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July & August 2003
(For a list of recent topics covered, go to the bottom of this page)

Offering writing and self actualization workshops in the Rocky Mts.
...because you deserve to be pampered
...because there's a magical feeling in putting pen to paper


In this issue:
* ...KS article
Worldwide Literacy Problem - video vs book
* BOOK OF MONTH: For Families
"The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse"
* BOOKS for/about KIDS that will change your life -
Mostly Old Classics - (or Award Winners)
* FIVE Writing Tips or Exercises
* Is Your Story Fully Developed (synopsis)
*Low Income Writers (Memoirs)
* Thoreau quote...
---Literary Marketplace
---The WORLDWIDE resource for the Book
* "Spring is..."
---Libraries increasing disk collections
---"Meaningful Markets"
* BOOK OF MONTH: "How to" Books for Writers

Spring Time Writers Article of the Month
Worldwide Literacy Problem - video vs book

I can give you figures of how many students, upon graduation, fall below the "lowest level of reading proficiency" (6 out of 100) or how many just manage "very basic reading tasks such as locating a simple piece of information or identifying the main theme of a text," (12%), but isn't the true subject here, what is happening and how can we help? I believe the increase in video watching has deteriorated a child's desire and ability to read books, and it has continued as they become teenagers.

What can you do? No effort on your part is too small... Look at your own household (or those close to you, perhaps, a niece, or neighbor child) and see what you can do to change this. You can make a lifelong difference in a child's life. These percentages may look low; but isn't every child important?

Perhaps you can promise yourself to give a book to a child every Christmas. Or, if your own child is demanding a video, give them a matching book. If you give a video about "Spirit" the wild horse, give them a book about horse raising, or wild ponies being rescued, or even "Black Beauty."

Also, remember that your own joy of reading (for a particular subject matter or for an old favorite novel) can rub off on a child. Don't demand that they read something. Just as any good writer will witness: it’s better to “show” not “tell” if you want to capture someone’s attention. Show them your joy for reading. Share how it has benefited you. If you sit in front of the TV and never read a book or magazine or newspaper yourself, they may follow your example. By sharing reading time and/or discussions, you may find yourself becoming closer to your child, and expanding your own education and fun.

Kathleen Spring, Copyright 2003

statistics from: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -
265,000 high school students in 32 countries.

BOOK of the MONTH:
This is a good example of a book that could be read by a (teen) youth and their parent and then discussed. It also is a good example of how to insert research about culture, religion and women into a thrilling story. I have an acquaintance who would only read one chapter a night, because she didn't want it to end. It's a Native American story about a woman, who is dying, and is being considered for sainthood. The only thing is, the "woman" hero is a man in disguise.

"The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse" by Louise Erdrich (4/01) $26.00

Description: Over the years, Father Damian has seen the reservation through its most severe crisis, yet he is more than a heroic priest. He has lived and served the Ojibwa people as a man of the cloth ...and also as a woman. Now, nearing the end of his life, he dreads discovery. His quietly devout life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation scrutinizing the life of his lifelong nemesis, Sister Leopolda, considering her for sainthood. Father Damian knows the strange truth of her existence. When he is called upon to prove or disprove her sainthood, he faces the greatest challenge of his life. Where does fact end and reality begin? And how does one tell it? As he searches for the answer, he must wrestle with demons from his past, memories that haunt him -- and the secret of his own identity in his revelatory Last Report to the Pope.

==== ===== ===== ====== ===== ===== =====
BOOKS for/about KIDS that will change your life -
Mostly Old Classics - (or Award Winners)
==== ===== ===== ====== ===== ===== =====
xxxx (list deleted in "sample" newsletter to save space) xxxxxxxxxx
NOTE, many issues have a series or group of similar books featured, such as "motherhood," "mystery," etc.

We have a tip and an exercise on our Web Page, and two more in our Newsletters.

+++Journaling Exercise
JULY--HALF WAY MARK It is half way through the year, and now is a good time to look back at January 1st and see what your New Year's Resolutions were.....
NOW is the time to set goals for the rest of the year. Journal about it. Make it "Christmas in July" and give yourself a gift.

