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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, February, 2004

Wendy Dager, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail the editor of SPAWNews:

Those of you who are members, be sure to go to the first page of the site, and click on the "Visit Member Area" button. You will be asked to log in.

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Table of Contents

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Editor’s Note

I’ve harped on this before, but poor spelling is a major peeve of mine. Therefore, for this month’s editor’s note, I’m sharing a rant—uh, column—I wrote for the Ventura County Star (CA) newspaper. Due to space constraints, this is an edited version. –Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews.

Ordering up a Taco With a Side of Good Spelling

By Wendy Dager

Taking the 12-year-old for fast food after school was a special treat. We went in, ordered, got food, walked out and loaded our munchies and ourselves into the car. Before we drove away, something caught our attention. Fastened to the outside wall of the Taco Bell were two identical signs, intended to discourage skaters and loiterers.


The 12-year-old and I had a little chuckle.

Sure, I thought it was funny, but the errors still annoyed me. What was annoying was that someone at Taco Bell had to order the signs, someone had to approve the order, someone had to print the signs, and a fourth someone screwed the stupid things to the wall. I don’t want to hear about how minimum wage employees shouldn’t be expected to spell. I make less than minimum wage and I can spell. And what was wrong with the printer? Did he feel it wasn’t his job to proofread? It’s not as if it were a 100-page document. It was a sign, with fewer than 20 words. There are too many individuals in this universe who take a "whatever" attitude when it comes to spelling, as if it’s not an important part of being able to communicate and function in a world where image is paramount to success.

The next day, I took pictures of the sign, then went inside the restaurant and asked for the manager. When I explained that the severely messed up sign intrigued me, she politely smiled as if I were a mildly crazy person and pointed to the district manager, who happened to be in the restaurant at that moment. The district manager told me that he was aware of one typo on the sign. I told him there were three. He said the signs were made locally and that new ones were supposed to be on order. He was very nice, but I was a little disappointed with his nonchalant response. I guess it wasn’t like I’d found a severed finger in my Burrito Supreme. Apparently, massacring the English language is not high on a fast food chains’ list of customer complaints.

So I called Taco Bell’s district headquarters. I talked to Monica. I asked her if she felt the misspellings were a reflection on Taco Bell. I also e-mailed her a picture of the sign. She thanked me for my call and said she’d have someone call me back.

The next day, I drove by Taco Bell, and there were two big, square, blank, white patches on the yellow paint where the signs once hung. A couple of days later, I got a nice e-mail from Laurie, Taco Bell’s public relations director. She said they take a lot of pride in their restaurants and always take immediate steps to correct an error. The signs would be replaced by the end of the week. I’m pretty sure no one in corporate had anything to do with the misspellings and I appreciate that they jumped on the problem, no matter how silly my reporting of it seemed. Taco Bell did the right thing.

And even though it won’t completely cure the poor spelling epidemic, those new signs will make me feel a little better next time I order an Enchurito. Or Encherito. Enchirito? Whatever. –Reprinted with permission from the Ventura County Star,

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SPAWN Joins the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Imagine promoting your book to an audience of 150,000 people! SPAWN has purchased a booth at America’s largest literary event, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. We’ll be promoting SPAWN and selling members’ books during the two-day festival, April 24 and 25, 2004. This is a great opportunity for authors to get the word out about your potential best seller. If you’re a member, just send us 15 copies of your book along with a check for $35. Also include 100 promo pieces (no larger than 5 x 7, please—the smaller, the better). We will give your book a front row seat, offer a sales pitch when appropriate and collect money from your customers. Remember, this is for MEMBERS ONLY. So if you have a book to sell and you haven’t joined SPAWN, this is a good time to do it. Please contact Patricia Fry for additional information,

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Is Your Book or Business Featured in the SPAWN Catalog of Members’ Books and Services?

The SPAWN Catalog will also go to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where we plan to distribute at least 300 copies during the two-day event. The 34 books and services already featured in the Catalog will remain in the Catalog through August. If you wish to have your book or service added for the coming year, please contact Virginia Lawrence at There is a $35 fee for inclusion in the Catalog, and this offer is for members only. ($20 if you are participating in the SPAWN booth at LA Times Festival of Books.) To view the SPAWN Catalog of Member Books and Services, go to

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Virus Alert

By Virginia Lawrence

There is a new set of very active viruses. They are slowing down the Web and infecting computers. They even send e-mails that appear to be from someone you know.

