Wear Blue and Stomp Out Bullying

Wear your favorite BLUE T shirt today to raise awareness of the problem of bullying in schools and online.  BLUE SHIRT DAY was created by STOMP OUT BULLYING in partnership with Pilot Pen and supports anti-bullying education and programs nationwide.

To learn more visit: http://www.stompoutbullying.org

The Magic of Childhood Writing Prompts by Katya Szewczuk

Writing prompts are an extremely important part of a childhood development. You might be asking “Why is it so important?” or “What do writing prompts have to do with childhood development?” When children are exposed to writing at a young age they learn to think and create and might learn lessons that you never thought of teaching them.

Not only are writing prompts creative and fun, but you can also use this time to spend with your children or students, and watch them grow productively as time ticks forward.

Examples of Fun Writing Prompts:

There are many writing prompts you can look up on the web by simply searching “writing” or “kid lit prompts”. It’s that easy. But today I’m going to give you three writing prompts that I used to give two young girls whenever I babysat them.

Acting                    11144902_1492257091088191_2572614515094927501_o

These girls lived next to my grandparents and were always outside playing wiffle ball or scooping fish out of their Koi fish pond. Whenever they came over my grandparents’ house, they would bring over a haul of balls and games, itching to play with my sisters and me.

When the game would get out of hand and the girls would get too hyper, I’d sit them down and say, “Now write a story.” This kept them quiet for about ten minutes.  Then they would roughhouse with each other and sometimes toss those wiffle balls at my head. And yes, it left bruises.

So after they wrote their stories I would say, “Now act out the adventure your characters are going on.” The girls would fiddle their thumbs, think for a moment and then run around the yard acting like pirates and dragons. Of course, I was always the dragon.

The Acting Writing Prompt is simple. All you have to do is tell your kids to write a story or simply read them a story and tell them to act out their favorite parts. This will give them a boost of creativity and might even improve their social skills.

Fan Fiction                                                                                 11233346_1492257097754857_6222745024149058394_o

Now as many of you have seen on KidLit TV or even on my YouTube series The Kat’s Meow, I am a huge fangirl of fanfiction. What’s fanfiction? It’s a fan’s version of a work of fiction, and even non-fiction. It’s when your fans write their own stories and create it in the way they wanted the story to end.

When I was young I always changed the endings of stories because I just didn’t think it was right to make the main character win every battle or have Character A get married to Character C instead of Character B. I was very particular about how stories ended so wrote hundreds of fanfictions.

A few years ago fanfiction was actually considered a crime in the literary world. Many authors were extremely stingy about fans changing their book endings. But why? This means your fans were so affected by your book that they had to change the ending.

Fanficiton makes a wonderful writing prompt because you will get the “inside scoop” on how a story left an impact on your kids! It’s also a great writing prompt for teens since the fanfiction world is highly populated by teenagers.


Role-playing is when people act as characters from any type of media, whether it’s literature, film, anime, and even boy bands. Over the years role-playing has become a type of art that is found all over Tumblr. There are over hundreds of role-playing communities where you’ll find at least one person pretending to be Harry Potter or Percy Jackson.

The reason role-playing made it to the list because if you search on Tumblr and you find role-plays from your favorite series, you will see how beautifully written each role-play is. Some role-players should be published authors!

If your child is passionate about a series and loves one character, he or she should start role-playing as that character. The reason for this is because we all have role-played at least once in our lives. Remember dress-up or playing house with your next-door neighbor? That’s role-play.

Children take on a role as a character and make that character go on awesome adventures. The role-playing community is filled with teens who have created beautifully scripted work that shows that they should or probably will become authors one day.

All of these are examples of writing prompts I used whenever I babysat the two girls who are not babies anymore. This blog post is making me feel old! Always remember that there are thousands of writing prompts you can come up with. All it takes is a little time, fun and childhood magic.

Katya Szewczuk                                         IMG_9772
Writer/Editor Kid Lit TV
The Kat’s Meow Host
Personal Assistant to Dr. Anthony L. Manna (Simon & Schuster/ Random House)
Productive Video Arts Designer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katyaszewczuk
Twitter: @katyaszew

And the Winners Are…Free Books and Skype Visits!

First I’d like to thanks all those who participated in the WHEELS OF CHANGE book and Author Skype visit give-away.  I really appreciate your support and am happy to announce two winners: Susan Cohen and the Sacred School in Camden, NJ, and Shiela Fuller on behalf of her daughter’s school where she is currently student teaching.  Both will receive a signed copy of WOC, a teacher packet with curriculum guides and activity sheets, and the Skype Visit at a date of your choice.

The Target Gift Card goes to: Teresa Robeson, along with a teacher packet to pass on to a local school or library.

Congratulations!  And, thanks again for helping me celebrate!  Can’t wait to see you and your classes via Skype!

