Marketing for Those Who Hate to Market

(Note: Click the image for the recorded presentation.)

I had the opportunity this month to present a marketing workshop with my fellow author and dear friend, Kathleen M. Rodgers.

We did this as part of the Military Writers Society of America‘s (MWSA’s) new monthly online writing workshops and were thrilled with the number of people who attended and their active participation. MWSA presents these types of workshops as a benefit of MWSA membership. MWSA allows presenters to share our workshops with our own networks. I hope some of you may be interested in this organization or learn something you didn’t already know. MWSA is open to active duty military, veterans, families, and those interested in telling military-related stories.

Please see Kathy’s  wonderful blog post on the event here, which also includes a link to the full presentation and a bit more about the event. Happy holidays, all!

A Touch of Class

Growing up as a horse lover in Maryland, I never imagined I would win an award like Maryland’s Touch of Class Award someday. The Touch of Class Award honors Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations, or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The Maryland Horse Industry Board honored me and my second book, Believing In Horses, Too, for  our winning entry in the 2019 EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Awards.

The Department of Agriculture’s Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) presented the award at Maryland Horse Council’s Virtual Annual Meeting in Nov. 17, 2020. MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord said, “We have so many talented artists in Maryland – writers, artists, filmmakers, photographers, and more – and Valerie is one of them.”

MHIB’s official announcement read, “Valerie Ormond’s second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, won a Gold Medal in the Military Writers Society of America Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors’ Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award. Congratulations!”

Past winners of the Touch of Class award have been world champion Maryland horses, mules, and riders. Disciplines have included dressage, eventing, hunters, jumpers, jousting, steeplechase, polo, mounted shooting, rodeo, driving, pentathlon, polocrosse, endurance, therapy, and racing. Individual winners have been barn owners, facility managers, horse trainers, competitors, breeders, filmmakers, writers, and photographers. Maryland established the prestigious Touch of Class Awards program in September 2011.

The award is personally rewarding to me as I see my Believing In Horses books as a coalescence of my horse, military, research, and writing experiences. The Believing In Horses, Too story is based in Maryland and highlights equine therapies, show competition, rescue horses, veterans, and military families. I appreciate the state of Maryland for supporting me and my work with this remarkable touch of class.

 

 

So Proudly We Hailed – Opportunity

 

I received an email from the Executive Director of New Musicals Inc. yesterday. He asked me if I could help get the word out to veterans who have stories to tell, or writers and composers who might want to be involved in adapting stories for a musical webseries. The So Proudly We Hailed event’s tagline is “a musical webseries honoring veterans in their own words.” I wanted to share this unique opportunity with you. I also found the New Musicals Inc. organization interesting and would have never known about them had they not reached out to me. [Read more…]

Actively Learn with “Believing In Horses, Too”

Educators from Actively Learn discovered the Believing In Horses series after the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test featured an excerpt of the first book in its 2015 annual test. Following discussions, Actively Learn decided to feature two excerpts from Believing In Horses, Too in their creative curriculum. Actively Learn uses a new approach to learning by providing free English Language Arts (ELA) and other content embedded with standards-aligned assignments to help students learn. [Read more…]

In the Moment

Pileated Woodpecker

For many us, our worlds have turned upside down in a matter of weeks. COVID-19 has put us in situations we are not used to. Last week, I took a moment to write a poem that came to me, inspired by a pileated woodpecker.

“In the Moment”

Out the window I spy, [Read more…]

Winning Veteran Writing Awards in 2019

I am happy to close out the year announcing two prestigious military and veteran writing award winnings in 2019. The Military Writer’s Society of America presented me the President’s Award for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the organization at its annual membership conference in Albuquerque, NM. And in December at the Kentucky Horse Park, the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival awarded my latest book, Believing In Horses, Too, its Winnie Award for Best Veteran Fiction. [Read more…]