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SPAWNews is packed with writing, editing, illustrating, and publishing information. Each month you receive market opportunities, events, and articles you can use now!
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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, August, 2008

Sandra Murphy, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please email the editor of SPAWNews:

Those of you who are SPAWN members, be sure to go to the first page of the site, and click on the "Visit Member Area" button. You will be asked to log in.

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Table of Contents

- Editor's Note

- Market Update

- Join SPAWN at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival

- Book Review – Children’s Books

- Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 by Virginia Lawrence

- Take Your Non-Fiction Book to a Conference by Patricia Fry

- Ask the Book Doctor by Bobbie Christmas

- Compliment, endorsement and way to go!

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

Editor's Note

by Sandra Murphy

I always read the dedication and thank you pages at the front of a book and have even been thanked once myself. Now, in addition to thanking family, friends, readers and editors, writers thank the coffee shops that provide endless cups of coffee, a reserved table, a place “where they know your name”—a place to write. As much as we think we’d write more, faster, better in a quiet well-organized room with soothing music playing in the background, the truth of the matter is, we like to be in the middle of things. Like a teenager listening to music while studying for a test, we use the whirr of the espresso machine as white noise. We can people watch to pick up quirks for our main character, talk to ourselves while practicing dialogue, ask for help in finding just the right word.

Writing from home is hazardous. Laundry calls your name until you can no longer hear your character speak. The phone rings, UPS is at the door, and maybe you should balance the checkbook now, while you think of it. The next thing you know, it’s time to do something else and a writing opportunity is lost.

Too often writing is what we do after all the chores are done, the dog fed, the litter box cleaned, the trash at the curb. Our writing gets our leftover time and effort.

Listening to the music playing at the coffee shop, the lyrics encourage me to have no regrets. Mostly, I think I’d regret having clean laundry rather than clean prose, a balanced checkbook instead of a balanced article and I’d always regret a lost opportunity to write.

It’s time to refill my coffee cup.

Sandy Murphy


Market Update

by Patricia Fry

The August edition of the SPAWN Market Update offers over 150 opportunities and news bites for freelance writers, authors, scriptwriters, poets, illustrators and publishers.

  • Learn how to locate book festivals in your state. We list over a dozen of them occurring this fall/winter in California, Texas, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
  • Find out how to build a platform as a children's author. We provide a list, access and links to nearly 70 children's magazines seeking your stories.
  • Learn how to earn a living writing for trade magazines.
  • Sell your nonfiction book through conferences. We tell you how to search out those in your field.
  • Learn why it's a good idea to start your writing career BEFORE you retire.

You'll discover these tips and resources and so much more in this edition of the SPAWN Market Update.

If you are a member, be sure to visit the member area, click on Market Update, print it out and read it over breakfast, while you're commuting to work, while on a lunch break. It doesn't matter when you read it, but it does matter to your potential for success as a writer/author that you DO read it. If you're not a member, join today and gain access to the information, ideas and resources that you need in order to succeed with your writing/publishing project. Join SPAWN now and catch up on all that you've been missing in the SPAWN Market Update archives.

If you aren’t a member yet, JOIN NOW and get a free book—we give you six titles to choose from—3 ebooks and 3 print books.

In this month's AUG 2008 Market Update:

  • Update your vital contacts with these latest editor changes.
  • The sad number of closing independent bookstores.
  • Get the most recent "How much do I charge" information.
  • Critical secrets for designing your book cover.
  • How to get your writing child published.
  • Which common words are now in the dictionary.

Join SPAWN at the Santa Barbara Book and Author Festival

September 27, 2008 - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Santa Barbara Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA

SPAWN has reserved 4 tables for our members who want to participate and who can't afford the $300 booth fee. Pay just $90 for ½ table (3 feet of space). Or reserve a whole 6-foot table for $175.

Join us in beautiful Santa Barbara on the grassy area of the library grounds just off of State Street (Santa Barbara's main street) under a canopy of oaks.

Sign up now. Booth space goes fast.

Book Review

by Patricia Fry

Children’s Picture Books, How to Self-Publish Your Way to Success

By Shari Faden Donahue

Arimax, Inc., 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9634287-5-2

344 pages--$19.95 (US)

Size 9” x 8”

French flap cover

Shari Donahue is an author, illustrator and publisher. She has produced five books, including three children’s picture books, The Zebra-Striped Whale with the Polka-Dot Tail, Celebrate Hanukkah with Me and My Favorite Family Haggadah. A professional coach for aspiring children’s picture book authors and illustrators, it seems only natural that she would write and produce Children’s Picture Books, How to Self-Publish Your Way to Success.

