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SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
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SPAWNews, October, 1997 - Archives Available

SPAWN INCORPORATES

The Board of Directors of SPAWN met on September 20 to elect officers and to form a nonprofit corporation. As we have organized and are operating for educational and literary purposes, we intend to file for a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation status. Once it is approved, SPAWN will be eligible for government and foundation grants and all donations will be tax deductible.

Members as well as the general public will benefit from SPAWN's becoming a nonprofit as we will then be able to raise funds for projects such as educational and mentoring programs for youth, for publishing educational materials and for producing educational audio- and videotapes.

It will cost about $500 to file and we are asking you, our members and friends, for contributions to help us offset that expense. If we receive our 501(c)3 designation, your contribution will be deductible retroactively. In any event, it may be deductible as a business expense.

Please send your donation to SPAWN at P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, California, 93002-2653. A contribution in any amount will be helpful and greatly appreciated!

SPAWN SEMINAR

Saturday November 15,

9 a.m. ~ 12 noon at the Ventura TowneHouse

Joan L. Jones is the President of Write Pros Professional Writing and Manuscript Editing Services and holds a Master's in Professional Writing Degree from UCLA. She teaches writing at UCLA, Pierce College, and CSUN. She has worked with hundreds of published writers. Her coaching, manuscript critiques, and editing help her students to reach their publication goals. She is an award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction, and has published in local as well as national publications.

Jones' SPAWN Seminar is entitled "The Cost of Writing Effectively: How To Make The Right Decisions." The Seminar will focus on the financial aspects of building a writing career. Topics covered will include the "basic nuts and bolts," including understanding the marketplace and the importance of the query letter. Jones will address the tough questions: do you listen to friends or pay for good classes? Attend informal critique groups or serious workshops with credentialied leaders? Write what you feel or what you know? How do you KNOW that you're ABLE to write what you feel? What has this COST you so far in your writing career? How do you deal with rejection and criticism? The seminar is $30 for members and $38 for nonmembers, and begins at 9 a.m. sharp.

SANTA BARBARA CONTEMPORARY ARTS FORUM

by Andora Hodgin

SPAWN's Santa Barbara Chapter is proud to co-host two special events with the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF): "Publishing Fine Art Books," a Seminar and Exhibition Tour on October 11 with artist/writer Mary Heebner, and artists/publishers Harry and Sandra Reese of Turkey Press, and a Seminar on "Breaking Age Barriers in the Arts" on November 8, featuring a lecture/ performance of "Who Counts?" with actress/writer/producer Helena Hale.

Founded in 1976 by local artists and arts lovers, Santa Barbara Arts Forum has become the primary contemporary arts center between Los Angeles and San Francisco and has earned an international reputation as one of the nation's leading alternative arts spaces. CAF provides a lively arena for the presentation, documentation and support of a wide variety of visual, performance and media arts. Committed to encouraging the creation and showing of new work of high artistic merit, CAF presents the work of local, regional, national and international artists in 15 to 20 exhibitions annually, and operates extensive education and outreach programs, including lectures, panel discussions, catalogs, video programs, artists' gallery talks, classes in contemporary art and technical assistance workshops.

CAF aims to promote the understanding of contemporary art as an expression of aesthetic and social issues of our times, and is dedicated to the freshest, the newest, the most innovative, the most provocative, and the best in contemporary art. Nancy Doll is CAF Director, and Rita Ferri is Assistant Director in charge of Education and Outreach.

CAF is located on the second floor of Paseo Nuevo (Santa Barbara's downtown Shopping Center), corner of Chapala and De la Guerra Streets. The entrances to CAF are accessible from the top parking level (enter on Chapala Street just up from Ortega Street), the Chapala Street staircase, and the elevator. Free parking is available in Paseo Nuevo and on nearby streets.

For additional information, see Page 2, "Chapter News."

–Andora Hodgin, an editorial consultant and arts and publicity consultant, is President of the Santa Barbara Chapter of SPAWN.

SPAWN S.B. Writers Circle

Santa Barbara Chapter member Dallas Glenn is facilitating a writers' group for SPAWN members of any level—beginner or published—who seek a safe place to read and give feedback. Interested writers may contact her at 805/899-1174.

MEMBER NEWS

Just released: The Righteous Rebel: Adam Cloud and the Natchez Intrigues,

1790-1795, a novel by Catherine Cloud Templeton; published by Eakin Press; 410 pages; $19.95.

Based on the remarkable story of SPAWN member "Kittie" Templeton's great-great-grandfather, The Righteous Rebel is about the young pioneer's arduous journey with his wife and baby daughter from New Jersey to "The Natchez." In her riveting tale, the author relates the joys and struggles of the young ordained deacon in settling the wild and beautiful region and building the first Episcopal church in Mississippi.

