Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

In Gratitude

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given

us to each other in the human family.

Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows,

for your comfort in our sadness,

your companionship in our loneliness.

Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow

and for the whole of our lives.

Thank you for friends, for health and for grace.

May we live this and every day conscious

of all that has been given to us.

From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Author School Visit: What is as Good as a Book Contract? by Donna McDine

The excitement that embraced me when I was offered my first children's book contract and the next three were like non-other. With each signing my heart raced and my blood pumped with the thrill of puttin pen to paper and signing off on each contract. All four signings a "birth" of a new book. With the first one published August 2010 and the next three in the publishing pipeline and awaiting their time in the publishing spotlight other wonderful opportunities have come along for my writing career.

Just when you think the excitement has waned a bit of the contract signings, an elementary school has seeked you out to discuss your author school visit workshops. And after presenting to the school representative what your visit would entail, they offer you not only one day of class visits, but a full week of classroom workshops. Yippie! Isn't this what writing for children is all about? To get out from behind the glow of your computer or writing pad and interact with the children.

I'd like to get a discussion going on what has worked for you to get your foot in the door to the powers that be at schools to discuss your author school visit workshops and to schedule dates.

As for myself, networking has been instrumental in marketing my author school visits by attending and participating in local reading council meetings and children's book author fairs.


If the presenter schedule is filled for an event, ask if there will be an information display table where you can place your author school visit information. If they do, provide at least 30 copies of your material for display.

Take this opportuity to discuss with the organizer their next event and how you can submit your discussion topic and media kit for consideration the next time around.

Make sure you obtain their contact information so you can easily follow-up with them and make note where you met them and what you chatted about. Follow-up with a "Lovely to meet you" email the next day and briefly mention what you discussed. You'd be surprised how pleased this makes people.

Many times one event leads to inquiries months down the road. For instance, I attended an event October 2010, that turned into a request for me to speak at another event in May 2011, which then turned into submitting my media kit and author school visit information for a New York state wide event, which then turned into an author school visit contract for a week of workshops in March 2012.

Offer workshops instead of just a book reading and signing. Teachers are under tight schedules for their curriculum and they need to adhere to their state guidelines, just like as authors we need to adhere to submission guidelines. My workshops are easily adjusted for grade level and I provide four different workshops to select from, which provides the flexibility for each teacher and their students.

Two key components that have sealed the deal are:

Offer a FREE telephone consultation or In-Person meeting to fine-tune the workshops to teachers requirements.

If the school is interested in me conducting more than two-days of workshops and if they are a local school (within a certain mile radius or your county) I offer the last day FREE.

I look forward to your thoughts and tips.

Be well.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Prayer

Prayer for Veterans Day

God of peace,

we pray for those who have served our nation

and have laid down their lives

to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought,

whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war,

whose nights are haunted by memories

too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve us now,

especially for those in harm's way.

Shield them from danger

and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds

of our leaders and our enemies

to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.

Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us,

the peace you gave us,

be the peace that sustains,

the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us!

Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.