Peace Corps Writers
January 2002

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RPCV writers win major children’s book awards

THE LAND BY MILDRED D. TAYLOR (Ethiopia 1965–67) was awarded the 2002 Coretta Scott King Award on January 21, 2002 at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting. This award for The LandAfrican-American authors, commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and honors his widow, Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination in continuing the work for peace and world brotherhood.
     The Land chronicles the triumphs and struggles of Paul-Edward Logan, son of a white owner and an enslaved African-Indian women. Set in Mississippi during the 1800s, the book introduces readers to the grandfather of Cassie Logan, the hero of Taylor’s 1976 Newbery Award winner, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
     Millie, as she was known as a PCV, started to write while a Volunteer. She taught English and history in the town of Yirgalem in southern Ethiopia. It was in Ethiopia, she has written, where she observed black pride and independence, and this reminded her of stories her father had told her — which she has turned into award winning fiction. Millie has received critical acclaim for her original interpretation of the black experience. In 1997, Millie was the recipient of the ALAN Award which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature. It is presented by The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, a special interest group of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Caldecott honoree
The 2002 Caldecott Awards, which honor the illustrators of the most distinguished American picture books of the year, were also announced at the American Library Association meeting. The
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins illustrated by Brian Selznick, and written by Barbara Kerley (Nepal 1981–83), was named a 2002 Honor Book. Published by Scholastic Press, the book is tells the true story of a Victorian sculptor who built the world’s first life-size dinosaur models.
     In April 2002, Barbara’s third children’s book, A Cool Drink of Water, will be published by National Geographic Children’s Books. It is a simple, lyrical text about drinking water around the world. It will be illustrated with National Geographic’s photographs.

40 + One
By now you should have received word that the National Peace Corps Association has rescheduled the 40th Anniversary conference. Now dubbed the “40+1”, the conference will be held at a Washington, D.C. hotel and all the workshops, bookstore, etc. will take place within that hotel. The dates for the Conference are June 20–23.

Writers’ workshops at Conference
Peace Corps Writers will reschedule the same series of workshops we had previously planned. We are starting over with assignments for writers to panels. If you will be registering for the conference and would like to be on a panel, please email me at: jpcoyne@cnr.edu and tell me what panel you would like to be on. We will try to honor all requests, if possible. The workshops have been tentatively set for Friday, June 21st 1–5 pm and Saturday, June 22nd 9–3 pm. The panels are:

    The Peace Corps Novel as Literature
    Poetry from the Peace Corps Experience
    Publishing Translations
    Travel Now, Write Later
    Write! Edit! Publish!
    Writing about the Environment
    Writing Children’s Books
    Writing On-Line
    Writing Your Peace Corps Story
    Working with Words
    How to Write A Novel in 100 Days or Less

The bookstore
When we have information on what bookstore will be selling books at the conference, we will let writers know so that they can arrange for signings.

Reading Out Loud
Joe Kovacs has kindly agreed to again handle the readings at the conference. If you wish to read from your writings about your Peace Corps experience, please let Joe know. Joe has a new email account with a title that’s very fitting for his role in the conference planning: joewriter@earthlink.net.

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