SPAWN Market Update – June 2003

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SPAWN Market Update – June 2003

By Patricia L. Fry

Contents:

  • Going, Going, Gone – We’ve lost 10 more magazines
  • Here’s What’s New – New magazines, a new publisher and important changes
  • Opportunities for Writing – 5 interesting fiction markets
  • Resources for Writers – Surprise! We’re giving you 7 great new resources
  • Sites for Writers – Aspire 2 Write
  • Grammar Site – The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
  • For Fiction Addicts – Historical Novel Society
  • Featured Writer – Novelist Kathryn Lay
  • Featured Editors – Phillip Thompson, features editor for Lifelines (Army Times Publishing) and Anne Beasley, editor of Surf Life for WomenGoing, Going, GoneHere’s our list of failed magazines for the month. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern emerging. New publications as well as seasoned ones are biting the dust. But don’t despair. I read recently that there were more magazine launches in 2002 than the previous year and fewer mags going under. It’s always sad to see one for which you’ve been writing fail, especially when they still owe you money. Let’s hope that isn’t the case with any of these.
    Real Woman
    New Woman (Hasn’t this one been on again off again for the past few years?)
    Victoria (Out of business after 16 years)
    My Generation
    Beans and Bears
    Fun & Gaming
    Golf Journal
    Shout Magazine
    Life At Work
    Portland UpClose. I planned to tell you about the birth of this brand new magazine in this issue, but instead we are reporting its demise. I haven’t received direct word that this magazine has closed, but their Web site is gone and the query letter I sent them was returned marked “addressee unknown.” Until we hear otherwise, we’re considering this magazine gone.

    Here’s What’s New

    Writer’s Digest offers writers a new monthly challenge with a possible monetary reward. Write an essay about your writing challenges and win $125. Find out more at http://www.writersdigest.com/contests/your_chronicle_display.asp
    Insite Magazine, is a new regional entertainment publication for Austin, Texas. For more information and Writer’s Guidelines, Contact editor, Robert Malina at Mail@insiteaustin.com.
    Runes Magazine debuts this month. Not only are they looking for short stories, reviews, articles and cartoons, but they will also use freelance illustrations. They pay anywhere from $40 for a cartoon to $100 for a short story or an article. You’ll find their Writer’s Guidelines at http://www.runesmagazine.com/our_service.html.
    Stories.com is now write@writing.com. The new URL is http://www.writing.com
    Wanton Words is a bimonthly literary magazine seeking short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Submissions go to C. Shives at wantonwords@earthlink.net. Visit their Web site at http://www.wantonwords.com.
    Handsel Books is also looking for literary works. This New York publisher produces literary novels and poetry books. They are particularly interested in American poetry. Contact editor Harry Thomas at editor@otherpress.com. Learn more about this publishing company at http://www.otherpress.com/OPHandsel5Books.html
    Adam Van Loon at MARCH Magazine emailed to let me know that they’re moving already. The new address is POB 10666, Portland, OR 97296-0666 or contact Van Loon at: editors@marchmagazine.com. He says that they have new Writer’s Guidelines, too. As you may recall, we reported MARCH magazine in the March issue of Market Update. It’s a quarterly that covers culture, news, art and politics. According to Van Loon, you can see the entire first issue of MARCH on their Web site: http://www.marchmagazine.com.
    I received a press release about a new magazine called Combat this week. It’s a unique publication offering “Literary Expressions of Battlefield Touchstones.” This is a quarterly. The first issue hit the stands in January. According to the press release, this magazines wants “superlative writing expressive of wartime insights and experiences for entertaining a general audience.” The mission of Combat is to “impart the historical reality and to disclose the psychosocial effects of warfare to the general reader.” Contact the editor by emailing majordomo@combatmagazine.ws. Visit their Web site at: http:/www.combatmagazine.ws
    Book Magazine has a new name. It is now Barnes and Noble Presents Books
    AWP Chronicle is now The Writer’s Chronicle. This is an Association of Writers and Writing Programs magazine. Learn more at http://www.awpwriter.org

