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SPAWNews, April 1998 - Archives Available

MEMBERSHIP DUES - New Lower Rate Membership in SPAWN has been $60 per year and $45 for students and senior citizens. Among other benefits, we have offered one free seminar with each new membership. However, members who live outside Southern California cannot take advantage of the free seminar. It therefore seems fitting that we discontinue offering the free seminar and, instead, lower our membership dues. Starting in April 1998, the dues will be $45 per year for everyone. If you joined at the higher rate and have been unable to attend any seminars, please let us know and we will extend your membership an additional three months.

SPAWN's Education Project

By Elaine Watson [SPAWN's Education Consultant] In March, Mary Embree and I attended two education-related functions. The Oxnard Union High School District sponsored a Career Fair on March 3 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center, drawing over 900 students from area high schools. Students were given the opportunity to explore a variety of career options and learn about the "real life" aspects of them. We handed out SPAWN materials and bios submitted by several of our members explaining their particular paths into their careers and an explanation of what they do. A number of teachers inquired into the availability of classroom speakers from SPAWN. On March 5, the School-to-Career Network met to discuss industry and education requirements of a variety of career paths. This is a program of the Ventura County School District to revise school curriculum to meet the needs of industry so that students will be better prepared to pursue their future goals. Mary and I led the Arts and Communication group focusing on the fields of professional writing and graphic design. If you would be available to participate in a career fair or to speak to a classroom, please contact me at 805/245-3171. Marketing Committee

The second Marketing Committee Meeting was held Sunday, March 22. The highlight was a conference call with Virginia Lawrence about marketing on the web. Next month we're hoping to learn more about getting media exposure. If you are interested in networking with others about the frustrating task of promoting and marketing your books, please bring your questions, concerns and, most of all, your ideas to our next meeting. It will be held on Sunday, April 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Patricia Fry's home, 147 N. Encinal Ave., Ojai. Call 646-3045 for directions.


The San Buenaventura Artists' Union meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Daily Grind Coffeehouse. They are currently planning a show for the upcoming spring ArtWalk at Art City.

Ventura's future ArtWalks are the subject of a gathering at City Hall's Community Meeting Room on Wednesday, April 25, 5:30-7p.m. To voice opinions about improvements, scheduling and themes, call Donna Granata at 658-4768.

The next planned ArtWalk is EcoArtWalk on Saturday, April 18. Call Ms. Granata for further information about where to show.


SPAWN affiliate, the Publisher's Marketing Association (PMA), in conjunction with BookExpo '98, is offering their annual "Publishing University" Program on May 29-30 in Chicago at the McCormick Place Convention Center.

PMA Executive Director Jan Nathan spoke at SPAWN's first birthday party last June, and anyone who heard her will recall that she is a virtual encyclopedia of facts about every imaginable aspect of publishing and marketing. About the May event, she says, "We recognize your eagerness to learn about the rapidly growing and exciting industry of book publishing and hope we have been able to provide you with the best learning experience possible throughout this two-day program."

Entitled "The Anatomy of a Publishing Company," it features a cornucopia of seminars and luncheons no serious self-publisher should miss. Radio and television talk show producers will be on hand to discuss how their media should be contacted and utilized with publicity plans, and seminars will cover getting started in publishing, general financial and legal management, marketing and sales, techniques of book publishing, publicity and public relations, production and design, Internet publishing, and audiotape production/distribution.

Seminars led by established experts in fields ranging from academic publishing to copyright law will include: Internet Basics, How To Sell To Independent Stores and Chains, Foreign Rights and Sales, Publishing Poetry, and Working With National and Regional Wholesalers and Distributors.

The luncheons and evening receptions will provide abundant networking opportunities, and the Friday night Benjamin Franklin Award ceremony will honor the best in independent publishing.

Registration packets will be available at SPAWN meetings of the Conejo Valley and Ventura Chapters, and can also be obtained by calling SPAWN at 805-643-2403.

PMA can be contacted at; Fax 310-374-3342; ph. 310-372-2732; 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.


SPAWNer Helen Gordon, an author, editor, researcher and former English professor, has lately been hearing that writers' efforts and good faith have been exploited by unscrupulous "manuscript editors," and reminds all SPAWNers to beware.

It seems that authors in great numbers fall into the clutches of bogus "editors" because they fail to take simple steps to investigate the backgrounds of same. This does not have to happen in this age of instantly available information from the Internet.

