June 22: Writers Reading Aloud With Fearless Voices

Prior to going on our summer break, Book Publisher Northwest invites all local writers to join us for a free Fearless Voices workshop with Jody Ericson-Dorow and Peach Pittenger.

“The workshop is an active and hands-on experience,” writes Ericson-Dorow. “We will teach exercises that focus on body, breath and voice, so that you are relaxed, confident and in control when you step in front of the crowd. This workshop is especially helpful to writers, who want their nuanced and genuine writer’s voice to shine through when they read aloud. This means that the workshop is about mental and physical preparation and not about how to dramatize or perform your work. We will devote some time to discussion: engaging your audience, effective interpretation, and shedding those nervous tics and mannerisms.”

Our presenters suggest wearing comfortable clothing (“we move around a bit, nothing strenuous,” noted Ericson-Dorow) and come prepared to have fun.

BPNW’s June 22 meeting starts at 6 pm in Room 223 at Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside N, Seattle. There will be time after the session for mixing with your fellow indie authors and publishers.

More About Fearless Voices

Fearless Voices’ mission is to teach people how to overcome fear of public speaking through exercises and techniques drawn from music, dance, theatre, and sports. Their workshops are tailored for people in business, technology, and the arts. They also work with non-profit organizations’ personal and professional development programs.

Peach Pittenger is a writer, teacher, director and actor. She holds a PhD in Theatre from Ohio State University, and has taught at the University of Washington and University of Georgia. She also has extensive business experience in marketing and communications in the financial services industry. Peach brings her versatile skills in theatre, teaching, and writing to her role as workshop director.

tender-cover-263x300With over 20 years in the corporate arena, Jody Ericson-Dorow’s specialty is creative development, including production, project management, marketing, fundraising, and publishing. She is the co-founder of a local custom publishing company with four releases, including John Howie’s Passion and Palate, Tamara Murphy’s cookbook TENDER, and a forthcoming children’s book.

Ericson-Dorow is on the Advisory Board of First Book Seattle, a national non-profit dedicated to providing access to books for children need. She is marketing director for Fearless Voices workshops.

April Meeting Unearths Resources for Publishing Success

Posy150headshotby Posy Gering

What resources do you need to overcome the barriers to publishing success? Perhaps, you might identify with one of these:

  • I hate asking people for things
  • I’m not being successful unless I’m being published by a NY publisher
  • I can’t publish because I don’t have reviews or blurbs
  • It seems like none of my pitches are landing … I’m frustrated
  • I write and write and write, but nothing is finished
  • I have piles of ideas about how to market my book, but I never get around to it

April’s meeting was a unique approach to our community – we focused the wisdom of our group to help one another and build community. What we did was talk about some of our current challenges, then, each person had an opportunity to get feedback on one of them. Here is some feedback from attendees about the exercise I offered:

“The Board of Advisers activity allowed me to receive valuable, constructive feedback as a writer in a warm environment with likeminded people,” reflected Dara Bramson. “The activity was especially useful because it encouraged both a dialogue with the writer and board, as well as an opportunity for all participants to listen, process, and express themselves.”

“This exercise went beyond the standard writer critique. It’s interesting to see how the group dynamic is used and how a simple thing, like having the person face away from the people giving advice, helps focus the process.” commented Rosemary Jones.

Dara also commented, “This was my third BPNW meeting, which was especially enriching on a personal level because of Posy’s leadership. Past meetings have been very useful as well and I find BPNW to be an excellent resource for writers and publishers alike.”

I find this exercise particularly useful because it taps into perspectives you might never hear. Those who stepped up with a challenge walked away with fresh, relevant, actionable strategies.

About my approach

I design experiences to include and engage everyone in the room and help them work at the top of their intelligence, together. I help people work more creatively and productively, so they can uncover the unexpected sources of great ideas or to solve seemingly intractable issues.

If you, your team or organization needs new ways to solve persistent challenges, please contact me.

