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Events Calendar

Hot Off the Press Spring 2016

In thhot off pressis lively monthly book discussion class led by Lynn Rosen, participants read and discuss new literary fiction. Class conversations include a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the book as well as background information provided by Lynn about the author and the book’s path to publication. We talk serious book talk, but have a lot of laughs too!

Class will take place monthly on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm

Dates: April 5, May 3, May 31 ,June 28

Location: The Open Book Bookstore at 7900 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027

Cost: $105

To sign up click HERE.

Class members also  receive discounts if they purchase their class books from the Open Book Bookstore.

Here are the book selections:

April 5

forty rooms.sqForty Rooms by Olga Grushin
Deals with issues of women’s identity and women’s choices with a unique literary conceit: it proposes that a modern woman will inhabit forty rooms in her lifetime. They form her biography, from childhood to death.

May 3
Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly PrentissTuesday nights.sq
Follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way—and ultimately collide—amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980’s.

May 31
The versions of us.sq
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
In one moment, two lives will be changed forever… and forever… and forever. A tale of possibilities and consequences rings across the shifting decades, from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and on to the present, showing how even small choices can define the course of our lives.

June 28
Sweetbitter by Stephanie DanlerSweetbitter.sq
A debut about a year in the life of a young woman is set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant. This is a story about discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.

To sign up click HERE.

NOTE: All tickets are non-refundable.

The Genre Mix ‘n’ Match Class for Writers

GenresOpen Book presents a new series of writing classes offering you the opportunity to try your hand at writing in a variety of genres. It’s a genre smorgasbord!

Need help jumpstarting that novel? We’ve got a class for that! Have you ever wondered if you have a poet in you? Try a poetry class! Memoir? Give it a shot!

This is a great chance to exercise your writerly muscles with some innovative and stimulating writing instruction. Each class is taught by an expert in the genre. You can try something you’re already working on, or something new, and try one, or try a few.

Class will meet at the Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park. Classes take place either on Sunday afternoons from 3:15pm to 5:15pm or on Monday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. Details and specific class descriptions are below.

COST: Classes cost $30 each. Sign up HERE.
Bonus: Those who sign up for 4 classes receive an Open Book Bookstore gift card worth $20. Limited time offer.
Note: all purchases are final and non-refundable.

CLASS DATES, DESCRIPTIONS AND INSTRUCTORS

DATE: Monday Jan 11
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC:
Mystery vs. Thriller: Which one are you writing and why does it matter?
INSTRUCTOR: Jon McGoran

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
There are plenty of similarities between mysteries and thrillers, and sometimes plenty of overlap. But there are important differences as well, including some outright contradictions. Jon McGoran will help you determine which genre is best for you by looking at some of the critical differences between these two closely related categories. He’ll teach you ways to incorporate elements of each into the other without making your mystery less mysterious or your thriller less thrilling.

TEACHER BIO:

Jon McGoran

Jon McGoran

Jon McGoran is the author of six novels, including the biotech thrillers Drift and Deadout, as well as their forthcoming sequel, Dust Up (April 2016), all from Tor/Forge Books, as well as the novella After Effects, from Amazon StoryFront. Writing as D. H. Dublin, he is also author of the forensic thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison and Freezer Burn, from Penguin Books. His short fiction and nonfiction can be found in a variety of anthologies, and his short story “Bad Debt” received an honorable mention in Best American Mystery Stories, 2014. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and a founding member of the Philadelphia Liars Club, a group of published authors dedicated to writers helping writers.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Sunday Jan 31
TIME: 3:15pm to 5:15pm
TOPIC: Building a Fictional World in Young Adult Novels
INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth LaBan

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
This class will focus on building a fictional world for a young adult book by adding details, traditions, smells, sounds, tastes, noises and anything else that brings a setting to life. LaBan will use examples from her young adult novel, The Tragedy Paper, as well as other writers’ work, to explore how authors create a setting for their stories and novels. The class will address where ideas come from, real life or imagination, and how often it is a combination of the two. Through reading, discussion, and a writing exercise, she will help students begin to work toward coming up with a setting for a story or novel they may want to write.

