Thursday, February 25, 2010

Exclusive Offer from The Morning Nudge - First 5 Days FREE

I've blogged about The Morning Nudge before and wanted to share the latest opportunity from Suzanne Lieurance, creator of The Morning Nudge.

Sign-up today and receive the first 5 days FREE!

Details of what The Morning Nudge offers and what it can do for you:

Can't get your pen and inspiration to budge. Sign-up for the daily Morning Nudge by Suzanne Lieurance and become inspired. What better way to start you day off with an inspirational nudge to get your creative juices flowing. Much better than the terrible SPAM advertisments that slip through our email filters.

Unsolicited and unpaid endorsement:

"I receive “The Morning Nudge,” and want to thank Suzanne for her wonderful tips and help. Thanks to her continued motivational emails, I’ve finally taken the “bull by the horns” and finished my children’s picture book and am having it published.” Donna McDine

Sign-up today for daily'll be happy you did!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dorit Sasson ~ Author Interview

Dorit and I first met through the CWCC over two years ago and I’ve watched and cheered with admiration in all she has achieved. With her background as an ESL teacher, Dorit readily shares her expertise through teaching and writing. Making sure each ESL student has the specific tools in achieving their success both within the classroom and in society. Come along and learn more about Dorit and her well accomplished career.

DMc: You have written articles for a variety of journals, magazines, newsletters, and ezines like Reading Today, Essential Teacher, Teacher and Principal Quarterly, the Internet TESL Journal, WAHM Online, and many others. What do you find the most challenging in keeping your approach fresh and exciting?

DS: One fundamental challenge is picking a topic that my primary audience that is, teachers, seem to be struggling with the most and then write in an attention grabbing and practical way. I'm always looking how to turn serious classroom and teaching issues into simple and sometimes, lighthearted articles that are easy and fun for teachers to read.

DMc: You are a teacher at CCAC Allegheny Community College. Please describe the class structure for your reading and writing classes.

DS: In my ESL classes, Students spend a lot of time using English to communicate and interact for a specific purpose. I always combine speaking with one of the other primary skills of reading and writing. Yesterday for example, the students did a role play of "mock interview" in preparation for an information seeking interview. They will then write their findings in the form of an essay.

Students often work in pairs or in small groups in order to create a classroom community that reflects the globality of learning English.

DMc: What or whom inspired you to become a children’s writer.

DS: I've always been taken to reading children's literature especially Charlotte's Web and the All of a Kind Family series. I think after years of reading children's books, I figured I had enough to say and well, write my own. It just was a natural part of the writing journey. I just thought I'd experiment with writing for children since my focus is for that population anyway.

DMc: How have you combined your experiences as a classroom teacher with your writing?

DS: Since my niche is teaching ESL, I primarily target that part of the educational market. For example, I take many classroom scenarios and issues teachers seem to struggle with the most and turn them into short articles for my blog site, conduct interviews with other professionals and experts in the field, write tip booklets, create podcasts and tele-seminars. Before writing anything, I always look at the needs of teachers and what they're struggling with. I share my own classroom experiences on my blog site and in my weekly ezine. I also focus on larger writing projects such as resource books for teachers.
DMc: What is your biggest challenge in juggling all your responsibilities?

DS: The biggest challenge I find is transitioning from the "teaching hat" to the "writing hat" and carving enough time out of the time to accomplish the tasks without falling on the expense of the other. It's an ongoing challenge.

I am also my own "band." I do everything from marketing to writing. The non-writing activities often eat out of my writing time. Sometimes I wish I had a virtual assistant!

DMc: You are the founder and director of the New Teacher Resource Center. Please share with our readers as to what they can expect when visiting  

DS: The New Teacher Resource Center is an online support site that provides teachers (with the emphasis on new teachers) with resources, tips and teaching strategies – anything they need to jumpstart their careers and become more confident in the classroom. Teachers can find quick tips on parent conferencing or lesson planning. If they need more expert advice, they can turn to Professor Diane Barone and learn how to teach English language learners more effectively or get some hands-on classroom management tips from Professor Howard Seeman.

