About Town: Sweet Writerly Stuff

Gate 1 BookstoreDear Writers:

Out following my dog around the neighborhood, I came upon this charming free book exchange. Yes, I may want a groovy Kobo eReader (soon as I pay off my groovy roof), but meanwhile who could resist what I have dubbed Gate 1’s Friendly Neighborhood Bookstore. Props to the homeowner who came up with this idea. You can take a book and leave another or just stand there reading while your dog checks out pee-mail.

Welcome to the middle of the week. Here’s some goings on about town that caught my eye:

May 3, 1 p.m.: First Friday Writers at Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley Community Center, hosted by C.J. Prince. Call 360-393-3439 or just show up for a very welcoming open writing group. Format is Natalie Goldberg style.

May 6, 5:30 p.m.: Drop by Village Books Readings Gallery for a preview of my Knockout Editing class at WWU. This is a developmental editing four-week intensive workshop for writers in any genre who have a couple thousand words or more going. Class starts on May 23 and runs for four Thursdays (6–9 p.m. at WWU campus).

May 11, 8 p.m.: Join two fab poets about town Kevin Murphy (author of A Beautiful Chaos Demands Energy) and Matthew Brouwer (Men Who Walk with Canes, The Gospel According to Matthew) at The Little Studio Up Top in downtown Bellingham.

May 14–15: Bellingham’s Village Books is hosting a Literary Retreat featuring Dylan Tomine (Closer to the Ground) at Willows Inn on Lummi Island.

May 22, 5:30 p.m.: Whatcom Writers & Publishers meeting will feature a panel on social media.

May 27, 7 p.m.: Open Mic at Village Books with Yours Truly as Emcee. Optional theme is Memories and History.

June 21-22: Chuckanut Writers Conference in Bellingham hosted by Whatcom Community College and Village Books. This year’s faculty features Garth Stein, Jennie Shortridge, Bruce Beasley, Wendy Call and many more! For a conference update, check out this post by writer and conference intern Chasse Gunter.

July 25: Bainbridge Island Story Slam at the Treehouse Café. Everyone should go to one of these at least once—at which point you may get addicted.

July 20, 8:30 a.m.: The Third Annual Wind Horse Half Marathon Run for Education on Bellingham’s Interurban Trail. You might not be able to type on your iPad while running (or walking), but you will gets lots of great writing ideas along with some exercise. If you don’t believe me, check out Cami Ostman’s book Second Wind. Many of us know Cami through Red Wheelbarrow Writers. She runs, she writes, she’s awesome!

The amazing May issue of Conversations Across Borders edited by Jeremy Voigt  is out! The next CAB Workshop is in Spokane August 25–30.

October 25-27: Mark your calendars now for Whidbey Island Writers Conference this fall!

If you’re in Lynden WA in need of a beverage or a gorgeous place to write, stop by the Jansen Art Center. They are super writer friendly. I crashed a Red Wheelbarrow Writers write out organized by Sean Dwyer (Dwyer Cafe) and had a spectacular time writing and listening to marvelous work read at the end of the day. Look for Sean’s upcoming post about the event and Jansen.

Speaking of readings, yes, I know, I now owe the open mic crowd posts for March and April. Coming shortly, I promise!

XO Laurel Leigh

8 thoughts on “About Town: Sweet Writerly Stuff

    • Hi Rumpydog! Thanks for coming by. To properly reply to your comment I consulted with Chloe, the German Shepherd mix who is queen of the house. She says: “Yes it is! Plenty of squirrels to chase and hills to climb and a lake that’s fun to jump into before I get back in my human’s car dripping wet. At the moment, I’m reclining by my human’s desk, looking out the window at the neighbor dog. We are frenemies.”

  1. If that book barn was in SF, those books would be gone in a heartbeat, only to be found for sale on the sidewalk somewhere else.

    How do you get any rest with all those things going on? Enjoy!

  2. Hi Laurel Leigh,
    It looks like there is a lot cooking in your neck of the woods. Have you ever attended Write on the Sound? It is a cozy little conference for writers in Edmonds, WA, October 4-6, always very affordable. Thanks for keeping us posted!

    • Hi Naomi,
      You know, I have never gone to the Edmonds event and thanks for telling me about it. I will have to check it out. I am definitely one of those writers who is a little more productive when sequestered without distractions, so I need these writing getaways periodically. Thanks for stopping by and keep up the great work!

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