SPAWN Market Update – October 2003

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SPAWN Market Update – October, 2003

By Patricia L. Fry

Contents:

  • Going, Going, Gone – 20 more mags and pubs have closed their doors
  • Here’s What’s New – 7 NEW magazines
  • Word of Warning – Poetry scams
  • Opportunities for Writers – 4 potential writing jobs
  • Research/Reference Site of the Month – Writer’s Free Reference Site
  • Meet an author and a graphic designer Sites for Writers – Writing-World
  • Grammar Site – Grammar Slammer
  • Bonus Items – An interview with our Executive Director
  • Publisher Interview – Karen Bouris, Inner Ocean Publishing
  • Going, Going, Gone 

    Carefree Enterprise

    Scottsdale Life

    Woman to Woman

    All About You-Teen

    All About You-Adult

    Oxford American

    Country Music

    Whitetail Business

    U.S. Art

    Traditional Quiltworks

    Stagebill

    Quilting Today

    Poptronics

    Planet Vermont Quarterly

    Odd Girls Press

    New Jersey Outdoors

    Kafenio

    American Visions

    Book Club Today

    Colorado Journal

    Here’s What’s New

    Writer’s Market

    Hallmark Cards is test marketing a new magazine called, quite appropriately, Hallmark. Look for it in your local Hallmark store. They launched in May without freelance contributions. If the magazine makes it, however, they will be seeking freelance material. POB 419034, Kansas City, MO 64141.

    Grand Traverse Woman

    American Magazine

    CurtCo Media, publisher of Robb Report, the Magazine for Luxury Lifestyle, has been around for a long time. And they’ve just launched two new magazines, Robb Report Motorcycle and Robb Report Worth, both of them for upscale readers. Robb Report generally pays $150 to $2000 for articles up to 3,500 words. The contact person for Robb Report is Mike Nolan, miken@robbreport.com. 1 Acton Place, Acton, MA 01720. http://www.robbreport.com

    BeadStyle Magazine

    It’s editor@beadstylemag.com http://www.beadstylemag.com

    College Parent Magazine

    Word of Warning

    Poetry Scams. There are actually numerous sites where you can find out if the poetry contest you want to enter is a scam. This is one of them: http://www.winningwriters.com/scambustingsites.htm

    Messenger Magazine

    Opportunities for Writers

    Peace of the Valley

    Fitness Magazine

    Are you a professional children’s book writer? Deb Griffith is looking for someone to create a book or a series of books for readers ages 3-9 years old. Stories will run around 150 words. Send your resume to: dgriffith@contourliving.com

    Do you enjoy writing verses? Iain Blenkhorn, blenkie2001@yahoo.co.uk, is seeking professional greeting card writers. Send 10, 20 and 50 verse samples.

    Want to enter some contests? Here’s a resource: http://www.writers-editors.com. Click on “Contests.”

    Read our Publisher’s Interview to find out what type of books Inner Ocean Publishing is looking for.

    Research/Reference Site of the Month

    Writer’s Free Reference Site – http://www.writers-free-reference.com. This site provides links to everything you might need to know including, census information, facts about copyright, a site that tells you how to convert foreign currency, a zip code directory, quotes and so much more.

    Sites for Writers

    Writing-World features jobs for writers (there are currently 46 jobs posted), classes, contests, books for writers, links and more. Moira Allen operates this site. Visit at http://www.writing-world.com

    Grammar Site

    Grammar Slammer. This is one of the best grammar sites I’ve seen and it’s easy to get around. Just click on the particular grammatical problems you might want to explore. Choose from sentence fragments, possessive pronouns, abbreviations and so forth. There’s even information about letter writing. http://englishplus.com/grammar

    Meet an Author and a Graphic Designer – Featured Members

    Megan Fox Knox is a new SPAWN member and the author of Temporary Vows. Here is my interview with her:

    Q. When did you first realize you wanted to write? Was this a dream from childhood?

    A. I remember writing poetry as a kid—from the age of about 10, I guess. I’ve always felt drawn to nature, and during my childhood I would slip off to the woods or go under a tree somewhere and write poems. It was a way of connecting with my feelings.

