Montana Book Award For Literary Programs

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

Idyll Arbor Finds New Management And State

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

PNBA Takes Fall Show Virtual

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

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

100 Oregon Writers Receive Help In June

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

Correction: an early version of this story stated applicants were notified in May.

Oregon Book Awards Broadcast In June

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

Take An Armchair Trip Through Yellowstone

Granite Peak Publications has released a new edition of their popular guide to Yellowstone Park. The latest edition of Yellowstone Treasures guidebook by Janet Chapple  has:

  • descriptions of the geyser basins, trails, and South Rim overlooks
  • new introduction and geological time line
  • revised geology chapter and all 38 maps
  • cover photo of Old Faithful Geyser by naturalist Janet Jones

The Granite Peak team, especially Janet’s daughter and Northwest editor Beth Chapple and geologist Jo-Ann Sherwin, revised the introduction, active geyser and hot spring descriptions, and more .

While visiting the park may have to wait for a bit , the publishers suggest doing a little armchair traveling with this edition and their history volume, Through Early Yellowstone. Both books are available through the Granite Peak website, independent booksellers, and other websites.

To learn more, see

West Coast Book Fest Goes Virtual

The Northern California book event, Bay Area Book Festival, is going #UNBOUND this year. #UNBOUND will present authors on YouTube Premiere with live audience chat. Can’t make the event? Check into the recordings later.

The Festival will have live programs throughout May and June as well as special tracks for children and young adults, a focus on women’s literature, and a six-program VOTING RIGHTS series as the centerpiece of its summer 2020 programs.

Check it all out at

Oregon’s Emergency Fund for Writers

Literary Arts announced this week that it has created the Booth Emergency Fund for Writers. This emergency fund is meant to provide meaningful financial relief to Oregon’s writers, including cartoonists, spoken word poets, and playwrights.

Applicants can use the fund to:

  • Recoup financial losses due to cancelled events. This includes but is not limited to readings, panels, residencies and other writing-related opportunities.
  • Offset loss of teaching income because of cancelled classes and/or school closures

These awards can be used to reduce other financial losses including support for artists working full or part-time in the service industry or other professions who have lost income.

Awards of $1,000 each will be issued to 100 eligible writers after the first application period closes. Depending on funding, Literary Arts may open up a second round of applications later in June.

Since COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color, Literary Arts is prioritizing funding for writers identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who meet the eligibility criteria.

More information and criteria for applications can be found at the

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Play Book Bingo!

The Seattle Public Library with Seattle Arts & Lectures has launched their 2020 Book Bingo game with downloadable bingo cards. This digital version is available in English and Spanish. Check the Library’s online book lists with staff recommendations for each category. Begin summer reading early and aim for bingo or blackout for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Learn more at SPL’s website and download your bingo card today:

PNBA Puts Out Call For Education Panels

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association continues their usual schedule for fall trade show preparation. After putting out the call for guest authors earlier this month, they are now asking for proposals for their education day.

The proposals are for panel sessions to be offered at the 2020 PNBA Tradeshow on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington. This educational programming is offered on the opening day of PNBA’s annual Tradeshow.

The PNBA Education Committee wants proposals for educational presentations primarily aimed at retail booksellers, but will also gladly consider topics aimed at librarians, authors and small press publishers.

To propose an educational session for the show, presenters need to complete a brief Education Proposal form. PNBA sincerely wishes for proposals from all positions and roles within the industry.

Sessions should feature at least one PNBA member professional as a panelist or moderator. PNBA may be able to assist in finding appropriate booksellers, authors, or other literary professionals willing to participate in your proposed session. Please include requests for support in your submissions.

All Education Proposals are due by May 8.

The Education Committee traditionally prioritizes presentations for booksellers that offer direct advice and instruction that can be immediately and directly applied to the operations of their stores. Sales pitch presentations that are perceived to promote just one business solution or service are discouraged.

Applicants will be notified of the status of proposals by Friday, June 26. Committee members will contact presenters via email to schedule sessions and secure details for production of the show program, show signage, and classroom set-up.