Friday, October 29, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Tuesday, November 2nd
VoiceCatcher contributers will come together to celebrate the release of Volume 5. Readers include: Gerri Ravyn Stanfield, Alida Rol, Liza Langral, Paige Pancratz, Karen Campbell, and Tiel Aisha Ansari. There is a suggested donation at the door of $2-10 to support the work of In Others Words, the only non-profit, women-volunteered bookstore and resource center in the country.
Where: In Other Words, 14 NE Killingsworth
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Suggested donation of $2-10

Tuesday, November 2nd
Portland writer Dana Haynes will speak to Willamette Writers November meeting about writing, research, timing, and success. His book Crashers was published on June 22nd this year and will be coming out on the big screen in 2012 through Steven Spielberg. Dana has a background in journalism and currently works in public affairs at PCC. Prior to writing "Crashers," he wrote three mysteries under the name of Conrad Haynes.
Where: 1422 SW 11th
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free for members and students, $5 for guests of members, and $10 for non-members.

Wednesday, November 3rd
From Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love, comes Great House, a powerful, soaring novel about a stolen desk that contains the secrets, and becomes the obsession, of the lives it passes through. "A formidable and haunting mosaic of loss and profound sorrow," says Publishers Weekly.
Where: Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, November 4th
Celebrate In Other Words' seventeen years in Portland and their expansion into a feminist community center. Reading by Nicole Georges, Alysia Angel, and Carrot Quinn. A photobooth will be provided by Bloodhound Photography, and Bear Feet will provide the musical entertainment.
Where: Northstar Ballroom, 635 N. Killingsworth Ct.
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: $7-20 at the door

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: Around the House

Write whatever you come up with: fiction or non, poetry or prose. Let us know what you have written! Post it below as a comment or email it to us at

Monday, October 25, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: Affect or Effect?

Affect or effect? This is a common question and common mistake. Grammar Girl, a great reference website, offers this cartoon as a visualization of the difference between the two words. A good thing to keep in mind is that most of the time, you use affect as a verb and effect as a noun.
Affect means to influence, as illustrated in the example above. It can also be used to mean that a person is acting in a way they don't feel, or are putting on airs. Therefore you can write things like: "The arrow affected the aardvark" or "He affected an air of superiority."
Effect has a lot of varied meanings, but in the case of determining when to use it, "a result" is a useful way of looking at it. Therefore, you can use effect in sentences like: "The effect was unsettling" or "The special effects were ahead of their time."
There are other rare instances in which affect and effect are in reversed roles, but for general cases, the above examples are good rules to go by.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Saturday, October 23rd
Indigo's day of workshops featuring business classes for writers. Featuring: Differently Abled: Using Tools Outside Your Genre to Break Through Blocks in Writing, 10:30 am - Noon; The Power Couples of Great Readings, 1:00 - 2:30 pm; and How to Make Your Book a Head Turner, 2:40 - 4:10 pm.
Where: 519 SW 3rd Ave, 5th floor conference room
When: 10:30 am - 4:10 pm
Cost: Email to register

Saturday, October 23rd
Vanessa Davis and Julia Wertz are teaming up to celebrate their two latest releases: Davis's Make Me A Woman (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010) and Wertz's Drinking at the Movies (Three Rivers Press, 2010). Both will give a slide show reading, followed by a Q&A and book signing.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Sunday, October 24th
Wonder Woman Day V at Excalibur Comics, an all ages benefit for domestic violence programs featuring special comic artist guests signing and sketching like: Matt Wagner, Natalie Nourigat, Dane Ault, Emi Lenox, and Steve Dorris.
Where: Excalibur Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne
When: 12:00 pm
Cost: Free

Monday, October 25th
Butterfly is a Rose is a series of poems encompassing Emily Newberry's life in hiding behind her safe exterior, while her female self is emerging, and during transition. A World War II baby, Newberry believes that the dilemmas that transsexual women face can be a learning point for every human who hopes to live more fully as themselves.
Where: In Other Words,14 NE Killingsworth
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Writers at Work

Indigo Founder and Senior Editor Ali McCart was recently interviewed by Suzanne LaGrande for the Writers at Work video series.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: Illinois Central R.R.

Illinois Central R.R., freight cars in South Water Street freight terminal, Chicago. April 1943. Jack Delano.