    Q. Tell us about your writing life—when did you begin and how did you proceed?

    A. Even though I’ve always loved to write, I never really considered it an option until the end of my sophomore year in college. You see, I was raised to be a musician. My instrument was the violin. I played with the youth symphony in Memphis, I attended the summer music camp at Sewanee, and when time came for college, I attended on a music scholarship. The problem was that I’d never thought about practicality, though. I realized about halfway through my college career that I wouldn’t be able to make a living as a performer, and I had no desire to teach. Making a living was something that I considered a priority. So as I came to that realization, I began to think about my options.

    As I thought about changing my focus, I realized that a major in English wouldn’t take me very far in terms of making a living as a writer either. So I decided on journalism. I did work as a newspaper reporter for about three years before my career was interrupted by the need to move frequently with my husband, who worked with an oil survey crew in the early 1980s. During that time, I began freelancing and also writing short fiction. When we settled down in Jackson, Mississippi, I took a job as a corporate marketing/technical writer, writing computer manuals and standardizing sales correspondence and such.

    Eventually, I went back to school to earn a master’s degree in communication/public relations, and I worked for the university’s PR office for two years before moving into the position of communication manager with the economic development center there at the University of Southern Mississippi. I was allowed to take a fiction writing workshop as an elective through USM’s Center for Writers, and I got hooked. I went on to take more workshops, to write more short stories, and to earn a second master’s degree—this one in creative writing. My new novel, Temporary Vows, began as a thesis project for this degree.

    Q. If your writing life is different from your everyday life, please share that with us, too.

    A. Writing is a big part of my everyday life, but of course it’s not all of it. I’m working on a second novel now, and I’m doing this one through a degree program too—the Master of Fine Arts program in fiction writing at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LouisianA. So I attend classes and workshops weekly. And I teach online speech and English classes for Keiser College eCampus, based in FloridA. I do some editing for clients through Dynamic Patterns Editing Services, and I’m always on the lookout for a good freelance gig.

    Q. You are test marketing a novel? What led up to your writing this book and what is it about?

    A. As I mentioned, I began writing Temporary Vows as a thesis project. I’ve reworked it half a dozen times since then, of course, to get it to publication stage. The novel is about personal authenticity; it’s about finding your own place in the world, finding the spirit that’s inside. In the novel, Lollie decides to takes a break from her dysfunctional life one day. She hires on with a traveling carnival, where she meets David, a soon-to-be monk who’s making his way west to join a monastery. These two strike up a friendship as they each search for their own spiritual truths and rethink their commitments and opportunities.

    Q. How do you like being a novelist? What are the up and down sides to it?

    A. I love writing fiction. It’s really what I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the foundation in place to make it possible. Unfortunately, most of us have to teach or work in other professions to pay the bills while we do what we love, writing. It’s hard work. It’s like working two or three jobs. But writing fiction nurtures my soul. It’s like sitting under that tree when I was ten, and I do it because I love it. There’s no other reason to put yourself through all that writing requires.
    Q. Have you developed a philosophy or a new perspective as a result of your recent writing experiences? Tell us about them.

    A. For one, I’ve become willing to teach because I feel that I now have something to share. I didn’t feel that as an 18-year-old musician or as a 20-year-old writer. In fact, I remember deciding at one point in my early twenties that I’d have to wait awhile before writing serious fiction because I needed more life experiences than I’d acquired then. I feel like I have those experiences to draw on now, that I have something valuable to share in my writing and in my teaching. The same goes for my editing work. The other thing is that I make my writing a priority and I’m careful to only take on as much outside work as I can do well while also devoting a good portion of my creative energy to my writing.

    Q. You are a fairly new member of SPAWN. What attracted you to this organization and how do you hope to benefit from your association with SPAWN?

    A. I think it’s important to be a part of a network of creative people—other writers, in particular. The association nurtures my creativity and encourages me to keep reaching. The benefits I’ve already received, in addition to regular newsletters, are that SPAWN members attending the book fair in California later this month will be displaying my novel and promotional materials, and Temporary Vows will be listed in the new SPAWN book catalog that’s coming out soon. I also think that “small” is where we all start, and it’s nice to be associated with a group that’s realistic and accessible.

