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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Children’s book writers society plans conference

If you’ve ever had a desire to write a children’s book, now’s your chance. Well, not now, exactly. You’ll have to wait until Sept. 10, the day the Inland Empire (now there’s an antiquated term) chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will hold its inaugural Fall Conference of Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho.

The conference will offer speakers such as Terry Trueman (“Stuck in Neutral”) and Deborah Nourse Lattimore (“The Winged Cat: A Tale of Ancient Egypt”) addressing such topics as “The Art of Picture Books,” “An Inside Look at Publishing” and “Plotting With Characters.”

To get more specifics, including pricing and registration information, contact Verla Kay at verlakay@aol.com or P.O. Box 988, Tekoa, WA 99033.

And now chance No. 2

If you already have a book sitting around somewhere, and you’re at a loss at how to get it published – and you simply don’t want to have to do it yourself – listen up: The literary review journal Kirkus Reviews says that it is “searching for the next Hemingway.”

Not literally. What they mean is that they’re holding what they’re calling the inaugural Virginia Kirkus Literary Award, which was created, so says the Kirkus press release, “to discover the best unpublished novel or story collection.”

If you haven’t yet been published, you might chance it. You need to send your manuscript of 150 pages or more to: The Virginia Kirkus Literary Awards, 770 Broadway, Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10003. Nothing comes free, of course, so you’re required to send them a $150 submission fee, too.

But if you win, you’ll get a “standard publishing contract” with Back Bay, which is the trade paperback imprint of Little, Brown. And you’ll see your book in print in time for the 2006 fall season.

Deadline is Nov. 1. For further information, see www.kirkusawards.com.

Flower power poetry

We’re already almost through July, but there’s still time to participate in Molly Larson Cook’s inaugural Petals and Poetry Writing Event. Cook, a writing instructor and author of “On our way to somewhere” and “Listen,” is asking poets to bring one unpublished poem each, which have been “inspired by flowers,” to her flower shop at 111 F St., Cheney.

The poems, which should be no longer than what will fit on a 4-by-6 card and legible, will be posted in the shop through August. Deadline is Aug. 10. For further information, e-mail Cook at molly@soleilflowers.com. Or call 559-5706.

So many awards

I’ve been remiss in reporting this: Spokane author Kathleen Finley’s book “The Liturgy of Motherhood” placed second in the Family Life category of the 2005 Catholic Book Awards. The Catholic Press Association, which sponsors the awards, honors authors in 19 different categories.

Finley, the wife of former Auntie’s Bookstore readings coordinator Mitch Finley, a prolific author of Catholic-themed books himself, is the author of several other books including “Savoring God: Praying With All Our Senses” and “Dear God: Prayers for Families With Children.”

Always time for romance

It’s a slim week for literary events, which is only natural this time of year. People aren’t listening to readings; they’re at the lake doing some summer reading of their own.

One event worth attending for fans of romance novels, or anyone else interested in the writing process, is Jeanne Savery’s book signing Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Valley Hastings.

Savery, who lives south of Spokane Valley, has written more Zebra Regency Romances than you can put in a box. Romantic Times Magazine said this of one of her most recent: “Tender emotions push past hurts out of the way in the compelling ‘A Handful of Promises’ (Zebra, 220 pages, $4.99 paper).”

Savery will be signing copies of “The House Party” (Zebra, 256 pages, $4.99 paper), which was just published on Wednesday.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Book talk

“Poetry Reading Group (747-3454), 3 p.m. today, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington (838-0206).

The reader board

“Mark Fuhrman (“Silent Witness: The Untold Story of Terry Schiavio’s Death”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Monday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

“Don Deiser (“Egg Money”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

“Jeanne Savery (“House Party”), signing, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Valley Hastings, 15312 E. Sprague Ave. (924-0667).

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