Slides for Students Launch Info

Slides for Students: The Effective Use of Powerpoint in Education releases April 23! We’re only two weeks away from this amazing and important monograph about student learning and powerpoint.

300 million powerpoint presentations are given daily, yet there is a disconnect between the amazing technology of powerpoint and a mediocre student learning experience. To unleash the full potential of powerpoint presentations, we must do a better job of creating presentations that fit the educational needs of students. Slides for Students does just that.


Cover design by Corey Parson

Divided into two parts, Slides for Students discusses the history of powerpoint, explores academic studies on the topic, and demonstrates how to design slides to best suit educational needs and engage with students to avoid the dreaded “death by powerpoint.”


Slides for Students is an open and honest discussion about powerpoint in the classroom. A need exists for thoughtfully designed and implemented classroom instruction that focuses on the learner rather than on the technology. This book was written to translate academic research findings into practical suggestions about powerpoint that educators can use. Divided into two parts, Slides for Students discusses the history of powerpoint, explores academic studies on the topic, and demonstrates how to design slides to best suit educational needs and engage with students to avoid the dreaded “death by powerpoint.”

Gary D. Fisk is a professor of Psychology at Georgia Southwestern State University. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Alabama, where he studied behavioral neuroscience. His areas of specialty include the study of how awareness emerges from the earliest stages of visual information processing in the brain and using technology to support and encourage student learning. These technologies include instructional web pages, Flash-based animations, online learning management systems, and PowerPoint software. In his free time, Dr. Fisk enjoys gardening and making homebrewed beer.

Slides for Students (978-1-940771-43-4) is a paperback priced at $39.99. You can buy Slides for Students from your local or online bookstore. Retailers can order copies from Ingram.

Book Review: “Write to Protect and Serve,” reviewed by John B. Edwards

This book review of Write to Protect and Serve comes from John B. Edwards, Executive Director for the Peace Officers Association of Georgia.

Write to Protect and Serve: A Practical Guide for Writing Better Police Reports

Write to Protect and Serve provides the foundation for officers to produce professional reports that are tremendously important to the agency’s responsibility, the prosecutor’s use and the officer’s reputation. In his book, Cagle provides a blueprint on both the how and the why for creating great documentation. He explains everything from how to create a report that will create a sound basis for prosecution to why it’s important to create your report with an idea of who is going to be reading it, when they are, why they are, and most importantly how they’ll use it in relation to the reporting officer.

Cagle takes great care to expand beyond simple grammar and into the importance of proper notation and sourcing and the importance of error free documentation. Cases are not the only focus of criticism in this dynamic, officers are personally assessed, judged, and evaluated by their paper work. Certain assumptions are made solely based upon the officer’s ability to professionally write and complete a thorough, accurate, and complete report.The front cover of "Write to Protect and Serve: A Practical Guide to Writing Better Police Reports" from UNG Press (March 2019). A police officer writes in a notepad.

With the lessons learned in this book, officers can understand the practical, legal, and ethical demands that they must meet in their documentation.

With the lessons learned in this book, officers can understand the practical, legal, and ethical demands that they must meet in their documentation. There is great care taken to provide examples of what good documentation will look like and anecdotes on how bad documentation can sabotage not just the officer’s work but their agency’s credibility. From issues of falsifying reports to how typos can illustrate unprofessional work that leads to the inference that an investigation was barely conducted.

Report writing is one of the most important things we do in law enforcement operations, but we spend so little time learning or honing our skills about it. John Cagle’s book, Write to Protect and Serve, is a timely and important resource to assist cadets, officers, supervisors, and students in law enforcement to develop those important report writing skills. Cagle’s excellent book is sure to promote the competence to inspire and the confidence for officers to develop exemplary documentation as an architecture for prosecutors to build the best cases and officers to develop the best reputations in a system where that joint construction matters so much to the system and citizens we serve.