In his review, Kenneth W. Wills, Archivist, Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi states, "Catherine Cloud Templeton has crafted a tale of intricate historical detail woven about the true story of Adam Cloud. Her careful research, her emotional and cerebral feeling for life and times of 200 years ago, come shining through with professional skill." Congratulations, Kittie!

CHAPTER NEWS

Ventura

The Ventura Chapter meets the third Sunday of each month at 7 p.m. on the 7th Floor of the Ventura TowneHouse. The guest fee for nonmembers is $5.

On Sunday, October 19, attorney Ivan Hoffman will be our guest speaker. Mr. Hoffman has represented artists and writers in all aspects of intellectual property rights, including licensing, copyrights, contracts for musicians, artists, and authors, and is the author of Internet Law Simplified. Mr. Hoffman is an internationally recognized authority on publishing and copyright law.

On Sunday November 16, Jari Chevalier, a former winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, writing professor, editor, author and creator of the Tapping the Innermost VoiceSM Creative Writing Program, will share some of her productivity-increasing techniques. Her students' comments include: "During more than ten years working as a novelist I have never encountered a course that made such a profound difference in my writing," and "It would be impossible for anyone not to write if they use the Tapping exercises."

Call Chapter President Kathy Schultz at 805/644-9843 for further information.

Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and the Santa Barbara Chapter will co-host "Publishing Fine Art Books," at CAF on Saturday, October 11 at 1:30 p.m. with Harry and Sandra Reese, artists and publishers of Turkey Press, and artist/writer Mary Heebner. This is a unique opportunity for SPAWN members and guests to meet these exceptionally talented, original, and eloquent artists.

Opportunities for artists, illustrators and art book publishing will be discussed, art books will be displayed, and Heebner will give a tour of her CAF exhibition, "Paragaea: The Island Paintings." Admission is free for CAF and SPAWN members. Guest donations of $5 will be appreciated.

The Reese's have collaborated with numerous well-known artists, producing over 50 art books in various limited editions.

Harry Reese is an Associate Professor at UCSB, Chair of the Department Art Studio, and Founder/Director of the Book Arts Program in the College of Creative Studies. Sandra Liddell Reese's most recent projects include Heart Island and The Standard. She has worked with many artists, writers, curators, and designers in planning and producing special limited editions and commissioned projects.

Turkey Press was established in 1974 as an independent publisher of books, prints and art projects. Its publications are collected by major museums and libraries in the U.S. and Europe, and its archives now belong to the Getty Research Institute. Edition Reese was established in 1990 to produce artists' publications in limited editions.

Mary Heebner is widely esteemed for her evocative and magical art. Since 1978, exhibitions of her work have been held in museums and galleries world-wide, and her works are in the collections of major museums, corporations and private collectors. Her paintings and poetry have been published together in books of great beauty.

Just a reminder—the December meeting, at the Karpeles Manuscript Library and Museum will be a "Holiday Exhibition of Books, Arts and Services." All SPAWN members are invited to talk about and display their publications, art works and services. Items will be available for purchase. To participate in the "Holiday Exhibition" and for additional information regarding the October and November events, call Santa Barbara Chapter President Andora Hodgin at 805/962-4680.

Conejo Valley

The Conejo Valley Chapter meets the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at 29376 Mulholland Hwy. in Agoura. The guest fee is $5.

The speaker at the October 20 meeting will be Susan Casey, President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Writers Union (NWU). NWU has 4000 members including journalists, novelists, biographers, historians, poets, children's book authors, technical writers, cartoonists, romance and mystery writers, and textbook authors. NWU represents its members in legal cases of nonpayment from publishers, and works to prevent the exploitation of writers' work by electronic media corporations, both in print and on the Internet. The Union informs writers about agent negotiations, book contracts, online publishing rights, and ongoing copyright reform issues.

NWU assists members in filing grievances to resolve disputes with book and magazine publishers, maintains an 'Agents Database' compiled by members for members, and offers group health insurance for freelance writers.

Educating writers about how to secure lost paychecks, NWU has recovered more than one million dollars in writers' fees held by recalcitrant employers.

A dynamic, well-informed speaker, Ms. Casey is also the author of the just-published Women Invent, a history of women inventors which is coming out this month.

Contact Chapter President Louise Cabral for further information at 818/707-0589.

Publish an Electronic Newsletter to Spread Your Word

by Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Anyone who has periodic news to deliver to a particular group should consider creating an electronic newsletter. As long as your readers use e-mail, you can save on printing and formatting costs by sending your newsletter electronically to everyone at once.

The major limitation of electronic newsletters is their format; they are simply text-based messages. You don't have the advantages of precise formatting with bold headings and italics for emphasis. This lack of formatting also means that you avoid the intricacies of squeezing an article to fit in its allotted space.

