Elephant Rock Books created a study guide for teachers to use The Art of Holding On and Letting Go in their classroom. Eleven writing activities/exercises, including Comparing the Drafts: two versions of my first chapter are shared and compared - the chapter I originally submitted and the revised, final published version. I also lead writing workshops using the Comparing the Drafts exercise.
The activities are easily adapted to other books/stories as well. Access the guide here:
Educator Sarah J. Donovan wrote an article for the ALAN Review about sports in YA literature and provides classroom exercises related to my novel and several others: www.alan-ya.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/i52-57-ALAN-Winter1819.pdf
Grief and loss are universal, but people respond differently and sometimes in ways that are confusing or unexpected. If you are grieving or want to help someone who is grieving, here are some resources:
* I received a wonderful, surprise gift from my author friend Tracy Bilen - she made me a book trailer! Click on Tracy's name above to learn about her new YA thriller, Whisper, coming out in May 2021. See the book trailer she made for The Art of Holding On and Letting Go here: https://youtu.be/mHhBi3K9iGI
* My book is on Pinterest thanks to author Deb Gonzales! Check out the pins she made for me and many other authors: www.pinterest.com/pin/a-compelling-story-illustrating-the-transformative-power-of-nature-love-and-loss--401664860523699339/
* Two of my poems have been chosen for a forthcoming YA poetry anthology, Rhyme and Rhythm: An Anthology of High School Sports Poems. Publication is expected for Fall 2021. Many thanks to YA author and educator, Dr. Sarah Donovan for creating and editing the anthology. Her website is a wealth of information for teachers.
* Thanks to author/judge Kelly Fordon for choosing my prose entry, The Door Swings Open, as the first place winner in the 2019 Springfed Writing Contest!
* A high school English teacher in California is creating a lesson plan to pilot The Art of Holding On and Letting Go in her classroom in 2019. Her Donors Choose fundraising page raised enough money for a classroom set of books, and I'll be making an author visit.
* Hey YA is a podcast at Book Riot that's all about the YA book world by Kelly Jensen and Eric Smith. On episode 26, they share books that deserve the Netflix treatment like All the Boys I've Loved Before. Guess whose novel Kelly recommended? Yes, I agree - The Art of Holding On and Letting Go would make a great movie or Netflix show. :) Listen here for all of their recommendations.
* I'm honored to be the winner of the 2018-2019 SCBWI-MI Novel Mentorship Competition. Yes, even published authors benefit from mentors to help improve our craft and navigate the business of publishing. My mentor is esteemed author Leslie Connor, and I'm excited to work with her as I revise my new novel.
* Thanks to all of the high school students who read and voted for their favorite books in the 2017-2018 Great Lakes Great Books Award state-wide literature program sponsored by the Michigan Reading Association. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go was chosen as one of the two Honor Books, along with Kathleen Glasgow's Girl in Pieces. The winner was The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner.
* I'm honored to have a story in the Top Secret Unfinished YA StoryBox Project founded by Kevin Cordi. The stories have been traveling to schools across the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about the experience from teacher Susan Murphy and her students:
* Thank you to Michigan independent bookstores for continuing to support my book. It made the 2017 Michigan best seller list!
* Thank you, Oakland Press+Daily Tribune, for featuring me in the Community News.
* My book is a young adult finalist for the Booksellers' Best Award judged by librarians and booksellers and sponsored by the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.
*Thanks to Michigan independent bookstores for embracing my book and helping it become a 2016 bestseller!
* Thank you Sarah Gross for including my novel in your Nerdy Book Club post to encourage students to get outside and immersed in nature.
* Thank you Rachel Moulden for interviewing me in the Oakland Press.
* Thank you Alissa Wild and Heidi Barr and the We Are Wildness community for supporting my book. The perfect backdrop!
* Thank you Bustle for featuring my book twice!