Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Just Back Off and Let Us Teach by Caroline Lewis Book Review and Giveaway

If America wants to reform public education and regain its status in the world, it must start valuing teachers and stop the present policy of commissioning study after study and revising measurement tests every few years. That assertion is made by author Caroline Lewis, who outlines reform in her new book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach: A Book for Effective Teachers and Those Who Champion Them. Both descriptive and motivational, Lewis' book defines five skills distinctive of effective teachers called SCOPE (Sensitivity, Communication, Organization, Professionalism, and Enthusiasm) Skills. Lewis encourages all teachers to self-examine and grade themselves on their own effectiveness using SCOPE Scores.

"The single most important thing we can do in America today," says Lewis, "is to take the money we spend on education reforms at the federal level and invest it in school leadership and teachers' salaries and professional development. This will help attract the brightest young minds to the teaching profession, keep effective teachers in the classroom, and properly reward those who have the greatest influence on our future."

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing (December 5, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1457534606
ISBN-13: 978-1457534607

Just Back Off and Let Us Teach is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Tuesday, June 2 at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About Caroline Lewis:

After spending 22 years as a science teacher and school principal, Caroline Lewis became director of education for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and developed the award-winning Fairchild Challenge to engage students in environmental issues. As founder and CEO of The CLEO Institute, she applies her educational leadership skills to promote solution-oriented approaches to address climate disruptions. A native of Trinidad, she earned an MS in Educational Leadership in 1999 and is committed to elevating and celebrating the teaching profession.

Visit the author online:



***** Book Review: Just Back Off and Let Us Teach *****

Review by Renee Roberson

Not many can dispute that our country’s educational system is broken. Type in the search term “education reform” and you’ll find educational leaders and activists across the country devoted to repairing the broken system—all with different solutions. Author and educator Caroline Lewis also tackles this topic in her book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach: A Book for Effective Teachers and Those Who Champion Them, but instead of focusing on problems within education as a whole, she zeroes in on the people who have the ability to shine despite those cracks in the educational system—the teachers. As she writes in the introduction to her book, Lewis is well aware of “the role of poverty, school climate, school leadership, student motivation, parental involvement . . . but effective teaching remains an important component.”

Throughout the book, Lewis discusses the concept of how effective teachers can progress to become “superteachers,” and earn their imaginary superhero capes along the way. She knows teaching is a noble profession, and believes teachers should consider themselves “works-in-progress" who should continually strive to learn and grow. In her experience as an educator and administrator, Lewis has put together a list of five defining characteristics of effective teaching (note that these characteristics did not include student performance). These SCOPE skills include: Sensitivity, Communication, Organization, Professionalism, and Enthusiasm. Teachers who read this book can take a preliminary SCOPE assessment to help determine areas of improvement. The author’s genuine love of teaching and the field of education is evident throughout this book, as she gently but firmly guides teachers through these characteristics, gives examples, and offers solutions on how to keep students engaged in a love of learning, no matter what the subject.

Lewis is realistic however, and understands that teachers do “burn out,” or simply don't have the stamina and enthusiasm for teaching, causing them to fall back on less imaginative teaching practices, which do a disservice to both the teacher and the students. In this case, she’s not opposed to advising educators who have lost their zest for teaching to develop an “exit strategy” before it’s too late. In her writing, it’s clear Lewis has students’ best interests at heart, and teachers will come away from this book with a renewed vigor and passion for teaching, and numerous ways to do so.

----------Mini Blog Tour

Wednesday, May 27 @ The Muffin
Stop by for a review of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach and enter to win a copy of the book.

Thursday, May 28 @ My Final Forty Days
Educator Caroline Lewis answers the question "What is the major reason good teachers are declining?" in this guest post at M. Shannon Hernandez's blog.

Tuesday, June 2 @ Successful Teaching
What are some ways we can make the teaching profession noble again? Caroline Lewis offers her suggestions.

Thursday, June 4 @ All Things Audry
What is the Finland model for education and what is Finland doing that other countries are not? Caroline Lewis offers an explanation in this guest post.

Monday, June 8 @ Lifting the Curtain
Caroline Lewis shares her viewpoint on the role parents, leadership, and poverty all play in the world of public education.

