NOLA ParaCon, a free half-day literary festival featuring a dozen local writers and editors, will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.  

Paranormal romance is a subgenre of romantic fiction and speculative fiction. It includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation — ghosts, vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves and time travelers — blending themes from the genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror.

Paranormal romances are one of the fastest-growing trends in the romance genre. The agenda for the day:

9:15 - Welcome

9:30 a.m. to 10:15 – “The Creature Feature.” Authors Diana Rowland, Dawn Chartier and Gillian Zane discuss how to create zombies, witches, vampires and other paranormal creatures in your fiction worlds, adding new elements to their narrative while avoiding stereotypes.

10:30 a.m. to 11:15 – “New Orleans Paranormal Style — It’s More Than Just Another Setting.” Authors Alexandrea Weis, Eva Vanrell, Charlotte Parker and Andy Reynolds talk about setting a paranormal book in New Orleans. Go beyond the tourist locales and Cajun accents — but how much is too much when describing the city?

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – “The Unique Legends and Lore of Southern Louisiana from Ghost Stories to Swamp Monsters.” Authors Alys Arden, Lila Felix, Eden Butler and historian Jennifer Dyer talk about the legends of the region and the ways people can bring them into their writing.

12:30 p.m. – Author signings. Writers participating in the panels will be available to sign copies of their books and talk with readers.

NOLA ParaCon is sponsored by the Jefferson Parish Library and the Southern Louisiana chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

GENEALOGY WORKSHOPS: Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, leads two genealogical seminars Wednesday at the Jane O’Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. “Using Libraries for Research” with guest speaker Jack Belsom takes place at 1 p.m., and “Archdiocese Records” occurs at 2:30 p.m. The sessions for Saturday are “Italian Research” at 1 p.m. and “French Research” with guest speaker Augusta Elmwood at 2:30 p.m.

FREE CONCERT: The American Legion Post 175 Concert Band performs a free concert at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

KNOW YOUR IRISH HISTORY: Patrick McCarty, curator at the Irish American Cultural Museum, will discuss Irish history, including the events that led to massive immigration from Ireland to New Orleans during the 1840s and 1850s, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the East Bank Regional Library. McCarty will discuss the contributions this group made to the city as well as famous Irish New Orleanians and Irish fraternal organizations and institutions.

ART TALK: Catalina Reyna will discuss the life and art of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Mexico City. Considered one of Mexico's greatest artists, she began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people, and this isolation influenced her works, many of which are self-portraits.

SEA AND BE SEEN: The Naval Sea Cadet Corps program is for young people ages 13 through 17. An orientation will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the West Bank Regional Library. It is designed for parents and kids who are interested in becoming Sea Cadets. Also included is the junior program, the Navy League Cadet Corps, for ages 11 through 13. The nonprofit program is supported and sponsored by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.

All programs at the library are free and open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.