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Portrait Gallery: Martha Brokenbrough

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Sunday, October 15: The First 500 Words

Seattle young adult writer Martha Brockenbrough teaches a free class that will help writers refine the vital first 500 words of their books by minding six important points. It might sound gimmicky, but this is important stuff; the first 500 words are what will get you noticed by agents, editors, and browsers.
Seattle Public Library, Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N.. 684-7519, http://spl.org. Free. All ages. 2 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Caitlin Doughty

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Friday, October 6: From Here to Eternity Reading

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician whose new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, “travels the world [from Bolivia to Japan to Indonesia] to discover how other cultures care for their dead.” Tonight, she’s joined by Seattle poet Sonya Vatomsky in an onstage conversation. She goes to Bolivia to see cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls; to Japan to watch relatives of the deceased use chopsticks to pluck their loved ones’ bones from cremation ashes; to Indonesia to watch a man dress his grandfather’s mummified body.

The Summit, 420 E. Pike St., 322-7411, http://townhallseattle.org. $5. 21+. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Maria Alyokhina

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Saturday, September 30: Riot Days Reading

Maria Alyokhina was fighting Putin years before your grandmother put on a pussy hat and started writing long Facebook rants about fighting Putin. As a member of Pussy Riot, Alyokhina spent two years in jail for her anti-Putin protests, and her memoir of her time as a Pussy Rioter will likely inspire some American women to fight a little nastier.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Washington National Parks Fund

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Friday September 22nd: Over the Top

This one is a little different: The Washington National Park’s Discovery Group hosts a booze dinner in which scientific experts discuss projects they’re running in Washington national parks. At the end of the night, one of the projects will be funded by pooling everyone’s admission fee in a kind of American Idol for science.

Georgetown Ballroom, 5623 Airport Way S., 762-4999. https://wnpf.org/discovery/ . $25. All ages. 5:30 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Jamie Ford

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Saturday, September 16th: Love and Other Consolation Prizes Reading

Jamie Ford, the Seattle author who previously wrote a celebrated novel about the International District, returns with a novel about Seattle’s 1909 World’s Fair. It’s the story of a boy who is raffled off to a supposedly “good home” that turns out to be a brothel.

Third Place Books Lake Forest Park, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, http://thirdplacebooks.com. Free. All ages. 4 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Kelly Link

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Friday September 8th: Word Works: Kelly Link

Kelly Link is one of the most influential short story writers in the modern era. As both a writer and as an independent publisher, Link has established an aesthetic that manages to reimagine both literary fiction and fantasy. On Friday, she’ll give a craft talk titled “A Vampire is a Flexible Metaphor.”
Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org. $15. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Nancy Pearl (redux)

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Tuesday September 5th: George and Lizzie Reading

Beloved Seattle librarian and action figure model Nancy Pearl reads from and discusses her very first novel, George and Lizzie. It’s a book about how two people can be in a marriage for a very long time and ultimately never reach a real understanding of what marriage means to each other.
Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., 386-4636, http://spl.org. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Barrett Martin

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Thursday August 24th: The Singing Earth Reading

Seattle musician Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season) is about to publish a new book titled The Singing Earth, which comes with an overstuffed CD. It’s about his time traveling the world and exploring “14 musical regions.” Today, he appears in conversation with Seattle treasure DJ Kevin Cole.

KEXP Studios and Gathering Place, 421 1st Ave, 520-5800, http://kexp.org. Free. All ages. 6:30 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Anne-Christine d’Adesky

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Friday August 18th: The Pox Lover Reading

Everyone’s favorite interlocutor, Seattle’s own Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, interviews journalist Anne-Christine d’Adesky about her memoir of lesbian activism and global refugees. Sarah Schulman says the book is “Reminiscent of the luscious lesbian literature of the Parisian past but propelled into the era of AIDS, ACT UP, and the Lesbian Avengers.”

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Danzy Senna

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Monday August 14th: New People Reading

Danzy Senna is one of the very most interesting social writers the 21st century has yet to produce. Her long-awaited new novel, New People, is about a biracial couple who find themselves divided along lines that they don’t fully comprehend. Senna explodes American conceptions of class and race in ways that will make readers completely uncomfortable.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, www.elliotbaybook.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Jim Ziskin

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Monday August 7th: Seattle Mystery Authors Tell All

Join local mystery authors Glen Erik Hamilton, Robert Dugoni, Tracy Weber, and Jim Ziskin as they get together to discuss the pleasures and perils of being a mystery author. This evening is scheduled as a group discussion which will then segue into a conversation with the audience — perfect for aspiring authors to get some candid tips.

