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SPAWNews, April, 2000

Archives Available

We Are Updating the Member Directory

Ruth Hibbard, our membership chair, is updating the Member Directory. The new 2000 edition will be out in May. If you have any changes, telephone number, e-mail address, mailing address, or anything else, please contact Ruth right away and let her know.

Her phone number is 805/654-1294. You may e-mail her at

Remember to contact Ruth and give her your new information!

The deadline is April 7th.

A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. . . . If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.

~Edna St. Vincent Millay, Letters

Winners of SPAWN’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest

We are pleased to announce the winners of SPAWN’s Poetry Contest II. Again, we had many excellent entries and a large number from which to choose for our first poetry book. Congratulations, winners!

1st Place, Rhyming

J.B. Stuart-“Remembrance”

1st Place, Non-Rhyming

Claudia Harper - “Hark Hark the Larks”

2nd Place, Rhyming

Jill Stein - “Handprints”

2nd Place, Non-Rhyming

Mary Kolada Scott- “Symphony”

3rd Place, Rhyming

Jim R. Lane - “Odium Poetica”

3rd Place, Non-Rhyming

Mary Langer Thompson - “The Lost Flower of the Flock”

Read the poems now.

· SPAWN has been granted the coveted designation as a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation! What does this mean to all of us? Read below.

· The NWU Poetry Competition’s guidelines appear below.

· PMA/BEA Publishing University in Chicago. Read below.

· William Saroyan Writer’s Conference in Fresno. Read below.

· Advertise your books or services in the SPAWN directory. Read below.

· The six winning poems of the poetry contest. Read below.

· Member news - Read below.

· Publish your printed book as an e-book and make a donation to SPAWN at the same time. Read below.

SPAWN’s Now A 501(c)3

Nonprofit Corporation

Thanks to the efforts of Virginia Lawrence and Eva Rosenberg, our nonprofit papers were finally filed and we have received word that our 501(c)3 designation has been approved.

We are now a recognized nonprofit corporation organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law and operated exclusively for educational and literary purposes. Our specific purposes are “to teach and disseminate educational material to the public, including, but not limited to, material relating to writing, editing, illustrating, designing and publishing their works, through publications, lectures, or otherwise.”

We’ve been doing that for four years already, so what are the benefits of this nonprofit designation? There are many but here are a few:

·We can now accept tax-deductible donations.

·We can write grant proposals and solicit funds for which we would not otherwise have been eligible.

·We can hold meetings in public buildings such as libraries without having to pay a fee for the facility.

There is a prestige factor here, too. We have withstood the strict examination of our activities and purposes by the State of California and the Internal Revenue Service. We have proven that we qualify as a nonprofit educational organization.

Please join me in thanking Virginia Lawrence and Eva Rosenberg for their tireless efforts, our Board of Directors for aiming us in the right direction, and our Advisory Council for providing us with expert advice all along the way.

Mary Embree, Founder & Executive Director

National Writers Union

Poetry Competition

The Santa Cruz/Monterey Local 7 of the National Writers Union announces its 17th Annual National Poetry Competition. The prizes are $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, and $200 for 3rd.

The First Prize winner will be published in Poetry Flash and Local 7's newsletter. Second and Third Prize winners will be sent to Poetry Flash for consideration.


Submit any number of poems (single copies) on any subject matter. Ineligible submission categories include translations, published poems (including self-published) and unpublished award winners. Note that the NWU celebrates multi-cultural creativity.

Entry deadline is December 1, 2000. Entries will not be returned. Winners will be announced in February 2001.

Poems are to be typed, double-spaced on 8.5 x 11 paper without your name on the page, no more than 3 pages per poem, and unstapled.

Submit the titles of the poems on a separate page with your name, address, and e-mail address if available.

Enclose a check of $4 for each poem, payable to National Writers Union. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) if you wish to be notified of winners.

Mail to: Poetry Competition, NWU, PO Box 2409, Aptos, CA 95001. For up-to-date info on the annual competition:

For information about the National Writers Union:

The William Saroyan Writers’ Conference

This conference is presented by Writer’s International Network/ Writer’s Inter-age Network (WIN-WIN) in association with Publisher’s Weekly. It is a three-day conference, on April 14, 15, and 16, and held at Piccadilly Inn Hotel, Airport in Fresno, California. Workshop leaders include book publishers, agents, writers and an editor from Writer’s Digest Books. You can sign up for a one-on-one, 10-minute private session with an agent or editor.

The fees range from $50 for Sunday only to $225 for the entire 3-day conference. For more information, call 209/224-2516.

The 2000 PMA/BEA Publishing University

Publisher’s Marketing Association (PMA) presents their program of workshops and seminars on May 30 and 31 and June 1 this year, prior to the annual BEA convention in Chicago.