Buy your copy of Write to Protect and Serve now:

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books-A-Million!

Article: “UNG Press celebrates 10 years as small publishing house”

J. K. Devine, Communication Specialist with UNG’s University Relations, wrote an article about the UNG Press for Small Press Month. Read it now!

10 years is a long time, and we wouldn’t be here without you! Thank you, dear reader, for helping us promote education and literacy with your support.

Designed by Ariana Adams

What is Open Education?

March 4–6, 2019 is Open Education Week. Organized by the Open Education Consortium (OEC), Open Education Week raises awareness about open education and shows how it’s important to teaching and learning. To really understand the impact, let’s first look at what open education is.

What is Open Education?

Open education refers to teachings, resources, and tools that are freely available to use and share. In addition, truly open materials allow people to modify or a adapt the original materials. These materials, referred to as open educational resources or OERs, have a specific license attached to it that outlines usage, distribution, and modification.

A chart showing the different versions of a CC license when combined with other license types.
A chart showing the different versions of a CC license when combined with other licenses.

The Creative Commons Attribution International (CC BY) license is one of the most common open source licenses. Under this license, you can share the resource in any format so long as you attribute the original creator and you use the resource for noncommercial purposes. (More details about the creative commons license can be found on the Creative Commons website.)

Open education can be taken one step further into the world of open pedagogy. Open pedagogy looks at teaching and learning from a theoretical viewpoint and works to develop open materials that other teachers can use. The world of open pedagogy is still young, but early efforts reveal a promising future.


Why is Open Education Important?

Education is the key to change and is central for improvement—as an individual, but also as a community. Open education provides access to education that people may not have otherwise. By gatekeeping education and limiting it only to those who can pay, we do a disservice to everyone. (Textbooks are marked up 400%. Trust us, education often costs more than it should.) Open educational resources help break those barriers, and Open Education Week helps draw attention to them.


How Can You Help Open Education?

The first step to supporting open education is to support organizations and business that contribute to the OER world. In addition to the OEC, Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) is working to create more OERs and even includes open courseware on their website. The UNG Press has partnered with ALG and e-core and now offers 18 OER textbooks, each with a free digital copy available on our website.

Encourage people around you to learn about and share open materials. OERs aren’t limited to the teaching world. Open sourced programs like Inkscape and Scribus are alternatives to Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Even Google Docs is an example of an open source alternative to Microsoft Word.

No matter what, don’t gatekeep education. It doesn’t help anyone and only restricts what people can learn. Open education is the forward trend in the academic world and is a welcome addition to fields of teaching and learning.

Children’s Books: Industry Standards and Resources

Children’s books can be a confusing genre. The notes below explore genre standards among different children’s books and provide resources for further research. These notes were created for UNG Press’s panel, “Children’s Book Publishing From Start To Finish” at the 2019 Dahlonega Literary Festival.

Print Version: Children’s Book Industry Standards (PDF), Children’s Book Sources (PDF), Powerpoint Presentation (Google Slides)

General Info

  • Children’s is a genre that relies on gatekeepers, even for young adult books. Teachers, parents, librarians determine what children read.
  • The Golden Rule: Children want to read stories about other children who are a little bit older than themselves. (Jenny Bowman, children’s book editor, creative writer, and specialist in Children’s Literature)
  • Children’s books are exploratory in nature

Board Books

Age: prereaders
Word Count: 300 words or fewer, may only have 10-20 words max
Page Length: 10 pages or less

  • Designed to be read by an adult to a child
  • Covers early learning concepts such as colors, counting, letters, etc.
  • Light on text, heavy on illustration
  • Made from thick cardstock or cardboard

Example: First 100 Words

Picture Books

Age: 2-7
Word Count: 500 words or fewer, max of 900
Page Length: 32 pages standard, but can be 40, 48, or 56 (at max)

