Monday, October 20, 2014

Inspiring Day of Lectures and Connections: Both Old and New - 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza and Collingswood Book Festival

For the past year or so it has been my quest to get out of my comfort zone, both personally and professionally. I took baby steps at first, one to never where dresses (except for special events and when I worked in corporate America, which feels like a hundred years ago) I started wearing sundresses on vacations and then it expanded to wearing sundresses for no special reason. For those that know me, I have always been a jeans and capri girl, so yep I've stepped a wee bit out of my comfort zone. Then on vacation in the Dominican Republic I went zip lining. It was exhilarating to say the least. 

With my blood pumping and the desire to keep stepping out of my comfort zone. I focused professionally and jumped into researching book fairs and teacher conferences and applied for participating to several area events. Recently I participated in the Collingswood Book Festival and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza. Both events targeted a different audience and to compare the two, would be liking comparing apples to oranges. The Collingswood Book Festival focused on families in attendance and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza focused on teachers. 

Connections were made at both… At the Collingswood Book Festival I had the opportunity to meet several authors I have never met before and we have made a delightful connection which we continue to expand on. Great big waves to (in no particular order)… Christina Paul, Brad Hecht, Lynmarie McCullough, Louis Romano, Mark C. Collins, Scott Alboum, Karen Scheuer and Dianne Salerni.  

At the 19th Annual Literacy Extravaganza a special thank you goes out to Dr. Michael Shaw and Deborah Studnitzer for their coordination of this amazing literacy event focused on the common core standards and beyond… I met over 60 teachers and had the opportunity to engage with them at my book signing table. I'm honored to meet each and every one of you! A special shout out to Jennifer Rankin of Barefoot Books, I look forward to staying in touch for the grand opening of your new store in Pearl River, NY and Marcy Schickler of PS 307, whom I met in 2010 at the very same literacy conference. Lovely to see you again, Marcy!

Wishing you an inspirational day and to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. 


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist


  1. Congratulations, Donna, on all of your wonderful accomplishments! It sounds like these were two terrific networking and marketing opportunities. Stepping out of one's comfort zone can be scary and challenging, so kudos to you!

  2. Hi Karin,

    Awww...thanks for your heartwarming words of support. I appreciate our connection and look forward to the day of meeting in person.


  3. I need to get better about stepping out of my comfort zone in the 'author way'--I am fine being out there online as a writer, but that whole promoting thing, especially the real life is super uncomfortable... but I know it must be done.

    1. Hi Hart,

      I know exactly what you mean. Please know when you attend book festivals and teacher conferences there are fellow authors there and they most likely feel the same way. Exchanging of casual conversation definitely puts everyone at ease.


  4. Donna, CONGRATS on stepping out of your comfort zone!

  5. Going out of one's comfort zone is bound to get the heart rate up. I try to do it as often as possible and it's both terrifying and exhilarating. Chase the dragon (your fears), and unleash your desires and make them whole. Waving back.:)

    1. Hi Mila,

      Thanks for dropping by for a visit and commenting! Love your quote!



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