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Fantastic Friday: When Heather Comes to Life

Battle of the Books This year, I was honored that Loudoun County Public Schools chose my novel The Scarred Letter as one of its ten Battle of the Books selections. Battle of the Books is a competition in which students at all high schools across the county compete by reading …

Forging Freedom: Dimensions

For today’s “Writer Wednesday” feature, I wanted to highlight an anthology I edited called Forging Freedom: Dimensions. Dimensions was published by Freedom Forge Press, a company dedicated to celebrating stories of freedom (of all types). When the company put out a call for submissions for its general fiction anthology, an …

The Danger of Being an Individual

…or “Why I Wrote The Scarred Letter” Background A high school English teacher, I taught The Scarlet Letter year after year. For some students (too few), it became a favorite book that they remembered even years after graduating. For others, Hawthorne’s sentence length, ornate language, and complicated concepts made the …

When the World Lives a Lie: Is Cheating in School the Status Quo?

When I was in school, I had a bizarre experience involving cheating. As a preface: most of my classes were useful, and most of my teachers were dedicated. However, in a class which I shall not name, I remember an answer sheet being passed around during a ten-question quiz. The …

Shenandoah Children’s Literature Conference: A Writer’s Perspective

During the last week in June, I attended the Shenandoah University Children’s Literature Conference. The conference invites award-winning and nationally- (and internationally-) recognized authors to present talks and roundtable discussions to attendees. In the afternoon, small group sessions are led by leaders working in education, and two graduate credit options …