Words and Pictures Festival 2021

Words & Pictures Festival 2021

What?

Our fifth annual festival of local authors and illustrators is a two-day virtual extravaganza! Events include a keynote address and events for children and families on Saturday, Imagined Ink writing workshops for teens on Sunday, and author readings and workshops and panels for writers both days.

When?

Saturday, October 9, 10 am–5 pm and Sunday, October 10, 10 am–3:15 pm

Register here!

Register for the entire two-day event (it's free!) and you will be emailed a schedule with all of the Zoom links prior to the event. You can attend as many sessions as you like. Come and go throughout the weekend as your schedule allows.

Keynote speaker: Laura Stanfill

Laura StanfillBooks matter, not just by offering a safe and steady haven in times of crisis, but because the joy of writing and reading is itself an act of resistance. In this year’s keynote, Laura Stanfill, a novelist and the publisher of Forest Avenue Press, will speak about books being her first friends and how writing, reading, and publishing have sustained her through the uncertainty of a global pandemic.

Schedule of events

Saturday, October 9

Time

Reader's Track

Writer's Track

Fun for Kids & Families

10 am–11 am

Author Readings

Karen Eisenbrey & Brian Tashima, and Kristin Burchell (YA fantasy)

Indie Publishing: Part 1

Andrew Durkin, founder of Yellow Bike Press, an author services company, offers a "how-to" guide for those interested in self-publishing.

Stories & Papercutting

Elizabeth Goss

11:15 am–12:15 pm

Author Readings

Jessica Brody & LeeAnn McLennan (YA fantasy)

Indie Publishing, Part 2

Featuring Forest Avenue Press and Unsolicited Press

The term “Indie Publishing” can be confusing, as it applies both to those who self-publish and to small, independent publishers. In this panel, meet two publishers from the PDX metro area. Learn what makes a small press unique, how each of these presses solicits and acquires books, and how their press contributes to the larger publishing ecosystem.

Author Readings

Gretchen McLellan & Chamisa Kellogg

1–2 pm

Author Readings

Ruby McConnell & Stephanie Feldstein (Nonfiction)

Query Letters and Other Author Nightmares

You’ve finished writing your manuscript, only to find out that one more daunting piece of writing remains—the dreaded query letter. It can make or break your publishing career. And it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Author Curtis Chen demystifies the process and walks writers through the basics of the submission process.

Stories, Art, & Mindfulness

Gabi Snyder & Jocelyn Fitzgerald

2:15–3:15 pm

Author Readings

Lydia Valentine, writer, poet & playwright, along with FVRLibraries staff writers

Getting a Manuscript Ready for Submission

Featuring Alison Cochrun, Laurel Gale, Chamisa Kellogg, Stephanie Feldstein, Ruby McConnell

Now that the submission process in general and query letters seem less scary, learn from other authors how the publishing process unfolded for them, and how it differs depending upon your genre.

Author Readings

Author Jim Mockford shares stories and activities. Then writer Jessica Becker, who has written the Little Feet Hiking series of guidebooks, shares her passion for getting families outside together. Hear where to find the best local hikes for families and insider tips for how best to make a hike the best experience for all ages.

3:30–5 pm

Keynote Speaker: Laura Stanfill 

Keynote by Laura Stanfill, Forest Avenue Press, with a special opening by Imagined Ink Teen Writers

Sunday, October 10

Time

Reader's Track

Writer's Track

Teen Track

Imagined Ink

10–11 am

Other Worlds: SciFi, Comics, & Graphic Novels

Featuring Curtis Chen, Sloane Leong, Heather Finley, and Tony Parker

Join science fiction writer Curtis Chen, along with graphic novel/comics creators Sloane Leong, Heather Finley, and Tony Parker, and a representative from Oni Press for discussion, readings, and demonstrations. (This is a special 2-hour presentation. We will be taking a 15-minute break in the middle of the session.)

