SPAWN Market Update – December, 2002
By Patricia L. Fry
These publications no longer exist:
A recent report from the University of Mississippi states that there have been more magazines launched this year so far than during the same period in 2001. There are 540 new magazines as of October. (Reported in Meg Weaver’s Wooden Horse News Alert). Here are some newest magazines and some established magazines with a new focus.
BlueSuitMom.com is looking for experts. If you have a particular expertise in an area of interest to executive working mothers, contact Rachael at email@example.com with your article idea. They’re looking for reprints and articles in the 500 to 1000-word range. Here are some topics they’ve run recently: negotiating salary, dealing with working mother guilt, balancing work and family and how to stay in contact with your kids while on a business trip.
Hers Kansas features information valuable to the Kansas woman. Submit your ideas on topics related to time management, travel, relationships, health, fitness, psychology, community involvement, fashion and parenting. http://www.herskansas.com
Indy’s Men Magazine. While this magazine publishes most anything interesting and important to men anywhere, their target audience is men in Indianapolis. If you can write about golf, ball sports, fatherhood, bars, cooking, travel and business with an Indy slant, you might snag an assignment here. Indy’s Men Magazine is also interested in profiles of interesting men. Contact Lou Harry, 8500 Keystone Crossing, Ste. 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (no email queries) http://www.indymensmagazine.com
Modern Dog. This publication is billed as “A lifestyle magazine for urban dogs and their companions.” Wow, I wonder how many dogs actually subscribe? It’s new and it’s based in Canada. For more information about editorial requirements or to pitch a story, contact Connie Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.moderndog.ca
Online Auction Business will debut in January, 2003. This magazine is designed for the online merchant who utilizes Web and sales channels. They say that their mission is to bring together buyers and sellers and they’ll feature a story each month profiling an innovative market leader. Contact managing editor, Tony Jones, email@example.com. http://www.onlineauction-business.com
Ready Set Magazine. This is a theme-based magazine targeting young urban adults. Articles might include personal essays, cultural criticism, humor and fiction. Check out the editorial calendar at http://www.readysetmag.com. The publisher is currently seeking to hire writers, photographers, illustrators and editors.
More. Stephanie Woodard, articles editor at More Magazine, sent me these notes about their publication. More, she says, is a lifestyle magazine that tells the stories of women’s lives and thereby deals with a variety of issues facing baby boomers today. Readers are women aged 40 – 60. She says, “We love stories with lots of personal drama. Think angst plus glitz.” Woodward is especially interested in stories about women in their 40s. If you write travel pieces, think bungee jumping for More not barging, says Woodard. Do you have a good crime piece? This might be an outlet for you. And they may send you traveling if you can convince them that you can do a terrific story that no one else can do. Query via fax at: 212-455-1433. http://www.lhj.com/more
Working Mother Magazine has a new focus. According to Jill Kirschenbaum, editor in chief, their redesign offers the working mother a forum for tough subjects as well as a source for fun and inspiration. In other words, they’re now presenting a magazine that is more relevant to how today’s working mother lives. Here are some of the new sections: Work in Progress, Go Home and Quick Dish. Of course, the focus is still on the joys and challenges of the working mother. http://www.workingmother.com. Contact Jill Kirschenbaum at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Retired Officer Magazine is expecting changes. Some report that the name of the magazine will change, but I couldn’t verify that. I did learn, however, that the association behind this magazine, the 73-year-old Retired Officer’s Association, is changing their name to Military Officers Association of America. If I find out that the name of the magazine will also change, I’ll let you know.
-WriteTools offers, among other things, the Writers’ Tax Toolkit. Here you will find tax tips for writers, a step-by-step tax guide, the most common tax preparation errors, the skinny on home office deductions and much more. http://www.writetools.com/taxes.html
Funds for Writers!!!
Q: Please describe your site, FundsforWriters and how it came to be.
A: FundsforWriters is a source of funding information for writers. But it provides more than the standard list of jobs and freelance markets, and the reasons stem from experiences with actual writers.
