Art marketing and writing mentorship opportunities


Letting everyone know about a relatively new website, MySoiree,, where people may showcase, buy and sell various kinds of artwork. What makes this place unique is the cosmopolitan warm feel to the site and the way the publicists reach out and promote people’s work and the local, physical events which occur throughout the world related to this site. Many times artists will host get-togethers at their galleries or in cafes for artists and the interested public to meet each other…all upcoming events listed on the left side of and they’re really social and networking events, not just unveilings to potential buyers.

The artwork is reasonably priced here – artists set their own prices and some featured pieces are pricey, but there’s work available for every budget, classy pieces for anywhere from $10 to $3000. The focus is on community and locating and finding one’s global market and becoming accessible to them.

There are a bunch of online shopping sites, of course, and many places to showcase one’s art online. But MySoiree caught my interest because one of their publicists/artists reached out to Synchronized Chaos through our Wednesday Writers Facebook group…they have a very excited, dedicated, interesting group of people who are all part of building this project and who believe in what they are doing.

Also – as mentoring and collaboration among writers is part of Synchronized Chaos’ mission and why this magazine got started…here’s a mentorship opportunity that would be great for Christians here, but I don’t think religious faith should be a requirement simply for sharing professional advice with these folks:

Inner-city Oakland’s School of Urban Missions, a ministry training college, seeks volunteer mentors to work with their students on English composition, writing, publicity and marketing, etc. Students are all passionate and driven to communicate professionally but have not all had the opportunity for much formal education.

They would love to be in touch with writing mentors in the Bay Area or elsewhere. The school is online at and here is the call for mentors:

Our Bible College specializes in training urban ministry leaders.  Many of our students come from the streets.  They are solidly saved and have a heart and passion for serving Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, many of our students also come from underserved and educationally challenged urban environments.  Some of our students did not even finish high school – they came to us with their hard-earned GED and a calling.  We do not have an English department and the teachers we have are not able to fully provide all of the English support classes and seminars our students need.  We need seminar teachers, substitute teachers and mentors for our students.   

Do you have a database of local Christian writers to whom we can appeal?  Or perhaps a local chapter meeting or guild where we can present our needs?  We are a quality, accredited Bible College with great students.  With your help, we can make them better.   

Please let me know if you have any ideas, have local contacts or know of any other local English resources for our college.   

In His Grace, 

Mark Fagerstrom

Vice President of Student Ministries

School of Urban Mission

(510) 567-6174 x120


American Society of Professional Journalists Awards – looking for nominees


SPJ’s Excellence in Journalism Competition
Recognizing the best work in journalism – print, online and broadcast

These awards honor the journalists whose work best reflects the SPJ ideals of initiative, integrity, talent and compassion. In addition to our regular categories, we are adding three new ones this year to reflect the ongoing evolution of the delivery of news and comment.

We also are seeking nominees for our five special Board of Directors Awards: Journalist of the Year, Career Achievement, Distinguished Service, Unsung Hero and Meritorious SPJ Service.

Stories must have been published between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, by a news outlet or individuals based in Northern California.

DEADLINE: Entries must be postmarked or time-stamped by Aug. 7, 2009
QUESTIONS: Contact Lisa Chung at or 650-906-9181.


Honors individuals, teams or news organizations for outstanding coverage of the economy/financial crisis and its effect on American businesses and citizens. All forms of journalism (breaking news, investigative, opinion, photography, etc.) in any medium are eligible.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples of work, which may include stories, columns, photographs, editorials, blogs, etc.
Categories: All media.

individuals, teams, or news organizations that try to improve conditions for the benefit of society. Entries will be judged on the significance of the issues, evidence of initiative, effectiveness of presentation and results obtained or pledged.
Entry specifications: May include project articles, editorials, public service announcements, cartoons, photos, graphics and online material.
Categories: All media.

Honors originality, stylish writing, timeliness, unique perspective and accuracy. Awards will be based on a body of work that includes at least five samples, with extra value placed on the writer’s ablity to break news as well as analyze it.
Entry specifications: Submit up to five posts.
Categories: Online.

Honors organizations that have demonstrated new and innovative ways to present news and information. Entries will be judged not only on content but on how well they use the tools of the new media – such as webcasts, comments, interactivity, etc. – in their reports.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples showing creative use of new media.
Categories: Online.

Honors journalists who increase readers/viewers understanding of significant or complex issues. Entries may add understanding to issues in the news or may focus on issues largely uncovered by the media.
Entry specifications: Submit one story or series of related stories.
Categories: Print Daily, Print Non-Daily, Broadcast, Online.

Honors individuals or teams that identify important issues and demonstrate initiative, persistence and resourcefulness pursuing information that is restricted or not easily available.
Entry specifications: Submit one story or series of related stories.
Categories: Print Daily, Print Non-Daily, Broadcast, Online.

