Monday, October 15, 2012

Louisiana Book Festival to offer 'WordShops'

    The Louisiana Book Festival will offer more than 125 authors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the State Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. But on Friday, Oct. 26, there will be several “WordShops” offered for writers at the State Library and the Capitol Park Museum.
    This year’s four WordShops will focus on the fiction writing process, writing for young adults, writing about Louisiana and the process of getting published or self-publishing.
    Robert Olen Butler will present an all-day seminar titled “After Craft: The Process of Writing Fiction.” Butler is the author of Pulitzer Prize-winning “A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.” The New York Times bestselling young adult author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers will teach “Just Write: Here’s How! A Workshop for Writing Young Adult Novels” in the Seminar Center of the State Library. Author Ronald M. Gauthier and I will present “So You Want to Be Published?,” looking at the challenges and rewards of getting work published, and author Ken Wells presents “Selling Louisiana: Think Locally, Publish Nationally.”
    To register for WordShops, call Michelle Hobkirk at (225) 342-4931 or download the registration form from the “Exhibits & Workshops” section of Registration and payment are due by Oct. 23 and are $40 for half-day WordShops and $75 for the full day. Free parking is available.

Lafayette's Author Dinner
    Author Rick Bragg will be the guest speaker at the Friends of the Lafayette Parish Library’s annual Author Dinner on Oct. 25 at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette, 111 Heymann Blvd.
    Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the buffet dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 per person and the deadline for reservations is Oct. 22.
    Rick Bragg is a contributing editor to Southern Living magazine and a professor of writing at the University of Alabama. In 1996, he won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for his stories about contemporary America. His books include “All Over But the Shoutin’,” “Ava’s Man” and “The Prince of Frogtown.”
    For more information or to make reservations, call (337) 984-8661. To become a member of the Friends of the Library, which raises funds to support the Lafayette Publish Library System, call (337) 501-9209.

New releases
    Clare D’Artois Leeper wrote the newspaper column “Louisiana Places: Those Strange Sounding Names” from 1960 to 1979, and again from 2004 to 2006, reporting on both the common and unusual places throughout the state. A compilation of her vast information has been published by LSU Press, titled “Louisiana Place Names: Popular, Unusual, and Forgotten Stories of Towns, Cities, Plantations, Bayous and Even Some Cemeteries.” The name origins of Louisiana’s places trace back to many sources, from the person who settled there to popular local dishes.
    Fans of “Duck Dynasty” rejoice. Now there’s a book to coincide with the A&E TV series, arriving just in time for Season Two. “The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty” hits bookstore shelves Tuesday, a behind-the-scenes look at the Robertson family of West Monroe, owners and operators of Duck Commander, which produces handmade duck calls.
    Curious about what social media is all about? Editors of Social Commerce Today, Paul Marsden and Paul Chaney of Lafayette, share insights in “The Social Commerce Handbook: 20 Secrets for Turning Social Media into Social Sales.” The book was first published as an e-book but is now available in paperbook.
    Michael Allen Zell, an award-winning writer and host of New Orleans’s Black Widow Salon, has published his debut novel, “Errata.” The story follows a young New Orleans cabbie who has been shocked by a crime.
    Louisiana natives and the state’s African American history, from its early settlement and Civil War aftermath to the Jena Six and Katrina, is well represented in Linda Tarrant-Reid’s “Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-First Century.” It’s a beautiful designed book offering more than 400 years of black American history.
    Pelican Publishing has released several new children’s books this fall. Dianne de Las Casas has adapted the Appalachian folktale “Sody Sallyraytus” into “Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear,” illustrated by Marita Gentry, both of Louisiana. Nikole Brooks Bethea offers a Southern alphabet with “G is for Grits,” illustrated by Alison Davis Lyne. And Johnette Downing of New Orleans adapts a Choctaw tale with “Why the Possum has a Large Grin,” illustrated by Christina Wald.
Book events
    The Jeanerette Museum has planned history talks this fall, with UL-Lafayette history professor and author Michael Martin speaking on the “Long Family: Huey, Earl and Russell Long” at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Light refreshments will be served. Martin will return on Nov. 14 to discuss the New Orleans Saints and the NFL with a brief history of the organizations. For information, call (337) 276-4408 or visit
    The Lafayette Parish Library offers the Master Puppet Theater at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the Story Time Room of the South Regional Library. For details, call 981-1028.     Also this week is the “Eat This Book” craft for teens at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Jefferson Street branch, 1 p.m. Thursday at the South Regional Library and 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at North Regional.
    Anne Butler, author of “Main Streets of Louisiana,” will speak at noon Wednesday as part of the Louisiana State Museum’s Lunchtime Lagniappe series. The event will be at the Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge, is free and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

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