Category Archives: Events

Watch the National Book Awards LIVE

This year’s National Book Awards will be broadcast live over Facebook (as well as on their website) on Wednesday, November 15th, starting at 6:20pm CST. But then they’ll roll pre-recorded videos of the finalists reading, during the dinner portion of the gala, and then pick up the live broadcast when they’re done eating to begin handing out the actual awards.

Last year’s awards were fun to watch, with Colson Whitehead winning the 2016 fiction prize for The Underground Railroad, and this year’s evening looks to be brimming with more bookish greatness.

It looks like all you have to do is click over to the National Book Foundation’s Facebook page to watch the event. I watched last year on the foundation’s site, but this year it looks like they’re going after a more social-share plan. They even made a PDF ballot to download so you can play along at home.

They are @nationalbook on Twitter and they are using #NBAwards as the official hashtag for the 2017 event.

Hopefully it’ll work. It’d be fun if people outside of the industry started tuning in and looking forward to these awards.

There are four awards being handed out, one for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young adult literature. I’m anxious to see this year’s winners as out of all 20 books nominated – I have only read Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing. And if one of the other fiction finalists is deemed better than that one (which was a great read, though I appreciated her Men We Reaped more.) I certainly want to read it!

Hope you get to tune in next Wednesday night, starting at 6:20pm CST, for the 68th year of the National Book Awards. Here is the slate of finalists for this year’s awards:

Fiction

Non-fiction

Poetry

Young Adult

Three Upcoming Birmingham Book Events

The gift giving season is just about here and I’m ready for all of the book signings and author events to kick into high gear. If you’re in the Birmingham, AL vicinity here are three upcoming book related events that may interest you.

Tuesday, November 7th, starting at 6 pm

Authors Hank Early (Heaven’s Crooked Finger) & Carrie Smith (Unholy City) will be signing their books at the Little Professor Book Center in Homewood.

Saturday, November 11th, 11:00 am – 03:00 pm

Join authors and readers for day of programs, signings, books and lunch as Southern Magic, the Birmingham chapter of Romance Writers of America, hosts Lynn Raye Harris and special keynote speaker #1 New York Times bestseller Abbi Glines. Tickets are $40 and there are plenty of books, goodie bags and door prizes.

Thursday, November 16th, starting at 5:00 pm

The Alabama Booksmith is hosting author David DiBenedetto for a signing of his new book S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco, which compiles a bunch of A-Z stories, anecdotes and definitions from the folks and Garden & Gun magazine.

Alabama Book Festival 2017

This weekend book lovers and writers from around the Southeast will be in Montgomery, AL for the 12th annual Alabama Book Festival. Here is the full schedule.

This free event is held at Old Alabama Town, which really sets it apart from other book festivals in the region. It’s a great location with interesting buildings and lots of front porches on which to chat up authors.

The Alabama Book Festival officially opens at 8:00 a.m. and will close around 5:00 p.m. The lineup is quite extensive this year with more panels and poetry folks than I remember from years past.

With more than 50 authors present this Saturday, it’s a fully loaded schedule. There are  some authors that I am very excited have made it to Alabama. The ones I am most excited about are:

  • Joe Haldeman (Venue C at 3p-3:45p) – this guy is a legend in the sci-fi circles. He’ll be on a panel discussing graphic-novel adaptations of books. His book The Forever War is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi reads.
  • The Outdoors Panel discussion (Venue C at 11a-11:45a) – I recognize a couple of the travel writers here. They’ve done some good books.
  • Kyle Stevens (Venue B at 10a-10:45a) – Stevens is heading up the Social Justice Panel discussion. So many good books in this category over the past two years. The discussion is going to be worthwhile.
  • Cassandra King (Venue E at 11a-11:45a) – Her works include The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls.
  • Winston Groom (Venue E at 3p-3:45p) – Best known for writing Forrest Gump.

There are other panels throughout the day including Cozy Mystery, Dark Mystery, Kid’s Picture Books, Comics, Romance, Military History, Food and Spirits, and more.

There are also a few workshops for writers. I think these are all free as well, but you do have to register online as the seating is first-come, first-served.

The only thing really missing this year is Capitol Books. They closed down last year and won’t be there cheering on the authors and manning the Bookshop Tables. Books will still be available for sale though, as Barnes and Noble will be stocking the tables this year.

If the weather is anything like the past two weekends, it’s going be a great day for a book festival.

Calligrams and WordCamp

I learned a new word last week: calligram.

A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image.

I learned this word from the design-lead for this year’s WordCamp Birmingham Josh Gilmer when he was explaining this year’s  event shirt.

WordCamp Shirt

Isn’t that cool? If you’re from Birmingham, AL you’ll get the reference to Vulcan, if not, you can still appreciate the wordy design aspect of the shirt. The shirt is one of the perks you get from attending this year’s WordCamp Birmingham on October 29th.

This site, Headsubhead.com, runs on WordPress and it’s great. WordCamp this year is only $20 and includes access to all of the WordPress-centered sessions, meals, snacks, after party drink tickets, t-shirt, etc. and it’s always a lot of fun. So many cool helpful people there willing to help you and/or learn from you.

So if you’re in driving distance of Birmingham and want to know more about WordPress, you should check it out. It’s only $20 and only one day. And it’s always worth it.

If you’re not near Birmingham, AL, you should check the official WordCamp site for events near you. Even the local meet-ups can be fun and informative. I have attended many WordCamps around the Southeast and have yet to regret it.

WordCamp Attending