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SPAWNews Archives

SPAWNews, October, 2006

Wendy Dager, Editor

For contributions to the newsletter and Letters to the Editor, please e-mail 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

- Book Reviews

- Ask the Book Doctor

- Member News

- Opportunities

- Contests

- Events and More

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Editor’s Note

By Wendy Dager

While I generally pick an upbeat topic for the Editor’s Note in each month’s edition of SPAWNews, I occasionally discuss an issue that isn’t a pleasant one for those of us in the fields of writing, publishing and art.

This month, I want to warn you about scams, but not the type with which you are already familiar.

Those who’ve been in this industry for a while have heard of scams concocted by flimflammers who are only interested in taking money from writers whose work they have no intention of selling or publicizing. Today, you can remain informed about unscrupulous characters by simply Googling the words "writer scams." You will find a host of Web sites with articles urging caution and listing names of agents, editors, publishers, contests and other businesses that have come under fire for questionable—or downright illegal— practices.

But there’s another avenue of fraud about which you should be aware—job listings on popular Web sites. I discovered this recently when I was doing online searches for freelance work.

Among some of the legitimate advertisements for writers, editors and journalists were companies that offer "work from home" jobs that sound sketchy at best. Their ads, in bold print, proclaim: "NEEDED: BASIC MEDIA SKILLS TO HELP US GROW! MAKE UP TO $40K - $100K+ A MONTH!" or "FIRE YOUR BOSS: EARN UP TO $167,000 PER YEAR!"

There were also ads from individuals promising no payment, but free products—ostensibly in exchange for writing reviews of them. Or, in the case of a TV commercial producer, you’d receive an "incredible demo reel" if your ideas were chosen for production.


There will always be scams and scam artists, so we must remain vigilant. Please e-mail to let us know if you have heard of any ambiguous ads that I haven’t mentioned here and we will print your e-mail in a future edition of SPAWNews. Meanwhile, caveat lector: Let the reader beware—of hinky advertising. –Wendy Dager is editor of SPAWNews. Her Web site is

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Market Update

By Patricia Fry

The October edition of the SPAWN Market Update promises about 40 leads and opportunities for freelance writers, scriptwriters, authors and book promoters. Can you write with the African-American man in mind? One new magazine will pay you $1 word for appropriate articles. Do you have a World War II memoir? There's a new magazine on the horizon and they want your story. Are you frustrated with magazines turning down your articles and stories because they don't know you? This edition of the SPAWN Market Update lists several magazines that welcome new writers. Also this month, I tell authors of brand new books—as well as authors of older books—how to get the publicity their book deserves.

It's no secret that it's the author's responsibility to promote his or her book. But many authors believe the key to getting publicity is a well kept secret. In this issue, I let the cat out of the bag. The mystery is solved. No longer will you be left wondering how to get publicity for your marvelous current or older book. And that's not all. I’ve located five solid resources that will make you smarter—about the writing and publishing industry, that is.

In this month’s October 2006 Market Update:

  • How and when to announce your new book
  • Why editor transitions are important to you
  • Where to go for the latest trends in the magazine industry
  • Dating, engaged or married? This lifestyle magazine that is looking for articles about you!
  • A great list of magazines for first-time writers!
  • Got an Attitude? Find out where to submit your stories "about being female."
  • Great tips on promoting "seasoned" books the second time around
  • A terrific site that keeps track of magazine staff changes

Seriously follow up on even just a handful of the leads offered in this month's Market Update and you will be smiling all the way to the bank—guaranteed!

If you are not yet a member of SPAWN and would like to access Market Update and enjoy other benefits of membership, please join now online at

Note: If you are a free newsletter subscriber only, you will be unable to log onto SPAWN’s "Members Only" page.

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Book Review

The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock:

The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Selling More Work Faster

By Diana Burrell and Linda Formichelli

Marion Street Press, Inc.



ISBN: 1-933338-09-1

Review by Patricia L. Fry

Query Letters That Rock is a brand new book scheduled for publication November 1. I am among the first to review this book and you are among the first to read a review.

Here’s the scoop: Authors Diana Burrell and Linda Formichelli are seasoned article-writing pros. Together, they penned the book The Renegade Writer: A Totally Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing Success, which is in its second printing. These women seem to enjoy bending rules and dispelling long-held beliefs. And why not, when it works for them?

To read the full review of Query Letters That Rock, go to

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Book Review

The "Hush Hush" Secrets to Writing Fiction That Sells

By Dr. Maxine E. Thompson

Black Butterfly Press


2nd Printing, April 2004

96-pages, $20.00 to order this book

Review by Patricia L. Fry

Maxine Thompson knows how to sell fiction—she has written several novels and she is selling them. In fact, I watched as reader after reader stopped at her booth during a recent book festival and walked away with one or two of her books under their arms. The Hush Hush Secrets to Writing Fiction That Sells comes in two styles—a paperback print book (size 8.5 x 11) with plastic comb binding or an e-book. And both books are filled with the stuff that good novels are made of.

