SPAWN Market Update – April 2002



Going, Going, Gone – Four more magazines quit
Here’s What’s New – Poetry contests
Research/Reference Site of the Month – For working writers only
Featured Sites — Showcase your work
Grammar Sites — Guide to Grammar and Writing
For Fiction Addicts –<
Featured Writer – The Business of Indexing
Bonus Item– Write4Kids
Author’s Note
Editor/Publisher Interview
– Colorado Review
– Bellingham Review
– Grit

Coming Up – Interviews with 3 publishers and a successful writer
You Can Help

Going, Going, Gone

This report brings the number of failed publishers and publications up to 50 over the past few months.

Sunday Monday Woman




Here’s What’s New

Poetry Contests

Writer’s Market lists over 150 contests for budding and flourishing poets.

Poets Market has hundreds more contest listings and other opportunities for poets. fills many needs for budding and flourishing poets. Here, you’ll find poetry lessons, contest listings and a multitude of other useful information.

The 2002 Joey Poetry Contest will award $20 and a subscription to Joey for the winning poem this year. The entry fee is $5 per poem and you may enter up to 5 poems. Deadline is 5/31. Visit for a more information.

Here’s a poetry site for the kids. has ongoing contests, lessons and fun for kids of all ages. I especially like the fact that they encourage a lot of participation among the younger set. offers a monthly ezine; interviews with poets, publishers and editors as well as contest listings.

Research/Reference Site of the Month is the place to go if you want to keep your thumb on the pulse of the publishing industry. While you’ll find plenty of free information on the site and through the monthly newsletter, there is a fee for accessing the extensive database. I found it interesting that you can pay by the day (only $1.99), month or year

Featured Sites is the brainchild of Melissa Rohm. Here, she offers a place where writers can showcase their unpublished manuscripts for agents and publishers to view. According to Rohm, the intent is to provide an efficient, stress-free environment where agents and publisher can look for talent.

About 60% of the 6,480 manuscripts posted are fiction, one-third are poetry and about 7% are nonfiction. Also displayed are short stories, plays, reference works and novel-length manuscripts.

There is a membership fee for writers. A scant $14.95 per year includes unlimited access to the manuscript showcase, the ability to post as much work as you want, unlimited revisions, customer support and classified ads as well as access to informative articles, lectures, success stories.

Registration for agents and publishers is free.

To date, Rohm has 108 publishers and 49 agents registered with

A site for writers of all abilities

Peter Billaney has created, a community website for people of all abilities. A recent addition is the authors’ showcase where writers and poets can display their writing skills to a wider and more diverse audience. According to Billaney, “Although the resource is aimed primarily at writers with varying physical abilities, anyone can submit an article for inclusion on the site and almost anything is acceptable.”

Grammar Site

Capital Community College in Hartford, CT offers a useful site for those interested in things relating to grammar. This site, Guide to Grammar and Writing, allows you to ask specific grammatical questions or to research abbreviations, acronyms, possessives, punctuation, tense and spelling, for example. Want to polish your thesis, manuscript, letter or article? Visit

For Fiction Addicts

Here is an interesting site for those of you who are addicted to fiction. While you can subscribe to their newsletter for free, many of the benefits of this site require a fee, however. Membership at affords you such freebies as critiquing of your work and free consultations as well as discounts on email courses. Dues are $74 per year with discounts for seniors and students.

Featured Writer

There are numerous work opportunities out there for writers. This column is designed to help you find your niche and to give you ideas for improving your craft.

This month, we interview Kevin Broccoli, a professional indexer

Q: Tell me a little about your business and what motivated you to start it.

A: Broccoli Information Management is a sole proprietorship. Although we’re a small company of only two employees, we utilize a network of other freelance indexers for large projects.

Q: What services do you offer clients?

A: We offer back-of-the-book indexing, indexing of periodicals, Web site indexing, intranet indexing and translating services.

Q: What background or education skills does an indexer need?

A: Some have masters degrees in Library Science. But most do not learn indexing at college. I’d say at least half of professional freelance indexers have taken the U.S. Department of Agriculture graduate course in indexing. Others have learned how to index while working in-house for publishing companies.

Q: Who are your clients?

A: I tend to work mostly on computer-related titles, technical books, social science publications, books on humanities and biographies.

Q: What is the procedure for having a manuscript indexed? At what point do you need to see it and in what format? How does the client prepare it for you?

A: Indexing is one of the last steps in the book production process. Publishing companies send the indexer either print page proofs or electronic files such as pdfs, FrameMaker files or Quark files.