Thursday, June 11 @ Sioux's Page
Educator Sioux Roslawski reviews Caroline Lewis's book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach.

To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at

Book Giveaway Contest

Enter to win a copy of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget on Tuesday, June 2.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Interview with Peggy Rosen, Fall 2014 Flash Fiction Runner Up

Peggy Rosen’s plan to be a writer was declared early--in the “I want to be...” line of her eighth-grade yearbook. Many years and career twists later, with a BSN in Nursing and a Master’s Degree in Health Education, she frequently puts pen to paper in a professional capacity as Director of Quality for a rural community health center. Outside of her workplace prose, Peggy has crafted press releases for local organizations and contributed non-fiction feature articles to several regional magazine publications, including Heart of New Hampshire Magazine, Natural New England, and NH TODO Magazine. She is also at work on more than one Young Adult novel. Soon to be an “empty-nester” in New Hampshire, with two sons away at college, she expects to have more time to hike, ski, and mountain bike with her husband and to continue fulfilling her early writing intentions.

Check out Peggy's story, Choice on Kissing Bridge, and then come back for some great writing advice and tips.

WOW: Congratulations, Peggy! From your bio, we can tell you are a very busy (and productive!) writer, as you do a lot of writing in both a professional and creative capacity. Do you have a favorite type of writing as far as non-fiction articles, essays, flash fiction, full-length novels, etc?

Peggy: While I enjoy weaving facts and information together to create interesting non-fiction pieces that result in my learning something new, the challenge of telling a compelling story in a very short word count has hooked me into flash fiction. However, full-length novels present the opposite challenge--going the distance with character, plot, setting, dialogue, and all the other components of the writer's craft.

WOW: You mention that you are working on "more than one YA novel." Can you share some more details with us?

Peggy: I currently have two novels in the works. The first is a contemporary YA story featuring a female high school hockey player with a temper that lands her in hot water on and off the ice. Her tough-girl exterior hides an ache in her heart. When she encounters a secret that threatens to destroy her team and her relationships, she must decide which part of herself she needs most to lead to the ultimate win. The second is also set in present day, but a 200-year-old manor house is central to the story. Influenced by the novels of Mary Stewart, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Victoria Holt, it has the flavor of a gothic suspense romance, updated with a paranormal twist.

WOW: You had me at gothic suspense romance. Best of luck with both of those novels! Since you work full-time, how do you carve out time to work on your writing projects?

Peggy: I script a great deal of my work in my head first. A lot of my best ideas seem to emerge during exercise walks around the neighborhood, on a trail in the woods, or on the treadmill at home. To take advantage of that creative time, I use a note-taking app on my mobile phone to capture those thoughts as a word or phrase. Then I do the actual writing and revising on the weekends, when I'm less distracted by my full-time job.

WOW: Your entry, "Choice on Kissing Bridge," is full of emotion, earnest characters, and sensory details. What inspired you to write this particular story?

Peggy: In horse-and-buggy days, covered bridges were often referred to as "kissing bridges", or "courting bridges." The enclosed space afforded couples an opportunity to exchange an unobserved kiss or endearment. I live close to Blair Bridge in New Hampshire, a wooden covered bridge that was constructed in 1869 and is over 290 feet long. It is a major thoroughfare and is used extensively. I drive through it at least twice a day, and often more than that. If you are a romantic like I am, you can't help imagining, as you slowly pass underneath the timber arches and through the shadows cast along its interior, what emotional scenes must have taken place along the worn planks. "Choice On Kissing Bridge" is the result of one of my imaginings.

WOW: What advice do you have for writers looking to break into writing for regional magazines?

Peggy: I want to share three things:

1. Many regional magazines will have "Dining Out" or "Where To Stay" columns. These can be a way to break in, as they are shorter than a feature article and lend themselves to a casual tone and first-person point-of-view. They can be a good introduction of your work to an editor.

2. Editors will often have a list of topics that they want to cover in the future. They will maintain an email distribution list of writers, generally people who have contributed to their publication in the past, and send out an email request for volunteers to write on topics for a specific issue. It is worth contacting an editor to see if they maintain such a list and ask that your name and contact information be added. Offer to send a writing sample, as an additional writing introduction.