TEACHER BIO:

Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan

Elizabeth LaBan lives in Philadelphia with her restaurant critic husband and two children. Her first women’s fiction novel, The Restaurant Critic’s Wife, will be published by Lake Union Publishing on January 5. She is also the author of the young adult novel The Tragedy Paper, published by Knopf, which has been translated into eleven languages, and The Grandparents Handbook, published by Quirk Books, which has been translated into seven languages.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Monday Feb 1st
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC: Journaling For Writers
INSTRUCTOR: Janet Falon

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
The journal can be a wonderful tool both for helping writers working through content and for grappling with the writing process.  In this workshop you’ll learn a variety of exercises that can support you and keep you on track; also, the exercises you will learn can help you enrich your writing, and give it more texture.  The workshop is especially useful for people who are new to writing or who have experienced writers block.

TEACHER BIO:

Janet Falon

Janet Falon

Janet Falon is an award-winning writer and writing teacher.  She teaches a variety of classes at The University of Pennsylvania, cancer-support organizations, assisted-living facilities, and privately, including leading a non-fiction writing group. Janet is especially enthusiastic about helping people find and express their own creative voice and tell their life story.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Monday February 8th
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC: Flash Fiction
INTRUCTOR: Randall Brown

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
Flash is for the fearless. No wishy-washiness here. This workshop discusses the essentials of writing flash fiction: ideas, narrative structures, voice, image patterns, twists, revision, and submission strategies that should help you get your work published. Hear that POP! That’s the sizzle of your prose, your veins like wires. That’s the world where every word matters, the world of infinite yearning, where everything and everyone—writers, texts, characters, readers—lose their quiet everyday world and enter a state of intense arousal and desire. Oh Baby. Micro. Sudden. Flash. Fiction. Awww!

TEACHER BIO:

Randall Brown

Randall Brown

Randall Brown is the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live, his essay on (very) short fiction appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, and he appears in the Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net and has been published and anthologized widely, both online and in print. He is also the founder and managing editor of Matter Press and its Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Rosemont College and received his MFA from Vermont College.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Sunday February 21st
TIME: 3:15pm to 5:15pm
TOPIC: Writing the Graphic Novel
INSTRUCTOR: Terry Laban

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
Learn the basics of graphic narrative—we’ll talk about page layouts, dialogue balloons, comic theory, character development and more. Perfect for anyone interested in writing comic strips, graphic novels or manga.

TEACHER BIO:

Terry LaBan

Terry LaBan

Terry LaBan has been a professional cartoonist for almost 30 years. He’s worked as a political cartoonist(In These Times, The Ann Arbor News), and artist and writer in the comic book industry(Fantagraphics Books, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics) and as an illustrator for numerous publications. He currently creates the daily comic strip “Edge City”, syndicated by King Features, with his wife, Patty and does marketing and educational comics under the business name Cartoon Impact. He’s also an adjunct professor at Philadelphia University.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Monday Feb 22nd
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC: Poetry Writing Workshop
INSTRUCTOR: Lynn Levin and Rodger Lowenthal

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
You have within you your own stories, memories, and artistic influences—the subject matter for poems—and often all you need is the right audience and effective prompts to help you generate and shape your work. You are invited to bring to class one or two poems you have already written for workshopping and appreciation; we will also do some in-class writing. We will focus on building on your strengths and expanding your poetic technique.

TEACHER BIOS:

Lynn Levin

Lynn Levin

Lynn Levin teaches creative writing at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of six books, among them, Miss Plastique, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry; and, as co-author, Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic books. Her website is www.lynnlevinpoet.com.

Rodger Lowenthal is a Cheltenham resident and has been a featured reader at many area venues (and in NYC). He has also judged several poetry contests. He has studied with Stephen Dunn, Carl Dennis and William Heyen. His twice-yearly house concerts, which feature poets as well musicians, have gained a broad following.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Sunday March 6
TIME: 3:15pm to 5:15pm
TOPIC: Turning Memories Into Memoir
INSTRUCTOR: Jerry Waxler

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
Unlike fiction writers, who invent the elements of a story, memoir writers must limit themselves to the events of their lives. In this workshop, we’ll show how to collect those memories and use them as the raw material for a well-structured story.

