June 20, 2021

Whatcom Reads announcement banner with photo of author Michael Christie and book cover of his novel, Greenwood

Each year, localities far and wide select a book for community members to read and discuss, accompanied by a variety of related events, including readings by the author. In Whatcom County, Washington, the program is called Whatcom READS and the book for 2022 is Greenwood by Michael Christie. (More about how the books are selected here.)

Among the related activities, writers of all ages and experience are invited to respond to a theme from the book and submit work to Whatcom WRITES. Poetry, fiction, and non-fiction are welcome, the submission deadline is Sunday, October 17, 2021, the theme is interconnectedness, and the guidelines are here.

Events will continue into 2022.

more from Whatcom Reads

February 1, 2021

Since it was published in October 2020, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (Penguin Random House) has appeared on one best-of list after another. Edited by Kevin Young, the collection of 250 poets writing about 250 years of “struggle and song” was called “Monumental and rapturous” by The New York Times.

On Friday, February 5, 2021, at 7:00pm Pacific, as part of the continuing programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom Reads title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, local poets will read selections from African American Poetry and Dr. Bill Lyne, coordinator of African American Studies at Western Washington University, will moderate a discussion on African American literature. The event is free online, with advance registration.

The programming inspired by this year’s Whatcom READS title, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, includes a poetry reading by Robert Lashley, one of this year’s judges for the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. The book is terrific, the reading, this evening, Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 7:00pm, is free, and sign-in information is here.

Whatcom WRITES

May 28, 2019

book cover

Each year, Whatcom County, like many communities, selects a single title as a community read. For 2020, the Whatcom READS book is To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey. As an extension of the program, Whatcom WRITES invites writers of all ages and experience levels to explore themes related to the book and to submit work to the annual contest. The theme this year is discovery and the deadline for submissions is October 15, 2019. Read the guidelines here.

last minute: hindsight

September 28, 2018

Somehow, the deadline for the annual Whatcom Writes seems to elude us until the last moment. So here we are again. This year’s Whatcom Reads selection is The Big Burn by Timothy Egan.

Whatcom Writes, an all-ages writing contest, invites writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to explore the themes of year’s chosen book and to submit a single piece for consideration. This year’s theme is hindsight. The selected works are compiled into an anthology and a number of authors are invited to read at Village Books, usually in the spring.

So here’s the hard part: entries are due by midnight, Monday, October 1, 2018. It’s late, but it’s not too late. Read the guidelines.

Sunday in Bellingham

January 31, 2018

Join the authors of the top Whatcom WRITES contest entries as they read their work on this year’s theme: RESISTANCE. The free reading will start at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 4, 2018, at Village Books in Fairhaven.

Whatcom WRITES is an annual feature of the WhatcomREADS program, which this year features the book Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa. Find out more, including other upcoming events related to WhatcomREADS.

Call for words of resistance

September 23, 2017

Like many communities nationwide, Whatcom County, Washington, has an annual, one-book-together reading and discussion program, known as Whatcom READS. This year’s selection is Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa, a fast-paced story set in Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests.

In addition to the book, discussions, and readings by the author (in March 2018), writers are invited to read the book and contribute their own words to Whatcom WRITES, a contest and annual print and electronic publication.

This year’s theme is resistance and the deadline for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions is midnight, Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Winning entries will be included in the publication and a selection of authors will be invited to read their work at Village Books Fairhaven on Sunday, February 4, 2018, 2pm, and at Village Books Lynden on Sunday, February 11, 2018, 2pm.

Find the details and a downloadable flyer on the Whatcom WRITES page.

it’s your choice…

July 1, 2015

Whatcom Writes!Once again, it’s time to start thinking about your submission to Whatcom WRITES!

Each year, Whatcom County, Washington, selects a book for Whatcom READS! that will be read and discussed at libraries and in book groups throughout the region, culminating with local appearances by the author. The 2016 title is A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel, by Ruth Ozeki.

In conjunction with Whatcom READS!, Whatcom WRITES! takes a theme from the book and invites writers to submit a poem, fiction, or nonfiction work (800 word limit). Whatcom READS! will publish an anthology of the top entries received, based on originality, design and creativity, demonstrated writing skills, and appropriateness to contest theme. Winning writers will also be invited to read portions of their work at Village Books on Sunday, December 13, 2015.

This year’s theme is CHOICES and the deadline for submissions is October 9, 2015. Find out more about Whatcom WRITES! including a link where you can download a flyer.
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Thanks to Susan J. Erickson for the heads up!

Whatcom opportunity…

September 19, 2013

Whatcom Writes 2014

Each year, through the Whatcom County Library System and a host of community partners, readers in Whatcom County, Washington, are invited to read, reflect on and discuss “one book together” in a program known as Whatcom READS! Book discussions and other events related to the book are held throughout the county and the event culminates with speaking appearances by the author.

In addition, writers are invited to submit poetry, fiction or non-fiction to a writing contest and anthology on the book’s theme. Whatcom WRITES! is now accepting submissions on the subject of journeys. The deadline is November 15, 2013. Acceptances will be issued in December 2013 and accepted authors will be invited to read at Village Books on Sunday, February 9, 2014. View the 2014 Whatcom WRITES! submissions guidelines (PDF).

The Whatcom Reads! book for 2014 is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed and the author will visit Whatcom County February 24-25, 2014.

Whatcom Writes!Each year, in association with Whatcom READS!, a community-wide reading and discussion program, Whatcom County residents are encouraged to submit their poems, stories and essays to Whatcom WRITES! This year’s theme is loyalties.

Today, Sunday, March 3, 2013, at 4:00pm, you can hear selections from this year’s Whatcom WRITES! anthology read by their authors at Village Books in Bellingham. The reading is free and copies of the publication will be available for purchase.

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