3. The general rule of "Do your homework" applies here. Examine the publication for the type of feature articles they publish, the magazine's tone and focus, and filler material they use. Find a unique angle on a familiar regional item or issue and pitch it. A busy editor with a monthly publication sometimes needs to squeeze a lot of material out of a limited geographical area. I have always felt that, as a contributor, my job was to make the editor's job easier. It can help you to keep that in mind as you develop your story idea.

WOW: Thank you so much for all this great advice, Peggy, and again, thank you for entering the contest!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 25, 2015


Michelle Dim-St. Pierre Launches her tour for Pinnacle Lust

& giveaway!

It seemed like the right thing at the many times have you looked back on a decision in your life and thought those words? Everything from the hair style that turned into a disaster to the choice to move halfway across the country for a new job you ended up hating to your brief flirtation with the raw food diet. We plunge into our new decision convinced that everything will work out for the best. Because that's what we want to believe will happen, what we talk ourselves into to, what our childhood fairy tales promised us. Our life will be a happily ever after.

Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre is the story of what happens when there isn't a happily ever after. In a Tel-Aviv hospital during Operation Desert Storm, Sharon Lapidot, a beautiful young nurse, is having an affair with a married doctor. Sharon's colorful and exciting life is ultimately destroyed by powerful and eroding mistakes. But her courage and wisdom lead her to an unregretful commitment. Vividly told, this compelling journey of love and lust, honor and betrayal, loss and redemption, will move you--and perhaps even change you.

Pinnacle Lust is a perfect balance of romance and drama--a great addition to your summer reading list or as a selection for your book club. It invites some spirited discussions on the choices people make and just who is the "villian" in Pinnacle Lust.

Hardcover: 368 pages  (also available in paperback and e-format)
Publisher: BookLogix (2015)
ISBN-10: 1610055721
ISBN-13: 978-1610055727

This book is available as a print book at Amazon as well as at your local independent bookstore. E-books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple iBookstore and Kobo.

Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Pinnacle Lust, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, May 29 at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States. She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she spent her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.

After graduating from nursing school with a BS in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, she practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU—along with many other duties.

Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Recently she left nursing and became a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, Pinnacle Lust, starts the Pinnacle trilogy.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes.

Find out more about the author by visiting her online:





-----Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: You spent over three decades in the nursing profession. How did writing fit into that? Have you always been a writer or was it recent development?

Michelle: Writing was first a hobby and finally turned into something more. The truth of the matter is that my profession triggered my fiction writing. During my career as a nurse, there were things that I heard, saw and knew but couldn’t share. As I needed an outlet, I started writing and called it fiction.

WOW: Did you jump right into writing a novel or did you start out with short stories, a journal, or essays?

Michelle: My novel, Pinnacle Lust, is the first work of fiction I ventured into. Again, in the beginning, it was not meant to be a published novel—it was more of an outlet at the time.

WOW: When did you decide to take your hobby of writing to the next level and decide to pursue publication?

Michelle: The first step was when I sent my manuscript for review by two professionals. Both said that I had a very good plot, and that they would love to edit it. The real deal, or the final push, was when Sherry Wilson, my editor sent me an e-mail saying, “You have a good book in your hands. I think you should publish it.”

WOW: So many people with rich professional lives who begin writing find that it has an autobiographical element to it. Did you find that was the case with your writing?

Michelle: I believe that any work of fiction carries pieces from the author’s life. Pinnacle Lust is not an autobiography, but it is fair to say that some of my personal experiences inspired my writing. Whether I witnessed these events or was part of them, I can’t tell…:) I believe that every minute of my life is another brush stroke to my writing—military service, nursing school, work, social, news, gossip, and even the grocery store—you name it.

WOW: How did you navigate the writing world? Did you join a writing group, take classes, hire an editor? Do you have any tips for newcomers to the writing world?