Led by industry leaders, these seminars are packed with information you can use to enhance the profitability of your publishing company. You may choose up to four sessions each day on such subjects as Creating a Dynamic Publicity Campaign for Your Book, Making Special Sales on a Shoestring Budget, Building a Successful Web Site, Getting Interviews on Radio and TV Talk Shows, and Digital Distribution and Print-On-Demand. You may also meet one-on-one with a publishing consultant.

This year’s event is being held at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel. PMA members may attend for $60 per seminar or for $300 for all 8 seminars plus 2 lunches if they register before April 15. It is slightly higher for non-members.

PMA has reserved a block of rooms at the Marriott for $155/single and $165/ double. For more information and a registration application call PMA at 310/372-2732. To register online go to

Advertise in the Next SPAWN Directory

You may advertise your books, seminars or services in the upcoming member directory where it will be seen for a full year. Ad rates are reasonable.

Business card or ¼ page $30

Half page $50

Full page $90

Back cover $125

Contact Ruth Hibbard at 805/654-1294; e-mail by April 7.

Did you know . . .

objects called books are mentioned by ancient Greek writers as having been in use in the 5th century BC? However, during the golden age of Athens, books were not highly regarded as avenues of learning. The preferred method of publication at that time was oral. The actor, the orator, the rhapsodist, and the lecturer were supreme.

E-Book Publishing

for SPAWN Members

by Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.

In February, this column discussed the value of e-books and the public's growing awareness of downloadable e-books. Then on March 14, Stephen King released a novel exclusively as an e-book. King's e-book was a first by a hugely successful author. We also have the example of a SPAWN favorite, prolific author Dan Poynter, who has released his most recent book as an e-book.

It's clear that e-books provide an entirely new distribution system for our published work, and e-books allow nearly instant gratification for our reading public.

After researching existing e-book sites, we have noted that most e-book sites are still surprisingly low-tech, and the sites do not make purchasing easy. As a Web architect and e-commerce specialist with five years of experience, I have developed our list of the essential elements for Web sites. It is vital that a site visitor should be able to browse a site easily, then purchase quickly and read his downloaded book immediately.

Our new SPAWN E-Book Publishing is the culmination of our research and our experience in e-commerce. For all small publishers and self-publishers, SPAWN happily announces a special service for your books in print and your out-of-print backlist. (We are not accepting unpublished books at this time.)

Each participating self-publisher receives a three-page Web site within the high-traffic SPAWN Web site. Each self-publisher's Web site will include:

  • conversion of your book from Word or PageMaker files to e-book format
  • one front page with up to 700 words and two scanned photos or graphics (author photo and cover), plus author contact information
  • one excerpt page containing up to 1,000 words from your book
  • one purchase page containing a link to the listing on for your printed book, and an order button for the e-book
  • automatic credit card processing using the CogniText credit card merchant account
  • 50% royalty for you on every sale of your e-book
  • After we build your mini site on the SPAWN site, book buyers will be able to find, purchase, and download your book 24 hours per day!
  • SPAWN members: only $249 setup and $15 per month.
  • Non-members: only $299 setup (includes one year membership in SPAWN) and $15 per month.
  • 20% of the setup fee goes directly to SPAWN.

Turn your book into an e-book. Join the e-publishing revolution today. Sign up now by filling out the online form at

~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D., SPAWN's Webmaster, is an Information Architect who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at or visit her Web site at

Member News

Tana Sommer, Painter and editor of Voices Found, is hosting with five other artists an OPEN STUDIOS EXHIBITION and BENEFIT SALE on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, from 12 to 6 p.m. at ArtReach, 125 N. Milpas Street (between Yanonali and Mason), Santa Barbara.

Ceramics and bead arts, jewelry, wood sculpture, paintings and etchings will be on view plus live music, food, children's art-making area, and demonstrations all afternoon. 25% of sales will go to the Breast Resource Center in Santa Barbara.

Admission is free. For more information call or fax 962-4581, 966-6561 or e-mail

Robin Westmiller will be signing her novel, Red Wine for Breakfast, at Local Hero Bookstore, 254 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai on Sunday, May 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call Venica at 646-3165.

Mary Embree is offering seminars on the process of writing a book from concept to finished product. The seminar series includes Researching, Writing and Editing Principles, Copyright Information, How to Find an Agent and/or Publisher and How to Write Book Proposals and Query Letters. Handouts and discussions will include resource information and the pros and cons of publishing your own book. The series will begin in June.

There will be a fee of $20 for each seminar and a discount will be given for the series. The workshops will be geared to participants’ needs.

If you would like to attend, please e-mail and indicate your areas of interest.

