SPAWN Market Update – March, 2005
By Patricia L. Fry
Going, Going, Gone: Just two magazines to report
Here’s What’s New: WOW 6 new mags & 7 changes to note
Opportunities for Writers: Funds for writers, jobs & a contest
Opportunities for Authors: Publish your sci fi or kids’ book
Opportunities for Script Writers: Someone wants your script
Book Promotion Opportunities: Speak for miles, do a radio show
Opportunities for Photographers and Artists: Collaborate
Research/Reference Site: NEW SPAWN Market Update Search
Editors Commentary: Muddy Writing, shipping Books and more
Bonus Item: 15 Writer’s Organizations based on genre, interest, professional accomplishments, ethnicity and region.
Sara Nelson is now editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly. She was a journalist for many years, coming most recently from the New York Post.
Guideposts for Teens
Corney Vanhelden emailed us a few weeks ago to let us know that his site, Writer-On-Line has a new look. Check it out at http://www.writer-on-line.com.
Marilyn Kruse is the new editor of Country Woman Magazine. Joanne Wied is her editorial Assistant. Again, there isn’t much information for freelance writers on their Web site, but you can check it out anyway at http://www.countrywomanmagazine.com. Contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever heard of the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund? You should know that there is money available to help established freelance nonfiction writers who, because of advancing age, illness, disability or some other crisis, are unable to work. This fund is held by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. For more information write to: ASJA, Charitable Trust, 1501 Broadway, Ste. 302, New York, NY 10036
Find freelance writing work at http://www.freelancewriting.com/forumdir/fjb. I went there and found a couple of jobs that I’m going to jump on.
It’s time for the CNW/FFWA 22nd Annual Florida State Writing Competition. This contest is open to all writers, however, members of CNW/FFWA save up to 50% on their entry fees. Learn about membership by emailing: email@example.com. There are several categories including published and unpublished nonfiction, fiction, unpublished short story, unpublished or self-published novel chapter, children’s literature and poetry. Entry fees are from $3 to $20 depending on the category and your membership status. The Deadline is March 15, 2005. Visit http://www.writers-editors.com for membership information and entry forms.
Let Jim Duxbury at CD Books turn your published fiction book into an audio book. Duxbury has his own books available for electronic download on CD. And he invites other authors to transfer their books to audio for a new audience. Learn more at http://cdbooks.us. Jim is a nice guy, too.
MoonChild Self-Publishing Consulting Services
: Our posting of a company or service is, in no way, a recommendation. We are simply providing information for your consideration. We expect and urge you to thoroughly research any company before entering into a business relationship.The Penguin Imprint DAW is currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts in the area of Science Fiction and Fantasy. They’ve stated that they want novels of 80,000 words or more. Members frequently ask me how many words (or pages) publishers want in a manuscript. I let them know that publishers vary in their word/page requirements. Some don’t reveal their preference. But DAW has done that here, making it clear to authors before they submit their manuscript. Submit a query letter to, Manuscripts Editor, DAW, 14th Fl, 345 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014.
GP Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Do you have a book that would make a great movie or a script that’s ready to go? Well dust that baby off and take it to the Great American PitchFest at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles, April 29, 30 and May 1. You just might be in the right place at the right time to have your TV show or movie idea noticed. This is the 2nd year for the Great American Pitchfest. According to coordinator, Signe Olynkyk, there will be about 100 companies present to hear pitches in every genre and format. Olynkyk recalls that last year writers and creators came from all over the world to meet with Hollywood decision-makers and many of their scripts found homes. Don’t worry about your sales technique. If you’re a bit queasy about approaching agents and producers, you can take a workshop on site and learn the basics of pitching your great idea. Purchase your tickets before March 31 and pay only $300. After that date, they are $350. What do you get for your money? Entry to the Pitchfest, the training session, parties, networking events and lunch with the decision-makers of your choice. For more information visit http://www.pitchfest.com or call 1-877-255-2528.
I received Jerrol LeBaron’s InkTip newsletter last week and he lists several writers who have had their scripts purchased and some companies that are still looking for specific types of scripts. Do you have a horror or sci-fi script that takes place on a 747? Maybe you’ve written something about Martin Luther King, Jr’s life. Or maybe you have completed an action adventure script similar to “National Treasure.” Do you have a comedy script featuring two male protagonists—something similar to “The Odd Couple?” If so, there may be someone interested in buying your script. For more information go to http://www.inktip.com/pnews.php.