Michelle: Navigating the writing world was a huge challenge, and in a way it still is. I hired an exceptional editor who took me through the process, and taught me the secrets and the craft of writing. I was fortunate enough to hire an editor that also teaches creative writing in the educational arena. With this being said, you can only imagine how much material and guidance I received. I hope to continue to learn more about the craft of writing and am planning to continue to work with Sherry on all my future projects. The best tip that I would give newcomers in the writing world is that an editor is a critical player—hire a good editor, don’t just give your work to a family member or a friend for editorial services…it may save you a little money but it may not produce the product you desire.

WOW: What was the most challenging part of writing Pinnacle Lust? The most rewarding?

Michelle: The most challenging part of writing Pinnacle Lust was to detach myself from the manuscript and to shorten it from its original word count of 140,000 to no more than 100,000. It was as if I had to cut the umbilical cord from my own baby. As far as the most rewarding part, I think holding the hardcover in my hands and becoming a published author was the most exciting moment. It was a long journey but well worth it.

WOW: What are you working on now?

Michelle: As Pinnacle Lust is the first in the Pinnacle Trilogy, I am now working on the next book in the series. I will soon announce its title, and include more information on my website and in my newsletter. I am also working on a unique cookbook, blogs and more surprises down the road. My newsletter, Pinnacle Insider, is a great source for my readers to follow my work. I welcome everyone to subscribe to my newsletter via my website at

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, May 25(today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview with Michelle Dim-St. Pierre and a chance to win Pinnacle Lust!

Friday, May 28 @ All Things Audry
Can Writing Be a 9 to 5 Job? Find out from Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, author of the novel Pinnacle Lust.

Monday, June 1 @ Vickie Miller
Author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, an experienced traveler, shares why she believes everyone should visit another country. Don't miss a chance to win a copy of her romance-suspense Pinnacle Lust.

Wednesday, June 3 @ Renee’s Pages
How does a nurse become a novelist? Stop by for the story of Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, author of Pinnacle Lust.

Friday, June 5 @ Building Bookshelves
Take a mini-vacation with author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre and learn five things you should know about Israel.

Monday, June 8 @ Empty Nest
Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Michelle Dim-St. Pierre's debut novel Pinnacle Lust.

Thursday, June 11 @ Romance Junkies
In the mood for one of the many faces of romance? Enter to win a copy of Michelle Dim-St. Pierre's Pinnacle Lust.

Wednesday, June 17 @ Between the Pages
Don't miss a review of Michelle Dim-St. Pierre's debut novel Pinnacle Lust.

Thursday, June 18 @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Stop by and meet a new author, Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, who wrote Pinnacle Lust, the story of an Israeli nurse and her doomed love affair.

Friday, June 26 @ Deal Sharing Aunt
Need a great book to read this summer? Stop by for a review of Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre.

Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at

Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a copy of Pinnacle Lust! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget this Friday, May 29.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Enthusiasm 24/7

I've been organizing WOW blog tours for six years! Can you believe it? Just this week an author sent me an email apologizing for sending multiple emails about an issue we were discussing concerning the promotion of her book. She was ",,,anxious with fitting all the pieces together." I didn't want an
apology, I wanted to hold her up as an example to authors everywhere.

Enthusiasm is an author's best friend. After all, if you -- the person who created it word by word -- aren't excited about your book, how can you expect complete strangers to get excited? Enthusiasm is also contagious. People will remember your excitement when describing your book to their friends and inject a bit of that into their descriptions when passing on the word about your book.

So after you finish your book move on to your next big challenge: enthusiasm 24/7. As an author (a successful author) you can never lose your enthusiasm. It doesn't matter if your talking to a Kirkus reviewer, a blogger with a following of 100 or your mailman. Pull out all the stops in telling them what you think is so great about your book. Don't focus on who you're talking to as much as who THEY might talk to. You don't know who (or who many people) they might tell. The elevator speech you honed to perfection for your last writer's conference is not just for people in the publishing industry. Dust it off and try working it into conversation with everyone you meet.

Don't let your enthusiasm end with just your person-to-person interactions. Let it spill over to your website. Instead of a static collection of information include fun activities, quizzes and information that will keep people coming back. The same with your presence on social media. Be the author people remember and they will remember (and hopefully read) your book.

Good luck and stay enthusiastic!

