Posts filed under ‘How you can help’

Kick to the end

We’re entering the last week of Unleash Your Storywith a total raised to date of $4,268. Let’s see if we can’t hit $10,000. You can help by making a donation in honor of your favorite participant or team. Click on the list of teams, participating authors, readers and bloggers.

Congratulations to these winners from Week Two:

Top Writer—words written week 2 Maisy Yates 11573

Top Reader—words written week 2 Suzanne Gochenouer  4005

Donation leader week 2 ($25 Starbucks card and $25 BN Card)  PJ Ausdenmore $245

Wk 2 donation leader (not cumulative) $25 BN card  Mary O’Malley with $100 new dollars

Highest #  donors wk 2 BN Gift card

$100 Books—Mary O’Malley

$25 books  We’ve given out several. If you or one of your donors has made a donation of $25 or more, please let us know so that we can send you a book.


September 23, 2009 at 12:08 am

Week 1 results & New incentives!

Total money raised:  $1,780 + $202 from our July Moonlight Madness sale = $1982.

Top teams:

Bon Bon Chocolate Mafia in the lead with $330

The Cystic Gal team close behind with $260 and Team RBTB in third place with $230

Total reported words written: 82,355

Total reported pages read: 30,759 (more…)

September 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Labor Day

As a former union member (I was a skilled bookbinder while working my way through college), I should probably be thinking about celebrating the worker on Labor Day. Instead, Labor Day reminds me of two things–having babies (those were major “labor” days) and reaching the end of the first week of Unleash Your Story.

We are here September 7. Did you get your 15 donors to qualify for the $25 B&N gift card? Because of the holiday, we won’t get a report until Tuesday this week (so you really still have time to go for this one).

Did you reach the $100, $200 or higher level? Remember we will be giving away a free book for each $100 you raise up to $500. Check out the list of $100 books on our prizes page.

No matter how you did in Week 1, you can look forward to Week 2 prizes. We are offering a $25 Starbucks card for the person with the top dollar amount at the end of week 2. (This one is cumulative–we will be looking at the total raised as of Sept 14).

The top money earner for this week (not cumulative–this is most money brought in from Sept 7-13) will receive a “Pick Your Sub-genre” 12 pack from Michelle Buonfiglio. The winner chooses a romance sub-genre (contemporary, paranormal, historical or romantic suspense) and Michelle will send you 12 books from that sub-genre.

We continue to offer a free book for each $100 raised up to $500. We also have special prizes for the top reader(pages read) and top writer (word count) of the week. Thanks for your support and don’t forget to report your pages read and words written to so that you can be eligible for our reader and writer prizes.

September 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm


What are Saturdays like in your house?

Saturday of Labor Day weekend can be hectic for a lot of folks. In many areas, school will start on Tuesday. For years in Missoula, School District 1 used to tease us by starting school the Tuesday before Labor Day. Just when you’d get into a rhythm of getting up early and getting the kids off to school– poof! –it’s a 3 day weekend. I always thought this made the Tuesday after Labor Day even harder than the first day of school.

Whatever your family situation, Labor Day weekend seems to mark the start of things for a lot of people. School, football season, autumn. We get in a last barbecue, or final trip to the beach. Temperatures may already be dropping or will soon. The green leaves begin shading toward yellow or red and we know change is on the horizon.

For Unleash Your Story this weekend marks a shift from starting the event, to really going for it. We’ve spent the last week adding participants and answering questions for many. Folks have set their goals, started on their TBR pile, worked on their writing. Now participants may be taking a breather this weekend–gearing up for the hard work ahead–reading, writing and sending out those e-mails to friends and relatives asking for sponsorship.

Many of you may have sent your requests to your closest family and friends last week. Perhaps you’re excited by the response as money is starting to come in. Or you may be disappointed that folks aren’t giving as you expected. Either way–pat yourself on the back for getting the word out and giving people an opportunity to give.

Now is a good time to stop and consider reaching deeper into your contact list. Who is there? Co-workers? Old college roommates? Fellow PTA members? Go ahead and add them to your list. They can hit the delete button if they don’t want to give. But you’ll be surprised at how many of them do want to help.

If you don’t ask–they can’t say “yes”.

Remember to customize the e-mail you send out so that folks see your personal concern for the cause. Tell a little about your reading or writing goal and ask them to sponsor you with a donation in any amount.

If your weekend is filled with family (fun or duties), what are you doing to sneak in some reading or writing time? If you’re lucky enough to have a quiet, holiday weekend–tell us about your reading or writing rituals so we can live vicariously.

September 5, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Heading for weekend #1

We are approaching the end of week 1 and the Labor Day holiday in the U.S.  Tuesday we will get an official report from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, but I know from looking at some of our donation pages that we have brought in hundreds of dollars at least.

