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Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Stumptown Comics Fest!!

I will be going to the Comics Fest this Saturday, and I wanted to let everyone else know about it: It’s Saturday and Sunday at the Lloyd Center Doubletree, and it’s only $6.

Here’s the “About”:

The Stumptown Comics Fest was started almost on a whim in 2004 by a small group of Portland-area cartoonists lamenting the lack of local convention-style outlets. While there were certainly other comic book shows in town, there weren’t any that gave much attention to the artists themselves. The dream was to design a festival with the creators as its focus, rather than dealers and work-for-hire publishers.

Using local resources, the first Fest was pulled together in just 4 months, thanks to the largely volunteer group at its nexus. It was hosted on a rainy June 6th afternoon by the Old Church, a non-profit organization whose goal is to preserve, well, an old church. The church was the beneficiary of the raffle held at the festival. All 22 exhibitor tables sold out for a full house (most of them being shared by several creators).

Cartoonists came from not only from here in Portland, but from all over the country as well – from as far out as San Francisco, Seattle, and even Detroit, Michigan, and all of the exhibitors in attendance reported it to be an excellent experience. Even with little time to promote the show, the Fest still saw a respectable attendance of 150 comics fans, and garnered favorable press from the local arts weeklies. We were also host to the second ever Comic Art Battle, put together by Portland expatriat Ezra Claytan Daniels.

The second Stumptown Comics Fest, in 2005, moved to a larger venue. The 5800+ square foot Smith Memorial Ballroom on PSU campus (also home to the 3-day Portland Zine Symposium) held over 80 tables, almost four times as many as were at the previous Fest. We also nearly quadrupled the number of exhibitors, and played host to over triple the number of attendees.

Attendance continues to increase substantially with each show. To accomodate, 2006 brought the Fest across the river to bigger and better spaces, first at the Oregon Convention Center, and subsquently settling at the Lloyd Center Doubletree, where the show remains through 2010.

Our goal is, as ever, to take over the world with comics. Help us, won’t you?

Site: http://www.stumptowncomics.com/

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I love YA and kid’s books, and so I’m always excited when a writer that I’ve grown up with is in Portland. I read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books when I was in like 3rd grade – the fact that I’m excited about his writing (I enjoyed Holes and plan to buy this new sequel) FIFTEEN years later just shows what a great writer Sachar is.

Official blurb:

Louis Sachar (Central Library, @1:00pm): The sequel to Holes, Louis Sachar’s National Book Award and Newbery Medal winning novel, is coming to the Oregon Children’s TheatreSmall Steps is the continuing story of life after Camp Green Lake. Upon his release from the camp, Armpit decides to improve his life — one small step at a time. Join us before the world premiere for a discussion with this engaging author and the play’s director to learn more about the fascinating book-to-stage adaptation process and the further adventures of the story’s funny and down-to-earth characters.

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The Friends of the Library hold periodic sales to get rid of books the library doesn’t want anymore and to raise money for the library and its events.

Over the years, the FOTL have probably gotten over $200 out of me – and that’s pretty impressive considering books start at $o.50. But every time I go, I seem to leave with boxes (and I’m being very literal) and boxes of books. On average, I spend about $40.

And it’s so worth it. For example, I got the entire Ender’s Shadow trilogy by Orson Scott Card and the boxed set of the Chronicles of Avonlea last time I went. These aren’t crappy “no one’s read this in 30 years, and no one wants to now” type books. Nope, these are books I’d buy new at Powells or Amazon if I had the money. Instead, I save up my meager grad student money and gleefully run, cash in clenched fist, to the used book sale.

So, I will be at the Friends of the Multnomah County Library Used Book Sale this weekend. The sale is Saturday (11-6) and Sunday (10-4) at the Gresham Town Fair Shopping Center.

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So, I wasn’t really planning to post an event, but I had to post about this one – the Seattle Edible Book Festival. This weekend, food and books will combine when “artists” (really, book nerds and foodies) make their own renditions of books from edible items.

The categories are:

  • Most Pun-derful     –       Susan Hildreth, City Librarian
  • Most Drop-dead Gorgeous    –      Jay Friedman, Gastrolust & Seattlest.com
  • Most Delectably Appetizing    –    Cynthia Lair, cookus INTERRUPTUS
  • Best Young Edible Artist (K-12)    –    Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times, Book Editor
  • Best in Show – voted on by the hungry horde and presented by Edible MC Nancy Guppy

These are awesome categories, and I really wish I could afford to go up there and see the contestants, especially for the Pun-derful category. What an awesome idea for an event!

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I’ve already shown that I’m a fan of traditional publishing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that authors have a responsibility to market their own books. Books are increasingly associated with their authors – to the point that people buy books based on their author’s presence online or in the media. And while publishers are creating press kits and setting up interviews and events, there are other avenues that only the author can explore.

So, for all authors, here’s a list of things you can do to increase your visibility to readers:

1) Create a website/blog/Facebook account/Twitter  account (or all of the above)
2) Enter contests of all types
3) Publish articles in print and online about anything in your book. For example, if your mystery novel takes place in Eastern Oregon, write a fun travel article about the locations you used, send it to a travel site, and add just a little hook at the end about your book.
4) Give dynamic “readings,” interviews, and presentations. Reading from your book isn’t enough – you need to give an audience a good show. (See this article)
5) Send book to reviewers (ones that your publisher might not be considering)
6) Try to get a book club to read your work. Even if you have to create such a group, word of mouth is an amazing marketing tool.
7) If it’s applicable (which it often is for fiction books), create a book trailer and post it online.

These are all just ideas – but they can all work to your advantage. So go forth and market!

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I’m going to try and post one Portland literary event per week.

This week, I would like to announce that Indigo Editing & Publications, a company very dear to me because I had my first internship there, is hosting a Mini-Sledgehammer Writing Contest this Tuesday (April 6).

It’s a Mini-Sledgehammer, because a few times a year Indigo puts on Sledgehammer Writing Contests that lasts 36 hours – but this one is a writing contest where you get a prompt and only have 36 minutes to write a short story before stories are judged and prizes are given.

Alan Dubinsky, the winner of last year’s contest, will begin the event with a reading. The Mini-Sledgehammer is free, and will be located at Blackbird Wine (in NE Portland) at 7pm. That means you get to write, hear other people’s stories, and get prizes while boozing it up – a perfect evening!

Good luck to all the writers who participate!!

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I worked for Borders for over a year. I quit because I wanted to concentrate on grad school, and my position there was getting increasingly stressful, but when I first started working there the friendly, laid-back atmosphere really appealed to me.

That said, I know why Borders is failing – they are just not up to the caliber of Barnes & Noble. B&N has cleaner stores, better informed staff, and a more refined feel. If I’m going to buy from a chain, I prefer B&N – though I do try to buy from local stores too. Borders’ higher-ups just have no idea how to sell books and run a bookstore – some of the programs they created to get Borders out of debt were absurd. And every store is way UNDERstaffed!

Why am I talking about Borders? Because Borders’ time is running out: Borders Loan Deadline Looms. Supposedly, there is a possibility that Borders will take part in a merger, instead of filing for Chapter 11 (Bankruptcy) but I think a merger is pretty unlikely – why would B&N want Borders? It would a HUGE undertaking to make over all the stores.

I hope Borders stays in business, but I know it’s pretty impossible. 😦

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