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: http://www.shorelinearts.net/ediblebookfestival/

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: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/972532828

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 https://scbwi.zoom.us/u/agS2tQpI5

Verse Meets Visuals To Celebrate Poetry Month

Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) hosts “Cadence: Video Poetry Festival” in April. Programmed in collaboration with Seattle author Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and artist Rana San, this series of video poetry screenings is entering its third year.

In 2020, Cadence moves online for the first time, given Washington State’s Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate. With works by 83 artists from 20 different countries, selected from an open call for submissions and solicitations, this year’s festival features five themed showcases of short films.

Each screening is priced on a sliding scale, from free to $25 in five-dollar increments. Half an hour before showtime, ticket-purchasers will be sent a password to watch the film on nwfilmforum.org. Each program will remain embedded on the Forum’s website and available to watch for 24 hours from the listed PST showtime. Festival passes to view all five screenings are available. All festival proceeds support NWFF’s move to an online platform. Screenings take place  April 15 to April 19.

Natachi Mez will be NWFF’s 2020 Cadence Artist-in-Residence. When the cinema reopens to the public, the Forum will support Mez in the development of a new video poem.

More information about NWFF and Cadence can be found at nwfilmforum.org.


2020 PNBA Tradeshow Call for Authors

Author appearance at PNBA Tradeshow

Author appearance at PNBA Tradeshow.

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association opened applications for authors for its 2020 PNBA Tradeshow. The show is expected to attract approximately 300 Northwest booksellers and librarians. It will be held September 30 to October 2 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA.

PNBA member bookseller input will be heavily considered in determining these lineups. Publishers are asked to donate at least 150 pre-signed books or ARCs, and pay $750 promotion fee (per author) for keynote spots. Other spots require less books and have lower promotion fees.

Proposals should be sent via email to Tradeshow Director, Greg Holmes: greg@pnba.org.  All proposals are due by May 1.

Please indicate author’s residence and provide ISBN, link to the Edelweiss page or alternate publisher listing, and release date of the book.

The list of proposed authors will be submitted to the Tradeshow Selection Committee, which will return a prioritized list by May 13. PNBA staff will begin sending invitations the week of May 18.

Publicists may request authors be featured at specific events, but invitations will be influenced by the Tradeshow Selection Committee rankings as well as PNBA commitment to providing a wide variety of authors at each event.

For more information, and detailed descriptions of each event, see the Author/Publicist page under Tradeshow on the PNBA website: pnba.org/authors–publicists.


Seattle Public Library And Others Cancel March Events

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public Library’s Central Branch in downtown Seattle (Wikimedia Commons image)

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 or coronavirus in King County, a number of organizations have announced the postponement or closure of events. So far, these announcements only impact events scheduled for March.

In an announcement on Friday, March 7, the Seattle Public Library said that all branches would remain open but all events and meetings were canceled through March.

“Due to current guidance from public health officials and in the interest of protecting the high-risk populations we serve and the high-risk populations who volunteer for us, as of Saturday, March 7, we are canceling all programs and events for the month of March, including Homework Help, tech classes, story times, Tax Help, book clubs and author events. The Library has also canceled all Bookmobile service. All external meetings scheduled in Library meeting rooms will be canceled or rescheduled,” stated Marcellus Turner, Executive Director and Chief Librarian of The Seattle Public Library, in a letter sent to patrons.

The Friends of the Seattle Public Library also announced that their popular giant used book sale was moving from March to May. This event had been scheduled for March 13 to 15 at the Seattle Center.

The Emerald City Comic Con, which draws more than 90,000 fans to Seattle, announced the event will be postponed. Scheduled for March 12 to 15 at the Washington State Convention Center, it will now take place in the summer of 2020. Earlier in the week, Portland publisher Dark Horse Comics had announced that they were canceling their appearance at the event. New York publishers DC and Penguin Random House also announced that they were not sending artists, writers, or staff to conventions in March.

University Book Store’s events calendar shows a long list of postponed readings and books signings for early March. On Friday, March 6, the University of Washington announced that all classes were moving to online only until the quarter concludes on March 20. Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University have announced similar steps to limit student, faculty, and staff exposure.

Due to SPU’s campus closure, the Western Washington Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Professional Series Program monthly meeting scheduled for March 14 is canceled. “The good news is that [literary agent] Linda Camacho will conduct her Saturday, March 14 Master Class Workshop, Starting and Ending Stories with a Bang,  via Zoom meeting. The time for this event will remain the same, from 1:30-4 pm. Additional registration spots for the Workshop are available,” announced Holly Huckeba and Julie Artz, Co-Regional Advisors for Western Washington SCBWI in a letter to members.

Third Place Books is showing a mix of author appearances going forward as planned and those postponed. Among those postponed are a March 11 reading  by Adam Hochschild at their Ravenna location and E. Latimer’s appearance on March 11 at Seward Park.

Richard Hugo House in Seattle, a popular writing center, says that it will hold classes as scheduled for now but  continues to monitor the situation. “We are taking additional measures to ensure our surfaces are clean and disinfected, and we have plenty of hand sanitizer available for visitor use. Please help out by washing your hands before you go into class, and stay home if you are sick or feeling unwell,” they stated on their website.

Those planning to attend literary events in the Puget Sound region should check organization websites, social media, or emails to see if events continue as planned.

King County Public Health recommendations include that people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. A large gathering has been defined in some statements as 10 or more. People at higher risk include:

  • People 60 and older
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • People who have weakened immune systems
  • People who are pregnant

All people should not go out when they are sick.

More current information from King County Public Health can be found here.

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 seattleplaywrightssalon.com.

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 www.washingtoncenterforthebook.org.



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 idahowritersguild.wildapricot.org.

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 pnba.org.

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.