    Q. What are your future plans within the writing realm?

    A. To continue writing. I’m working on a novel now that revolves around rail car restoration and solitude, and I’m really enjoying the flow of it, the way things seem to be coming together. That part of the writing process gets more rewarding as I go. Temporary Vows isn’t the first novel I’ve written, actually; it’s just the first one that I’m willing to see published. The first one was more of a learning experience. So I suppose my future plans are to keep learning and keep producing.

    Q. Do you have any advice for other writers who are thinking about writing a novel?

    A. Nobody can do it for you. Read everything you can find about how to write the kind of novel you want to write. Read the writers whose work you admire, and see if you can figure out what they’re doing right and what makes their work sing. Put your fingers to the keyboard and write what you feel passionately about. Write it and edit it and rewrite it until you hear it sing too. Give it to some readers, and listen to their feedback. Keep working it until it not only sings for you, but it sings for your readers too.
    Q. Please add anything you would like to add.

    A. To read an excerpt from Temporary Vows, or to purchase a copy, go to http://www.writing2inspire.com/showcase/TemporaryVows.htm. The e-book will be sent to your email address in PDF format, readable with Acrobat Reader software that comes standard on most newer computers and is available for free download at Adobe.com. The e-book is suitable for viewing or printing on any standard or hand-held computer.

    11. Give us your contact information if you’d like to hear from “fans.”
    mefoxknox@aol.com<
    Megan Fox Knox’s debut novel, Temporary Vows, is now being test marketed for print publication. The story pits a middle-aged, dysfunctional housewife against a soon-to-be monk in what publisher Donald Ellis of Creative Arts Book Company calls “a wonderful latent coming-of-age story.” Available exclusively at http://www.writing2inspire.com/showcase/TemporaryVows, the e-book is under $6 and is suitable for printing or reading on any standard or handheld computer.
    http://www.writerdirectory.com/MeganFoxKnox.htm

    Tami Dever is also a member of SPAWN and our first Chapter leader. She operates the SPAWN Chapter in Austin, TX where she also runs her business, TLC Graphics. Here’s my interview with Tami Dever:

    Q: Please tell us a little about your business. What led up to your establishing this business? Did you recognize a need and/or decide this is the type of work you just really wanted to do?

    A: TLC Graphics is an award-winning book design firm located in Austin, TX. We’re a small company that designs books and promotions for primarily small and self-publishers. My friend and business partner, Erin Stark, runs our Midwest office in Waukesha, WI. We also work with other designers, editors, illustrators, and photographers across the country.

    How did we get here? That’s a long story, but I’ll try to make it short! TLC Graphics began as my freelance business while I was still in college. I designed logos, brochures, signage – pretty much anything at that time. After graduation I spent five years as art director for Magna Publications in Madison, WI. While there, I was given the opportunity to design a few book covers and discovered it was one of my design strengths. The books became my favorite projects. That’s also where I met Erin, who was also a designer for the company. A few years later I left Magna, got married, and moved to Sacramento, CA where I worked for several magazine publishers. After one of the companies went bankrupt, I found myself freelancing on a full-time basis. I’d always been very adamant about not owning my own company. Suddenly I had one and I loved it! Business picked up quickly and I hired Erin to help with design work. She then became my business partner and I can’t imagine TLC Graphics without her. We’re so different in every way, yet work so well together. Our strengths balance our weaknesses beautifully. This benefits our clients by boosting our productivity and increasing the range of design styles we provide.

    Q: Do you work with many authors? Tell us a little about some of your book projects. 

    A: We have clients all over the country, most of whom are self-publishers and many first-timers. The subject matter varies, but lately a lot of people are writing self-help books. A few of our recent favorites include “Gecko’s Complaint” a children’s book by Anne Martin Bowler, “Woman-Sense Rules!” a self-help by Sylvia Gearing, and “The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark” a cookbook by Mary Gunderson. All three books were well-written, “Gecko” and the “Food Journal” are nicely-illustrated, and the authors recognized the value of hiring us to design the interiors as well as the covers. They’re really wonderful books. It’s such a pleasure to work with people who put their all into every step of the publishing process. It’s amazing what can come out of a first-time publisher – both good and bad!

    Q: Describe your typical workday.