There are many free resources such as sample teaching resumes, lesson planning charts and links to other educational and teaching resources. There is also a children's writer section including several short recordings from Suzanne Lieurance.

DMc: Through your website you offer a FREE e-book entitled, Taking Charge in the Classroom. How is this resource beneficial to teachers?

DS: The FREE e-book Taking Charge in the Classroom is a handbook of resources and tips on classroom management and lesson planning. Each article gives teachers tips on what they can do to become a more effective lesson planner and classroom manager by creating a classroom management plan that works and speaks to them.

DMc: Please share with us your current Works-in-Progress.

DS: Well, I just finished a tips booklet, "Yes! You Can Teach Your K-12 English language learners successfully!" and it is available for downloading at and

I also have a book manuscript under discussion with Scholastic entitled: Helping ESL Students in Grades 1-2: Activities to Increase Word Recognition, Reading Comprehension and Oral Fluency in Just One Month which I collaborated with my coauthor.

And finally, I have a children's picture book under discussion (My first one!) entitled, The Hummus Party with the multi-cultural publisher, Kane-Miller.

I'm really excited about the prospects of these three projects and what they can bring.

DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?

DS: I'm working on my second tip booklet for teachers and getting ready to submit a short story for a fiction contest about my journey coming to the United States after living in Israel for many years.

I'm also in the process of finishing another ebook, Tips and Tricks to Survive and Thrive in the Classroom: Practical activities and tips for teachers made easy, which consists of 10 special reports on a different area of teaching.

I'm also working on a second picture book for children.

DMc: You are a member of the Children’s Writing Coaching Club. What led you to joining? What would you like to share with someone contemplating in joining?

DS: I felt I needed the online support and feedback from a writing group in order to move my children's writing to the next level. Besides benefiting from the already low price, I found a home with other talented writers.

A writing group is an excellent way to receive support and feedback from other writers. Although writers can be lonely people, they still need the camaraderie and support to keep at the writing especially during hard times. Rejection is part of the business.

DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Dorit, can you please share one with us?

KC: After serving in the Israeli army as an officer and living on a kibbutz in Israel for 19 years, I returned to the United States in 2007 with my husband and young son. I'm originally from New York City (I live in Pittsburgh now) and the multi-cultural hats I wear also feed into my writing and teaching. I feel I can adjust to anything! My students look at me like I'm crazy when I share this tidbit with them and I always wonder why! Living in Israel is a lot safer than living in the U.S.

To learn more about Dorit Sasson’s writing career visit:

The New Teacher Resource Center –

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creative Writer Blogger Award

I was bestowed the honor of an award by Donna Shepherd. Thank you Donna -

First the rules:

1: Thank the person who gave you the award and link to them.

2: Add the award to your blog

3: Tell six outrageous lies about yourself and One Truth.

4: Nominate six creative liars... I mean writers and post links to them.

5: Let your nominees know that they have been nominated.

You can either do it from your point of view or your dog’s (and since I don’t have a dog, I’ll do it from my girlfriend Michelle’s King Charles Spaniel dog, Misty.

Can you guess which statement is the truth?

1. Donna loves peanut butter as much as I do.

2. Donna only enjoys the snow from the comfort of being inside.

3. Donna is an identical twin.

4. Donna has three children.

5. Donna doesn’t like eggs.

6. Donna doesn't highlight her hair, it's natural.

Here are my recipients:

Katie Hines -

Terri Forehand -

Katie Carroll -

Lori Calabrese -

Kristi Bernard -

Have a great day!

Warm regards,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

''Dear Lucky Agent'' Contest: Middle Grade and Young Adult

"Dear Lucky Agent" Contest:

Kids Novels (Middle Grade and Young Adult)

Welcome to the second "Dear Lucky Agent" Contest on the GLA blog. This will be a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here's the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you're writing a book-length kids novel, this second contest is for you!,guid,0f19a935-88a5-4424-b39f-618618e58ae6.aspx


E-mail entries to Please paste everything. No attachments.