    Opportunities for Writers

    Fiction writers frequently complain that there are just not enough markets for their work. Here’s a magazine whose primary existence depends on fiction. It’s 100% freelance written and they pay $100 and 15 contributor copies per 3,000-8,000-word piece.
    One Story is looking for “amazing” fiction. Contact Maribeth Catcha (maribeth@one-story.com) or Hanna Tinti (Hannah@one-story.com), POB 1326, New York, NY 10156 or submissions@one-story.com. Visit http://www.one-story.com for more information.
    We dedicated one whole SPAWN Market Update to humor writing. If you made notes, here’s another resource to add: Humor Writer is a Web site focusing on-you guessed it-humor writing. Visit their Web site at: http://www.humorwriters.org. While there, subscribe to their free newsletter.
    Freshwriting.com (at http://www.freshwriting.com) is planning a Web site for writers and they’re looking for submissions. Contact them at submissions@freshwriting.com They’re mainly interested in good fiction and poetry.
    Get your stories published. Metropole pays 15 cents per word for original fiction and 10 cents for reprints. Send submissions to Daniel Quinn at danquinn@metropolemag.com  http://www.metropolemag.com
    The Shy Librarian features one original short story per issue and over 75 book reviews. They generally pay $25 per submission. Contact Marcia Trotta at publisher@shylibrarian.com. Find out more at: http://www.shylibrarian.com.

    Resources for Writers

    In March, we featured resources and markets for scriptwriters. Here are two more newsletters you might want to look at:
    Scriptmag Screenwriting Newsletter. Subscribe at sales@scriptmag.com or contact Editor, Andrew Schneider at Andrew@scriptmag.com.
    TVWriter Newsletter. TVwriter_com@email.com
    And I’d like to introduce a new writing Web site:
    Writing Wolf, http://www.writerclassifieds.com sells inexpensive classified ads to writers who are looking for writing assignments, a publisher, someone to collaborate with and so forth.
    EzineCatalog.com is a great site for becoming familiar with ezines and newsletters. They list ezines and newsletters in all categories-and some of them are looking for submissions. There are also quite a few ezines and newsletters for writers. Check em out. At http://www.ezinecatalog.com
    Every Writer is billed as the ezine for writers like you. Emily K. Bivens established Every Writer this year to educate and entertain writers. She is looking for nonfiction articles for writers. This is a paying market, but don’t expect to get rich here. Many of you will want to add this ezine to your list of writing resources. See what Emily is up to at Every Writer: http://www.everywriter.com. Talk to her at Emily@everywriter.com.
    I received a press release from Keith McKinnon about his media promotion service called Talk ‘N Talent. For a fee, he helps you get media exposure for your books. Contact him at 1-800-472-0968 ext 36014
    Mitchell Davis emailed to let me know that ExpertClick.com is free for journalists. This useful site features thousands of experts indexed by 10,000 topics. If you need an expert to interview for an article, check them out at http://www.expertclick.com

    Grammar Site

    The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. Jane Straus is the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation. She now offers benefit of her vast knowledge of grammar and punctuation on her Web site. http://www.grammarbook.com

    For Fiction Addicts

    Are you familiar with the Historical Novel Society? They have information and offer support for new writers, they offer opportunities and inspiration. They claim to be a community for authors, agents and publishers. They publish the Novel Society Review featuring over 800 book reviews throughout the year. If you’re into historical novels, you’ll enjoy this site: http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org

    Featured Writer

    This month, writer, speaker and teacher, Kathryn Lay graciously agreed to be our featured writer. Here’s her interview:

    Q:  Tell us a little about the type of writing you do.

    A: I’m a pretty obsessive writer.  I write just about anything that comes to mind.  My favorite writing is personal experiences, religious articles, fantasy, and children’s humor.  But, I also enjoy parenting and marriage pieces, essays, how-to’s, general articles, writing articles, and more.

    Just about anything can set off an idea, and most people I know are used to me grabbing a paper and pen, my digital recorder, or anything to put down an idea before it is lost.