Over the weekend you can add to our totals by sending out a few e-mails to friends and asking them to sponsor you by making a donation to the CFF. Make it a point to send out 5 e-mails every weekend and you’ll have sent 20 by the end of the event. If 10 of those folks donate only $10 each, you will have raised $100! (And don’t forget $100 = 1 free book).

Weekends are also great writing and reading time. Find yourself a  little “me” time to catch up on your word or page count. Personally, I love Saturday mornings for this. My family usually sleeps in and if I get up at my usual 7 a.m. I can almost always sneak in an hour to myself. A cup of coffee and my laptop. Ah–that is the life!

What do you do on lazy weekend mornings? Or is there such a thing at your house?

September 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm 2 comments

Featured Prizes

Thanks to Michelle Buonfiglio for a great guest blog yesterday. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for a special message from Jessica Scott, an  Army officer and aspiring author presently serving in Iraq. You think you have a hard time finding writing time–try living in a combat zone.

If you haven’t been to our prize page lately, you may have missed some of the great stuff that has been added there. We’re updating the page frequently as new prize donations come in–so be sure to check it out.

Don’t forget our special incentive running throughout the event–for every $100 you raise (up to $500) you will receive a free book from the list of $100 books on the prize page. Here’s how this prize works. You raise $100 and you choose the book you want from the list. As books are taken, we will mark them with **. We have multiple copies of many of the books, but there are a few that are one of a kind. So–the sooner you hit that $100 mark, the more choices you will have. Most of these books are donated by the author and autographed.

Another cool prize to shoot for is the $25 Starbucks card donated by Kate Rothwell. This gift card will go to the top money earner as of September 14. Kate wants our top dollar earner to have enough caffeine to get her or him through the second half of the event.

As always, if you have questions about anything UYS related, please contact us at:

We appreciate your support!

September 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Slow and Steady Sets the Pace

Pacesetter Michelle Buonfiglio talks about her plan to reach her UYS 2009 goals.

Buonfiglio-1Regrets; I’ve had a few…thousand!

Like right now, I’m wishing I hadn’t shot off my mouth and dared readers and bloggers to whoop my goals of ten thousand pages read and/or words written for UYS ’09.

I figured it out when I spent yesterday holed up, trying to get a head start on things.  Scored about 700 pages, but zilch Mom of the Year points. Today, trying desperately to catch up on work, I’ve only written 800 words.  Looks like you shall well and truly spank my goals by the time UYS wraps September 28.

But I’ll happily have my ego throttled, ’cause that spells success, and that’s what UYS is about. Well, not about abject humiliation before one’s peers, but rather, leaping outside our comfort zones.

Maybe the idea of asking for donations creeps you out. I totally hear you. But most of us are happy to give even $1 when a friend asks for a good cause, so consider yourself a success when you do the asking even once.

Perhaps the thought of setting a goal “in print” on your blog embarrasses you.  Last year, I didn’t reach my donation goal, but I tried and also worked hard promoting and writing about UYS often – and not just for the word count, you cheeky things.  So I consider my participation a success, simply because I lent a hand.

Mae West said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing slowly.”  As a fan of sexy romance, that appeals. And at the start of this year’s UYS event, I’m going to take it a little easy on myself and invite you to do the same: set a UYS goal, grab a book or your keyboard, have a little fun and give raising some funds for CF research your best shot.

Let the slow and worthy doin’ begin!

What’s your UYS success story?  What’s your ’09 plan for success?

September 1, 2009 at 5:22 am 12 comments

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Donate now!

Support for your fellow readers and writers while you help fight cystic fibrosis! It's easy to donate online. Thanks in advance for your support!

How we’re doing…

In 2008, Unleash Your Story raised $11,366 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Our 2009 goal is $23,000. Dollars Raised
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What is Unleash Your Story?

A combined read-a-thon and write-a-thon that challenges readers, writers and published authors to unleash their stories and make a difference.

Our 2009 goal is to raise $23,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the leading organization in the United States devoted to cystic fibrosis. Register now!.

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Pacesetter Author

Lori Wilde is our 2009 Pacesetter Author.

Lori has sold 47 books to 4 major New York publishers--5 books coming out in 2009. She's prolific and dedicated to writing regularly to keep up with all those deadlines!

Lori promises to set a sizzling pace for all our writers to follow! Her goal for the event is 60,000 words!

To learn more about Lori, visit her Pacesetter Page

Michelle Buonfiglio Pacesetter Reader

We are proud to have Michelle Buonfiglio as our 2009 Pacesetter Reader.

Michelle hosts Barnes &’s new “Heart to Heart” (H2H) daily romance fiction blog and is the creative force behind (RBTB), a fun and positive place where readers and writers hang to talk love, sex, family, life -- and, of course, romance novels

Michelle's goals are to read 10,000 pages and write 10,000 words in her blogs and comments.

To learn more about Michelle, visit her Pacesetter Page