The format is not that important. What does matter is that the page numbers are set and will not change even if minor modifications are made. If pagination is not set and there will be a lot of changes, thus causing the text to flow, indexing is embedded into the source files. However, embedded indexing is a much more complicated process than stand-alone indexing. Indexers charge more to embed the entries. Embedding can be done in Word, FrameMaker, PageMaker or Quark Express.

Q: Is indexing an old profession? Tell me about the current needs for indexers.

A: Indexing is a very old profession. There is still a good demand for indexing, although it does take a number of years (on the average, around 4 to 5 years) of marketing and working in order to build up a substantial amount of work.

Q: What are some of the opportunities for indexers today? You have your own business, but are there also jobs for indexers at universities, publishing companies and so forth?

A:  Yes there are in-house opportunities at publishing companies. I have also seen some corporations looking for indexers to index and maintain their company intranets.

Q: Would you tell me the potential earnings for an indexer?

A:  This various greatly. Some indexers work only part time, others are full-time freelancers and still other work in-house. I’d say the range for a full-time freelancer can be anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 per year. The difference in earnings depends on what type of clients they work for, how fast they are at indexing (which depends a lot on years of experience) and what types of books they specialize in. (Note: Writer’s Market suggests that indexers can charge anywhere from $15 to $95 per hour or $2 –6/indexibable page.)

Q: What kind of person would make a good indexer? Someone who pays attention to detail?

A: Yes, paying attention to detail is extremely important. One needs have a love for reading anything and everything. If someone is an avid reader of fiction, that doesn’t count. Very little fiction is indexed.

A good candidate for indexing has to know how to organize concepts and to be able to change their focus from that of details to broad ideas that are implied within the text. The ability to look at the big picture as well as to focus on specifics is not an easy skill to develop.

It’s also essential that an indexer be able to concentrate for extended periods of time. When there is a tight deadline, it’s not uncommon for me to index for 10 hours or even 12 hours per day. If you can’t picture yourself reading a book about oil drilling, computer networking, or Greek philosophy for many hours per day, indexing is not for you.

Indexers also must be able to switch their schedules to meet the needs of their clients. As I write this, I’m awaiting the arrival of a book that was supposed to come in four days ago. It’s still not here, yet it’s likely that the deadline for the index will remain the same as originally proposed.

Q: Please add anything you think our audience would like to know.

A: Many publishers decide to use authors to write their indexes. This is like using typesetters to write the book or proofreaders to do the copyediting. Indexing is a completely separate skill. The author (and even the publisher) may think that they’ve done a good job, but the reader is the best judge. If the reader cannot find information that he or she is looking for, then the index has flaws. It may look like a good index, but it doesn’t serve its purpose.

For more information about indexing, Mr. Broccoli suggests visiting:

The American Society of Indexers

Kevin Brocoli’s website:

Bonus Item

Here’s a site for those of you who are interested in writing for children. offers a free eZine, a message board, articles and tips for children’s writers. And all of this is provided by Jon Bard and Laura Backes for free.

Author’s Note

We’re now publishing the Q & A section in SPAWNews. If you have a writing/ publishing-related question for Patricia Fry (President of SPAWN) or Virginia Lawrence (webmaster), send it to or

Patricia also responds weekly to questions for the National Association of Women Writers newsletter.

Editor/Publisher Interview

This month, we’re including interviews with THREE interesting editors: David Milofsky, editor of Colorado Review; Brenda Miller, editor of Bellingham Review and Donna Doyle, editor of Grit (one of the oldest publications around).

David Milofsky—Colorado Review

Q: Please describe the Colorado Review. What is its focus and purpose?

AColorado Review’s focus is simple: fine fiction, poetry and nonfiction. We have (or try to have) neither bias, nor point of view. We try to be eclectic but mainly just print whatever strikes us as being the best of what we’re sent or can gather.

Q: Who is your audience?

A:  Beats me. I suppose it’s mainly a literary audience, but what we’re aiming for is a literate readership but not necessarily professional writers or academics. We have quite a few libraries among our subscribers.

Q: Give us a good overview of the types of manuscripts you’d like to see between now and April 30. Will there be any changes in your editorial content come next September? What would you like to see for your 2003 season? (Note: this publication accepts submissions only between September 1 through April 30. All other materials received will be returned).

A: Again, I’m not interested in any particular “type of manuscript” but rather want only to see whatever a writer or poet thinks is his/her best work. When we do a theme issue (e.g. Hispanic writing, travel, experimental writing) we advertise it pretty widely, but we have none scheduled right now.

Q: Is there anything else unusual or specific about your submission process that poets and other writers should know about?

