Social Giving Campaign


Coming of Conscience: A character-defining personal decision or action where integrity trumps consequences.

The Issue

Willingly or not, we’ve all been faced with a Coming of Conscience moment that has helped define who we are or our stance on issues, large or small. In my new novel, The Fourteenth of September, that moment came for Judy Talton when she was forced to decide between a safe path based on the values and beliefs she was raised upon, or an uncertain, possibly dangerous path that better reflected her new point of view as a young college woman during the Vietnam War.

As during Vietnam, and even more so recently, our world has become severely polarized. Now more than ever we need a collective Coming of Conscience moment to decide the character of the country and ourselves. In that spirit, I am initiating a social giving campaign as part of the launch of The Fourteenth of September to encourage young people to engage in meaningful activism and bold personal responsibility as they continue their education.

The initial iteration of this program will fund a Coming of Conscience Scholarship for a student at Northern Illinois University, the real-life inspiration for the fictional university in The Fourteenth of September. The up-to $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who best demonstrates their understanding of what a Coming of Conscience means, and their plan for how they will use their degree to help change the world in whatever way their beliefs guide them.

The Campaign

During the period of September 18, 2018—December 31, 2018 I will donate up to $10,000 to fund the scholarship, and I challenge you, the reader, to help me reach that goal via one (or more) of the following ways:


Share a Post: I’ll be posting about the campaign via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For each share, retweet or like I'll donate $1.


Photo of Book Post: Post a picture of your copy of The Fourteenth of September on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #ComingofConscience. For each post, I'll donate $2.


Share a Coming of Conscience Moment: Create a :15 - :30 second video sharing a personal Coming of Conscience moment you’ve experienced, that you’d like to see, or why you're excited to read the book, using #ComingofConscience. For each post, I'll donate $5.


But Have I Experienced a Coming of Conscience?

Coming of Conscience moments can be earth-shaking, world-altering moments, or they can be occasions that simply define us; whether they impact the world or slightly alter the course of one person’s life, they are transcendent.

A Coming of Conscience can be big: It’s Rose McGowan having the courage to share her experiences to start the #MeToo movement; John McCain refusing to be released from his Vietnam prison ahead of other inmates; or the two attorneys general who resigned rather than follow the orders of Richard Nixon to fire the Watergate prosecutor.

A Coming of Conscience can be intimate and personal: It’s choosing to leave a job over unethical practices; putting a target on your own back by standing up for someone you see being bullied, or leaving a toxic relationship.

A Coming of Conscience can also be something you’d like to see, such as a politican risking re-election to do the right thing. Large or small, if it’s a decision where integrity trumps consequences, it’s a Coming of Conscience moment.


About the Scholarship Donation to Northern Illinois University

Inspired by Judy’s character in The Fourteenth of September – who is based on my own experiences while a student at Northern Illinois University – this scholarship seeks to encourage activism in students as they grow into their personal, social and political maturity.

For more information on the scholarship—including how to apply—please contact the NIU Scholarship Office at (815) 753-1395, or visit


Donation Disclaimer

Donation campaign will run from 12:00am ET September 18, 2018 through 11:59pm ET December 31, 2018. Participation constitutes entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and Regulations. The administrator of this donation campaign is Rita Dragonette (the “Administrator”). The administrator’s role in the donation campaign is limited to providing the donation quantities below and has no responsibilities to provide additional donation funds via any unforeseen circumstances that fall outside of the Official Rules and Regulations.

1. Eligibility: This donation campaign is open only to natural persons, age 18 and older as of the date of entry, who are currently residing in the United States. Administrator is not eligible to participate in the donation campaign via engaging with owned social content promoting the donation campaign during the duration of said campaign.

2. Timing: Donation starts 12:00am ET September 18, 2018 and ends on 11:59pm ET December 31, 2018 (“Promotion Period”).

3. Ways to Participate: During the Promotion Period, participants may participate via regulated and outlined rules which allow Administrator to provide donations to The Coming of Conscience Scholarship without having to purchase anything.

To enter the donation campaign participants must perform one or more of the outlined actions in the below section:

A. Share a post: Participants across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can share, retweet and like (respectively) a specific post Administrator publishes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For each share, retweet or like Administrator donates $1 to the The Coming of Conscience Scholarship fund.

B. Photo of Book Post: Participants across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share a picture of The Fourteenth of September book and use the campaign hashtag #comingofconscience. For each unique post (no repeats) Administrator donates $2 to the The Coming of Conscience Scholarship fund.

C. Sharing a Coming of Conscience: Participants across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create a :15 - :30 second video with the hashtag #comingofconscience and share a coming of conscience moment they experienced or why they’re excited to read the book The Fourteenth of September. For each unique post (no repeats) Administrator donates $5 to the The Coming of Conscience Scholarship fund.

For a legitimate donation, which does not exceed $10,000 to take place from Administrator, participant must complete one of if not all actions listed above. All submissions from participants need to be entered between the hours of 12:00am and 11:59pm ET between September 18, 2018 and December 31, 2018 (the “Entry Period”) and cannot be duplicate entries. The submitted entry complies with the content restrictions set out in these Official Rules and Regulations.

All entries become Administrator’s property and will not be acknowledged or returned. This donation campaign is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook, Twitter nor Instagram. By providing information and social actions limited to the above “ways to participate” participants are providing information to the Administrator and not to Facebook, Twitter nor Instagram.

4. By participating, entrants agree that Administrator and Sponsor, its agents and representatives, are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: (i) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, or unintelligible entries; (ii) electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind; (iii) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions; (iv) any condition caused by events beyond the control of Administrator that may cause the Sweepstakes to be disrupted or corrupted; (v) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Sweepstakes. Administrator reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel donation campaign at any time if a computer virus, bug, or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the donation campaign.

5. By participating in the donation campaign, each participant agrees to release and hold Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Rita Dragonette and their respective shareholders, agents and representatives harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with or resulting from participation in the donation campaign, acceptance, possession, or use of any prize, including without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.