Topics you’ll learn:

  • How “beginning, middle, and end” gives structure to memory;
  • How to generate dramatic tension from the psychology of your main character;
  • How finding your character’s mission is the key to driving your story;
  • How to take advantage of first-person POV to go under the hood of your protagonist;
  • Identify which of the top 15 subgenres of memoir your story might fit;
  • Why chronology is a good place to start, and some successful alternative structures.

TEACHER BIO:

Jerry Waxler

Jerry Waxler

Jerry Waxler M.S. writes and teaches about life as seen through the lens of story. His book Memoir Revolution, about the social trend to read and write memoirs, is based on the hundreds of memoirs he analyzes in his blog. His own memoir Thinking My Way to the End of the World will be released in early 2016.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Monday, March 7th
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC: How to Get Published
INSTRUCTOR: Lynn Rosen

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
Sure, we write for ourselves, but we also want readers, and the best way to reach readers is by getting published. But how?

In this class, book publishing industry veteran Lynn Rosen will explain the route to publication. We’ll start by looking at the “publishing chain,” through which a manuscript becomes a published book. We’ll review the process in the traditional and the self-publishing model. The second part of the class will explain the process: how to find and approach agents and publishers; how to write a successful query letter and book proposal; how to create a marketing platform. Note that while we’ll touch on submitting to magazines, the focus of the class is on publishing a book.

TEACHER BIO:

Lynn Rosen

Lynn Rosen

Lynn Rosen has many years of experience as an editor at publishing houses including Ballantine Books and Running Press. For eight years she ran the Leap First Literary Agency. Currently she is director of the Open Book program of classes and author events and co-owner of Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park, PA. She was previously Editorial Director of Book Business magazine, and Director of Graduate Publishing Programs at Rosemont College. She is the author of Elements of the Table: A Simple Guide for Hosts and Guests.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Sunday, April 10th
TIME: 3:15pm to 5:15pm
TOPIC: Shaping Your Story: Building Plots that Satisfy
INSTRUCTOR: Janet Benton

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
To create a story, you start with what makes you care about this story. What is it that you most want to show? This class will show you how to determine the core of your story and use that information to build a narrative arc that reflects the work’s purpose in the lives of your characters.

TEACHER BIO:

Janet Benton

Janet Benton

Janet Benton is a writer, editor, and writers’ mentor with three decades of experience. Her published work includes a New York Times Modern Love column (2013), and she has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes (2013 and 2014). She has edited or co-written documentaries on Philadelphia history for History Making Productions, one of which was awarded a 2013 Mid-Atlantic Emmy. Her historical novel Lilli de Jong will be published in Fall 2016 by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.

Sign up HERE.

DATE: Monday April 18th
TIME: 7pm to 9pm
TOPIC: Writing Poems About the Body
INSTRUCTOR: Deborah Fries

CLASS DESCRIPTION:
It’s the external packaging of the soul: alternately sweet, foul, young, old, whole, damaged.  In this 2-hour class, we’ll read the work of contemporary poets and learn effective ways to write about physical experience.  We’ll develop our own powerful images as we explore how figurative language can strengthen poems and focus healing.

deborah friesTEACHER BIO:
Deborah Fries is a poet and essayist whose latest book of poetry, The Bright Field of Everything, explores issues of the body and soul. She is a regular contributor to www.makingsenseofalzheimers.org  and a 2015 winner of prizes for medical poems from The Philadelphia College of Physicians and Narrative Matters.

Sign up HERE.

Conversational French Class at the Open Book Bookstore

francais

Open Book is now be hosting a regular conversational French class.

Mais, oui! C’est vrai!

TIME:     The class meets on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30
PLACE:   The Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd. Elkins Park
COST:       $10 drop-in fee per class

Participants are at different levels of ability, but we request that you have at least a basic knowledge of the language in order to be able to carry on a conversation. If you’d like to join, email lynn@openbookphilly.com

We are very pleased to introduce our wonderful instructor, Christine Moisset Edelstein. Christine Moisset Edelstein

Born and raised in Paris, France, Christine Moisset Edelstein came to Philadelphia in 1990 as an exchange student at the University of Pennsylvania.  During that year, she discovered her love for teaching.  She has been teaching French at Penn ever since.  Christine has always had a love of languages.  When she was a student in France, her interest lay in foreign languages. She majored in languages in high school (English, Russian, German), but it wasn’t until she started teaching French that her love for her native language blossomed.  She received her Ph.D in linguistics from Penn in 2000.