Here's what happens: A virus infects a computer, and then grabs all addresses in the address book and sends itself to every address. It uses one of the addresses as the "From" address, so e-mails may appear to be from someone you know.

These viruses only use Outlook to send themselves out. That's why I advise everyone to use Eudora. Whether you are willing to switch to Eudora or not, that's your choice. However, for the sake of your computer and to help restore sanity to the Internet, please get an antivirus program. I like Norton Antivirus from or McAfee Antivirus from Also, you should keep their antivirus software up to date so that when viruses arrive, they will be immediately killed. Norton Antivirus lets you sign up for automatic weekly updates. Protect yourself now!

If you are infected with a virus, Symantec offers a free removal tool for finding and deleting the W32.novarg or Doom virus. Download from the following address and follow the instructions.

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SPAWN Market Update

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. The February SPAWN Market Update has something for writers, artists and cartoonists. We’ve included 15 good fiction markets complete with contact information, literary needs and pay scale. There are 7 unique opportunities, including writing for a magazine that’s worth $100 million. You can also earn money writing book reviews, become a paid agent, find out how to land a radio interview, and get a gig at Modern Tales Comics on the Web. You’ll also discover tips and techniques to help jumpstart your writing/marketing year. Those of you with unpublished novels will appreciate our interview with James Pannell of Brook Street Press. Here’s an excerpt.

"Fiction, particularly literary fiction, is a real crapshoot. I really believe that the best way to launch such a title is to concentrate on the independent bookstores and try to get reviews. But, with reviews shrinking in all the major papers and magazines, it is really, really tough. Authors doing readings helps a lot as well, though these `literary’ authors are often cranky types that don’t want to leave home (one author I have refers to his room where he works as ‘The Bat Cave’). Personally, I think that print advertising for literary fiction is largely a waste of money. I have asked every publisher I have talked to how much they spend on print advertising for such books and why they do it. Every single one has given me a very large number but also confessed that if they stopped doing it they would see little, if any, impact on book sales. They all say they do it to make the author happy. Sounds like a pretty stupid business plan to me! So, bottom line, finding creative ways to get the word out on literary fiction is what I spend most of my ‘marketing’ time thinking about. Again, why one title does well and another doesn’t is utterly luck of the draw."

Become a SPAWN member so that you can enjoy 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,

In this month’s Market Update, you'll discover:

  • The database of writers contests
  • The contact information for a radio personality looking to interview authors who have written books on personal empowerment
  • A fiction publisher’s opinion of cover blurbs
  • The poetry magazine that pays good money for your poems
  • The greeting card company looking for artists, cartoonists and copywriters
  • The list of 15 publishers looking for fiction manuscripts

All of that and more in the December SPAWN Market Update.

Free to SPAWN members. SPAWN gives you the Business Side of Writing.

To join SPAWN, click on the Join SPAWN Now button.

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SPAWN Chapter Reports


Our January meeting had 9 attendees, which is really good for being deep in the middle of flu season. Several people e-mailed to apologize for not coming due to illness. Each meeting has brought at least one new interested member, too.

Terry Sherrell of Morgan Printing was our guest speaker and her topic was "Book Printing Demystified." She brought many samples of books printed and bound in different ways, showing options available that some may not have known about. Terry also presented films, proofs, and books in various stages of production to help members understand what happens after your files go to the printer. She even had a few examples of what not to do.

Our February speaker will be member Stephanie Carlson of Sasnak Industries. Her presentation is entitled "Marketing Your Book Via the Web." She says, "You've completed your book and put together a Web site. Now what? Once your site is up, all the rest is marketing. Learn how to launch your Internet marketing campaign the right way." You won't want to miss this one!

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


Based on the strength and success of the California and Texas SPAWN alliances, we’d hoped that Baltimore would bring in a strong, supportive circle of publishers, artists and writers. While I have received numerous e-mails from members in and around Maryland regarding meetings, it seems that it has been difficult for some to attend.

Therefore, I am hoping that those of you who wish to offer your expertise as guest speakers on topics of interest to SPAWN members would contact me. I would also like to hear from SPAWN members and future members with suggestions on how we can run our meetings smoothly and successfully, while gaining increased attendance.

