Library Writers Project (Multnomah County)

Are you an author? Do you have an e-book? Want to see it gain readership in the county library?

From the webpage:


Multnomah County Library wants to read your book

From October 17 to December 17, the library will be accepting submissions from local authors who would like to see their work added to the library’s collection. Here’s how it works:

  1. Publish your e-book on one of the following self-publishing sites * :
    1. Smashwords
    2. Draft2Digital
    3. Kobo Writing Life
  2. Fill out a submission form telling us about your work.
  3. The library will purchase a review copy of each submission and library staff members will review them.
  4. After library staff review submissions, they will add the best ones to the library’s e-book collection on the OverDrive platform, visited by over 5000 MCL patrons every single day.

For this round of submissions, the library will accept memoirs as well as works of fiction, for adults, teens and children. Due to the agreement between OverDrive and the self-publishing sites, the library will not consider submissions of erotica.

Work submitted after the December deadline will not be reviewed during this round of submissions. The library may consider additional local e-books in the future.

Your work will be reviewed by library staff with a wide range of reading interests. Each work will be reviewed independently by two staff members.

Multnomah County Library has no direct relationship with Smashwords, Draft2Digital, or Kobo Writing Life. The library is not party to any agreement between the author and these web sites. The library will buy the selected titles that are published on these sites through its e-book vendor, OverDrive.

Read the best of the Library Writers Project on OverDrive


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Countdown to Halloween: War of the Worlds

In case you haven’t had enough scary stories for the Halloween season, maybe it’s time to check out War of the Worlds.  The adaptation for radio broadcast was directed and narrated by Orson Welles, and performed by The Mercury Theater on the Air on this date in 1938, and supposedly inspired a nation-wide panic that actual Martians were actually invading Earth and actually taking over. Sources disagree on exactly how much panic occurred, but apparently some did happen – the city of Concrete, Washington, for example, coincidentally experienced a phone and electrical power outage right around the time of the broadcast, and in other areas, tensions from World War II led to more than a little alarm about invaders from beyond. Subsequent productions and remakes also caused alarm, such as in Quito, Ecuador, in 1949, and Lisbon, Portugal, in 1958. (How did this happen? How were listeners not completely clear that this was just a performance? Check out this article). But then again, maybe little or no panic actually happened, and it was all media hype. Given what appears to be a shocking amount of gullibility regarding news, fake news, science, and infotainment on all ends of the political spectrum today, I have to believe a whole lot of people were fooled by Welles’s broadcast, if not actually induced to “panic”.

War of the Worlds shaped the direction of science fiction as well as popular media in general. The radio broadcast demonstrated how easy it is for the media to present “alternative facts” while discrediting “fake news” in ways that viewers and readers will believe.

Haven’t read War of the Worlds yet? Read it for free in any one of several formats!  Want to know more about what you’re reading, about was going on in the world, what influenced Wells’ writing?  Check out this study guide.

Let me know what you think, eh?

(And while we’re at it – want to understand “fake news” better? Try some of these books)


Drag Queen Story Hour!

It’s coming time once again for Drag Queen Story Hour!  The Hillsdale Library will Sisters Olive and Donnaproudly host Portland’s own Sister Olive and Sister Donna, presenting an hour of kid-friendly drag! Sister Olive and Sister Donna will read stories with children 2-6 years old, followed by a craft or maybe a dance party!

Oct 23, 2018  5:00-6:00 at the Hillsdale Library (1525 SW Sunset Boulevard)

Hope to see you there!

Short, Scary Stories

It’s a busy time of year. So much to do with the school year underway, the days getting shorter, the weather cooling off, the holidays almost upon us. Here are bunches of very short, scary stories to squeeze into what little time you have to read. Maybe just jump into bed and read a short story or two to help you fall asleep.

Good luck with that.

Short scary stories from Reddit 

Abraham’s Boys, by Joe Hill

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, by Neil Gaiman

The Doll, by Daphne du Maurier

Nightcrawlers, by Robert McCammon

Premium Harmony, by Stephen King

Sunbleached, by Nathan Ballingrud

The Third Bear, by Jeff Vandermeer

The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire, by Poppy Z. Brite

How to Get Back to the Forest, by Sofia Samatar

Bog Girl, by Karen Russell

Hello Moto, by Nnedi Okorafor

His Face All Red, by Emily Carroll

Rattlebag, by Neil Gaiman


What are your favorite short stories?

Drag Queen Story Hour!

It’s coming time once again for Drag Queen Story Hour!  The Hollywood Library will Carla Rossiproudly host Portland’s own Ms Carla Rossi presenting an hour of kid-friendly drag! Carla Rossi will read stories with children 2-6 years old, followed by a craft or maybe a dance party!  This particular event will have a Halloween theme. Also, free tickets will be available 15 minutes in advance.

Oct 20, 2018  1:00-2:00 at the Hollywood Library (4040 NE Tillamook Street)



Hope to see you there!


