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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, March, 2006

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 SPAWN 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

- Editor’s Note

- Market Update

- Be in the SPAWN Booth at LA Times Book Festival!

- Letter to SPAWN

- Creating a Buzz for Your Books Online

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

Nearly six years ago, I was assigned to write a feature article for a newspaper. The article was a profile of a nationally syndicated columnist. I needed a quote from Chill, the artist who drew the cartoons that accompanied the weekly columns. I was all the way on the left coast in California tract home suburbia, and Chill was on the right, in a gorgeous, woodsy part of the Garden State. When I phoned, it was 3:00 in the afternoon, Pacific Standard Time.

"Can you call back later?" she asked. "We’re eating dinner right now."


And so began a beautiful friendship.

Yes, we are the best of friends, even 2500 miles and three time zones apart. She’s quiet and thoughtful and cleverly artistic, and I’m outgoing and goofy, with a tendency to blurt my inner monolog. What binds us is that we’re both creative, with similar senses of humor.

And that’s why we’re not only good friends, but excellent collaborators. We tried one project, which was decent, but ultimately not saleable. Undaunted, we’re working on another. I’m writing the copy and getting the packages together to send to publishers. It’s Chill’s job to do the art. We complement each other, so I think we have a shot at winning a contract.

How do you find a good collaborator?

Occasionally, you luck into a match, as I did. Sometimes, you have to go through a process of trial and error.

One of the great things about being a member of SPAWN is that you can search our member directory or seek out collaborators through SPAWNdiscuss, our online discussion group. If you are a writer looking for an artist or an artist looking for a writer or a photographer looking for a publisher or any combination thereof, there’s usually somebody who can give you a resource—a name, a publication, an organization—which just might turn into a beautiful collaboration.

–Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Visit her Web site at

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The March Market Update has something for every SPAWN member—potential work and other opportunities for authors, freelance writers, scriptwriters and photographers. Learn what magazines and publishers are looking for memoirs, new book promotion ideas, how to get a free copy of Creative Screenwriting Magazine, and get a peek at Patricia Fry's publishing blog.

And, new to Market Update, from Dindy Robinson of "We are a new small publisher of ebooks, and eventually print, focusing on science fiction, mysteries and romances. Writers can visit us at for submission guidelines. We are a royalty publisher and are actively seeking writers (and readers)." For more information, e-mail

Take a look at what’s in this month’s issue:

  • A free magazine for you screenwriters
  • Should you purchase just one ISBN?
  • Relatives won’t listen to ‘em any more – So make MONEY with your tales of the Good Old Days! We’ll tell you where…
  • And those tales of the town where you grew up? Contact these magazines to cash in!
  • What’s the best reference tool in which you could invest this year
  • How you can show your book to over 100,000 people in one weekend
  • How to set your writing pace

If you're serious about becoming a successful publishing professional, you must study every edition of the SPAWN Market Update and become personally involved in the SPAWN organization.

Note: If you are a free newsletter subscriber only, you will be unable to log onto SPAWN’s "Members Only" page. To read the Market Update, you first join SPAWN. Go to and click on the "Join SPAWN Now" button in the upper left corner of the page. After you join, you'll receive the password for the private member area!

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Special SPAWN Offer: Free Book with SPAWN Membership!

If you apply for SPAWN membership now, you'll receive a FREE book.

You have a choice between three books!

To join SPAWN now, go and click on the "Join SPAWN Now" button in the upper left corner.

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Be in the SPAWN Booth at LA Times Book Festival!

Join SPAWN and be with other SPAWN Members:

Present your books to 131,000 people at the LA Times Festival of Books. The festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2006. The SPAWN booth will have very limited space for authors and publishers, so sign up as soon as possible to guarantee a seat. We are accepting paid reservations only. Cost: $200 per day. If you are a SPAWN Member, sign up online now at If you aren't a SPAWN Member yet, fill out the member application at ../join.htm.

The Los Angeles Times Book Festival is an exciting event and a great way to get your book before the reading public. Be sure to take advantage of this economical way to participate in the festival.

Join SPAWN by going to and clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button. After you have joined, you can sign up to be with us in the SPAWN booth at LATFB.

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Letter to SPAWN

I am on SPAWN's Web site just about every day, and feel connected to something far larger than myself, which is a pretty good feeling for a struggling writer as well as a new publisher. Since I joined a couple of weeks ago, I am enthralled by SPAWN and think it is an unbelievable source of valuable information and support. I have a small publishing company, Bronwen Publishing, and I also write, so this site is doubly valuable to me! I will do whatever I can to support SPAWN.


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Creating a Buzz for Your Books Online

By Virginia Lawrence

Ready to create a buzz for your book? You can do a huge amount online by making yourself known in a friendly, informative way.

Read about how to create a successful buzz campaign at:

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Ask the Book Doctor: Yes, Editors Use Editors, and I Couldn't Care Less

By Bobbie Christmas

To read more about this and other topics go to:

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Member News

SPAWN founder Mary Embree announces The Ventura Book Festival, "Celebrating Diversity," on Saturday, March 11, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston Street, Ventura, CA 93003. Come celebrate authors, books, and reading. Free admission, new books, rare books, used books, author readings and books signings, writing and self-publishing workshops, and panel discussions. SPAWN will have a booth at The Ventura Book Festival. Come by and say hello!

