2016 San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts Winners Announced

The winners of the San Mateo County Fair’s 2016 Literary Arts Carry the Light awards were officially announced this week. Best of show was awarded to “Up Against a Wall” by Sue Barizon, Memoir; “Abandoned Garden” by Ellaraine Lockie, Poetry ”Do Not Remove Lid, Do Not Stir” by Audrey Kalman, Essay; and “Tender Roots” by Valerie Stoller, Short Story.

Boris Koodrin, the director of the Fine Arts Galleria, developed our Carry the Light concept as a way for people to step up and help others to find the creative spark that is in everyone. That way, anyone can Carry the Light,” said Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Literary Director

The San Mateo County Fair takes place Saturday June 11 through Sunday, June 19, 2016 at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds. The Literary Arts events kick off with the Winner’s Circle events on opening day. A full eight days of events supporting and celebrating authors takes place throughout the fair. The literary arts events calendar includes readings, workshops, bookselling, book signings, award ceremonies and musical entertainment.

“Monday, June 13, is Kids’ Day at the San Mateo County Fair. Children 12 years of age and younger will be admitted free. The Galleria Stage in Expo Hall will host three special events that afternoon: An interactive reading, music and coloring program with Sam Kauffman, a “Build Your Own Space Alien” craft project led by me and a “For Kids by a Kid – How to Write Your Own Book” program led byMichelle Longega Wilson, a ten-year-old Amazon Best Selling author,” said Laurel Anne Hill

Over twenty-five local authors will be present for book signings and sales on Saturday, June 18 from 2pm to 4pm for the Seventh Annual Author’s Day event.

“These book sales and the panel discussions that follow each year have been a labor of love for our literary stage manager extraordinaire, award-winning author Laurel Anne Hill. She has a knack for finding talented writers of different ilks and putting them together to make for a stimulating book experience,” said Bardi Rosman Koodrin

The literary contest is sponsored by Sponsored by the SF/Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club (CWC). Members of the Winner’s Circle receive a blue ribbon, optional publication in the “Carry the Light” anthology, and monetary prizes.

“I’m excited about this year’s programs at the Galleria Stage in Expo Hall,” saidLaurel Anne Hill, Literary Stage Director.

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2016 BayCon returns to San Mateo Marriott SFO

Article by Sumiko Saulson, Images Courtesy of Emerian Rich

The theme for BayCon 2016 is “It’s All About Space!” The convention takes place Friday May 27 through Monday May 30, 2016. For the first time in nearly a decade, it is returning to the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport, located at 1770 S Amphlett Blvd in San Mateo, CA. The full program is now available online.

“The team of people who puts this convention together has been at this hotel before, and has also produced Westercon at this location,” said Heather Stern, onsite Music Programmer

In keeping with this year’s theme, the convention has selected as its 2016 charity SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Guests of honor include Hugo and Nebula award-winning author David Gerrold, who wrote the legendary Star Trek original series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” artist Chris Butler, F.R.A.S. whose subjects include space, nature and the sea, and Anastasia Hunter of the Gaslight Gathering (a steampunk convention), and author Lawrence Schoen, founder of the Klingon Language Institute. The Library Bards will be this year’s toastmasters.

“The new venue’s interior architecture and this year’s theme are a great pairing!” said Durelle Kurlinski, head of the Craft/ Maker’sRoom

For the third year in a row, BayCon is hosting a variety show. Some of this year’s space-themed panels include, “Are We Alone in The Universe?” “Star Trek – Why We Still Love It,” and “Colonization of Mars.”

“Programming is wall to wall with great panel topics and demos. The eveningevents promise to be all kinds of fun. I’m really impressed!” said Lillian Csernica, author of “The Writer’s Spellbook

Although BayCon is science-fiction and fantasy focused, horror authors will also be present. Horror.netwill present a panel and debut its new horror fairytale anthology, “Once Upon A Scream”. Other horror-themed panels include “Terror in Outerspace: At the intersection of horror and science fiction,” and “Frankenstein at 200: It’s Alive!”