1st Place Rhyming


Did you ever call a coalman there below you in the street?

"Hey Tony, we're going to need two bags again this week"

Then slowly come the heavy feet upon the creaking stair,

Open up the coalbox now, he'll dump it right in there.

It's 80 pounds of heat per bag,

This dirty, dusty blue black slag.

It heats the water, warms the room

And drives away the winter's gloom

You'd know how nice that sooty stuff can be

If you had stood around like John and me

And kept your coat on while Mama fixed a fire.

How quickly she could raise those coal lumps ire.

Make 'em glow and glitter with a warmth for face and finger.

Oh how sharp the winter's chill and how it tries to linger.

Slowly near the fat, black stove its bite is pushed away.

But close the door to the middle room or the heat will go astray.

Now a pot for coffee's on alongside pork 'n beans

B&M brown bread fries slow, a natural mate it seems.

Eighty cents a bag these black lumps measured and delivered.

Eighty pounds on a willing back to drive away the shivers.

Thank you Tony for those black stones and the warmth that they would mean.

The water tank getting warmer, the heat to cook the beans.

But especially thank you Mama, for being central to it all,

Solving problems day by day, whether they be big or small.

For that amazing skill to bring the fire to a glow.

But the fire's not the only warmth that kitchen felt I know.

For love was the main ingredient in the scene I bring to mind.

The love that comes from a mother's heart, that age-old, strongest kind.

J.B. Stuart

2nd Place Rhyming


Today you put your handprints on our hearts

For the first time we saw your face

And felt you in our embrace

Today a couple ends and a family starts

Today you put your handprints on the wall

Walking just enough

To make keeping rack of you pretty tough

It seems just yesterday you learned to crawl

Today you put your handprints in stone

So proud of the gift you brought to us

As you stepped down out of the bus

We are amazed at how much you’ve grown

Today you put your handprints in ink

This gift is not for us but a new friend you’ve found

Hanging out during lunch at the merry-go-round

You head off for school with a hug and a wink

Today you put your handprints on the wheel of a car

You are driving and dating

And we sit up nights waiting

You still sleep in the next room but seem so far

Today you put your handprints in the air

Waving goodbye, a new life to start

For the first time we’ll be apart

You take with you our love and our prayer

Today you put your handprints on our hearts

Our precious little one you will always be

As you create your own history

We love you our precious little sweetheart

Jill Stein

1st Place Non-Rhyming


after hearing Quintet No. 2 for Piano and Strings played by The Larks and Peter Schickele

silvered by spotlight

her hair is chestnut brocade on black sleeves

a descending waterfall like the notes of first violin

her boots dance a rising stepping swing

toed to changing rhythms

bowed to slices of scherzo boogie-woogie

right beside her

in porcelain clear intensity

vanilla satin hair that shifts like a curtain

the second violin lifts and dips

a glowing golden counterpoint

of intimate balance to soprano lyric waltzing

and the frizzed-hair wide-eyed genius

crunched into her viola

pulls a melancholy elongation in the first movement

then burst in a heated square-dance fiddle

she demands a sexual power from each string

draws out each note as if sipping rich wine

the cello is a Gaugin beauty

serene in confidence

lip pouting eyebrow furrowed in musical ecstasy

she sweeps mellow and ripe

stinging singing strings

in a depth of sound to dream on

the composer so disarming

in Santa Claus beard and humble words

rolls piano keys exotic-variety Americana

in a composition folk dance accordion spiritual Beethoven

a Peter Schickele schlep of it-looks-so-easy

winding harmonies Celtic with sighs and laughter

in quartet women's heads shoulders arms

rise and fall and sway as one with their instruments

they are muse witches in an act of love

creating a child born of piano and strings

oh listen to the larks

Claudia Harper

2nd Place Non-Rhyming - Symphony

After El Niño storms subside,

waters recede and every living thing,

transplanted and transformed,

throbs to a different rhythm

like an accelerated heartbeat.

Now frogs inhabit the barranca

beyond our back yard.

A colony has migrated

to our crook of the ravine,

swept downstream by flooding

through the wooded channel.

This year the canyon has a new voice.

Strange music amplifies my emotions.

At night, I awake and listen to the chorus,

obscured like an orchestra in its pit.

Frogs imprint the gorge with sound.

Their songs resonate from the banks

and blend into landscape as much

as monarch butterflies lifting

like radiant bark off eucalyptus

or the owl hollowing out the night

with his lone syllable.

Mary Kolada Scott

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


Jean Wade

President, Santa Barbara County Chapter. e-mail:

Carol Doering

President, Ventura County Chapter.


Patricia Fry

Vice President


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

Patricia Fry

Vice President

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard


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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