Indie Bookstores Get Cat Mascot With Seattle Connection

The American Booksellers Assocation recently introduced “Stacks,” its brand new bookstore cat mascot! The name was the brainchild (kitten?) of James Crossley, manager of Seattle’s Madison Books, in teamwork with his daughter.

Stacks’ first task will be to walk independent bookstores through ABA’s “Good books come to those who shop early” Fall Marketing assets to encourage shoppers to support their local bookstore. Thanks to Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association for the cute kitty story.

Red Pencil Seeks Presenters

The call for presenters for Red Pencil 2023—the biennial conference of the Northwest Editors Guild—is now open. The conference will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington, and the Guild wants you to share your expertise in editing, language, business development, technology, and other professional topics with eager-to-learn conference attendees. Please see the conference web page for details about submitting a proposal:

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on

Folio Seeks Humans to Become Books

Folio is seeking Northwest residents willing to become Books in the Human Library, a global movement that challenges stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. They will present a free two day in-person experience taking place from 12-6pm on Oct 7 and 8, 2022, presented in partnership with the Scan Design Foundation.

The Human Library aims to challenge preconceptions by creating safe spaces for conversation, where topics are discussed openly between human Books and their Readers. First started in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000, the Human Library has since expanded to over 80 countries.

In the Human Library, Books are individuals on loan to have personal conversations with a Reader. Books are described as people who defy stereotypes, they come from a variety of different backgrounds, lead different lives, and engage in conversation to challenge a Reader’s assumptions based on their personal experiences.

Folio invites community members who have been stereotyped or been discriminated against based on ethnicity, occupation, religious beliefs, cultural background, social status, health, disability, appearance, or lifestyle, who are motivated to challenge stigma and are willing to join in short 20 minute conversations, to become published as one of the open Books. Applications are due by August 12, 2022. Books must be available all day on either October 7 or 8.

Everyone is invited to take part in this cultural experience at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, located in downtown Seattle at 93 Pike St. #307. Whether individuals wish to get published as a Book, volunteer at the event, become a supporting sponsor, or attend as a Reader, check the links below to apply.

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum is a nonprofit library located in the Pike Place Market. Folio offers a circulating book collection, provides workspaces for writers, and presents numerous public programs, author readings, civic discussions, and musical evenings.  More information about their programs can be found at

The Human Library
Oct 7 and 8, 12:00pm to 6:00pm

Submit application to participate: 
Register to attend:     

IWG Adds August Book Fair

The Idaho Writers Group is planning a book fair on August 27. Anyone can buy books at the Idaho Writers Guild Book Fair, but only IWG members can sell books at this time.

Organizers say that the event will be outside in Boise but there will be a food truck and access to indoor restrooms. Boise is famously hot and dry in August, so a perfect city for an outdoor book fair. Find out more about the event at the IWG Calendar at

IWG is a 501(c)3 non-profit “dedicated to helping writers navigate today’s complex publishing world.”

Float into a new book fair this summer in Boise. Photo by Bryce Boehler on Unsplash.

New Indie Author Group Takes Books to Events

Author Event Network launched recently in Seattle. This association of authors collaborates to share space and save on costs at local events. Their kick off event at the U District Street Fair. They are planning to take books to Kirkland Summer Fest, Blackberry Festival, NW Garage, High Point 710, Salmon Days, Indie Con, or other events that work for the group.

Check their website for sales and signing events this summer. Founder Guy Morris, who debuted as an independent author in 2020, states on the website that the indie authors “meet monthly by Zoom to propose, qualify, and plan local events in advance.”

Visit to learn more.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Celebration of Book Arts on Bainbridge Island

The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art shows off its collection of artists’ books as well as delves into the production of these one-of-a-kind pieces in the DogEar Festival, June 3-5.

The three-day festival explores artist’s books, print works, and letterpress with drop-in activities, live music, demonstrations, presentations, and panel discussions. Among the activities planned are steamroller printing with Wayzgoose Kitsap, self-serve typewriter poetry creation, and a Print Plein Air Printing Parlour. Look for talks from artists and browse St. Rita’s Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary (TB&TA). A complete festival schedule is available at BIMA’s website.

Artists’ books may use the form of the book but are often produced as tactile objects. Others may be printed in limited edition through older forms of printing, such as letterpress. In the making of these books, artists employ drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, gluing and binding, sculpture, photography, textiles, creative writing, and storytelling. The Museum’s website calls these fascinating pieces “the Trojan Horse of the art world…you don’t know exactly what is inside until it is revealed.”

The Museum changes their exhibition of books three times a year as well as hosting a series of videos on the pieces in their collection: Artist’s Books Unshelved.

Artist’s Books Unshelved is an ongoing video series exploring selected pieces from the Cynthia Sears Artist’s Books Collection. Tune in on BIMA’s YouTube channel at 11am every first and third Saturday of each month for a new episode. Past episodes are available to watch for free.

Bainbridge Island is connected to Seattle by ferry and to Kitsap County by bridge. The Museum is located in the Island’s only large town, Winslow, and is approximately three blocks from the ferry dock, making it possible to walk from the ferry to Museum and back for Seattle booklovers.

May Brings Picnic And Party For Publishers

Seattle area small press publishers and bookmakers are holding a potluck in a park. Join them for BOOKLUCK! on Sunday, May 15, 3:30pm to 7:30pm at Ravenna Park Picnic Shelter #1. More info and RSVP at Masks and proof of vaccination are required for attendance.

Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite picnic food and drink, picnic blankets, and their extra zines, books, comics, pamphlets, or other print stuff that you want to trade or give away to a new home.

