Center Salon To Welcome Jess Walter

by Bryan Willis for OLY ARTS

Two of the Northwest’s most well-known novelists will be featured in events April 12 and 13 in Olympia.

Jess Walter, the National Book Award nominee and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, will join Olympia’s own Jim Lynch as featured literary artists at the Washington Center Salon. They’ll be joined by other artists as well – author Maria Mudd Ruth, actress Amy Shephard, environmental writer John Dodge and violist Lisa Dyvig.

Executive Director Jill Barnes hopes the Salon series will continue to flourish: “Where else can someone hear brand new works of fiction read by the author, learn about an artist’s process and be inspired by original poetry in one night? The intimate atmosphere (Stage II) and quality of talent makes for a truly special event.” This year will mark the Washington Center’s third annual Salon.

Jim Lynch is writing a short story especially for the Salon: “It’s about an Uber driver in Olympia — beyond that, you’re just going to have to wait.” The New York Times recently called Lynch “an original and gifted novelist,” and he continues to receive accolades from readers around the world.

Jess Walter’s reading is still a surprise, even to himself. “I’m not sure yet. I like to laugh at readings, so I generally try to write something that makes me laugh — although your results may vary.”

Jess Walter will also be featured as the keynote speaker for the April 12 “Readers are Leaders” benefit breakfast for the South Sound Reading Foundation. This year is the sixth annual event, and last year featured nationally known librarian and novelist Nancy Pearl.

Walter, who is based in Spokane, explains why he jumped at the chance to be part of the Reading Foundation breakfast despite the long trip: “I’m always open to speaking requests from groups committed to literacy and building young readers. At the Readers Are Leaders breakfast I’ll be speaking about the power of books in the lives of young people.”

Advance reservations are highly recommended for both events.

WHAT    Washington Center Salon

WHERE   Washington Center Black Box, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

WHEN    7:30 p.m. Friday April 13

HOW MUCH  $12 + ticket fee


360-753-8586 |



South Sound Reading Foundation

Benefit Breakfast: Thursday April 12

Reservations Required.

For more info contact


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