IN PURSUIT OF A STORY, Kim O'Connell has drunk Civil War-style coffee brewed over an open flame, made seed balls out of dredged harbor sentiment, helped reconstruct a 1940s house inside MoMA in New York, and hiked across some of the nation's most significant landscapes and sites, from national parks to Civil War battlefields.
Her writing appears in numerous national and regional publications on topics ranging from American history to modern architecture to conservation and sustainability to parenting. In 2015, she was the first writer to serve as the artist in residence at Shenandoah National Park, and in 2018 she was an artist in residence at Acadia National Park, researching astronomy tourism and the ways parks are regenerative for plants, animals, and people.
Kim has also written 15 nonfiction reference books for young people on science and history topics, with some titles earning recognition from the Children's Book Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her 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. As part of her duties, she recently co-led a writing residency for science writers in 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. Kim has published short fiction and poetry as well.
In her spare time, Kim loves to read (recent favorites include The Dirty Life and The Best We Could Do), go to concerts (anything from the Bacon Brothers to the Foo Fighters), and hang out with friends, but her favorite thing is being 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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