The first 150-200 words of your unpublished, book-length work of middle grade or young adult fiction. You must include a contact e-mail address with your entry and use your real name. Also, submit the title of the work and a logline (one-sentence description of the work) with your entry.

Please note: To be eligible to submit, GLA asks that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through your social media - blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add Guide to Literary Agents Blog ( to your blogroll. Please provide link(s) so GLA can verify eligibility.


1. This contest will be live for approximately fourteen days - from Feb. 7 through the end of Sunday, Feb. 21, EST. Winners notified by e-mail within seven days of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.

2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.

3. This contest is solely for completed book-length works of middle grade and young adult fiction (kids novels).

4. You can submit as many times as you wish.

5. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA's publisher, F+W Media.

6. There are more rules (most of them dealing with legal stuff) that you can find in the comments section of this post.

7. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as the terms added by me at the beginning of the "Comments" section of this blog post.


First place: 1) A critique of 25 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A query critique from your agent judge. 3) Two free books from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the books your want).

Runner-ups - second and third place: 1) A critique of 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) One free book from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the book your want).


Jennifer Laughran is an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Books she's repped include:

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., by Kate Messner

Flash Burnout, by LK Madigan

I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, by Adam Selzer

Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl, by Daniel Pinkwater

Monday, February 15, 2010

Writers' Journal - March/April 2010 Issue

I'm thrilled to announce my article, "Children's Writing Resources ~ Essential Resources in Writing for Children" appears in the March/April 2010 issue of Writers' Journal. The contents of the March/April issue will be announced on their website ( come March 1st and I have the advanced hardcopy in my hands now.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Virtual Book Tour - Nancy Sanders

Friendly Reminder:

Just in time for Black History Month, Nancy Sanders is pleased to announce her virtual book tour, February 1st through 12th.

Join in on the fun and be sure to check out Nancy's virtual book tour schedule at and stop by for a spell and learn more about this fascinating time in American history.

I'm thrilled to announce Nancy will be visiting my blog The Golden Pathway - on February 10th as part of her virtual book tour.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Write What Inspires You Newsletter

January 2010 ended on a terrific note with my attendance at the NY SCBWI Winter Conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC. The speakers and lectures were inspiring and I invite you to visit my blog Monday, February 8th when I share my experiences from the world wind weekend.

To add to the excitement I met up with two of my online critique partners, Lori Calabrese and Stephanie Hoina. We first met at the Eastern SCBWI conference back in 2007 and we were delighted to see in each other in person for the first time since our initial meeting. I extend an invitation to you all to come back on Wednesday, February 9th when I share with you my experiences with these two talented women at

In celebration of Black History Month, I again invite you to join me at my other blog throughout the month of February. Nancy Sanders will be my guest author on February 10th where she discusses her new release, America’s Black Founders: Revolutionary Heroes and Early Leaders. I will also feature three-time Newberry Honor winner, author, Jacqueline Woodson with a book review of Show Way and excerpts from her luncheon keynote speech at the NY SCBWI Winter Conference on February 17th and 24th, respectfully.

Interested in subscribing to my FREE Write What Inspires You Newsletter, I've included a glimpse of the February features:

Interviews with Official Soda and Bobbi Miller. Don’t miss the goodies: Dynamic Media Release Service, Haitian Support from the Depths of Despair Media Release, First Book, Muse Online Conference, Newsletters, and Sponsor Ads.

To subscribe visit:

If you are interested, please feel free to submit your name for an interview, an essay and/or your successes to: Please share this newsletter with your peers in the writing industry and encourage them to opt-in as a monthly subscriber.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nancy Sanders - Virtual Book Tour

Just in time for Black History Month, Nancy Sanders is pleased to announce her virtual book tour, February 1st through 12th.

Join in on the fun and be sure to check out Nancy's virtual book tour schedule at and stop by for a spell and learn more about this fascinating time in American history.

I'm thrilled to announce Nancy will be visiting my blog The Golden Pathway - on February 10th as part of her virtual book tour.