SPAWN regularly publishes articles on a variety of topics of interest to our members and the publishing community. To find articles on specific topics, please use the drop down menus. We accept submissions from the community for publication. If you have an article, (limit 2,500 words), please send to

How to Write a Book: Everything You Need to Know in 20 Steps

by Jerry Jenkins

Part One: Before You Begin

You’ll never regret—in fact, you’ll thank yourself later for—investing the time necessary to prepare for such a monumental task.

You wouldn’t set out to cut down a huge grove of trees with only an axe. You’d need a chain saw—perhaps more than one. Something to keep them sharp. Enough fuel to keep them running.

You get the picture. Don’t shortcut this foundational part of the process. Continue reading

PR, Publicity, & Press Kits: How to Make News with Your Book

by Leann Garms

How do you make news with your book, beyond a book review or a book-signing event? That’s really the question and the challenge. The answer is actually simple. You see, it’s not about you or your book. It’s about NEWS.

Book Publicity. PR. Media Relations. Working with the media to get that coveted review, news story, radio interview, magazine feature article or even radio and TV interviews. Continue reading

Bobbie’s Bill of Writes (#2 in a series)

by Bobbie Christmas

Money and Time
In the last issue I explained why I devoted an entire chapter to my “Bill of Writes” for writers in my book on creative writing titled Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing. Some writers feel less deserving as writers, especially if they have not yet sold any of their works. Regardless of whether we’re starting out or have years of accomplishments under our belt, we writers have inalienable rights. For that reason, special to SPAWN, I have agreed to explain each item in my “Bill of Writes” through a series of articles. Below is number two in my “Bill of Writes.” Watch for the remaining items in future newsletters.

Number Two: You Have the Right to Spend the Money and Time Necessary to Improve Your Craft Continue reading

So You Want to Write Children’s Books—A Report from the Front Line

by Ivor Davis

When Vanessa Brantley Newton, the vigorous keynote speaker and acclaimed children’s book illustrator, urged some 500 attendees at this summer’s opening session of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) to stand up and do the Hokey Pokey dance, I knew something very different was afoot. She even belted out the words

After all, this was literature—kids’ maybe. And where, precisely, did all this book conference dancing really fit in? Fuddy-duddy I may be, but I have not seen such vigorous participation in that ancient kids’ song since my grandson Elias’s Seattle bar mitzvah. Continue reading

Clearing the Clutter

by Barbara Florio Graham

As a busy writer, consultant, and mentor, my office is cluttered with files. I’m often dealing with many different clients at the same time, and I’m a compulsive collector of newspaper and magazine articles that might be fodder for my regular columns or a future article.

Drowning in paper is a real threat!

I’ve developed a system that works for me, and I’ve also adapted this to my email. Continue reading