—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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Do you have information on where to publish "Twilight Zone" type stories?

Thank you,


Dear Carlos:

Are you familiar with "Writer's Market" or "Literary Market Place"? These are reference books found in most public libraries and they list potential markets for a variety of types of stories, articles and book manuscripts. You can also search the Internet for possible markets for your stories. Use keywords such as "Twilight Zone," "science fiction magazines," "science fiction publisher," and so forth.

Rappahannock publishes science fiction books, for example, as does Ace, Adventure Book Publishers, Baycrest Books, Cloud Peak and WindRiver Publishing. "Writer's Market" lists dozens more publishers within this category. They also list 10 magazines that publish science fiction, fantasy and horror stories.

If you write material that is similar to the old "Twilight Zone" show, you probably read it, too. Submit your work to some of the magazines you read. And if you're looking for a book publisher, find books on this subject at a major bookstore in your area and see who's publishing them. Find the publisher by doing a Web search or use one of the reference books I've suggested to locate their contact information. There are also Web sites dedicated to the Twilight Zone theme. Perhaps your stories could find a home on one of them.

As you're probably learning, in order to write for publication, one must be proactive and persistent.

Good luck,


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Dear Patricia,

I wrote a children's book that I wish to self publish. It is 16 pages with 14 color pictures. I’d like it to be hard cover with shiny front and back pictures. It is about 2100 words. I need to know what I will have to do in order to get a quote.

Thank you for your time and attention.


Dear M.C.:

My latest book, "The Successful Writer's Handbook," has a whole section on self-publishing and even gives a timeline for self-publishing. I recommend that while you're in the process of writing the book, you set up your publishing business (name your publishing company, apply for a fictitious business name, request a block of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), copyright forms and an Advanced Book Information form (ABI). About 6 months before completing your book, you should fill out the ABI form, assign an ISBN and order your Cataloguing in Publication data (needed by librarians who stock your book).

About 3 months before the book is completed, I recommend that you start getting quotes from printers. I would contact 8 to 10 printers. They want to know quantity of books, number of pages, type of binding, paper stock, size of book, number and type of illustrations, text color and cover ink (4-color, 2-color). Find printers listed in your local Yellow Pages, in "Literary Market Place" (in the reference section at your library), and get recommendations from other publishers. When you contact printers with your quote request, also ask for samples of their work.

As a member of SPAWN, you can get a discount from certain printers. One of them I have used and highly recommend is Action Printing. New members to SPAWN also get a copy of the book I referenced in this email, "The Successful Writer's Handbook."

I hope this has helped.



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SPAWN Member Web Site of the Month

This month’s URL is the Web site of SPAWN’s Austin Chapter Leader, Tamara Dever, TLC Graphics is an award-winning book design firm offering publishers outstanding customer service, quality, and special attention to detail. Tamara is also the newest member of SPAWN's Board.

"The site was created with Adobe PageMill and is actually in the midst of a complete and major overhaul. We hope to launch the new site by June," said Tamara. "The main purpose is to provide an online portfolio of our work to make it easy for potential clients to see what we can do for them. In creating the site, I quickly discovered that being a designer and knowing design programs does not mean that you know how to design and set up a Web site! Our current site is quite basic, but it's fairly easy for people to navigate and doesn't overshadow its contents with too many bells and whistles. The Web site allows us to tell people what we do, show examples of cover, interior, and promotional design, list valuable publishing resources, and offer information about publishing in the form of short articles."

If you are a SPAWN member and you would like to be featured in this space, please send a brief description of your site to SPAWN president Patricia Fry, If you are a newsletter subscriber who would like to become a member, please go to

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Optimizing for the Search Engines

Should You Use Invisible Text?

By Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

A client recently suggested that we should just use invisible text to place keywords on the Web site pages to get the Web site listed on the first pages of the search engines. Well, there’s "legal" invisible text and "illegal" invisible text.

Legal Invisible Text – Meta Tags

We can add text that is not visible on the Web site page if that text is in a "meta tag." We insert meta tags into the head area of the page, and those tags give the search engines some information on the contents of the page. Note that the tags do not describe the entire Web site, but only one page of the site.

The most common meta tags are:

Title Meta Tag – gives the short descriptive title for the page. This tag is usually about 50 characters long.

Description Meta Tag – gives the longer description for the page. This tag is usually around 200 characters long.

Keywords Meta Tag – gives the most important keywords for the page.

When we write these meta tags we are writing only about the current page. We are giving the search engines a little more information than they find within the visible text on the page. Most search engines currently pay no attention to the meta tags other than the Title tag, while a few search engines require these tags. A few search engines use the description tag as the description displayed with the site address. We still use these tags, but they are not particularly helpful in increasing our rankings.

Legal Invisible Text – Alt Tags

We can also add text in a different "alt tag" for each graphic on the page. The alt tags are short, usually 20 characters or less. Again, when we write these tags we are giving information only about the current page.

The alt tag was created to give information to people who are using browsers that do not display graphics. The alt tags should be describing the graphic or describing where the graphic link leads. We should not be loading alt tags with keywords.

Most search engines currently pay no attention to the alt tags, yet the information in the alt tags can sometimes help the page to rank better for the keywords in certain search engines.

Illegal Invisible Text

If we add white text to a Web page with a white background, we are adding illegal invisible text. If we add invisible comments packed with keywords, we are adding illegal invisible text. Most search engines simply ignore this type of invisible text. However, the search engines that do notice the text will penalize the site for using such text. In particular, Google will drop any site using this type of invisible text. We never add illegal invisible text, because it can only harm the ranking of the Web site in the search engines.

Visible Text – The Most Important Text

Always remember that it’s the visible text that interests the search engines, particularly Google. Google is working very hard to give searchers the best possible results for any search. Google wants to present a list of the most important pages for every search term.

Google considers a page important for a search term when that page actually talks about the search term. The Google algorithm is very sophisticated. It easily drops pages that simply reiterate a search term, yet it raises a page in the ranks if that page actually discusses the search term in question. For Google, a page dedicated to the discussion of the search term starts to look important for that term.

Google is also interested in how other sites link to the page. If other sites link to the page, describing the page with that search term, then the page rises in importance for that term. The other sites must be legitimate sites, however, not just link farms.


Visible Page Text - We present real information to the visitor who is searching for the keyword phrase.

Meta Tags - We add the basic meta tags for the search engines.

Incoming Links - We get the site listed in other search engines and in related sites.

The search engines are truly interested in the visible text on the page. If we want a page to rank well for a particular search term, we must dedicate a page to that keyword phrase.

–© 2004 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. SPAWN's Webmaster and Technology Editor, Virginia is a professional Web Designer and Online Marketing Consultant who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at or visit her Web site at

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The F-Xpert

By Richard F.X. O’Connor

What’s Going On With eBooks?

As recently as five years ago, I was saying that eBooks were still evolving and that they had no discernable audience. To keep up with changing times, I ask two questions of my lecture audiences: Do you own a device other than your PC, such as a Palm Pilot, for downloading books? And how many eBooks have you downloaded and read in the last year?

Usually, the answer to both questions is one. That is, one person in the audience of writers cops to owning a device other than a PC and one person has downloaded a book in the last year. Hardly a scientific survey, but I’m simply trying to get a handle on this phenomenon.

More revealing is the following from a press release by Open eBook Forum (OeBF), self-described as the eBook industry trade and standards organization http://www.openebook,org). "Cumulative units sold for the first three quarters of 2003 (Jan-Sept) have surpassed the one million mark for the first time in a single year and are up 64% over Q3 2002. Revenues reported by retailers for the third quarter of 2003 were up a solid 37% over the same period in 2002."

Thirty companies—publishers and retailers—contributed to those stats. That’s good news since there are obviously many more than 30 publishers and retailers currently in the eBook biz. is considered a retailer (I detest "etailer") and has a separate bestseller list for eBooks, for example. Conversely, B& got out of eBooks this past year. Go figure.

From firsthand experience I can report that one of my books was updated as an eBook and retitled "Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Selling, Promoting and Marketing Your Book" by Renaissance eBooks ( It sold fewer than 100 units in 2003. So I asked the publisher, Jean Marie Stine, about her unique world.

