Free Webinar this Friday: Accessibility and Libraries

I’m so honored to be participating in this webinar from the American Library Association this coming Friday, talking about a topic that is close to my heart: making libraries accessible for everyone.  I hope you can join us!

Free Webinar: Accessibility and Libraries

Friday, September 29, 2017
1 p.m. Eastern | 12 p.m. Central
11 a.m. Mountain | 10 a.m. Pacific

Register now

Technology highly influences accessibility—many patrons use assistive technology, such as screen readers, literacy software, and speech input, to access and use library materials and e-resources. This free episode of AL Live explores the rapid growth and development of assistive technology and will help you stay informed and equipped with the best practices to assist your users and tips to ensure your materials are accessible to everyone.
Because planning considerations range from policies and organizational culture to facilities, technologies, and beyond, librarians need to address these issues in a way that is both stable and flexible.

Join us Friday, September 29 at 1 p.m. Eastern as our expert panel discusses the current state of accessibility, the issues many libraries face today, and what we may see in the near future.

Featured panelists for this webinar are: 

  • Jennifer Moore, associate professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Texas Woman’s University
  • Clayton Copeland, faculty and director, Laboratory for Leadership in Equity & Diversity (LLEAD), School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina
  • Kathy MacMillan, writer, American Sign Language interpreter, consultant, librarian, and signing storyteller

Don’t miss out! Register today.

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Festival Weekend!

I’ve got a bunch of exciting events coming up this weekend, alongside some of my favorite authors!  Hope you can join us!


Friday, September 22, 3 PM-7 PM: Signing at the Baltimore Book Festival, SCBWI Booth (P88)

Come learn how to write in the language of the gods and purchase a signed copy of Sword and Verse! See the full schedule of authors signing at the SCBWI Booth below! Find out more about the Baltimore Book Festival here.



Sunday, September 24, 12 Noon: Whose Book is it, Anyway? at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage, Baltimore Book Festival

I’ll be playing moderator as audience members face off against five wily YA authors to win a signed book!  Can you spot which book excerpts are real and which are clever fakes? Don’t miss this lineup: Isabel Bandeira, Dramatically Ever After, Meg Eden, Post-High School Reality Quest, L.V. Pires, Extension, Michelle Ray, Much Ado About Something, Sharon Huss Roat, How to Disappear. Moderator: Kathy MacMillan, Sword and Verse.  This program is co-sponsored by the MD/DE/WV region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Find out more about the Baltimore Book Festival here.

Sunday, September 24, 3 PM: YA/Adult Genre Crossover Panel at the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage, Baltimore Book Festival

Want to know about the writing process and writing for different audiences? Join us for a group of Maryland authors in conversation about their books and experiences writing for young adults and adults. Featuring: Meg Eden, Post-High School Reality Quest, Tracy Gold, Hollow Tree, Kathy MacMillan, Sword and Verse, CP Patrick, The Truth About Awiti, Nikki Richard, Pretty Things and Laura Shovan, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Find out more about the Baltimore Book Festival here.


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You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Read Banned Books!

I’m so honored to be appearing on the following panel, sponsored by Maryland Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Advisory Panel and Teen Interest Group.

You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Read Banned Books: A Panel Discussion

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 2:00p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Carroll County Public Library Headquarters
MLA Members: $25 Nonmembers: $38 Students: $20

During this program, a panel of experts will discuss the joys and challenges of supporting teen’s right to read freely. Learn what the American Library Association states about the rights of teens using the library, key terms in discussing banned books, sample verbiage to use when discussing challenged material, reasons some materials are currently being challenged, and why all materials have the potential to add value to a library’s collection. The panel will include Erin Gambrill, Children’s Services Supervisor at the Finksburg Branch of Carroll County Public Library, YA author Kathy MacMillan, Gail Faust, media specialist at Winters Mills High School, Janene Overby, parent, and a teen panelist. Program check in begins at 1:30 p.m. The program will begin at 2:00 p.m.