  • Designed to be read by an adult to a child
  • Short on text; rely equally on illustration
  • Introduces universal theme that are approachable
  • Features one main character, one plot or idea, and one storyline
  • Should offer a (simple) question and provide the answer at the end

Example: A Bad Case of Stripes, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Easy Readers/Beginning Readers

Age: 5-8
Word Count: 750 – 1,500 words
Page Length: 32 – 64 pages, depending on the reading level

  • Written for children learning to read on their own
  • Introduction of chapters
  • Short sentences with limited vocabulary
  • Simple, repetitive text with simple sentence structure
  • Slightly more text than in an average picture book
  • 2-5 sentences per page
    Every page or every other page has an illustration
  • Topics and themes are lighthearted and usually explore one idea, subject, or theme

Example: Elephant and Piggie, Henry and Mudge

Chapter Books

Age: 7-10
Word Count: 4,000 – 12,000 words
Page Length: not typically longer than 100 pages

  • The first “real” book for children
  • Written for children becoming fluent readers
  • Protagonist is around 8 or 9 (the upper age range of the readers)
  • Contains a plot with setbacks
  • Start to see subplots and more complex story lines
  • Few to no illustrations
  • More complex sentences and plot development
  • Paragraphs are still short, about 2-4 sentences each

Examples: Magic Tree House, Charlotte’s Web

Middle Grade (MG)

Age: 8-12
Word Count: 20,000 – 40,000 words, depending on publisher
Page Length: over 100 pages

  • Longer chapters than found in chapter books
  • Often no illustrations
  • Content categories similar to adult fiction
    • mystery, adventure, humor, historical, fantasy, etc.
  • Series are popular
  • Plot lines directed to 10-12 year olds because kids read above their age
  • Intense subjects may bump the book into an older age category

US bookstores don’t differentiate between levels; must choose between MG and YA or YA and Adult. UK bookstores do differentiate and have a “between” category.

Example: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Holes

Lower Middle Grade

Age: 7-10
Word Count: 20,000 – 35,000

  • Themes will be complex but approachable: no kissing, no gory violence, subtle politics, if any at all
  • Have a subplot or two
  • Uses elements like humor, fantasy, or magic realism, or explores factual, science-based ideas and historical events
Upper Middle Grade

Age: 10-13
Word Count: 45,000 – 55,000

  • Themes are more complex and mature, explored in an age-appropriate way from the protagonist’s point of view
  • Still not as detailed or ‘angsty’ as young adult
  • Sometimes referred to as “tween” especially if the themes explicitly explore pre-tween issues

Young Adult (YA)

Age: 12 to adult
Word Count: 40,000 – 75,000 words
Page Length: varies

  • Content categories similar to and read like adult fiction
    • mystery, adventure, humor, historical, fantasy, etc.
  • Explore issues and topics that teens can relate to
  • Heavy with “Firsts”
    • First kiss, starting high school, entering the adult world, etc.
  • Characters must be 13+ for Barnes & Noble to shelf it under Young Adult and not kids
  • Includes more adult content (such as sexuality, mental illness, politics, etc.)
  • How explicit/what the message is depends on the publisher. Some publishers seek these topics out, others avoid them.
  • Emerging category of New Adult that targets readers between 18-30

Examples: The Book Thief, The Hate U Give, The Fault in Our Stars, Ready Player One


Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine, ISBN: 978-0-06-236717-4

Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide From Story Creation to Publication by Ann Whitford Paul, ISBN: 978-1-58-297556-6

Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market 2019 by Writer’s Digest, ISBN: 978-1-44-035440-3 (Updated yearly)

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Getting Started:


SCBWI is the only professional organization specifically for individuals who write and illustrate for children and young adults. Our mission is to support the creation and availability of quality children’s books in every region of the world.

We give established writers and illustrators the tools and resources to manage their careers, as well as educate those just starting out. SCBWI is also proud to serve as a consolidated voice for our members within the publishing industry.