“I really like the new ideas brought to the program this year and the DIY room just keeps getting better and better,” said Emerian Rich of Horror.net

BayCon is continuing its commitment to accessibility at the new venue. This includes dedicated seating, quiet spaces, and other accommodations for disabled guests. Panels discussions like “Disability representations (or lack thereof) in comics, genre literature, film and television” and “Space for Our Differences” also reflect BayCon’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

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Pruda Bass releases his fifth Reggae album, Love Love Love


Article by Sumiko Saulson,

Image Courtesy of Pruda Bass

June 1, 2016 marked the release of Oakland reggae artist Pruda Bass’ fifth solo album, “Love Love Love.” Born into a musical family learning piano, Pruda first learned to play the electric bass guitar in 1988. The following year he started playing with Grammy nominated Emmit Powell and The Gospel Elites.

“That’s like my Pruda Bass musical journey in service date, where I put both feet in the music vehicle, and got on board,” said Pruda

He toured with the band for the next eleven years. They played in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Istanbul, Finland, Holland, the United States, and Canada. They even performed at the Sydney Australian Opera House.

“A real fantastic voyage is a way to sum up this ongoing journey, indeed, I share with aspiring artists. Follow the dream achieve it,” said Pruda

In 1984 he performed with Maestro Oscar Preston, who is related to the famous composer/pianist Billy Preston. He also shared the stage with The Mighty Clouds of Joy gospel quartet, Dorothy Norwood, Commissioned, Mississippi Mass Choir ,Richard Smallwood, Rev.Bobby Jones, George Benson, Bernie Man, Yellowman, Yami Bolo, Edi Fitzroy, and Sister I Live.

After years on tour, he returned to California.

“Since returning to The Bay Area from Los Angeles, where I lived for little over 5 years, I play in many local churches and church programs. I call it making a joyful noise. I’m grateful for the gift. These are exciting times. Every day is a campaign,” said Pruda

Pruda feels strongly about the positivity of the Bay Area’s musical scene and wants to support other up-and-coming artists.

“For a long time Oakland has been a positive, strong, supportive, diverse scene. Oakland is positive. Good people help Oakland to be on the creative maps. The Oakland Bay Area scene, to sum it up, equals nice,” said Pruda

His albums are available on iTunes, Amazon Records, Reids Records, and Rasputin Music. He gets his inspiration from a lot of things, including his work as a caregiver.

“’Love Love Love’, the title of my Reggae album came to me from looking at so many people are hurting, so many people are suffering. My inspiration is makingReggae music with a message and promoting being kind to someone, compassion for others. Kind of like caregiver style, caring for others leaves a great feeling indeed,” said Pruda

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3rd Annual Sacramento Black Book Fair Celebrates Literacy

The Third Annual Sacramento Black Book Fair kicked off on Friday, June 3, 2016 with a reception at Underground Books and an inspirational panel discussion at The Guild Theatre on growing new readers with featured authors, Frederick K. Foote, Geri Spencer Hunter, JaNay Brown-Wood, and Jay King.

At the end of the panel, when they took questions from the audience, ten year-old Savanna Karmue, the author of Happy Heart Advices, was offered an impromptu opportunity to address the audience. The youngster addressed the audience like a pro. Savanna Karmue is just one example of authors in attendance who have benefited from the self-publishing revolution.

“A new and enlightening experience to interact with like minds, writers, musicians, and poets. Love it,” said author K.E. Mullins

During the “Writer’s Panel,” Jay King (a featured author who was in Club Nouveau and wrote a book series on the music industry), Doris Mangrum, K.E. Mullinsand Sumiko Saulson gave advice on writing, copywriting, publishing, and self-publishing to a great audience of enthusiastic aspiring writers. The panels gave writers an opportunity to reach out and give back to the community.

“Success …to me has never been bout the dollars in my pocket or a score. But about the amount lives I’ve touched,” said K.E. Mullins

Over seventy black writers were present for the event. They participated in a series of workshops, panel discussions, author personal appearances, book chats and signings at Women’s Civic Improvement Center, Brickhouse Art Gallery, Underground Books, The Guild Theatre, , Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s House (near Oak Park Preschool), The Sacramento Food Bank, The McGeorge School of Law, and McClatchy Park.

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