This program has been approved for 1.5 contact hours of continuing education.
Register here.
Registration deadline: September 18th
Refunds cannot be issued after September 14th

Posted in On Reading, On Writing, Sword and Verse, Upcoming events | Leave a comment

Read This!: WHAT GOES UP by Katie Kennedy

What Goes UpWhat Goes Up by Katie Kennedy

Summary: Rosa and Eddie are among hundreds of teens applying to NASA’s mysterious Interstellar Agency. After rounds of crazy-competitive testing they are appointed to Team 3, along with an alternate, just in case Eddie screws up (as everyone expects he will). What they don’t expect is that aliens will arrive from another dimension, and look just like us. And no one could even imagine that Team 3 would be the only hope of saving our world from their Earth-destroying plans. The teens steal the spacecraft (it would be great if they knew how to fly it) and head to Earth2, where the aliens’ world and people are just like ours. With a few notable exceptions. There, the teens will find more than their alternate selves: they’ll face existential questions and high-stakes adventure, with comedy that’s out of this world.

Another earth out there somewhere, with someone just like you, only a little different – that’s the intriguing premise behind this twisty and fun sci-fi romp. The story opens with a series of tests, both obvious and hidden, as high school students Rosa and Eddie, each haunted in different ways by a parent’s legacy, compete to become the newest specialists to train with the Interstellar Agency, in charge of contact with other dimensions. As she did in Learning to Swear in America, Kennedy blends a fine ear for dialogue with complex characters, a crackling adventure of a plot, and just the right amount of pathos so that the hilarious one-liners and the scientific thrills never overshadow the complexities of human relationships.

WHAT GOES UP is out now.

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Entre para ganar una copia firmada de la primera edición de Tinta y Fuego!

Entre para ganar una copia firmada de la primera edición de Tinta y Fuego escrito por Kathy MacMillan.

Tinta y fuego (Tinta y fuego, #1) by Kathy MacMillan 


Release date: Sep 07, 2017

Una novela juvenil imprescindible para los amantes del género fantástico.

En un mundo oprimido no puedes permitirte pensar.
Ni cuestionarte nada.
Ni desear.

Lo que más anhela Raisa es aprender a leer.
Pero, para una esclava, esta aspiración parece casi inalcanzable.

¿Y si poder leer fuese la clave para salvar a su pueblo?

En el reino de Qilara, la escritura es un don reservado a los nobles y prohibido para todos los demás, especialmente para los esclavos. Únicamente a la tutora del príncipe y su aprendiza les está permitido aprender la lengua de los dioses, para luego enseñarla al futuro rey.

Tras ser seleccionada como aprendiza, Raisa deberá ir con más cuidado y estar más vigilante que nunca: sigue siendo una esclava y cualquier sombra de traición podría suponerle la muerte.

Enamorarse del príncipe no le facilitará las cosas. Al contrario. Todo termina de complicarse cuando la Resistencia se pone en contacto con ella. Raisa deberá escoger entonces si traiciona a su pueblo o a su corazón.

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Watching the Sun Disappear

I just got back from my favorite August event – an epic two-week camping trip that my son and I take every year.  This year we started at the absolutely mystical Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia:

The view from our camp site. These are definitely fairy woods.



Then we headed down to Greenville, South Carolina, where we got to view the eclipse at 100% totality.  Totally indescribable and totally worth the trip!  (Even the part where I left our eclipse glasses at home and had to have a friend mail them to our camp site – thanks, Janet!)

Leave it to a couple of introverts to find an uncrowded place to view the eclipse!


Got my eclipse-appropriate reading!


Our last stop was Knoxville, Tennessee, where we indulged my son’s animal-loving instincts at Zoo Knoxville and the Gentle Barn, a truly transformative animal rescue.  And of course he managed to make a friend at the campground:


Now I am back and getting ready to dive into line edits for the sequel to Sword and Verse (I SWEAR I will be able to share the title soon!).  And today I got a sneak peek at the cover.  It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to share it with you all!


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Post-High School Reality QuestPost-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden

Summary: Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win. After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help. While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

What a unique, wild ride of a book! Buffy’s story of trying to find her way after graduation lends itself perfectly to the format of a text adventure game. Buffy must navigate a barrage of choices about who she is and who she wants be, examine and reexamine relationships with friends and family, and somehow keep remembering to save. The book is full of witty touches that will make geeky readers laugh out loud; my favorite is the fact that Buffy has nicknamed her backpack “inventory”, so whenever she puts an item “in her inventory”, that’s where it goes. Buffy’s quest is not without disappointment and heartbreak, and the reader will be rooting for her to fight her way through.


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