Jodi Webb is a blog tour organizer for WOW-Women on Writing and would love to hear about your book and promotional needs at Right now she's looking for dates for a tour of Michelle Dim-St. Pierre's Pinnacle Lust and Barbara Barth's A Dog Dreams of Paris. She blogs about books at Words by Webb and Building Bookshelves



37 Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015

By Scott Lorenz

"Do book awards matter?" YES!!

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

Another client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction book.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. As a book publicist I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an 'award winning' book.

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities. A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a book store. A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.

Here’s a list of my Top 37 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing, and some may have already expired, so consider making a note of them for next year.

1. The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards: the contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market.

2. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards.

3. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards:

4. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world's most important literary award. Entry Forms are due March 6 and Finished Books are due June 19.

5. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31:

6. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book:

7. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award:

8. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!)

9. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.”

10. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year.

11. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has two deadlines: June 15, 2015 (for books published between January 1 and June 14), and a final deadline for all books published in 2015 on October 1:

12. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here:

13. The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards, known as the “IPPY” Awards, were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.

14. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award:

15. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award.

16. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is June 30. Check it out here:

17. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for debut fiction:

18. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at:

19. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award:

20. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award:

21. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire.

22. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year.

23. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors.

24. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories.

25. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their 27th year of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback--unique in the industry. For more information, visit:

26. USA Best Book Awards has a ten year track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published.

27. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers.

28. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check out this year’s winners and learn how to enter:

29. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each.

30. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors.

31. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts.

32. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the "Eppies"

33. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent.

34. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author.

35. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation.

36. The International Book Awards (IBA 2015) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more.

37. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences.

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, "The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I've seen this happen with librarians--when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn't have an award to its credit. I'm confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well."

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an "award winning author." As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said "YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!" Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.


Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Check his blog at:

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 22, 2015


Friday Speak Out!

Fridays are "Speak Out!" days on the blog, and we love to hear from our readers. 

Your post can be about: writing inspiration, balancing family life/parenting with writing, craft of writing fiction/nonfiction, how-tos, tips for author promotion/marketing/social media, book reviews, writing prompts, special opportunities (paying markets for writers), publishing industry news/gossip, and anything you think our readers will love. Tip: humorous personal essays are encouraged!

Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Writing for Problem Solving and Conflict Management

picture from Idea Connection

When I was getting my master’s degree in creative writing, I had a teacher who told us that if we were having a problem in real life, we should work it into our story. Not only does it add depth to the story, it often serves as a remarkable problem-solving tool.

Below is an activity that I use in many capacities to elicit stories from myself and students. One way you can use it is as a problem-solving exercise.

1) Create a Character based on yourself, a person with whom you’re having a conflict, or a completely fictional character.

  • What is this person’s name, age, gender?
  • Describe this person’s eyes, hair, hands, body shape, scars, voice, walk.
  • What is this person’s favorite food, song, activity?
  • What is something the person often says?
  • What is a goal this person has in life?
  • Describe this person’s best friend.
  • Describe this person’s enemy.
  • What else to you know about this person that you want to write down?

2) Create a Setting

  • Where are you most likely to find this character? Favorite place?
  • Describe what it looks, smells, sounds, feels, tastes like...

3) Create a Conflict or, ideally, insert the conflict or problem you’re having.

  • What is something that prevents the person from reaching his or her goal?
  • What is something that confuses or frustrates this person?
  • How does this person interact with his or her enemy? Why does that person have an enemy?

4) Put It Together

  • Create a story through writing or drawing that includes your character in the setting you created and one of your conflicts.
  • What does the character think? How does he or she act? What’s the outcome?

5) Share Your Story with at least one other person. This is a way to get an alternative perspective on the problem you hope to solve.

  • Ask your reader: What do you like about the story? What interested or surprised you the most?
  • Ask yourself: What do you like about your own story? What interested or surprised you the most?

I’ll often journal my thoughts and feelings on a difficult issue, but this activity makes me think even deeper about it. And who knows, maybe one day it’ll lead to a publishable work of art!

Have you ever used writing for problem solving or conflict management?

Written by Anne Greenawalt, writer and writing instructor

Labels: , ,

Older Posts