    Q: When did you learn that you wanted to spend your life writing? What were the steps that led up to your becoming a writer?

    A:  I’ve known since I was in second grade that I loved writing.  For as long as I can remember as a pre-teen and teen I’ve wanted to be a published writer/author.  I had a wonderful English teacher in junior high who really encouraged my writing.  And in high school, my Mom encouraged me to enter a contest put on by the creative writing club.  It was judged by college professors.  I won first place in the short story category.

    But, in 1987 my husband encouraged me to begin writing again.  In 1988 I made my first writing sale of a short story and 2 poems to a religious literary publication.  I was hooked and haven’t stopped since.

    Q: How many hours a day/week do you spend writing? Do you have a schedule? Do you use any tricks to discipline yourself to write?

    A:  I don’t have a specific schedule.  I home-school my daughter, have taken care of a sick Mom off and on, am involved in a couple of writer’s groups, co-direct an English school for refugees and immigrants, and teach writing courses online.

    So, I write whenever and wherever possible. Before home-schooling each morning, while my daughter is taking tests or working on her own, while she is at swimming club, in doctors offices or hair salons, after everyone goes to bed at night, and so on.  Except for when I’ve over extended myself, I rarely have to discipline myself to write.  If I go for several days without writing, I’m cranky and feel out of sorts.  I do my best to write and market at least 2 hours a day.

    Q:  What are some of your proudest moments as a writer?

    A: Definitely whenever I hear my daughter or husband brag about my writing.  Another big moment was when I received a phone call from a woman who had read an article in Home Life magazine seven years earlier about my battle with infertility and childlessness.  She’d saved the piece and read it to her children.  Her kids had recently purchased CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE MOTHER’S SOUL, where she read my article about my daughter’s adoption.  She said she couldn’t help but call and congratulate me on Mother’s Day.  My writer’s soul soared that day.  And most recently, my proudest moment was when my agent called to tell me that my first children’s novel had sold.

    Q: What have been some of your greatest challenges in this profession and how did you overcome them?

    A:  Dealing with rejection.  I try not to, but do tend to take many of them personally, especially projects I’d really hoped would sell.  But I found that by keeping 30-60 manuscripts, queries, and contest entries in the mail/email at all times, I don’t feel quite so bad when one comes back.  I also began making lists of where to send each piece.  If it comes back, I already know where it’s going next.

    Q: Can you tell this audience what a writer who has reached your level of accomplishment can expect to earn per year?

    A: That’s very hard to say.  I know many writers who make more than me, mostly because they write every moment of the day, have found a specific magazine niche or written popular book series, or do business writing on the side.  My best year, a last year, I made $13,000.  Since I only get to work 2 hours a day or less, I feel pretty excited about it. It’s hard making much of a living as a total freelance writer.  With my book sale this year along with my magazine writing, and another possible book sale looming, I hope to do much better in 2003.

    Q:  What is your favorite aspect of your work?

    A:  Obviously receiving acceptances.  But, as far as the writing part, when I’ve finished a story, article, scene, or book and just know it’s come together well, there is a thrill I can’t describe.  Of the 800 article, story, anthology, essay, and book sales I’ve made; only a handful have given me that immense thrill.  They are pieces that came from deep down, that flowed quickly or were rewritten to perfection.  These pieces sold quickly or sold well.

    Q: The majority of our readers are independent publishers/self-publishers. Have you ever self-published? Do you help in the task of marketing your books? What seems to be your most successful marketing technique?

    A:  The only book I’ve self-published is a writing booklet.  It consists of 80 pages of articles I’ve sold or articles written from my writing classes and workshops.  I’ve done fairly well with it just marketing it in my byline with online articles and selling it when I do in-person workshops and writing classes.  When my children’s book comes out in 2004, I intend to be very involved in marketing it to schools and libraries by working on programs to entertain and teach my juvenile readers.

    Q:  What would you advise someone who is considering becoming a full-time writer/author?

