Posted on

35 Word Story Contest!

In order to celebrate Writers & Books’ 35th anniversary, we are launching a very short story contest where the only rule is that you must use exactly 35 words! It’s that simple. Test your creative wits and see what potential lies in only 35 words. Submit one story or submit ten, write in prose or write poetry, whatever you choose–the only rule is that you have to use 35 words!

There are two really easy ways to submit your stories–electronically or in person. To submit electronically, simply email submissions to, including your name in the email, and that’s it! To submit in person, we have a submission box located inside Writers & Books and postcards with information about the contest to write your story on. Feel free to stop by and take a few, working on them as you choose, as long as you submit them before the deadline!

The deadline for submissions is May 6th, 2016. There will be a reading June 6th where anyone and everyone who submitted should come and read their 35 word masterpieces, and listen to others. We will officially announce the winners then!

Prizes will include being published in our catalog and a choice of some limited edition W&B 35th anniversary swag, including tote bags and pins!

Any questions can be emailed to, or call Sarah Brown at 473-2590 ext. 110

Posted on

“Story Time With Style” Book Drive

Bring your gently used children’s books to Writers & Books to be included in the “Story Time With Style” campaign.

-Partnership with local salons, barbershops encourages kids to read while they wait-

(Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015) – Mayor Lovely A. Warren was joined by community partners today to announce “Story Time With Style” – a program designed to help increase recreational reading by offering children books in local beauty salons and barber shops. The announcement was made at Forte Styles Beauty Shop on Thurston Road in southwest Rochester.

“My hope for Story Time With Style is that boys and girls will associate waiting with reading and choose to do so whenever the opportunity presents itself,” said Mayor Warren. “Neighborhood beauty salons and barbershops are natural gathering places for young men and women – perhaps they will see the younger children reading in a comfortable setting and feel compelled to serve as literacy mentors. This is a community effort and I want to thank our partners for coming together to make this program possible.”

Recent data provided by the New York State Department of Education shows that only four percent of African-American students and three percent of Latino students are proficient in reading by the third grade. Data also shows that students who struggle by the end of third grade are 13 times less likely to graduate high school by the age of 19.

Ten participating shops throughout the city are hosting bookshelves constructed by youth members of The Woodshop of St. Michael, Inc., a ministry that offers life skills to urban youth through the art of woodworking. Lumber used to create the shelves was donated by William B. Morse Lumber Co., one of the oldest businesses in the Rochester area.

The shelves are filled with children’s books that have been provided by the following community partners: Shelley Matthews, Rochester Area Literacy Coordinator for the Rochester Public Library; Rochester Northwest Rotary; Dr. Leonard Brock, Director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and the United Way of Greater Rochester; U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Starry Night Publishing; Rochester Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“Reading is fundamental to childhood development,” said Monroe County Legislator Willie Lightfoot. “If we as professional barbers and cosmetologists can help develop the next business owner or leader through reading, then we have done this community a great service.”

Lightfoot is the owner of New Creations Unisex Barbershop on Jefferson Avenue and helped organize the initiative along with the Mayor and encouraged other business owners to sign on.

“Through all of United Way’s work with the Blueprint for Change and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, we know that reading and literacy is essential to help kids build a foundation to do well in school and begin to break the cycle of poverty,” said Leonard Brock, Director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative at United Way. “We’re proud to partner with the City of Rochester to make sure there are books available to local kids and their parents in convenient locations.”

“We at Morse Lumber are happy to be associated with the Story Time With Style initiative, said Vice President Pat Clancy. “Anything that can be done to encourage reading and fuel a passion for reading is an investment that will pay dividends for our entire community.”

Story Time With Style locations:

 Andre’s Unisex Salon, 881 Portland Ave.

 Arlene’s Unique Styles Beauty Salon, 983 Hudson Ave.

 Children’s Gallery, 1446 Dewey Ave.

 Forte Styles Beauty Shop, 517 Thurston Rd.

 Mass Appeal Barbershop, 515 East Main St.

 New Creations Unisex Barbershop, 647 Jefferson Ave.

 Ronnie’s Kids Kuts, 1274 N. Goodman St.

 Tatinan’s Unisex Salon, 1534 Dewey Ave.

 Top Notch Barbering, 970 South Clinton Ave.

 Wade and Me Barbershop, 1365 Culver Rd.

“Literacy efforts lead to better educational opportunities for our children, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and more jobs for our citizens,” said Mayor Warren.

Barbershop and salon owners interested in becoming a Story Time With Style site should visit For more information, contact Briana Chamberlain by phone at (585) 428-7223, or via email at

Posted on

10 Ways to Avoid Fraud

Our friends and partners at The Summit Federal Credit Union have shared with us “10 Ways to Avoid Fraud” – useful particularly at this time of year as many of us go online to purchase gifts for our friends and family members!

Financial Wellness Tips Brought to you by YOUR Credit Union,

The Summit Federal Credit Union

10 Ways to Avoid Fraud

What You SHOULD Do…

Know who you’re dealing with –

Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. With internet phone services and other web-based technologies, it’s tough to tell where someone is calling from. Do an online search for the company name and website, and look for reviews. If people report negative experiences, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk.

Know that wiring money is like sending cash –

Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers, to sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment, or to anyone who claims to be a relative or friend in an emergency and wants to keep the request a secret.

Read your monthly account statements –

Scammers steal account information and then run up charges or commit crimes in your name. Dishonest merchants bill you for monthly “membership fees” and other goods or services without your authorization. If you see charges you don’t recognize or didn’t okay, contact your bank, card issuer, or other creditor immediately.

