Seattle Playwrights Offers 2020 Meet-ups

Have you thought that your story or memoir would make a great play? The Seattle Playwrights Salon has been providing opportunities for staged readings–something of a prerequisite to have a play performed or published–and is adding even more educational tracks for those not quite ready for performance.

The 2020 playwright study group starts up January 13.  The monthly drop-in group will be held on the second Mondays of the month at The Palace Theatre and Art Bar, 5813 Airport Way South, Seattle 98108 (Georgetown) from 5:30-7 p.m. The January meet-up will be a combo:  a writing exercise, followed by selecting topics for the next six months.  Group members are encouraged to lead a monthly meeting and prepare the topic.

Their first free performance of the year will be “Olive and Camila” by Robin Brooks. Directed by Sarah Butts and featuring local actresses Jayne Muirhead and Ana Maria Compoy,  this staged reading  will be performed at The Palace Theatre & Art Bar, January 23, at 7:00 p.m.

Find out more about Seattle Playwrights Salon and more events for local writers at the website

Washington Center Seeks Book Judges

This Mountaineer’s title was one of the 2019 Washington State Book Award winners.

The Washington Center for  the Book is seeking judges for the 2020 Washington State Book Awards. Judges are asked to read and evaluate books by Washington authors, collaborating with other judges through a series of online meetings and meetings in-person for deliberations. The organizers say that judges should be prepared for a significant commitment of time. Last year nearly 400 books were submitted for the awards.

Three judges are needed for the youth panel to review submissions in all categories — picture books, books for young readers, and young adult books.

Five judges are needed in the adult panel to review submissions in all five categories — fiction, poetry, general nonfiction, creative nonfiction, and biography/memoir.

The  Application for Judging the 2020 Washington State Book Awards is due by January 10, 2020. Those selected will be contacted by mid January.  For more information, see the Washington Center for the Book’s website at



Busy 2020 For Idaho Writers Guild

The Idaho Writers Guild kicks 2020 off with a workshop on how to make your own audiobook. “Read Me Your Story” will take place on January 21 at the Hillcrest Country Club. Author Elaine Ambrose will explain voice and manuscript preparation for a professional recording. She’ll discuss projection, emotion, time requirements, cadence, costs, and marketing.

Other January events include “Social Media for Digital Hermits” with Bill Riley on January 11, “NaNo, Now What” with Troy Lambert on January 16, and “Armor” with Karl Henwood on January 23.

The 2020 Idaho Writers Conference is also open for registration. It takes place on April 24 and 25 at the Boise Centre.

For more information on Idaho Writers Guild monthly and special events, see their website at

More Independent Bookstores Appear In 2019

During Small Business Saturday 2019, independent bookstores rang up another year of increasing sales. As Barnes & Nobles continues to reduce its branches in the Pacific Northwest, new indie bookstores have appeared to fill in the gap.  According to the American Booksellers Association (ABA), independent bookstore membership nationally has grown for the 10th year in a row.

Following are a few of the new stores who have arrived in Washington State. To learn more about independent bookselling in the Pacific Northwest, check out  the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association at

Madison Books Sprouts From Phinney Books

In April, Phinney Books branched out to launch a new store in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood. Phinney Books owner Tom Nissley was contacted by a Madison Park resident who wanted a replacement for the beloved Madison Park Books that closed 13 years ago. The resulting Madison Books has been hosting events throughout the spring and summer as well as offering a selection of books tailored for the neighborhood.

Paper Boat Booksellers Launches In West Seattle

Paper Boat Booksellers moved into West Seattle this October, inspired in part by the closing of the Westwood Village Barnes & Noble. The new West Seattle bookstore was started by interior designer Desirae Wilkerson and Eric Judy, former bassist for the band Modest Mouse. The couple have lived in the neighborhood for nearly 15 years. The store stocks approximately 9000 titles and offers a family reading hour on Saturday’s.

Wishing Tree Grows In Spokane

Spokane’s new children’s bookstore, Wishing Tree Books, opened for business in November in a 1907 house with a purple porch. Owned by Janelle (former events and children’s manager at Auntie’s Books) and Ivan Smith, the store was backed by Tegan (Queen Anne Book Co./ABA Board of Directors) and Jordan Tigani.

IBPA December Webinars

The Independent Book Publishers Association is offering two webinars in December for indie publishers and authors. Please note that webinars are $39 and up from IBPA. If a member, you may receive a discount. Time of webinar

How Facebook and Instagram Can Help You Reach Your Readers

December 4, 10 am to 11 am PST
With Madison Killen and Brad Cook of Facebook

Two marketing managers at Facebook, one a publishing veteran, will show participants how to leverage Facebook and Instagram tools to help find your audience and spread the word about your book


How to Break Into Professional Speaking to Sell More Books

December 11, 10 am to 11 am PST
With Jodee Blanco

Learn how to use professional speaking to take your presence to a whole new level, sell more books, and create a lucrative second income source.

Shawn Wong Books Brings Back Asian-American Classics

Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers  Third Edition

Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers, Third Edition (2019)

Announced on Twitter, Northwest author and University of Washington professor Shawn Wong has started a joint project with University of Washington Press.

“I’m excited to announce a new book series, Shawn Wong Books, in partnership with the U of Washington Press to reissue classic works of Asian American literature. Our first publication this coming spring will be the reissuing of Louis Chu’s 1961 novel, Eat a Bowl of Tea,” he wrote on his Twitter feed @RedcarWong.
Wong wrote or edited a number of books published by University of Washington Press inlcuding the award-winning novel Homebase and anthologies of Asian American literature, including Aiiieeeee! and The Big Aiiieeeee!

Olmsted History In Seattle Launches

As we move into prime fall foliage viewing, a book about Seattle’s wooded parks goes on sale. The culmination of an 18-month effort by HistoryLink,  Documentary Media, and Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks, Olmsted in Seattle: Creating A Park System for A Modern City traces the story of how, in the midst of galloping growth at the turn of the 20th century, Seattle’s city leaders decided on a City Beautiful movement and hired the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm.

Look for the Friends, and the author, at various events this fall for their book launch. Among the events listed on the Friends’ website are:

October 20
Dunn Gardens Fall Foliage Festival (booth at the event)
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

November 12
Book Signing and Presentation, Douglas Classroom, Center for Urban Horticulture
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Author Jennifer Ott also will speak on Olmsted in Seattle: Creating A Park System for A Modern City at the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library on November 19. An environmental historian and assistant director of HistoryLink, Ott also co-authored Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal with David B. Williams and served as the general editor and a contributing author for Seattle at 150: Stories of the City Through 150 Objects from the Seattle Municipal Archives.

Catch this lecture on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium.