CSUN to Award San Fernando Valley Nonfiction Award Winners

California State University, Northridge’s Friends of the Oviatt Library will present identical twins Erin K. Schonauer and Jamie C. Schonauer with the San Fernando Valley Award for Nonfiction for their book, “Early Burbank,” which explores the city’s historic journey with the entertainment industry, media and aerospace.

Co-Authors of "Early Burbank," Erin and Jamie Schonauer. Photo Credit: CSUN Friends of the Oviatt Website.

Co-Authors of “Early Burbank,” Erin and Jamie Schonauer. Photo Credit: CSUN Friends of the Oviatt Website.

The twin sisters will be honored from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, at the Orange Grove Bistro on the southeast side of campus, located at 18111 Nordhoff St.

The sisters started their book with the intention of chronicling Burbank’s media roots, but were soon drawn to the city’s innovative nature and its creative and artistic environment and decided to expand their writing to cover the city’s full history. The pictorial history in “Early Burbank” spans almost 200 years of history — from the late 1800s to the 1970s — featuring the city’s aviation roots, early pioneers, media industries and Rose Parade floats.

“Historical research is an important way to open up the past to current and future generations,” said Delmar T. Oviatt Library Dean Mark Stover. “With their book, Erin and Jamie Schonauer have created a vivid journey into Burbank’s intriguing past through striking, unique photographs and graceful prose.”

With a motto of “two pens writing together as one,” the sisters said the special bond they share brings double the power and punch to their material, making the writing experience twice as fun.

“Writing and researching this book was a very fulfilling experience,” said Erin Schonauer. “We loved reaching out to the community, interviewing longtime residents and gathering historical photographs and stories. This book is special to us as we lived in Burbank for nearly 10 years, so having the opportunity to document part of Burbank’s rich history was a great honor for us. At the time, we were living in Burbank and really loved it there. We were compelled to explore the history of this vibrant and creative city.”

The twins are freelance writers for children’s magazines, and members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Children’s Writing Guild. Their media work with Radio Disney earned the Schonauer twins a Star Award from the Bay Area Society for Television, Advertising and Radio. Both sisters earned a master’s degree in radio and television from San Francisco State University. Their work has appeared in award-winning publications.

At the June 7 event, the sisters will present insights and excerpts from their work and sign copies of their book, which will be available for purchase during the event. The award reception is free and open to the public.

Reservations can be made online at the Friends of the Oviatt Library website, or by calling (818) 677-2638.

Complimentary parking is available in the G1 parking lot, located at the corner of Nordhoff Street and Zelzah Avenue. Persons with disabilities needing assistance and deaf and hard-of-hearing persons needing interpreters, please call (818) 677-2638 in advance for arrangements.

The Oviatt Library is known as the heart of the CSUN campus. A complete listing of library events can be found at the library events website.