at the local library

April 15, 2022

Nice to see POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, The First Five Years on display in such good company at the Bellingham Public Library for National Poetry Month. Edited by Nancy Canyon and Anita K. Boyle, and designed and illustrated by Nancy Canyon, the 152-page collection includes the full text of all winning poems from 2006 through 2010. Copies are still circulating in the Whatcom County Library system and at Western Washington University.

A second five-year collection was published in 2015 and chapbooks of winning poems have been published annually since then. The 2022 chapbook will be available at the time of the awards ceremony, Thursday, May 19, 2022.

call for student poems

March 10, 2018

Portland, Oregon, based Honoring Our Rivers invites student (kindergarten through college!) submissions of original writing, art, and photography for the annual Pacific Northwest Rivers anthology.

The submission deadline is EARTH DAY, April 22, 2018.

The subject matter is Pacific Northwest rivers: “anything relating to your watershed” including oceans, animals, human interaction, forests, etc. “We especially love to see students express their personal connection to rivers.” Within the anthology, there is also a themed section: Celebrating the tribes of the Pacific Northwest and their ancestral and present-day relationships to rivers.

Read the complete submission guidelines here.

A conservation nonprofit, Honoring Our Rivers encourages stewardship of river watersheds and nurtures the next generation of civic and conservation leaders by engaging the creative capacities of youth. Learn more here.

watch for it…

June 27, 2017

We have it on good authority that Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall is working on a series of readings for Washington 129.

We’ll post them here when dates are confirmed, but meanwhile, check out the review of Washington 129 by Dennis Held in The Spokesman-Review.

toasting the new year

January 3, 2017

World Enough Writers

Do you have poems in which beer, wine, or spirits play a role? If so, wobble on over to World Enough Writers and have a look at the submission call for the Beer, Wine, & Spirits Anthology. To be edited by James Bertolino and published in Winter 2018, the anthology invites poems of any style, form, or line length. Submit one poem at no charge, two or more for $5. As of this writing, the submissions page does not include a deadline, so submit soon.

nudge nudge

October 14, 2016

Washington 129

We mentioned this back in March, so this is just a gentle reminder that submissions are still open for Washington 129, the anthology of poems by Washington State writers being assembled by Washington’s Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall. According to the call for submissions, “all poets, no matter age or experience level, are encouraged to submit. Poems are not required to address Washington geography, imagery, or culture directly, but those that do will be given priority consideration.”

Poems must be previously unpublished. Submit no more than three poems as a single Microsoft Word attachment or in the body of an email to Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address. (Poems may also be submitted by U.S. mail; details on the call for submissions.)

One hundred twenty-nine (one for each year of Washington’s statehood up to 2018) of the poems will be included in a print anthology; an additional selection will be assembled into an e-book available online.

Visit the Washington 129 page on the Washington Poet Laureate site, download the call for submissions and send your poems!

cat call

June 22, 2016

Sugar skull catHere’s a call for poems that’s sure to offend some people and sure to elicit fine words from stories untold:

Poet Dee Dee Chapman is (in her own words) “putting together an anthology on the theme of dead cats. Why dead cats, you say? Good question! (I love cats, for the record, and wish them to be fluffy, sassy and cuddly for as long as we both shall live.) This is an experiment, because I discovered the theme to be oddly prevalent at a poetry reading, and the more I talk to writers about it, the more pieces are out there that fit. I’m excited to discover what the topic/theme/image can mean, and where it will take us beyond the initial loss of a companion.”

After an initial round of submissions, promoted through Facebook and word of mouth, Chapman has extended the deadline and says, “My first round of submissions was wonderful, strange and promising. However, I’d like to publish a full-length anthology, so I’m keeping submissions open….Side note: I’m truly sorry to all the friends I know have lost their fluffy friends recently. Please don’t take my interest in this subject to mean I’m insensitive to the loss of kitty companions. Quite the opposite.

“Continued CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS to NINE LIVES LATER: A Dead Cat Anthology. This upcoming anthology seeks to examine the image of a dead cat. We are accepting poetry, nonfiction, prose, fiction, art, music. Previously published is acceptable. We are looking for work that takes the theme beyond the loss of companions (though great work that grieves them will be considered). ***NOTE: living cat stories will not be accepted; neither will other dead animal stories. This is a specific theme, please submit only pieces within that theme. Compensation is one copy of the anthology when it is printed in October, as well as invitation to read at the anthology’s release party.”

The submission deadline is Thursday, September 1, 2016. Submit work by email to

. . . . .
Sugar Skull Cat

Ice Cream, etc.

April 4, 2016

World Enough Writers

World Enough Writers, an imprint of Concrete Wolf, publishes a diverse offering of themed poetry anthologies and selected individual collections. Managing editor Lana Hechtman Ayers has announced topics for a number of upcoming collections, including an Ice Cream Poetry Anthology edited by Patricia Fargnoli, deadline Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Send something tasty!

More on the World Enough Writers website and World Enough Writers on Facebook.

the sound of Noisy Water

November 29, 2015

Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington

Other Mind Press is pleased to invite you to attend the launch of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington, an anthology of work by 101 outstanding poets who have lived or made poetry in Whatcom County in the last five years.