Marketing & Social Media for Authors: Part 1

You have a book—now what? How do you let the world know your work is out there? How do you find your readers? How much marketing will your publisher do? Learn more from author Kelly Garrett.

Author Readings

Melissa Wiley & Lisa Gerlits

Middle grade writers present readings and activities for teens and teen writers.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages welcome, but moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

11:15 am–12:15 pm

Marketing & Social Media for Authors, Part 2

Featuring Heidi Mason, Brian Tashima, Gretchen McLellan

You’ve heard great tips and tricks to apply to your own book marketing. Now hear how three authors who publish in different genres have applied these lessons in their own work life.

Author Readings

Laurel Gale & Robin Kaplan/Robinson

A middle grade writer and a graphic novelist present readings and activities for teen and teen writers.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages welcome, but moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

1–2 pm

Author Readings

Heidi Mason & Alison Cochrun

(Romance with a touch of suspense)

 

Teen Writers Save the Cat

Are you a teen writer looking to sharpen your writing skills? Join Jessica Brody, middle grade and YA author and the author of Save the Cat Writes a Novel, presents a writing workshop specifically designed for you.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages welcome, but moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

2:15–3:15 pm

Author Readings

Linda Graham & Mollie Hunt

(Cozy mysteries and contemporary romance)

 

Author to Author—Advice for Teen Writers

Featuring Robin Kaplan, Stephanie Feldstein, Lisa Gerlits, Karen Eisenbrey

Teen writers are invited to hear from authors who write for teens as they share their stories and answer questions from the audience.

(This presentation is especially for teens and teen writers. All ages welcome, but moderator will give preference during Q&A to teen participants.)

Appreciation

Special thanks to Christy Peterson, our author coordinator, who spends countless hours coordinating Words & Pictures every year.

Writers and Illustrators

Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun is a high school English teacher living outside Portland, Oregon. When she's not reading and writing queer love stories, you can find her torturing teenagers with Shakespeare, crafting perfect travel itineraries, hate-watching reality dating shows, and searching for the best happy hour nachos.

Andrew Durkin

Andrew Durkin

Originally from New Jersey, Andrew (he/him) has a PhD in English literature from the University of Southern California, where he also taught freshman writing for six years. He was a postdoctoral fellow at USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy at the Annenberg Center for Communication, where he worked with digital media pioneer Bob Stein. Andrew is now a professional editor, author, and musician based in Portland, OR. Before founding Yellow Bike Press, he was an editor at Inkwater Press, where he edited hundreds of books. Andrew is the author of Decomposition: A Music Manifesto (Pantheon, 2014), one of Los Angeles magazine’s “Best Little Music Books” of 2014.

Brian Tashima

Brian Tashima

Brian Tashima was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, but it was too warm and sunny for him, so he decided to move to Vancouver, Washington, where he now writes books, plays in a local band, and serves on the Board of Directors for Autism Empowerment.

Chamisa Kellogg

Chamisa Kellogg

Chamisa is an illustrator, animator and art director based in Portland, Oregon. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, and makes work for children’s books, brands, games and animation. Her lush and textural illustration style consistently provides notes of nostalgia and whimsy with a fresh playful twist. Chamisa’s debut illustrated book, Crying is Like the Rain (by Heather Hawk Feinberg), was published by Tilbury House in September 2020, and her next book, Some Days (by Julie A. Stamm, published by The Experiment), will be out in September 2021.

Christy Peterson

Christy Peterson

Christy has written more than 40 nonfiction books and articles for young readers. Her book Into the Deep: Science, Technology, and the Quest to Save the Ocean (Twenty First Century Books 2020) is a 2021 Washington State Book Awards finalist. Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth (Twenty First Century Books 2020) was included in the 2021 edition of the Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year. Her most recent titles are the Sesame Street® Friends Around the World series and the Crayola® Creature Colors series, both from Lerner Publications (2021).

