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FSU Presents Summer Author Institute

Frostburg State University's Children's Literature Centre will sponsor the Summer Author Institute from July 9 to 13, which will feature children's authors Kathleen Karr, Jerdine Nolen and Jennifer Barrett O'Connell. The Summer Author Institute follows the tremendously successful Spring Festival of Children's Literature Conference at which librarians, educators, parents and students were treated to a weekend of hearing award-winning authors and illustrators speak about their craft.

In addition to the lectures at the institute for classroom teachers, each author will give a presentation of her works in Framptom Hall room 126 at 7 p.m. The evening presentations are free and open to the public. The dates are as follows: Kathleen Karr and Jennifer Barrett O'Connell will present on July 10, and Jerdine Nolen's presentation will be July 12.

Karr is an award-winning author of numerous chapter books. After working in the film industry, teaching high school and college, Karr began her fiction writing career on a dare from her husband. Next in line were her children, who asked her to write a book for them, which became "It Ain't Always Easy." She has been quoted as saying "I find it pleasurable to be able to invent my own worlds. To watch a character come alive - become real flesh and blood and take the reins of a story in hand - is an exhilarating experience." Each of Karr's books focus on a different historical time period in which she brilliantly blends fictional characters with facts and information of that particular time period. For example, "Playing with Fire," "The Boxer," "The Lighthouse Mermaid" and "Skullduggery" have captured people's interest and taken them back in time. Karr has won numerous awards for her books, such as The Golden Kite Award, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and Best Fiction of 2001.

A Maryland author, wife, mother and educator, Nolen shares her love of books in the "Time with the Author Program." She also has a biweekly column in The Baltimore Sun called "Parents Corner," in which she provides imperative information to parents regarding ways to involve their children in writing and reading. A heart-warming individual, Nolen loves everything about writing - right down to the sound her pencil makes as it travels across the page. Children find it quite interesting to know that she even loves having her stories edited. She views the editor as that special person who cares enough about her work to want to make it better. Stories such as "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm," "Big Jabe," "Raising Dragons" and "In My Momma's Kitchen" beautifully capture a child's imagination and enthrall them for hours. Children of numerous states have honored her by selecting "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" as their favorite book. Her writing has also acquired awards such as the Bulletin Blue Ribbon Best of 2000 award and the Maryland Black Eyed Susan Award.

O'Connell is the illustrator of such books as "A Garden of Whales," "Promise Not To Tell," "Imagine That! Exploring Make-Believe" and "I Know I'm Myself Because." With each new project she always learns something new. Before illustrating "A Garden of Whales," she had no idea that a sperm whale can hold its breath for up to one hour and dive down as far as a mile under water, or that 50 grown men could stand on a blue whale's tongue. Growing up in an artistic family, she was often read stories by her father and mother. She would lose herself in the pictures, pouring over every detail. After she graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art, she began her career as an illustrator. O'Connell finds it incredibly rewarding to create images for stories that could have a positive and lasting influence on the children who read them; books that might encourage them to think, feel, and cause them delight.

Spaces are still available for the rest of the Summer Author Institute. For information and registration, call (301) 687-4420 or e-mail

This event is sponsored in part by FSU Summer School Program and the Children's Literature Centre.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call (301) 687-4102, TDD (301) 687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589