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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Northwest Passages Book Club celebrates Summer Stories with event Wednesday

When The Spokesman- Review began the Summer Stories series in 2014, the idea was to celebrate Spokane-area authors and give readers some new and interesting things to read in the paper. So for 10 weeks each summer since, the Today section has been home to original works of short fiction by the award-winning authors who call the Inland Northwest home.

This year, we asked authors to write about the Summer of ’69, a momentous time in American history that began with the Cuyahoga River in Ohio catching fire and ended with the Chicago 8 trial. In between saw the moon landing, Manson family murders, Woodstock and Stonewall riots.

Many of this summer’s participating writers will be on hand Wednesday to celebrate the series during a gathering of the Northwest Passages Book Club.

They include Shawn Vestal, Stephanie Oakes, Chris Crutcher, Sherry Jones, S.M. Hulse, Kris Dinnison, Megan Louise Rowe and Jess Walter. The event will feature the authors reading short excerpts from their stories – including those that have not appeared in print – as well as “readers theater” productions of two stories.

Attendees of the free event will be able to bring home some swag, too. An exclusive poster featuring all of the artwork Spokesman-Review staff artist Molly Quinn created for this year’s series will be given out, as will bookmarks featuring the participating authors. Auntie’s Bookstore will be on hand with copies of the authors’ books for sale as well.

Book club director Kristi Burns said celebrating Spokane authors is a way of celebrating our neighbors.

“A lot of people can say they live in a city that’s a ‘great reading town,’ but how many people can say they live in a city that’s a great writers town? And that those writers live and work in Spokane while they do all the other things us non-writing mortals do?” she said.

“You may meet them walking your dog (true story: Kris Dinnison), out shopping for groceries at Rosauers (Shawn Vestal in the paper goods aisle) or at your kids’ elementary school parent group (looking at you, Sharma Shields).”

Did we mention that Wednesday’s event is free? Well, it is, but it’s a huge help to Burns if she knows you’re coming. Grab a free ticket at

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