IN PURSUIT OF A STORY, Kim O'Connell has stayed in a rustic, off-the-grid cabin on a remote island, made seed balls out of dredged harbor sentiment, helped reconstruct a 1940s house inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and hiked across some of the most stunning and important national parks and historic sites.
Her writing appears in numerous national and regional publications on topics ranging from American history to landscape architecture to conservation and sustainability to parenting. She has served as an artist in residence at both Shenandoah National Park and Acadia National Park, where she researched astronomy tourism and the ways parks are regenerative for plants, animals, and people.
Kim's essays about selective mutism, a lesser-known social anxiety disorder, have appeared in The Washington Post, Huffington Post Personal, Babble, Yahoo! News, and PsychologyToday.com, among other publications. She also teaches in the Johns Hopkins University Masters in Science Writing program, where she has facilitated workshops, taught courses in environmental and scientific literature, and co-led a writing residency in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Kim is now working on a book about Vietnamese immigration, which is partly a history and partly a memoir of her quest to relate to her own Vietnamese heritage.
In her spare time, Kim loves to read (recent favorites include The Vanishing Half and Bad Blood), go to concerts (recent pre-pandemic concerts were the Head and The Heart and the Lumineers), and fire-pit with friends, but her favorite moments usually happen out on a mountain trail or at the beach with her husband and two kids. She lives in a historic neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, where she is proud to have memorized her library card number.
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