A:  I can’t really think of anything especially different about our submission process, except that we’re faster than a lot of literary magazines. We report in six weeks or less most of the time. Also, we don’t read multiple submissions. If we find we have them, we tend to hold it against the writer because it wastes our time. This is in our guidelines, but it doesn’t seem to stop people from sending multiple subs anyway.

Q:  What are the advantages of being published in the Colorado Review?

A:  We treat our writers well—pay them and treat them like professionals. Our magazine is also among the best edited in the country—copy edited, I mean. And we have a nice design. I think we publish the best poetry being written right now and damned good fiction, too. That should be reason enough for most people.

Q: How man poems do you usually publish each year?

A: It varies, but we publish 75 pages of poetry in a 200-page issue, which is more than almost anyone else. We also have great poetry editors—Don Revell and Jorie Graham. Guidelines are the same for all submissions, but we don’t generally publish genre poetry or poetry about animals.

Q: What would you like to say to the many poets out there who want to be published?

A:  I don’t really have any original advice. Work hard, read a lot and if you’re going to submit to us, read the magazine.

Q: Please add anything else you think our readers should know about your publication or your submission process.

A: The only thing I would reiterate is that very often people submit without knowing much about the magazine. It’s in the library. You don’t even have to buy it. But you should read it first. Colorado Review is edited by people who believe passionately in what they’re doing. We hope the magazine reflects that, whether it happens to be your taste or not.

David Milofsky, Editor

Colorado Review

Center for Literary Publishing

Dept. of English

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO 80523



Brenda Miller, editor of the Bellingham Review

Q: Please describe the Bellingham Review

A:  The Bellingham Review’s mission is to publish literature of palpable quality which means poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction that pushes the limits of form or executes traditional forms exquisitely. We also seek to publish interviews with well-known working writers who will elucidate issues of craft and form.

Q:  Who is your audience?

A: Our audience consists of writers and readers worldwide who see the best in contemporary literature.

Q: I see that your submission period has come to a close and won’t start again until October. What will you be looking for in manuscripts and poetry in October. Give us a good overview of the types of manuscripts you like to see. (Bellingham Review accepts submissions only from October 1 to February 1)

A:  We like work that has “voice.” In poetry, we favor work that pays close attention to language and form (in other words, poetry that is not necessarily just prose broken into lines). In prose, we are drawn to work that has a “quirkiness” to it without being silly.

Q: What should writers know about your submission process:

A:  Every piece is read carefully by several different people before decisions are made. Our turnaround time is about 2 months. The contests provide a good opportunity for beginning writers to have their work read by nationally-known judges.

Q: What are some of the advantages of being published in the Bellingham Review?

A: The Bellingham Review nominates work for Pushcart Prizes every year. Some of our writers have seen their work reprinted in such venues as Utne Reader. Their work will get read and the magazine is a beautiful piece of art.

Q: Do you publish articles?

A: We don’t’ publish “articles” per se: we publish poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction as well as interviews. The interviews are usually done by the editors of the magazine. We will publish occasional book reviews, but these are solicited only.

Q: How many poems to you publish each year?

A: We publish approximately 20 – 40 per year.

Q: Do you have anything further to pass along to our readers?

A: I encourage people to submit to our literary contests, which run from December 1 to March 15.

Brenda Miller

Bellingham Review

Signpost Press

Mail Stop 9053

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA  98225




Donna Doyle, editor-in-chief of GRIT, American Life and Traditions

Q: Please describe GRIT and the audience.

A: GRIT has been America’s family magazine since 1882. We publish items about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, accounts of interesting places or events, and real-life stories about others in the GRIT family.

We tailor our magazine to provide an informative, yet entertaining, look at life in America, past and present. GRIT explores values, lifestyle and traditions important to those concerned about themselves, their families and their communities. It focuses not on age or abilities, but on attitude—taking a positive approach to the goodness of life. GRIT celebrates our readers’ courage, dedication and determination to make a difference. Readers also like to interact with each other, providing recipes, garden seeds, lost items and helping locate loved ones.

In the early years and the decades following until the family sold the magazine, their motto was to “ring the joy bells of life.”  At one time, GRIT had 3 million subscribers. And, up until the 1980s, GRIT was sold door to door by newsboys and girls who sometimes walked miles along dirt roads in all kinds of weather to deliver the only news the family received. For more than a million newsboys and girls, this was their first job. Some have become famous and attribute their success to early training received by delivering GRIT.

Many children learned to read from the GRIT newspaper, which the families sometimes used to paper their cabin walls. (It became a magazine format in the 1990s.)

The family sold the magazine in 1983 to a Topeka newspaper chain. It was sold again to another chain, then purchased by Ogden Publications in 1996.

