Next week the Oregon Book Awards Author Tour travels to Enterprise and La Grande.

The reading in Enterprise takes place on Wednesday, August 20th at 7:00 p.m. at Stage One (117 1/2 Main Street). The reading in Enterprise will be followed by a concert featuring music by Carolyn Lochert. Local support for the Enterprise tour comes from Fishtrap and The Bookloft.

The reading in La Grande takes place on Thursday, August 21st at 7:00 p.m. at La Grande Public Library (2006 4th St.). Local support for the La Grande tour comes from the La Grande Public Library and The Libraries of Eastern Oregon.

Oregon Book Awards authors (pictured on the right, left to right) Alison Clement, Monica Drake and Elizabeth Rusch will be reading. The readings are free and open to the public, and the authors will be available afterwards for book signing and conversation.

Alison Clement is the winner of the Ken Kesey Award for the Novel for Twenty Questions. She lives in Corvallis, and her first book, Pretty Is As Pretty Does, was a Discover Great New Writers book and a BookSense selection.

Alison describes a good writing day: “A good writing day is a whole day that is mine. I have no appointments, no commitments, nothing. I have the house to myself. No one is home. I don’t have to stop at 8, to go to my job. I don’t have to clean anything or buy anything or fix or make or do anything. It’s just me and the story and that’s all.”

Monica Drake is a finalist in the novel for her first book, Clown Girl. Monica teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and her short stories have been published in literary journals including The Beloit Fiction Review and The Three Penny Review. Monica described a good writing day in a July 25 posting.

Elizabeth Rusch is a finalist in children’s literature for her book, Will It Blow: Become a Volcano Detective on Mt. St. Helens. Elizabeth lives in Portland and is the author of five books for children.

Elizabeth describes a good writing day: “I do my best writing in the Sterling Writers Room in the Central Library. As I ride the streetcar to the library, I slip into an almost meditative state — not thinking about the writing I am going to do deliberately but letting my mind wander around. The writers’ room has four large bare oak desks with a simple lamp on each. It’s so quiet I can hear a small voice inside, the writer’s voice. Even if I don’t hear it, I start writing. I write and write and I don’t look up until I feel a bit cotton-headed and stiff, like I have to stretch. Two hours have passed like two minutes. On a good day, even if I don’t read over what I have written, I have a sense that somewhere in the work is something good.”