Of course, I’d be happy to do a presentation or brown bag about The Leadership Moment, which I define as how you respond when “stuff” happens. My book, The Next You, Discovering Confidence, Calm and Courage, Now, outlines fifty ways to do it differently.

BPNW’s next meeting is May 18, 6 pm, and will feature building a better author platform with Kelsye Nelson.

May 18 Meeting: Building The Author Platform

Just like there are no two books exactly the same there is no one path to publishing. However, every author may benefit from a strong platform. Agents and publishers take a good look at a writer’s online presence, website, social media, network and community when deciding to take a chance on a new author. And if you publish independently, you absolutely need a strong author platform.

Join independent author and publishing professional Kelsye Nelson in this fast-paced, energetic one-hour session, and  learn:
How to build your community online and off.
What steps you should take BEFORE you publish.
Easy tools for website and social media management.
The biggest mistake almost every author making when it comes to social media.

BPNW’s May 18 meeting will start at 6 pm in Room 221 at Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside N, Seattle. There will be time after the session for mixing with your fellow indie authors and publishers.

More About Our Speaker
Kelsye_black_backgroundKelsye Nelson is an author and publishing professional. She teaches the Business of Digital Publishing course at the University of Washington and is the founder of Avasta Press . She’s also the co-founder and former CEO of Writer.ly, an online marketplace that connects writers to publishing professionals. Nelson helps authors across genres publish their books, offering invaluable experience in launch strategy, publishing on various platforms, marketing, and author platform building.

A talented and engaging speaker, Nelson has presented talks and workshops on publishing, marketing, entrepreneurialism, and startups at conferences and events, including Book Expo America, the Whidbey Island Writers’ Conference, Northwest Bookfest, and Book Publishers Northwest. She has a BA in writing and art activism from Evergreen State College and completed graduate coursework in the publishing arts program at Antioch University. When she isn’t helping writers achieve their publishing dreams, Nelson is at work on a new novel, The Secret Life of Sensei Shi, and Book Lush, the what to drink with what to read guidebook. Connect @Kelsye or Kelsye.com.

Learn More About Mineral School Residencies

Mineral School, a new artists residency near Mt. Rainier, is holding celebration today (May 7) at Hugo House from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Enjoy readings by writer Litsa Dremousis (Altitude Sickness) and poet Jeremy Pataky (Overwinter), a slide show and talk, free snacks, and a raffle for a DIY weekend at Mineral School.


Located in a former elementary school, this artists residency program opens summer 2015 in the town of Mineral, near Mt. Rainier.


Posted in Fun

PNBA Puts Out Call For Education Proposals

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) produces a trade show each year in the fall. This year’s show will be held at the Holiday Inn PDX in Portland, OR. They are currently looking for speakers for the educational programming on Friday, October 2, the day before the exhibits open. PNBA’s Education Committee reviews all proposals for educational presentations, including those aimed at retail booksellers, those for librarians, and those for authors and small press publishers.

pnbalogoIn general, the Education Committee prefers presentations which offer booksellers direct instruction about issues that can immediately and directly help them in the operations of their businesses. They are usually looking for at least one Marketing session at each show. Sessions that include a wide-range of participants are especially attractive. Usually, presentations that might be perceived as promoting one business are not as well received as those that speak to the industry as a whole.
This year, proposals are being taken via an online form. The deadline to propose a session for either booksellers, librarians, or independent publishers is June 5.

Chuckanut Writers Holds Indie Publishing Class

MotherLoveBellingham’s Village Books and WCC Community and Continuing Education have created a new writing instruction collaboration called Chuckanut Writers to inspire and encourage writers at all stages of their writing journey.

In April, author Susan Colleen Browne covers the essentials of independent print and ebook publishing including marketing strategies, pricing, selling books in stores and online, and real-world sales figures and profits. Browne is the author of six independently published books including the novel Mother Love. This class has two sessions, April 22 and 29, from 6-8:30pm, and is $69. To find out more about this and other Chuckanut Writers’ sessions, visit Village Books’ website.