Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Time to start writing letters for annual contest!



The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana announces the annual Letters About Literature contest, a Library of Congress national reading and writing competition for students in grades 4-12 and coordinated in state by the Louisiana Center. To enter the contest, a student writes a personal letter to an author, living or deceased, explaining how the author’s book, poem, play, or speech changed the student’s view of the world or self.

Students may enter online at www.read.gov/letters through their school or local libraries, or on their own, in one of three competition levels: Level 1 for grades 4-6, Level 2 for grades 7-8, or Level 3 for grades 9-12. The national Letters About Literature team selects finalists for Louisiana in each competition level. State winners are chosen by a panel of judges including teachers and librarians from throughout Louisiana. State winners receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place, plus are honored at the Louisiana Book Festival held in the fall. First-place winning letters are submitted to the Library of Congress for the national competition with the chance of winning up to $1,000.

Letters must be submitted directly to the Library of Congress by Jan. 11, 2019. Official rules, a call for student letters, and a helpful video series guide for participating may be found at www.read.gov/letters, as well as teacher resources with lesson plans and instructions for submitting letters as a group.

The 2018-2019 Letters About Literature contest is made possible through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations.

In Louisiana, the contest is made possible by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana with the assistance of the Louisiana Writing Project and the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation. Funding for prizes is provided by a Library of Congress grant.






Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

St. Germain to receive 2018 Louisiana Writer Award

Louisiana native Sheryl St. Germain has been selected as the recipient of the 19th annual Louisiana Writer Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Louisiana letters and cultural life. She will receive the award at this year's Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Baton Rouge.

St. Germain is the author of five books of poetry, including her most recent publication, “The Small Door of Your Death,” which chronicles the loss of her only son to heroin addiction. She has also published two memoirs, “Swamp Songs: The Making of an Unruly Woman” and “Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair.” A new collection of essays, “Fifty Miles,” is forthcoming in Spring 2020.

St. Germain is the recipient of several awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Literature Fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, the Ki Davis Award from the Aspen Writers Foundation, and the William Faulkner Award for the personal essay. She has taught creative writing at numerous universities and colleges including The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and currently directs the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing at Chatham University in Pennsylvania where she also teaches creative nonfiction and poetry.

“My earliest poems and essays were inspired by the culture and nature of south Louisiana,” said St. Germain. “From the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain to the Atchafalaya Basin the landscape of Louisiana nurtured me as child and adult, and provided hope and a deep sense of history and belonging even when there were darker forces at work in our culture. I’ve written works celebrating the food, the music, and the passion for joy found in the people here, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say I owe my vocation as writer to Louisiana.”

Both Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will be in attendance to present St. Germain with the 2018 Louisiana Writer Award on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. at the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol. For more information on St. Germain and her work, visit http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/louisiana_writer_award.html.




Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Louisiana Book Festival this Saturday in Baton Rouge

The Louisiana Book Festival marks its fifth year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, featuring more than 250 authors and more than 100 programs. This free, family-friendly, annual festival celebrating readers, writers, and their books returns to downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park with events and programming in the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, Capitol Park Welcome Center and in tents on neighboring streets. Authors will be available to sign books in the Barnes and Noble tent, where all featured titles will also be available for purchase.

The 2018 festival also includes the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents may enjoy children’s authors, storytelling performances, book-related crafts, face painting and balloon animals; Teen HQ, featuring bestselling and award-winning young adult authors and activities; live musical performances; cooking demonstrations; and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.

Authors attending this year’s festival include Pulitzer Prize winner Jack E. Davis, Ernest J. Gaines, Chef Isaac Toups and poet GennaRose Nethercott whose book “The Lumberjack’s Dove” was selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Yours truly will be moderating a panel with mystery authors Ashley Weaver and Ellen Byron titled “Louisiana Ladies of Mystery.” To learn more about who's attending the 15th Louisiana Book Festival, click here.
  
Yes, we stole this from Instagram
Now in its tenth year, the One Book, One Festival program invites attendees to read the same title in advance and later join the scholar-led discussion with others during the festival. LSU professor Dr. Katie Henninger will lead this year’s discussion of E.P. O'Donnell's 1941 literary and cultural classic novel "The Great Big Doorstep."