Membership in SCBWI is open to anyone with an active interest in children’s literature, from picture books to young adult novels. We welcome aspiring and published writers and illustrators, as well as librarians, educators, artists, students, dramatists, musicians, filmmakers, translators, and others. A passion for children’s literature is our number one criterion.


Advice for Young Writers and Illustrators from Children’s Book Creators

Debbie Ridpath Ohi is the author and illustrator of Where Are My Books? and Sam & Eva (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers). Her illustrations also appear in books by Michael Ian Black, Judy Blume, Rob Sanders, Lauren McLaughlin, Aaron Reynolds and Colby Sharp. For more info about Debbie and upcoming projects, see You can find Debbie on Twitter at @inkyelbows and on Instagram at @inkygirl.


Writing World

Rachelle Burk’s Resources for Children’s Writers

Children’s Book Insider (Monthly Magazine)

Ellen Jackson, author of over 60 children’s books

Summer Edward, Children’s Literature and Publishing Consultant

“Hello Springtime” Writing Contest

“Nothing is so beautiful as spring…”

—Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring”

It’s finally springtime in Georgia, and we want to celebrate. Think you can write a winning story about spring? Then enter the “Hello Springtime” Writing Contest from the University of North Georgia Press.

The rules are simple:

  • Story must involve the theme of spring
  • Story must be 1,000 words or fewer

Email your short story to by 11:50 pm Sunday, March 31, 2019. Your story must be in a Microsoft Word document with the story title, author name, and total word count at the top of the document. All submission emails must be titled “Hello Springtime Story Contest.” If the email isn’t titled correctly, we won’t look at it. We’ll announce the winner early April.

The contest is open to anyone, but you must reside in the U.S. to be eligible to win the prize. We will contact the winner by email. The Press asks for permission to publish up to one paragraph of the winning stories to our blog. Authors retain full rights to their story. All entries are eligible for future resubmission when we put a call out for a literary anthology, with the winning entry given priority. By submitting your story, you agree to these terms and conditions.

Prize: The winner will receive one book of their choice published by the UNG Press.

We can’t wait to read your submissions. Best of luck!

Read the full terms and conditions below:

Continue reading “Hello Springtime” Writing Contest

“UNG The Gold I See” Launch Info + Book Signing

Congratulations to our two giveaway winners: Bailey Schuster and Jessie Atkinson!

Mark your calendars. UNG The Gold I See: The Legacy of UNG’s Dahlonega Campus releases in only one week! Are you excited? We sure are! That’s why we’re throwing a launch party.

Author Bonita Jacobs will be doing a short reading with a signing after. Come visit the Dahlonega Campus bookstore on Tuesday, November 27, from noon – 1 pm. Refreshments will be provided, and there will be a giveaway to win a free copy as well as a t-shirt. This event is open to students, faculty, staff, and the public. Books can be bought at the bookstore using cash, check, or card (American Express cannot be accepted).

Author book signing for "UNG The Gold I See" Dahlonega campus bookstore on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, from noon to 1 pm. Live reading followed by the book signing. There will be free refreshments and a giveaway. All proceeds go to UNG scholarships.

UNG The Gold I See: The Legacy of UNG’s Dahlonega Campus (978-1-940771-46-5) is an 8.5 x 11 hardback, priced at $29.99. It is printed in full color with illustrations on every page and is designed for Level 4 readers. In addition to the captivating story and images, children will delight in trying to find the hidden nighthawks on every page as they tour UNG’s Dahlonega campus with the Smith family. A history of UNG is included after the story so parents and grandparents can share more details and history. For an additional donation, you can customize your copy with a dedication page to create a treasure that will be remembered forever. UNG The Gold I See is the first in a series about the five UNG campuses: Dahlonega, Gainesville, Cumming, Oconee, and Blue Ridge. The book about Gainesville campus is already in development and will release in 2019.

All proceeds from the book go towards funding scholarships at UNG. Leave your own legacy by helping students build their future.