Write Stuff: Connecticut Book Awards, Jewish Book Festival And National LGBT History Month

Special To The Courant

The Connecticut Book Awards return Sunday, Oct. 22, with an event from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, presented by the Connecticut Center for the Book at Connecticut Humanities. Tickets are $30 at the door.

Authors or illustrators of books with ties to Connecticut that were published in 2016 will be honored in four categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry and young readers. Best-selling Connecticut author Beatriz Williams will be the keynote speaker, and along with winners and finalists will sign books at a reception.

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Twain House & Museum, Sports Illustrated writer S. L. Price will give a Book/Mark talk about his "Playing Through the Whistle," a book about Aliquippa, a steel town in Pennsylvania and its famous high school football team that involves history, economics and sociology, as well as athletics. Tickets are $5.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Kerry Driscoll, a noted Twain scholar, will give a free "The Trouble Begins at 5:30" talk following a 5 p.m. reception, on "'My Love and Patriarchal Blessing:' Mark Twain and the Saturday Morning Club of Hartford." The club was a group of upper-class young single women who met for lectures and discussions. The book explores Twain's views on gender and female education.

Tickets and registration: marktwainhouse.org or 860-247-0998.

Authors At R.J. Julia

On Sunday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m., R.J. Julia Booksellers, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, will host a book signing by Mick Foley, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler known as the Hardcore Legend and a No. 1 best-selling author. His latest is "Saint Mick: My Journey from Hardcore Legend to Santa's Jolly Elf," part memoir, part celebration of Christmas and part inspirational book. Admission is the purchase of a copy at $24.99.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., a Local & Independent Author Event about historical fiction will feature Connecticut writers Diana McCain and Charles Monagan. McCain is the author of a historical novel inspired by the Lyman family of Middlefield, "Thy Children's Children: A Novel Based on the True Story of Five Generations of a New England Grassroots Dynasty." Monagan, a former editor and columnist for Connecticut Magazine, is the author of the novel "Carrie Welton," inspired by a 19th-century resident of Waterbury.

Two talks will be given by authors who claim to serve as mediums between the living and the dead. On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., Anna Raimondi, a spiritual counselor and author of "Conversations with Mary: Messages of Love, Healing, Hope, and Unity for Everyone," which celebrates the Virgin Mary, will speak. On Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., Elaine Kuzmeskus, director of the New England School of Metaphysics and author of seven books on the occult, will discuss her latest, "Connecticut in the Golden Age of Spiritualism." Tickets are $10.

All events require reservations: 203-245-3959 or rjjulia.com.

Characters Create Story

Award-winning local mystery author Steve Liskow will lead a Characters Create Story workshop on how to develop characters for a short story or novel at the Storytellers Cottage, 750 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. The fee is $30: 860-877-6099 or StoryTellersCottage.com.

Fiction Fundamentals

Registration is open for a free 20-person workshop on the fundamentals of fiction writing with a complimentary lunch on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury. Freelance writer and writing teacher Sarah Bradley will lead the workshop, which is part of the annual National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo project, in which participants age 16 to adult attempt to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Other NaNoWriMo programs will follow at the library. Registration: 860-658-7663, ext. 4 or simsburylibrary.info.

Hartford Public Library

Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Poetry Society will continue their free monthly talks about a famous poet's work at the library, 500 Main St., Hartford, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, with a discussion about poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser, led by Nancy Clark Otter.

Sarah Gallardo will launch her book, "Hiding in Plain Slight: A Glimpse into the Realities of Domestic Violence," on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Culture at the library. 860-695-6300 or hplct.org.

LGBT History

Bank Square Books of Mystic and Mystic Noank Library, 40 Library St., Mystic, will present a free talk on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m., at the library, by John-Manuel Andriote, author of "Stonewall Strong: Gay Men's Heroic Fight for Resilience, Good Health, and a Strong Community." The National LGBT History Month event is free. Andriote is a Washington, D.C. health journalist who has long covered the AIDS epidemic. 860-536-3795 or banksquarebks@msn.com.

Jewish Book Festival

The Mandell Jewish Community Center' annual Jewish Book Festival continues with two presentations.

On Monday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Hartford Stage Co., 50 Church St., Hartford, author Alexandra Silber will be in conversation with artistic director Darko Tresnjac. Silber starred as Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof." Her debut book is "After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by "Fiddler on the Roof," which imagines the lives of characters after the play ends. Tickets are $20.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at the center, 335 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, acclaimed author Nathan Englander will discuss his new novel, "Dinner at the Center of the Earth," a political thriller that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a prisoner held secretly and his guard. Tickets are $36 and include a dessert reception and a copy of the book.

Tickets and information: 860-231-6316, tickets@mandelljcc.org or mandelljcc.org.

Connecticut Witch Hunts

On Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Hartford History Center at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford, Richard S. Ross III, former director of the Trinity College Library, will discuss his book, "Before Salem: Witch Hunting in the Connecticut River Valley 1647-1663." The book explains how the English Civil War and witch trials in there led to 11 hangings in the Connecticut River Valley, before the Salem trials. hplct.org or 860-695-6300.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, at noon at Book Club Bookstore & More, 869 Sullivan Ave. South Windsor, a Season of the Witch event will present novelists Beth Caruso, author of the novel "One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging" and Katherine Spada Basto, author of "Days to the Gallows: A Novel of the Hartford Witch Panic of 1662-1663." 860-432-7411 or bookclubct.com.

Authors In Avon

Avon Public Library, 281 Country Club Road, Avon, will host two events.

On Monday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, who write under the pen name Liv Constantine, will discuss their new thriller novel, "The Last Mrs. Parrish." The sisters live in Connecticut and Maryland.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m., social justice and human rights advocate Edee Tenser will present the documentary film "The Ruth Gruber Story," based on the book "Haven" by Ruth Gruber who provided a haven from the Holocaust for nearly 1,000 Christian and Jewish refugees by bringing them to New York. Her talk is presented with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford. 860-673-9712.

Central Authors

Central Authors, a free series of talks about books by CCSU faculty, staff members or alumni, continues Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 12:15 p.m., in the Student Center Bookstore on the campus at 1615 Stanley St., New Britain. Mary Collins of the English Department will discuss her nonfiction book, "At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces." 860-832-2759 or gigliotti@ccsu.edu.

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