    A:  Read and study the type of writing you want to do.  Get involved in a writer’s organization, club, and/or critique group.  Never give up with rejections.  I’ve sold pieces right off the bat, and some after 17 rejections.  My novel sold after 2 years of rewrites, 2 years sitting at a publisher, getting an agent and rewriting it from 3rd to first person, before selling to the next publisher who read it.

    Q:  Please add anything you would like and be sure to include your contact information/Web site…

    A:  Writing and publishing isn’t for the faint of heart, but if writing is in your heart, I believe that persistence, honing your craft, writing and rewriting and rewriting some more, persistence, marketing and studying markets, and more persistence will pay off.

    Contact Kathryn Lay at rlay15@aol.com
    Her Web site in progress is http://hometown.aol.com/rlay15/index.html

    Featured Editors

    I was pleased to get an interview with Phillip Thompson, Editor of Lifelines for Army Times Magazine.

    Q:  Please describe Army Times Magazine. Who is your audience and what do they expect when they open your magazine each month?

    A: The Times papers (Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times), founded more than 60 years ago, are Gannett newsweeklies that serve the military community. We appear on newsstands each Monday at nearly every U.S. military base in the world. We are independent of the government, but we appeal to readers based on their professional affiliation with the military. Our newspapers inform readers about breaking developments that affect their careers, but they are also community newspapers that provide information about transfers, promotions and life changes in the military world. We are consumer newspapers as well, showing readers how to get the most out of service life. In addition, we are sounding boards for readers to share their opinions about military life in our news and feature articles, letters to the editor and commentaries. Our papers reach nearly 300,000 people each week around the world. Currently, we have several reporters and photographers representing all four papers embedded with American forces in Iraq.

    Q: Do you encourage submissions from freelance writers? Please describe your submission process.

    A:  The Lifelines section does accept freelance submissions. So far in 2003, about half our Lifelines content has been freelance material. E-mail submissions are preferred. The manuscript should be in plain, unformatted text, in the body of an e-mail message. Do not send your manuscript as an attachment to an e-mail message. Include your name, address, and telephone number on the first page of the manuscript.

    If you send a hard-copy manuscript, we prefer it on 8½-by-11-inch paper, with the text typed and double-spaced, and with a margin of at least an inch. It does not have to be perfectly typed, but it should be easily readable. We would appreciate receiving the article in digital form (a computer disk or e-mail) along with the typed or printed manuscript.

    Be sure to put your full name, address, telephone numbers, e-mail address and Social Security Number at the top of your manuscript. We will need the information to contact you and, if the article is accepted, to process your payment.
    Q:  I notice that you have both print and online magazines. Can you tell us the difference? Do you accept submissions for both?

    A:  Most of the same content appears both online and in print, but because we are  a weekly paper, we now have the capability to update our site daily with news and photos. This has been maximized during the war, during which time we have exceed 3 million visitors per day to our web site. We don’t distinguish between online and print submissions, however. Freelancers should submit to the print version, because our Web site posts that copy only after it has appeared in print.

    Q:  Is there anything specific that you’re currently looking for? Has the magazine taken on a different flavor since the events in Iraq?

    A:  Answering the second part of the question first, our paper hasn’t really taken on a different flavor. Our beat is the U.S. military, so our coverage, aside from the fact that we were receiving some outstanding reporting from our reporters in the field, hasn’t changed. What has happened, however, is that the Times papers have received much more national recognition via USA Today and the Gannett News Service. Our photos and stories have appeared on the front page of USA Today and a multitude of daily papers across the United States.

    What we look for: Our Lifelines section appears every week with a variety of service, information and entertainment articles on topics that relate to readers’ off-duty lives; or to personal dimensions of their on-duty lives. Topics include relationships, parenting, education, retirement, shelter, health and fitness, sports, personal appearance, community, recreation, personal finance, outdoor/adventure travel and entertainment. We’re looking for articles about military life, its problems and how to handle them, as well as interesting things people are doing, on the job and in their leisure. Keep in mind that our readers come from all of the military services. For instance, a story can focus on an Army family, but it should include families or sources from other services as well.

