A Chat with Children’s Author Dan Gutman


Dan Gutman

Children’s Author

Join us for a chat with Dan Gutman, author of My Weird School series and The Genius Files. In total, he has written 165 books. Dan will share with us how he started on his author journey, tips he shares with kids about their own writing, and why being persistent is so important in writing.

Dan’s website www.dangutman.com
Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Dan-Gutman/60020139122?ref=ts

Dan was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey where he graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in psychology. After spending a few unhappy years in graduate school, he decided that psychology was not for him and what he really wanted to do was to be a writer.  This revelation led him to New York where he began writing humorous essays.  He also wrote magazine articles and a few screenplays.  

In 1982, Dan started a video games magazine called Video Games Player.  A few years later the magazine went out of business, and he decided to take a gamble and become a full-time freelance writer. At first he wrote about computers, but gradually started tackling other topics.   Eventually his writing appeared in Esquire, Newsweek, Science Digest, Writer’s Digest, USA Today, and the Village Voice.  He was gaining confidence as a writer, but still hadn’t found the type of writing he really wanted to do.

In 1987, Dan decided to try writing about sports. This led to an article in Discover magazine and then to his first adult baseball book (“It Ain’t Cheatin’ If You Don’t Get Caught”). It sold pretty well, and he wrote several more books for adults. None of them were big sellers, but it was a lot more fun than writing about computers.

In 1992, when his son was two years old, he decided to try writing for children.  Dan wrote a few non-fiction baseball books, then branched out to other sports.  In 1994, I decided to give fiction a try. He sold the first novel he wrote (“They Came From Centerfield”), and after fifteen years, Dan figured out what his career should be – writing fiction for kids. For the first time, he felt he was doing something he was good at, something that was fun, creatively rewarding, and appreciated by an audience.

“I want reading my books to feel effortless. I’m trying to write stories that are so captivating that kids will look up after an hour and feel like they’d been watching a movie in their head.” –Dan Gutman

This Zoom session is planned to last 1 hour.  You will be sent the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.

Employment Opportunity

Director Search: Bad Axe Area District Library

Job Description

The Library Director is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the library in accordance with Library policies and guidance from the Board of Trustees. The Director works cooperatively with the Board, serving as its advisor and actively participating in policy development, budget management, strategic planning and evaluation. The Director is responsible for the facilities, financial management and personnel of the Library. The Director provides a leadership role within the Library and the community. The position is at-will and directly accountable to the Board.

Job Qualifications

  • Ability to qualify for a Michigan Professional Librarian Certificate
  • A four-year degree in a relevant field (communication, English, history or education)
  • A master’s degree in Library Information Science is preferred
  • Prior management and supervisory experience
  • Ability to train, mentor, supervise and evaluate staff
  • Experience planning and implementing library programs for all ages and abilities
  • Strong working knowledge of computers and library technology and trends
  • Experience with budgeting and fiscal management and reporting
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely in oral and written form
  • Ability to exercise initiative and independent judgment
  • Management and leadership skills to establish and maintain effective working relationships with library, school, and community stakeholders
  • Ability to attend professional library training and events out of the area
  • Ability to maintain a thorough understanding of public library practices and principles

Job Duties

  • Prepares annual budgets for Board review and approval
  • Administers library financial activities within the Board-approved budget
  • Maintains financial information in QuickBooks and prepares monthly financial statements for Board review
  • Prepares agenda for and attends all Board meetings
  • Formulates and recommends policies to the Board
  • Implements library procedures and policies
  • Orients new trustees and serves as a resource for trustee activities
  • Develops procedures and training as necessary to implement library policies
  • Hires, evaluates, disciplines, and terminates staff
  • Prepares and distributes payroll with the assistance of outside bookkeepers
  • Prepares annual state aid report
  • Maintains the library collection, resources, and services in keeping with community needs
  • Develops programming for patrons of all ages and abilities
  • Directs maintenance of the library building and grounds and recommends future space needs
  • Monitors information technology services and contracts
  • Establishes and maintains a staff manual of library procedures
  • Analyzes data affecting the Library’s operation
  • Formulates long-term goals and a comprehensive vision for the library in collaboration with the library staff, Board of Trustees, and community members
  • Maintains involvement in the local community to promote library services and programs


$40,000-$50,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, and retirement plan.

Position Start Date

July 1, 2021 with training during the two weeks prior to start date.

Application Materials

Please submit a cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and three professional references to mherrington@badaxelibrary.org. The deadline for applications is Saturday, May 1, 2021

Virtual Author Series with Amy Haimerl

Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle:  A Memoir of Love, Life, and Home

My bread and butter is covering small business in the country’s greatest city for innovation, entrepreneurship, and community building. I come prepared with my own pair of Carhartt bibs, every grease stain earned in service to my father’s small excavating company.

I also know a fair amount about urban renewal and rural poverty.

I am currently an adjunct professor of journalism at Michigan State University, but I once bled blue as a Knight-Wallace Fellow, class of ’13, at the University of Michigan. I am an alum of Crain’s Detroit Business, CNNMoneyFortune Small BusinessWestword, and USAA, where I helped military families make smarter choices about their money. I also have a background in enterprise and investigative reporting.

Registration deadline: November 9, 2020

This Zoom session is planned to last 1 hour.

You will be sent the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.

Virtual Author Series with Rachel Gladstone

Rachel Gladstone, author of The Weekend Wedding Assistant, a romantic comedy about death and second chances. 

Rachel started her career as a bohemian backpacker who hiked across Europe and ended up singing backup for Arlo Guthrie and David Bromberg and eventually brought her musical and songwriting talents to Nashville.  Taking Music City to her heart, she wrote songs with leading artists such as Rosie Flores and landed her own acclaimed “All Booked Up” book review column for the international online magazine Dishmag.com.  Her previous writings have appeared in the Nashville Scene, Nashville Lifestyles magazine Ourselves, Foundations, and GX

Rachel will share with us the twists and turns in her life that culminated in her writing a novel.  She’ll discuss how the characters popped in her head and her writing and editing process.  She will also share a reading and we will have time for Q&A at the end. 

“Rachel Gladstone’s sad, funny, redemptive story will strike a chord with anyone who’s loved and lost and gotten back up on their feet again.  This is a blueprint-wise and knowing-for recovery and renewal.  Brava!”

~ Ken Burns, Filmmaker

“Rachel Gladstone’s The Weekend Wedding Assistant” is a fast-moving and highly entertaining story about death, love, passion, and the sorrows and hopes that living brings.  Wonderful, exuberant, real.  A great weekend read!  I am looking forward to a film adaptation!

 ~ Lucinda Williams, Grammy Award Winning Artist

Registration deadline: November 2, 2020

This Zoom session is planned to last 1 hour.

You will be sent the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.

The ABC’s of Q & A

Thinking Like a Journalist to Tell Your Community’s Story

Jeff Milo has been working in libraries since he was a teenager. His degree is in Journalism from the MSU School of Communication and Media, and for the last 16 years, he’s been a reporter-at-large for several publications including the Detroit Free Press, Paste Magazine, the Ann Arbor Current, the Detroit Metro Times, and on-air for WDET. Since 2010, he has been a Circulation Specialist for the Ferndale Area District Library, where his responsibilities have expanded into social media content production, program coordinating–including live music, and leading the library’s Art & Exhibition Committee. At the end of 2019, he started hosting and producing episodes for the library’s new podcast, “A Little Too Quiet”. 

Registration deadline: October 12, 2020

This Zoom sessions is planned to last 1 hour.

You will be sent the Zoom link in the registration confirmation.