Bayouland Storytellers Guild of Southwest Louisiana presents the 2017 Storytelling Festival, Stories on the Bayou (Contes sur le Bayou), on Friday and Saturday at Vermilionville in Lafayette. The Louisiana Ghost Storytelling Concert will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Friday (I’ll be sharing tales from my book, “Haunted Lafayette,” at 5:30 p.m. Friday) with the Children and Family Day being 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. There will be storytellers from across the state, music and dance performances, folktales, Cajun and Creole oral traditional storytelling, puppets, workshops for teachers and much more.
Writers take note — the deadline for submissions to the 2017 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is quickly approaching, Aug. 15. The Gaines Award honors rising African-American fiction authors while recognizing Louisiana native Ernest Gaines’ extraordinary contribution to the literary world. Submission may be novels or short-story collections published in 2017, as well as galleys for 2017 publications. The winner, to be announced in November, receives a $10,000 award and is honored at a ceremony on Jan. 18, 2018, at the Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge. For more information, visit www.ernestjgainesaward.org.
Professional writer Kody Chamberlain will lead a three-week scriptwriting class covering the fundamentals of story development, character, structure, outlining and other tools of the trade. Classes are from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday starting July 11. Writing assignments will be required, as well as reading and editing scripts from peers. Writers must be 15 or older to attend, unless a parent or guardian attends with the student. For more information, visit https://kodychamberlain.regfox.com/scriptwriting-with-kody-chamberlain.
According to Publisher’s Weekly, Stegner Fellow and O. Henry Award-winner Lydia Fitzpatrick is in contract to publisher her “Lights All Night Long,” where the novel moves “between the Louisiana bayou town where a precocious exchange student has just arrived and the remote Russian refinery town he's left behind, and where his troubled brother is facing trial for three murders, a story about family, the fallibility of memory, and the power of homes both native and adopted….”
Book events July 2-9
Melissa Daggett, an instructor of U.S. history at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, will discuss her new book, “Spiritualism in Nineteenth Century New Orleans,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. The book includes illustrations, reproductions of the original spiritual communications and photographs, many of which have never before appeared in published form. Daggett lives in Houston and New Orleans.
Lew Shuman, author of “15 Days of Hell: One Man's Battle for Peleliu,” discusses the book at the monthly meeting of the World War II Discussion Group at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. “15 Days of Hell” is the diary and memoir of Dr. Jordan Winer and his personal unedited words of his time as a navy corpsman on the island of Peleliu during the invasion of September 1944. Shuman is the director of broadcasting for the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s Family Movie Day beginning at 1 p.m. Friday at the West Ouachita Branch Library. Friday’s movie is “The Lorax,” appropriate for all ages. Visit www.oplib.org for more information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.