The first reading, SpeakEasy 17, will be held in the Encore Room at Mount Baker Theatre (Bellingham) at 7:00pm this Tuesday, December 1, 2015. More than two dozen poets will read and copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase.

The program for the second reading, Thursday, December 10, 2015, at 7:00pm, at Village Books, features an entirely different lineup of poets.

Additional readings are scheduled in the new year at county libraries and again at Village Books for National Poetry Month. See the complete list of readings and poets on the Noisy Water web page.

All events are free. Copies of Noisy Water will be available for purchase at each reading and, beginning in December, at Village Books (in person and online). (Perfect for everyone on your holiday shopping list!)

a winning reading

August 27, 2015


To mark the 10th anniversary of the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest, a second anthology of winning poems has been published, with cover art © Copyright 2015 by Kim Wulfestieg. A celebratory reading of selected works from the collection will be held at Village Books on Thursday, September 17, 2015, at 7:00pm. Copies will be available for purchase at the reading and through Village Books.

Mark your calendar…and ask for
POETRY WALK: Sue C. Boynton Contest, The Second Five Years
– ISBN 978-1-4951-6861-1 – 147 pages, 125 poems by 108 Whatcom County poets (some represented multiple times), $14.99

The Sue Boynton Poetry Contest is particularly grateful to WECU for underwriting the first print run.

Whatcom Memoir Writing Month
This is a guest post by Cami Ostman.

September 2015 marks the inaugural Whatcom Memoir Writing Month!

Whatcom County has long been known as a supportive community for writers, and in particular we are replete with memoir writers (perhaps because so many people with interesting life stories have settled in this area). For every memoir on the shelf at Village Books by a local author, there are at least a dozen in-progress manuscripts. Writers toil in solitude, bumping up against time constraints and their inner critics. Well, next month Whatcom County sends out an invitation to all the lonely memoir writers sitting at coffee shops and libraries around the county to join together!!

Following the model of National Novel Writing Month (which takes place every November), Village Books, Red Wheelbarrow Writers, Whatcom Community College (Chuckanut Writers), and Dwyer Café are co-sponsoring a county-wide challenge for prospective memoir writers to complete the rough drafts of their manuscripts in 30 days!!

The goal is for each writer to write 1,667 words every day. At the end of September you will have 50,000 words (with 10 words to spare): a book.

Take note of the various opportunities for support that writers can take advantage of for both encouragement and accountability.

Facebook Page:
Go to and “Like” WhaMemWriMo on Facebook to stay in touch with others racing toward the 50,000 word goal. Post your struggles and your triumphs.

WhaMemWriMo Workshop Series:
This series of workshops will help you effectively turn your memories into memoir, giving shape and voice to the stories you have always wanted to share and the stories your readers want to hear. These Thursday evening workshops (from 5:30 to 7:00pm) at the Village Books Readings Gallery, led by experienced memoir writers and teachers, can be taken as a whole, or you can select from the individual workshops to suit your needs. Here are the offerings:

  1. Intro to Writing Your Memoir: Making the Narrative Journey (taught by Laura Kalpakian on Thursday, September 3, 2015)
  2. Managing Relationships with Family while Writing About Them (taught by Laurel Leigh on Thursday, September 10, 2015)
  3. Generating Scenes to Complete the Literary Arc of Your Memoir (taught by Nancy Canyon on Thursday, September 17, 2015)
  4. Tame Your Inner Critic (taught by Cami Ostman on Thursday, September 24, 2015)

For more details or to register go WhaMemWriMo Workshop Series: Write Your Memoir in September!

Write Outs:
Every Saturday during the month of September, come tap away at your keyboard with other writers. From 10:00am-1:00pm each Saturday join Sean Dwyer at the Book Fare Café on the mezzanine of Village Books for moral support and communal writing. Lunch is included and tickets can be purchased through

A Culminating Celebration:
Date TBD, but stay tuned to the Facebook Page for an announcement of an open mic reading in early October. Come read from the manuscript you’ve generated during WhaMemWriMo.

Red Wheelbarrow Writers Memory Into Memoir Anthology:
Submissions for the Red Wheelbarrow Writers’ first Anthology will be due on October 31, 2015.

Submission guidelines: Red Wheelbarrow Writers takes its name from the famous poem by William Carlos Williams. Over his long career, Williams published in literary magazines, as well as whole volumes of verse. Please have a look through his work (it is all collected in one volume if you’d like to reference that) and find a line that strikes a chord in memory. With your submission, please identify the line and the poem from which you took it. The line itself does not need to appear in your memoir essay, it simply needs to inspire your piece in some way.

  1. Your memoir piece should be no more than 3000 words.
  2. You should try to focus on one self-contained scene.
  3. One submission per writer.
  4. Please include a 150-word bio of yourself.

Deadline: October 31, 2015.
Send to:
. . . . .
Cami OstmanOne of the founders of Red Wheelbarrow Writers, Cami Ostman is the author of Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents, the co-editor of Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religion, a writing coach and teacher, and a family therapist. She holds a Bachelor of Education in English and Theater from Western Washington University and a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Seattle Pacific University (both in Washington State). She is also a dog lover, a wine connoisseur, a runner, and a blogger. Her blogs can be found at and on Cami has appeared in O Magazine and Fitness Magazine and periodically writes for Adventures Northwest.

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