If you have a book on parenting, teens, grandparenting or single parenting you might get a gig on the radio. Jodi Seidler has a Web site for single parents and she also does a radio show. She is looking for good books to feature on both. Contact her about sending a review copy of your appropriate book. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.makinglemonade.com
Note: I noticed something bothersome at Jodi’s Web site. I had to click through several pages before I finally found a contact link for her. And when I found it, it was hidden within an article. I urge those of you who have Web sites to provide your visitors with easy access to you through email
Don’t wait and hope for your big break as a photographer or artist, MAKE it happen. You have the perfect opportunity as a member of SPAWN to arrange collaborations. As a freelance writer and author, I frequently need good photographs to accompany an article or to use in a brochure for a company. Nothing sells books like the cover—so my new books need great covers. I’ve hired artists from the SPAWN member directory. I’ve known other SPAWN authors to collaborate with SPAWN artists on projects. In fact, a SPAWN artist is working with a SPAWN children’s book author on my recommendation as we speak. As it turns out, these two members live an hour apart.
There are a lot of new books being produced by SPAWN members. SPAWN members are also writing articles for magazines. I suggest that you artists and photographers make yourself known to us. For example:
No doubt you joined SPAWN in order to network and to find work. I suggest that you get proactive in your efforts.
SPAWN Market Update Search. You guys, this is sooooo cool. One day, during a discussion at SPAWNDiscuss, I mentioned how great it would be if we had a search function for the Market Update. We have so many editions in the archives now that it is difficult to pinpoint a specific resource. We’ve talked about creating an index to make searching easier. And then, within an hour or two of the SPAWNDiscuss discussion, our executive director/Webmaster, Virginia Lawrence, resolved the issue by installing a search function. You’ve got to try it out! You just click on the search bar at the top of the page and it takes you to the search screen. I notice that the process is at least somewhat case sensitive. When I wanted to do a search for POD publishers, I had to capitalize POD, for example. I hope that you will take advantage of this great new system. And after you do, let me know how it worked for you. email@example.com
Clean up your writing
I see a lot of what I call muddy writing among writers. Some of them run their sentences on and on while introducing three or four different thoughts before finally ending. Others use jargon or technical phrases with which they are familiar, but that could choke the average layperson. And that’s okay, unless your target audience is the layperson. Your writing is muddy if you write in the passive rather than active voice. Muddy writing is a difficult process to reverse, but it is possible.
Before sending that article, book proposal or query letter out, read it aloud. Would someone from Mars understand what you’re saying? Do the sentences flow or do you stumble over certain passages? Do you notice repetition—using the same words and phrases over and over again? Here’s an example of what I call “muddy writing,” Susan told a very bad lie. Or what about this, A lie was told by Susan. Why not say, “Susan lied?” When in doubt as to whether your writing lacks clarity, hire a good editor.
Announcing 3 New Writing/Publishing Courses
Don’t waste your summer. Go back to school and learn something useful that will also further your writing/publishing career. Patricia Fry is offering the following courses:
The art of shipping books
A question came up recently in SPAWNDiscuss about shipping books. I shared some of the tips I’ve learned from postal workers. But unfortunately, the postal service is changing some of their ways and thwarting some of our shipping opportunities.
For example, a postal worker suggested to me one day that when we need to ship up to nine of our 80-page books or five of our 180-page books, we should turn the 9 ¼ X 6 ¼ X 2 ¼ size Priority Mail box inside out and mail the books at the media rate. Or we could put the books inside the Priority Mail box, slip the box into a Flat Rate Envelope and send it priority for $3.85 no matter how many books we’re shipping or how heavy the package.
But I got a surprise the last time I visited the post office. Those nifty Priority Mail boxes now have “Priority” stamped on the inside as well as the outside. This means we cannot ship that box using the much cheaper media rate. Not only that, they now have restrictions as to the thickness of the materials you ship in the Flat Rate Envelope.
The post office does offer Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes now. I have one that measures 10 ½ X 9 X 6 inches and costs $7.70 to ship. This is a good price if you fill that box with books. If, however, you have only 3 books to ship, you’re paying way too much.
I send books media rate or book rate when I’m paying for shipping. When I charge a customer for shipping, I always send the book first class or Priority Mail. Some people argue that media rate packages take too long to arrive. I shipped about 35 books to St. Louis from CA last October using media rate at a cost of around $7.00 and they arrived in St. Louis just 6 days later.