Christine is married to Chris Edelstein and they have three children whom she is trying to raise bilingual.  She laments that it isn’t an easy task, but she is determined and will only speak French to them.

Please call the Open Book Bookstore with questions: 267-627-4888

A bientôt!

Lunch with a Book: Our Souls at Night

Following up on our popular “Dinner with a Book” format, this time we’re meeting for lunch!

DATE: Monday, March 28th
TIME: 12:30 pm to 2 pm
LOCATION: Cantina Feliz, Fort Washington

Click HERE to register.

our souls at nightJoin Lynn Rosen for a lively and in-depth conversation about Kent Haruf’s novel, Our Souls at Night. We’ll convene over delicious Mexican cuisine in the private room at Cantina Feliz in Ft. Washington, PA.

Like all of Haruf’s work, Our Souls at Night takes place in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado, a small agricultural town in the eastern part of the state. Here we meet Addie and Louis, who are in their 70s and each live alone, save for memories of spouses who have died and children who have moved away. Each has regrets; each is lonely. But Addie aims to change that.

In what is, sadly, the author’s final work, you will encounter the moving story of these two people who somehow manage to cobble together something revitalizing and meaningful, in spite of all the obstacles, only to have forces around them try to snatch it away.

COST: $50
Include a copy of the book: $70
(*Note: the hardcover retails for $24 + tax)

Click HERE to register.

EVENT MENU

FIRST COURSE (for the table)
Guacamole Traditional: avocado, jalapeno, onion, cilantro
Chop Salad: romaine, baby arugula, cucumber, green apple, honey-yogurt dressing

SECOND COURSE (choose 1)
Carnitas Tacos: pulled pork, salsa roja, onions,cilantro, avocado
or
Chicken Tinga Quesadilla: poblanos, crema, guacamole
or
Vegetable Enchiladas: cauliflower, butternut squash, rajas corn, mole Amarillo

DESSERT (for the table)
Chocolate Cake: Caramel sauce, whipped cream

Click HERE to register.

The 2nd Annual Writers at Work Conference: Managing the Business of Being an Author

As a published author, you wear many hats: entrepreneur, writer, designer, public speaker, hats-hepublicist, and more. How can you best juggle all these roles, and support your book in the best way possible? And how can you manage the business side of your writing life without losing time for your art, or your other jobs, or your family?

hats-sheThis one-day conference will address these challenges and introduce you to range of publishing experts who can help you learn ways to successfully manage your authorial career. You’ll learn a range of new skills and make new industry contacts, all in an inspiring setting!

DATE: Sunday, March 13, 2016

TIME: 9am – 5:30pm

LOCATION: The Manor House at Whitpain Farm, Blue Bell, PA

Click HERE to register.

The Writers at Work Conference is a joint production of Open Book and Philadelphia Stories magazine.

THE PROGRAM

9 am-9:30 am: Registration

9:30 am – 10:20 am
A Conversation with Andy Kahan of the Free Library of Philadelphia

Andy Kahan

Andy Kahan

For the past fifteen years, Kahan has directed the star-studded series of author events and readings at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Readers and book lovers know that this series is the place to be to hear a steady stream of top authors share stories, read from their work, and interact with the audience, year after year. Here Kahan will speak about his experience: how he chooses authors, what makes for a successful program (and what doesn’t), and how you can strive to be the best presenter possible and enlarge your speaking opportunities. Kahan will share backstage stories and answer your questions about author events.

10:30 am-11:45 am
Career Management: How to Be a Successful Published Author
Your book has been published (hurrah and congratulations!) and now, as some say, the hard part begins. You have a lot to do! You have to get involved in promotion and publicity and marketing and sales and …. so much more! And possibly pay some attention as well to another job, a family, and myriad other things in your life.

In this session, you’ll get expert advice on how to anticipate what the authorial demands on your time will be, and how to successfully manage those demands.

