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Recently, the University in the High School Creative Writing class, taught by Dr. Hushmendy, was joined virtually by published author Dr. Barbara Vokatis. The UHS class is preparing to write an original story of their own for their upcoming children’s picture book unit, a fan favorite amongst many of Dr. Hushmendy’s former students.  

Dr. Vokatis is currently a professor at SUNY Oneonta, but her real passion is her therapy dog, Carmel. Inspired by her desire to help people and her passion, she thought a book would be the perfect place to start. She has currently published two books about her experiences with Caramel and is working on her third. She spoke with the English class about the process behind publishing a book. 

She was able to walk the students through the entire process of publishing, from finding an editor, to working with an illustrator and even how to publish your book through Amazon. She also discussed building relationships in the field of publishing and the use of social media to advertise her books and spread awareness about therapy dogs. The students had the opportunity to ask Dr. Vokatis questions about the process and, of course, got to meet Carmel. 

Although the students are writing these books for class, teacher Dr. Hushmendy said, “This kind of exposure to writers and publishers of children’s books, hopefully, will inspire some of my students to pursue their dream of publishing their own stories.”

We can't wait to see what these students create!