What’s new and NOW

Creative Ways to Help Students Manage Their Emotions-2Creative Ways to Help Students Manage Their Emotions

Watch the webinar attended by 3,000 educators, counselors, therapists and leaders from around the world. Presented by Rayne Lacko, Author and Arts Advocate; and Lesley Holmes, Community Outreach Advisor
Sponsored by Free Spirit Publishing

Watch the Recording

Integrating art and creative projects into your classroom curriculum is a great way to help students gain self-awareness of their emotions, discover safe ways to express difficult feelings, and make proactive choices toward setting and meeting goals. Art comes in many forms, and all persons are inherently creative. In this edWebinar, we’ll remove the roadblocks to establishing a flourishing creative environment in your classroom.

Using hands-on, personalized projects with tools every student already has, you’ll discover how to direct students to independently shift from a dark, challenging emotion to a light, empowering emotion. You’ll find a variety of creative approaches to self-expression that encourage students to find their talents, build stronger peer connections, and set and achieve personal goals.

During this edWebinar, attendees will:

  • Review what creativity is and what art looks like to students
  • Explore creative and art activities that acknowledge and honor all emotions
  • Discover the importance of implementing an arts-based peer group for students
  • Learn about tools that are accessible to classroom teachers to develop creative activities

This edWebinar will be of interest to educators of students in grades 6 through 12, school and district leaders, librarians, counselors and coaches, and curriculum directors. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.


Nonfiction. Self-guided journal for teens. Arts-based, social-emotional.

I love how it can really teach students how to express their feelings.” —Stephanie Filio, M.Ed

DREAM UP NOW (Free Spirit, 2020) is the teen journal for creative self-discovery. Dream Up Now offers practical instruction and ample space for self-reflection and creative play, giving teens the space to explore their emotions through creativity. Together with children’s therapy adviser Lesley Holmes, we’ve partnered with 18 recognized community leaders to inspire our readers to express their emotions through creative writing, art, movement, music, and poetry. The Dream Up Now team includes former NFL running back Andre Hardy; actor and dancer Tanesha “Ksyn” Cason (who has worked with Beyoncé and performs on Lip Sync Battle); and renowned drummer Rich Redmond (author of the book FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids). Dream Up Now offers practical instruction and ample space for self-reflection and creative play.


How do YOU feel, right now? Follow the arrows to find ideas for where to start in your Dream Up Now journal.

Fiction. YA, coming of age.

A sweet, twangy tale about a boy finding his future on the way to his past.” —Kirkus Reviews


A Song For The Road (SparkPress, 2019)“Creativity, Victory, Heart, Discipline—four words that mean so much to the main character and a common thread that the author weaves throughout. The author leads the reader on a quirky journey as Carter loses his home in a devastating tornado. Carter takes to the road, with nothing but a guitar that once belonged to his long absent father as well as a desire to find out why his father left and where he himself fits in the world. Along the way, we discover a ragtag band of supporting characters who lend notes of the melody to Carter’s life. This is an entertaining tale about love and family and how it looks a little different for everyone.” —The Eric Hoffer Book Awards

Order now A Song For The Road

Online training to lead arts-based SEL workshops. Asynchronous.

Six Easy Steps to Leading the Transformational Workshop Teens Want to Attend is a highly organized, proven, budget-friendly approach. Six Steps will help you determine your ideal participants and establish your own arts-based, social-emotional workshop faster, rather than figuring out what to do, what to include, or how to present. By establishing small peer group workshops utilizing the emotions-centered creative activities featured in the acclaimed Dream Up Now™ journal. you will:

—Change your teen community’s mindset for the better.

—Drive consistency in social-emotional programming.

—Lead with ease.

Quickly establish a successful program that meets the needs of a wide spectrum of young people. Enroll now

YouTube Channel


The Dream Up Now YouTube channel is for teens, adults, parents, teachers, counselors, therapists, and anyone interested in rising up to become their best self.

Our growing catalogue of informative videos cover self-care, how to get certified as an arts-based, social emotional instructor, managing difficult emotions, helping young people deal with anxiety, managing emotions related to school, and more.

Our YouTube channel is a great place to:

—Stay up to date with new online workshops for teens and adults

—Watch webinars for educators

—Be first to find out about events

—How-to’s for living your very best life.


Monthly online creative writing workshop for teens in grades 6-12.

Join Rayne Lacko and Gem Seddon on Zoom!
This seminal program originated at the Bainbridge Island branch several years ago, and now makes the transition to the virtual format! It’s FREE and there’s no registration required.

This supportive, informal group is the place for teen writers! Share your current work-in-progress, learn about writing opportunities, and pick up pointers for Nanowrimo. Short story writers, poets, novelists, screenwriters, graphic novelists, songwriters, sketchers and doodlers are welcome! A safe, inclusive space for all persons.

Join our Community Zoom room on the second Monday of every month, September through May. Get started here: https://krl.zoom.us/j/98234959009

Dial in toll-free 888 788 0099. You will prompted to enter the meeting ID 958 6852 4653 followed by #.

Online pop-up workshop for teens ages 12-18 dealing with loss or grief. Synchronous.

We’ll create art pieces including writing, drawing, and build our own Quantum Memoir with the help of artist and Dream Up Now contributor MaLee Muse. Teen participants will receive thought-provoking prompts to determine the 7 areas they’d like to change, improve, or resolve. By the end of our three hours together, each participant will create his/her/their own plan for moving into feelings of peace and acceptance.

GAP (Grief, Acceptance & Peace) is a virtual pop-up workshop happening Sunday, April 11, from 11am – 2pm. GAP helps teens ages 12-18 learn fresh and artistic ways to take control of their feelings — and find out how to use art to transform their darkness into light.

For teens in need, the team at Dream Up Now is pleased to grant a 100% scholarship.
(Email or DM me to receive the scholarship enrollment code.)

Literary fiction. Magic realism.

“A grittier version of Once, set in LA.” -William F. Aicher, A Confession

Shelby Rey can hear you like a song. With one touch, she’s in tune with your every hope, every secret. When a celebrity psychiatrist takes an interest in her case, Shelby comes face-to-face with Zac Wyatt, the lead singer of the world-famous rock band, Grounder. For Zac, success isn’t enough though. He wants a shot at his first solo album, fame above and beyond Grounder. But the genius behind every one of Grounder’s hits is Stanford Lysandre, their heroin-addicted, self-taught lead guitarist. Zac is so jealous he could kill him. Order now

What’s Next?

DREAM UP NOW: Resolving the Past To Create Your Very Best Now will be an arts-based, social-emotional workbook to help adults aged 60 years and older resolve difficult emotions such as loneliness and regret, poor self-esteem, physical pain, decreased memory retention, and heartbreak from strained or broken relationships. Every dark emotion is transformed to its opposite, light emotion. Older readers yearning for a richer, more meaningful life will discover how important creative expression is for mental health and quality of life. Similar to the guided journal the authors created for teens dealing with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, Dream Up Now: Resolving the Past To Create Your Very Best Now can be used independently or in conjunction with customizable programs and workshops held in community centers, libraries, senior centers, hospitals, and older adult communities.