our Webmaster. She has been instrumental in building our organization from the very beginning and has taken on many roles. She designed, developed and continues to build and maintain SPAWN’s Website, http://www.spawn.org. Virginia also writes highly informative articles for our newsletter and serves as technical advisor on anything having to do with computer programs, the Internet, and more.
No one could be better qualified for this position. In addition to her knowledge of and experience in nonprofit organizations, she has written, edited, and published more than 45 nonfiction books and software manuals. She specializes in information architecture in print and on the Web. Virginia has a background in physics and statistics, with a Ph.D. in human learning and memory.
I stepped down from the position of Executive Director in late 2002. As the founder of SPAWN, I had served as ED for nearly seven years. I could no longer continue as its director because my literary consulting business and writing career had blossomed into far more than a full-time career. I would have left with a very heavy heart if I had thought that SPAWN could not continue to exist without me. I am confident, however, that SPAWN will not only continue, it will thrive. Virginia Lawrence brings with her some exciting and innovative ideas to take SPAWN to a new and more productive stage. Virginia is truly a twenty-first century thinker with all the technological savvy to make SPAWN a powerful Web presence, thereby reaching an enormous audience.
Patricia Fry has also taken on more duties. And she knows as much about SPAWN as I do. She was there even before the beginning. Patty was my sounding board and advisor as I was forming the idea for this organization in my head. She was there at the very first meeting in Ventura, California, on May 19, 1996. Since then she has served as a chapter president, seminar presenter, speaker, columnist, ongoing advisor, and creator of Market Update, the centerpiece of our Web site’s member area. And those are only a few of her contributions to SPAWN. She is also author of numerous books and magazine articles.
Both Virginia Lawrence and Patricia Fry serve on the Board of Directors of SPAWN. I, too, shall remain on the board and will continue to serve as advisor.
I want to thank SPAWN’s board members, advisory council members, and all of the SPAWN members and participants for your support through the years.
From the incoming Executive Director:
Well, I will certainly work to live up to Mary's gracious introduction. I've been proud to be associated with SPAWN from the beginning. I have enjoyed the professionalism of our members, along with their far-ranging talents. In particular, I have appreciated Mary Embree's vision and her drive to make SPAWN an important force in the writing/publishing world. During her 7 years as Executive Director, Mary has given her time and expertise to SPAWN as she helped members find their writing path.
Given that Mary is still on the Board, we will continue to benefit from her vision, and that vision will help us to grow and to serve our members.
I want to thank SPAWN President Patty Fry for her calm energy, her amazing organizational skills, and her continuing vital contributions to SPAWN. I also want to thank SPAWN Treasurer Ruth Hibbard for keeping us on track financially.
Patty, the Board, the Advisory Council, and I plan to increase our offerings to members and expand our membership. Our first step will be to institute Local SPAWN Chapters. Watch for full information in the March SPAWNews!
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SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.
Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network
323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110
Ojai, CA 93023
SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator
SPAWN Executive Director
Writer, Editor, Publicist
Board of Directors
Author, Editor, Literary Consultant
Founder of SPAWN
President of SPAWN
Virginia Lawrence, PhD
Writer, Editor, Webmaster
Secretary of SPAWN
Treasurer of SPAWN
Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host
Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries
Richard F.X. O'Connor
Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant
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.
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 Editor@spawn.org.
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
323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110
Ojai, CA 93023