Women’s Week and BREC’s Baton Rouge Gallery “Sundays@4” are working together to sponsor a reading and panel discussion by five local female writers on the topic of “The Good Old Girls’ Network: Women Writers on Women Connecting (or Disconnecting).” The free event, which is one of the 221 activities of the 2011 Women! A Week-Long Celebration, takes place 4-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Baton Rouge Gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive.

As part of the “Good Old Girls’ Network,” women often find themselves connected to others through associations that vary in intensity and obligation. Through their original prose and poetry, local women writers will explore the complexities of relationships - from those they are compelled to maintain to those they embrace by choice - and the richness that brings to their lives.

Each of the ladies will read a 10-minute original piece on the topic of the types of relationships that women experience over the course of their lives.

Readers will include Renee Bacher, Claire Boudreaux Bateman, Ronlyn Domingue, Ava Leavell Haymon and Andrea Neighbours.

The Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge is celebrating its 10th anniversary of sponsoring a 10-day series of events across Baton Rouge to support women and women’s issues. Women’s Week runs 10 days, Sept. 16-25. For more information, call (225) 753-4226.

Starving the South

In Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War, food scholar Andrew Smith takes an in-depth look at the war from a unique perspective: food production and distribution. He will lecture and sign his new book in Baton Rouge at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Old Governor’s Mansion, 502 North Blvd. The event, sponsored by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, is free and open to the public.

In his new book, Smith chronicles the devastation the Union blockade and the severing of Northern agricultural trade wrought on the South, whose farm economy was based on cotton and tobacco. He argues that the differences between North and South were more than race and politics. Introducing geographical patterns of American agriculture at the outset of the Civil War, Smith reveals the South’s vulnerabilities in food availability and distribution. Smith is a faculty member of the New School in Brooklyn. A reception, sponsored by Calandro’s Select Cellars, will be held at 6 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.fhl.org or call (225) 387-2464.

EBR Parish Library

Stepping or step-dancing is a form of percussive dance in which the participant’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word and hand claps generally performed by groups of three or more.

Tweens and teens are invited to the Carver branch, 720 Terrace St., for a stepping demonstration by members of the Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12.

For more information, call (225) 389-7450.

September is National Honey Month! Children ages 6-11 are invited to the Carver branch, 720 Terrace St., at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, as Mark Bordelon, a beekeeper, talks about bees and beekeeping, displays equipment such as a beekeeping suit and boxes used for hives, and answers questions about bees and beekeeping. Groups must register. For more information or to register, call (225) 389-7460.

Book clubs:

•Baker Monday Morning Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at the Baker branch, 3501 Groom Road. Members will discuss My Antonia by Willa Cather.

•Mystery Book Club will meet at noon Friday, Sept. 16, at the Main branch, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Members will discuss books by Carola Dunn or Jacqueline Winspear.

•Scotlandville Book Club will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Scotlandville Branch, 7373 Scenic Highway. Members will discuss A Light To My Path by Lynn Austin.

Livingston Parish Library

Mimi Brower willsign copies of her newly-published memoir The Life of a Country Princess at the Livingston Parish Library Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, and the main branch, 13986 Florida Blvd. in Livingston, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Brower’s memoir begins with her birth in Depression-era Grenada, Miss., and her childhood and adolescence in Calhoun City, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn. An alumnus of Stephens College and the University of Mississippi, Brower majored in voice. She also received her master’s in voice at LSU and extended her studies at the Julliard Conservatory of Music in New York.

Brower also holds degrees in elementary and special education in Mississippi and Louisiana. She has worked as a church choir director, choral music teacher, and a private voice and piano instructor. Brower also taught special education and elementary school in both Louisiana and Mississippi, including a position at the Livingston Parish Special Education Center in Walker in 1987.

Registration is required for this event. For more information about Brower’s appearances at the Livingston Parish Library, call the Denham Springs-Walker Branch at (225) 665-8118 or the Livingston Branch at (225) 686-2436.

The Edward Livingston Historical Association will meet 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Main branch, 13986 Florida Blvd. in Livingston.

Book club:

•Prize Winning Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Watson branch. Members will discuss The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux.

Ascension Parish Library

Ascension Parish Library hosts a six-week series of readings and discussions titled “Encounter in Louisiana” as their annual Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) series sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and funded by the library.

“Encounter in Louisiana” meets 6-8 p.m. each Thursday at the library’s Main branch, 708 S. Irma Blvd. in Gonzales, starting Sept. 22 and concluding on Oct. 27. Readers who are interested in committing to the program must register in advance, either in person or by calling the library at (225) 647-3955. Every reader receives a set of program books to check out, so they must have a current library card or apply for one.

Thomas Fick, Professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University, leads discussions on four critically acclaimed novels: A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines, The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau, The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

Lafayette Public Library

Book clubs

•SciFi Fantasy Book Club will meet at 6:30-7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the South Regional Library, 6101 Johnston St. Members will discuss Nebula Awards Showcase 2007, edited by Mike Resnick.

•Teen book club will meet 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at North Regional branch, 5101 N. University Ave. in Carencro.

This is not your ordinary book club - there will be book discussions, author visits, poetry slams, book blogs and tips on writing. Come read with us, discuss, write, and meet other teens who love to read. This club is for ages 13-18.

Call (337) 896-6323 for more information.

Rea leads Writing Institute

The Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans presents its fall 2011 Writing Institute, hosted by author Stephen Rea. The writing course, “Writing Well-Crafted Fiction,” takes place 7-9 p.m. Tuesday evenings, Sept. 27-Nov. 15. Cost is $250, and the class is open to the public and will be held in Room 341 of Bobet Hall, 6363 St. Charles St. in New Orleans. The deadline to register is Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Whether your goal is to perfect your short stories, to get your literary novel onto bookstore shelves, or if you simply enjoy writing for yourself and want to master the basics, this course will suit your needs and improve your fiction writing. Students will have their work read, edited and discussed, and will also read and critique other writers. The program will be flexible, informal and tailored to the interests of the students, no matter their age, writing ability or experience.

Rea is originally from Northern Ireland but has lived in New Orleans since 2004. He is the author of the book Finn McCool’s Football Club. Attendees are asked to submit a one to 10-page writing sample of fiction or non-fiction, along with their name, profession, email address, local address and phone number to Annie Goldman at agoldman@loyno.edu .

Signings/lectures

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators will present author Dianne de Las Casas speaking about “Taming Technology: Using the Internet for Book Biz Success” at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the group’s meeting on the third floor of UNO Education Building, 2000 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. There will be a critique meeting 2:30-4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Visit: http://www.members.cox.net/scbwi-no for more information.

Golden Oaks, the organization for seniors at St. George Catholic Church, will host author Annabelle Armstrong at noon Monday, Sept. 12, in the Kleinpeter Activities Building, 7880 St. George Drive. Armstrong will discuss her book, Historic Neighborhoods of Baton Rouge. For more information, call (225) 756-2689.

Items for Book Events were provided by Women’s Week, Foundation for Historical Louisiana, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, Ascension Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library and The Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans.