SPAWN Market Update – April 2004


SPAWN Market Update – April, 2004

By Patricia L. Fry


Going, Going, Gone – 8 magazines have ceased publication

Here’s What’s New – Two new magazine and several changes to note

Contests for Writers – 6 contests for good writers and 1 for BAD ones

Opportunities for Writers – An online job board, a critique group and 3 writing opportunities

Opportunities for Young Writers – Editing apprenticeships for kids

Opportunities for Young Artists – Dawn of Day needs an illustrator and art designer

Tip for Freelance Writers and Authors – Tis the Season to write for fall

Research/Reference Sites of the Month – Find a printer database and help with contracts and permission forms

Featured Site for Writers – Bethany Roberts

Grammar Site of the Month – Writer’s Universe

Agent Interview – Scott Treimel, agent for children’s book authors
Going, Going, Gone an online site for the writing family has ceased publishing. 

Rainy Day Corner

Flying Books

The Flying Life

Minnesota Parent Magazine

Yolk Magazine

Technology in Practice


HiP Magazine

Here’s What’s New

Pet and Aviary Birds Magazine


Front Street


Branch and Vine Publishers

Contests for Writers

Custom Education, Inc.

is inviting writers of children’s stories to enter a contest. The entry fee is $5 and the deadline is Midnight, September 30, 2004. They will award prizes to 3rd place—first place is $25 and space at the CEI Publications Web site to promote your work. There are two categories: fiction and nonfiction both written for young children. Get guidelines at: Here’s a contest for BAD writers or good writers who wish to pretend to be bad. Have you ever heard of The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest where www means Wretched Writers Welcome? For over 20 years, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored this contest through which they challenge entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst possible novel. You can submit more than one entry, but each of them must consist of one sentence only. The deadline is April 15, 2004. Learn more about this wild and crazy contest at

Third Annual Conestoga Short Story Contest 24-hour Short Story Contest

Western States Nonfiction Writers Contest

Boston Review Seventh Annual Poetry Contest War Poetry Contest.

Opportunities for Writers

Craig’s List

Critique Circle

Generation X Journal, Speaking for Our Generation

If you write about political issues, here’s an opportunity for you. California Journal is in the market for political nonfiction pieces from 800 to 2000 words. They’ll pay as much as $300 to $2000 for all rights. I would not sell all rights. I’d negotiate for one-time or first-time rights even if it means accepting less for that blockbuster article. Contact Editor Jim Evans at

accepts fiction of many types. They don’t pay much, but it might be a foot-in-the-door for those of you who can’t find a home for your fiction manuscripts. Contact Kathy Stoops at or 2101 K. St., Sacramento, CA 95816.Sam’s Dog Publishing

Opportunities for Young Writers

Merlyn’s Pen

Note: Watch for more resources for young writers in my article scheduled to appear soon in Writer’s Digest.

Opportunities for Young Artists

Dawn of Day Publishing

Tip for Freelance Writers and Authors

Think fall and winter.

Even though only the earliest signs of spring are evident in many states, a writer’s mind should be on fall and winter. If you write for magazines, you know that when you’re in the mood to write about the lazy days of summer, magazine editors are addressing stories for their holiday issues.

Rather than pitching ideas about taming that spring litter of feral kittens or Easter activities for preschoolers, it’s time to think about back-to-school and Christmas giving.

I’m currently pitching articles to promote my book Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles book for grandparents’ day in September. And I’ll soon be sending query letters for articles promoting my book, Youth Mentoring, Sharing Your Gifts With the Future as a holiday gift. You should be doing the same.

Query kids’, parenting, religious, senior, association and general magazines offering excerpts from your children’s book. Maybe you have a quaint book of short stories. Pull out a story related to the holidays and offer it to The Missouri Review, Rosebud or Tin House. Your book on parenting might make a good gift for the new parent. Send an excerpt or write an article for Parenting Magazine, South Florida Parent or Today’s Parent Pregnancy and Birth.

You could promote your book featuring quilts that are designed around food and the recipes that inspired them to a magazine such as The Quilter, Quilter’s Newsletter, Quiltworks Today, Reminisce, The Good Old Days or Grit, for example.

So, even though you are still waiting for the spring thaw, fast forward your promotional efforts to autumn and you will be right on track professionally.

Research/Reference Sites of the Month

Find a Printer

Author releases, permission forms and publishing agreements.

If you’re interested in a collaboration agreement, check out the article on this topic at Featured Writer’s Site

Bethany Roberts at offers help for people who want to write for children and she provides resources and links. Do you have questions about writing for children or finding a publisher for your manuscript? Bethany may have the answer.

Grammar Site of the Month

Writer’s Universe

Agent Interview

Scott Treimel is an agent who specializes in children’s books. Prior to becoming an agent, he was an assistant at Curtis Brown, Ltd. He also worked for Scholastic, Inc., United Feature Syndicate and HarperCollins Children’s Books. He is founding director of Warner Brothers Worldwide Publishing. Here’s my interview with Mr. Treimel.

Q: I see that you sold several titles last year. Please describe some of those books and why they sold.

A: I sold 20 new titles in 2003. These include:


  • OPEN ICE by Pat Hughes, won at auction by Random House/Wendy Lamb Books.
  • THE STUPENDOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO by new author Janice Repka. to be pub’d in fall 04 by Dutton (Michele Coppola)
  • THEORIES OF RELATIVITY by Barbara Haworth-Attard. pub’d in Canada by HarperCanada (Lynne Missen) 9/03); on submission to U.S. pub’rs.
  • PLAYING IN TRAFFIC by Gail Giles. to be pub’d by Roaring Brook Press (Deborah Brodie) fall 04.
  • FROM CHARLIE’S POINT OF VIEW by Richard Scrimger. to be pub’d in Canada by Tundra (Kathy Lowinger), in the U.S. by Dutton (Maureen O’Sullivan).
  • DEAR CANADA by Barbara Haworth-Attard. to be pub’d by Scholastic Canada (Sandy Johnson) fall 04.


  • PAPA, DO YOU LOVE ME by Barbara Joosse. to be pub’d by Chronicle (Victoria Rock) spring 05
  • WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO? by Toni Teeven. to be pub’d by Clarion (Jennifer Wingertzan) fall 05.
  • PLEASE IS A GOOD WORD TO SAY by Barbara Joosse. to be pub’d by Philomel (Patricia Gauch) summer 05.
  • MY LIFE AS A CHICKEN by Ellen Kelley. to be pub’d by Harcourt (Samantha McFerrin)
  • BLUEBERRY MOUSE by Alice Low. pub’d by Mondo (Don Curry) fall 03.


  • KILLER ANTS by Nicholas Nirgiotis. to be pub’d by Holiday House (Mary Cash) spring 05.
  • CHRISTMAS TREE FARMING by Ann Purmell. to be pub’d by Holiday House (Mary Cash) fall 05
  • MAPLE SYRUP SPRING by Ann Purmell. to be pub’d by Holiday House (Mary Cash) spring 06
  • A PIEPLATE IN THE SKY, poems by Alice Low. to be pub’d by Holiday House (Regina Griffin) fall 05.

Q: Is there anything in particular that you are currently looking for?

A: Hmmm. I am looking for novels, from chapter books through teen novels. I am open to all genres, but am LESS keen on fantasy and romance than the rest. I am NOT looking for picture book texts, although I am open to considering work by authors who also illustrate.

Q: We’ve seen many changes in the publishing industry in recent years, are these changes also affecting the children’s book market? How?


A: Books sell through trade channels more than ever; librarians play a less important role. Therefore, parents assert more influence on what gets published. This explains, among other things, the rise in celebrity authors. I think it is a shame: parents are NOT equally qualified to judge a book’s merits. Also: whereas backlist has historically represented over 60% of a publisher’s book sales, this is now only 50%. The result is publishers front-load their lists and putting books out of print more quickly than before.


I am dismayed by diminishing editorial talent. Training, while as important as ever, is being overlooked, and experienced editors are permitted less time to raise the next generation. The picture book, in my opinion, has suffered especially.

Q: What advice would you offer to authors of children’s books today?

A: Readers are more sophisticated these days, but a good book is no different today than in the past. Teen books are having a renaissance; exceptional fiction is pub’d on every list. Authors have to be better, that’s all.

Q: Please add anything else you feel is important.

A: Above all, I believe in the reader and the reader’s experience of books. Authors must NOT sentimentalize childhood. Honest emotional content– no matter if is ugly or painful– are qualities I look for when evaluating submissions. I most especially abhor didacticism.

S©ott Treimel NY sells and administers intellectual property rights– print, electronic, foreign, dramatic, film, composition, broadcast, merchandise, promotion– for children’s book creators. On average, 3,000 unsolicited submissions arrive yearly, necessitating our strict adherence to these policies:

  • submissions are to be sent via post
  • text submissions must be in standard manuscript form: double spaced type in a standard size font
  • no multiple submissions or queries are considered. Our period of exclusivity is 90 days from our receipt
  • submissions received without an SASE are recycled upon receipt
  • complete picture book texts may be submitted, but no more than two
  • picture book dummies and/or thumbnail storyboards may be submitted only if the author is also the illustrator. A manuscript must be included separately as well.
  • complete chapter books of 60 or fewer pages may be submitted.
  • queries are required for manuscripts of 60 or more pages: include a story synopsis with attention to character development and two sample chapters.
  • no film scripts are considered
  • do not telephone before submitting work
  • no toy projects are considered.

