Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writers' Guild of Acadiana hosts conference Oct. 18

             The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will host a workshop titled “The Joy of Writing” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Covenant United Methodist Church, 300 E. Martial Ave., in Lafayette. The presenter will be Philip Levin of Gulfport, Miss., a motivational speaker, doctor, world traveler and prolific author. Levin will speak on character development through dialogue and action, how to start writing for local publications, writing memoirs, travel articles, and poetry and the importance of pace and place in fiction. The cost is $20 for Guild members, $25 for non-members and $10 for high school and college students.

Ghosts and flowers, oh my!
             I will be signing copies of my books, "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana" and "Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Blooom Town History" from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Barnes & Noble, 5707 Johnston St. in Lafayette. 

Write on!
            There were numerous Louisiana winners in the 2014 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
            First place for Novel was “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradel of Los Angeles, but finalists included “Advice for the Wicked” by Glen Pitre of New Orleans and “The Truth Project” by Tad Bartlett of New Orleans and J. Ed Marston of Chattanooga, Tenn.
            First place for Novella went to “Give Me You” by Kay Sloan of Cincinnati, Ohio, with second place to “Tickfaw to Shongaloo” by Dixon Hearne of West Monroe. Finalists included “Further” by Deborah Jannerson and “The Year We Froze” by Stan Kempton of New Orleans.
            For Non-Fiction Book, “Shakespeare’s Royal Bastard” by Lawrence Wells of Oxford, Miss., took first place with runner-up the “Redheaded Jewess of New Orleans: You Can’t Imagine This Life” by Cindy Lou Levee of Baton Rouge.
            First place Novel in Progress went to “The Morning After” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin of New Orleans and first place for essay to “Swerves” by Marilyn Moriarty of Roanoke, Va., with second place to “A History in Motion” by Ruffin.
            Claire Dixon of Baton Rouge took first place in Poetry for “Flutter and Whir” with second place “For John Parker” by Daniel Dwyer of New Orleans, now living in St. Louis.
            High School Short Story winner was Adia Heisser of New Orleans for “Phases” with runners-up Kimberly Pollard of Belle Chasse for “Fly Away.”
            For the full list, visit

New releases
            Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin of New Orleans have published “Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition” that looks at Louisiana culinary traditions from Vermillion Bay to the west, marshlands to the east, the Mississippi River to the north and the Gulf Coast to the south. The authors will sign their new book at 6 p.m. Monday at Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave. in New Orleans. The official book launch will be 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at Maple Street Books in New Orleans.  Addie Martin is a writer and blogger and publisher of “Culicurious,” and in partnership with husband Jeremy, they publish “Culture Curious,” an experiential travel blog. Jeremy Martin pens his own blog at “The Restless Lens.”
            John Kennedy Toole’s “The Confederacy of Dunces,” the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in New Orleans, turns 35 this year. The novel features one of the most memorable protagonists in American literature, Ignatius J. Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubbed “slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one.” Its publisher, LSU Press has published a commemorative edition.

Grapes of Wrath
            John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” has been chosen as a Big Read of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. The event, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture, will take place from Oct. 14 through Nov. 14 in partnership with the Jefferson Parish Library and the New Orleans Public Library. Events include book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, cooking demonstrations and performances at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, New Orleans Public Library’s main branch at 219 Loyola Avenue and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s new location at 1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd. The “Days of Dust” kick-off party at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the new museum will include Depression-era food, a discussion by Liz Williams of Steinbeck’s novel and its relationship to food culture and Depression-era music by Todd Day Wait's Pigpen acoustic string trio.

Book events
            Former District Attorney for St. Landry Parish and the first D.A. elected to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame Morgan Goudeau has been involved with Louisiana politics since he opened his law office in 1952. He will speak on “The Irony of Politics” at 2 p.m. today at the Alexandre Mouton House/Lafayette Museum, 1122 Lafayette St. in downtown Lafayette.
            Professional intuitive tarot reader Sean Rutherford will discuss the history and misconceptions about tarot, along with the meaning of individual cards at 7 p.m. Monday at the South Regional Library. This program is open to teens and adults.
            Joy Wilson will discuss and sign her book, “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly, Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. Wilson is the blogger behind
            Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen signs his new young adult novel, “Skink No Surrender” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Wayne Parent signs copies of Louisiana Field Guide: Understanding Life in the Pelican State at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Jeffery Renard Allen, poet, author and winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in 2009, will read from his novel, “Song of the Shank” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Ernest J. Gaines Center in UL’s Edith Garland Dupré Library.
            Michael Ross signs “The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Andi Eaton signs copies of “New Orleans Style” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Hattie Sparks Boutique, 714 Adams St. in New Orleans.
            Jervey Tervalon of New Orleans now living in California signs his suspense novel “Monster’s Chef” at 6 p.m. Friday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.           
            Timothy Duffy signs “We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music,” at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Miss., and with live music from Major Handy at 6 p.m. Friday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Spooky Songs and Stories with Mike Anderson for ages 5 and up begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at North Regional Library and 2:30 p.m. Saturday at South Regional.