    A: I try to set regular hours of 9-6, but working from home challenges that concept. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m often working well past 6pm! A lot of the day is devoted to e-mail and phone conversations with clients and vendors. Doing the paperwork and keeping financial records are definitely the worst tasks. Of course, the more clients we have, the less time I have for actual design work. Erin and I are on the phone and e-mail constantly, talking about projects, discussing marketing ideas, and helping spark each other’s creativity.

    Q: Describe your ideal workday.

    A: Trick questions! My ideal workday would involve a lot less phone and e-mail time and much more quiet design time. I enjoy the client/designer interaction, but love the time I spend listening to ’80s music and working on cover designs.

    Q: What are your future plans?

    A; We hope to become one of the top ten book design firms in the country. We’d like TLC Graphics to be one of the first names people think of when publishing their next book. The goal of providing outstanding customer service in addition to great design is what makes us different than some other firms. We constantly provide more than our clients expect and that fuels great word-of-mouth advertising. It’s very satisfying to be referred by our clients and vendors. My husband and I also plan to start a family, so the way we run the business is going to change in the next year or two. Erin has two children who will be in school full-time next year, so our schedules should balance pretty well, but my work habits will change drastically!

    Q: What do you do for fun? How do you “get away from it all?”

    A: I’m a lifetime horse lover and ride twice a week if at all possible. The time I spend at the barn is so therapeutic. I find if I take a few hours to be around the horses, even when busy, I’m much more refreshed and can handle the stress so much better. We have two dogs and spend as much time with them as possible, too. We also enjoy traveling to visit friends or vacation in Europe. My husband travels a lot, so we put those frequent flier miles to good use! Erin and I meet at BEA (BookExpo America) every year for a fantastic working vacation. It’s one of the few times a year we actually see each other.

    Q: You are a relatively new SPAWN member. And you’re also the leader of our first SPAWN Chapter. Can you talk about what membership in SPAWN has meant to you?

    A: SPAWN has been a great way to meet other publishing professionals, both locally and virtually. The day the national chapter offered local chapters to those who were interested, I instantly offered to head up the Austin chapter. I love sharing knowledge with others in the publishing field. The members are grateful to have a group like this and it’s very satisfying to be able to offer camaraderie as well as information through meetings and guest speakers. We’re still a small group, but have big dreams. The leaders of the national group – especially Virginia, Patricia, and Mary – are fantastic resources and are so supportive as I develop the Austin chapter.

    Q: Do you have any advice for new SPAWN members or for someone who would like to start a business like yours?

    A: The best advice I can offer new SPAWN members is to use the resources offered by the organization. Join the discussion group. Start a local chapter if there’s not one in your areA. It’s a lot of return for a little effort – we’ve even gained new clients from the local meetings.

    If you’re interested in starting a book design business, soak up every bit of publishing and design knowledge you can. We’re constantly learning about the publishing business to better understand our clients. Erin and I have degrees in graphic design as well as working experience with various publishing and design firms. It’s very difficult to start freelancing straight out of school. Also, find a mentor to show you the ropes. There’s nothing like having a colleague to turn to for advice, critique, and support!

    Q: Please add anything you would like to add. 

    A: Working with publishers every day has inspired us to write our own book. This spring, we’ll be offering a small guide written for new authors and publishers to understand the book design and printing processes. It will include tips on finding the right professionals to work with, some basic printing terminology, a production timeline, and a list of publishing and marketing resources. Readers will learn what to expect from their designer and what their designer will expect from them. It’s not yet titled, as we’ve discovered that’s one of the most difficult parts of writing a book! (Suggestions are welcomed from everyone.)

    Readers can feel free to contact me about book design, being a local chapter leader, or starting a design business. Tamara Dever, TLC Graphics, 512-292-898, Tamara@tlcgraphics.com, Tami@spawn.org. Visit our web site at http://www.TLCGraphics.com.

    TLC Graphics
    Professional Book Design
    512-292-8798
    Austin, Texas
    Tamara@tlcgraphics.com
    http://www.TLCGraphics.com

     

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Publisher Interview

    Karen Bouris is Editorial Director at Inner Ocean Publishing in Hawaii. I asked her some of the questions I thought you might want to ask.