    The editorial “voice” of the section is familiar and conversational; good-humored without being flippant; sincere without being sentimental; savvy about military life but in a relevant and subtle way, never forgetting that our readers are individuals first, spouses or parents or children second, and service members third.

    Style: We use Associated Press style. Accurate identifications of people in the military are important to our readers, so be sure to state the branch of service (Army, Navy, etc.) and rank (Sgt., Cmdr., etc.) before every service member’s name on first reference. Refer to the AP Stylebook entry, “military titles,” for specific ranks and abbreviations. If someone is retired or a military veteran, state whatever their rank was on retirement or separation from active duty. If that information isn’t available, explain whatever their military connection was as completely as possible.

    WHAT WE DON’T WANT: We don’t publish fiction, poetry, humor, satire, personal essays or memoirs. We rarely use historical essays and cannot use unit histories. We don’t want articles that have nothing to do with the military. They are our audience, and it must affect their lives in one way or another.

    Q:  What would you advise someone wanting to break into a military publication such as yours?

    A:  The most common reason for rejection to a query to the Lifelines section is because the material falls into the category of “What we don’t want.” I get far too much material from writers who aren’t familiar with the military or who have a piece “that every service member would enjoy.” The best advice for someone who is trying to break into a military publication is to learn the subject matter. Read, research, read some more. Find military people and learn what their jobs are, what their culture is, what makes it unique. Because we cover the military, we can’t use stories about how tough Marine Corps boot camp is or what it’s like to be an F-16 pilot, simply because our audience already knows these things. We look for the unique, the subtle, the nuance.

    If you’re interested in writing for a military magazine, follow the suggestions above and contact:

    Phillip Thompson
    Lifelines Editor
    Army Times Publishing Co.
    6883 Commercial Dr.
    Springfield, VA 22159
    E-mail: features@atpco.com or pthompson@atpco.com
    _______________________________________________________________
    Anne Beasley is editor for the year-old magazine, Surf Life for Women.. Here’s my interview with her.

    Q: When did Surf Life for Women come into being and what was the motivation?
    A:  The first print magazine hit newsstands in June of 2002, prior to that it existed as a webzine, as http://www.girlssurflife.com  The magazine came into existence because there was a market void for a women’s surf magazine that focused on the core lifestyle and stoke of surfing.

    Q:  Please describe your magazine–who is your target audience?
    A:  Our audience largely falls into the 20-35 age demographic, and is about 95% female.

    Q:  My readers will want to know how they can help you reach your audience. Do you solicit articles from freelance writers? And what is your pay scale?
    A:  We welcome queries from freelance writers. 80% of our articles come from outside writers. We have several regular contributors too. Our pay is currently 15 cents per word, those who contribute more than once or show great skill receive 20 cents per word. We hope as the magazine grows we can pay more! For now we have to stick with that rate.

    Q:  What types of articles or article topics are you currently in the market for?
    A:  In particular, we look for articles on events, regions, profiles, environmental issues, fitness and health, surf specifics, adventure travel, technology, crossover sports like skateboarding and snowboarding, and any other activities that are interesting and engaging. We have done features on everything from Indonesia to tandem surfing. We have also included other sports like kitesurfing and yoga in our magazine. There’s also a section called Soapbox that is mainly an opinion piece.

    Q:  What do you advise those who would like to write for Surf Life for Women?
    A:  Queries should be three or four paragraphs and present a clear and original idea, the article’s proposed length and scope, why Surf Life for Women would find it interesting and what qualifies the writer to write about it. Features are generally 1,500 to 3,500 words in length. Department articles (100 to 1500 words) cover timely news, environment, health, food, music/book reviews, advice, places, and events. Queries may be sent to: anne@surflifeforwomen.com  or mailed to:
    Surf Life for Women
    3052 N. Main St.
    Morro Bay, CA 93442

    Q:  Please add anything you would like and be sure to give us your contact information.
    A: We are always looking for qualified writers who understand deadlines and know how to write a good lead that engages the reader to the very end!

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