No surprise, but Literary Arts confirmed this week that the Portland Book Festival will be held online. The Northwest’s largest festival for readers normally brings more than 9,000 readers to downtown Portland, Oregon, for programming featuring more than 100 writers.
For 2020, the digital festival will feature author events for all ages, pop-up readings, and writing classes from November 5 to November 21. More information can be found at literary-arts.org.
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association announced that their 2020 virtual tradeshow will begin on the afternoon of September 29 with education programming and “a new-concept dinner event that looks to promote online interactivity and kitchen fun for participants.”
Sticking to a three-day schedule similar to the in-person PNBA show, attendees will find a mix of education and author events from September 29 to October 2. Online access to events will be posted day by day. PNBA also plans to have event recordings and support materials for future reference. For more information about the group and activities, see pnba.org.
Longtime members of Seattle’s publishing community will remember Open Hand Publishing Inc, founded by P. Anna Johnson. Committed to publishing multicultural literature for adults and children, Johnson championed authors of color and released such titles as The Making of Black Revolutionaries, Self Determination: an Examination of the Question and Its Application to the African American People, and High Tide of Black Resistance.
Johnson’s memoir, Publishing Years, will be released in August 2020 by Thirteenth Street Press. In it, Johnson reflects on her two decades (1981 – 2001) of running Open Hand, including how the changes wrought by technology and the explosion of chain bookstores impacted small press publishing in the years before Amazon.
The Independent Book Publishers Association reports that their virtual member round tables have been a hit. Started as free webinars to help indie publishers deal with the business impacts of the coronavirus, these virtual meet-ups have received rave reviews and are beginning to drive programming ideas for the organization. Their July 23 meeting will focus on how indie publishers can connect with libraries during COVID-19.
The organization continues to add new services for its members including the just launched program for audiobooks: the IBPA NetGalley Program Audiobook Listing. IBPA’s member benefits break into the categories of:
- Creating and Distributing Books
- PR and Marketing
- Securing Book Reviews
- Book Award Programs
- Managing Your Business
- Education and Networking
The organization has more than 3,500 members with a number of affiliate local chapters. To learn more, visit ibpa-online.org.
Following the cancellation of regional fall tradeshows, three regional booksellers associations are partnering up to present Tri-West Exhibits, a virtual exhibit hall for the entire indie west. Tri-West Exhibits will be marketing to the bookstore members of CALIBA, MPIBA, and PNBA, reaching over 665 independent bookstores and thousands of booksellers. The Exhibits website will be live from September 30 through October 30, 2020.
Publishers can “book” a booth for $400 to $2000. Depending on the level of involvement, the booth will feature the brand, big books, bookstore specials, and more. To encourage bookstores employees to visit the site and to browse publishers’ booths, the associations will be offering individual programming from all three regions.
More information can be found at the Mountain and Plains Independent Booksellers Association website:
Virtual Tri-West Exhibits Registration
Humanities Montana is now accepting applications for the Montana Center for the Book Prize. This $1,000 cash award will be given to up to five programs across the state, nominated by a community member or self-nominated in recognition of their efforts to promote literacy and literature in their region. Nominations are due July 15, 2020, for this round of awards.
The Montana Center for the Book Prize recognizes programs that offer creative and wide-reaching literary and literacy programming. Eligible programs include festivals, literacy resources, reading and discussion events, Little Free Libraries with community engagement, writing workshops, and more. A list of past winners and the current nomination form is available at www.humanitiesmontana.org/montana-center-for-the-book-prize/.
Blaschko plans to spend retirement working on his own writing and other projects.
Awhile ago, Tom Blaschko, founder and president of Idyll Arbor Inc., announced plans for retirement, including finding someone to take over the Washington state publishing company and its three imprints. In a recent newsletter, he announced that the company will be transitioning to management by a long-time employee and resident of Indiana.
“Beginning next year Lori Barnes will be the co-president of Idyll Arbor, Inc. Lori has worked for Idyll Arbor over the last ten years specializing in our Pine Winds Press and Issues Press imprints. She is ready to take on the added tasks of developing and marketing books for recreational therapists and activity professionals,” wrote Blaschko. “Over the next few years, I will continue working here as we complete this transition. Part of this transition will include the relocation of the publishing company to the state of Indiana where Lori currently lives, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.”
Blaschko announced that following the transition that he will be spending more time on his own writing and teaching projects. His previous titles include Calculating Soul Connections.
Under the Idyll Arbor imprint, this publisher has more than 200 titles, games, and assessments for healthcare professionals. Pine Winds Press is dedicated to the study of the life force and the soul. For more information on these and other Idyll Arbor activities, see idyllarbor.com.
On Friday, June 19, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association announced that their Fall Tradeshow 2020 would go virtual.
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have been forced to cancel the in-person Fall Tradeshow set for Tacoma, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. The Hotel Murano will be cancelling all pending room reservations in the PNBA block and will notify individuals. PNBA will process full refunds for all registered exhibitors next week,” said organizers in an email sent to all members.
PNBA is currently designing a virtual event centered around the original dates. The plan is to still offer education sessions, author events, and rep picks for Northwest bookstores and libraries.
Also in development is an online exhibitor space for publishers that will hosted in conjunction with Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association and the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. This virtual exhibit hall will cover the entire western US and will be open for exploration for the duration of the planned tradeshows of these organizations, running from late September to late October.
Future plans and announcements will be posted at pnba.org.
In addition to the Fall Tradeshow, PNBA offers several services to publishers to help promote titles of particular interest to independent bookstores in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. These can be found at pnba.org/for-publishers.html.
Literary Arts announced this week that the organization had awarded 100 writers from 24 towns across Oregon $1,000 each.
“We prioritized funding for BIPOC writers who made up 45% of the funded applicants,” said Literary Arts in their June 12 newsletter. Applicants were notified the week of June 5.
In May, Literary Arts allocated more than $125,000 from the Brian Booth Writers’ Fund to create the Booth Emergency Fund for Writers, designed to provide meaningful financial relief to Oregon’s writers impacted by COVID-19. The 180 applications received were scored by members of the Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships Advisory council and Literary Arts Board of Directors.
The organization will open up a second round of funding on June 29. To learn more, see literaryarts.org.
Correction: an early version of this story stated applicants were notified in May.
The 2020 Oregon Book Awards Ceremony will not be held at Portland Center Stage at The Armory this month. Instead, Literary Arts will broadcast the 33rd awards ceremony on Monday, June 22, 2020, from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. on OPB Radio.
This statewide broadcast will celebrate the finalists and announce the winners of the 2020 Oregon Book Awards. Writers Omar El Akkad and Elena Passarello will act as the hosts.
More information about the event can be found at literaryarts.org.