In speaking to a group in Georgia a few years ago, I stood up to speak on managing a newsletter and website for writers. At the time I managed the newsletter for Wordweaving.com entitled WordWebletter. Newsletters were just booming then. By the time I finished speaking, I was speaking on another topic altogether. Comments about inability to afford various basics such as gas, paper, ink cartridges, and postage to mail manuscripts drew advice from me about contacting sponsors, applying for grants, and entering contests. At the time I was a manager with the US Department of Agriculture for a small agency that handled loans, grants and disaster payments. I had over 20 years experience as a loan officer and financial counselor for the low income, and the knowledge just started spilling over.
The emails started, and I helped people find ways to pay rent, find employment and keep the wolves at bay. But one particular email came from KD McIntosh, a journalist with cancer, who was homebound during chemo treatments. We talked at great length with me coaching her about funds, and her coaching me about newsletters and websites. She suggested I start a column or syndication on grants, and I dismissed the idea as too close to the 50-hour/week position I escaped from through my writing. She thought the concept was ripe, and I said I’d think about it.
She shortly thereafter took a turn for the worse, and our emails became less frequent. And after the umpteenth email to a writer about financial advice, I decided to give a small newsletter a go. After all, I was sending out all those emails anyway. The initial newsletter, FundsforWriters, grew rapidly to my amazement. I taught myself some basics in html, bought Frontpage 2000, and went to town setting up a website.
When I received an email from one of KD’s friends stating KD was in the hospital very ill, I sat down and wrote a thank-you to her for steering me in the right direction. The note came back unopened. She died the day after I wrote it. I decided at that point to write FundsforWriters: The Book and dedicate it to her, and I self-published it through 1stbooks.com.
I soon realized that the volume of information out there for writers was immense! And I also learned that some mighty serious writers were interested in my newsletter, but I had also had a following of those seeking lesser paying markets for their novice essays and stories. The newsletter ballooned so large that I established FFWJunior for novice and hobby writers. The fit worked, and I have to say the 850 members of that little newsletter are quite loyal. I receive many thank-you’s from that group for those markets.
Then I started receiving a few requests for student grants. After all, knowledge about grants passes into the student educational world, too, with the essays required for application. So I started WritingKid with markets for three age groups: ages 5-12, 13-18, and college 18-22. It’s a short little newsletter with about 5 markets per age group, but when I attempted to end it several months ago due to time constraints, I received an outpouring of dismays from children and teachers. I couldn’t do it, so I publish this little letter every two weeks to almost 300 people.
Q: What motivated you to become involved in finding funding for writers?
A: I’ve helped people and families for 25 years through my federal employment. Helping others is extremely rewarding. I’m a research freak and read voraciously. At work I researched funding sources and took an interest in nonprofits and the philanthropic world. While I am no expert by ANY means, I know enough to be dangerous. When I’m asked a “how do I…” question, I can’t turn away. Comes from working for the taxpayer public for so many years, I guess. So I combine what I know with what I like to do and help others. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Like I said about the Georgia speaking engagement, I learned a lot about the lack of knowledge many writers have. Call it a right brain-left brain dilemma or the fact that writers are reclusive and restricted from the public moreso than others, but most writers I’ve met need a little counseling on where to turn to make a dollar. They want to create but don’t know where to direct the energy. I try to steer clear of how to write articles and advice on plot and character, because I’m not an expert in those areas. I’m trying to learn how to write well myself, and my own novel sits rejected on my bookcase as we speak. I’ve seen too many writers actually destitute and worried about the bills and rent. They can’t concentrate on earning a living writing under those conditions. So I attempt to help provide them with as much information as I can – as much diverse and unique information. I want to give them options.
Q: What type of projects are being funded through your site?
A: FFW doesn’t actually fund projects. We are a resource of information for writers. Call us a broker of writing funding sources. However, we did start our first competition this year. It closed October 31, 2002 and was entitled SUCCESS WANTED. I wanted to see what writers can do when forced to seek the success in their writing lives. When they look for success, they generate and perpetuate success. I wanted to make that point. And once the winners are selected and I start publishing them, I want the members to see the tremendous array of options available to them.
