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Literature & Poetry

Central Oregon Writers Guild - A Celebration of Writing

Expect to be entertained at the Central Oregon Writers Guild’s annual contest awards evening. A Celebration of Writing will be October 18 at 7:30pm with winning writers from throughout the state reading short works of fiction, nonfiction, mystery/detective, memoirs, science fiction/fantasy and poetry.


The event is the highlight of the Central Oregon Writing Guild’s seventh annual Harvest Writing Contest, which offers cash prizes to winning Oregon writers. Contest entries are at a record high as the contest gains in popularity and importance.


“Many of the entries wowed me with the talent and caliber of writing,” said M. (Mary) Pax, a successful Bend-area science fiction writer and one of the contest judges. “Many made me laugh out loud. Oregon writers are definitely a witty, passionate and skilled lot.”


Jami Carpenter, also on the judge’s panel said, “The stories and poems were wonderful, fun and entertaining and clever. The quality of writing amazed me. The topics ranged from the silly to the sublime, and kept me turning the pages. Central Oregon has a wealth of writing talent.”


Carpenter is a book editor who works with boutique publishers as well as with independent self-publishing writers.


Contest Chair Mike Rettig feels, “The unique and most powerful part of the contest is listening to the top-10 placers read their work in front of an audience.”


Last year’s awards evening was so popular, it outgrew its Redmond-area venue. As a result, this year’s celebration will be in Bend’s new Hampton Inn in the Old Mill District.


The venue can accommodate a larger audience and offers easy accessibility. The cost to attend is just $10. A no host beer and wine bar will add to the celebratory feel of the event.


Come cheer on your favorite writers, hear stories artfully told and find inspiration for your own creative work.


Pax notes that entering the contest in 2009 and 2013 motivated her to stretch her writing boundaries. “The first year I entered was the most significant,” she said.“The entry was the first short story I had written. I learned that writing short fiction is so much faster than novels. I started writing more of it and submitting to magazines and ezines. The feedback from editors was invaluable. It gave me a boost in confidence and made me rethink my approach to a writing career.”


Rettig, who has placed first and third in the contest, notes that previous top placers have ranged from college students to writers who have gone on to win Emmy awards.


The contest is just one way the guild provides support and education to area writers. The guild also offers monthly meetings, critique groups and workshops.



Stellar Author Line-up Marks Third Season of Author! Author! Literary Series

With two successful seasons under its belt—both of which received an enthusiastic response from the community—the Deschutes Public Library Foundation announce the line-up for its 2014-15 Author! Author! literary series.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 | 7pm | Bend High School Auditorium
New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins. Walter is the author of eight books and a career journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe. He was awarded the PEN/USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. Walter will also lead a writing workshop on September 26; it is open to the public but registration is required and space is limited.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 7pm | Bend High School Auditorium
Stein’s novel The Art of Racing in the Rain sold more than six million copies, has been translated into 35 languages and spent more than three years on the New York Times bestseller list. His new novel, A Sudden Light, will be published by Simon & Schuster in September.

Friday, March 6, 2015 | 7pm | Bend High School Auditorium
Patchett is the best selling author of the novels Run, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, State of Wonder and The Magician’s Assistant. She received the Orange Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 2002 for her novel Bel Canto. She is also the author of five nonfiction books, including her most recent memoir, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

Friday, May 29, 2015 | 7pm | Bend High School Auditorium
Kerman is the author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison. The book has been adapted into a Peabody Award-winning original series for Netflix. Kerman serves on the board of the Woman’s Prison Association and is a frequently invited speaker to students of law, criminology, gender and women’s studies, sociology and creative writing. She received the 2014 Justice Trailblazer Award from the John Jay College Center on Media, Crime and Justice.

“We’ve been so pleased by the community’s embrace of the series,” says Author! Author! Project Director Chantal Strobel. “Their enthusiasm shows that Deschutes County is a vital hub in Oregon’s cultural and literary landscape.”

Strobel says that the series’ success benefits the community in a number of ways. “Author! Author! promotes and strengthens community dialogue. We saw this so clearly last season, especially with authors such as Sherman Alexie and Cheryl Strayed. But the program also helps out libraries at the same time,” she adds. “All of the proceeds from ticket sales are used by the Foundation to support and enhance Library programs and services.”

In an effort to increase exposure to literature and engage teens in civic dialogue, the Library Foundation also provides free tickets for up to 200 regional high school students to attend the four author presentations and to receive copies of the authors’ books.
“The Library Foundation works closely with high schools in our area to provide books for students to read prior to each author’s visit,” Strobel says. “This is part of an effort to reach out to young adults in the region and to expose them to quality literature while engaging them in discussions regarding the books’ themes.”

General admission tickets are just $20 each. Those tickets, as well as preferred seating tickets that include access to a private author reception, are available now at www.dplfoundation.org. Series tickets are also available.

Books & Miniature Things

by JEFF SPRY Cascade A&E Feature Writer

Bend artist Kelley Salber has a fascination with all things miniature. An explorer of art and words her whole life, her tiny bookshelf treasures are custom-crafted to her client’s reading desires and youthful dreams. No two of these intriguing miniaturized masterpieces are alike, being carefully created with painstaking detail and realism.

“I’ve been infatuated with books and miniature things since I was a little girl and made little miniature landscapes out of bark and things I found outside,” said Salber. “I’ve always been a fan of bold bright colors and texture. The little bookcase series started with a piece called Seven Billion Souls… And Each One Has A Story. I was watching a Tom Cruise movie, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and the spy team hopped from Moscow to Mumbai and I was amazed at how many people there were everywhere.”

Salber grew up in the wilds of Montana and moved here to Bend where the Central Oregon population is low.

Read more: Books & Miniature Things“I was stunned with how many people were milling about in these huge cities and so impressed with the idea that everyone was important and had a story and it got me contemplating things. I did that piece in 2012 when there were seven billion people on the Earth and that’s why I titled the art that way.”

One of the bookcases formed from a recycled book, The Collected Works, operates on that same concept. It’s a collection of “good reads” books representing the incalculable individual stories that create our complex tapestry of history.

Her miniature wooden bookcases came about due to her obsession with books and a fundraising project for Atelier 6000 in Bend where artists were all given a section of 2X4 and told to do something with it and bring it back to auction off.

“I got the idea for a little bookshelf and really liked it. I try to recycle old books to make journals or art pieces. They come from garage sales, thrift stores, library sales and donations from friends who are moving and need to get rid of books. Sometimes I have the book I need for a particular piece and sometimes I have to go in search of one. Each tiny book is made from book board or foam core with added decorative paper or print paper and some paper I hand marble. Every book art piece is very labor intensive and tedious but I love it.”

Salber savors books for their portability and because books tend to lead toward deeper contemplation. Her wonderfully whimsical works resonate with strains of toys and childhood.

“I’m finishing a custom order right now with the theme of The Wizard Of Oz,” she said. “I actually printed some backgrounds and textures for the Yellow Brick Road and have rainbow colors and a little magic wand and a little Toto and tiny ruby slippers. And I always put quotes on the spines of the books or philosophical phrases to contemplate.”

Each finished novelty bookcase or book collection is a window into the stories of life and the accumulated memories, images and tales we absorb through life.

“People are really drawn to the simple concept of books on bookshelves, it’s comforting and it’s familiar. I have people look at them and get really excited by the endless possibility of what can be created and discovering the hidden messages. They’re just really fun and they make me happy and smile.”

 Salber’s sensational art can be seen inside Hood Avenue Art at 357 West Hood Avenue in downtown Sisters. 971-570-6811