From the Editor September 2015

Where’s SPAWN? You’ll see in the upper right corner the icons that link to all our social-media profiles. Right above that is the link to log in. The Yahoo group is going the way of the dodo, so be sure to find us on Facebook and other social media.

51BtvIReVcL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_This month’s topic is the dreaded query letter. You have a great idea and a magazine to pitch to. Then what? What if the editor thinks it’s a dumb idea? Maybe there’s a typo in the email? You’ll be banned for life! How much do you put in and how much do you leave out of the query letter?

Linda Formichelli, author of The Renegade Writer, has a quick and easy-to-read article that will guide you through potential pitfalls. She’ll show you what most people would do, why that might be wrong, and what to do instead. Then you can query without qualms!

Linda and Carol Tice are teaching their popular Pitch Clinic class again in October. Linda and Carol hire real, live magazine editors to critique your homework–this time they have the executive editor of Redbook, a former Writer’s Digest/current Print Magazine editor, and one editor to be determined.

There’s a list of fun (and weird) holidays and writing prompts to get you going. Artists can use these as well. After all, they’re there just to stir up your brain, no matter what you do with them afterward.

September is back-to-school month (although many start in mid-August now) so take the quiet time in the middle of the day, even if it’s just a few minutes at lunch, to do something for yourself before it’s time to chauffeur kids to after-school activities and to monitor homework. Maybe you could work on that query letter…

Editor, SPAWNews

From the Editor August 2015

R Marshall cover 2This month we’re talking about not only following your passion, but following the market. If you’re established as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in one area and the trend is slowing, what else are you passionate about? Roger Marshall wrote about sailing, but the number of people who had time to spend on the water dwindled. He didn’t stop writing about boats, but followed the market and his other passion to write about gardening – greenhouses especially. He not only had expertise, but he was willing to experiment. His article explains how and why he did it.

The Writers Police Academy seeks donations for this year’s event to help support their scholarship fund.

Indie booksellers meet across the country this fall—is there a conference near you? There’s a list of indies and a list of regional conferences; start packing your bags!

As we near back-to-school time, take a few minutes to sit down and make a list. On what topic(s) are you an SME? You don’t have to have a degree or be famous for it; you just need to be willing to learn, make mistakes, and know where to find the people who are more knowledgeable than you are. Ask the unexpected question, and even ask, “what should I have asked you that I didn’t?” The answer may be surprising.

Follow your passion, follow the market…

Editor, SPAWNews

HippoCamp: A Conference for Creative Nonfiction Writers, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, August 7-9, 2015

Hippocampus Magazine is an online publication set out to entertain, educate, and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. HippoCamp is an in-the-flesh extension of that three-fold mission. This three-day event will feature notable speakers, engaging sessions in three tracks, interactive panels, readings, social activities, networking opps, and optional intimate pre- and post-conference workshops.