Lynn Sanders – Growing up…
I grew up on Chicago’s south side, the oldest of four children, writing poems on paper napkins. (I wrote whenever inspiration struck!) Of course, I wrote on paper too. Other favorite things included reading, playing piano, bicycling and singing aloud to records.
One of my big dreams was being a published writer. I believe when you focus on your dreams, positive things happen. In 2nd grade, I won my first writing award — for a “Clean Up Chicago” poem! After that, I couldn’t wait to see my writing published.
At Highland Park High School, I became the News and Feature Editor on our school newspaper, Shoreline. I loved interviewing people. It was exciting to see my name in print. I had fun at school – performing in the student-run production of Stunts, delivering my own speech in a contest and winning a trophy, and having one of my poems published in the Illinois English Bulletin. What next?
My start as a professional writer…
With a Music Education degree from the University of Illinois, I taught music for a year, and soon discovered a way to combine my interests in music and writing… at a Chicago commercial music house.
I wrote live trade shows for Fortune 500 companies, commercials, lyrics and articles. Some of my notable projects were for Tango Tamales, Shutan Camera, Amlings and Empire Carpets. Occasionally, I helped out as a voice-over talent. I ventured into sales, and loved meeting creative people.
My claim to fame was writing the WGN-TV lyrics, “Chicago’s Very Own.” The framed lead sheet, signed by singer Lou Rawls, hangs over my desk. His words, “It’s great! Hang on in there,” still keep me going.
After seven years, I decided to strike out on my own as a freelance writer. In 1985, I started Park Avenue Productions, a creative writing shop. With many contacts from my former job, the phone rang with all types of assignments. Video scripts, speeches, newsletters and ads. Sales letters, brochures and press releases. Even poetic tributes and family legacy videos. As time progressed, I focused on clients who were passionate about inspiring, educating and empowering others. One of my projects provided the idea for this children’s story. Tapping into my deepest values, I recently changed my company name to Difference Makers Media. My dedication is helping business leaders make a significant impact – a big difference – through the strategic craft of creating and marketing stories.
It’s always nice to be recognized…
Here are a few things I’m proud of:
- Writer and co-producer of Telly award-winning video, ‘Things You Should Know Before Entering The Hospital.” (see: patientsafetymedia.com)
- Author of children’s book, “Social Justice: How You Can Make A Difference,” published by Capstone Press, 2008.
- Honorable Mention Award in Poetry and Non-Fiction by Writers Digest Magazine
- Community Angel Award by A.G. Bell Montessori School, Wheeling, IL.
- Several poetry awards… including recognition of my poetic memorial tribute to Yitzhak Rabin by the Israeli Embassy.
- Attracted a $100,000 funding award for nonprofit, Westside Health Authority, through a front-page story in the Chicago Tribune.
- Increased funding with donations of 1800 beanie babies for our family’s three healthcare missions to Ecuador with Causes For Change International. Wrote and published my stories in Make It Better Magazine and Streetwise.
My tips to you in children’s writing and promoting…
- Read lots of books – both favorites and new ones.
- Join SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators
- Get involved in a writer’s critique group.
- Promote yourself with a mobile-friendly website.
- Get over being self-conscious and make videos to promote your work.
- Engage in social media so the world knows about you.
- Most of all: Have faith, belief and perseverance to get your story published. Never – ever – EVER give up!