Write whatever comes to you, fiction or non, short or long. Share with us what you come up with! Post a comment or email your work to us at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: Apostrophe Mishaps

Apostrophe misuse is a rampant issue. There's the common mistake often seen at grocery stores or other places of business where an apostrophe is used in a plural, such as pumpkin's are here or open Sunday's, or the other frequently seen it's versus its confusion. Let's take a look at the three common uses where apostrophes should be: to indicate possessives of nouns, to form contractions, and sometimes in time and measurement.

There's an easy trick for using apostrophes with possessives: to see if you need to use a possessive apostrophe, turn the phrase into an of the phrase. For example, the dog's food would be the food of the dog. Something like this definitely does not work with a sentence like pumpkin's are here!

With its and it's, the apostrophe creates a contraction, turning it is into it's. Without the apostrophe, its is a possessive pronoun like his or hers. A possessive its does not require an apostrophe.

The same concept of apostrophes in contractions apples to dates: to shorten writing the year 1978, you can use '78. A plural of a shortened decade only requires one apostrophe though, like, the '70s.

For further apostrophe guidelines, check out The Chicago Manual of Style. For some apostrophe misuse laughs (or lessons?), check out Apostrophe Abuse.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Tuesday, October 19th
Join Oregon poet laureate Paulann Peterson and poet and journalist Don Colburn for an evening of talking about writing. They'll talk about poetry, prose, and the news, and both authors will read. Bring your questions and enjoy an evening a delicious evening of food, culture, and company.
Where: U of O Portland, 70 NW Couch Street
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, October 20th
Reading Frenzy presents cartoonist, writer, and artist, Lynda Barry at Portland Art Museum's Fields Ballroom. Ms. Barry will give a short slide show presentation based on her latest book, Picture This (Drawn & Quarterly, 2010), followed by Q&A, and signing.
Where: PAM Fields Sunken Ballroom, 1119 SW Park Ave.
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: $8 admission, $34 admission + copy of What It Is

Wednesday, October 20th
Crows are loud and insistent. They are smart and relentless. They are not easily tricked. Instead, they play tricks. They see a long distance backward and forwards. They are dark but shining. Likewise, the poems in Crow Mercies survey large territories, sometimes with an overview, sometimes close-at-claw. Winner of the first Sarah Lantz Memorial Poetry Prize (from CALYX Books), poet Penelope Scambly Schott draws on myriad experiences to bring herself and the reader into a deeper and far-reaching connection to the world.
Where: Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy.
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"How to Freelance for Me" Panel on November 10th

Oregon News Incubator, the Portland-based network for freelancers and other entrepreneurial journalists, is hosting its first big even.

The skinny: Portland-based editors give free advice on what they look for in pitches and in freelancers.
The speakers: Kasey Cordell, senior editor, Portland Monthly; Robin Doussard, editor, Oregon Business Magazine; Abraham Hyatt, production editor, ReadWriteWeb. More guests to be announced!
The spot: Souk co-working space, 322 NW 6th Ave
The schedule: Wednesday, November 10th, 7-8 pm

Please RSVP on Facebook, Calgator, or Upcoming!

Photo Story Prompt: Dead of Winter

Write what comes to you! Share with us by leaving a comment or emailing

Monday, October 11, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: Introductory Commas

Commas are often used after introductory phrases or words, especially to indicate pause. This can be very useful to help develop the way your piece reads and flows. Use of the comma is frequently a matter of preference and good judgement. However, there are certain instances with introductory phrases and words where a comma is specifically necessary. We'll just run through how the comma can (and sometimes should) be used here.

i. Introductory Phrase with Comma
A comma is used to indicate slight pause following an introductory phrase at the beginning of a sentence, with the exception of very short introductory phrases. In this case, the comma is also useful to prevent misreading of the sentence, so be sure you are not muddling a sentence by omitting a comma.
Examples: On the other hand, her favorite dinner wasn't exactly easy to prepare.
On Tuesday he tried to see the optometrist.

ii. Introductory Phrase without Comma
If the introductory phrase immediately precedes the verb it modifies, a comma is not used.
Example: Running along behind the car was her neighbor's new dog.

iii. Direct Address
Use a comma following names or words used in direct address and correspondence.
Examples: Friends, I will be selling my car soon.
Mr. Fry, please report back to me as soon as possible.

