Sunday, November 30, 2008

Spotlighted Literary Events

Date: Tuesday, December 2
The Willamette Writers host an evening featuring Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal. In this workshop setting, Katz will show participants how to create a writer's platform beyond the basics of churning out a book and hunting for a publisher. According to Katz, a writer should know how to network and publicize themselves, keep up on current trends, and commit 100% to her writing career.
Where: The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave. & Clay, Portland, OR 97201
When: doors open 6:15pm; workshop begins at 7:00pm
Cost: $10 non-members; $5 for guests of members; free for members and college students
For more info, visit or call 503-452-1592

Date: Wednesday, December 3
Join Orlo in celebrating their 15th anniversary! The party is at the Someday Lounge. Enjoy drinks, snacks, music from the folk-blues group Blackwater Collective's debut album, and a glimpse into the organization's new year of influence. Since 1993, the non-profit has shined a light on environmental issues through the creative arts in exhibits, events, and publications.
Where: Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave.; Portland, OR 97209
When: 6:30pm
Cost: $5 non-members; free for members
For more info, visit or call 503-248-1030

Date: Friday, December 5
In a city known for its innovative food culture, an evening of readings from Hunger and Thirst: Food Literature will be sure to entice our taste buds. Looking Glass Books will host the book's editor, Nancy Cary, Carlos Reyes and other contributing Northwest writers. The literature and artwork in the book will remind us of the food-filled holiday season underway and what we each bring to the table, edible and otherwise.
Where: Looking Glass Books, 7983 SE 13th Ave.; Portland, OR 97202
When: 7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info, visit or call 503-227-4760

Monday, November 24, 2008

Editing Tip of the Week: Every Apostrophe in its Place

Every apostrophe has its place. But so many are lost or misguided. Mistakes are so abundant that there is even a photo group on the Flickr Web site documenting them. A common mistake is to use an apostrophe for plurals. Often referred to as the grocer’s apostrophe, you might have seen this misuse on signs at the grocery store or coffee shop that advertise apple’s for sale or delicious afternoon snack’s. Both of those apostrophes should have been left out. Well, then where do they go?

The three main uses of apostrophes are to indicate possessives of nouns, to form contractions, and sometimes to indicate time and measurement. I found a helpful hint on Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab to remember the first use: to figure out if you need to turn a phrase into a possessive, turn the phrase into an of the phrase. Using this tip, the phrase the man’s briefcase turns into the briefcase of the man.

Confusion between the use of it’s versus its also results in many mistakes. With the apostrophe, it’s is the contraction it is. Without the apostrophe, its is a possessive pronoun, like hers and his, and does not need an apostrophe.

With dates and time periods, keep in mind the idea of contractions. An apostrophe stands in place of the omitted letters. To shorten the year 2008, it would read as '08.

Shorten the number of apostrophes that are out of place. The next time you’re writing and an apostrophe is hanging in the balance, check to see if your use of it will match any of the three uses mentioned above.

Check suggestions on or

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Spotlighted Literary Events

Date: Monday, November 24
The 14-year-old non-profit feminist bookstore, In Other Words, is holding a New Volunteer Orientation. The organization not only sells books, but also plays host to a number of community events, including writing workshops, author readings, film groups, and even yoga classes. Their new resource center serves as a place for community and connection. All of this activity relies on volunteers to help with everything from running the store to planning the events. The volunteer orientations are held monthly.
Where: In Other Words Bookstore, 8 B NE Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97211
When: 6:30pm
Cost: Free
For more information about the orientation and In Other Words, visit

Date: Monday, November 24
Looking Glass Books hosts the Oregon Writers Colony OWC Presents! monthly workshops for or about writers and writing. This month's free workshop features author Jennie Shortridge. Her book, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe was published in April 2008. This is a great opportunity to meet with a published writer and hear about her experiences, as well as to offer support for a writer by joining the discussion.
Where: Looking Glass Books, 7983 SE 13th Ave., Portland, OR 97202
When: 7:00pm
Cost: Free and open to the public
For more info, visit

