Contributing author to Gifts : Chapter 8

GIFTS - how to order

Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

2008 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Gold Award

2008 Mom's Choice Awards: Silver Recipient, Special & Exceptional Needs

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

GIFTS: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down syndrome Enrich Their Lives NEWS

GIFTS has been chosen for two awards!

2008 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Gold Award

2008 Mom's Choice Awards: Silver Recipient, Special & Exceptional Needs

There will be a GIFTS signing set up by Woodbine Publishing at the 2008 NDSC Conference in Boston. We are planning to attend, as BigDawg is going to be presenting with the DADS group at the conference, so I will be there to sign. Now that will be a bit strange.Also, GIFTS II is being published in Spring of 2010. No children featured in GIFTS will be featured in GIFTS II.

Woodbine is hosting a contest to solicit cover photos for Gifts II. If you would like more information email me at

Here are the submission guidelines for GIFTS II:

The second volume of Gifts will include stories about individuals with Down syndrome written by a wide variety of people, including: family members (such as parents, siblings, and grandparents) friends (such as neighbors, babysitters, and other associates) professionals (such as teachers, doctors and nurses, and therapists)


Because most of the stories in the first volume of Gifts are mothers' accounts of adjusting to their young child's diagnosis, Gifts Volume II will include stories that offer other perspectives and experiences. We are especially interested in stories about school-age children, adolescents, and adults. While mothers' stories in these categories will be considered for inclusion, the collection will emphasize stories written by other family members, friends, and professionals.


Please write about one of the following gifts:

Acceptance Describe how this individual exemplifies healthy acceptance of self, of others, and of life in general. How has he or she helped you to make peace with the circumstances in your life?

Courage Describe how this individual has shown courage in the face of difficulty. What has he or she taught you about meeting life's challenges?

Friendship Describe what this individual has taught you about being a true friend. How does he or she exemplify the values of kindness, cooperation, and/or trust?

Awareness Describe how this individual has opened your eyes. As a result of your relationship with him or her, what truths do you now understand? What beauties can you now see?

Joy Describe how this individual brightens your days. How has he or she brought love, laughter, and/or happiness into your life?

Your story should describe how an individual with Down syndrome has enriched your life.

Your story must be unpublished, or if it has been published you must own the full rights to the piece.

Your story must contain a clear main idea supported by examples.

Your story should employ creative writing techniques such as the use of descriptive language, symbolism and imagery, and dialogue. Remember the first rule of creative writing: show, don’t tell.

Your submission should have a descriptive title, an engaging beginning, and a concise, memorable ending.

Compose your story in a plain, 12-pt. font using a word processing program. Single-space your text. Leave an empty line between paragraphs; do not indent or use any tabs. No handwritten submissions will be accepted.

Submissions must be between 500 and 2000 words in length (1-4 single-spaced pages).
Include the following information in the upper left corner of the first page of your story: Full name, street address, phone number, email address, story title, topic category, and word count.

Do not send your file as an attachment. Copy your entire file and paste it into the body of an email. Put your last name and the title of your story in the email subject line, like this: mylastname_mystorytitle.

Send the email to

Submission Deadline NOW EXTENDED to September 1, 2008.

You will be notified through email regarding your submission's status by January 1, 2009.

If you have questions, please contact Kathryn Lynard Soper, editor, at


Shelley said...

That is great news - Fingers crossed that GIfts wins - it is certainly well deserved.