Negative bias against Christian writers and authors?

Before I get too far into this blog post I have to make an appeal to not make me any symbol of the cause in which I’m about to write about. I am a die hard agnostic with no affinity to any religion … it’s easier to have more friends and more inclusive relationships this way - and plus - nobody really knows who’s god and nobody has seen anything remarkably heavenly or godly for two-thousand years, right? Except maybe those following Heaven’s Gate or David Koresh or listening to Radiohead … but I digress …

That said, I work with an amazingly talented writer who happens to have been published by a Christian Press and happens to have a bit of a Christian bent in her writing. I loved her book … spirituality and all … and as I reach out to folks on her behalf and am constantly battered down, I have to wonder if there isn’t an anti-Christian sentiment in the literary community? Granted, many non-theists view science and the laws of nature as the laws of the land and tend to scoff at tales of resurrected fishes or walking on water or rising from the dead … and many more literary folks are inclined to be non-theists in general, in my non scientific opinion … but does being agnostic or atheist or whatever else religion automatically disqualify you from enjoying anything with a religious bent? I think not. Further, I think any intellectual could be well-served by reading a bit of spirituality-laced literature. There’s a lot of beauty there. After all, what is the harm in taking a long, hard, look at oneself and the meaning of it all?


Schaffner Press Announces 4-Weeks Left for The Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature



4-Weeks Remaining To Submit Your Music-Related Essay for Chance at $1,000 Prize

(August 2nd, 2013) Portland, OR - The Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature celebrates the life of Nicholas Schaffner, brother of Schaffner Press Publisher Tim Schaffner and poet, musician, biographer, esteemed music critic and author of several books, including THE BEATLES FOREVER, THE BRITISH INVASION, and SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS: The Pink Floyd Odyssey. Nicholas, who devoted his life to music and literature about music, died at the age of thirty-eight.

 “This past January 28th, his birthday, he would have turned sixty years old,” says Tim Schaffner. “So, I felt it fitting to celebrate his legacy with an award that pays tribute to his wide-reaching talents and creativity and encourages new writers whose lives and writing have been profoundly influenced by music of one sort or another.”

The Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature will be given to that writer who submits a literary work in the English language, either fiction or narrative non-fiction (ie. memoir or essay collection) that deals in some way with the subject of music (of any genre and period) and its influence. 


Manuscripts in the English language between 60-100,000 words will be judged on a first-come first-served basis, and submissions are welcome anytime from May 1 to Sept. 1, 2013. A winner will be selected on Nov. 1, and offered a contract and an advance of $1,000 for the book’s publication in a format or formats to be determined by the publisher. Only works in English are accepted, and entrants must be 18 years or older to apply. Judges to be announced on our website shortly at:


First place winner will receive a contract with Schaffner Press and a $1,000 advance for publication of his/her work as a print and digital release the following year. We offer two ways to apply - online or by mail. A fee of $25 is required for entry. Your manuscript must have a title page that includes your name, address, email address and the full title of the work. Please do not include any personal or biographical information, and please no illustrations.


1.  Your manuscript (with title page) in Word.doc or .pdf. The file name should be the title of the work — not an acronym or abbreviation - ie. Gonewiththewind.doc.

2.  A PayPal account for entry fee payment.

3.  Completed submission form:

4.  A hard copy boxed manuscript (single sided), with title page.

5.  Fee of $25 for entry, payable to Schaffner Press: Annual Award, either as a check drawn on a United States bank account, or as a postal money order.


Attn: Award/Schaffner Press

POB 41567

Tucson, AZ 85717


For More Information:

Michael Phillips, Publicist

The Neo Com Group






For Immediate Release 


Free Tuesday Lecture Series Open to Public; Proposed Mine a Threat to over 2,100 Oregon Fishermen

May 24, 2013 (Portland, OR) In Alaska’s Bristol Bay region there is a proposed copper mining project that threatens a $1.5 billion fishing industry, including livelihoods for approximately 2,100 Oregonians who fish in Bristol Bay and live in Oregon during the offseason. 

On Tuesday, June 11th activist, poet and former Bristol Bay fisherman John Copp will lead a discussion as part of the Jack London Bar’s free Tuesday lecture series. Copp will be joined by Portland State professor Joe Uris, local sustainable fish monger Lyf Gildersleeve of Flying Fish Co., National Outreach Director for Trout Unlimited’s Save Bristol Bay Campaign Dwayne Meadows, and other special guests. Presenters will speak about the proposed copper mine that threatens this fascinating fishery, often called the most sustainable in the world.

“The science is clear: developing Pebble Mine will harm salmon and destroy streams even if nothing ever goes wrong at the mine,” said Tim Bristol, director of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program. “Pebble is far bigger and more threatening to renewable resource jobs than any other mine proposal in Alaska and it’s planned for the worst location possible: the headwaters of Bristol Bay.”

Anglo American, a foreign mining company of luxury metals with a record as one of the world’s biggest polluters, forms half of the Pebble Limited Partnership, which has said it plans to file a permit application for the mine this year. Its partner, Northern Dynasty, filed detailed plans with the SEC to build North America’s largest open-pit mine and the world’s largest earthen dam in Bristol Bay, Alaska, home to America’s most productive salmon streams.

The event will include several 5-7 minute informational videos and each presenter will discuss why the resource is important to Oregonians, and what should be done to protect this valuable resource.

“We wont be all doom and gloom,” says Copp. “We want to introduce new people to one of the most beautiful areas in Alaska and share why we think it is worth preserving.”

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the event starts at 7:30 p.m. This event is partially sponsored by Trout Unlimited’s Save Bristol Bay campaign. The Jack London Bar is located at 529 SW 4th Ave in the basement of the Rialto Pool Hall.

For more information please contact event organizer Mike Phillips at The Neo Com Group:



Mike Phillips

Update from The Neo Com Group

Hi Friends!  I just got back from a jaunt around Western and Eastern Europe.  I used the venture as an opportunity to take a breather and reinvigorate my inspiration for all things Pacific Northwest and publicity.  While I felt some guilt about taking so much time off, during my journey I met some Europeans who told me their average yearly vacation time equated to six weeks of paid vacation per year.  The outlier was my poor cousin in England who only got 4 1/2 weeks per year.  

Well, my previous high for vacation time was roughly two weeks of paid vacation - which was also used simultaneously for sick days (of which, I took none).  This realization has allowed for glorious consequences - guilt be gone!

I did have some time to visit some amazing literary standards including Shakespeare and Company in Paris, the city of Bath (where Jane Austen spent 5 years and set two novels), Bosnia (setting for Bill Carter’s modern classic “Fools Rush In”) - and I even got out for a literary tour of Dublin (despite the rain and wind and nearly freezing temps).  

I also had some time to think about THE NEO COM GROUP and I’m excited to announce that I’ll be introducing some new “products” in the near future that I believe will allow authors to better promote themselves.  I know that most folks don’t have a budget for PR, marketing or god forbid - advertising … but I am crafting some simple plans that I think will give agency results at an “in-house intern” price.  Part of it involves empowering the author to take control of their own fate - so I hope the world is ready for that!

More soon,

Mike P - The Neo Com Group

For those traveling through Derry and/or Londonderry in Ireland, make sure you check out this literary treat. It’s a language school building with a literary cafe on the ground level located atop the medieval wall. The proprietor is a former bookstore owner and quite the knowledgable fellow!

For those traveling through Derry and/or Londonderry in Ireland, make sure you check out this literary treat. It’s a language school building with a literary cafe on the ground level located atop the medieval wall. The proprietor is a former bookstore owner and quite the knowledgable fellow!