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San Diego Book Awards

Discussing The San Diego Writing Community

Brian Wang and Julia Situ won in the new category of Kids Write on Saturday J...

Credit: San Diego Book Awards

Above: Brian Wang and Julia Situ won in the new category of Kids Write on Saturday June 16.


Laurel Corona, author of Finding Emilie and winner of this year's Geisel Award

Laurie Richards, secretary/treasurer San Diego Book Awards and teaches creative writing for the Osher Institute at Cal State U San Marcos


The San Diego Book Awards were given out on June 9 and Laurel Corona took three awards including the Geisel Award for best in show.

Laurel Corona's historical fiction "Finding Emilie" took home the Geisel Award (named in honor of Dr. Seuss' Theodore Geisel). Her book looks to Emilie du Breteuil, who at 28 began an affair with philosopher Voltaire. There they amassed a large library and set up labs to conduct experiments in gravity, fire, and optics. Affectionately known as "Emilie Newton" by her friends, she wrote many scientific papers, and her translation of Newton's Principia from Latin to French is still the standard today.

Corona's book was inspired by the PBS program NOVA says Corona on her website: "I watched the segment about Emilie du Châtelet in 'Einstein’s Big Idea,' a NOVA program based on David Bodanis’ book 'E=MC2.' Who was this fabulous woman, I wondered, who lived, worked, and thought just as she wished, while navigating the rigid but crumbling world of pre-Revolutionary France? Could she really be as amazing as she seemed?"

The book focuses on Emilie's daughter as the main character, and the daughter's search for information about her mother leads up to Emilie's fascinating life.

Laurie Richards is the secretary/treasurer of the all volunteer organization the San Diego Book Awards. She says the group added new categories this year, Kids Write, to encourage young people to write. The organization is also starting to do workshops for writers.

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