Category Archives: Reading

National Encourage a Young Writer Day is April 10th!

The crew at Gorham Printing was excited to learn that Encourage a Young Writer Day is a thing, and it’s right around the corner! Monday April 10th is a day marked to let any young writer in your life know that they should keep up the good work.

We participate in and support many young writers and literacy projects in our community. Last year we sponsored a young writer contest in affiliation with the Roosevelt Elementary Read-a-Thon, and we’re doing it again this year. Last year Arianna’s The Girl Who Saved a Dinosaur was a hit in our shop. A winner has been chosen for this year and we can’t wait see his story (we’ve heard it’s about a ninja pig!).

Last spring we also sponsored the printing of the Olympia High School Literary Press anthology, Attic. This anthology showcases the talents of English classes at Olympia High School and pairs it with submissions from the art department. Students solicit and gather submissions, curate and edit the content, then design and promote their book.

A few of the local colleges hire us print anthologies and other projects, too. South Puget Sound Community College printed their annual literary anthology, The Percival Review, with us last spring. We print The Evergreen State College’s Vanishing Point anthology, too, along with collections of student work from various creative writing courses.

We even have one young author who published Small Stories, an adorable 5×5” collection. Hadley Stanfill’s mom Laura is the editor in chief at Forest Avenue Press and we take great pride in helping her encourage her daughter to write and publish!

Young Writers

Do you know a young writer? Whether they’re a college student studying creative writing in an undergraduate program or a third grader writing stories in their journal, let them know you support and admire their efforts as a growing artist.

And if you happen to know a young writer who has a story they want to turn into a book, let them know Gorham Printing is here to help!

 

 

 

 

Promoting Your Book at the Library

Are you looking for new ways to promote your book? Libraries are a great place to gain new readers and connect directly with your target audience.

Consider approaching your local library to set up a speaking engagement. If the library is interested in hosting your reading, they’ll likely put you on their event calendar so you can generate interest ahead of time. Ask if you can register the event on any other community event calendars, or with local special interest groups that might be interested in your topic.

The promotional tools an event like this can offer don’t stop there. The library might announce your reading on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to continue to share these event announcements, and encourage your friends and followers to share them too. The library might even have event posters printed, so ask if you can have a few to post around your community.ray_biko-frontcover-for-web

Many of our self-published authors give talks throughout their local library systems. In fact, we have a few regional authors with library events coming up!

The Naselle Timberland Library will host Laura Ray, author of Because of Biko, this Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 PM. Laura will read from her book, which tells the story of her travels in Africa, and a discussion and book signing will follow.fateful-fourth-cover

On Saturday, March 4th, local author and historian Russell Holter will talk about his recently-published title, The Fateful Forth: The Story of America’s Worst Trolley Disaster at the Vernetta Smith Chehalis Timberland Library at 2:00 PM. A book sale and signing will follow. Russell’s book is part of our History Book Program, so you can order a copy online!

Author and Life Coach Anatha Attar will host a workshop title Tarot: A Path to Greater Personal Creativity at the Lacey Timberland Library on Saturday, March 4th at 3:00 PM. Anatha published her title Tarot and the Twelve Powers: A Journey for the Heart and Soul in summer 2016. You can learn more at her website.

Reach out to your local library system today to find out how you might be able to promote your book with their help!

We Went to Wordstock!

This time last week, Genevieve and Alison were loading up boxes of guidebooks, tote bags, business cards, candy, and Genevieve’s trusty typewriter Buttercup to drive south for Wordstock, Portland’s recently-rebooted  festival of books and writing hosted by Literary Arts.

2-wordstock-boothThousands of writers and readers from around the region gathered at the Portland Art Museum last Saturday to attend workshops, hear readings from over 100 authors, and wander the booths at the book fair.

We talked to dozens and dozens of readers and writers, most of whom stepped up to our booth to browse our beautiful selection of sample books, and to pull a word from a fish tank to use in a sentence on Buttercup, the 1950s Royal typewriter that made the trek with us. Many of them took a copy of our free guidebook to learn more about the book printing process for themselves or a friend or family member working on a book.free-words

As a short run book printer, we attended this  event not only to meet writers who might be interested in publishing their own work who might need a printer, but also to chat with the 25+ independent publishing companies who were there to meet writers and sell their books.

While many of these publishing companies are big enough to need quantities of books that warrant printing on offset presses, they may need Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) ahead of the run that will be sold in stores. Our digital printing methods mean we can keep costs low on a smaller run of books, and we can produce them on fairly short notice if a publisher finds themselves with a deadline an offset printer couldn’t hope to meet.

We had the great privilege of printing the ARCs of City of Weird, a fresh-released collection of short stories from Forest Avenue Press. This book was a Powell’s Pick of the Month in October! We also saw past clients at tables for Atelier26 Books as well as the Willamette Writers, who print their literary journal, The Timberline Review, with us. We made friends at booths for YesYes Books, Chin Music Press and Overcup Press.

All in all it was a day full of excellent conversation with fellow book-folk. We can’t wait for next year!

 

Q&A with Local Author Mary Gentry

Mary Gentry is an Olympia-based writer whose books we’ve printed since the summer of 2014. Her first book, a collection of essays titled Quite Contrary, was released that September. She brought us her second title, Too Far from the Tree, to be printed the following spring. Mary’s essays and short stories have enjoyed healthy popularity locally. It is not hard to find Mary reading at bookstores in the Puget Sound region. Reading events with Mary are extra special because her cover artist, a well-known local print maker name Mimi Williams, will often join Mary for a demonstration of her lino-printing techniques.