There are Internet sites that give solid advice on how to choose literary agents and publishers, and libraries and bookstores carry many volumes on the same topic.

For example, if an agent tells a writer that his/her manuscript is "terrific but needs a little work," and then proceeds to recommend an editor to do the "little work," a simple Internet search will immediately let the writer know whether that particular "editor" has been accused of large-scale scamming ( giving the "agent" a percentage of whatever money the editor can get from unsuspecting writers).

We all need information about writing scams and the scammers. Unfortunately, it seems that many victims have done nothing to educate themselves about the plans and procedures they are undertaking when they send money to an "editor" to improve their manuscripts. Writers too often don't ask simple questions of those to whom they entrust their work.

We all need to protect ourselves and each other. At a 1997 Santa Barbara Chapter Meeting, SPAWN Board of Directors Member, author, talk-show host and Los Angeles Times columnist Frances Halpern addressed this very issue with regard to the many complaints about Edit, Ink. Richard Cote of Richard Cote and Associates Ghostwriting, Screenwriting and Editing Services, has repeatedly warned writers about the many complaints concerning Commonwealth Press in the same regard.

Let's listen up!


by Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Aren't we all getting a bit tired of the search engines? Pages full of graphics and ads take forever to come up. Then the search is successful, and we have 17,253 items! It can take 20 minutes to rummage through the first 20 sites listed, and sometimes we still have no helpful information. What to do?

WebFerret to the rescue. WebFerret is a searching program for your PC computer. WebFerret takes your list of keywords or exact phrase and searches through the major online search engines, but WebFerret brings you only the results, not those slow search engine pages. WebFerret Displays a list of the researched site pages. Place a cursor over the title of an interesting page, and you see a short description of each page. Double click on the title, and WebFerret brings up your browser so that you can see the full site page online. You'll be amazed at the time you'll save.

Go immediately to

Scroll down to WebFerret Freeware. Click on the link to download the file. After downloading, double-click on the file to start the installation wizard. Follow the wizard until the installation is complete.

Important: Unless you are sure that your require a proxy, do NOT select the proxy option. If you currently use e-mail and you are browsing the Internet, you should not have to worry about the proxy.

BookExpo May 30-June 1, 1998

This May, you will find BookExpo America at the McCormick Place Complex in Chicago. Attendees appreciated McCormick Place last year. Unlike some earlier venues, it's big enough to house the entire event in one place, simplifying attendance at all events.

The most important publishing industry trade event, BookExpo was a success last year without the participation of the largest publishers. Noting the strength of the industry, this year the biggies will be back; Random House, Bantam DoubleDay Dell, Harper Collins, Hearst, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, St. Martin's, Simon & Schuster and Penguin International have announced plans to participate.

BookExpo is designed to be a place to meet and do business in many different ways. The exhibit floor is the primary meeting place, of course, but BookExpo also offers more casual environments for authors, publishers and booksellers. At the First Annual Pub Crawl and the Author Entertainment Platforms, attendees will find a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of time to eat and laugh together.

Sign up now for May in Chicago at If Chicago doesn't fit your travel plans this year, be sure to save time for BookExpo 1999 in Los Angeles at the Convention Center.

~ Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's Webmaster, is a technical writer both in print and online, editor and professional webmaster. She is at, or SPAWN's Website,


Getting The Word Out About SPAWN Events

Santa Barbara Chapter President Andora Hodgin reports that members from all three chapters participated in SPAWN's Holiday Exhibition and Sale of Books, Art and Services, held on December 13, 1997 at the Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum in Santa Barbara. The event was widely publicized in the media, including the Santa Barbara Independent, which featured a photograph of SPAWNer Sara Culmone's art work.

It was also publicized in the Montecito Journal, Santa Barbara News-Press, and on KDB Radio's Cultural Calendar announced by Janice Birlenbach. Frances Halpern's weekly column "Words and Images," which runs every Thursday in the Los Angeles Times, regularly lists SPAWN events.

Distinguished visitors included Marsha Karpeles, Founder and Director of libraries and museums in seven locations throughout the United States; Dianne Vapnek, Founder and Producer of SummerDance, the Annual Dance Festival in Santa Barbara; Ashleigh Brilliant, author and creator of the popular syndicated "Pot-Shots"; Regine Astier, international choreographer and dance historian; and John Taylor-Convery, publisher of Cadmus Editions.