Like mainstream publishing, price and distribution are the keys. Renebooks has 350 titles in print, half of them erotica, a sales evergreen. The suggested retail price for her titles is generally $4.00, of which the author gets a 40% royalty for a direct sale from the publisher’s Web site, scaled to 27% where wholesalers such as LightningSource make the sale. There are no author advances and the publisher secures eBook rights only; although it is now thinking of translating its expertise into the POD market. Renaissance has experienced over 100% growth in sales through its website in 2003, and a 65% growth in sales through retailers. Finally, the publisher issues titles in nine formats (no small feat) to accommodate the various readers available worldwide.

So what do we really know about eBooks? I’d have to say that it is still evolving. It has not proven a boon to any writer I’m aware of—the quit-your-day-job type of boon. That said, it is another venue for us to connect with readers, and a royalty check to pay for the snow tires you bought last month. Why don’t you share with SPAWN what you’ve learned about eBooks? Send your experiences to

(Note: Richard F.X. O’Connor has a financial interest in Renaissance eBooks.)

–Richard F X. O'Connor is the published author of seven books including the best selling "How To Make Your Man More Sensitive" (E.P. Dutton/ Fawcett) and "Ident-A-Kid" (S&S). His self-published work is "How to Market You and Your Book." His writers’ Web site is

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SPAWN Member News

Note: Please send your Member News to It must be received by the 15th of the month for inclusion in the following month’s SPAWNews.

Diana Thompson announces the arrival of her second title in the Naptime Adventure series: "The Big Ocean: An Underwater Naptime Adventure" (June 2004). Like all books in the series, "The Big Ocean" takes young readers on a fantastical journey as seen in the naptime dream of a child, offering new ways to see the world and hinting that the wonderful adventures we experience in our dreams may be more real than we think. For more information: This New World Publishing, 13500 SW Pacific Highway, Suite 129, Tigard, OR, 97223.

Tonya Evans of FYOS Entertainment, LLC announces that Lauren Roberts, a regular contributor for the South Coast Beacon, penned a wonderful review of her book, "Literary Law Guide for Authors: Copyright, Trademark, and Contracts in Plain Language." The review appeared in the Beacon's Jan 15th issue. Roberts states that the Literary Law Guide "is the best book I've seen on the legal aspects of writing…a book of incredible detail attractively laid out in a straightforward presentation." For more information:

Mary Embree and Patricia Fry have been invited to give presentations at the Much Ado about Books event in Jacksonville, FL on February 19-21. Patricia and Mary encourage SPAWN members and newsletter subscribers in and around Jacksonville, FL to participate. The event will be held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville and is free to the public. For more information: or call 904-630-1995.

Patricia Fry will also be on a panel at the National Association of Women Writers event in Arlington, TX the following weekend, one day only, February 28.

Patricia Fry was surprised to find the following review of her book at It pays to send review copies to all of those potential reviewers!

"The Successful Writer's Handbook is a superb supplementary resource which is simply packed from cover to cover with solid, practical, `real world’ advice for aspiring writers seeking to have their work published and be able to make a career out of their books and articles."

--Midwest Review, November 2003"

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Tell your friends about SPAWN. Tell them that when they join they can enjoy the benefits of the Members Only Area. There they 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/

Also, you and your friends can join in our online discussion group, SPAWNdiscuss. It's a Yahoo Discussion Group limited to SPAWN members, and it's another way to talk to peers in publishing!

You and your friends can join SPAWN now by clicking on the Join SPAWN Now button at the top left of the page at

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

Stephanie Marston, Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Empowered Woman’s Soul, is seeking stories for Living Stupid: Dumb Things Smart People Do. For more information and guidelines:

Members of the Sacramento Publishers and Authors are reserving 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. Interested SPAWN members may contact Ernie Spencer at

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Contests and Awards

The 2004 Independent Publisher Book Awards, conducted annually to honor the year's best independently published titles, are now accepting entries. All independent, university, small press, and self-publishers who produce books intended for the North American market are eligible to enter books copyrighted or released in 2003.

Winnow Press Open Book Award in Poetry offers a prize of $1,000, publication by Winnow Press, and 25 author copies. The prize is open to all poets, regardless of their publishing history. Entries must be original and written in English. Submit two copies of a manuscript of 50 to 80 pages with a $20 entry fee by April 26. Send an SASE, e-mail, or visit the Web site for complete guidelines. Winnow Press, Open Book Award in Poetry, 3505 El Dorado Trail, Suite D, Austin, TX 78739-5704. (512) 280-4483. Corinne Lee, Contact.,

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: (Editor’s Note: A SPAWNews reader e-mailed to tell us that her MonkeyHawk submission was returned unopened.)