To read the full review of The "Hush Hush" Secrets to Writing Fiction That Sells, go to

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Ask the Book Doctor: About Cookbooks, Prologues and Prefaces

By Bobbie Christmas

To read about these and other interesting topics, go to

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Member News

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

Erika Dreifus has recently updated two e-book guides that will interest fellow SPAWN members who write. The first is titled, Writers' Markets: Where To Sell What You Write When You Write About Writing, and it profiles 85 paying print and online markets. The second is Erika's ever-popular primer on low-residency MFA programs. Find out more (and download complimentary previews): OR Erika adds that she's looking forward to a fall residency at the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation in Maine, where she hopes to focus full-time for awhile on her fiction!

Keys to the County: Touring Historic Ventura County is the newest book by county historian and author Cherie Brant. This guidebook is of interest to long-time residents, newcomers, and anyone who needs to entertain out-of-town guests. Unlike most of Southern California, Ventura County is fortunate to still have many historic sites that tell about its past. This book describes walking and driving tours to over 40 locations, and covers every community in the county. It includes maps, drawings and descriptions of local oddities, and over 70 historical photographs. Most of the photographs are from an extensive collection at the Ventura County Museum of History & Art. The book is available at the Ventura County Museum of History & Art store,, bookstores and gift shops around the county, and online at

Check out the excerpts from the latest book reviews for Patricia Fry's newest book, The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book.

Johanna's Journey, A True Story of Love, Loss and Faith is the newest book to be produced through Patricia Fry's publishing company, Matilija Press. It is the first book she has produced for another author. Rick McGrath is the author of Johanna's Journey. This book has been out for just weeks and it's already causing smiles and tears. One reader said, "It really touched me." Another says, "I give it five stars because I could not put it down." Author Rick McGrath demonstrates his artistic talents in this moving story of his fiancée, Johanna. But McGrath tells only part of the story. The rest of the story is told through Johanna's detailed, emotionally-driven journals. Read this memoir and then go hug your loved ones. Matilija Press, 212 pages, $11.95. Order at As a bonus, Patricia contributes a story to this fine book. Read about the strange turn of events when Patricia inherits four adult cats and then watches as divine intervention orchestrates their perfect destiny.

Patricia Fry will speak at the SPAN Conference in San Francisco October 27, 2006. Go to for more information about the conference.

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

Ojai resident Neville Macaulife is looking for editing help for a completed 100,000-word comic science fiction novel, with a view to getting a better idea as to how his manuscript as written meets the needs of agents and publishers. He will critique your book in exchange. Phone and fax: (805)649-1901 or

PMA awards a PMA-U scholarship to one member of each Affiliate group. The scholarship should be awarded to a publisher who needs assistance in growing his/her publishing company. The scholarship includes free registration to attend the Publishing University, plus a $500 stipend to help pay for travel expenses. PMA encourages the Affiliate organization to assist with the rest of the travel costs. Applicants must be a member of an Affiliate group as well as PMA, must be a publisher, preferably in the early stages of developing his/her company and has not received the scholarship in the past. For more information and an application, go to the PMA Web site: Yes, SPAWN is a PMA affiliate group! So if you are a small publisher, a member of PMA and a paid member of SPAWN, you should apply. All final applications must be sent to PMA by December 31.

SPAWN member Leon Cooper has completed a book, The War in the Pacific: A Retrospective. It is still in manuscript form, and he plans on self-publishing. He is seeking organizations or individuals that would accept a manuscript for review purposes. Says Leon: "As a participant in a number of battles in the Pacific during WWII, I have some definite—and no doubt, controversial—opinions about many of these battles. In my book I take to task a number of the major commanders during that war for deciding to engage in several battles that should not have been fought, none of which materially figured in the ultimate defeat of Japan. Significant, and needless, American casualties were the consequence of these tragically flawed decisions." Leon’s e-mail address is

Brigitte Thompson is retiring from publishing and would like to offer her company’s name, trademark, Web site and inventory to another person—possibly a writer looking to branch into publishing or an existing publisher looking to add a new imprint. For more information, contact Brigitte Thompson, Women In Print,, phone: 802-288-8040, fax: 802-288-8041.

Association Book Exhibit/American Studies Association is presenting a combined exhibit October 12-15 in Oakland, California. Application deadline is September 28. For more information:

The Black Writers Guild of Irving is hosting a pitch party in Irving, Texas in October. They're seeking agents, editors and publishers to attend. For more information contact Christina Taylor at

Vendors are wanted by the Bakersfield Californians Second Annual Festival of Books. The event, organized by the Kern Adult Literacy Council, will be held Saturday, November 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the California State University Bakersfield Gymnasium. For more information, e-mail Ashley Hurst, or call (661) 324-3213.

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Read about the latest contests at:

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Events and More

Read about the coming events at:

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SPAWN is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

Donations are tax deductible.

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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

Wendy Dager

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 Wendy Dager, 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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