Moderator: Lynn Rosen, Open Book Bookstore
Panelists:
Jennifer Kasius, Editorial Director, Running Press

Jennifer Kasius

Jennifer Kasius

ClarePelinoheadshot

Clare Pelino

Clare Pelino, President, Pro Literary Consultants & Profile Public Relations

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Eric Smith, Associate Literary Agent at P.S. Literary

 

 12 pm-12:30 pm: Lunch

 

12:30 pm-1:30 pm: Lunch Keynote

Publishing Industry Updates and What They May Mean for You

Kat Meyer

Kat Meyer

Kat Meyer is one of the publishing industry’s most respected analysts of trends. During her many years as a chair of various major publishing conferences, she has brought together some of the industry’s most innovative companies and executives. Today she will speak about trends and changes in the industry, focusing on what authors need to be on top of in terms of ways the industry is changing. She’ll also talk about the important work done by Book Industry Study Group to build the tools to provide us with a detailed picture of industry sales and buying patterns.

About the speaker:
Kat Meyer is the Director of Content Development and Acquisition for the Book Industry Study Group. A 20 plus year veteran of the publishing industry, Kat has worn a number of bookish hats, including: director of events for Publishers Weekly; conference chair for O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change and the Frankfurt Book Fair’s CONTEC Frankfurt; and marketing manager for a number of regional, trade and academic publishers. As a media consultant focused on community development and events management, she has also worked with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Books in Browsers, Sourcebooks, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, NetGalley, Communication Skill Builders, the University of Arizona Press and Rio Nuevo Publishers.

Click HERE to register.

1:40 pm-2:40 pm
The Art of Getting Attention: Manageable and Realistic Ways to Get Your Book Noticed
Here is one of the greatest challenges: getting your book noticed among all the clutter and noise out there. What does it take to get attention for your book? There are many ways, and our expert panelists will share some techniques for getting attention: from the media, on the bookshelves in bookstores and other retail outlets (both virtual and bricks & mortar), and by building and growing your platform and your exposure in the press and elsewhere.

Corinne Liccketto-Moulder

Corinne Liccketto-Moulder

Moderator: Christine Weiser, Philadelphia Stories
Panelists:

Moneka Hewlett

Moneka Hewlett

Moneka Hewlett, Vice President, Sales, Quirk Books
Corinne Liccketto-Moulder, Director of Business Development, Smith Publicity, Inc.

Cathy Rubin

Cathy Rubin

Cathy Rubin, Lifestyle Editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer

2:45 pm-2:55 pm: Refreshments and Networking

3:00 pm-3:30 pm
What I Learned From Working with Authors: A Conversation with Booksellers
Booksellers are on the front lines in the world of book publishing, making the connection between authors and readers by helping customers find just the right books and by supporting authors through events, handselling, and other activities. And if you think booksellers probably have some pretty crazy stories to tell about what they’ve seen, you’re right! Booksellers have their fingers on the pulse of what it takes to reach readers. In this session, a range of local booksellers will share insight and advice about what authors can do to support book sales, as well as what they shouldn’t do–and they’ll share some good stories in the telling!
Moderator: Christine Weiser, Philadelphia Stories
Panelists:
Lynn Rosen, Co-Owner, Open Book Bookstore
Cathy Fiebach, Owner, Main Point Books
Ashley Montague, Owner, Penn Book Center

bryna new headshot sm

Bryna Nelson Paston

3:30 pm-4:15 pm
The Entrepreneurial Author
You wouldn’t give it up – the chance you’ve made for yourself to be an author, write a book, and make a difference by reaching readers with your work. It’s hard work, but you’ve made a commitment and you’re making a go of it. In this panel, gather encouragement from some authors who’ve had success by being creative, inventive, entrepreneurial,

Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti

and just plain dogged. Their methods and fresh approaches will inspire you!
Bryna Nelson Paston, author of How to be the Perfect Grandma

Dana Bate

Dana Bate

Dana Bate, author of Too Many Cooks
Donna Galanti, author of Joshua and the Lightning Road 

Click HERE to register.

4:15 pm-5:30 pm
Wine & Cheese Reception
Relax and unwind with new friends to review what you’ve learned and how you will apply these tips to your writing life.wine & cheese