Press Releases

October 7, 2004

Encouraging the Educators of Tomorrow’s Best-selling Authors
Southampton College’s Education Department Sponsors First Annual Fall Writer’s Conference

Amanda Olsen (

Southampton, NY – From picture books to spelling to visionary teaching techniques, writing will be on the minds of the East End’s finest educators October 23. That’s because Southampton College’s Education Division, along with the East End Writing Project and the U.S. Department of Education, are joining forces with area schools to host the first annual Fall Writer’s Conference. 

Two keynote speakers will anchor the program, each bringing their own perspectives on how to engage students in the world of writing.

Celebrated author and educator Sharon Draper is the winner of a host of awards, including the 1997 National Teacher of the Year Award, the Ohio Governor's Educational Leadership Award, and the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award.  She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement and was named Ohio Pioneer in Education for 2003. She has worked with teachers, students, schools and educational organizations all over the United States, as well as in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Among the total of twelve accolades her trilogy about the students of Hazelwood High School has garnered are two American Library Association/Coretta Scott King Awards.

Internationally renowned author and speaker Barry Lane is author of “The Tortoise and the Hare Continued” and “51 Wacky We-search Reports”. Lane has taught writing at the University of New Hampshire and Castleton College and founded a literacy program in Vermont prisons. In 1996 he traveled with the Amy Biehl Foundation to South Africa where he helped conduct the first in-service workshops for Capetown teachers. His off-beat, energetic lectures incorporate songs and anecdotes, inspiring teachers and giving them practical ideas they can use immediately.

Held on the campus grounds, the all-day event promises insights and enthusiasm from intensive workshops and dynamic seminars that apply to multiple grade levels.  Some of the classes offered include “Weaving a Story: Studying Picture Books to Inspire Your Student’s Writing Craft” and “Picturing a Rainbow: Using Picture Books to Teach Diversity”.