Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New GA Publishing House Offers Traditional Book Publication

In a day and age when self-publishing and digital print-on-demand are the options to which many authors feel they must resort, a new publishing house in Georgia holds the line on traditional publication methods. Presswork Publications of Toccoa released its first book in June of this year. Alexandra: A Williams Family Journal traces the historic journey of two Mennonite teenagers forced to run their family farm and take care of their younger siblings when their parents pass away.

Alexandra is just the first of several books already set for release by Presswork in a variety of genres. Drummer Danny, a fictional children's tale of a Southern drummer boy interspersed with educational teaching points about The War Between the States, will hit the shelves in September. Next will be Sautee Shadows, the carefully researched first novel in of the romantic Georgia Gold trilogy set in Clarkesville and Savannah during the mid-1800s, quickly followed by a modern series of children's books enlivening farm animals, written by eco-friendly Barb Bolen.

While the first two books have Christian overtones, the Georgia Gold trilogy, while inspirational, is a mainstream release, as the Bolen series will be. According to Presswork founder and publisher Jessica Handwork, the manuscript selection process is determined by niche marketing.

Handwork, who owns Aisling Bookstore in Toccoa, registered Presswork Publications as an American publisher more than two years ago. She was not sure at that time when she'd get Presswork rolling, but after Stephanie Ayers brought her the Alexandra manuscript in summer of 2009, Handwork couldn't put it out of her mind. "I decided I needed to focus on publishing," she says. "Aisling Group is our overarching company. Now I'm seeing things from two views, which a normal publisher wouldn't, because of our bookstore. I'm able to ask myself, 'what causes me to buy a book?'" That in turn leads to informed publishing and marketing decisions.

Presswork is already staffed with an acquisitions editor and a substantive/layout editor. Substantive editor Denise Weimer says of the company, "Both Jessica and I feel that while self-publishing and print-on-demand are viable options for many authors, there are sometimes drawbacks or pitfalls involved. Some publishers out there do not offer full support for their clients. We want to create a company where writers can feel confident that if their material is selected for publication, their publishing process will be respectful, traditional, and comprehensive."

Presswork offers authors book signing tours, national print and electronic publicity campaigns, and social media promotion including Facebook, LinkedIn, Scribd, and Twitter. Booksellers may purchase Presswork releases wholesale through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Books are also available on and at Presswork's web site at
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Ben Halpert Goes Old School to Keep Kids Safe Online with New Book: The Savvy Cyber Kids at Home: The Family Gets a Computer

/PRNewswire/ -- Teaching children online safety begins long before kids create their first Facebook page and Ben Halpert has written a new book to bring that message home. On October 1, 2010, in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Savvy Cyber Kids, Inc., an Atlanta based 501c3, will release its first book for young children, The Savvy Cyber Kids At Home: The Family Gets A Computer. Using traditional early childhood education tools, parents have a new means to keep their children safe online.

Ben Halpert is no stranger to the dangers of the Internet and the anonymity it provides for those who mean harm to children. Ben spends his days as an information security practitioner for a Fortune 500 company and his nights as a champion for children in cyberspace. Seeing a void in online safety for children before they begin K-12, Ben created Savvy Cyber Kids in 2007. The organization teaches kids safety before they go online.

"Technology has become so ingrained in our lives that we entertain our children with a video or an interactive game on a mobile phone. When something becomes so familiar, it carries the false belief that it must be safe," states Ben Halpert, Founder of Savvy Cyber Kids and author of The Savvy Cyber Kids At Home: The Family Gets A Computer. "A child's immersion in today's virtual world must be accompanied by a parent, teacher, or other adult caregiver's good advice. Savvy Cyber Kids creates the tools to enable that conversation."

Savvy Cyber Kids, Inc. and others know we need to reach kids when they are young enough to listen, regardless of economic background. Organizations including the Girl Scouts of America, Web Wise Kids, the Simple Abundance Charitable Trust, the Internet Security Alliance, (ISC)2 and the National Cyber Security Alliance are giving advance praise to the book and the organization.

The Savvy Cyber Kids At Home: The Family Gets A Computer , written by Ben Halpert and illustrated by Taylor Southerland is available online at and through bookstores nationwide for $21.99 on October 1, 2010.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Morris Museum of Art Announces the Winners of The 2010 Porter Fleming Literary Competition

The Morris Museum of Art has announced ten winners of the 2010 Porter Fleming Literary Competition, an important regional contest that recognizes talented amateur and professional writers who reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. This year, more than three hundred entries in four categories—fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and playwriting—were submitted.

This competition, funded by the Porter Fleming Foundation and administered by the Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County, was established in 1993. The Porter Fleming Foundation was established by Berry Fleming in 1963 as a memorial to his father, Porter Fleming, a prominent Augustan and one of the city’s leading philanthropists.

“The Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County are honored to have sponsored the literary competition since its founding by Augusta author and artist Berry Fleming,” said Cobbs Nixon, a Trustee of the Academy of Richmond County. “Our hope is that this competition will foster more great writers within our city, state, and region.”

“We are, of course, very pleased to be associated in this important endeavor with our friends at the Porter Fleming Foundation,” said Kevin Grogan, director of the Morris Museum of Art. “The region’s literature is an unusually rich component of the culture of the South. It offers us another means of achieving understanding of the region and its people, just as the visual arts, music, and dance do.”

This year’s winners will be honored at an Awards Ceremony Saturday, September 25, at 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Morris Museum of Art. It is a highlight of Augusta’s annual Westobou Festival, a celebration of the arts held from September 16 through 25. All winners are invited to participate in a special literary program during the Awards Ceremony in The Morris Museum of Art Auditorium.


National Judge John Bridges, Author and Award-Winning Columnist and Editor

First Place ($1,000) Tom Turner, Augusta, GA – “Burnt Sugar”
Second Place ($500) Gary Carden, Sylva, NC – “Arsenic and Quince”
Third Place ($250) Paul Byall, Savannah, GA – “You Are In My Power”


National Judge John Winters, Award-Winning Author, Columnist and Editor
First Place ($1,000) Bonnie Arndt, Jacksonville, FL – “Rhubarb”
Second Place ($500) Elizabeth Estes, Lincolnton, GA – “Becoming a Pragmatist”
No Third Place Winner


National Judge Dr. James Smith, Associate Professor, the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Associate Editor of The Southern Poetry Review.

First Place ($1,000) Barbara G. S. Hagerty, Charleston, South Carolina,
“The Swimmer”
Second Place ($500) Mary Alice Sharpe, Anderson, South Carolina
“The Mailman (retired) and I
No Third Place Winner


National Judge Allan Gurganus, Award-Winning Author, Playwright and Teacher

First Place ($1,000) Richard Davis, Augusta, Georgia
“Sounds of the Sea in Her Little Shell Ear”
Second Place ($500) Peter DuPuis, Charleston, South Carolina
“Hail Mary”
Third Place ($250) Jonathan Cook, Martinez, Georgia
“Close to Home”