Columns & Blogs

Chuckanut Writers Conference open to all June 26-27

The fifth annual Chuckanut Writers Conference, taking place June 26-27 at Whatcom Community College, is an intensive craft-focused, cross-genre symposium designed to inspire and edify writers of all experience levels.

Co-presented by WCC’s Community and Continuing Education program and by Village Books, the conference spotlights talented authors who are distinguished writing teachers, and respected agents who share industry insights and hear pitches.

Hannah Streetman, who is helping to coordinate the event, says the conference offers useful insights from experts to help people interested in writing to navigate the changing world of publishing. And because writers often work in isolation, the conference gives them the chance to network with other writers and publishers, and to seek out mentors in a supportive atmosphere.

“You come to realize that other people in your community explore the same passions, questions and obsessions in their writing, and maybe also share the same fears and insecurities,” Streetman says. “At its heart, it’s a chance to strengthen technique and community ties through a celebration of words.”

Participating writers include Stephanie Kallos, Carol Cassella, Brian Doyle, Sam Green, Elizabeth George, Robert Lashley, Erik Larson, Brenda Miller, and Kate Lebo.

Details:, 360-383-3200.

Curtain’s up for 2015-2016 season at MBT

For the first time, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., is giving the public a “Curtains Up!” preview of the 2015-2016 season at a free event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25.

As someone who knows what’s in store for those who like ukulele virtuosos, jazz ensembles from Portland, Ore., activist female rock singers, and humorists who work at department stores during the holiday season, I can attest that you’ll be delighted by who’s coming to town.

Reservations are requested; call 360-734-6080.

Once in a century

Bellingham Music Club, which turns 100 years old this season, has supported talented young musicians in Whatcom County by offering opportunities to perform and by awarding cash prizes to pursue their craft.

The volunteer club kicks off its centennial season with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 21, at Bellingham High School, which not only features performances by many of those who have performed at the club meetings, but also honors one of our most esteemed local musicians, violinist and educator Joanne Donnellan.

Jack Frymire, who is producing the concert with program chair Isabelle Cormier, says a special moment of Sunday’s concert will be a performance of Ravel’s “La Valse” by newlywed (and award-winning) pianists Cole Anderson and Siyuan Li as what he calls “The Trans-Pacific Partnership everyone can love,” performing on two Steinway Grands.

Concert details:, 360-398-2484,

Reach Margaret Bikman at 360-715-2273 or


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