iv. "Yes," "no," etc.
Use a comma following yes, no, well then, and the like, at the beginning of a sentence when a slight pause is desired.
Examples: Yes, I admit he defeated me.
Well then, we should look into the matter.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

October 9th & 10th
Wordstock! Wordstock is an annual festival of books, writer, and storytelling in Portland, Oregon. A full schedule of events is available here. Wordstock features nine author stages, a book fair, a children's activity and literature stage, a series of workshops for writers, day-long professional development workshops for K-12 teachers, and more.
Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd.
When: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Cost: varies

Saturday, October 9th
The IPRC presents the 5th annual Text Ball at p:ear. The Text Ball is Portland's unique celebration of all things text, where attendees are encouraged to come dressed with text as part of your evening attire. Along with live music, dancing, and text-based refreshments, attendees can enjoy word games and a costume parade.
Where: p:ear, 338 NW 6th Ave
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: $8-$15 at

Tuesday, October 12th
Zinesters talking: Know Your City. Examining Portland's forgotten history through zines. The Dill Pickle Club, a civic organization that organizes education project on local history, culture, and civics, talks about Oregon History Comics, with author and Portland Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk.
Where: Central Library, US Bank Room, 801 SW 10th Ave
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: Commodore Record Shop

Portrait of Milt Gabler, Herbie Hill, Lou Blum, and Jack Crystal, Commodore Record Shop, New York, NY, ca. Aug. 1947. William P. Gottlieb.

Write whatever comes to you! Share your fiction, non-fiction, prose, or what have you with us. Leave it as a comment, or email it to us at

Monday, October 04, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: Compounds and Hyphens

Hyphens and deciding when to hyphenate words are things that confuse me to this day. There's a lot to hyphenation rules, and all different kinds of them. To break it down to easier to understand parts, I wanted to take a look at hyphenating compounds. The first place to look to decide whether or not to hyphenate a word is the dictionary. But after that, here are some things to consider:

i. Readability
Hyphens are used to show structure and pronunciation to enhance readability and comprehension. Hyphens can help out with words that may otherwise be misread; for example, you would want to re-press your shirt, not repress it. And to eliminate ambiguity: decision making is understandable enough, but fast decision-making shows that you are making decisions and not just quick judgements. Something like graduate student housing is not ambiguous, but it is still perfectly acceptable to hyphenate.

ii. Compound Modifiers
When compound modifiers (like well-lit or open-mouthed) precede a noun, hyphenation makes for easier reading and comprehension. When they follow a noun, hyphens are generally not needed (although that is not always the case). The Chicago Manual of Style offers a hyphenation guide for more specifics.

iii. Multiple Hyphens
Standard multiple hyphen phrases like matter-of-fact approach and over-the-counter drug are often written with two hyphens. Other phrases have no real general consensus, but consistency should be maintained throughout a piece. Therefore, early nineteenth-century music or early-nineteenth-century music are both acceptable. The use of one hyphen versus two does not make a difference in the understanding of the phrase.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Sunday, October 3rd
Michele Glazer's poems take on questions of being and value, exploring not just "what" is, but "how" it is. The poems in her new collection, "On Tact, and the Made Up World," are drawn to missteps in perception and language.
Where: Powell's on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne
When: 4:00 pm
Cost: Free

Monday, October 4th
Write Around Portland 10-week workshop begins tonight. Based on their acclaimed community writing model, this generative workshop incorporates favorite exercises to inspire the writing life. Workshop fee ($285) includes free parking and snacks, and helps to fund workshops for low-income youth and adults. To register, of for more information, visit
Where: Powell's, 1005 West Burnside
When: 6:15 pm
Cost: $285 for 10 weeks

Tuesday, October 5th
Join Wordstock and the Multnomah County Library for this special "sneak-peak" at the Young Adult literature that will be featured at this year's festival, with readings from Heather Vogel Frederick, Amanda Howells, and Nancy Coffelt.
Where: Central Library, 810 SW 10th Ave.
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, October 7th
Join us to meet Johnny Ryan and celebrate the release of his latest book, Prison Pit 2. Ryan will sign books and present an exhibition of his original artwork, comix, colorful silkscreen prints, and sculpted figures. Also the main character from Prison Pit, Cannibal Fuckface, will make a special appearance, performing a heavy metal set while covered in blood.
Where: Floating World Comics, 20 NW 5th Ave #101
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free