Scott Treimel NY was founded in 1995 and is a member of:

Associate of Authors Representatives

The Authors Guild

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Contact Mr. Treimel with your appropriate manuscript at:

S©ott Treimel NY
434 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003-6918

is a useful site where you can learn about the craft of writing, the business of writing as well as many aspects of grammar. Check them out at was excited to make this find this week—a site where you have access to all kinds of sample forms that an author/publisher might need. . One of the most frequently asked questions we get through SPAWN is, “Where can I find the right printer for my job?” Now you can compare apples to apples by researching printers online. Visit and select “Find a Printer” (at the top of the page). 

is looking for someone 18 years or younger to create designs for their upcoming Fantasy Merchandise Line. They also need an illustrator for a fantasy novel. Visit for more information. is also offering students the opportunity to train as teen editors. If you know a teen in grades 9-11 who would like to apprentice as an editor, suggest that they contact R. James Stahl, Editor-in-Chief at . As you may know, I’m the author of Young Writer’s Handbook and I teach the SPAWN Kid’s Writing Program. I’m constantly searching for new opportunities for young writers. Here’s one I found this week. Merlyn’s Pen is a magazine dedicated to publishing the works of teens. Contact Editor, Jim Stahl at or The Merlyn’s Pen Foundation, Inc. at POB 910, East Greenwich, RI 02818. Locate their Guidelines for Young Writers at is seeking stories and illustrations for Potter’s Field, a print anthology of tales from the graveyard. That’s right, Editor, Cathy Buburuz is looking for spooky stories and black and white illustrations and, as she says, “The scarier the better.” She wants original stories of 2000 to 8000 words and they’ll pay ¼ cent per word or a maximum of $20 per story and $8 for illustrations. Payment for cover illustration is a whopping $12. Contributors will receive a copy of the finished book and you can purchase additional copies at a 20% discount. Questions? Contact Tyree Campbell at Submit manuscripts and illustrations to Participate in a critique group from home. Yes, it’s here—an online critique group. Share your work with others and get the feedback you desire. It’s FREE. . Are you familiar with online job boards? The most well-known is probably But here’s a site where they only post jobs for writers. The entry fee for up to 3 poems is only $10. And those who pen the best war-related poems will split awards totaling $2,250. The deadline is May 31. For rules and guidelines, visit . Enter as many as 5 unpublished poems by June 1, 2004. The entry fee is $15 for each poem. First prize is $1000 and publication in the Boston Review. For more information: If you live west of the Mississippi, you are invited to participate in this contest. The grand prize winner will get a trip to Los Angeles, free attendance at the Brilliant Book Marketing Strategies for Author’s Workshop, help preparing a book proposal for sale and agent representation. Submit your nonfiction book proposals before May 28, 2004. The entry fee is $10 per submission. For more information, visit . The starting time for this contest is noon (Central Time) April 24. The fee is $5 and there are more than 85 prizes. Get the details at for non-professionals. They are asking for a short stories (maximum 5000 words) in the area of speculative fiction which includes fantasy, horror, alternative history and science fiction. The deadline is May 1, 2004. For guidelines send an SASE to: Conestoga 7, 440 S. Gary Ave., Box 45, Tulsa, OK 74104 has closed their submissions for the year. If you want to submit something to this publishing company, you’ll have to wait until next January. has a new editor-in-chief and managing editor. Atoosa Rubenstein is at the helm. Send query letters to Managing Editor, Alison Sheffer Jurado. has a new address and phone number. Make this note in your Writer’s Market, Front Street, 862 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806, 828-236-3097is a new online magazine. Contact Managing Editor, B.J. Novitski at Or visit is new. They launched their first issue in October of 2003 from their offices in Knoxville, TN. Editor Martin Cleland is actively soliciting articles for bird lovers, breeders and owners. If you can write for this market, contact Cleland at Find Writer’s Guidelines at They prefer seeing a query letter and sample clips along with an outline of your proposed article. If they use your article, they’ll pay you 10 cents per word. is no longer publishing. has given up. is gone. ceased publication after 10 years. has stopped publishing with its February issue after18 years. United Parenting Publications will continue publishing 13 other parenting magazines. has ceased publication. is out of business.