This first-time event showcased the work of SPAWN Founder and Executive Director Mary Embree, SPAWN Advisory Council Member Patricia Fry, SPAWNews Editor Kathy Schultz, and members Tana Bevan, Janice Birlenbach, Joe Cardella, Jari Chevalier, Linda Conover, Sara Culmone, Helen Gordon, R.E. Mark Lee, Joyce Lombard, Gene and Linda Perret, Dan Poynter and Catherine Templeton.

The Exhibition and Sale was open to the general public. There was no entrance fee and participants donated ten percent of their sales to help cover production costs.

SPAWN members and friends contributed their professional services to produce this event. Andora Hodgin was coordinator and publicist with generous assistance from Linda Conover, Sara Culmone, Soeren Johnson, Chuck Jorgensen, Coni Kalinowski and the Karpeles staff. u



Andora Hodgin, President of the Santa Barbara Chapter of SPAWN, will be honored by the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance on April 26 at a benefit event for the Outward Reach/Inward Touch Youth Program, which provides arts opportunities for at-risk young people. Ms. Hodgin is an arts activist, adventurer and innovator with a lifelong commitment to the literary, visual and performing arts. Her professional career spans 50 years, beginning in 1945 in New York City as a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

SPAWN: How did your dancing career begin?

Hodgin: Dancing with Martha Graham in her "Primitive Mysteries" at the Ziegfeld Theatre In New York in February 1947. Graham was profoundly charismatic, a 20th century genius who inspired me and countless others, and changed the course of my life.

SPAWN: When did you first realize you wanted to become a dancer?

Hodgin: At the age of three, when I spontaneously danced down the aisle of a North Carolina church to the organ music.

SPAWN: How did your writing begin?

Hodgin: Writing press releases for the Morningside Dance Center and proposals for arts events at Columbia University. As a result, coverage appeared in the New York Times, New York Post, Village Voice, and Cue Magazine. I wrote funding proposals and reports for the Cultural Council Foundation Artists Project.

SPAWN: You founded the Total Theater for Youth Company. How did that come about?

Hodgin: Theater was a logical outgrowth of my childhood, professional experiences and personal philosophy. My father was an actor, writer and professor of English Literature. He took me to rehearsals and performances where I saw the inner workings of a theater company. I studied drama in addition to dance, and if I hadn't been very shy, I might have become an actress. But after I saw Martha Graham's Company in 1941, I knew that dance must be my commitment.

Through movement I was able to express strong feelings I could not express verbally. I worked as a professional dancer and choreographer in New York City for eleven years until my biological clock ticked so loudly that I retired from performing. My husband, Richard T. Eveleth, and I had two wonderful children, Kim T. Eveleth and Roger D. Eveleth. I balanced family life with teaching dance at Columbia University-Teachers College, directing the Morningside Dance Center there, and producing dance performances and arts festivals.

As a modern dancer, I was always interested in the creative process, in how people can be free to express themselves through an art form. I had a strong urge to have my own company, and to help young people create original material (dance, sketches, poetry and songs) from their own thoughts and feelings. The Andora Hodgin Total Theater Inc., included the Total Theater for Youth Company, the first multi-ethnic young company to create original material and perform in theaters, streets, parks, museums, libraries and hospitals.

I produced the first New York City Youth Theater Festival in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Shakespeare Festival, the Schubert Organization, and the Public Library. We presented events at Lincoln Center, many libraries and in Central Park.

SPAWN: How did you obtain funding for such an undertaking?

Hodgin: I wrote proposals, called everyone I knew who might be helpful, and was fortunate in receiving a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for three consecutive years. Additional support came from the Capezio Foundation, individual contributions, fundraising events, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

SPAWN: When did you become involved in arts criticism?

Hodgin: I began writing dance performance reviews after I moved to Santa Barbara. I was working in the local arts scene, including with the Santa Barbara Ballet and the Santa Barbara Arts Council, and was asked to write reviews for the Santa Barbara News-Press.

SPAWN: Your writing career seems to have many facets.

Hodgin: I've written for ArtsNews and the Santa Barbara Arts Magazine. Special assignments included interviews at the Santa Barbara Poetry Festival. I've edited fiction and nonfiction books on health, sports, history/memoirs and a murder mystery. I'm currently working as a writer, editor, producer and publicist for creative individuals and organizations.

