Saturday, January 30, 2016

Contribute to MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story And Help The Flint Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (MANA) presents its annual fundraiser that we call, "MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story." We would like to thank each and every one of you who took the time to contribute your comments to the 2015 short story fundraiser that benefited the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. (Click HERE to view our 2015 short story.)

MANA and its parent company, Robbie Dean Press, have supported different scholarship funds and charities for years. "MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story" is yet another way of supporting charitable causes and organizations. The designated charity for 2016 is the Flint Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service sorority in Flint, Michigan. 

The Flint Alumnae Chapter is currently involved in helping to provide water to citizens in Flint, Michigan where the drinking water has been contaminated by lead from aging water pipes. There are many people who have and will be donating bottled water. However, Flint residents will continue to need bottled water as well as water filters. To find out more about the Flint Water Crisis, click HERE

The Chapter serves the community by partnering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the North End Soup Kitchen, the League of Women Voters, the Flint Public Library, the Flint Institute of Music, and the Flint Institute of Arts, to name a few. 

This is how "MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story" works: 

1. The photo in this blog post serves as a prompt. The first person to post can write five sentences or more based on the photo prompt. 

2. The next writer should add to the story of the first post. After that, every writer should add to the story of the previous writer.

3. For every 20 posts of five sentences or more, MANA will donate $10 to the Flint Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

This activity is twofold: It will provide money to purchase water filters for Flint residents and will allow an opportunity for you to be a part of a creative experience. 

So, be the first one to post your comment below and encourage others to post so that we can   get our 2016 campaign started!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Advice To Writers: Stop Complaining!

Find ways to move past your frustrations to complete
and publish your manuscript.
"I have writer's block!" "I don't know where I'm going with this story (or character)" "I've lost my inspiration, I can't finish this story!"  "Who's going to buy this book anyway?" 

How many times have you heard these statements from a writer or if you are a writer, have said these things yourself? When it comes to being successful in completing your manuscript – or for accomplishing any goal – the best place to start is by making a commitment to yourself to stop complaining!  

Of course, it is perfectly fine to question your decisions to write a character a certain way, to revise your entire storyline, and to remain thoughtful and analytical at all times. However, you can't move forward when you're complaining or consistently doubting yourself and your writing abilities. Berating yourself is counterproductive and takes your eyes off of your goal, which is to complete and publish your manuscript. 

If you find yourself in this situation, here are three tips to keep your fingers humming along on the keyboard until you have completed your manuscript:

1. Do more research. Whether it's a fiction or nonfiction book, it's important that writers research the subject of their stories. For instance, if your story is a historical romance set in the American West in the mid-1800s, find out about the culture, customs, politics and personalities of the people who lived during that time. Was there a major event that occurred during that time? Let that become  a turning point in your story for one or more of your characters. 

2. Skip to the next chapter. If you find yourself hitting a snag with a character or a scene or developing the next chapter, move on, don't stop. For instance, insert the information you found in your research into another part of the story, or create another scene, or expand the role of an already established character. The point is not to stop because you hit a bump in the road, keep on going. 

3. Generate ideas to add to your story. It's amazing how many ideas you can generate on your own by talking with others. Is your friend going to physical therapy because of a sore shoulder? Are your cousins planning a family reunion? Is your co-worker having repair work done on her home? You can use all of these examples in some way in your story. Your readers will relate to the details you insert about everyday life. 

4. Review and your revise you work. If you need to take a breather, review what you have written so far. If something is not working, revise your work and take another approach. 

5. Talk with other writers. Writers are willing to share their successes and concerns with each other. If you do not know any writers personally, there are many writers forums you can join and find people who are willing to help you move forward. 

One important difference between successful writers and those who are not is that the successful writers do not discourage themselves easily by complaining. Rather than complain, they focus on solving problems that are keeping them stuck. So, if you find yourself getting frustrated over your manuscript, find ways to develop a stick-to-it-tiveness that will help you achieve your goal of completing and publishing your manuscript!

Monday, January 18, 2016

MANA Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The world in which we live is geographically one. The challenge that we face today is to make it one in terms of brotherhood."  – Oberlin College Commencement Speech

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method, which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." – Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality. Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant." – Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

"Sooner or later, all the peoples of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood." – Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

"Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." – Oberlin College Commencement

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Robbie Dean Press Turns 25!

We are pleased to announce that Robbie Dean Press LLC (RDP), the parent company of (MANA), is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Robbie Dean Press is a traditional publishing company that focuses on college texts and manuscripts with unique subjects. 

In 1991, Robbie Dean Press began with a staff of one, now it has a strong staff of printers, web designer/manager, artists, graphic designers, layout tech, marketing associate, student intern, and a review board for both Robbie Dean Press and MANA. In honor of its 25th anniversary, Robbie Dean Press will offer celebratory discounts and donations for the entire year of 2016: 

Books – Purchase one book at full price and receive 25% off the price of the second book.  
  A rebate check will be immediately sent with shipped orders.
• Self-Publishing Plans and Marketing Plans – 25% off the cost of all plans
• All Services – 25% off the cost of all services
• For Traditional Textbook Services – 25% donation of all sales of the instructor's text to 
  the college or charity of the author's choice

All quality textbook manuscripts submitted to Robbie Dean Press will undergo a review by the Robbie Dean Press Review Board. We like to have as much manuscript material as possible in order to accurately assess the potential of your book. We are capable of publishing your classroom materials to your specifications. 

Robbie Dean Press has the trademark motto – DETERMINED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE and the company wants to make that difference for all of its customers and MANA, too!  

Do you have a textbook that you want published by a traditional publisher? Contact us by filling out the Contact Form on the Robbie Dean Press website at, or email us at, or call us at 734-973-9511.

In the meantime, check out the books, Self-Publishing Plans, Marketing Plans and other resources on MANA's Website at and start taking advantage of the 25% anniversary special today!