GREENSBURG, PA- Dr. Lee Tobin McClain, Director of the Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program at Seton Hill College, and Seton Hill College welcome Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor award winning author Christopher Paul Curtis on Tuesday, January 8, 2002. Curtis will give a presentation as part of the graduate program’s spring residency.

The lecture will be held on campus in Cecilian Hall from 7:00- 8:00 p.m. immediately followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Christopher Paul Curtis grew up in Flint, Michigan. Both of Curtis’ novels, Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, are set in Flint. Today Curtis is a full-time writer. He and his wife, Kay, have two children, Steven and Cydney. The Curtis family lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 was published in 1995 and won two of the most prestigious awards in children's literature — a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor in 1996. The work was also was listed among the New York Times Best 100 Books of 1996 (the only young adult novel on that list), named to all the “best” lists of children’s book-review journals, nominated for 27 state award reading lists, and was translated into 11 foreign languages. Whoopi Goldberg has bought the rights to turn The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 into a motion picture. Curtis won the Golden Kite Award given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and voted on by other authors as well. “To be recognized by your peers is the greatest feeling,” he said of the Award. “If I had known writing was going to be this much fun and this rewarding I would have started decades ago!”

Curtis's second novel, Bud, Not Buddy was published in 1999, and earned repeat awards from Newbery and Scott King. Like The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963, Bud, Not Buddy combines elements of the author's own family heritage with important threads in recent American history. "This heartfelt novel resonates with both zest and tenderness as it entertains questions about racism, belonging, love and hope. Bud's fast-paced first-person account moves with the rhythms of jazz and celebrates life, family, and a child's indomitable spirit" said Carolyn S. Brodie, Chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee.

The Writing Popular Fiction program is beginning its seventh residency program and will graduate its third group of students on January 9, 2002. There are approximately 60 students enrolled in the program. For more information about the event please contact Dr. Lee Tobin McClain at 724-830-1040. For more information on the Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program at Seton Hill College, contact the graduate studies office at 724-838-4283.