Panels and Talks

All of these events are free and open to the public.

Friday, April 11

Bedtime Stories with Sharma Shields and Shawn Vestal 

Humanities Washington’s popular “Bedtime Stories” event returns for an intimate conversation between the audience and featured regional writers. Sharma Shields, author of Favorite Monster, will read and answer questions with Shawn Vestal, author of Godforsaken Idaho, in a reprisal of the 2013 Humanities Washington event, for which the writers wrote original pieces based on the theme of "Pillow Talk." Shields’ story collection brings Cyclops, werewolves, and serial killers to your front door, revealing the monster in all of us. In his debut collection, Vestal tells tales of regretful men in heaven and relentless missionaries in the early days of Mormonism. Moderated by Andrea Reid, co-director of the Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities at SCC. 

9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. (two sessions)
Venue: Spokane Community College, Hagan Foundation Center for the Humanities

Strangers in a Strange Land with David Abrams, Adrianne Harun, and Nathan Oates 

Fiction allows us to see the world from another person's perspective, through their experiences in strange landscapes, new cultures, or bizarre situations­—to follow them down the rabbit-hole, as it were. In David Abrams' novel Fobbit, Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding Jr. finds himself in a combat zone for the first time, headquartered in a marble palace in Baghdad and sifting through reports of bombings, sniper kills, and dismemberments in order to draft patriotic press releases about the war. Adrianne Harun's novel A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain centers on a group of young people in an isolated logging town, who must reckon with enigmatic strangers appearing just as Native girls are vanishing from their midst. In The Empty House by Nathan Oates, characters often travel to far-off places in an effort to escape themselves, seeking comfort in the foreign but finding themselves strangers in their own lives. These authors will discuss ways of exploring "strangeness" in fiction, and how they each use it as a tool for evoking larger truths. Moderated by fiction writer and NIC faculty member Jonathan Frey.

Time: 12 p.m.
 North Idaho College, Meyer Health & Sciences Bldg., Room 102

The American Landscape: The Role of Place in Poetry with with Alice Derry, Kate Lebo, and Siobhan Scarry

Poetry is oftentimes dependent on setting, on place. Often there is conflict between the world we inhabit and the world we create, but how can we synthesize these two environments? Three poets will discuss how they handle the role of place in their poems. In her new book, Pilgrimly, the places Siobhan Scarry shows us are vivid and pulsing. Sometimes damaged, sometimes beautiful—often both—Scarry gives us an intimate look at a truly American landscape. Kate Lebo has a fascination with both people and pie. Her book, A Commonplace Book of Pie, combines high art, pop culture, and zodiac fantasy to examine the comforting bond we have with pie and the domestic pleasures of American life. The poems in Alice Derry’s book Tremolo reach to explore the relationships between our lives and the world at large, our inner landscapes within the context of the outward, American one. Moderated by Laura Read, poet and creative writing faculty member at SFCC.

Time: 9:30 a.m.
Venue: Spokane Falls Community College, Building 24, Room 110

Saturday, April 12

Finding Your Character's Voice in YA Fiction with Jill Malone, Trent Reedy, Leslye Walton, and Rachel Toor 

Four authors of books for young people will discuss how they were able to discover their characters' unique voices and to develop them in a believable way. Jill Malone's third novel, Giraffe People, is a first-person coming of age tale about fifteen-year-old Cole Peters, daughter of the Army Chaplain school dean at Fort Monmouth.  Trent Reedy's Divided We Fall, the first book of a trilogy, envisions a full-blown conflict between the federal government and the state of Idaho, with seventeen-year-old Pfc. Daniel Wright caught in the middle. Debut novelist Leslye Walton employs magical realism and lyric prose in a story of sixteen-year-old Ava, a normal girl who happens to have been born with wings. Moderated by Rachel Toor, associate professor at Eastern Washington University and author of the forthcoming YA novel, On The Road to Find Out

Time: 12:00-1:30 p.m. 
Venue: Spokane Convention Center
Room: 206A

A Brave New World: Finding Your Path to Publication in Today's Market with Rebecca Zanetti, Danica Winters, and Shoshanna Evers.

Never before have authors had as many options to get their prose into the hands of readers as they do in today’s market. But how do you know which publishing model is right for you and your writing? Join authors Rebecca Zanetti, Danica Winters, and Shoshanna Evers for a frank and honest discussion of the benefits and disadvantages of current publishing options. Together, these three successful and multi-published writers bring expertise on just about every path to publication you can imagine, including small presses, digital firsts, traditional big 5 houses, self-publishing, and hybrid models. Bring your questions! Moderated by Åsa Maria Bradley.

Time:  12:00-1:30 p.m.
Venue: Spokane Convention Center
Room: 205

From Spark to Fire: Four Nonfiction Writers Share How To Keep The Process Burning

Writing a nonfiction piece, short or long form, often requires tenacity. These authors will offer solutions to difficult or dead-end research and cover how to deal with mistakes, unpracticed craft, and unwieldy narrative structure. Jack Nisbet is a Spokane teacher and naturalist whose most recent work is David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work. Nancy D. Engle is an independent historian who recently completed a research grant in collaboration with the League of Women Voters, the Museum of Arts and Culture, and EWU on "Debating Equal Rights." Paul Lindholdt, PhD of English at EWU is the author of In Earshot of Water: Notes from the Columbia Plateau, which won the 2012 Washington State Book Award in Memoir/Biography. Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of Children's/YA books and former journalist with a passion for stories about people facing great adversity with courage. Her newest book, Pure Grit: How American World War II Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Time:    1:45-3 p.m.
Venue: Spokane Convention Center
Room: 206B

Poets of the Pacific Northwest

Considering the wealth of talented writers we have in our region, it's natural to wonder: what exactly is in the water? Join talented poets Susan Rich, Tod Marshall, Jonathan Potter, and Maya Zeller as they discuss how living and writing in the Pacific Northwest has impacted their work on the page. They'll also discuss how they've carved out lives for themselves as poets in the Northwest, pointing to resources and organizations specific to our region that they have found invaluable. They'll describe how they were able to plug into those resources, what advice they would give to younger poets who want to become more involved in their writing communities, and more.

Time: 1:45-3:00 p.m. 
Venue: Spokane Convention Center
Room: 206C

istory’s most memorable writers, such as Thoreau, Frost, and Muir, have drawn inspiration from their natural surroundings. Join us as three contemporary authors share how nature has sparked ideas for their writing. Bruce Bjornstad, geologist and author of the field guide, On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, will discuss his studies of the grandiose land formations located right here in Washington State. Novelist and creative-nonfiction writer Brenda Peterson’s curiosity about and respect for nature radiates through 15 books like, Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals. And Jack Nisbet, winner of the 2010 Pacific Northwest Book Award for his biography of naturalist David Douglas entitled, The Collector, is himself a naturalist, teacher, and writer of multiple books on nature. Moderated by Jane Fritz, award-winning environmental journalist and author of Legendary Lake Pend Oreille.

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