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Originally published Monday, July 1, 2013 at 5:05 AM

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The return of NW Bookfest and other literary news

News about Northwest Bookfest; authors Nicola Griffith and Timothy Egan; and a big prize for the Pierce County library.

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit Life

My filing system works like this: I make piles of books and papers around my desk in the hope that if I can see it, I won’t forget it. This works until the Gravity Goddess comes down with a vengeful swoop. In the interest of propitiating her, here’s a list of recent lit bits:

Northwest Bookfest returns: The reconstituted Kirkland version of Northwest Bookfest will return for a third year. The festival, to be held over the Nov. 2-3 weekend, will focus on the benefits and challenges of digital publishing. For $99, participants can attend two days of workshops taught by authors and trade professionals on subjects from e-books and digital distribution to social media and online marketing. There will also be free meet-the-author panels and author readings (lineup to be announced later).

This year the event moves to the campus of Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave., Kirkland. Sponsors include Book Publishers Northwest and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Information:

Seattle7 Writers book club brunch: The Seattle7 Writers group, which knows how to do good and have fun simultaneously, is throwing a book club brunch at 10 a.m. July 14, upstairs at Greenwood Square on 85th and Greenwood in Seattle.

A $50 ticket credits you with a $30 donation to local literacy organizations, plus brunch, mimosas and a chance to rub shoulders with these authors: Whidbey Island author Elizabeth George (keynote speaker), Garth Stein (emcee), Deb Caletti (“He’s Gone”), Tara Conklin (“The House Girl”), Laurie Frankel (“Goodbye For Now”), Kristin Hannah (“Fly Away”), Shannon Polson (“North of Hope”), and Jennie Shortridge (“Love Water Memory”). Co-sponsored by the Elliott Bay Book Co. For more information go to

Authors honored: Seattle author Nicola Griffith has won the prize for Outstanding Mid-Career novelist from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Griffith writes, blogs, wins awards for her science fiction and has a novel coming out in October from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. “Hild” is set in 7th century Britain.

Seattle author Timothy Egan has won the Chautauqua Prize for his biography of Seattle photographer Edward Curtis, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher.” Egan receives $7,500 and travel and expenses for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua, a not-for-profit educational and cultural center in southwestern New York state.

Pierce County library system honored: Remember my filing system? Sometimes it doesn’t work so well. I am remiss in mentioning that in May, The Pierce County Library System received the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community.

First lady Michelle Obama helped give out the awards to 10 libraries and museums around the country. The citation commended the Pierce County system’s innovations in supporting early literacy, supporting diverse constituencies and maintaining meaningful community partnerships. More information:

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Gwinn appears every Tuesday on TVW’s “Well Read,” discussing books with host Terry Tazioli (go to for archived episodes). On Twitter @gwinnma.

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