Of course, there are jazzier alternatives. Those alternatives are seldom used because they are more expensive than an ordinary electronic newsletter. They also require your recipients to use the latest software, so there are very few formatted e-newsletters.

On the Internet, e-mail is the killer application. The unformatted newsletter is the way to go, and it's a lot easier than it sounds. Just follow five simple steps using your existing software.

  1. Write and edit your newsletter in your word processor, keeping the line length to 65 characters or less.
  2. Use the Copy option to copy all of your text. Then Paste the text into an e-mail message in your favorite e-mail program, such as Eudora.
  3. Place your own address in the To: field of the message.
  4. Under the Cc: field, you'll see the Bcc: field, the Blind Carbon Copy field. In the Bcc: field, enter all of the recipient e-mail addresses, separated by commas.
  5. Click on Send, and every address listed in the Bcc: field will receive a copy of your newsletter. Because you used the Bcc: field, no one will see anyone else's address. This privacy becomes important as the mailing list for your newsletter gets larger.

You will be publishing your newsletter inexpensively, getting your word out, and protecting the privacy of your list.

-Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's Webmaster, is a technical writer, editor, and professional webmaster who specializes in the presentation of information both in print and online. She can be reached at virginia@cognitext.com., or at SPAWN's Website, http://www.spawn.org.

WE STAND CORRECTED!

"What Can Editors Do For Small Publishers?" (SPAWNews September 1997) contained a grammatical error that was caught by sharp-eyed SPAWNer Rose Booth. The offending sentence was "Clarity, cohesion, conciseness, and good proofreading never hurts sales." The verb should have been "hurt" instead of "hurts" because, as Rose pointed out, "compound subjects require plural verbs." It was unfortunate, Rose noted, "that in a column on editing and proofreading, such an error should occur." Too true!

If you're in the market for an editor's editor, we recommend Rose.

- KS

POETRY CONTEST

The National Library of Poetry will be awarding a total of $48,000 to 250 winners during its 1997-98 North American Open Amateur Poetry Contest. Winners will also be considered for inclusion in the Library's anthology. Contact The National Library of Poetry, 1 Poetry Plaza, Ste. 14825, Owings Mills, MD 21117-6282, or enter online at www.poetry.com.

COMPUTERS ANYONE ?

Our Novice Computer Users group focuses on those over 55, but we welcome anyone who is just starting out. Please call Ruth Hibbard at 805/654-1294, or email her at rahibbard@ jetlink.net

THE SPAWN INTERVIEW

IVAN HOFFMAN, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW

Ivan Hoffman will be SPAWN's guest speaker at the Ventura Chapter meeting on Sunday, October 19. Mr. Hoffman has practiced law for 23 years, specializing in copyright law, publishing law, and all matters pertaining to intellectual property. He has represented numerous high-profile artists, writers, and musicians in contractual matters. A visit to his website at http://home.earthlink.net/~ivanlove reveals a wealth of articles about copyrights, contracts, writing and publishing law, recording and music law, internet law, and web design issues gleaned from his years operating the Lawyering With IntegritySM legal practice.

SPAWN: What are your top caveats for self-publishers today?

HOFFMAN: Learn value and not merely cost. Watch out for foreign publishing deals. They can be lucrative but only if you know how to structure them. Look for alternative sources of distribution including but not limited to the Internet.

SPAWN: What about musicians producing their own CDs/tapes?

HOFFMAN: Make certain you own or have rights to all the music and/or recordings. Keep in mind that a band is deemed a partnership, with all players being equal, unless there is a written contract to the contrary. This contract can perhaps save many headaches later on.

SPAWN: And what about for self-published authors producing audiotapes of their books?

The best way to protect your material in cyberspace is to adopt a policy of protecting the other person's material. I practice Internet law because I see a need for the adaptation of copyright and trademark law to this new medium.

HOFFMAN: That's the same as for musicians.

SPAWN: Is there any way, honestly, to protect material in cyberspace? If a writer puts something on the Internet, it seems there's no way to know or control where it goes, who downloads it and prints it as their own. Is the legal system addressing this adequately enough? Writers are doing this all the time. They consider it advertising for their work, hoping readers will be interested and then pay to see more.

HOFFMAN: The Net is ripe for a new way of approaching business. I write a series of articles under the general heading of "e-THICS"™. The best way to protect your material in cyberspace is to adopt a policy of protecting the other person's material. I practice Internet law because I see a need for the adaptation of copyright and trademark law to this new medium.

SPAWN: In the history of the industry, there have been cases where writers and artists were either not reimbursed or outright ripped off. What can we learn from these cases?

HOFFMAN: What we can learn from these stories is the importance of value and not cost alone. Having a strong contract and being careful about your rights often pays for itself.

SPAWN: From a legal point of view, what has been the biggest change in the publishing industry in the last 10 years?