Mary and I are practically neighbors, so when Mary orders a reprint, I like to bring her order up to Olympia so I have the chance to chat. When I delivered her reprint last week, I asked if she’d be willing to answer a few questions about books, writing, and the importance of storytelling.

Gentry_Quite-Contrary-Cover

Gorham Printing: What kind of books do you like to read?

Mary Gentry: I gravitate to books with well-developed characters. Motivation and character development are more important to me than action. I listen for the character’s ‘voice’ and if it rings ‘true’ then I keep reading.

I read a lot of procedural detective fiction – that would be my favorite escape reading, I guess. I’m also very fond of novels in which place is well developed, as if it were a character. I like to see and smell the locale. I am often inspired by characters, real or imagined, who manage to rise above themselves.

GP: When did you start writing? What do you like to write about?

MG: I have written on and off all my adult life. Once I started practicing law in the early 80’s, I realized how much I missed the creative environment I had experienced in teaching. In order to find the time to write, I routinely rose early in the mornings – very early – before anyone else got up and often before I went out for a 45 minute run.

Initially, I focused on short stories as well as children’s stories, the kind of books I was reading to my daughter. It was fun for me to put her into these stories. It was also a way to capture her ‘development’ and make a record of sorts.

I am drawn to write about very ordinary things; sometimes it is something that strikes me as humorous, other times, poignant. I prefer a “light” touch whenever possible. I think that it is in the very ordinary, commonplace moments that we can relate to one another. We rarely share anyone’s full life experience, but we do have frustrations, mishaps and misadventures in common, and I enjoy exploring that.

Gentry_Too-Far-CoverGP: When and why did you decide to compile your writings into a book?

MG: I decided to create a book when I realized that I had all these stories and essays written that weren’t going anywhere and I wanted to see them in a collection. I had posted a number of essays on a blog for a few years, which was initially satisfying but ultimately not quite enough. I wanted something more permanent and at the same time, more tangible.

GP: How did you find Gorham Printing?

MG: A friend, Holly Harmon, with whom I initially consulted about publishing my stories, introduced me to Gorham. Earlier in my career, I suspect that I would have balked at the idea of ‘self publishing’ but at this point in my life, it seemed to me the best and most logical route to go. I have limited time to write and I didn’t want to spend what time I did have trying to get something published in a magazine or by a publishing company. Now I realize that I really appreciate the freedom and control that comes with being one’s own publisher. I have frequently turned to The Little Red Hen for inspiration and guidance – she led me to Gorham, and with your help, “I did it myself!”

Want to learn more about Mary and her books? Check out her website: http://marygentrywrites.com/

See more Mimi Williams prints at her website, http://www.mimiwilliamsprintmaker.com/

Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.

Alison of Gorham Printing, Mimi Williams, and Mary Gentry at a reading and print demo event this spring.

Gorham Printing’s Mini-Me is Open

Not only is Gorham Printing, short-run book printer, fulfilling dreams for self-publishing authors around the country but they’ve become the first neighborhood Little Free Library location in Centralia. With a quiet grand opening on September 30, the miniature building/bookcase looks similar to the Gorham shop down to the same green metal roof.Book plate single

Have you heard of the Little Free Library program? This national, nonprofit organization began in 2009 with one little library in Wisconsin, with locations growing by the thousands in just five years. Gorham Printing’s official sign lists their library as charter No. 17,768. Facing the parking lot, it hangs from the wall with glass doors protecting the collection of used books. The initial selections have been donated by Gorham Printing staff.

Gorham Printing, relocated to the Port of Centralia in 2006, designs and prints books in all genres from memoirs to children’s picture books in both perfect bound or hard cover. Gorham prides itself on quality production and excellent customer service in the Pacific Northwest. Being a short-run book printer means your order can be as few as twenty-five copies for friends and family up to two thousand.

Gorham has now installed a Little Free Library for local readers as well. The Gorham library works on an honor system, people can borrow a book and bring it back or drop off a gently used book in exchange. The housed bookshelf next to the front door of Gorham Printing is open to the public 24/7, no permission needed when taking a book. Editions for all ages are available and the titles will rotate based on donated books.

More information about the concept and how to start a Little Free Library yourself is available on the littlefreelibrary.org website.

Read a Book Day – Sep. 6

Not to be confused with World Book Day in March, or National Book Lovers Day in August, Read a Book Day is on September 6th and this year it falls on a Saturday. What better excuse two days from now to set aside time to indulge in a good book than Read a Book Day?

If you don’t currently have a book in progress in your stack, why not visit the library, a local bookstore, or an online eBook seller to find something of interest? Or, go back and revisit an old favorite. Heard the book was better than the movie? Now is a great time to grab a copy and find out. Curl up on your couch, rocking chair or your bed, but if the weather is just right indulge by heading to the beach or a park!

The best research for being a writer is reading books. The more you read, the sharper your creative skills will be. Though unable to find the history of how this special day started, Wikipedia has nothing, Saturday, September 6 is your day for grabbing a book and enjoy!

National Read a Book Day, Saturday, Sept 6

National Read a Book Day, Saturday, Sept 6