NAAM Gives Away Books

The Northwest African American Museum celebrates Martin Luther King Day this year by giving away books to children, among other activities.

This heritage museum has been closed to the public since March due to Washington State regulations surrounding COVID-19. The Museum pivoted to a number of online programs and launched a literacy program to help Seattle children continue to receive books and support during school closures.

Each month since then, NAAM has given away books to local Pre-K to 12th grade children at family-friendly and school-based youth events throughout the region. The carefully curated books “center, reflect, and affirm Black children, and are written and illustrated by Black authors and artists, with amazing learning within,” as per the Museum’s website.

Martin Luther King Day (January 18)
Live Giveaway/Drive-through
11:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“Books & Balls” giveaway with Seattle Sounders FC & Rave Foundation + City of Seattle “Rec’N the Streets” activity kits at Amy Yee Tennis Center Parking Lot. Drive-through event at 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., Seattle 98144. Masks required. 

For further information on this program, how to volunteer or donate, please see NAAM’s website at

NW Indie Bookstores Honor Local Authors

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association announced the recipients of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards this week. Selected by a volunteer committee of independent booksellers from 400 nominated titles published in 2020, the books come from both large and small publishers and celebrate a diversity of authors working in the Pacific Northwest.

This year PNBA and its member stores will host a free virtual public celebration with the winners of this year’s Awards. The Pacific Northwest Book Awards Celebration, is set for February 10. Registration instructions appears on the 2021 winners announcement page at

This year’s winners are:

Cemetery Boys
Aiden Thomas (Portland, OR)
Swoon Reads / Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance
Donna Barba Higuera (Issaquah, WA)
Levine Querido

The Magical Language of Others: A Memoir
E.J. Koh (Seattle, WA)
Tin House Books

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Vancouver, BC)
Del Rey / Penguin Random House

rough house
Tina Ontiveros (The Dalles, OR)
Oregon State University Press

This Is My America
Kim Johnson​ (Eugene, OR)
Random House Books for Young Readers

Join Seattle’s City of Literature Board

This year, the Seattle City of Literature nonprofit is adding five at-large volunteer seats to their board of directors that are specifically held for representatives from books-, reading-, and writing-related groups, businesses, and community organizations in five geographic areas across the Seattle area: north, south, east, west, and central. Seattle City of Literature is the 501(c)3 nonprofit that manages Seattle’s UNESCO designation as a center for literacy and literature.

The five positions will participate fully in all board decision-making, including voting, and appointments will last one year (February 2021 to January 2022). The board currently meets virtually once a month in the evening for 90 minutes to two hours; committees meet on an as-needed basis on a similar schedule.

These positions will help the nonprofit ensure that the UNESCO designation is fully representative of, and connected to, the work happening in the community. “It is crucial that the decision-making around the UNESCO designation management directly reflect the communities who earned our city that designation in the first place. We also hope that these positions will help serve as opportunities for folks to further develop their community leadership skills, through training and onboarding support that we provide,” said Juan Carlos Reyes, President, Seattle City of Literature Board of Directors, in a recent letter to Book Publishers Northwest News

These board positions will be uncompensated volunteer work.

If interested, please complete the application (a one-page Google Form) by Sunday, January 31. If you have any questions about the content of the application, need different accessibility options, or want to know more about Seattle City of Literature, please contact them at

Seattle was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2017 and has been working as part of the international network since then. The nonprofit has published Seismic, a collection that asks writers to consider what the designation means for the city and how literature might be an agent of change.

Write In 2021

Books begin with words. And words matter. If this is the year that you start a manuscript on the way to publishing, here’s some Washington State organizations with workshops and other activities for all levels of writers, courtesy of Washington Center for the Book and Seattle Public Library.

Most are offering online programs that can be enjoyed from home with the warm drink of your choice.

Cascade Writers: community of writers and readers of various skill levels and genres; workshops and programs.

Center for Yakima Valley Writers (Facebook page)

Clarion West: Workshops and annual conference for speculative fiction writers.

Eastside Romance Writers: Monthly programs and conference for romance writers.

Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America: Seattle-based group for romance writers.

Inland Empire Chapter of RWA (Spokane) : Spokane-based group for romance writers.

Inland Northwest Writers Group: Networking, support, and meetups.

Mystery Writers of America – Northwest Chapter: For mystery writers and others in the field in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.

National Novel Writing Month: National event in November; find local write-ins and resources via website.

Northwest Science Writers Group: Science writing for the general public.

Olympia Chapter RWA: Help for romance writers based in Olympia.

Pacific Northwest Writers Association: Monthly programs, literary contest, and annual conference outlined on website.