Our founder, Dietrick Lamade, was known by his favorite saying: “Difficulties show what men are.” He called his employees “the Grit Family”. Something I have tried to widen to include all of our readers, too.

Our audience is 45+, but actually everyone in the family reads it from children up to grandparents of 90+. Most live in rural areas or small towns, or used to at one time and like to read stories they don’t see anywhere else. We do not use wire copy. All of our stories, articles and short stories are original.

Q. What is your circulation? How is GRIT circulated?

A: Current circulation is about 120,000. We are obtained by subscription only and copies are mailed to subscribers by our printing plant in Martinsburg, W.V.

Q: What types of articles are you looking for currently? I would appreciate a sort of general list and do let me know if there’s anything real specific that you need more of right now. Are there any changes on the horizon for the content requirements of GRIT?

A: All of our stories are written in first person, unless it’s a profile or article about someone outstanding. (Here’s a brief rundown of needs)

Character profiles, demonstrating courage and determination to make a difference.
Readers’ Travels and Outdoor Life, along the back roads rarely traveled by tourists.
True Stories—nostalgia or current—with a positive message
Artist profiles, especially those working in restoration and who are preserving our American heritage
My Favorite Garden: Your own or one you visited—what sets it apart from others?
Pet Tales

We also need seasonal stories. Currently, we’re looking for Woman of the Year stories for mother’s day and special father’s day stories. Submit seasonal stories three months in advance.

Submit manuscripts by mail with photos for our consideration.

Q: How many articles do you publish each month?

A Usually the magazine contains 4-5 non-fiction features, a short story, plus departmental stories which are shorter articles for Looking Back, Braggin Waggon (grandkids etc.), Braggin Waggin’ (pets). Sometimes we also have drawings and a movie star nostalgia story. Other departments are letters from readers, such as Heart to Heart and Neighbor to Neighbor.

Q:  What about fillers, cartoons and so forth. Is there a market for these at GRIT? Are there any specific submission requirements for these items?

A: We use lots of one line fillers and short Grit Wits (little funny stories). Must be original and typed on separate sheets of papers. Submit 10 or less at a time.

Q:What is the best advise you can give someone who is interested in writing for GRIT?

A: Read several issues of GRIT because our major theme changes each issue. Notice the voice, presentation and positive message the articles convey. Also try to imagine how your article would fit in the “vision” of GRIT. All of our material is original, 90-95% is freelance written, about 65% is from first-time writers. Articles should have national appeal since we are distributed nationally. Articles such as travel, nostalgia, true stories should be first person. Travel should be background with the story and a positive message as the focus. All articles should include phone numbers, addresses etc. for fact checking.

Q: Tell me about your word count and pay scale.

A: Usually major features run 1,200 to 1,500 words with 4-5 color photos or slides. We pay 15 cents a word plus $35 for each photo published. Several authors who frequently contribute good articles which require little editing and excellent photos are paid up to 22 cents a word and $50 per photo.

On shorter department features including photos, we pay a flat fee ranging from $100 to $250. Smaller departments like Looking Back pay $50 each. Short stories pay 15 cents a word unless it’s a serial, then 10 cents word.

Q: Please add anything you feel is important for a potential writer to know about your publication or the submission process.

A: We have to have the full manuscript with photos to consider for publication. We notify authors when an article is chosen for publication and pay on publication. Because of the volume of submissions, we cannot provide updates and since we choose articles on deadline, we do not buy articles in advance of publication.

Sometimes it takes 6 months for us to review. We return those rejected and keep those we like for possible use. We don’t accept simultaneous submissions. Patience is the key. A gentle written reminder is OK, but all we can tell you is that it’s here and still being considered. Of course, authors may ask for the material to be removed from consideration at any time.

Keep a copy of your manuscript and your photos. While we take great care to return everything, the mail is not always dependable.

Copies are available by subscription or by requesting a single copy from customer service. Writers Guidelines are free with a SASE.

Donna Doyle, Editor-in-Chief

GRIT Magazine

1503 SW 42nd St.

Topeka, KS 66609


Coming Up

In the May 2002 Market Update, we’ll publish an interview with a successful working writer. I’ll also interview three publishers. And I have some surprises planned. For example, after more than 40 years, Walker and Company will no longer be publishing mystery and crime fiction books. Stay tuned to the May issue of the SPAWN Market Update for the full story and an interview with publisher, George Gibson.

Let me know if there are any specific publishers/genres you would like me to cover.

You Can Help:

Since we can’t be everywhere, we’d like to recruit our members to notify us about any information, news, tips or opportunities that might be of interest to the working writer/publisher.  Or let me know if there’s a particular editor or publisher you’d like me to interview for this column. Send your requests and information to me at