One-Day Conference about Self-Publishing in the Digital Age

Some big names in publishing are coming to Portland, and they’re going to be talking about self-publishing in the digital age. Portland is known for its small press scene and zine culture, so when the founder of Smashwords and a representative from Bloomsbury Publishing roll into town, you know they’re going to shake things up.

Smashwords and Bloomsbury Publishing are teaming up with Portland State University’s graduate program in Book Publishing, Kingston University in England, and Northwest Independent Editors Guild in order to present a one-day conference on self-publishing. The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the Portland State University campus. Speakers include Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords; Eela Devani, Digital Business Development Director of Bloomsbury Publishing; Dr. Alison Baverstock, author and Course Leader for Publishing at Kingston University; and Jill Kelly, member of Northwest Independent Editors Guild.

By far the most recognizable name on the bill, Coker will be speaking about why self-publishing is the most exciting thing happening in publishing today. It’s not hard to see why Coker might believe this, since the company he founded in 2008, Smashwords, has become a leading distributor for self-published books. Smashwords is known for its ease of use; authors simply upload their manuscripts as Microsoft Word files, and Smashwords converts these files into multiple e-book formats.

Drawing from research she conducted on the subject of self-publishing, Baverstock will provide a firm grounding for the hyperbole one so often hears about self-publishing. She will be discussing the publishing industry, self-publishing’s place within it, and likely future developments. Baverstock brings key insights into how self-published authors can replicate the critical elements traditionally supplied by publishers in order to create successful e-books. Her most recent book, The Naked Author: A Guide to Self-Publishing, is (ironically!) published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Baverstock will also team up with Devani to discuss how self-published authors can use social media to get their work better known. With more than 13 years on the digital side of publishing, Devani is the perfect person to lead this discussion.

But this conference isn’t all experts flown in from overseas or out of state; Kelly will provide a valuable local perspective. Among other things, she will speak to the issue of how to find local freelance editors, designers, and so forth. These local freelancers can be a tremendous boon to one’s self-publishing project.

The conference is being held at Smith Memorial Student Union (1825 SW Broadway), room 238, on the Portland State University campus. The cost is $90 and includes coffee, tea, and light refreshments; lunch is available from a variety of local establishments or bring your own. For more information and to register, visit

Bad Love with Brave on the Page Writers

Celebrate the day before Valentine’s Day with original tales of bad love by Stevan Allred, Amber Krieger, Gigi Little, and Tammy Lynne Stoner at the Thursday Night Reading Series, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Rain or Shine Coffee House, 5941 SE Division St. 

Be prepared to laugh while your heart is being ripped out. All four readers are featured in Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, the homegrown anthology that launched Portland’s Forest Avenue Press in 2012. 

Stevan Allred lives and writes in a house in the woods halfway between Fisher’s Mill and Viola, in rural Clackamas County, outside of Portland, Oregon. A Simplified Map of the Real World (Forest Avenue Press)his debut linked short story collection, was chosen as one of the best books of 2013 in the annual Powell’s Staff Top 5s. Stevan is the editor of Dixon Ticonderoga, a zine that explores the intimate relationship between divorce and pencils. He teaches writing at the Pinewood Table and has been widely published in literary magazines.

Amber Krieger lives under the name Amber Keller. Her writing has appeared in B O D Y, Carve Magazine, The Adirondack Review, Brave on the Page and elsewhere. She is the host of Late Night Debut, Late Night Library's podcast series focused on debut books. When she is not writing, she can be seen riding around town with her four-year-old on a very big bike.

Gigi Little's work has appeared in literary magazines and in anthologies including Portland Noir and Brave on the Page. Along with her work appearing *in* books, it has appeared *on* books, as she's also the graphic designer for Forest Avenue Press. By day, she works as Lead Visual Merchandiser for Powell's Books and is married to fine artist Stephen O'Donnell. Before moving to Portland, Gigi spent fifteen years in the circus, as a lighting director and professional circus clown. She never took a pie to the face and never got stuffed into one of those little cars, but she is a Rhodes scholar on the art of losing one's pants.

Tammy Lynne Stoner is currently pimping her novel Spots in Sugar Land, which follows the life of a dowdy prison cook with the gift of “the Sight” as she overcomes a frightening prophesy to become the fabulous matriarch to a family of Texas misfits. In the past three years she’s been published by Unshod Quills – who nominated her for a Million Writers Award, 10,000 Tons of Black InkPif MagazineFolio and with the delightful Forest Avenue Press.

Laura Stanfill on The Promise and Peril of Self-Publishing

Author and journalist Laura Stanfill is teaming up with the School of Journalism and
Communication’s George S. Turnbull Center to explore the "The Promise and Peril of Self-Publishing" from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, January 23.

The public is invited to join her for a spirited discussion about the benefits and challenges of having creative control over your own work, in addition to helpful tips on navigating the complicated aspects. There will also be a Q&A and light hors d’ouevres to follow.

For more information:

School of Journalism and Communication
University of Oregon in Portland
70 NW Couch St.
Floor 3R
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 412-3662

Writing From Sacred Story

Writing from Sacred Story

A fundraiser for P’nai Or of Portland, a Jewish Renewal community: 
Instructor: Lyssa Tall Anolik

When: Sunday Feb. 2, 2014
Time: 1pm - 5pm
Location: St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 9750 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97219
Fee: $75  (100% of proceeds go to P’nai Or)

To register, and for questions, contact Lyssa:
*Space is limited, so please register soon!*

We live in a melting pot of sacred story — Native American, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Voodoo, Hindu, Druid, Buddhist… Traditions from all over the world have infused North American culture with elements of their sacred texts and oral traditions. Whether we actively practice a faith or not, we encounter sacred stories and symbols everywhere: in songs, children’s stories, poems, team mascots, business logos, and other forms of media. What can sacred stories reveal about our individual and collective life stories? 
Please join me as we enter these sacred story worlds through visualization, stream-of-consciousness writing, and dynamic discussion in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience necessary — All are welcome!