Laissez Faire Books, today announced the creation of the Lysander Spooner Awards for Advancing the Literature of Liberty. The program begins with recognition for the best new book published in 2003 by a living author. The winner of the first Lysander Spooner Award will be announced in March and receive a check for $1500 plus other prizes yet to be determined. Nominations for the 2004 award are being accepted at the company's web site,, through the end of February.

The Power of Purpose Awards: A Worldwide Essay Competition, is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, which will award a total of $500,000 to the nineteen essay winners. The grand prize winner will receive $100,000. The submission deadline is May 31, 2004. For more information:

To celebrate dog stories and the human-dog bond, is holding its First Annual Dog Story Contest. The contest is for nonfiction stories of dog heroes, favorite dogs, and interesting or funny dog stories. The winner will receive $100 and a Canine Courage T-Shirt, second place will receive $50 and a Canine Courage T-Shirt, and third place will receive $25 and a flying disk. Fourth and fifth places will receive a flying disk.Winning stories will be posted on and all stories will also be considered for publication in an anthology of dog stories.Entry deadline is June 1, 2004. Visit for contest details.

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Events and More

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.

Ten Ventura County artists will be featured the first Tuesday of each month beginning February 3rd as part of Focus on the Masters’ (FOTM) popular "Tuesday Talk" interview series presented at The Laurel, 1006 E. Main Street in downtown Ventura’s Cultural District.  For more information: Focus on the Masters, 1147 E. Main St., Ventura, CA 93001, phone 805-653-2501, fax: 805-653-2347,

The fourth annual DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books, will be held on February 5-7 at the Barnsdall Art Park and the Derby nightclub, both in Hollywood.

The three-day event, which includes the finals of the 2004 DIY Film Festival and 2004 DIY Music Festival, teaches musicians, authors, filmmakers and entrepreneurs how to create, promote, protect and distribute independent film, music and books. For more information:

The Much Ado About Books event takes place in Jacksonville, FL Feb. 21-22. For more information: or call 904-630-1995.

National Association of Women Writers 3rd Annual "Discover Your Creative Power" Writer’s Conference, Feb. 28, 2004 in Arlington, TX. Patricia Fry, President of SPAWN, will be a guest speaker at this event.

AHA! Call to Arts Expo and Conference, Saturday, February 28, Pasadena Conference Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information:

L'il Picassos - Creative and Fun Ways to Create Art with Preschool Children, a course written and designed by preschool teacher with 16 years of experience in the field. Instructor: Heide AW Kaminski. Tuition: $30.00. Fee includes personalized training, 112 page printed activity book (Get Smart Through Art), shipping and handling, all printed assignments and course work, discount coupon for Web site products, and a Course Completion Certificate. March 1-April 5 (6 week session) Enrollment form and payment must be received by 2/23/04. Enroll at

To address the challenges and opportunities that eBooks pose for libraries, publishers and technologists, the Open eBook Forum, the electronic publishing industry’s trade association will conduct the "eBooks in the Public Library Conference", a day-long event scheduled for Tuesday, March 16, 2004 in New York City. Further details about the conference including agenda, registration and sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities can be found at

The American Society of Journalists and Authors are teaming with Barnes and Noble Booksellers April 24 and 25 for a conference. It's called "Kicking it Up a Notch: Strategies for Successful Freelancers." Held in New York City. For more information:

The noted comedian, actor and author George Carlin has agreed to entertain booksellers and other book industry professionals in an exclusive solo comedic performance at BookExpo America (BEA) on Saturday, June 5, 2004 at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago. Proceeds from the Grammy award-winning comedian's special appearance will benefit the Book Industry Foundation. BEA is North America's largest annual gathering of book industry professionals and is scheduled for June 3-6 at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center. Tickets for BEA's Evening with George Carlin will be made available via the BEA event program registration form. For more information on BookExpo America, call 203-840-5614 or visit the Web site at

"Write It and Reap: How to Make Six Figures Doing What You Love," is a 12-lesson e-course for writers. For complete course outline and other details, visit (click on "For writers and aspiring writers") or e-mail

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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.
  • 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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February, 2004

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 (as of December 1, 2003)

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

Tamara Dever

Book Designer

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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