Curtis C. Chen

Curtis C. Chen

Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, Curtis C. Chen (陳致宇) now writes stories and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. He's the author of the Kangaroo series of funny science fiction spy thrillers and has written for the Realm originals Ninth Step Station, Machina, and Echo Park 2060 (forthcoming). Curtis' short stories have appeared in Playboy Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Oregon Reads Aloud, and elsewhere. His homebrew cat feeding robot was displayed in the "Worlds Beyond Here" exhibit at Seattle's Wing Luke Museum.

Elizabeth Goss

Elizabeth Goss

Elizabeth Goss is a papercutter, Illustrator, and author. Her artwork has appeared in books, galleries, TV spots, and advertisements. She is a proud member of the Guild of American Papercutters and has previously served on their board as a VP of Exhibits and the VP of Community Outreach. As a writer, she loves creating stories that are unusual or unexpected. Unlikely heroes, new takes on well-known stories, and the secret worlds of children are her specialty. Whether she is writing a whimsical fantasy or a piece of vivid nonfiction, she loves to surprise her readers.

Gabi Snyder

Gabi Snyder

Gabi Snyder’s debut picture book, Two Dogs on a Trike, illustrated by Robin Rosenthal, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, who said it “perfectly captures the rollicking, manic joy of dogs off the leash.” Her second picture book, Listen, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, released in July 2021. She studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas and is a member of SCBWI. When she’s not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family.

Gretchen McLellan

Gretchen McLellan

Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan is a former elementary reading specialist and author of Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3, I’m Done!, Button and Bundle, No Party Poopers! and the coming When Your Daddy’s a Soldier. She writes picture books, chapter books and middle-grade fiction. Gretchen grew up as an army brat and global nomad. She settled in Camas, WA and hopes that children will find a home in her heartfelt books about community, courage and compassion. When she isn’t writing or editing, Gretchen can be found reading, playing word games, attending plays, hiking, sewing and baking.

Heather Finley

Heather Finley is a freelance comic writer based in Vancouver, WA. She is best known for Zombies vs Cheerleaders. When not writing, she is surrounded by cats and foster kittens while dreaming about climbing Mount Everest.

Heidi Mason

Heidi Mason

H.R. Mason is an Ohio girl transplanted into the Pacific Northwest. She is a people-watching introvert who can be found hiding out in the nearest corner. When not writing, she loves rainy days at the beach, old houses and antiques, researching family history, reading, and getting lost inside her own thoughts. She is a lover of caffeine and a hopeless romantic at heart. A multi-published author in the Romance genre, she moved into new writing territory in 2019 when she crossed genres. Nothing Hidden Ever Stays, her debut Gothic Suspense novel, became an Amazon bestseller.

Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody

Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 novels for teens, tweens, and adults including The Geography of Lost Things, The Chaos of Standing Still, I Speak Boy, A Week of Mondays, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, the Unremembered trilogy, and the System Divine trilogy, which is a sci-fi reimagining of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, co-written with Joanne Rendell. She’s also the author of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (the #1 bestselling plotting guide for novelists) and several books based on popular Disney franchises like Descendants and LEGO Disney Princess. She lives with her husband and three dogs near Portland, OR.

Jim Mockford

Jim Mockford

Jim Mockford is the author of The Kite That Touched the Sky a bilingual Chinese and English illustrated children’s book published in 2020. Jim is a historian and writer specializing in Asian and Pacific studies. He attended Waseda University in Tokyo and graduated from the University of Oregon. Jim was an award-winning kite flier at the 1987 Weifang International Kite Festival in Weifang, China. In 2017, he returned to Weifang to fly kites in China once again, and began to write a children’s book about his grandchildren in China and the USA and their adventure together flying kites.

Jocelyn Fitzgerald

Jocelyn Fitzgerald

As a board-certified art therapist with a thriving practice, Jocelyn loves directing her clients to tap into their own creativity to connect with what they're feeling on the inside and bring it to life on the outside. Jocelyn plays with color in a variety of mediums. She’s taught fine arts classes, run women’s workshops on collage-making, organized healing-centered group art projects, and led guided visualizations on how to activate creativity with schools and nonprofits. When she’s not working, you can find Jocelyn hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest mountains, creating art, doing yoga, or enjoying dance parties with her little family.