To read the full review of Children’s Picture Books, How to Self-Publish Your Way to Success, go to

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0: What’s the Difference?

by Virginia Lawrence


If you’re noticing various web pundits mentioning Web 2.0, don’t worry that everything we’ve learned about the web until now is being thrown away. Actually, Web 2.0 is just a way of categorizing some of the latest developments in the web. Here’s a quick summary of the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Read about those differences, and how to incorporate Web 2.0 into your web site so it will appear higher in Google searches, at:

Take Your Nonfiction Book to a Conference

by Patricia Fry

If you've written a nonfiction book, chances are you are somewhat of an expert in your field—or, now that you are an author, you are thought to be an expert. You go out and speak on the topic of your book. You are interviewed for articles on the subject. People contact you for additional information in your field of interest. Authors ask if they can quote you in their books. If this doesn't describe your experience, then you need to get more exposure for your book. One way to do this is to arrange speaking engagements and other presentations at conferences related to the topic of your book.

To read more about tips on how to get your nonfiction book to a conference, so that you can develop customers and sales, go to:

Ask the Book Doctor—About It’s or Its, Numerals, and Self Publishing versus Traditional Publishing

by Bobbie Christmas

Q: Explain to me this: it's, its, and its'.

A: I always have to stop and think about it, too. The answer depends on usage, except that its' is never acceptable. Here’s the information from Purge Your Prose of Problems, my reference book for book doctors:


It’s (with the apostrophe) is the contraction for “it is.” Example: It’s okay if John comes along. (Can be written, It is okay if John comes along.)

Its (without the apostrophe) indicates the possessive. Example: The seminar had its own schedule.

The “its” words often get confused because they break the rules of possessive apostrophes. If you confuse these two words, you are not alone. Here’s a helpful hint: Every time you use it’s or its, ask yourself, “Am I saying IT IS?” If so, only then do you use the apostrophe (it’s).

To read more about these and other informative topics, go to:

Compliment, endorsement and way to go!

I am so grateful to be a member of SPAWN — not just to have a community of writers beside me, but also for the invaluable writing advice, market listings, and insights into the writing business that SPAWN provides. Patricia Fry's Market Update is a gem that I look forward to reading every month. Ms. Fry is the go-to guru for freelance writing and self-publishing, and she rounds up the top new markets for writers to pitch to, opportunities for book promotion, and top news in the literary world. Her blog is also a MUST on the website "Bookmarks" list for every serious writer. Thank you Patricia and SPAWN for everything you do for writers everywhere -- we are so lucky to have you!

Dallas Woodburn, author of 3 a.m. and There's a Huge Pimple on My Nose

Member News

Barbara Florio Graham ( has sold her Christmas story to yet another foreign textbook. Voices in Time has just been published by Cappelen Damm AS in Norway. This story, which Bobbi wrote when she was 17, has now been published in four foreign textbooks as well as in Canada and the U.S. Denmark is also the 37th country where Simon Teakettle Ink appears on websites (which range across 11 time zones).

Note: To have your announcements included in this section, you must be a paid member of SPAWN. Please email your news to


Ventura County Writers Club, 9th Annual Short Story Contest: Grand Prize: $500.00, AND publication in the Day to Day section of the Ventura County Star, scheduled for Sunday, November 16, 2008. Second prize: $250.00; Third Prize: $125.00. Deadline for entries: October 1, 2008.


The Bakersfield California's Fourth Annual Festival of Books is looking for vendors. The event, which is organized by the Kern Adult Literacy Council, will be held Saturday November 1st, 2008 from 10am to 2pm at The Holiday Inn Select in Bakersfield, CA.

Booth location cannot be guaranteed but vendors who register early will have a better location choice. Contact Donna Hylton at 661-324-3213 or email


Read about the latest contests at:

Events and More

Read about the coming events at:

Note: SPAWNews advises "caveat emptor" when dealing with venues, contests or promotions unknown to you

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible. * * * * *

Join SPAWN now and receive one FREE book! See the selection from which you can choose your book at the Member Benefits page. As a member, you can enjoy the benefits of the Members Only Area. There you will find:

  • Member Forum. In the SPAWN Forum, you can discuss publishing with knowledgeable published writers and publishers.
  • Market Update. This valuable Market Update will appear every month, letting us know exactly what is going on with magazine and book publishers.
  • Event Calendar where you can submit your events. After approval, your events will be available for all members to see.
  • Member Webpages where you can upload your HTML pages to build your own web site. Your Web pages will be viewable by everyone on the Internet.
  • Member Catalog where you can list your books and services
  • Member Discussion list where you can discuss your triumphs and questions with your publishing peers.
Join SPAWN now by clicking on the "Join SPAWN Now" button at the top of this page.

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Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023


Telephone: 805-646-3045

Fax: 805-640-8213

Sandra Murphy

SPAWNews Editor, Membership and Database Coordinator


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Webmaster


Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

SPAWN Executive Director


Patricia Fry

SPAWN President



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

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to Sandra Murphy, Editor, SPAWNews

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023

or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653. Or click on Member Application to fill out the secure online form and pay your dues by credit card.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

PMB 123

323 E. Matilija St., Suite 110

Ojai, CA 93023



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