Book News Roundup: It's 2016! Get published and get your fortune told

Here's what's going on in the Seattle book world right now:

  • Do you know a promising young writer? There's still time for them to apply to the brand-new Jack Straw Young Writers program. Press materials say that "Selected writers will take part in one-on-one mentoring sessions with professional writers, a live performance coaching session, and a studio recording session with vocal coaching." Any high school student in Seattle is eligible; applications are due by Friday, January 22nd.

  • Speaking of Jack Straw, have we raved about the writers that curator Karen Finneyfrock chose for the 2016 Jack Straw Writers Program yet? Soak this in: Anis Gisele, Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Robert Lashley, Casandra Lopez, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, Corinne Manning, Ruby Hansen Murray, Shin Yu Pai, Alison Stagner, Shontina Vernon, and Carolyne Wright. These are going to be some kick-ass readings: the thought of Koh, Pai, and Lashley sharing a stage makes our knees go weak.

  • This is your midpoint reminder that the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Competition is still accepting entries through March 1st. The writer of the winning poetry chapbook will receive $500, their chapbook will be published, and they'll be the featured reader at a Floating Bridge event.

  • The new issue of Cirque: A Literary Journal for Alaska and the Pacific Northwest is available online and in print. It features a short story by Seattle author David Fewster, "The Poetry Slam," which is set in Seattle.

  • This morning, the Hugo House announced a fascinating new series that will be happening at the Sorrento: "Ask the Oracle" will feature writers using their own books as fortune-telling devices. Audience members will ask questions, and the writers will provide answers from the text of their books. They've got a great lineup for spring, including writers like Stacey Levine, David Schmader, Megan Kruse, Sarah Galvin, Anastacia Tolbert, and Kary Wayson. Sounds like a fun spin on the traditional reading. The first one is on February 8th.