St. Mary's Author Wins Prize

St. Mary's City author Wayne Karlin is the co-winner of the 1999 Paterson Fiction Award for his novel, "Prisoners." Karlin's book tied for first prize with "The Poisonwood Bible" by best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver.

The annual award is given for a novel or collection of short stories that, in the opinion of the judges, is the strongest work of fiction published in the prior year.

Set in Southern Maryland, "Prisoners" is the story of Kiet, a runaway teenage orphan from Vietnam who is seeking her African American father. Her story intersects with the lives of other characters from the area, and the novel dramatizes the impact of the war on these families.

Karlin, the author of four previous novels and co-editor of an anthology of post-Vietnam War fiction, teaches English at the Community College of St. Mary's.

Swimming for the River

Twelve swimmers are ready to challenge the Potomac on Saturday for an annual fund-raising swim across the river.

The Potomac River Swim for the Environment traverses the river's mouth from Hull Neck on the Virginia shore to Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's County. Participants start from Hull Neck and will begin arriving at Point Lookout between 11 a.m. and noon, organizers said.

Each swimmer raises at least $250 in pledges to benefit the Southern Maryland Sierra Club, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Point Lookout State Park, the Potomac River Association and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin. A kayak and a power boat accompany each swimmer on the crossing.

Chorale Serves Dinner, Jazz Concert

The second annual St. Mary's County Community Chorale dinner concert is scheduled June 11 at the Olde Breton Inn.

Pianist Richard Nash will play from 6:30 to 7 p.m. during a pre-concert reception featuring a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7:45 p.m.

The program, "An Evening of Vocal Jazz," will include popular songs and one number sung in Spanish. Dinner tickets are $25.

Tickets may be reserved by calling 301-475-8014.

Animal Shelter Receives $5,000 Grant

The Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the William Snyder Foundation for Animals in Baltimore, Charles County commissioners announced last week.

The grant, awarded through a competitive application process, will be used to purchase materials for a barn to house impounded livestock. The barn is scheduled to be in use by August, officials said.

The animal shelter, operated by Charles County government, serves Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's counties.

Harp Seminars for Youths, Adults

Two weekend harp seminars are scheduled this summer for youths and adults.

The seminars, now in their fourth year, were created by Marianna Nystrom and Kris Snyder. Nystrom, of St. Mary's County, has been a music instructor for more than 20 years and performs extensively throughout the local area. Snyder, Nystrom's daughter, is a harp teacher and also performs.

The first seminar, "Harp Fun '99," is for youths 12 through 17 and is scheduled Aug. 20 to 22. The second, "In the Middle '99," is for ages 18 and older and is scheduled Aug. 27 to 29.

Daily sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both seminars are open to all skill levels, and harps are available for novices. There is a $125 registration fee.

For more information about the program or to request an interview, call Nystrom at 301-884-2187.