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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Writers workshop Saturday part of SpoCon 2009

If you know how to write, the future is yours.

That’s particularly true for those wannabes who choose to take part in the writers workshop that will be held Saturday as part of SpoCon 2009, Spokane’s annual sci-fi/fantasy convention.

The workshop, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Gonzaga University’s Jepson Auditorium, is free for high school students with identification, and $10 at the door for all others.

Co-sponsored by the Inland Northwest Science Fiction Fantasy Gaming Association, the workshop will include sessions on such topics as “How to write fantasy” and “Incorporating cultures and their histories in your fiction.”

Guest authors expected to participate include M.J. Engh (“Arslan”) and Deby Fredericks (“Too Many Princes”).

For further information, go online at

Books, etc., for sale

Books won’t be the only thing on sale at the annual Eastern Washington University Friends of the Library Book Sale, Friday and Saturday at the JFK Library on the university’s Cheney campus.

You can buy DVDs, CDs, video- and audiocassettes, LPs, sheet music and even wall posters. In terms of books, you’ll find textbooks and a variety of other nonfiction, literary and popular fiction, as well children’s books of all sizes and shapes.

The sale will take place Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. A preview sale for Friends members will be Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Call (509) 359-2264.

Awards galore

Patricia Goedicke’s poetry collection “The Baseball Field at Night,” published by Sandpoint-based Lost Horse Press, is one of 19 finalists for ForeWord Magazine’s 2008 Book of the Year Award.

There are 668 finalists in 61 categories from 376 publishers. Gold, silver and bronze winners, along with editor’s choice prizes for fiction and nonfiction, will be announced May 29.

No joking around

Here’s an April Fools’ joke of sorts: Spokane-based children’s author Kenn Nesbitt will start selling his new poetry collection on Wednesday, which is April 1.

As a means of marketing his book, Nesbitt is giving bookstores, libraries, schools “and anyone else that can get 10 kids together” a chance to “learn about poetry.”

What he means is that any group that purchases 10 or more copies of “My Hippo Has the Hiccups” – which he has for sale on his Web site, – will qualify for a free half-hour “online author visit.”

Check the site for available dates and other information.

Personal note

This will my final Spokesman-Review books column. For a variety of reasons, I’ve chosen to take a voluntary severance from the paper.

It wasn’t an easy decision because I’ve been following the literary scene in Spokane and the surrounding area since 1984, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I wish every writer, publisher, bookseller and library all the best in this ever-changing world.

I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye than by quoting Kurt Vonnegut, someone I had the honor to meet in 2004. So it goes.

“I am eternally grateful,” Vonnegut wrote, “for my knack of finding in great books, some of them very funny books, reason enough to feel honored to be alive, no matter what else might be going on.”

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

Book talk

•Tin Pencil Writers Group, 6-8 p.m. Monday, Tinman Gallery, 811 W. Garland Ave. Call (509) 325-1500.

•Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers, noon Thursday, Old Country Buffet, 5504 N. Division St. Lunch purchase required at the door. Call Dave McChesney at (509) 325-2072 or e-mail

The reader board

•Molly Gloss (“The Hearts of Horses”), reading, 12:30 p.m. today, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington. Call (509) 838-0206.

•Pat McManus (“The Blight Way”), reading, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, JFK Library, Eastern Washington University, Cheney. Call (509) 359-2264.

•Alan Weltzien (“The Norman MacLean Reader”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore; 5-7 p.m. Thursday, BookPeople, 521 S. Main St., Moscow, Idaho. Call (509) 882-7957.

•Denise Kestrell (“I’m Their Mom”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Charles Semter (“Silver Thread: Kingdom of God”), signing, noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•Carla Alo (“Flavor of Words”), reading/signing, noon-2 p.m. Saturday, BookPeople.

Please send information about upcoming book events to
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