Karen Eisenbrey

Karen Eisenbrey

Karen Eisenbrey lives in Seattle, WA, where she leads a quiet, orderly life and invents stories to make up for it. Karen writes fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as short fiction in a variety of genres and the occasional poem or song if it insists. She is the author of four novels: The Gospel According to St. Rage; Barbara and the Rage Brigade; Daughter of Magic; and Wizard Girl, all from Not A Pipe Publishing. Death’s Midwife will release in 2021. Karen shares her life with her husband, two young adult sons, and two mature adult cats.

Kelly Garrett

Kelly Garrett

Emmeline Duncan is a mystery writer based out of Portland, Oregon. The first installment of her new Ground Rules series, Fresh Brewed Murder, was released on March 30th, 2021. Emmeline also writes for teens as Kelly Garrett. Her debut YA novel, The Last To Die, was an Oregon Book Awards finalist and was re-issued by Sourcebooks Fire in November 2019. Kelly is also a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellow.

Emmeline/Kelly is a board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and co-organizes Friends of Mystery’s Bloody Thursday lecture series. She’s also a member of Sisters-In-Crime, Willamette Writers, and SCBWI.

Kristin Burchell

Kristin Burchell

Kristin Burchell writes novels for middle grade and YA readers, including The Witches of Proposal Rock and the upcoming Court of Venom. Her novels have won recognition from Willamette Writers and Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the perfect home for dreaming up ghost stories. When not writing or teaching, she can be found reading, stargazing, and hiking with her husky in the Columbia River Gorge.

Laura Stanfill

Laura Stanfill

Laura Stanfill is the publisher of Forest Avenue Press and the author of the novel Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary, forthcoming in April 2022 from Lanternfish Press. In 2021, she was the runner-up for the Publishing Professionals Network’s Distinguished Service Award, and Forest Avenue earned an Oregon Literary Fellowship as well as a place on Reedsy’s list of best small presses. Stanfill is a 2018 graduate of the Yale Publishing Course after winning the inaugural scholarship from the Independent Book Publishers Association. Publishers Weekly designated her as a 2017 Star Watch honoree. She founded the Main Street Writers Movement to encourage writers to build community at the local level. Her zine, Sad House: Parenting, Grief, and Creativity in the Coronavirus Crisis, was published by Microcosm Publishing. She believes in indie bookstores and wishes on them like stars from her home in Portland, Oregon, where she resides with her family and a dog named Waffles. Join her newsletter at laurastanfill.substack.com.

Laurel Gale

Laurel Gale

Laurel Gale writes books for children. Her middle grade novels include Dead Boy and Story Magic. She lives with her husband and their ferrets in Washington. In addition to writing, she enjoys hiking, playing board games, and reading.

LeeAnn McLennan

LeeAnn McLennan

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, LeeAnn Elwood McLennan was always looking for any opportunity to read—under the covers in bed, in the car, and in class using the book-hidden-in-the-textbook trick. When her father introduced her to sci-fi/fantasy through a book of short stories from Astounding Stories, the possibilities in every word captivated her interest, and her daydreams involved other worlds, magical powers, and time travel. Despite graduating from Clemson University with a degree in English, LeeAnn has spent her career working in computer engineering-related fields.

Linda Graham

Linda Graham

Linda L. Graham grew up in Indiana but has lived in Oregon for most of her adult life. Her first book, a memoir entitled Indiana Summer: From Cornfields and Lightning Bugs, was published in 2016. It is a poignant and often humorous account of growing up in Indiana during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Linda enjoys camping and walking in the scenic Northwest, connecting with friends and family. She lives with her husband, Raul, and their two Manx cats. Linda and Raul enjoy swimming with dolphins whenever they get a chance.