Quick Book Craft

A quick book craft for you

As I’ve mentioned before, I work with preschoolers for my job. My workplace has about zero budget for materials, so I buy, acquire, and make a lot of my own stuff. One of the things I made is a felt board. I do a lot of traveling within my part of town for my job, so my felt board needed to fit in my backpack and roller bag. It also needed to be big enough to hold the pieces I want to use – and be able to spread them out some.  I think this project cost me all of $1.20 or so, for the piece of felt, as the book was free and I already had the glue.

I ran across a larger hardback kids book whose pages were drawn on and ripped up. The cover was in great shape, though, making it perfect for my purpose. The felt came from somewhere like JoAnn’s Fabric and Craft Store.

I carefully sliced out all the pages with an X-acto knife. Then I cut my large piece of black felt to the dimensions of the inside of the open book covers, allowing just a touch extra to tuck into the spine.  I spread ModPodge Matte (I happened to have some in my craft stash – I suspect Elmer’s Glue would work just fine here) all over the inside of the book covers, open felt board.jpgand laid the felt carefully, working from end to end. I left the book covers open and let the whole thing dry overnight. When it was all dry, I went back to trim off any felt bits hanging over the edges of the book covers, closed felt board.jpgthen carefully closed the book covers – listening and feeling for any glue cracking off the spine. No cracks – the felt stuck to the inside of the book spine!


I have sets of felt pieces for some of the stories I do with my kids at work. One of the sets is for Go Away, Big Green Monster, by Ed Emberley.  I found a felt set on Etsy a while back, and a printable craft on KizClub. I read the story with the kids, then do the story again (more or less, as I remember it) with the felt pieces on the board, then we put the monster face together with the paper pieces and glue. We work on things like extending phrases (not just “eyes” but “two big yellow eyes”), articulation, identifying/labeling descriptors (colors, size, quality, felt board & book.jpgprepositions), requesting (asking for the paper pieces and glue), responding to questions (what’s missing?, who has the X, whose turn is next, what should we make go away next?), waiting your turn/listening for your name or the pieces you have (some of them are better about it than others) and so forth.

I also found a spooky candle at the dollar store. It’s a little tough to tell here, but it’s purple glitter spiders on a frosted plastic tube, with a battery-powered tea light. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve offered to read our story (how I begin every group) by “candlelight”, but only if everyone is okay with turning off the overhead light. We have a couple of big windows, so it’s never actually dark in our room. I check once or twice during the story to see if it’s gotten “too scary” yet. We also check out the candle before story time, so everyone can see the “flame” is just pretend, and it’s safe for kids. I WISH I’D FOUND THIS CANDLE YEARS AGO! The kids are sooo into it!

Go Away, Big Green Monster paper craft – color version:
black and white version:


Used Book Sale: Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library will hold their annual Used Book Sale on October 26-29 at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn (1000 NE Multnomah St). While it’s a “Used Book Sale”, there will be books, CDs, DVDs, sheet music, audiobooks, maps, and much more.

Here’s the schedule:

Members only pre-sale

Friday, October 26, 6pm-9pm  (Become a member ahead of time online or at the door for discounts and early entry to book sales events and for discounts at the Friends of the Library store, as well as online sales!)

General Sale

Saturday, Oct 27, 9am-9pm  – Literary Trivia and Bar 6pm-9pm
Sunday, Oct 28, 11am-5pm – 50% off with Educator ID
Monday, Oct 29, 9am-3pm – 50% EVERYTHING

The Lloyd Center Doubletree is easy to get to by MAX and bus.

Halloween Reads to Get You in the Mood


Some Halloween books to get you in the mood  tumblr_mchfiz0RzL1r9ko4ro1_400

Mostly grown-up books on Goodreads

More grown-up books on Book Bub

A “Definitive Guide to Recent Horror Books” on Book Riot

Kid books for Halloween on Reading Rockets

Some awesome Halloween-themed picture books – perfect for reading out loud! – on Scope Notes

And if you’re not quite up to reading a book out loud, you and your child can listen to someone else read on Just Books Read Aloud

Opening soon: Rose City Book Pub

The old County Cork pub in Northeast Portland neighborhood is closing. In its place? Rose City Book Pub, Portland’s first bookstore bar.

Wait, did you say “bookstore bar?”

Well, yes, and it’s exactly what it sounds like, a working bookstore that happens to pour beer and wine. As noted by Eater PDX, which broke the bar news last week, this will be Portland’s first such establishment, joining Boston’s Trident Cafe, the Spotty Dog in Hudson, or Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

Owned by Northeast Portland native Elise Schumock, the new pub will add built-in bookshelves, hidden nooks and a “cafe-style menu” to the already charming County Cork space. The bar will feature Northwest spirits and around 20 taps for beer and wine.

The bookstore side of things will feature children’s books and used literature, including books from Schumock and her parents’ own collections.

Look for Rose City Book Pub to open Oct. 14 in the former home of County Cork, 1329 N.E. Fremont St.;

— Michael Russell