Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

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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The Grove Review is looking for a new distributor, and I’m having trouble finding one. I’ve sent out lots of emails to other literary journals and magazines in the Northwest, asking for recommendations, but many of the responses I’ve gotten are:

Yes, we have a distributor; We use  _______; And NO, we can’t recommend them.

Why can’t anyone recommend their distributor? Are all of these small presses just dissatisfied with their sales, and blame the distributor? Or, perhaps, are distributors just trying to take on too many books and therefore can’t really give each one the necessary amount of time? I wish I knew.

I would really like to use a smaller distributor, one that focuses on the Northwest and independent booksellers, but Baker & Taylor and Ingram seem to be taking over ALL distribution for books in the U.S. – which seems like a bad thing.

So, any suggestions for a distributor?

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As I mentioned before in an earlier post, I am now the Managing Editor of The Grove Review, a local literary journal, and I’m very excited about it. I started working with The Grove in October, as an intern, but it quickly became apparent to me that The Grove needed someone who was a little more willing to take charge and get things done – so I did.

But I was impressed right from the very beginning with the warmth and friendship at The Grove. Matt, the publisher, invited everyone who wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving to come to his house; Gregory, the fiction editor, invited me to a Doctor Who marathon, and our meetings are often sidetracked into fun and crazy subjects that Matt calls “entertaining, but not useful.” As busy as I am, I think I make time for this publication mostly because I like the people.

Sadly, several of our group are leaving us – one accepted a job in Eugene, one is going off to grad school at Columbia, and one is graduating and hoping to focus on her own writing projects. So we’re looking for new volunteers. And I’m hoping we can get a few great people to complement the already great group we have.

Here’s the official blurb about our volunteer recruiting:

The Grove Review, one of Portland’s finest literary journals, is looking for new volunteers and interns for the spring/summer seasons!

The Grove Review volunteer group creates a meaningful exchange, where volunteers work to print the journal and gain valuable publishing experience, while contributing their own new and innovative ideas. In return, participants are given the opportunity to interact with a wonderful group of professionals in the Pacific Northwest publishing industry and the larger community of Northwest writers.  Volunteers leave with valuable skills in a range of areas, and the knowledge that they have left a mark on the development and trajectory of a first-rate literary magazine.

Currently, the Grove is looking for several individuals with interests in marketing, social networking, poetry, and/or art. We publish art, fiction, and poetry and our latest issue will be out in June. To that end, we want to publicize the release, host a launch party, and generally let the Northwest literary community know more about our amazing journal. To do that, we need submission readers, marketers, and people interested in writing and publishing to come help us. We meet every two weeks or so.

While there is no monetary compensation available (The Grove Review is a non-profit publication), you will receive publishing experience and meet great new people. College credit is available for students. If you have any questions, contact Maureen@thegrovereview.org.

If you are interested in working with us, please submit your areas of interest with experience (and resume, if applicable) to matt@thegrovereview.org. Visit www.thegrovereview.org for more information about the journal.

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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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So, I love book trailers. They’re my new favorite thing, and I love this video by Kevin Sampsell for his new book A Common Pornography. While this “trailer” doesn’t actually say much about the book, it’s quirky and fun. The 1950’s appliance commercial music, combined with Sampsell’s easy, homemade remedies on how to read the book in public without embarrassment, were so campy and creative that I want to read the book now – despite the fact that I have no idea what the plot is (though, I’m told it’s a memoir).

And if that’s not awesome enough, I know the guy who filmed it! Yay for the small Portland literary community.

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Ooligan’s Acquisitions workgroup takes publishing into the classroom with the Young Editors Project (YEP), a fun way for kids to read and evaluate young adult manuscripts that are being considered for publication.

The Young Editors Project is just another way to bring publishing into children’s lives. In many of the projects described in Classroom Publishing, Ooligan’s most recent release, kids are encourage to publish their own creations, but evaluating the writing of others can be just as useful in understanding great writing. Ooligan’s YEP allows kids to look at novels and identify the strengths and weaknesses of an author’s story in a situation where their opinion matters.

Sometimes it’s difficult for acquisitions editors to decide whether or not to publish a manuscript they have received – there are so many factors to consider. One factor, of course, is whether the book will appeal to the target audience. Ooligan does publish young adult books, but sometimes we need help deciding whether young adults will really like the manuscript we are considering. For most of us, it’s been over a decade since we were young adults ourselves. And so, we turn to the source for help – we ask young adults to read the manuscripts and give their opinions. The name for this process is the Young Editors Project.


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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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