When I ship just one book, I use a bubble mailer. They weight less, thus cost less to mail than the fiber-filled mailers. When I send more than one book, I use recycled boxes for as long as I have them. But at some point I run out of them, so I did some research for boxes that would work for small shipments of books. Here’s what I found. The best price on bubble mailers can be found at http://www.mailersandmore.com and the best prices on boxes by bulk are at http://www.papermart.com.
More about POD publishers
If you are considering turning your manuscript over to a POD Publisher, you might want to read the article at: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05022/446283.stm.
Reading is making a comeback
According to a Harris Poll, reading was America’s favorite activity in 2004. Second was watching TV. Spending time with family came in 3rd.
When you Specialize—Organizations for Specific Genres, Ethnic Groups, Abilities, Interests and Regions.
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Black Writers United
Canadian Authors Association
Christian Writers Fellowship International
The Dog Writers Association of America
Education Writers Association
Horror Writers Association
Mystery Writers of America
Poetry Society of America
Romance Writers of America
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.
Sisters in Crime
was founded in Baltimore in 1986 to try to combat discrimination against women in the mystery writing field and to educate publishers and the general public as to the inequities in the treatment of female authors. There are currently 48 chapters worldwide offering networking, advice and support to mystery authors. They offer members a quarterly newsletter, membership directory, 3 guidebooks for authors and more. Membership is $40 per year. For information, contact executive secretary, Beth Wasson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join, go to http://www.sistersincrime.org. was founded in 1965 to bring together those interested in the sci fi and fantasy genre. Dues range from $35 to $60 depending on your professional qualifications. Learn more at http://www.sfwa.org. is a genre writers’ association founded in Texas in 1980 to give romance writers a voice. There are currently 9,000 members and 140 chapters worldwide. About 1,600 members have published books. This organization produces an annual national conference. The 2005 conference will be held in Reno, NV. Dues are $100 for the first year. http://www.rwanational.org is for anyone who enjoys poetry whether they write it or just read it. There are several levels of membership from the student ($25 per year) to the supporter ($65 per year) and all the way up to an angel. If you love poetry and are interested in readings, seminars and competitions, check out this site. http://www.poetrysociety.org. is for the professional writer who has published at least two novels through a royalty-based publishing house. This 16-year-old organization serves the needs of authors of popular fiction. Membership dues are $65 per year and there is an application fee of $15. To see if you qualify to join, visit their Web site at: http://www.ninc.com. is billed as the premier organization for mystery writers. There are four categories of member, but the basic dues are $95 per year. http://www.mysterywriters.org is a worldwide organization for writers and publishing professionals dedicated to promoting dark literature. Formed in the late 1980s, they now have over 1,000 members. Basic membership dues are $95 year. Check their web site to see what level of membership you qualify for. http://www.horror.org was organized in 1947 as a professional organization for education reporters from the print and the broadcast media. They also welcome writers who work for educational institutions. Dues are $65 and up depending on the level of membership you desire. They have more than 1,000 members in the United States and Canada. http://www.ewa.org began in 1935. This is an organization for newsmen and women, magazine writers and reporters who cover dog shows. Dues are $75 the first year and $45 thereafter. Learn more at: http://www.dwaa.org. is over thirty years old. They charge writers $40 per year for membership and provide a newsletter, conferences and referrals. If you write Christian material, you might want to look into membership at http://www.cwfi-online.org., Inc. is an organization of professionals who write, publish and broadcast on the subject of cats. They produce a quarterly newsletter to members only. They also run an annual contest. Dues are $30 for the first year. http://www.catwriters.org was founded in 1921. It will cost you $160.50 to join, but I’m not sure what you get for your money. I believe that you must qualify professionally to belong to this organization. They provide an annual conference and writing contest with $1,500 in cash prizes. Learn more at: http://www.canauthors.org. is an offshoot of the now defunct Black Writers Alliance. Membership is free and they offer contests, grants, fellowships, career opportunities and tips for writers. There are currently around 1,400 members. http://www.blackwriters.org (ASJA) was founded in 1948 to bring together independent writers of nonfiction. Today, there are more than 1,000 members. You must quality in order to belong to this organization and the annual dues are $195. There is a one-time membership fee totaling $125. http://www.asja.org.