Member Erika Dreifus reports some happy news. "It's been a good winter so far," she says. "The Chattahoochee Review has recently named me a Contributing Editor and I've just learned that one of my short stories received an honorable mention in the 2005 Soul-Making Literary Competition. Plus, I've won a residency for the fall in Maine. I hope all this luck continues!" Erika adds that her free monthly newsletter, "The Practicing Writer," recently celebrated its second birthday. For more information:

It's a new twist on the traditional bookstore: Simon Teakettle Ink,, is one of the authors and small publishers joining a cooperative bookstore opening in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's capital. A local POD publisher has rented space in a strip mall in a very desirable part of the city, and is leasing shelf space to authors whose books will be displayed face out. A one-meter shelf costs just $20 per month, and the store will take only 30% of sales. Baico Books is also pairing with, which will allow visitors to search the Web site and order books online.

Patricia Fry spent an hour February 7 talking about SPAWN and her new book, "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book," on a public radio station in Virginia. Patricia also signed copies of her book, "Entertaining Hawaiian Style" at Native Books in Honolulu on February 18. Her Hawaiian publisher is Island Heritage.

Patricia Fry will be presenting a workshop for the Pen Women Writers Conference in Honolulu on April 1.

Read Patricia Fry's blog at, and don't forget to leave your comments.

Barbara Denise Files, a Russian-trained ballerina who teaches figure skating coaches and judges how to evaluate the artistry in an athlete, is pleased to announce the release of her second book, "Ballet Secrets for Skaters: How to Hone Your Artistic Competitive Edge" (ISBN 0-9726723-8-9, 192 pages, $19.95). With the 2006 Winter Olympics around the corner, a new judging system has the figure skating world betting on a showdown between technical and artistic excellence. Gone is the famous 6.0 system. In its place is a new code which awards points for raw skating skills, but places more emphasis on the presentation of those skills. "Ballet Secrets for Skaters: How to Hone Your Artistic Competitive Edge" deals with these challenges in a fun and easy-to-read format and features interviews with champion figure skaters. For more information, visit or contact Barbara Denise Files, Artistic Enterprises International (914) 332-4512.

Edward Fierro sends us the following review: "I was up late last night, reading it; couldn't put it down. It is delightfully clever – erudite, too – and a feast for the eyes." So reports one early reader of "The Well-Lettered Cat," published in January by Lines Rampant Press of Santa Barbara. Within the full-color, 112-page, hardbound book, one meets Joey the Alphacat and the rest of the alphabet as this madding and sometimes maddening crowd follows a Kafkaesque trail from Avant Garde to Zapf Chancery. Humorous and literate, this wittily illustrated volume will charm anyone fond of felines, fonts, or Victorian fiction. "The Well-Lettered Cat" is available online at; toll-free at 877-546-7267; and in the Santa Barbara area, at Chaucer's Books and Tecolote Book Shop. By Porter Evans; design by Edward Fierro, ISBN 13: 978-0-9768837-0-8, ISBN 10: 0-9768837-0-8, $19.95.

Eva Rosenberg’s book "Small Business Taxes Made Easy" was named one of the best tax books of 2005 in Entrepreneur Magazine's December issue. To find it at Amazon click here.

Barbara Florio Graham has been included in the Famous Canadian Women Web site, Bobbi also continues to add anthologies to her publishing credits. A short piece in "For the Love of Cats," from Publications International Ltd. will be #29. Bobbi had two contributions in the latest edition of "Ottawa GEMS," a collection of short pieces published by Ottawa Independent Writers. "Simon Teakettle" was also represented in that book. For more information,

Tonya Evans-Walls announces "Lit Law for Writers on the Go" podcast and blog,, one of the latest techie tools she’s utilizing in 2006 in order to stay connected with busy writers on the go. The first podcast is an excerpt from her most popular teleseminar, "9 Things Every Writer Must Know About the Law." Now you can tune in for free. Go to for more information.

Graham Cook announces he has concluded an equal partner joint venture agreement with a US based search engine company to acquire the domain name and adapt to suit the

United States and Canadian market. Graham says "A US based corporation named WRITERSWORLD INCORPORATED is being formed and this company will operate out of the United States with us ceasing to publish in the United Sates and they will not publish in Europe. Andrews Heys company has the contract to produce their books."

They are also adding English, Spanish and Dutch language translation service on finished books, as well as guaranteed libel legal defense protection with one of London's top media and libel law firms.

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

Wendy Dager is seeking input for a nonfiction book. If you are a mad housewife—or if you know one—please e-mail

The Great American Poetry Show,, is a hardcover serial poetry anthology open year-round to submissions of poems in English on any subject and in any style, length and number with a SASE.

St. Louis Writers Guild has launched a writing project to involve the public in writing a tongue-in-cheek book about the Mississippi River--what it's REALLY like! It's an anthology of brief recollections, observations, laments, celebrations, humor, and soapbox tirades--all aimed at revealing aspects of life on the Big Muddy. The working title is "MIGHTY OR MUDDY? Reflections on the Mississippi River by Those Who Know it Well." Publication is planned for October 2006, after which the original submissions binder (with autographed submissions) will be raffled or auctioned off. This is a St. Louis literary, historical event. For more information: Deadline is August 31, 2006. The address to send submissions is St. Louis Writers Guild, Collaborative Book Project, POB 771765, St. Louis, MO 63177, or fax: 314-821-3823.

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

Read about the latest contests at:

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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.

Read about the coming events at:

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

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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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SPAWNews 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

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

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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