Date: Friday, November 28
Title Wave Used Bookstore is having a Customer Appreciation Sale! All used materials are 55% off, and as you browse through the great deals, you'll be hunting for treasures throughout the store - gift certificates and other surprises (one treasure per customer). Books make great gifts, for yourself or others. Stock up and save up at this event!
Where: Title Wave Used Bookstore, 216 NE Knott St., Portland, OR 97212
When: 9:00am-5:00pm

For more information, visit

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Book Designers: The 2009 Stiftung Buchkunst International Design Competition is Accepting Entries

The Seattle-based Marquand Books, Inc. invites design book professionals to submit entries to "The Best Book Design from All Over the World", Stiftung Buchkunst's international design competition at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair.

A selection committee of book design professionals will select the US entries to then submit to Siftung Buchkunst. Final entries will be judged by an international jury. Important aspects to be judged include typesetting, reproduction, printing, paper, binding, typography, and graphic design.

Submission deadline is Monday, December 15, 2008.
No participation fee. Sorry, entries will not be returned.

Send 2 copies of each book (maximum entry of 3 books per individual designer) and include the following information:


Send entries to:
Marquand Books
Stiftung Buchkunst Competition
1402 Third Avenue
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98101

Finalists will be selected and featured on Marquand's blog, in early January 2009. Contact for more information.

Finalists will be juried in February 2009, and featured at an exhibition at the Leipzig Book Fair and the Book Art International exhibition at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Stiftung Buchkunst was founded in 1965, emerging from the Sammlung Buchkunst, an organization of the German National Library focused on collecting books with aesthetic designs. Today, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, the German National Library, and the cities of Frankfurt and Leipzig unite to sponsor and promote the foundation. The main goal of the foundation is the critical surveillance of the bookmaking trade with the objective of maintaining and improving the quality of book design.
Stiftung Buchkunst hosts the exhibition “Book Art International” at the Frankfurt Book Fair each autumn. Prizewinning books from approximately thirty countries are presented, organized according to category. The exhibition allows both experts and the general public to become acquainted with the technical and aesthetic fundamentals of books. Visitors from around the world are given the opportunity to experience and compare a broad range of designs.

Copyright Marquand Books, Inc. 2008

Whatever Happened to the Portland Writer?

Shannon of the Portland Writer came to Indigo's booth the first year we were at Wordstock...back when "we" were just "I." She had all these great updates on the writing world in Portland and was a great support every time we released a call for submissions or for intern applicants. First she was at and then at But now she's nowhere to be found. Has anyone seen Shannon, the Portland Writer? We miss her!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Local Publisher Provides Entertainment for an Evening of Expensive Cars and Business Schmoozing

I attended the Evenings on the Waterfront event last night, at which KenArnoldBooks was asked to provide the entertainment. And entertain they did!

The first reader was David Hill, author of Consumed, and I don't think the laughs ever stopped the entire time he was up there. Hill offers a fantastically funny view on people consumed by lust, by money, by food, and how they consume those things.

The second act was Greg Mandel, author of High Hat, accompanied by Ken Arnold and Connie Kirk. High Hat is an inventive novel in which the pope moonlights as a detective. Complete with song and dance, the act had the crowd in stitches.

Might I add that all this was held in the presence of fancy cars? Yes, this event was hosted in a car dealership that surely had every attendee drooling. Other businesses who sponsored the event were a kayaking company, artists, a bank, and a catering company (with delicious food!). Once the readings were over, people were free to schmooze some more, buy books, buy cars (or just pose in them), and generally have a good time.

If you're in Portland, I highly recommend you watch for the next Evenings on the Waterfront event and for more KenArnoldBooks readings. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Meh': Apathetic expression enters dictionary

'Meh': new word for indifference enters English dictionary AFP/Getty Images/File – Characters perform on stage at "The Simpsons" Panel during the 2008 Comic Con in San Diego, …

LONDON – At least someone is excited about "meh."