Writer with a Cause: By Mabel Elizabeth Singletary

I had the pleasure of meeting author Mabel Elizabeth Singletary at a Dyslexia Conference in August.  Her Mightyway Books are all about empowering children to become their best selves and teaching them to honor and respect others.  Here’s Mabel to tell you about her books:

Even as a child growing up in New Jersey, I realized that words, both spoken and written, were powerful. In stories, words can allow a reader to visit places around the globe, provide scores of information, and open doors to unimaginable possibilities. Words carry the ability to change lives for better or worse. I consider my writing a calling, so when I began writing professionally in 2007, I did so with a purpose and a cause. I wanted to create stories that would bring joy, hope, and encouragement to my readers.
Having spent thirty-two years teaching elementary education, I am certain that period of my life allowed me to get an even deeper understanding of the way positive words can influence children. My second grade teacher, Miss Edith Mayner served as both a mentor and role-model for me and so many others. Each day she chose words that inspired and uplifted her classes of young children and enabled us to dream of better futures. In my case, her example ignited my dream to become a teacher. She reminded us every day of what we could become and what we could achieve in life if we actively and always pursued excellence. When that special school year ended, I left her classroom believing I could become whatever I desired.

Many years later, when I had the opportunity to teach language arts and reading, it became clear during class discussions how good stories can leave a lasting impression upon students. So when I began writing The Double Dutch Club Series, I wanted these books to emphasize the importance of children learning that in spite of their differences, they could successfully work together to accomplish shared goals.

Little Sistahs of Somerset.

Little Sistahs of Somerset.

The themes of the books you’ll find at http://www.Mightywaybooks.com, including the Also Rans Series and The Young Conquerors Series, highlight and focus on friendship, building good character, developing positive self-image, and learning to have compassion for others. Mighty Way’s newest publication entitled; Finding Alan Treadwell deals with the subject of bullying. This story challenges the reader to look a little deeper at the character of a boy named Jimmy, who in every sense of the word is a bullying nightmare.                Finding Alan Pic #2 .jpg for blog

I enjoy writing because it allows me to create stories from an idea and then begin the process of watching that idea grow into a book. Finally, I write because I have witnessed as well as experienced the effect encouraging words can have in bringing about optimism and hope in children’s lives. Speaking to students at schools, libraries, and book clubs has given me opportunities to talk about the main characters and themes of each story. These moments also allow me to hear about the dreams and aspirations of my young readers. Some have even shared that they hope to become writers someday. That is the time when I get to reflect back to the words of my second grade teacher and I can tell them face to face, “With excellence, perseverance, and hard work; you can become whatever you want.”

Writing fiction for children is one of the most amazing and effective ways to have a fruitful impact on tomorrow. And I love every minute of it!

To contact Mabel:  Mightywaybooks.com
The Roselle Chapter of Oprah's Book Club.

The Roselle Chapter of Oprah’s Book Club.




Today’s post comes from my writer friend and Internet Radio Host of READ ALL ABOUT IT, Stefani Milan. Stefani’s written a new picture book. One lucky reader will have a chance to win a signed copy.  Details are at the end of the post.  Here is Stefani to tell you about her book:

I Liked You Much Better When You Were Outside by Stefani Milan (Illustrated by Matt Williams), is the small tale written in short rhyming verses about the woes of a cat whose family takes in a stray cat from the outside.                    51QTMoUqd6L

This story is a great one to share with small children to help them learn about acceptance, friendship, and much more. But it is not only for children, as this little story also appeals to cat lovers everywhere. I wrote this story after working with the Animal Welfare Association to trap and release 13 cats. Because each one had grown on me, I decided to train them, and this story was based on a true story of my 20 year old cat’s response to one of the stray cats we decided to take inside. This book is for the 12 cats who are still outside. I love them all, and my ultimate goal is to see them all adopted. A portion of the proceeds of this book go directly to them and to shelter items (food, beds, blankets) for the AWA’s countless other homeless animals.

To learn more, visit Stefani’s Facebook page for the cats, https://www.facebook.com/elsa.bean.3

You can win a FREE SIGNED COPY of  I LIKED YOU BETTER WHEN YOU WERE OUTSIDE by leaving a comment below.  I’ll add your name to my list and then draw one name from the list and Stefani will send the book to you.  Contest ends on 10-6-2015.  Winner will be announced here on 10-7-2015

Anyone with questions about the book can reach Stefani at stefanimilanauthor@gmail.com

Mrs. P’s “Be A Famous Writer Contest” for Kids.

Pets is the theme of the 7th annual   MrsP.com    Be-a-Famous Writer Contest. The contest is for K-4 classrooms and the winning classroom is filled with books in every format from the generous sponsors of the contest.

• Contest Closes: November 15, 2015
• Winners Announced January 15, 2016
• For classrooms K – 4th grade
Mrs. P invites classrooms to write a story on the topic of PETS no less than 250 words and not to exceed 1,000 words. It may be fiction or non-fiction. Any classroom from Kindergarten through 4th grade may enter. Just one story per classroom! It can be a collaborative story, or teachers can have their class vote on which child’s story to enter. While the contest is for classrooms only, parents can participate by telling their child’s teacher about it.  Find all the details at my contest website. http://contest.mrsp.com/