After a disaster, give only to established charities –

In the aftermath of a disaster, give to an established charity, rather than one that has sprung up overnight. Pop-up charities probably don’t have the infrastructure to get help to the affected areas or people, and they could be collecting the money to finance illegal activity.

Talk to your doctor before you buy health products or treatments –

Ask about research that supports a product’s claims — and possible risks or side effects. In addition, buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Otherwise, you could end up with products that are fake, expired, or mislabeled — in short, products that could be dangerous to your health.

Remember there’s no sure thing in investing –

If someone contacts you with low-risk, high-return investment opportunities, stay away. When you hear pitches that insist you act now, that guarantee big profits, that promise little or no financial risk, or that demand that you send cash immediately, report them at



What You SHOULDN’T Do…

Don’t send money to someone you don’t know –

Not to an online seller you’ve never heard of — or an online love interest who asks for money. It’s best to do business with sites you know and trust. If you buy items through an online auction, consider using a payment option that provides protection, like a credit card. If you think you’ve found a good deal, but you aren’t familiar with the company, check it out. Type the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” See what comes up — on the first page of results as well as on the later pages. Never pay fees first for the promise of a big pay-off later — whether it’s for a loan, a job, a grant or a so-called prize.

Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back –

By law, banks have to make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. You’re responsible for the checks you deposit: If a check turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for paying back the bank. No matter how convincing the story, someone who overpays with a check is almost certainly a scam artist.

Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information –

It doesn’t matter whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text message, or an ad. Don’t click on links or call phone numbers included in the message, either. It’s called phishing. The crooks behind these messages are trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information. If you got a message like this and you are concerned about your account status, call the number on your credit or debit card — or your statement — and check on it.

Don’t play a foreign lottery –

It’s illegal to play a foreign lottery. And yet messages that tout your chances of winning a foreign lottery, or messages that claim you’ve already won, can be tempting. Inevitably, you have to pay “taxes,” “fees,” or “customs duties” to collect your prize. If you must send money to collect, you haven’t won anything. And if you send any money, you will lose it. You won’t get any money back, either, regardless of promises or guarantees.

If you think you may have been scammed:

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. If you are outside the U.S., file a complaint at
  • Visit where you’ll find out how to minimize your risk of identity theft.
  • Report scams to your state Attorney General.
  • If you get what looks like lottery material from a foreign country through the postal mail, take it to your local postmaster.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Posted on

Giving the Gift of Literature

Tis the season of giving! Sometimes even though our hearts are feeling generous during the holidays, it can be a little difficult to find the right gifts to give our friends and family. When you are deciding what presents to give this year, remember that literature is one of the greatest gifts you can give! It may seem like a bit of a cliché, but I’ve come up with six reasons why books make the best presents!

  1. There’s something for everyone! There are books written on millions of different topics in millions of different styles. You are sure to find something that aligns with the preferences of everyone on your list. Even people who claim not to be readers will enjoy learning more about what interests them.
  2. It prompts people to read more. Many people don’t read not because they don’t like to, but because they aren’t required to, and it’s something that gets overlooked in their day to day lives. When people receive books as gifts, they are more likely to pick them up and get reading! Maybe your gift will even get them in the habit of reading more often!
  3. They are the gifts that keep on giving. Books teach us lessons and provide us with memories that will last a lifetime. Everybody can learn something from every single book they read, which is an awesome thing!
  4. Books are fun! Reading is a form of entertainment, and it’s a great way to travel through time and space on a budget. You can ride a broomstick with Harry Potter, explore the roaring 20’s with Nick Carraway, and solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes. Everyone loves adventure, and literature never fails to provide it.
  5. It’s an escape from technology. Digital media has become an essential part of our lives and it’s hard to imagine living without it. Giving someone a good old-fashioned paper book is an excuse for them to turn off the devices that demand so much of our attention.
  6. Reading relaxes. Becoming completely absorbed in reading is a great way to unwind. And who doesn’t want to curl up in with a good book in front of the fireplace in these cold winter months?

Literature is a great gift for the holiday season. Stop in to Writers & Books and we can help you find the perfect book for everyone on your nice list!

Posted on

2016 Calendar: Limited Edition Artist’s Notebooks For Sale!

The perfect gift for the writer on your list…

unnamedIn 2014, Cohber Press, a Printing and Marketing Solutions company located in West Henrietta, NY, began a annual, collaborative project with some of Rochester’s top creative talent. The project was named FUEL and the result of this explosion of creativity is a collectable yearly calendar to be given to our invaluable clients. In our first year, FUEL 15 featured photographers, illustrators and art directors. FUEL 16: LOST & FOUND features 12 of our region’s most talented writers each tasked with writing a letter around the theme of Lost and Found. No other rules applied, and they we’re free to write about whatever they chose.

In addition to creating a beautiful calendar for our customers, we wanted to do something good for the community as well. With the spotlight on writers, Cohber chose Writers & Books as the recipient of 200 of these calendars. All proceeds from sales benefit Writers & Books.


Entries in this year’s calendar come from:unnamed-2
Charles Cerankosky
Stacey Rowe
Pete Wayner
V.J. Ortiz
Matt Smythe
Leah Stacy
Joe Moore
Brad Garratt
Sister Mary Anne Laurer
Jonathan Everitt
Amy Bown
Cindy Rogers




More pictures of the 2016 FUEL Calendars:

unnamed-1 unnamed-9
unnamed-7 unnamed-6 unnamed-5 unnamed-3