SPAWN: You must have met your share of fascinating people.

Hodgin: One of the most interesting was the great actress Dame Judith Anderson. When I arrived at her Montecito home there was a police car outside. I worried that something terrible had happened to her, but she answered the door and explained that the policeman was a resident in her home.

Having seen her towering performances in Medea and her sinister Mrs. Danvers in the film Rebecca, I was surprised at how tiny she was in height. In spirit, she was monumental, and she was in her eighties. She was lively and humorous and shared with me key experiences from her childhood and career. She showed me signed photographs from famous friends, including Toscanini.

SPAWN: You are a true crossover artist, active in art, dance, theater and literature. How do you manage to do so many things so well?

Hodgin: Being a crossover artist came naturally to me because I've always loved all the arts. I've adjusted my career to the different stages of life, changing circumstances and my drive to explore new areas of expression and involvement. There is a common thread through all the arts—the need to communicate, to create something meaningful, truthful, beautiful, new. The artist has a vision, and may be compelled to share it in a variety of forms. Martha Graham said: "There is only one of you in all of time, and if you don't give what you have to the world, it will be lost forever."


Frustrated because the index isn't complete enough or organized to your satisfaction? Become an indexer yourself and remedy that situation. The Southern California Chapter of the American Society of Indexers (ASI) will have a luncheon meeting Saturday, April 4, from 11a.m.-3p.m. in Pasadena at the Hamburger Hamlet Restaurant, 214 South Lake Ave. (Park in the lot at corner of Cordova and Mentor.)

A good opportunity for novice indexers is also upcoming at the ASI Annual Conference in Seattle on May 13-16. The preconference workshops beginning on the 13th feature a two-part basic indexing workshop. The conference is also a good way to meet indexers and find out about issues relevant to newcomers. The program is detailed on ASI's website. (URL is no longer available as of 10/2/00.)

If you can't make it to Pasadena or Seattle, Southern California Chapter contact Bonny McLaughlin tells us that the most popular educational tool for new indexers is a self-paced correspondence course offered by the USDA. Students complete assignments as their time permits, then mail them in for correction by professional indexers. The course fee is $280, and it is described in detail on the ASI website under "Conferences, Workshops and Courses," and at the USDA's own website as well:

"Local chapter meetings are a good place to meet people," Bonny says. "You'll find a number of people willing to help you as informal mentors." She can be contacted for further information at

Among other benefits, ASI Members receive the monthly newsletter, See And See Also (which if nothing else, makes our list of all-time great newsletter names).

"The chief purpose of an index is distillation, and in performing that task it can manage to suggest a life's incongruities with a concision that the most powerful biographical stylist will have trouble matching."

~ Thomas Mallon

New York Times, March 10, 1991

"The ocean flows of online information are all streaming together, and the access tools are becoming absolutely critical. If you don't index it, it doesn't exist. It's out there but you can't find it, so it might as well not be out there."

~ Barbara Quint, 1994 ASI Conference

"Index learning turns no student pale,

Yet holds the eel of science by the tail."

~ Alexander Pope, The Dunciad

"Real indexers browse the index."

~ ASI Website


Technical Standards Inc., an employment agency for technical writers and documentation specialists, has a website at with lots of information about what computer "killer skills" companies currently hiring writers and artists are looking for, how to solve software or technical writing problems, and software reviews.

The Webzine Word is a collection of literature and social commentary on view at Visitors number 100,000 per day at this 'zine that was launched after its two founders/co-editors met online.

For novelists, screenwriters and filmmakers, features reviews of many software programs formatted to streamline writers' labor.


Kingman Films International's screenwriting competition features $1 million in prize money and production of winning scripts. Submissions are accepted April 1-June 30, 1998. For info send a SASE to King Arthur Screenwriters, c/o scr(i)pt Magazine, 5638 Sweet Air Road, Baldwin, MD 21013, or call 410-592-3466.

This issue of SPAWNews will be the last one I have the privilege of serving as editor. A new professional opportunity has entered my life, and I will no longer have the time necessary to compile this newsletter. I have enjoyed meeting so many of you during my tenure here. Thank you for your support, input and critiques. I enjoy the critiques—truly I do! You have all made my Reign of Error a lot of fun.


Kathy Schultz




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