This year’s official festival artwork was created by Louisiana native William Joyce, Academy Award-winning writer, illustrator, and filmmaker, and features his character Mr. Morris Lessmore from his short film "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." Signed, commemorative posters will be available for purchase along with T-shirts, tote bags, souvenir pins, mugs, and a special 15th anniversary Christmas ornament.

Pre-festival events on Friday, Nov 9, at the State Library include half-day WordShops, which offer opportunities for aspiring writers of all levels to work in an intimate setting with renowned authors. This year, The New York Times bestselling Jonathan Evison, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick Tessa Fontaine, and acclaimed essayist LSU writing professor Joshua Wheeler are leading writing wordshops, while authors Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formichella will be leading a wordshop on self-publishing.


For more information, including how to register for WordShops and sign-up to volunteer and receive a free Louisiana Book Festival t-shirt, please visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org.




Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Paul Schexnayder returns to imaginary world with whimsical 'In the Time of Shimmer and Light'

Artist and Iberia Parish Talented Visual Arts teacher Paul Schexnayder has written and illustrated his second children’s book, "In the Time of Shimmer and Light," published by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Press.  He will launch the book at a reception from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Paul Schexnayder studio and gallery, 335 W. St. Peter St. in New Iberia.

"In the Time of Shimmer and Light" is a heartwarming fable about friendship, creativity and problem-solving.  When a shiny and tempting object brings gloom and envy to the happy island home of Sir Galatoire Gator and Tin Toy Hare, Queen Ida Peacock must act to restore the peace. The book is the second volume in a three-part series and returns readers to the imaginary world of 2017’s "In the Time of Joy and Wonder."

Schexnayder has been a professional artist for more than 30 years. He has been the official artist of many state festivals including the Louisiana Francofete celebration, Festival International, the Crawfish Festival and the Louisiana Sugarcane Festival. He is also the illustrator of the "Mr. Tootles" series of books, among others. Visit schex.com for more information.

Schexnayder will also be attending the Louisiana Book Festival on Nov. 10 in Baton Rouge, guest author at Little Hands Big Different Nov. 16-18 in Norfolk, Va., and hosting a "Very Berry Christmas Quest" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at his studio and gallery. The latter will include book signings, activities and free craft making.

Schexnayder is available for an author/illustrator visit to conduct a multi-media presentation to schools.  To schedule an author visit, contact him at (337) 321-1956 or email paul@schex.com.



Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Nonfiction authors Tyler Bridges and Robert Fieseler discuss events and people that changed New Orleans

Tyler Bridges, author of an updated book titled “The Rise and Fall of David Duke,” and Robert W. Fieseler, author of “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation,” will discuss their books at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

This event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, a spring annual literary festival dedicated to the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Tennessee Williams. The event is free and open to the public. There is no registration.

Tyler Bridges, The Rise and Fall of David Duke
Bridges is a freelance journalist who splits his time between New Orleans and Lima, Peru, where his wife and daughter live. Over a 30-year career as a journalist, he has written for The Times-Picayune, The Miami Herald and The Lens, a nonprofit, investigative news site based in New Orleans. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, highlighted by being a member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams at the Herald. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University for the 2011-12 academic year and in 2010 won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, awarded by Columbia University, the highest honor given for coverage of Latin America.
Bridges is the author of multiple books: “Long Shot; The Rise of David Duke” and “Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards.”

Robert W. Fieseler, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation
Fieseler chronicles the tragic event that claimed the lives of 31 men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays in the United States until 2016. Relying on access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates a portrait of a closeted, blue-collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community. The aftermath was no less traumatic―families ashamed to claim loved ones, the Catholic Church refusing proper burial rights, the city impervious to the survivors’ needs―revealing a world of toxic prejudice that thrived well past Stonewall. The impassioned activism that followed proved essential to the emergence of a fledgling gay movement.

Fieseler is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing. A writer for The Big Roundtable, Narratively, and elsewhere, he now lives in The Bywater.

For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or wcsmith@jefferson.lib.la.us.



Louisiana Book News is written by award-winning author Chere Dastugue Coen, who writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Her first book in each series is FREE to download as an ebook, including "Emilie," book one of The Cajun Series, "Ticket to Paradise," book one of The Cajun Embassy series and "A Ghost of a Chance," the first Viola Valentine mystery.