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SPAWNing Opportunities

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Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network (SPAWN) was formed to provide education, information, resources, and a supportive networking environment for authors, illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, editors, self-publishers, and others interested in the publishing process. We communicate with each other and exchange information through meetings, a monthly newsletter, seminars, and the Internet.

On May 19, 1996, we had our first meeting of SPAWN in Ventura. As people started coming from as far away as Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo, they expressed a desire to have a chapter closer to where they lived and we began to expand. We now have three ongoing chapters which meet each month in different counties of Southern California (Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles). As we began to attract national publicity, our membership expanded throughout the country, drawing from such states as Washington, Hawaii, New York, and Florida, to name a few, and we look forward to establishing chapters all across the United States.

We’ve accomplished a lot during the past year, thanks to some very active and creative members. New books have been published, and many more are in the works. Through networking at SPAWN meetings, artists have received commissions to illustrate books and design book covers, freelance editors and writers have been hired to prepare book proposals and manuscripts, and authors have had face-to-face meetings with publishers and acquisitions editors where they received information, direction, and in some cases, invitations to submit their works. We’ve learned how to find an agent or publisher, the many facets of self-publishing (printing, book-binding, marketing, and promotion), and a myriad of other subjects through SPAWN seminars and educational presentations at chapter meetings.

Since last May, SPAWN has presented seminars, published newsletters and member directories, participated in book festivals, developed an Internet Web site and affiliated with Publishers Marketing Association, various writers groups, and other organizations. We have been inspired, found tools and resources, learned processes, materialized our ideas, and brought projects to fruition. Most important, we’ve made friends and allies, and discovered that it is possible to be successful doing what we love!

If you would like more information about SPAWN, call us at 805/643-2403, write us at PO Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653, send an e-mail to my attention at execdir@spawn.org, or visit our Web site: http://www.spawn.org.

This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor July, 1997, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.

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