The expression of indifference or boredom has gained a place in the Collins English Dictionary after generating a surprising amount of enthusiasm among lexicographers.

Publisher HarperCollins announced Monday the word had been chosen from terms suggested by the public for inclusion in the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition, to be published next year.

The origins of "meh" are murky, but the term grew in popularity after being used in a 2001 episode of "The Simpsons" in which Homer suggests a day trip to his children Bart and Lisa.

"They both just reply 'meh' and keep watching TV," said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries.

The dictionary defines "meh" as an expression of indifference or boredom, or an adjective meaning mediocre or boring. Examples given by the dictionary include "the Canadian election was so meh."

The dictionary's compilers said the word originated in North America, spread through the Internet and was now entering British spoken English.

"This is a new interjection from the U.S. that seems to have inveigled its way into common speech over here," McKeown said. "Internet forums and e-mail are playing a big part in formalizing the spellings of vocal interjections like these. A couple of other examples would be 'hmm' and 'heh.'

"Meh" was selected by Collins after it asked people to submit words they use in conversation that are not in the dictionary. Other suggestions included jargonaut, a fan of jargon; frenemy, an enemy disguised as a friend; and huggles, a hybrid of hugs and snuggles.

Swag, Anyone?

Thanks to Celeste who submitted this photo of her modeling our Indigo swag.

You can buy your own Indigo swag, in a variety of colors, at They make great holiday gifts!

Editorial Tip of the Week: A New Beginning

Take a breath and relax. According to The Chicago Manual of Style, the widespread panic caused by sentences that begin with conjunctions is unnecessary.

There are still some things to keep in mind, such as whether to use and or but. Chicago states that the correct choice is but when a new sentence creates a contrast to the preceding one. Strunk and White's Elements of Style acknowledges that the use of conjunctions to begin sentences is part of standard English, but advises to use it sparingly in order for the writing to be most effective.

So, it is perfectly acceptable to use and, but, or so to begin a sentence. Conjunctions can even lead to your next paragraph. And sometimes that's all the help a writer needs to keep the pen moving.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spotlighted Literary Events

Date: Tuesday, November 18
The release of the Portland Women Writers' anthology, Voicecatcher3, is celebrated with a reading at Powell's City of Books. Hosted by the editor, Sara Guest, the evening will feature work by Emily Kendal Frey, Sarah Bartlett, FeLicia Elam, Sandra Sakurai, Tiel Aisha Ansari, and Patricia Kullberg. The event is also a celebration of a community of support, inspiration, and creativity. Portland Women Writers offers a place in which to share and cultivate the craft of writing.
Where: Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
When: 7:30pm
Cost: Free
For more info: or

Date: Thursday, November 20
HOTLIPS Pizza is the backdrop for a monthly morning writing workshop led by Write Around Portland. If you enjoy coffee, pastries, and words, sign up to attend this Thursday's workshop. Another example of the power of a supportive community, these workshops can help first-time writers or more experienced writers.
Where: HOTLIPS Pizza, 2211 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97214
When: 9am-11am
Cost: A suggested $25 tax-deductible donation to support Write Around Portland per workshop
For more info and to pre-register:

Date: Friday, November 21
If you have creative ideas or questions and are looking for feedback, suggestions, or overall support, Independent Publishing Resource Center has just the forum for you. The DIY Braintrust Group meets monthly for participants to offer insight, solve issues, and brainstorm solutions. It is just one great place to find a community of support and shared creative goals.
Where: IPRC, 917 SW Oak Street #218, Portland, OR 97205
When: 6pm-7:30pm
Cost: Free Drop-in
For more info: or call 503-827-0249

Monday, November 10, 2008

Editorial Tip of the Week: Affecting the Effect

Do you sometimes pause while writing and have to wonder if your choice between affect and effect was the right one?

