Nebulas Move Into Cyberspace

The Science Fiction Writers of America have moved their Nebula Awards and related conference into cyberspace when California’s “shelter in place” decision put the May event in jeopardy. Originally the 55th Nebula Conference was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles at the end of May,

Now streaming from May 29 to 31, the 2020 Nebula Conference Online will have live panels on such topics as “Being a Creative in 2020: Building Community, Visibility, and Audience in a Virtual World,” “Blades and Badasses: Disability and Swordwork,” and “Writing Middle Grade with This Year’s Norton Award Nominees” along with a self-guided track of pre-recorded presentations, which attendees can view at their leisure.

The organization’s conference mentorship program will continue with private video conversations between early-career writers and established authors. Workshops, forums, chats, and virtual room parties (including a dance party hosted by author John Scalzi) will round out the weekend.

The awards ceremony will be streamed to the public on May 30 in the evening. For more information, see

Inside Story Still Happening In May

Inside Story, the  twice-yearly celebration of new books by members of Western Washington’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, usually occurs in a crowded bookstore or library auditorium. Not this spring!

On May 31, as per the organizers: “we’re gonna Zoom, Zoom, Zoom-a Zoom with booksellers, teachers, librarians, and our book peeps to hear your two-minute presentations about your new masterpiece!”

SCBWI members will be making these presentations on Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 2 to 3 p.m. from their homes. Only books “traditionally published” between between November 18, 2019, and May 31, 2020, can be presented.

The official rules and application can be found at

Applications for this event must be received by May 11.

As for this chance to engage booksellers and librarians, the organizers have the following lighthearted advice: “Scared of presenting? You don’t even have to leave your house or wear clothes from the waist down! We’ll help you with the tech if you need it. This is a great way to get your name and your book in the faces of people who want to buy it!”

Find Oregon’s Literary Events Online

Literary Arts, the organization behind Portland’s beloved Wordstock Festival, hosts book events year round. Like everyone else, they’ve now gone online. Find their April events and others of interest at their new calendar page at here:

Among the April events that readers, writers, and publishers everywhere would enjoy are:

Comics Relief Festival (First Second Books)
Saturday, April 18
8am – 2pm (PST)

Wordplay Virtual Book Festival (The Loft)
April 6 – May 5 2020

Literary Arts says they are committed to building community through online events, classes, seminars, and discussions. Their website also lets visitors dive into the rich archive of past events hosted by the organization including many well suited to educational projects.

Independent Bookstore Day Postponed But You Can Shop Indie Now

With most independent bookstores shuttered for “stay at home” orders, April’s Independent Bookstore Day has been postponed. Don’t worry, all the fun and prizes will be available on August 29.

Meanwhile, loyal customers can still help out their local friendly independent bookstore. Most stores are offering some type of online ordering through their website. If they can’t ship physical books, they can probably provide gift certificates. Such orders are essential to keeping bookstores afloat during very tough times. Besides it is a great time to get your favorite read or gift a friend with something special.

CNN recently reported that Powell’s Books in Portland was able to rehire 100 laid-off workers to due to a surge in online orders. Smaller stores also appreciate the help–check out Seattle’s Secret Garden and their picks through the Ballard Marketplace, a group of Market Street neighborhood merchants in Seattle that banded together to promote each other’s new online offerings.

Wherever your favorite bookstore is, be sure to visit their website or social media to find out how you can celebrate independent bookstores all April long.

Enjoy Edible Books Online

Part of the fun of the Edible Book contest was eating the entries. But with social distancing, you can still admire the entries and vote for your favorites through Sunday, April 5. This year, The Edible Book Festival encouraged photo entries so people could still enjoy the “lighthearted culinary, artistic, and literary celebration.”

Voting is going strong at their website:

It gives a whole new meaning to Hunger Games (literally) and may inspire some non-stressful baking in your home.

Hunger Games cake

Penelope Wiese’s 2020 Edible Book Edible Book Entry Title: The Hungry Games!

IWG Offers Virtual Literary Lunch

Idaho Writers Guild has canceled all in person events. The annual Idaho Writers Conference is being rescheduled for May 21 and 22, 2021. Those who have already registered for the 2020 conference will receive refunds.

In lieu of their canceled April literary luncheon, IWG will offer a virtual presentation with author Lani Forbes on April 14. This event is free but limited to 100 participants.

Join here at 11:00 AM on April 14:

Lani Forbes will share how to enhance emotional intimacy between characters by using marriage counseling theories. Her debut novel, The Seventh Sun, was released on February 18.

Washington’s SCBWI Zooms Into Coffee Klatch

Lisa L. Owens, nonfiction coordinator for the Western Washington chapter of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) , has turned an April 6 get-together for writers into a virtual meeting. “No need to register,” she wrote in recent email. “As always, nonfiction-for-kids creators at all levels are welcome. Hope to see you there!”

SCBWI WWA Nonfiction Writers’ Coffee Klatch
Time: Apr 6, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Link to Join Zoom Meeting:

Or find a local phone number at