Aug. 11, 2023 (Bellingham/Whatcom County, WA) — Whatcom READS invites writers of all ages and experience levels to submit original work for its annual writing challenge, Whatcom WRITES. This year’s prompt is legacies, which is inspired by Whatcom READS 2024 featured title, Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe. Submission deadline is Oct. 15. To learn more and to submit work, visit whatcomreads.org/whatcom-writes.
Top entries are selected for publication in the Whatcom WRITES anthology and contributors are invited to read at a public presentation. The anthology is available for purchase at Village Books and to check out from local libraries. Entries received are judged on a rubric that includes originality, design and creativity, demonstrated writing skills, and appropriateness to contest theme.
Winner of a 2023 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association award, Red Paint traces LaPointe’s personal story of trauma, healing and the search for home. The book presents a wide range of discussion and event opportunities leading up to the author’s visit in March 2024. Visit the Whatcom READS website, whatcomreads.org, and social media pages for updates and to get involved.
Community members may borrow Red Paint as a book, eBook or eAudiobook from local libraries or purchase it from Village Books, which donates a percentage of each sale to Whatcom READS.
About the author: Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribes. Native to the Pacific Northwest, she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city. She holds a double MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Yellow Medicine Review, Hunger Mountain and elsewhere. She lives in Tacoma, Wash. Her critically acclaimed memoir Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk was published by Counterpoint Press on March 8, 2022. Her collection of poetry, Rose Quartz, was published by Milkweed on March 7, 2023. Counterpoint Press will release her collection of essays as Thunder Song in March 2024.
About Whatcom READS: Northwest Washington’s premier annual literary event, Whatcom READS celebrates reading, readers and strong communities through the shared experience of one book. Now in its 15th year, Whatcom READS is presented by all the public and academic libraries in Bellingham and Whatcom County – Bellingham Public Library, Bellingham Technical College, Northwest Indian College, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and Whatcom County Library System. Village Books is Whatcom READS’ community partner. Learn more at whatcomreads.org.
Media contact: Mary Vermillion, Whatcom READS committee, email@example.com