Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sabbatical Proposal, Part II - A ‘trade’ book describing my seven year experience as Anderson Hall’s Faculty Resident

I moved into 101 Anderson Hall in January 2002. In October 2004, I created my blog, Dormgrandpop and posted my first entry. Since then, I have written 508 additional posts. I have not tracked the number of hits, but I know from periodically checking Google links, that it has achieved a fairly wide readership. It is the subject of a Wikipedia entry. It has been mentioned in several AU Annual Reports and was the lead story in one of them.

In Fall 2006, the Style Channel chose Anderson Hall as the site for the ‘reality’ makeover program, ‘My Celebrity Home.’ The makeover was the Anderson Hall first floor lounge, which was recreated to resemble “Dolce,” a Los Angeles restaurant catering to the rich and famous. In December 2006 the program ran more than seven times on the Style Chanel, including four showings in ‘prime time.’ The makeover was the cover story in the Fall 2006 number of American.

In Spring 2007, Associated Press writer, Brian Westley, who had learned of AU’s Faculty Resident program from watching the Style Channel, decided to write a feature story about the program. He spent three hours with students and me, watching final meal preparations, enjoying a dinner and helping with cleanup, while interviewing and photographing participants. The feature story he subsequently wrote, ‘In some Dorms, Not all Residents are Students,’ appeared in more than 200 newspapers and numerous on-line sites. For one day (a slow news day, presumably), it was the most widely read story on As the result of Westley’s story, AU’s Faculty Resident program was the subject of short features on at least two (possibly three) Washington DC television stations.

These experiences motivated me to consider writing a ‘trade’ book that would chronicle my experiences. I have some experience in trade publishing. The book that I created and edited for the US Association for the Club of Rome, Making it Happen: A Positive Guide to the Future (1983) sold nearly 10,000 copies and was nominated for a major prize (though it did not win). The co-edited book that was the product of a project I co-led for the Hunger Project, Ending Hunger: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (1985), sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Through a close friend and successful author of trade books, I made contact with a New York literary agent. The agent reacted positively and is looking forward to receiving a proposal. Preparing a proposal and, then, a draft manuscript will be a priority in the fall. Much of the material will come from my blog, which should speed the manuscript preparation process.

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Blogger Marina F. said...

I think it would be a very enriching read for other professors. Good luck!

3:49 AM  

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