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SPAWNews, May, 1999

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Leadership Committee

by Patty Fry

As most members know, SPAWN is an all-volunteer organization. Some of the most active volunteers comprise the Leadership Committee which meets monthly to discuss issues and to attempt to define and meet members’ needs. We want you to get the most benefit possible from your SPAWN experience, but we can only do so much.

You can gain more from your membership by reading SPAWNews. As soon as the newsletter arrives, mark your calendar to reflect regular meeting dates, special events and deadlines. Another way to get the most from your membership is to participate. Attend monthly meetings. Some of us have attended just about every meeting held over the last three years and still learn something from every one.

Attend the Leadership Committee meetings with your ideas and concerns or at least share these with your Chapter President and/or any of the board members or officers. Leadership Committee meetings are open to all members. They are on the 3rd Saturday in the month at Mary Embree’s home.

What does the Leadership Committee do? We discuss how to make your meetings more interesting and useful so that you will want to participate regularly. We plan special events that would benefit you. We make decisions such as how often to publish the SPAWN directory and how to make the web page more valuable to members. Recently, we have talked about publishing a catalog of members’ books to offer through bookstores. Is this something that would benefit you? We’ve discussed starting a program whereby we could help high school or junior college students experience the publishing process.

Currently, we are planning a Poetry Slam to be held in August. We’re excited about this special SPAWN event and invite your questions and ideas. Watch SPAWNews for more information over the next few months.

Want to get in touch with a board member or a member at large? Use your new Directory or find phone numbers and e-mail addresses in each copy of SPAWNews.

Want to become more involved in SPAWN? Contact your Chapter President. We could all use more help and would greatly appreciate your participation.

If you live too far away to attend chapter meetings, send your ideas to Ruth Hibbard, Membership Chair, to Mary Embree, Executive Director, or to me. We will see to it that your ideas and suggestions are brought up at the next Leadership Committee meeting.


Community Writers Association’s annual writing competition is accepting short stories (any subject, up to 2,500 words), poems (any subject, style and length), and novels (any subject, first three chapters plus synopsis).

First place winners receive $500 U.S. Currency plus one-time rights publication in CWA Journal, a new international literary magazine to be published in the Spring of 2000.

The deadline is June 1. Guidelines: or send a #10 SASE to Community Writers Association, P.O. Box 312, Providence, RI 02901-0312.

The National League of American Pen Women/Simi Valley Branch announces the Dorothy Daniels Annual Honorary Writing Award, presenting first place cash prizes of $100 each in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Entry fee: $3 per poem, $5 per fiction or nonfiction entry. Full rules, entry forms for SASE to NLAPW-SVB, P.O. Box 1485, Simi Valley, CA 93062. Deadline: July 30, 1999. Winners announced November 1, 1999.

The San Luis Obispo Nightwriters is holding a short story contest with cash prizes of $150, $100, and $50 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. It can be no more than 500 words and the first five words MUST be “Except for that one incident...” There’s an entry fee of $10 for first submission and $5 for each thereafter. For complete rules send an SASE to SLO Nightwriters Short Story Contest, P.O. Box 512, Atascadero, CA 93422. Deadline: July 31, 1999.

Book Review

Jump Start Your Book Sales:

A Money-making Guide for Authors, Independent Publishers and Small Presses

By Marilyn & Tom Ross; published by Communication Creativity; 1999. Paperback; 351 pages. $19.95

Marilyn and Tom Ross are the founders of The Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). They are also speakers and authors of several other books including Complete Guide to Self-Publishing.

Whether you are an author with a published book, a small publisher or self-publisher, your main challenge is probably selling your books. The Rosses new book is a wealth of information on how to generate publicity, sell to book clubs, get into catalogs, get your book reviewed, reach libraries, and make bulk premium sales.

The authors certainly know what they’re talking about and share a great deal of information in an easy-to-read format. Their book is a valuable resource with many excellent tips. Even if you have read other books on marketing, in this one you may discover just the very thing that will help you push your book over the top.

Jump Start Your Book Sales covers all aspects of book marketing and publicity and I highly recommend it.

SPAN Partner Program

SPAWN is a SPAN Partner and will be highlighted in the June issue of their newsletter SPAN Connection.

