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SPAWNews, January, 2000

Archives Available

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Do You Want to Participate?

The 5th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will be held at UCLA’s Dickson Plaza on Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, 2000.

Year before last SPAWN shared a booth and we had quite a number of members participate. Last year we didn’t participate because there weren’t enough members interested.

As we found it pretty cramped sharing a booth, we decided that the next time we took part in the event we would get an entire booth for ourselves. But they are expensive. A booth costs $800. They are 10’x10’, 8’ high, with vinyl side and back walls. We can have three 6’x8’ tables and five folding chairs.

To afford this booth we would have to have at least 16 titles represented at a fee of $50 per book for each participating member’s first book and $25 for each additional book.

Those of us who took part in the Santa Barbara Book Festival had a great time and, as many members showed up and helped out in the booth, it turned out to be not a great deal of work for staff members.

We will follow the same procedures for this book festival. Those who want to sell their books must attend and have a California Resale Permit. We cannot have more than 12 books of each title stored in the booth. Those who can’t participate in the booth may send two books for display along with brochures to me or to a willing member who plans to attend.

The L.A. Times’ deadline for reservations is January 21. As the booths go fast and there is paperwork to do, our deadline is January 7 to reserve your space and send us a check.

If you would like to participate, please contact me (Mary Embree) by e-mail at and let me know.

E-mail me the following information:

  1. Your name, e-mail address or phone
  2. The number of titles you would like to display
  3. Whether you will attend and help out in the booth

SPAWN will participate if enough members have signed up by January 7.

If you wish to get a booth by yourself, you may contact Tina Pinelli at 213/237-7334; 213/237-2335 (fax); 1-800-LA TIMES (ext. 7BOOK).

Sorry to give you so little advance notice of this festival but I didn’t get the information until December. Booths sell out fast so we must act quickly.



Art Competition

Usually we are notified of writer’s competitions but rarely hear of awards for artists. Here is one that is open to artists from Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. It is the Biennial Art Competition sponsored by Ventura Chamber Music Festival and Buenaventura Art Association.

Artists may submit up to three art works. Entry fees are $15 for the first and $5 for each additional submission. Awards range from $250 to $600. Deadline is February 15. For information, call Denise at 805/643-8854.

Digital Technology Award

SPAN, Small Publishers Association of North America and have teamed up to present an award of $13,000 to independent presses.

The SPAN Digital Technology Award will be presented for achievement of excellence in the use of emerging publishing technologies at the SPAN 2000 Publishing College in Torrance, California on October 20. The award will be judged on innovation in the use of new technologies such as print-on-demand, e-books, and other digital applications.

First place prize will be a cash award of $10,000; first runner-up will win $2,000 and the second runner-up will get $1,000.

Details can be viewed on the Internet:

Publishing Awards

Publishers are invited to enter PMA’s 12th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award Competition for excellence in publishing during the year 1999. These are combined editorial and design awards and cover a number of categories including fiction and nonfiction books, videos and audiobooks, design and marketing.

The deadline for titles published 7/1-12/31/99 is January 31, 2000. Entry fees are $50 per title, per category for PMA members; $110 for nonmembers for first title (includes one year’s membership in PMA) and $50 per title, per category for additional entries.

Finalists will be notified in May 2000 and winners announced at the Awards presentation in Chicago on June 1, 2000. Finalists receive a certificate of excellence; winners will receive the Benjamin Franklin Award trophy.

For information and entry form, contact or call 310/372-2732.

Writing Competition

Writer’s Digest announces their 2000 Writing Competition with more than $25,000 in prizes. There are 10 categories to choose from and there will be 1,001 winners in all. The Grand Prize is $1,500 cash and a meeting with editors and agents in New York City. The winner receives plane fare for two to New York, lodging, meals and transportation.

There are additional awards ranging from $25 for 6th through 10th place winners to $750 for the first place winner in each of the ten categories. First place winners also receive $100 worth of Writer’s Digest books, a manuscript critique and marketing advice.

Entry fees for poems are $10 for the first and $5 for each additional entry. All other entries are $10 per manuscript. The deadline is May 31, 2000.

For complete contest rules and entry form, pick up a copy of their magazine.

News of Interest

The following was e-mailed to me as a member of the National Writers Union and I felt it was important information for all SPAWN members. I was given permission to reprint it here.

FROM: The National Writers Union

TO: NWU Members & Friends

Legislative Update: Increasing Self-Employed Tax Deduction for Health Insurance Premiums to 100%.

Dear Members and Friends,

As we reported to you in November, Congress has several bills before it that contain a provision to increase the self-employed individual's tax deduction for health insurance premiums to 100 percent. Because most freelance writers and artists earn modest incomes, many find themselves uninsured or underinsured for health care. This tax deduction is a small measure, but it will allow more of our colleagues to afford care and reduce the financial burden on others.

Congress adjourned for the holidays without acting on any of the several bills that contain provisions to increase this tax deduction. However, these bills will be there when Congress reconvenes on January 24, 2000.

Many of you already have contacted your representatives to tell them of the interest we share in increasing this tax deduction and the impact it would have on improving access to health care. We thank you for your efforts on behalf of all freelance writers and self-employed individuals in general.

During the Congressional break, local leaders of the National Writers Union will meet with U.S. Senators in their home districts to discuss with them ways to get the tax deduction increased. Writers on these visits also will familiarize our Senators with the NWU and other writers' issues.

We will keep you posted on the feedback from these visits, and on other steps you can take to support this legislation during 2000. The NWU will continue to work hard for this tax deduction increase. If you would like background information on this topic, you may see the NWU web site, Political Issues Committee section at

Search the Library of Congress web site for relevant bills at and search "tax deductions," "independent contractors," or specific bills including S. 135, HR 2990, or HR 3081.

Have a happy holiday season.

Jonathan Tasini

President, National Writers Union

SPAWNews wants your news!

Send us informative articles, info on yourself, your works in progress, book releases and signings, art shows, etc. Write an article about your own personal experience relating to finding an agent or publisher, researching, or promoting your book. Tell us about resources you have found that could benefit our members, or anything else that is relevant to SPAWN’s mission. As we don’t have a lot of room for any single article, please make your news succinct and to the point. All submissions must arrive by the 15th of the month to make the next issue.

E-mails are best because they can be copied and pasted directly into the newsletter; they won’t have to be retyped. Send to If you don’t have e-mailing capability, you may fax your articles to SPAWN at 805-646-3045 or mail them to SPAWNews, P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653.

The word network is part of our name. And contributing to our newsletter is a great way to network. We all look forward to hearing from you!


The Woman’s Guide to Self-Publishing

by Donna M Murphy, IRIE Publishing

Women have a long history of working in the publishing industry but mainly as secretaries, proofreaders and editors. Murphy believes they would benefit in many ways by taking complete control of the process.

Her book is well laid-out and clearly written. In addition to being full of information, it is also inspiring and motivating. She profiles a number of women who have successfully self-published, some of whom went on to establish companies that published other author’s works and prospered.

Although geared toward women, this book would be helpful to anyone who wished to self-publish.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Mary Embree

Senior Editor



Hal Ranzenhofer

Managing Editor

Telephone: 805/984-3216



Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster



Dallas Glenn

President, Santa Barbara County Chapter.



Carol Doering

President, Ventura County Chapter.



Patricia Fry

President, West Ventura County Chapter



Ruth Hibbard

Treasurer and Membership Chair


Advisory Council

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Mary Embree

Author, Publishing Consultant

Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant


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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