University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., 634-3400, www.bookstore.washington.edu. Free. All ages.

Portrait Gallery: Inara Verzemnieks

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Thursday July 27th: Among the Living and the Dead Reading

University of Iowa creative nonfiction writer Inara Verzemnieks reads from her new family history, Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe. It’s a story of how her family traveled from Latvia to Washington state, where she was raised.

Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., 386-4636, http://spl.org. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Anastacia-Reneé

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

To celebrate the second release of her busy summer, Forget It from Santa Cruz publisher Black Radish, Anastacia-Reneé will be joined on Tuesday the 25th at Elliott Bay Book Company by three stellar Seattle-area authors: poet Jane Wong, memoirist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and poet-slash-civil-rights-attorney Shankar Narayan. She’s not only generous with the spotlight, but Anastacia-Reneé is perfectly willing to give time and exposure to other authors who complement her work. Other writers would balk at giving three dynamos some of her stagetime. Anastacia-Reneé knows that every stage is big enough to share.

Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, www.elliottbaybook.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Daniel José Older

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Tuesday July 18th: Battle Hill Bolero Reading

Every summer, the awesome Seattle writing organization Clarion West brings sci-fi writers to town for a summer reading series. The latest reading features Daniel José Older, whose most recent series of music-themed novels involves a battle between the living and the half-dead on the streets of New York City.
Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., 386-4636, spl.org. Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Tommy Pico

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Sunday July 9th: Nature Poem Reading

Tommy Pico is a prominent Brooklyn poet, podcaster, and an editor at the terrific site Literary Hub. He’s in town with his second poetry collection, a book-length poem called Nature Poem. To help Pico celebrate his new arrival, Seattle poet Sarah Galvin — one of the very best readers in the city — will join him onstage and read a few poems.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 624-6600, http://elliottbaybook.com . Free. All ages. 3 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Reading with Rover

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Sunday July 2nd: Reading with Rover

Fun fact: if you know a child who is having trouble learning how to read, have them practice reading to dogs. And if you don’t have any dogs in your life, bring them to this event, which features trained therapy dogs just waiting for kids to read to them.
University Book Store Mill Creek, 15311 Main St., 425-385-3530. http://ubookstore.com. Free. All ages. 11:30 a.m.

Learn more about the Reading with Rover program. http://ReadingwithRover.org

Portrait Gallery: Octavia Butler

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a portrait of a new author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Today would have been Octavia Butler's 70th birthday. Butler is considered one of the most influential and important Science Fiction writers of the late 20th century. She came up through the Clarion Workshop, where there is now a scholarship in her honor to support writers of color. From there she went on to write several novels, publishing her last book in 2005. She was the first science fiction writer to be awarded a MacArthur Genius Award.

The Huntington Library is home to Butler's literary archive, the Octavia E. Butler Collection, now on display in Pasadena, California.

Portrait Gallery: Sharma Shields

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Thursday June 15th: Writers & Poets of Washington State

Western Washington poets Gary Lilley and Ann Tweedy team up with Spokane story author Erin Pringle and Spokane novelist Sharma Shields to bridge the divide and bring eastern and western Washington together at last. For one night, let’s pretend the mountain range, desert, and broken political discourse that separates us just doesn’t exist.
Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St., 322-7030, hugohouse.org. . Free. All ages. 7 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Neal Stephenson

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Monday June 12th: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Reading

Seattle novelist Neal Stephenson’s follow-up to the magisterial Seveneves is a co-authored novel with Nicole Galland. It’s about a language expert who gets wrapped up in a secret government agency over some documents which supposedly prove that magic has always existed. Set in the near-future, this one looks like it might appeal to fans of Stephenson’s lighter side.
Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave., 652-4255, http://townhallseattle.org. $5. All ages. 7:30 p.m.

Portrait Gallery: Dr. Willie Parker

Each week, Christine Marie Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know

Tuesday June 6th: Life’s Work Reading

Shout Your Abortion is presenting Dr. Willie Parker at a special Town Hall event this coming Tuesday, and attendance is required for anyone who thinks a woman’s right to choose is essential for the future of this country. At this special event to celebrate the publication of Life’s Work, Parker will be introduced by Seattle celebrity Lindy West, who helped Amelia Bonow get SYA off the ground, and Parker will be interviewed by staunch SYA ally Martha Plimpton, who appeared most recently as the mom in the sitcom The Real O’Neals. Don’t expect anyone, onstage or in attendance, to be ashamed about their passion for a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion.
Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave., 652-4255, http://townhallseattle.org. $15. All ages. 7 p.m.