+++"Web Site" writing exercise:
Obituaries are a great source for story lines: CRUSHED IN A SHAFT; SEIZED WITH HEMORRHAGE... http://www.springtimewriters.com/writers2.htm#exercise

+++"Web Site" writing tip:
TIP: What is passive vs. active writing? http://www.springtimewriters.com/writers2.htm#tip

+++"Newsletter" Writing TIP
"Live a Little" - Don't follow the advice "Take thee to a nunnery". Think about all the things you've learned from one love affair. Each person who crosses your life adds new dimensions, new lessons, new experiences, new knowledge, new hurts and joys. How can you write about such things as reconciliation, bad habits, wet kisses, or pet peeves if you haven't lived a full life?

+++"Newsletter" Writing EXERCISE
Have you ever tried your hand at travel writing? Pick a favorite place you went to and then make a list of what you enjoyed best about it. You can write an article based on this first (adding facts later); or wait until you have all your facts gathered and chart out the article. == Next, do some research, like look it up on the web, or pull out your travel brochures. Fill in the blanks with some facts. If you say your favorite place was the museum, tell us why? "There was an Egyptian vase that said on it 'Hands Off, property of Samson' " (and I did have a similar experience!) Find out from your research the name, location, fee for the museum, and hopefully hours/days open. == The first travel article I wrote for a big magazine cost me more in long distant phone calls, checking facts, than I got paid by the magazine! Thank goodness today you can use the internet. But it helps to gather facts while you are traveling!.....KS


When you write an agent or publisher about your book, you will have to write a synopsis of the storyline, preferrably one page, but never more than two, depending on the length of the book. You will need this quick summary for multiple reasons, including publicity -- what do you say when a radio station calls to interview you to see if they want you to be on the air?

In Hollywood, it is called a pitch (or high concept pitch -- which is the story reduced to an incredible one sentence!) This is the "essence" of the story.

Try writing a one page promotional description of your book. By doing this, editing it over and over till it is just the "essence" of the story, you will be prepared for anything. We often think we have it "all in our head," and can pull it out like a hat trick, but this is conceited, lazy thinking. A good project (book) expects and deserves a lot of work.
K.Spring (copyright 2005)


Herstory Writers Workshop - "Her"story is a nonprofit memoir writing project for women. Begun in 1996 as a community memoir writing project for women, Herstory reaches out to give narrative tools to women who might not ordinarily have access to high quality writing instruction. Partially tuition based and partially publicly funded, it is dedicated to women who feel they have stories to tell.


"Pursue, keep up with, circle round
and round your life, as dog does his
master's chaise. Do what you love.
Know your own bone, gnaw at it, bring
it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
--Henry David Thoreau


(1.) Literary Marketplace

Search by Names, key word, subject and more The WORLDWIDE resource for the Book Publishing Industry. Some items are free, but a huge amount is available for a small fee.

Find publishers, agents, illustration agents, lecture agents, international literary agents, find publishers of a particular subject or type of publication. - 170 subject terms.

(2.) Synonyms: http://vancouver-webpages.com/synonyms.html

WordNet 1.5 Search: is an online dictionary that you can explore in different directions, finding words that mean the same, are more general, more specific - as well as getting a brief description. You can search for noun, verb, etc.


Monthly "Spring is..." quote
~ ~ Spring is your birthright, not made by human hands,
~ ~ but a gift, born the day the earth was created.


Libraries are Increasing their "tape" collections

Today's librarians are are turning to DVDs, VHS and audio tapes. "So many of us are attached to the text and the paper and the binding," said Beth Elder, senior collection specialist for the Denver Public Library "But many of our customers are leaving text behind."

"It's almost as if our customers' way of learning has changed. People want to absorb the information much more quickly and often through visual means." They comments that even people needing to make a house repair ask if it's on DVD.

Libraries need to build their collection according to their public's needs. The small town of Lyons, with a population of 1,500, has dozens of VHS tapes, and are starting to get into DVDs. The problem for smaller libraries is the higher cost and the larger damage risk.

Some on-line submissions of "meaningful pieces:"

This is a long time favorite of true storytellers. They are open to all story themes and subjects. Contact Linda Swanson-Davies, co-editor. Pays: $500 on acceptance for first rights! Use the online submission form. (electronic) Quarterly of LITERARY short fiction. =="We wanted to read beautifully written, meaningful pieces that would stick with us." said co-editor Linda Swanson-Davies, who started the quarterly 10 years ago.

Quarterly magazine using art as a catalyst for social change. They accept fiction of 500 to 1,500 words. See their web site for a better description of subjects, eg Utopian, social movement, ethnic, etc. Pays $5 to $20 or contributor copy on publication. Submission: query by mail or E-MAIL.

