NNDS and Midlandia Press' Scotto Named to Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 Under 40 List

Sep 08, 2011, 14:12 ET from National Network of Digital Schools

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Scotto, Creative Writing Coordinator for the National Network of Digital Schools and author of Midlandia Press' forthcoming novel, Latasha and the Little Red Tornado, has been named to  Pittsburgh Magazine's 13th annual 40 Under 40 list.

"It is a tremendous honor to be selected for this year's Pittsburgh 40 Under 40. It is both thrilling and inspiring to be included among so many difference makers," said Scotto.

According to the magazine's website, honorees were selected based on their passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and an overall impact on the Pittsburgh region.  Selected from a nomination pool of more than 160 candidates, this year's 40 honorees were chosen by an independent panel of judges, comprised of former winners, business professionals and civic leaders from the region.  

A longtime Pittsburgh resident, Scotto is an accomplished author and writer. A two-time recipient of the Schubert Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, he earned his M.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies there in 2005, and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing in 2007. He has written 22 children's picture books and four early reader chapter books for the Little Lincoln curriculum, and his adult fiction has been published in the journal Caketrain. In 2007, his Civil War screenplay, The Mortal Coil, won a $25,000 prize from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2004, a film he directed showed at the Three Rives Film Fest Festival.

His most recent book, Latasha and the Little Red Tornado, is set in Pittsburgh.  Scotto said when writing his debut novel he was inspired to by his hometown and found it to be the perfect setting for the young Latasha and her mischievous puppy. The book prominently features some of Scotto's favorite city spots including the Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library and Friendship Park.  

Latasha is a juvenile fiction novel that will be in bookstores beginning November 15, and is part of the new Lincoln Interactive third grade curriculum released for this school year.

Scotto's second novel, Postcards from Pismo, will be released by Midlandia Press in the spring of 2012.

Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 Under 40 list will be featured in the November 2011 issue. The magazine will hold its annual 40 Under 40 awards dinner and party November 4 at the Ballroom at Rivers Casino. Tickets for the event go on sale October 1 and can be purchased by visiting http://40under40pittsburgh.org.

About the National Network of Digital Schools and Lincoln Interactive: Founded in 2005, The National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit management foundation, dedicated to providing the highest quality EK-12 online curriculum and comprehensive management services to traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools, and cyber schools focused on expanding educational opportunities for students.  NNDS is the developer and exclusive provider of Lincoln Interactive, the nation's premier online curriculum, taught in 200+ schools in 16 states. Learn more online at www.nndsonline.org and www.lincolninteractive.org.

About Midlandia Press: Founded in 2011, Midlandia Press, an imprint of NNDS Corp., is a publishing company specializing in juvenile fiction. As a publisher, we are committed to bringing well-written, beautifully illustrated, educationally sound children's literature to the trade market. The press' first book, Latasha and the Little Red Tornado, written by Michael Scotto and illustrated by Evette Gabriel, is already garnering rave reviews on the children's fiction circuit. It will be available in bookstores on November, 15, 2011. Midlandia Press is online at www.midlandiapress.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/midlandiapress.

About Pittsburgh Magazine: Pittsburgh Magazine has celebrated the people, places and happenings in the Western Pennsylvania region for 40 years.  Built on a foundation of independent quality journalism, Pittsburgh Magazine has earned more journalism awards throughout its history than any other local magazine. The Pittsburgh Magazine brand is a trusted information partner for engaged residents and visitors.  This is the 13th year Pittsburgh Magazine has honored the region's young business professionals and community leaders with their 40 Under 40 list. Pittsburgh Magazine is  online at www.pittsburghmagazine.com

Contact: Toni Cicone Craig, Communications Specialist
724.544.3744, toni.cicone@nndsonline.org

SOURCE National Network of Digital Schools