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What’s your excuse for not writing today?

Are you unmotivated? Too tired from working your nine-to-five job? Is your computer on the fritz? Don’t know what to write about? Can’t get published because you’re too old? Too young? Maybe you’re thinking, “Why bother? Who wants to hear what I have to say?”

Authors Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell have heard nearly every excuse out there from their readers, students, and mentees as to why their article ideas aren’t being pitched to magazine editors or why their half-written novels languish on hard drives. And to be honest, Formichelli and Burrell have used some of these excuses to avoid taking action with their own writing careers. With over twenty years (each) in the publishing business, they’ve learned that excuses are nothing but roadblocks to success.

In Write It Anyway: Bust The Excuses and Become The Writer You Want To Be, Formichelli and Burrell bust every excuse they’ve heard from writers, as well as the excuses they’ve used themselves, by dispelling the fear behind the excuse and showing readers, with specific actionable tips from a variety of experts including authors, psychologists, and coaches, how they can move forward with their own writing goals instead of staying stuck in place.

Write It Anyway is a book for all writers, whether you write nonfiction, fiction, poetry, plays, or screenplays.

Available from Renegade Writer Press this fall in electronic and print formats.

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Latest News from Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell

Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell have started their own publishing company. They’ve updated an old(er) favorite and are publishing some new books as well. Here’s an excerpt of the newest book, From Pitch to Published.

If you want to score assignments from top magazines like Smithsonian, Inc., Mental Floss, and Fitness, not to mention trade and custom publications, From Pitch to Published: How to Sell Your Article Ideas to Magazines is the guide you need.

Learn how to craft winning article pitches that will pique interest from editors and lead to lucrative assignments. We included 20+ pitches that sold, plus interviews with the writers and their assigning editors. You’ll learn from insiders: Continue reading

RIP SPAWN Member Ellen Reid

I’m saddened to tell you of the passing of author Ellen Reid, a SPAWN member, and owner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards; Indie Excellence Awards; and the Mind, Body, Spirit Awards. She was probably best known for her works as a book shepherd, helping many authors take their manuscripts to publication and gain wide recognition. She was a frequent speaker at many writer conferences. Continue reading

Gold Winners

What Lies Within was a Gold Winner in the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Awards in the Self Reflection/Memoir category. The Spirit of Villarosa received honorable mention in this category. The Spirit of Villarosa was a Gold Winner in the 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Awards in the Historical Human Relations category.

Libby J. Atwater and Marc Ashton are honored to have received these accolades.

The Spirit of Villarosa Wins Coveted Royal Dragonfly Book Award

000spiritofvThe Spirit of Villarosa: A Father’s Extraordinary Adventures; A Son’s Challenge by Horace Dade Ashton, Marc Ashton, and SPAWN member Libby J. Atwater won first place in two Royal Dragonfly Book Award categories: biography and memoir, and historical nonfiction.

The book is a glorious account of Horace Ashton’s remarkable adventures juxtaposed with his son Marc’s 2001 kidnapping in Haiti by four armed thugs who clearly plan to kill him. While captive, Marc determines to survive and asks himself, “What would Dad do?” To find out how this true-life adventure culminates, read the book. It can be purchased at

SPAWN Board Member Speaks at 805 Writers’ Conference

Penny C. SansevieriPenny Sansevieri, SPAWN Board Member, best-selling author, NYU instructor, and CEO of Author Marketing Experts will teach her popular “Super Fans—The Secrets of Selling More Books” workshop at  the 805 Writers’ Conference on Saturday, November 5 at 2:15 pm at the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach.

At the end of the day, for all of the marketing we do, for all of the Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and blogging we really just want to know if it’s paying off. Does any of this sell books?

Penny Sansevieri, one of the top book marketers in America, returns to the conference after a huge session last year. She will show you ways to get the most out of your online marketing that produces book sales. Continue reading