. is a bartering speakers’ bureau. Do you like to go out and give presentations related to the theme of your book? I do. I speak on local history and I love to travel and talk about writing/publishing. Through the Speaker Bank, you might receive an invitation to speak not for money but for a hotel room or airline miles, for example. Learn more at http://www.speakerbank.com. offers some of the hottest trends in children’s publishing. They want submissions and they are asking authors to think “multicultural” for 2005. They also suggest that you write about things that kids are learning in school. And they’re seeking spooky stories for ages 8 and up. If you like to write for children, you might be interested in reading some of the most common mistakes made by children’s writers. According to the editors at Write4Kids.com, inexperienced children’s authors typically introduce poorly conceived talking animals. The editor suggests using Charlotte’s Web as a good example of dialogue among animals. Too many hopeful authors still single-space their manuscripts. That’s another no no. Don’t talk down to your young readers and don’t preach, say the editors at Write4Kids.com. And weak beginnings are also a problem with many children’s manuscripts. Visit http://www.write4kids.com. is also accepting manuscripts. Contact the Putnam Children’s Editorial, Manuscript Editor at the same address as above. . I found a database the other day with an incredible number of POD publishing or fee-based POD publishing or POD self-publishing services. Here’s another one. This is a one-stop self-publishing consulting service run by Tracey Michae’l Lewis. She is the president of MoonChild Publishing and the author of The Gospel According to Sasha Renee. She publishes her own books and those of others. As part of her service, she will review your manuscript, complete your copyright and ISBN paperwork, edit your manuscript, design your book cover, typeset your text, print your final copies and help you create a marketing plan. She has a Web site, but I don’t see this service listed there. To get more information about what Tracey has to offer, contact her at email@example.com. Her Web site is at http://www.moonchildenterprises.com. is not accepting new queries until January 2006. If you have a nonfiction or fiction manuscript and would like to get 20 percent royalties, mark your calendar for 1/2006 and send your ms then. http://www.waltsan.com editors tell me that they are overstocked and cannot possibly use any new articles at this time. accepts queries only between January and May each year. So it you have an idea for them, this is the time to present it. They buy 70 articles per year of 1,000 to 2,000 words each and they pay from $50 to $450 per article. They are a service magazine for people who love and care for cats. Contact managing editor, Sandy Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit their Web site at: http://www.catfancy.com. has new Author Guidelines. Feature articles must not exceed 1800 words, and fiction submissions should be around 2,000 words. Instead of the 10-12 cents per word they used to pay, they now offer 10 –15 cents per published word for nonfiction articles and fiction. They receive 100 manuscripts each month, so make sure you are on target with your query. Study the magazine. Keep in mind that subscribers are generally women in their mid fifties or older, so don’t send articles for parents of small children. This is a religious publication. http://www.liguorian.org is now Guidepost Sweet 16. They pay up to $500 for articles on acceptance. You’ll find their guidelines at: http://www.guidepostssweet16mag.com/guidelines.html. is a new magazine for teen girls. The founder isn’t much more than a teen herself. Evidently 24-year-old Nicole Cohen started this magazine in Canada as a class project. Unfortunately, while they accept freelance material, they aren’t in a position to pay for it. They will offer payment, however, when their financial situation improves. I’ve heard that one before. http://www.shamelessmag.com/about/guidelines (Your City) Los Angeles is a new English-language magazine for affluent Latinos in LA. This bimonthly magazine will debut in May as a guide to culture, entertainment and lifestyle for local Latinos. Again, I found no Submission Guidelines at their Web site. But I’ve contacted publisher, Jaime Gamboa at IR@emmis.com in hopes of obtaining some information. Go to their Web site at http://www.emmis.com to learn more about this publication. newsletter has expanded into a print magazine. Executive editor, Maureen Gallatin says that they do not have prepared Submission Guidelines, but they are open to contributors. She suggests that you write her a letter telling about yourself, your experience (I assume with horses and with writing) and your interests. I hope to get her or publisher, John Lyons to share information about their pay scale before the April edition. In the meantime, visit their Web site at http://www.perfecthorse.com.. We’ve been aware of this new magazine since January. But information was scarce. I asked SPAWN members to contact us if they knew anything about this publication. A few weeks ago, I happened across this: The magazine is, of course, a regional lifestyle magazine—one of many in the U.S. and one of many in Florida. This 100-page magazine targets an affluent central Florida readership. It will be distributed through select restaurants, luxury hotels and VIP airline lounges. The publisher is Sven Joel Bode. While I don’t find their Submission Guidelines on their Web site, I have located their Editorial Calendar and reader demographics. It’s at http://www.orlandostylemag.com. I hope to have information about their pay scale for the April edition of the Market Update. will launch this month. This is a quarterly for serious senior athletes—that is, people 40 and over. Contact Sean Callahan with your story ideas. email@example.com. I’m still checking to find out if they pay their writers. http://www.geezerjock.com