    Q: Please tell us about your publishing company. I notice this is a new listing in the 2004 Writer’s Market. How long have you been around? What is your focus?

    A: Inner Ocean Publishing (IOP), established in 1999, publishes books on topics ranging from personal growth and spirituality, to conscious business and lifestyle. Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, our team of veteran publishing professionals has the unique opportunity to draw creativity and inspiration from our natural environment and support our books with national marketing, sales, and publicity exposure.

    From the start, founder John Elder’s mission has been to publish high quality books that make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. To that end, it is our intention to build long-term relationships with our authors and readers, the publishing world, and our local community.

    Q: What are some of your recent titles. What is it about these particular manuscripts/authors that caught your attention in the first place?

     A: “Spiritual Gardening” by Peg Streep: it’s a gorgeous book by an eloquent author

    “Living Kindness” by Donald Altman: an important book on how to incorporate Buddhism’s ten guiding principals in our daily life. Seemed an original take on a popular and meaningful subject.

    Upcoming:

    “50 Ways to Love Your Country” by Moveon.org: I was struck by their passion, grassroots activism and phenomenal track record.

    Q: What procedure do you recommend authors follow when submitting a book idea to you?

     A: Online at http://www.innerocean.com

    Q: How much marketing does your company do for its authors? Is this something that you expect authors to help with? Would you talk about your philosophy/requirements in the area of marketing when working with authors?

    A: Each book has a unique marketing plan, which can range from extensive touring and promotion to modest review copy mailings. We work with many authors in all sorts of ways.

    Q: What kind of manuscript are you looking for this year?

     A: Women’s issues, personal growth, environ/political self-help, inspiration, spirituality.

    Q: What is your best advice for a hopeful author?

     A. Work on the craft of writing; take classes and get outside help and feedback; follow your passion.

    Contact: Karen Bouris, karenb@innerocean.com

    http://www.innerocean.com

    Bonus Items

    A surprise interview with the Executive Director of SPAWN, Virginia Lawrence.
    Q: You are Executive Director of SPAWN and you also operate at least one full-time business. Would you tell us about your business(es)?

    A: My main business, CogniText, is helping people to publish both online and in print. My focus is on the clear presentation of information, both online and in print. We build Web sites to inform the visitor and/or to sell something to the visitor. We create easy to follow navigation, along with marketing copy, and readable descriptions of products and services. We have found that many companies desperately need our services, because their initial marketing materials were written by someone who is too familiar with the product/services. Particularly in the high-tech arena, the engineer whodevelops the product is not capable of writing about the product in a way that the average potential buyers can understand. After building the sites, we market them online so that the search engines will send visitors. We added this service to protect our clients from the unscrupulous “marketers” who sell worthless services. We find that a well-marketed site validates our good design and definitely pleases the client.

    I specialize in writing, editing, and publishing highly technical books and manuals on statistical analysis. These projects require knowledge of statistical analysis and the many statistical procedures; they also require a skill in simplifying the technical language. Although the readers are somewhat knowledgeable in the area of statistical analysis, they are not necessarily familiar with every topic. They appreciate having good examplesand straightforward explanations.

    After seeing our Web clients selling well online, I decided that I should build an online store for myself. I made arrangements with two manufacturers to drop ship their products to my customers, and I built SilverSweetheart at http://www.silversweetheart.com. We sell only products I love, and the biggest seller is the Lucy Ann line of personalized sterling silver charms. Mommies and grammies love them. In addition to the expected revenues, there have been surprise benefits to operating my own online store.

    With my own income directly affected by the online marketing I carry out for SilverSweetheart, I have become fascinated with optimizing online marketing. This has become a great advantage for both SilverSweetheart and for my clients. Now SilverSweetheart and our marketing clients are on the first page of the search engines due to my efforts. It is easy to test minor page changes to see the effect on sales in SilverSweetheart. For example, our product category pages had thumbnail pictures of the products. That’s helpful, but not enticing. When I added one larger picture on each category page, sales doubled. This is the type of important knowledge which I can carry with me in client discussions and in planning client sites.

    Q: What is your educational background? And what did you envision as your career niche early on?