Additionally, I wanted to enable all writers to enter the contest. Yes, contests cost money to run and most contests charge $5-20 entry fees with screenplays asking up to $75 per entry. But I knew enough from talking with these writers that some couldn’t afford $5. So I made the contest an optional entry fee. For a $5 entry fee, the writer would be entered into a $100 prize contest, and for no entry fee, a $50 prize contest. Writers choose. We received 60 entries, and I’m tickled with that. 2/3 are no entry fee, but that’s fine. I wanted writers to think positively and learn to enter contests.
This was our first attempt at a contest, and I’m pleased. My goal is to sponsor a $1000 grant each year from FundsforWriters. And I would focus the grant on writers trying to find time to write their first book or whatever similar situation because these are situations that grants don’t accommodate now. I want it to be different. I’m considering the nonprofit vs. for-profit pros and cons for FFW now. The nonprofit route might open doors to grant funds for FFW. Right now we are too small and still learning.
Q: What is the process for an individual looking for a grant?
A: Oh, my goodness – I could write a book on that – wow, I did! LOL. I actually could write another book on that topic – more indepth. Individuals are pretty much restricted to arts and humanities councils, commissions, and groups. These are at the regional, state, county, city and sometimes community level. It’s a trickle down effect. Government, foundations and corporations fund the larger councils/groups who then sponsor grants and competitions at a more local level.
I receive that question moreso than any other. Most ask how they can get a grant to pay living expenses so they can write fulltime. That is quite a myth, I’m afraid. 1st- the people asking are usually trying to write their first novel and have no experience under their belt to justify applying for a grant as a novelist. I suggest they contact their local council and see if any development grants are available (usually $500-1000) to help them with research, travel, conferences or other technical assistance. 2nd – I tell them to apply to contests once they get most of their story written. Many want money to publish – so many think they have to pay to be published and don’t understand traditional publishing. Some assume they can’t make it through traditional routes and want to go straight into self-publishing and need the money. I’ve yet to see a grant to self-publish, but I try to gently tell them to seek other avenues. But many contests and competitions offer publishing as a first prize. If a writer has a story worth telling and well written, these competitions are worthy. 3rd – I tell them to write and not wait till they have the money to cover all the bills first. Many do that. Writers will write throughout their life’s circumstances. They may not write as often as they like, but they will find a way to write.
Now, another angle I throw at people involves partnering or networking. I tell those who can to partner up with a nonprofit or educational group. A writer can gain access to funds through these entities that they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to reach. Nonprofits/organizations have a wide assortment of grant opportunities, and a writer working with these groups can work their commission, fee, salary, wages, whatever, in the larger grant. Also, a writer can gain an income from writing the actual grant. Also, the nonprofit can team with the writer and they can mutually promote an issue, a book, a cause to the benefit of both. I could go on and on about teams and partnerships. The concept opens so many more doors depending on the type writer and topic matter.
So while individual grants are not as readily available outside the arts and humanities groups, grant funds can be reached through ulterior routes.
Q: Do you also list grants for organizations?
A: I will list grants for organizations when I can see a place for a writer within them. Educational grants are good for many writers. Social cause grants can also be good for writers. Many of the larger grants within the arts and humanities groups are for organizations but with requirements to involve individual artists. I list these often. People need to think wider than just a simple individual grant to take time to write. And people need to think community. MANY grants ask for a connection to the community, city, county, etc. They want the funds to benefit more than the writer himself.
Q: Our readers would love to hear a story or two about individuals who applied for and landed grants for specific writing projects.
A: The FFW website has a lot of success stories listed from members. I usually try to pick one per month. If you will note, only a couple are regarding grants, and those grants are fellowships. While I try to teach people about grants, grants are not necessarily the way to go. Power to those who can land one, but the bottom line is there is no free ride. Individual grants go to established writers, usually, with a portfolio under their belts. The stories go more along these lines:
1. One individual traveled to schools as a resident writer and received payment for her fee from grant funds the school acquired through the arts and humanities council that supports arts in education.
2. Another author sells books at a library book fair/festival based on a grant the library received from a foundation.
3. One writer received a grant/fellowship to attend a forensic journalism conference she could not ordinarily afford.
4. Another writer received a fellowship to return to school in an assistantship status after she lost her job.
5. In several cities, like Litchfield County in Connecticut, writers banned together and created a nonprofit through which they apply for grant funds to sponsor public reading, book festivals, etc.
