Sunday, May 14, 2017

Upcoming events for budding writers, book lovers

Want to write a book but just can’t find the time or place? How about learning the craft? Here are some upcoming events that might assist you in your goals.

How about a month of uninterrupted solitude in the heart of New Orleans? The New Orleans Writers’ Residency is taking applications until June 1 for a four-week residency July 10 through Aug. 7 in the New Marigny neighborhood just outside the French Quarter. The retreat — which will be given to several writers — will include lodging, airfare up to $500 and a stipend of $200 per week to cover food and entertainment. For more information, visit www.neworleanswritersresidency.org.

The Walker Percy Weekend — with lectures, panel discussions, speakers and other writing-relating activities such as craft beer, cocktails and bourbon — will be June 2-4 in St. Francisville. For information, visit www.walkerpercyweekend.org.

If you write Christian fiction, you don’t want to miss multi-published authors DiAnn Mills and Winnie Griggs presenting the “Second Annual Aspiring Writers Workshop” from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City. Cost is $30 by May 26 or $40 at the door. The event is hosted by the Louisiana chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

Hear numerous authors speak about the craft at the Reader’s Lounge Book Exhibit and Author Panel from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. July 22 at the Epps Public Library in Lake Charles. Authors scheduled to appear are Sierra J.D., Toye Morris, Dionda Fugitt, Denisha Hardeman, Jamie Mayes, Remona G. Tanner and Debreka Handy. There are a few author panel spots available; authors interested in participating should contact Sierra at Destined Eloquence Publishing LLC by visiting their website, www.destinedeloquence.com.

New Orleans Storycon will be Sept 15-17 and includes a host of authors, including special guests Charlaine Harris and Christine Feehan, plus panels, tours and book signings. Tickets are on sale now but will be non-refundable after May 15. For information, visit http://nolastorycon.com.

Found books
I recently participated in a press trip from Nacogdoches to Natchitoches along the El Camino Real, or the old Spanish road when Texas was under Spanish rule and Natchitoches was the French frontier. Along the way I discovered some interesting books and authors. At The Bosslight bookstore in Nacogdoches, owner Tim Bryant has penned several books, including the Dutch Curridge detective series. He was named one of the Top Five Texas Authors of 2014 by BookPeople in Austin. Bryant, who once lived in New Orleans while he performed in a band, has a new book coming out in November from Kensington with a character who hails from New Orleans. In Natchitoches, I met Sandra Prud’homme Haynie who has published an impressive family tome titled “Legends of Oakland Plantation: The Prud’hommes of Natchitoches Parish.” The book dates back to 1719 when Marie Catherine Messelier Picard arrived in Louisiana at the age of 14. She married Jean Pierre Philippe Prud’homme, a soldier at Natchitoches, and the rest, as they say, is Prud’homme history.
           
Bike Ride
The Iberia Parish Library Main Branch will host horticulturist Jim Forest for a guided bike tour through New Iberia from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. Forest will discuss the ancient oak trees of New Iberia. Helmets are required and children must be accompanied by an adult. The bike ride begins at the Main Library located at 445 E. Main St. in New Iberia. Date is subject to change dependent upon weather conditions. For more information, or to register, call (337) 364-7024 or visit Iberia.Evanced.Info/SignUp. 

Tulane exhibit
The “Art of the Book” exhibit, showcasing 16 pieces including an old-fashioned radio box enclosing a Hank Williams CD collection and a set of cards depicting the lexicon of New Orleans, is on display now through May 31 at Tulane’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library in New Orleans. The exhibit includes tunnel books, which are diorama-style artworks that create a 3-D image using cutout images placed one behind another.

Book events
Beyond Black History Month Lecture Series features historian and author Dr. LaGuana Gray of the University of Texas at San Antonio who will speak about African-American women’s lives and labors at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Main Lafayette Library.

James Nolan discusses and signs copies of “Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Maple Street Books of New Orleans. He will also read from and sign the memoir at 7 p.m. May 25 at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.

The Faulkner’s Society’s Readathon will be from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at the Faulkner House, 624 Pirate’s Alley in the French Quarter of New Orleans and include Nolan. Other participating authors of new novels include Brenda McClain (“One Good Mama Bone”), Johnnie Bernhard (“A Good Girl”) and Sanem Ozdural (“The Dark Shall Do What the Light Cannot”). RSVP at faulkhouse@aol.com.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.