    A: Hah, my educational background is a bit varied, and it went on forever! B.S. in physics, followed by some graduate study in physics. When I finally realized that physics was not for me, I was living in Vienna, AustriA. I studied psychology (in German) full time at Austria’s University of Vienna for two years, and their best course was statistical analysis. Then I spent one year in Windsor, Ontario where I completed a B.A. in psychology with an emphasis on experimental psychology and statistical analysis. Finally I ended up in southern California at USC where I finished an M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology with an emphasis on statistical analysis. After all that, I realized that I did not want to be a professor, so I started a statistical analysis software company called Human Systems Dynamics. We created and published statistical analysis software for researchers in every discipline. This involved developing and testing the software, plus writing, editing, and publishing the software manuals, then marketing the software, and giving technical support to customers. We quickly found that customer support calls decreased when we crafted our software manuals carefully. Our statistics software ran on the Apple II computers which were brand new at the time. We flourished for ten years, then the statistical software companies that earlier published software only for huge mainframe computers jumped into our market. We couldn’t fight their big bucks and big names, so we closed and I joined one of our biggest competitors as Manager of Documentation. That involved managing the documentation staff as well as writing, editing, and publishing all of their books and manuals. Our most important publication was a three-volume set totaling 1,400 pages, published by the University of California Press.

    Did I envision my career niche? Part of it; it was obvious that I’d be involved in statistical analysis. The rest has developed organically. Statistical software comes with Help systems and with Demos. After creating Help systems and Demos, it was one simple step to start developing Web sites. Also, I’m a capabilities junkie: I love to develop new capabilities.

    Q: What led up to your decision to start your own business?

    A: I much prefer to report only to myself. I truly dislike office politics, and I don’t like working for a company when it’s obvious that the business plan is going in the wrong direction. Now I have no one to blame but myself.

    Q: Tell us about your typical workday.

    A: Checking the e-mail. At this point, I can take care of new SPAWN situations, process the orders from SilverSweetheart, and deal with any new client emergencies. This can take from 1 to 4 hours. I prefer to take care of small tasks immediately, so that they don’t take up mental space when I’m ready to focus on the main project.

    I prefer to spend a good batch of time on one project, ignoring e-mail for several hours. Like writing/editing, the Web design and online marketing require stretches of total concentration. If there are too many interruptions, I start to get frantic, so I drink another 16 ounces of water and turn off the phone. When I’m ready for a break, I’ll check the e-mail again for SPAWN, SilverSweetheart, and client communications. Then back to the main project or to a new project. I’m writing every day, whether it is a report on a search engine conference or an article for SPAWNews or an article for the Chamber of Commerce newspaper or marketing text for a Web site.

    I also do a great deal of reading on Web techniques and the ever-changing online marketing. I usually work 10-12 hours per day on weekdays and another 4-6 hours each weekend day. It’s a bit too much, but I’m enjoying most of what I’m doing!

    Q: What comprises your perfect or ideal workday—all writing? Designing a Web site?

    A: My ideal day would be similar to my typical day with no client crises. I really enjoy everything I’m doing, and I thrive on variety. It’s only when a crisis derails my plans for the day that I’m disappointed in my productivity. And yes, my ideal day would be only 8 hours long.

    Q: Not only are you the Executive Director of SPAWN, you are the Webmaster. Would you talk about your long relationship with SPAWN?

    A: Way back when you and Mary Embree were starting SPAWN, Mary and I met to discuss the organization. It was clear that SPAWN would need a good Web site, and I was excited that creating such a site let me apply my knowledge of Web design, online marketing, and publishing. Along with creating the overall site, I wrote and included a batch of articles on how we should prepare books for the printer; that information was not available anywhere else at the time. Those articles have been updated once since their inception in 1996, and it’s time to update them again!

    Q: What’s it like balancing a full-time business with a full-time volunteer position?

    A: Some days it feels like a bit too much. Most of the time, I feel completely fulfilled.

    Q: Speaking of balance, what do you do away from work and SPAWN to replenish your spirit? Any hobbies?

