Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Orleans author wins 2012 Eudora Welty Memorial Award

New Orleans author Pamela Binnings Ewen’s “The Moon in the Mango Tree” has won the 2012 Eudora Welty Memorial Award given by the National League for American Pen Women.
            Ewen’s book was also a 2009 Christy Award finalist and the author was chosen for the 2009 St. Tammany Parish President’s Arts Award as Literary Artist of the Year. Ewen serves on the board of directors of the Tennessee Williams Festival, the advisory board of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and is the founder and president of the Northshore Literary Society.
            Her third novel, “Dancing on Glass,” is a 2012 Christy Award Finalist and a winner of the 2012 Single Titles Reviewers Choice Award.
            Her next book, “Chasing the Wind,” a sequel to “Dancing on Glass,” will be released Aug. 1. “Chasing the Wind” is the combination of a mysterious child with a forgotten past, a young woman lawyer’s love and yearning and envy and a financial wizard building a resort hotel in 1977 New Orleans. 

Churchill Symposium
            The National World War II Museum in New Orleans presents the second annual Winston Churchill Symposium on Saturday, July 14, co-hosted by the museum and The Churchill Society of New Orleans.
            This year’s speaker’s include Douglas Russell, author of “Winston Churchill: Soldier” who will speak on “The Military Life of a Gentleman at War.” Nigel Hamilton, author of “Monty,” a three-volume biography of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery and the upcoming “FDR at War,” will speak on “Churchill and Roosevelt: The Great Spat,” presented as the Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series on World War II. Barbara Leaming, author of “Churchill Defiant,” will speak on “Churchill Defiant: Fighting On, 1945 – 1955,” and Barry Singer, author of “Churchill Style,” will speak on “The Art of Being Winston Churchill.”
            For more information and to register, visit

Ghost writer
            I am happy to report that I have sold another book to The History Press. Titled “Haunted Lafayette,” the book will highlight Acadiana’s ghost stories and legends.
            Over the years I have written about ghosts, myths and legends for the various publications I write for, but I am looking for much more for the book, to be published in September 2013. If you know of a legend, ghost story or other paranormal event in the Lafayette area, please let me know. Email

New releases
            Portals Press of New Orleans has published “Something in the Water,” a collection of 20 short stories set in Louisiana. Authors include: Joseph Barbara, Celeste Berteau, John Bigeunet, Chris Chambers, Moira Crone, Dale Edmonds, Tim Gautreaux, Cedelas Hall, Patty Friedmann, Mary Gleason, Juyanne James, James Knudsen, Joe Landrum, James Nolan, Dean Paschal, Genevieve Rheams, Elizabeth Sanders, Aneela Shuja, Tom Whalen. For information, visit
            Louisiana publisher Margaret Media has published Mary H. Manhein’s first murder mystery, “Floating Souls: The Canal Murders.” Manhein heads up FACES, the forensic anthropology lab at LSU and is the author of “The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist.” In “Floating Souls,” bodies of young women are found floating in New Orleans drainage canals. Maggie Andrepont, local forensic anthropologist, is called in to help find a pattern to the homicides and to profile a perpetrator. The book will be available for download at, and is distributed by Louisiana’s Forest Sales. For more information, visit
            LSU Press has published two award-winning poetry collections by Elana Bell and Bruce Snider. Bell’s debut collection “Eyes, Stones,” was the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Snider’s “Paradise, Indiana” is the winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Tood Poetry Prize. For more information, visit
            J.D. Davis is the author of the new biography, “Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart and Mickey Gilley.” For more information, visit
            Beth Bares of Baton Rouge has published book one in a paranormal romance series by Create Space. The book is titled “Dreams of Reality” and can be purchased through and, in paperback or kindle.
            Former Lafayette resident Sujata Rayer has published a debut novel titled “The Absurd Adventures of Mira” through Black Rose Writing. The story concerns Mira, an overweight Asian Indian who is caught between the antiquated values of her culture and the more modern values of America. The book is available from and other online bookstores.
            Laura Burks of Baton Rouge has also published her debut novel, “Altered,” through Wings ePress, a young adult paranormal romance set in New Roads. The book is available at online bookstores, fictionwise, Wings ePress and The Book Rack in Baton Rouge. Burks works for the Boys & Girls Club of Baton Rouge teaching an anti-bullying course to local elementary school children and occasionally a Youth Legislature Program with middle school kids.

Book events
            There will be an open mic in French from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Casa Azul in Grand Coteau. Also, Casa Azul will host a poetry reading by Jocelyn Young and Zayne Turner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 31, concluding with an open mic in which writers and musicians are welcome to participate. Turner is the author of “Memory of My Mouth,” a chapbook forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press and the founding director of Forward Arts Inc., a youth arts non-profit based in Louisiana which houses the WordPlay Teen Writing Project. Young holds a degree in psychology from Southern University, is a member of the Baton Rouge Poetry Alliance and competed nationally with the 2010 Baton Rouge Slam Team. 
Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at