Palouse Writers Guild (Moscow/Pullman): Networking resource for Eastern Washington writers.

Plateau Area Writers Association: Resources for writers in and around Enumclaw

Rivers of InkSupporting and empowering writers in the Mid-Columbia region.

Seattle Writes: Free classes, workshops, write-ins and podcasts for writers hosted by Seattle Public Library.

Sno-Isle Libraries: Write Now series offers free workshops and classes taught by published authors.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Western Washington: Programs, retreats, and conference. In 2020, they removed the pay wall for many Zoom events to provide additional help to writers.

Spokane Fiction Writers Group: Provides opportunities for collaboration and social interaction.

Spokane Writers Conference: Annual conference sponsored by Spokane County Library District.

Wordherders: Networking group in southeast Washington

Write on the River: Community of writers offering workshops and conference, based in Wenatchee.

PNBA Waives Dues For 2021

To reward their bookstore and library members for “weathering an unbelievably difficult 2020,” Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association announced that they would extend all 2020 members through 2021. The announcement read in part:

Any individual or institution who carried a paid PNBA membership in 2020 will be granted a complimentary membership for 2021.

Additionally, all new 2021 memberships will be offered at a special $100 introductory rate.

B&N CEO Tapped To Open PubU 2021

The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA),, announced earlier this month that Barnes & Noble, Inc. CEO James Daunt will deliver the opening keynote at IBPA Publishing University 2021, scheduled as a virtual event on the Attendify platform April 7-10, 2021. Daunt was previously scheduled to headline IBPA’s 2020 conference, which was cancelled in March 2020 due to gathering restrictions related to COVID-19.

Barnes & Noble has struggled in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. The Seattle Barnes & Noble downtown store closed in January, leaving the downtown core without a general bookstore for the first time in decades. During an interview in a September 20, 2019 Publishers Weekly article, Daunt emphasized a “local first” philosophy will help restore the chain to retail health. That comment resonated with many independent publishers and writers, according to IBPA.

Daunt stated that any forthcoming makeover of B&N will be done by empowering store managers and other booksellers to create stores that meet the needs of their local communities.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that Mr. Daunt has again agreed to join the incredibly passionate membership at IBPA Publishing University this April,” said IBPA CEO Angela Bole. “As an industry, we need Barnes & Noble to remain a healthy part of the supply chain. If it can also be a force for better connecting indie publishers to their local market, all the better.”

Daunt, named B&N CEO in August 2019, also serves as Managing Director of Waterstones, the largest retail bookseller in the United Kingdom. He currently oversees 612 Barnes & Noble stores in the United States, and 293 Waterstones locations across the U.K., Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium.

The full conference schedule is available at Readers of Book Publishers Northwest News can receive a 15% registration discount when they apply Promo Code PubU-Affiliates at check out. Additional registration information is available at

Doherty’s New Fantasy Novel Due This Month

Alaskan author Kellie Doherty’s newest adult fantasy book in her Broken Chronicles series, Curling Vines & Crimson Trades, will be out on November 30 from Desert Palm Press.

According to Doherty, the plot of her queer adult fantasy centers on a rare goods trader named Orenda whose wife gets kidnapped and she has to complete some nearly impossible tasks and trades in order to get her back.

As an independent publisher, Desert Palm Press focuses on publishing stories that accurately and respectfully reflect the diverse lives of the lesbian and LGBTQ+ community. Mainly focusing on ebooks and paperbacks since 2014, Desert Palm added an audiobooks line in 2020. Their titles are available through their website, Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and other third-party retailers. The titles are also available through Scribd,, and Overdrive library services.

Read more about Desert Palm Press on their website: and check out Kellie Doherty’s website for more info about her new book:

One Site To Bind Bookfest’s Offerings

Literary Arts has created a custom streaming site,, for Portland Book Festival, November 5 through 21, 2020. Watch the daily live stream or hit replay on a video library of events.  Festival favorites on demand include the pop-up events at the Portland Art Museum, picture book story times, and art activities for all ages.

Register at to access all of November’s free content. Two events require paid registration: Margaret Atwood (November 17) and Isabel Wilkerson (November 19). Details on the site.

Join Burkhalter’s Book Launch

History Through Fiction launches their latest historic novel, The Education of Delhomme: Chopin, Sand & La France on November 17.

Northwest author Nancy Burkhalter is an educator, writer, journalist, linguist, and piano tuner. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism and English education as well as a Doctorate in linguistics from the University of New Mexico. She has taught composition for many years in the U.S., Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Her overseas work led to an interest in comparative education, especially critical thinking. Both observations and research led to her book and blog, Critical Thinking Now.

For more on the online event, check Eventbrite listing here.