Honors journalists whose work demonstratesclear and accurate reporting and graceful writing on deadline. Judges will consider deadline pressure and complexity of subject.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three stories.
Categories: Print Daily, Print Non-Daily, Broadcast, Online.

Honors journalists for exceptional writing that demonstrates originality of approach.
Judges will consider the humor or drama evoked, style, clarity of the writing and the suitability of the writing to the subject.
Entry specifications: Submit story or series.
Categories: Print Daily, Print Non-Daily, Broadcast, Online.

Honors individuals for exceptional writing of editorials and/or commentary. Entries may be unsigned editorials or bylined columns. Judges will consider originality of approach, clarity of writing and, in the case of an editorial, results obtained or pledged.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.
Categories: All media.

Honors journalists for incisive reviews of art, music, movies, theater, dance, books, restaurants, architecture or other public performance. Judges will consider quality of writing and persuasiveness of arguments.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.
Categories: All media.

Honors photojournalists whose work demonstrates exceptional skill in capturing defining moments. Judges will consider technical and aesthetic qualities.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples or a related series of photos.
Categories: All media.

Honors a journalist with less than five years of professional experience whose work shows great promise.
Entry specifications: Submit resume and three samples of work.
Categories: All media.

Honors individuals or classes of college-level students for exemplary reporting, writing, and/or photography produced by all forms of student media, including special projects that report local news no longer covered by professional media.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.

Colleen Paretty
SF Bay Area AHCJ Chapter Chair

Call for Submissions: San Francisco’s Space Gallery…the Beatles! Artwork for a September show.

Introducing – THE BEATLES!


On September 9th 2009 (9-9-09) Space Gallery is hosing a dramatic and intense

exhibition that explores the extent and magnitude of popular culture’s biggest

influence – The Beatles.

The Beatles’ influence on rock music and popular culture was, and remains, immense. Their commercial success started an almost immediate wave of changes—including shifts in music, fashion, politics, film and art that are still considered relevant today.

 For the exhibition, entitled “Number 9,” Space Gallery, curator Rand Shuler and artist Sean Ward will hand-select an extensive and thought-provoking collection of artworks, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, film and performance that not only explore the legacy of Beatlemania, but also trace the very evolution of present-day popular culture.

 With consideration to everything from the enormity of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s lyrics, to the complexity of Yellow Submarine director George Dunning’s artwork, each artist will be challenged to create a reflection of the youthful optimism, nihilist recoil, subversive subtext and family-friendly persona of the Fab 4.

 The Number 9 exhibition opens with a reception on Wednesday, Sept 9, 2009 and runs through Monday Sept 14. Space Gallery 1141 Polk Street SF CA 94109

For Artist’s Submission please contact:


Northern California’s East Bay Coffeehouse Culture: Transformative, Unique, Challenged, but Probably Here to Stay


“Bars don’t invite activism. They invite, well, drunkenism. So repressive regimes don’t always go after the beer bars, but they do shut down the coffeehouses and teahouses.”

Tim Holmes, owner and manager of San Leandro’s Zocalo’s coffeehouse, explains the transformative cultural and social role he hopes his business and other community centers play in Northern California’s East Bay neighborhoods. We discussed this over a sweet specialty Kahlua-flavored coffee, while tickling the feet of Juliet, the nine-month-old baby for which barista Sarah Hammitt is a nanny.

To Holmes, city council and school board positions are pivotal for shaping local society and also training grounds for creating broader-scale change. For these reasons, Zocalo’s hosts candidate forums and other nonpartisan events related to local city and county elections.

Several other gathering places, such as Alameda’s Crosstown and downtown Oakland’s It’s a Grind franchise, also facilitate and encourage community involvement in ways that make sense for the local residents of their distinctive areas.

Many people associate Northern California coffeehouse culture with San Francisco’s North Beach, Beatniks, hipsters, and artists and college students either independently wealthy or living off their families’ cash. However, diverse and distinctive neighborhoods throughout the East Bay’s commuter and family/bedroom community areas feature their own versions of these gathering places, which offer unique blends of entertainment, conversation, and empowerment.

A dispute over their building lease and economic pressures may force Crosstown out of business, and they already have to vacate their current location by Friday, July 24th. Alameda has a few other independent coffeehouses, along with a Starbucks and a Peet’s, but most close earlier and are smaller than Crosstown.

Several Crosstown baristas and managers said they invite the landowners to come in and visit their place and try some coffee, see how nicely they keep it up and how many community events occur there.

Zocalo’s and It’s a Grind’s management admit to also feeling the effects of the economy – people have not necessarily stopped coming, as some are forgoing expensive out-of-town vacations, but regulars tend to buy fewer items.

Nurtured by the dreams of an innovative faith community, Crosstown replaced a run-down, vacated High Street bar with the help of dozens of local volunteers. Initially, everyone, including their upper management, was officially a part-time employee, and people put in many hours of unpaid overtime.

