For those of us who’ve braved the extreme heat of this Phoenix, Arizona summer during a global pandemic (and many of us social distancing and quarantining due to COVID-19, no less!), the fall months of cooler temperatures, “pumpkin spice” everything, and less expensive electric bills couldn’t come at a better time for us Phoenicians. If you’re like our editors and ghostwriters here at Midnight Publishing, the need for some connection with other likeminded readers and authors in the area is very strong come this autumn 2020—and we’ve compiled some upcoming resources and events, both virtual and in person, to support one another creatively as well as our local independent bookstores in upcoming weeks.

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Updates on Local Independent Bookstores for Fall 2020

  1. Poisoned Pen Bookstore:

    As of September 14th, 2020, the Poisoned Pen is open to readers for browsing by appointment only. The Poisoned Pen is an independent bookstore in Old Town Scottsdale (near Fashion Square Mall) that specializes in local Arizona authors’ books, crimes/thrillers, and mysteries, and has a special connection with bestselling author of the Outlander series (and Arizonan!), Diana Gabaldon.

How to make an appointment:

Email appointments@poisonedpen.com to request one twenty-minute appointment. Appointments are made on the hour or half hour, and the appointment hours are as follows: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

  1. Changing Hands Bookstore (Phoenix and Tempe locations):

    Both bookstores are open for in-store shopping seven days a week, with limited shopping hours from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Masks are required in both locations, and they request that customers sanitize their hands from the touchless dispensers at the front of each store. Changing Hands Phoenix’s First Draft Book Bar is currently not open for dine-in service, but are continuing to offer curbside pickup for all beer, wine, coffee, and pastry needs. 

High-risk group? Make an appointment:

Appointments are available for vulnerable and high-risk individuals who’d like to browse the bookshelves with more social distancing. To make an appointment, email inbox@changinghands.com and request a timeslot—they’re available Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. 

Writers’ Resources and Events for Fall 2020

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  1. Central Phoenix Writing Workshop:

    This Meetup group for all Phoenix-based authors and writers offers the chance to read up to 3,000 words of your prose (the preference is up to 2,000 words) to other attendees at the workshop evening of your choice. Currently all workshops have gone virtual via Zoom rooms, and will remain this way for the foreseeable future. Find lots of updates and general information about the workshops here on their Meetup page

Days and times of workshops:

Currently, there are workshops held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday virtually via Zoom. Tuesday and Wednesday meetings are from 6:30 p.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m, with Sunday meetings beginning at 2:00 p.m. and ending at around 4:00 p.m.

  1. Arizona State University’s Piper Writers Studio:

    Per the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU’s website, the Piper Writers Studio is their educational arm offering workshops, classes, and educational opportunities to the general public—a.k.a., you do not need to be an enrolled ASU student to attend. For general information and to sign up, visit their website page here. All upcoming workshops are being offered online until December 2020 at least.

Upcoming workshops to consider:

“Scene and Sequel” workshop with Jim Butcher on October 9th; “Intermediate Fiction” three-session workshop with Judith Starkston on Thursdays from October 13th to 27th; and “Advanced Poetry” multi-session workshop with Jabari Allen on Wednesdays from November 4th to 18th. Prices vary from approximately $55 (with an economic challenges discount) to $109.

Whether you’ve found time to write a book during the pandemic and want some in-depth professional editing, are seeking assistance crafting an outline to begin, or plan to pursue self-publication, Midnight Publishing’s book experts are here for you. Contact us anytime to schedule a virtual consultation and get a slot on our schedule!