Lisa Gerlits

Lisa Gerlits

Lisa Gerlits is an art teacher, muralist, and author of the middle grade novel, A Many Feathered Thing. She lives with her Dutch husband, three kids, one cat, and a varying number of chickens in beautiful Silverton, Oregon, where she can walk behind waterfalls and pick berries all summer long. She coordinates SCBWI OR’s Great Critique events.

Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine

Lydia K. Valentine is a playwright and poet, director and dramaturg, editor and educator. Through her own writing and the projects to which she contributes under Lyderary Ink, Lydia always seeks to amplify the voices of those who are often stifled, ignored, and marginalized in what has been the accepted narrative of the United States. Lydia’s writing has appeared in online and print publications such as Angels Flight * literary west, The Pitkin Review, and Shout! An Anthology of Resistance Poetry and Short Fiction. Her first poetry collection, Brief Black Candles, is expected in winter 2020 from Not a Pipe Publishing.

Melissa Wiley

Melissa Wiley

Melissa Wiley is the author of The Nerviest Girl in the World, The Prairie Thief, Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, the Inch and Roly series, and other books for kids. Melissa has been blogging about her family’s reading life and tidal homeschooling adventures at Here in the Bonny Glen since 2005. She is @melissawiley on Twitter and @melissawileybooks on Instagram.

Mollie Hunt

Mollie Hunt

Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. She writes the award-winning Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series featuring Lynley Cannon, a sixty-something cat shelter volunteer who finds more trouble than a cat in catnip, and the Cat Seasons sci-fantasy tetralogy where cats save the world. She also pens a bit of cat poetry.

Mollie is a member of the Oregon Writers’ Colony, Sisters in Crime, the Cat Writers’ Association, and Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a varying number of cats. Like Lynley, she is a grateful shelter volunteer.

Robin Kaplan

Robin Kaplan / Robin Robinson

Robin Robinson writes and illustrates books and comics for kids, including 2021's No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest from First Second, and lives in a house that looks like someone threw a Halloween party in a library and forgot to clean up afterwards.

Ruby McConnell

Ruby McConnell

Ruby McConnell is a registered geologist and outdoor adventurer who writes about nature, art, and culture with a particular emphasis on the intersection of the environment and human experience. A recipient of numerous honors including the Literary Arts Oregon Literary Fellowship, she has written extensively about the Pacific Northwest and the environment in scientific and literary journals. McConnell is the author of two previous titles, A Girl’s Guide to the Wild and A Woman’s Guide to the Wild. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Paul.

Sheela Preuitt

Sheela Preuitt

Sheela Preuitt is an author of children’s books and a freelance writer for publications with a south Asian slant. In her nonfiction works, she enjoys focusing on STEM/STEAM topics for children. As a fiction picture book writer she finds it immensely gratifying to share inclusive narratives featuring differently-abled kids who simply want to be who they are.

Sheela holds a Master's in Science Education and a Master’s in Computer and Information Science. When she is not writing or reading or coding, she can be found hiking in nature trails, cooking mostly-healthy foods, sewing or crocheting utilitarian things.

Sloane Leong

Sloane Leong

Sloane Leong is a cartoonist, artist and writer of Hawaiian, Chinese, Mexican, Native American and European ancestries. She’s written and drawn two acclaimed graphic novels, Prism Stalker and A Map to the Sun, and has short fiction credits with Fireside Magazine, Dark Matter Magazine and Entropy Magazine. She is currently living near Portland, Oregon.

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein is the Population and Sustainability Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, where she heads a national program that addresses the connection between human population growth, overconsumption, and the wildlife extinction crisis. She created the innovative Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign, and her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, NPR, Salon, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and more. When she’s not advocating for animals and the environment, she can usually be found writing young adult and middle grade fiction in the company of her rescued dogs and cats named after literary figures.

Tony Parker

Multiple Eisner-nominated illustrator. Former college professor. Done both licensed and creator-owned work. Will give hugs when we're all through this.

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