The evening before, show up for a Zine Pop-Up (with wine!) at Seattle’s only wineshop/bookshop, Drink Books. Join them on Saturday, May 14, from 1pm to 4pm for a meet the maker zine event. The store is hosting ANEMONE Studio, as well as selections from other local zine artists. Grab a copy of the Eat Books zine too. Zines will be available for purchase all week, but the Saturday event includes a special wine tasting ($14) and book recommendations! 

Submissions Open for PNBA Book Awards

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association’s Book Awards Committee is now taking submissions from publishers for the 2023 Book Award. The Committee is comprised of booksellers from independent bookstores throughout the Pacific Northwest.

To be eligible for consideration, the author(s) must currently reside full-time in the Pacific Northwest—Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska or British Columbia. Books must be published between Oct 1, 2021 and Sep 30, 2022.

Anyone who would like to nominate a book for a 2023 Book Award should send an email to

Be sure to include the AUTHOR, PLACE OF RESIDENCE, TITLE, PUBLISHER’S NAME, ADDRESS and LEAD CONTACT. An automated reply will include complete instructions and mailing addresses for the Book Award committee members.

Deadline for receipt of nominated books by the committee is September 30, 2022.

The Committee will select a short-list in November that PNBA’s member stores will promote during the Christmas season. The winners will be announced in January 2023.

The Committee receives over 400 submissions a year so the sooner they receive your book, the more chance it has of getting a full reading!

Humanities Montana Grants Awarded

Writers, publishers, and literary groups in Montana benefit from Humanities Montana’s support through a variety of grant programs. In March, the organization will take “opportunity grant” applications for funding up to $1,000. Then, in April, Humanities Montana will accept regular grant applications for requests above $1,000. All grant information can be found on the website,

Humanities Montana announced the following grants awarded in February:

  • James Welch Native American Literature Festival, Aasaisstto Language Society, East Glacier, $10,000. The James Welch Native American Literature Festival will be a three-day event celebrating the work of the internationally acclaimed writer James Welch and featuring contemporary Native American writers.
  • Philosophy Symposia Series, Merlin CCC, Helena, $3,750. The Philosophy Symposia Series will focus on military life and the ethics of war, freedom of speech, and our relationship with nature.
  • Blackfeet Ethnoecology Mapping Project, Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Browning, $6,100. The project will develop an Indigenous science database informed by the Blackfoot knowledge system to disseminate traditional landscape stewardship principles about ecosystem connectivity and the role and responsibility of Blackfoot people in protecting cultural and natural resources.
  • Talk Series: Language Reclamation and Beyond, University of Montana Linguistics Department, Missoula, $5,000. An international conference co-hosted by Chief Dull Knife College and featuring a series of plenary talks on Indigenous language documentation and reclamation.
  • Story of Butte, Butte Citizens for Preservation and Revitalization, Butte, $7,500. Support for curated articles about the history of Butte on a website and mobile app.
  • First Voices, Thresh, Inc., New York, New York, $2,000. Contemporary multidisciplinary interpretations of Indigenous stories for the digital platform working with tribal elders and high school students.
  • Buckskin and Cloth Dresses, April Martin, Busby, $4,000. Research fellowship on the evolution of women’s buckskin and cloth dresses with an emphasis on the Cheyenne Nation.
  • Romey Stuckart Essay and Talk, Missoula Art Museum, Missoula, $1,000. Independent curator and author Ben Mitchell will write an essay about the artist Romey Stuckart for a 16-page exhibition catalog and a live presentation.
  • Annual Youth Concert, Helena Symphony, Helena, $1,000. An educational performance for 2,000 fourth and fifth graders from across the Helena region featuring the acclaimed Classical Kids Live Symphony program Beethoven Lives Upstairs.
  • MPN Playwrights Conference 2022: From Page to Stage, Montana Playwrights Network, Helena, $1,000. A two-day conference examining the sometimes obscure process a new play script follows in its journey from page to stage, with expert presenters and panelists offering analysis and discussion of original plays by Montana playwrights.
  • Teen Book Boxes Extension Program, Billings Public Library, Billings, $1,000 BPL, in partnership with Tumbleweed Runaway Services, will offer free books and supplemental materials to teenagers and young adults. 
  • Nadia Bolz-Weber Lecture Event, Rocky Mountain College, Billings, $1,000. Support for the Wheatley Lecture this year featuring theologian Nadia Bolz-Weber.
  • Mullan Road Conference 2022, River and Plains Society, Fort Benton, $10,000. Support for this national conference commemorating the completion of the Mullan Military Wagon Road in 1860 between Fort Benton and Fort Walla Walla, Washington.

Draft2Digital and Smashwords Merge March 1

For indie publishers, especially those who are publishing primarily ebooks, the big news of February was the announced merger of Draft2Digital and Smashwords.

The acquisition unites two pioneers in ebook publishing and distribution platforms. Both also provide print-on-demand services. Under the Draft2Digital name, the company will be headquartered in Oklahoma City. Kris Austin, co-founder and CEO of Draft2Digital, will lead the combined company as CEO. Mark Coker, founder and former CEO of Smashwords, will join the Draft2Digital management team as Chief Strategy Officer and board member.

The acquisition is expected to close on March 1, 2022. To minimize workflow disruption for authors, publishers, and sales partners, Draft2Digital promises changes “in gradual and incremental steps.”

As the new company ramps up, Draft2Digital says that they are looking for more employees. Currently job openings are listed for OK, TX, KS, CO, CA, or WA. Check the company’s website for more information at

A Q&A with Draft2Digital’s Kris Austin and Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker about how the merger will work.