The mystery remains.

Take a moment to look up the words in the dictionary or online. You could come away with a whole new meaning.

Try the online dictionary:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wordstock 2008

It's almost time for my favorite event of the year: Wordstock. Yup, this ranks even higher on my list than Christmas or birthdays. Seriously, what could be better than two whole days of a convention center filled with books, the people who create them, and the people who worship them? Besides that, Wordstock gives out these awesome buttons with witty sayings like "Reading is sexy." I'm getting giddy just writing this!

If you're in the Portland area, I urge you to check Wordstock out. The book fair at the Portland Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Indigo will be there at booth #746 with great stuff like books, T-shirts, and free consultations for writers. We'll also host the winner of Sledgehammer as she reads her story on the Community of Writers stage at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. Come to the reading to pick up your free copy of the Sledgehammer chapbook.

If you can't wait till Saturday for all this book loving, evening events like readings and poetry slams actually start tomorrow. Check out for more details and venue locations.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sledgehammer Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Mel Wells for winning the Sledgehammer writing contest with her story, "Moving On." You can download Mel's story at and also see her read at Wordstock this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. We'll be on the Community of Writers stage at the Oregon Convention Center.

Ink-Filled Page Call for Submissions

Call for submissions! We're looking for fiction, nonfiction, and art submissions for our literary journal. Please consider submitting and passing this information on to anyone you think may be interested.

Ink-Filled Page is a quarterly literary journal produced by Indigo Editing & Publications, The journal is published online quarterly, and we print an anthology annually. Our most recent quarterly issue was released in October and is available at Our anthologies are available from any Powell's and on our site.

Literary Submissions

Fiction submissions can be short stories or novel excerpts, and the nonfiction section is open to personal narratives and essays. While all genres are welcome, special interests include:
• travel
• multicultural themes
• feminism
• magical realism
We are specifically looking for fresh, untold stories and unique voices that draw us into the world of the story. While we know and love many Jo(h)ns, we are inundated by character Jo(h)ns. We ask that you only submit characters by that name if it is necessary for the story.

Limit submissions to 5,000 words, one submission per candidate. Authors who submit more than one piece will not be considered. Electronic submissions only.

All literary submissions must be written for an English-reading audience. By submitting a story to Ink-Filled Page, you confirm that you are the sole creator of the story and that you hold all rights to your piece.

Artwork Submissions

Artwork submissions are open to all mediums, but pieces must be submitted electronically. Winning pieces are selected based on composition and originality. Pieces will be published in color in the online quarterly issue and in black and white in the print anthology. Please submit pieces that will translate well in both contexts. We are looking for pieces that highlight the human experience—show us the good or the bad, be surreal or real, but make sure that whatever you submit connects us, human to human.

Limit three submissions per candidate. Artists who submit more than three pieces will not be considered. Submit digital artwork at 300 dpi or higher. By submitting your artwork to Ink-Filled Page, you confirm that you are the sole creator of said artwork and that you hold all rights to your piece.

The deadline for all submissions is November 30, 2008. Visit us online for more information and to submit.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tapestry of Tales Festival

Now that the rain is upon us once again and our clocks are effectively turned back, it can be hard to leave the house after 4:00 p.m. If you're like me and need a little extra incentive to get out of bed in the winter months, look no further than the ninth annual Tapestry of Tales Storytelling Festival, sponsored by Multnomah County Library.

The festival runs most of November and features prominent storytellers like Syd Lieberman, Motoko, and Grammy-winner Bill Harley. The kickoff event on November 10th at the Hollywood Library is an especially promising one. Entitled Cringe Down Memory Lane, participants are invited to exploit their cringe-worthy selves by bringing old journal entries, photographs or agonizing love letters, the more embarrassing the better. I personally participated in a similar event last year and read some pretty insightful seventh grade observations on rollerblading and the movie Sister Act 2.

Most events are free of charge, though some special events do charge admission. For more information, visit