    A: Most important, I have a good marriage. John is a kind, interesting man who is a lot of fun. We can talk about business problems or just laugh and hang out together. Then I have Charlie, a Senegal parrot, here in the office with me. Around about 4:00 PM, he starts tempting me to take a break. That’s a good time to give him a snack and walk around the house with Charlie on my shoulder, focusing only on him. He’s pleased with the 10 minutes of attention, and it’s certainly good for me. Charlie gets another couple of hours of attention while we watch TV in the evening, and Frank the cat gets attention every time I walk into the kitchen.

    I enjoy kayaking and walking with my husband, John, or with friends. I love gemstones and jewelry. I make my own necklaces with pearls and semi-precious stones, and I always go to the International Gem Show when it comes to Santa MonicA. I devour mysteries, and I read lots of alternative health newsletters and books. I’m very interested in being in charge of my own health, but I don’t exercise enough!

    Q: Do you have any future plans that involve SPAWN? Your business(es)?

    A: I’d like to see SPAWN and my businesses expand. In particular, I’d like to see SPAWN offering more and more value to members.

    Q: I always like asking people what they would advise anyone who is interested in running a nonprofit organization such as SPAWN and/or operating a business like yours.

    A: It is absolutely necessary to be a self-starter. If it’s all up to you, then you must be ready to make decisions and act on those decisions. It’s much harder to organize your time when there is no boss demanding that you have project X completed by tomorrow. Yes, you can take a day off when you really need it, but you must remember that you are the boss. You set the schedule. For many people, the number of alternative possibilities can cause paralysis by analysis. Yes, it’s a good idea to analyze and determine the best way to go, but sometimes the second-best way is the optimal way if you can start on it immediately. Nike is right: Just Do It!

    For more information, visit http://www.cognitext.com

    is always looking for superior articles. I had an email conversation with editor, Kathy Green this month and she told me that they are in the market for any health-related articles that are geared to women and provide a great deal of service. If you’re interested in writing for Fitness (a rather high paying market, by the way), Kathy says to write a detailed proposal and send it to the appropriate editor. Their Web site doesn’t share much editorial information. Become familiar with their editorial staff by studying the masthead of the magazine. Or contact Kathy Green at kgreen@fitnessmagazine.com will launch in August of 2004 and editor, Paula Cochran is already scouting for writers. If you can write on such topics as volunteering, friendship, spirituality and cultural issues and are willing to accept $25 for your efforts, contact Paula with your ideas. Paula4mail@evenlink.com has a strange policy. I’ve been writing articles for magazines for 30 years and this is a new one on me. They say they won’t pay for an article they publish if they didn’t request it. That is, if you send them an article and they like it and publish it, they won’t pay you. However, if you send them an article idea they like and you write it for them and they publish it, they will pay you. They don’t pay much—up to $25 for 250 – 1000 words. Check them out on page 509 of your 2004 Writer’s Market. Steve Peri is the editor for the magazine designed for parents of college students. For their writers’ guidelines email, editors@collegeparenting.com. They seem to cover everything from scholarships and college sports opportunities to security on campus and the alcohol problems at colleges. Learn more about this opportunity at http://www.collegeparenting.com is new. They accept freelance articles, but boy it’s hard to find their contact information on their Web site. I discovered that Mindy Brooks is the editor, but I had to write to them to get their submission e-mail address. is new and the editors are seeking 300-1200-word stories related to the American life. The scope of topics is as wide as this country. They want personal stories, non-fiction articles on family life, money, careers, history, culture, heroes and home, for example. If it is interesting, uplifting and/or inspirational, the editors at American Magazine may be interested. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out if this is a paying market. Maybe they will respond to your inquiry. American Magazine, POB 241448, Memphis, TN 38124 or editor@americanmagazine.com. is a regional magazine for women in the Grand Traverse Region in Northern Michigan. If you live in that area or have visited there, you might have something to offer this publication. They want pieces in the 500 – 1000-word range that are informative and inspirational to local women. For more information contact twins, Kerry or Kandace at mystory@grandtraversewoman.com Oh, this is not a paying market, yet, but they hope to pay $50 per story in the near future., 2004 is out. Yeah! If you want to write for magazines, are looking for a publisher or hope to land an agent, you must own this reference book. There are over 100 pages of literary and script agents this year, more than 70 pages of contests and awards and nearly 240 pages listing book publishers.

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