“We all believed in the project,” explained now-general manager Faith McRory. “It doesn’t seem like work when you really get excited about something.”

Continue reading

Petition to free the imprisoned journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Help Release Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Target: The government of North Korea
Sponsored by:

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two American journalists, were recently sentenced to 12 years of prison in North Korea.

On March 17, 2009, Laura and Euna were shooting video along the China/North Korea border for a story they were working on about the trafficking of women in the region. They were stopped by North Korean border guards and arrested immediately thereafter. Both women were transported to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, where they remained under arrest until their trial.

A verdict in their closed trial was reached on June 8, and both Laura and Euna were sentenced to 12 years of reform through labor for illegal entry and grave crimes against the North Korean state.

Since the sentencing, the families have been able to receive calls on a few occasions. During the second call received on the evening of July 7, Laura and Euna reported that they are being treated fairly and are being seen by physicians. In the most recent call, they asked for continued support from our country and its citizens for their amnesty.

Urge the government of North Korea to grant amnesty to Laura Ling and Euna Lee!

New place to go for feedback on your work and local event announcements


Announcing that Synchronized Chaos Magazine now has a Facebook group and a blog to announce literary, cultural, artistic and human-rights and freedom of speech-related events going on in particular places. So there’s now a place to go to find out about, say, something in Chicago or Paris or Castro Valley that might be interesting, and to post announcements of events in your area.

The Facebook group is also a writers’ workshop where people may post pieces for virtual feedback, and events will be posted in the ‘Recent News’ section. If you’re interested in local events going on in your area or in getting feedback on your work before submitting it to Synchronized Chaos, please do read and comment on the blog/Facebook group.

We encourage anyone and everyone to join the free Facebook group and read the blog (no registration required for the blog.) This way we can keep the magazine for articles, interviews, professional and charitable calls for submissions, professional training opportunities, and of course, everyone’s work!



News and Notices, the Educational Edition

First of all, this coming week the Women’s Ministry of Neighborhood Church invites all women, regardless of faith or church affiliation, to a free celebration of Chocolate, Coffee, and the Arts. The event, part of their Summer Nights Out with Women (SNOW) series, takes place at 7pm Thursday July 23rd in D-3, a large upstairs meeting room at the Neighborhood Church of Castro Valley (up the hill at 20600 John Drive, people will happily direct you to D3 or you may call 510-537-4690.) Local artists, writers, designers will host participatory workshops teaching others the fundamentals of their craft in a fun, low-stress setting…and there will be a chocolate fountain, gourmet coffees and snacks. I know most of our readers live thousands of miles from Castro Valley – but this type of event could be replicated elsewhere to celebrate local artists…and we at Synchronized Chaos acknowledge this effort at bringing artists of different disciplines together for mutual education and networking and outreach.

Synchronized Chaos takes the opportunity to pass on information and an invitation to enter the International Songwriting Competition – Festival 4 Stars!

From the organizer, Julia Brunton, and publicist Deana Burke:

Now in its 5th year, Festival 4 Stars is a contest where everybody wins. Every entrant receives written feedback by a panel of music industry heavyweights. Meaning your song will get in front of the right people, even if you aren’t chosen as a finalist.You may learn more about the contest at the official website,

Finalists compete for cash prizes and a trip to London to co-write with professional songwriters and producers.

This year Festival4Stars is delighted to welcome the great songwriter, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees’ and John McLaughlin, famous songwriter, manager & BBC’s Fame Academy judge.

Festival 4 Stars accepts song entries in the following categories, pop/rock, singer/songwriter, country/folk, and r&b/soul/rap. It is open to anyone in the world with the stipulation being that the lyrics are in English. There is a small processing fee ($30) that gets fed back into the program to handle admin fees.


Northern California’s Public Art Academy hosts a professional training series for artists seeking their first public art commissions! Sessions discuss how to apply for a public art commission, concept development and schematic design, documents, contracts, and other legalities. For artists living or working in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties…six classroom sessions on Saturday mornings, three afternoon bus tours, held in different Bay Area cities close to public transit, led by leading public artists and administrators. $150 per student, limited to 50. Online applications due 11 am August 3rd, visit and view a prospectus at

The Hawaii Writers’ Conference, one of the leading industry events, announces the Writing Channel, full of podcasts, streaming videos, audios, conference transcripts, a chance to learn from published authors including Wendy Wasserstein, Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen Coonts, Nicholas Sparks, etc. Available for less than $20 –

I don’t know about the networking opportunities available through the website…Synchronized Chaos is an attempt at free online networking to replicate that aspect of professional art and writing conferences. However, it seems to be at the very least a valuable educational resource…we’re putting the link out there for everyone. Also we’re working on providing more in the way of advice and professional instruction for writers ourselves…we’d love to speak with you if you’re interested in mentoring other writers or being interviewed for a regular column where published authors share advice on craft and business.