In other words, getting a grant isn’t like asking for a loan at a bank. Direct grants to writers are rare. So writers need to think outside the box to acquire funds.
Q: I see that you also list jobs, markets and competitions. Would you talk about that aspect of your site as well?
A: I try to teach that writing income can be a combination of all funding sources: grants, fellowships, markets, jobs, competitions. And I try to show just how big a variety is out there. Writing isn’t just a job or a novel. Writers need to be creative in marketing themselves and turning a dollar – just as creative as they are on paper. Until one becomes a syndicated columnist or best selling author, it takes innovation and a desire to find ways to make a living at what we like to do. Take a look at the success stories on the website. People are continually commenting on how their eyes were opened to funds – not just through grants but through all channels. They need to learn to use all of their assets and convert these energies to writing. It’s not just about picking up a pen and writing some words and selling them to a publisher. We all wish it were that easy.
Q: Do you have a newsletter? Book?
Funds For Writers. Three free newsletters now available. FundsforWriters – markets, competitions, jobs, grants, fellowships, publishers and agents for the serious writer (membership about 3500). FFWJunior – funding sources for the novice and hobby writer (membership about 850). WritingKid – publishing opportunities for the young writer (about 300).http://http://www.fundsforwriters.com/
I have to say it, but I’m trying to find more time to write. I want to write another book – a motivational book for writers incorporating my thoughts on finding ways to make a living writing. I get excited writing about these ideas and opportunities, and I take that as a positive sign that this is something I need to pursue.
Q: Do you have any plans for the future?
A: One of my plans just came true. I followed my own advice and made a plan over two years ago to leave the government job and pursue FFW and write fulltime. I accomplished that task on Sept 27. I’ve been a public servant for 25 years, and it feels great having the freedom to be creative and pursue sincere interests. My plans:
1. release Total FundsforWriters – taking place this week (Nov 3, 2002)
Fun Brain’s Grammar Gorillas. This site offers games to challenge the grammatical skills of kids and adults. Go to http://www.funbrain.com. And click on “grammar gorillas.”
FlashQuake is an amazing Web site where you can submit your flash fiction, flash nonfiction, flash plays and short poems for publication or enter them in contests. http://www.flashquake.org for submission guidelines and other information.
Writing to Heal Workshops
Q: Please describe the writing programs (workshops) you offer.
Many students have gone on to publish essays in local, national, and online publications.
Q: Please share with us an anecdote or two about how your online courses have enriched someone’s life.
A: The 2003 schedule is as follows:
We’re going for the gusto this month. Following are interviews with none other than Steve Florio, editor of Parade (circulation 81,000,000) and Nancy Clark, editor of Family Circle (5,000,000 circulation).
Steve Florio, editor of Parade
Q: Would you please describe Parade and your target audience.
Q: Are there any editorial changes expected in 2003 that freelancers should know about? Will there be a shift in focus or a new direction?
Q: What percentage of the articles in Parade each year are the work of freelance writers?
Q: Your listing in Writer’s Market says that writers with a specific expertise in the proposed topic have the best chance of breaking in. Would you give us an example or two of this occurring?
Q: Do you have any other tips for writers who want to write for Parade–studying your editorial calendar, perhaps, or reading Parade?
Q: What topics are you currently seeking? Anything in particular?
Q: Please add anything you feel is important to our readers.
Nancy Clark, editor of Family Circle
Q: I think all of our freelance writers are familiar with Family Circle–some have even written for you. Is there anything new at the magazine this year (or changes expected next year) that we should know about?
Q: What type of submissions are you most in need of currently?
Q: How can we learn more about your specific needs — by reading several issues? By looking at your editorial calendar?
Q: How would you like freelancers to approach your editors? Query first? Via email? Land mail? Who should they address?
Q: What is your best advice to someone wanting to write for Family Circle?
Q: What is the biggest mistake writers make in the submission or the writing process where Family Circle is concerned?
Q: Please add anything you feel is important to our readers.
Literary agent, Elizabeth Frost-Knappman tells how to find the right agent for your work and why the AAR is an important entity. Jeanne Yocum works full time and does ghost writing on the side. You won’t believe her crazy schedule.