HOFFMAN: Both the consolidation of publishers under the larger corporate umbrella and the Internet. One has made it

more difficult to get one's work published and the other easier.

SPAWN: Will there ever come a time when publishing contracts can be shorter and simpler (so that a normal person might even be able to read them), or has the litigious nature of our society made that impossible?

SPAWN: I certainly cannot know the future but the more that exploitation of rights expands, such as with e-publishing and the Internet, including CD-ROMs etc., the more complex the publishing agreement needs to be. This takes me back to value and not cost. If the publisher is to protect him/herself in the growing market of exploitation, the publisher has to see that to resort to "standard form" contracts, while perhaps less costly in the beginning than having an attorney draft an appropriate agreement, is likely to be quite expensive in the long run if those agreements do not protect the publisher in many areas, including providing the full complement of rights. Best to do it right in the first place so that the publisher is in a position to capitalize on the growing market.

SPAWN: As a lawyer, what is your take on the eternal friction between artists concerned only with quality art, who don't want to "sell out," and the people who are concerned only with the bottom line—those who promote and sell their art?

HOFFMAN: This is in my mind a complete fiction. We all need the response from the outer world to our work and those who say they do not are quite unconvincing to me. That response can only take the form of commercial success as a concrete measure of "worth." It is certainly not the only measure of worth but it is the only one that has some objectivity to it. Everything else is but opinion. And opinion, the artist's own opinion or the opinion of friends, can only go so far. At some point, every artist needs to sell something to feel truly worth something.

SPAWN: Does this issue have anything to do with why you title your practice "Lawyering With IntegritySM "? What exactly do you mean by that? What in your experience caused you to label yourself this way?

HOFFMAN: Twenty-three years of practicing law has enabled me to label myself this way.

WRITERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE

by Jim R. Lane

Do editors get paid in copies? What about the printer or the post office? Without writers there would be nothing to publish and no one would get paid. Let's call a strike. All writers immediately cease submitting to "copy payers" and withdraw rights for anything already submitted. Keep it up for a year and these cheap little mags will either cough up some money or close down.

No pay, no words.

You know it won't work. Too many writers too desperate to get into print—I declare this as one once afflicted. We have given these publishers control since we'd kiss an orangutan's derrière to see print. It undermines the whole writing economy, is good for no one, including those who do manage to sell their work, when freebies flood the market. Is there another business where people give product away so others can make money from it? Poets are freebie freaks of the first order because even well-written poetry doesn't sell. They are reduced to contests with big entry fees, a copy of the completed anthology and the right to buy more at 10 percent discount. Poets have to be their own market! But the editor gets paid, the printer gets paid….

Are we lunatics or just seeking validation of our worth? Judging by the evidence, our worth is zero and we are lunatics—a pair of reasons I won't write for magazines. Another is it can take years to get a response—from editors who complain about multiple submissions. You might be able to sue them if you can find a lawyer who will work for copies of the judgment.

A writers' strike… It was a pleasant passing thought. By the way, how many copies do I get for this?

- Jim R. Lane is an author and the Owner/Publisher of Streamline Publications Professional Writing Services.

WORKING ON SITE

The Children's Book Council now hosts a website at http://www. cbcbooks.org/ that describes its programs and includes articles from the CBC newsletter.

A writers' resource site, www.inkspot.com features wide-ranging topics from legal issues to quotes about the creative struggle and a biweekly newsletter called Inklings.

Art history researchers can go to www-fofa.concordia.ca/arth/AHRC/ intro.htm to search art journals, visit online museum sites, join the Artcrit mailing list, and peruse a guide to using the Internet as a research tool for art historians.

ARTISTS AND SCREENWRITERS

Cal State Northridge's new Entertainment Industry Institute will offer curriculum, degree and certificate programs in television, music, film, graphic arts, and audio technology, preparing students for work in all aspects of the entertainment industry. The Institute will provide interdisciplinary studies in collaboration with existing programs in business, liberal arts, economics, engineering and computer science. It will be housed in the College of Arts, Media, and Communication. The Institute has been developed as a result of a creative alliance between the University and leaders in the entertainment industry, many of whom are CSUN alumni.

For further information call CSUN at 818/677-CSUN.

How to negotiate with editors, publishers, agents, producers, and distributors:

"In the very torrent, tempest, and as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness."

- William Shakespeare

WINNING PHOTOS

SPAWN member Susan Pyburn's two entries in the 1997 Ventura County Fair Photography Competition won First Awards in their respective categories. And SPAWNer Patricia Fry—a multifaceted artist who's authored books, magazine articles and a contribution to the 1998 Writer's Market—garnered an Honorable Mention for her photo entry in the Fair.

Pyburn's photos, including the Fair winners and a dozen others, will be on display on the walls of Frankie's Restaurant on Main Street in downtown Ventura for one month beginning October 13. Congratulations SPAWNers!

       

 

 

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