Spiritual Writers

"Complete Guide to Writing & Selling the Christian Novel" Penelope Stokes, Ph.D. $9.99

The editor of over 100 Christian novels teaches you to write and publish your inspirational fiction in this all-in-one guide. Her practical instruction and candid advice for this specialized market covers everything from the creative process to plot development, characterization and revision. You will learn to craft beautiful, inspiring work that will touch the heart and imagination of your reader. 1997. 256 pages.

Write about your CRAFTY skills - 3 book publishers needing you!

Barron's Educational Series, Inc., publishes 400 titles a year. Their crafts and hobbies division looks for books on antiques, gardening, woodworking, and amateur astronomy, in addition to other topics. They pay 12-14% royalties on net receipts, and offer a $3-4,000 advance.

Howell Press, Inc., publishes 80% of their books by unagented writers. They pay a 5-10% royalty, and offer an advance. They are currently emphasizing gardens, quilts, and quilt history.

Krause Publications publishes 170 titles a year. 90% of those books are by unagented writers. They pay 9-12% royalty on net with a $1,500-4,000 advance, or make an outright purchase of $2-10,000. Self-proclaimed "the world's largest hobby and collectibles publisher," their audience consists of serious hobbyists.

*This month's information was gathered from writersmarket.com They have a service you can purchase that will give you all the addresses and names you need to connect with magazines.


"A quick note to let you know how much I'm enjoying your Newsletters. Your choice of topics is Right On! Many thanks," Carol McMahon, PhD. (5/09)

"Hi, Springtime Writers and Kathleen! I look forward to the newsletter and it never disappoints me. Thanks for all the tips and inspiration. I have been writing some short things... As you said, write and then finish it!" Dede Phillips (1/04)

"Are you kidding, I love your newsletter. It is so informative. I live north of Orlando and the writing community is very small, so I love being connected in whatever way I can. " Best, Diana (3/04)

"Keep up the good work with your thoughtful newsletter. Thank you," Karen (4/04)

"What a wonderful newsletter--chock full of inspiration and information." by Gloria (7/03)

NOTE: We send it in "text" so that it won't overfill your email box, and so that anyone, no matter how old their computer is, can benefit from the news. The only "ads" are a list of our current workshops, and our "writing" book. Otherwise, it's ad free! (We make no money etc. from our "recommendations.") Please note, this page will not change each month; this is a one-time sample.

See a Sample of our Wellness Newsletter

*Spring Time Writers ARTICLE*: "Liking your Unlikeable Character" =FEATURE BOOK REVIEW= “The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process”(self help) =JOURNAL BOOK REVIEW= "How Memoirs Took Over the Literary World" =ARTICLE= ..about a Writer known for Successfully Crossing Genres, Rebecca McClanahan =WEB SITE of the MONTH= Outdoor Writers Association of American =ARTICLE= How to Write an Introductory Letter =QUOTE= Writing the book of your life late in life... =BOOK FOR WRITERS= "Publication of an Unauthorized Biography" =POETRY= Current Poet Laureate, Kay Ryan =BOOK FOR TECHNICAL WRITERS= "Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook" =BOOKS for (NONFICTION) Adventure Lovers= Want to write a book for "Summer Reading"? =QUOTE= "Perfection is achieved, not when ..." =EDUCATION= MASTER of FINE ARTS in WRITING in 1 year =WORKSHOP= Icon-Writing Class, August 15 - 28 =SUBMISSIONS= ="IN THE NEWS" FOR WRITERS!!!!= ----JOURNALISM NEWS (Mexico; jobs; journalism future) ----GENERAL NEWS (Murdoch; CondeNast; Newsweek;McChrystal;Barnes&N; magz) =WRITING TIPS & EXERCISES= (journaling; school days)

Monthly updates, including anecdotes, exercises, stories. Useful reviews. Automatic notices of new and updated workshops and tips. No ads!

Recent Newsletters included such items as:
Tips on submitting manuscripts
Natl. Writers Assn. Conference & Writing Contest
Most common mistakes in fiction writing
Recommended books about women of the West
Sample Opening Lines
Improving Dialogues


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Check this web site for the latest information.
Thanks for visiting; see you soon!
First put on Web July 2003
Date last modified: April 27, 2012 9:00 AM

Disclaimer – Copyright 2003: All logos, photos, and original and html text by Kathleen Spring, Copyright 1998-2012 entire web site. All Rights Reserved. See Spring Times Form Contract for full disclosure.