SPAWN members may join SPAN for the discounted rate of $60. It’s normally $95 per year. There are many benefits of belonging to SPAN. You get discounts on the following: SPAN conference, Publishers Weekly subscription, books on publishing and marketing, publisher’s liability insurance, shipping, office supplies, and computer equipment. You also get to participate in their marketing programs and credit card merchant status program.

SPAN’s address is: P.O. Box 1306, Buena Vista, CO 81211-1306. Phone 719/395-4790; fax 719/395-8374; and e-mail:

A New Free Service on the Web

Copyright 1999 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

Everyone can use one of the newest free services on the Web, eFax. When you sign up for the free service at you receive a new, unique phone number. That phone number is your new fax number, and all faxes sent to your eFax number will be forwarded to your e-mail address. This is a way to collect your faxes when you collect your e-mail. As soon as you see the fax in your e-mail, you can read the fax.

Why would we want to use a free fax number that forwards every fax to our e-mail? There are several advantages:

  • Many homes and small offices share one phone line with fax and voice phone calls or with fax and the modem line. Such sharing is economical, but it leads to a busy fax line. The new, unique eFax number will never be busy due to a voice call or use by the modem.
  • We can read the fax without printing it, so we can save on paper and fax machine supplies. Yet we can print any fax at any time.
  • If we take a laptop along on trips, we can collect our faxes every day when we collect our e-mail.

What's the catch? Well, the eFax catch is not really a catch. eFax will continue to offer the free services, and they are expecting many of the eFax free customers to sign on for some of the upcoming inexpensive additional services.

As a free subscriber, when you read about their additional services in 3 months or 6 months, you will be predisposed to listen. You will be free to say no and still get the free service, but you will read the offer. Many people will be interested in the additional services offered at very low cost. These are only two of the services planned:

  • automatic optical character recognition so that your e-mailed fax arrives as a text file
  • outgoing fax: the capability of sending a screen from ANY PC PROGRAM as a fax.

The upcoming services will be very inexpensive. The current service is free, and it will remain free. I see no drawbacks to using eFax. Have fun with it!

~ Virginia Lawrence, SPAWN's Webmaster, is a technical writer, editor, and professional webmaster who publishes both in print and online.

She can be reached at or at SPAWN's Website,

The Book Mall of Ventura

A few months ago, a fire destroyed several businesses on Main Street in downtown Ventura. The Book Mall was one of them. But after six months, they have reopened in a new, bigger and brighter location and have offered their facilities to SPAWN for our monthly meeting. They are now at 105 S. Oak Street at the corner of Santa Clara Street in downtown Ventura. As it is on the first floor, it is wheelchair accessible and there’s plenty of parking in the front. This is a unique and interesting bookstore. They carry signed first editions, lovely older children’s books, illustrated books and more. Please drop by and see the new Book Mall. Their phone number is 641-2665.


If you want to know absolutely everything that’s going on for writers in Southern California, you should check into with subscribe in the Subject line.You’ll find news of contests, seminars, meetings of writers groups, and other happenings from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. If you have an event you’d like LitNet to report, pleasee-mail your information to

Another valuable resource for writers is Connections hosted by Frances Halpern every Sunday morning from 10 to 11 on KCLU (88.3 FM in Ventura County; 102.3 FM in Santa Barbara County.) It’s a lively, entertaining and informative show. Tune in.

Also on Sundays is Ann Shields’ column “Page Turner” in the Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Edition. She reports on writers’ events in Ventura County. On April 25 she wrote a great column on SPAWN.

All of the above regularly report on SPAWN’s meetings and events. It’s so nice to have friends in high places.

SPAWNews is published by

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Mary Embree

Executive Director


Hal Ranzenhofer

Editor, SPAWNews

Telephone: 805/984-3216


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Dallas Glenn

President, Santa Barbara County Chapter. e-mail:

Carol Doering

President, Ventura County Chapter. e-mail:

Advisory Council

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Jim Lane

Writer, Publisher

Vice President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

John C. Woodward, Esq.

Attorney at Law

Treasurer of SPAWN

Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant

Marcia Grad-Powers

Author, Senior Editor, Publishing

Melvin Powers

Author, Publisher


To provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.




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