November 7th – November 13th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

We played Settlers of Catan recently, because we’re very hip to the indie board game scene you know. It was fun! It was more fun with some danged house rules to get it a little bit speedier because yeesh there’s a point at which it doesn’t so much slide as plod toward a resolution. Still, fun as heck game. Cosmic Encounter is better though!

We want to again draw your attention to the very good very fun podcast we were on, because it was fun to do and you will enjoy listening to it so you should go and listen and be charmed by our dulcet tones.

Finally, local game writer and all-around great person Rebecca Slitt (writer of the great Psy High) brought to our attention a contest that might interest any budding game writers:

Entries must be submitted by January 31, 2018. There is no fee to enter. See the official rules for details.

To enter the contest, your game must:

  • Be written in ChoiceScript, in English
  • Be at least 100,000 words long, including both prose and code, with a playthrough length of at least 20,000 words
  • Pass both Quicktest and Randomtest automated tests
  • Allow players to choose the player character’s gender

And the author(s) must:

  • Be over the age of 18 as of January 31, 2018
  • Reside in the fifty United States or Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, or Canada (except Quebec).

Ineligible to enter? Email us at and tell us why. (For example, if you’re not a resident of the nations we listed, tell us where you reside.) We might not be able to do anything about the contest this year, but if we run the contest again, your feedback will guide our efforts next year. And don’t forget that you’re probably still eligible to publish a game under the Hosted Games label, which accepts authors of any age and from most countries in the world.


  • First Place: Winner will receive $5,000 and publication, including 25% royalties on sales of the published game.
  • Second Place: Winner will receive $3,000 and publication, including 25% royalties on sales of the published game.
  • Third Place: Winner will receive $2,000 and publication, including 25% royalties on sales of the published game.

In addition, Hosted Games has offered to publish any competition entry that does not win the contest, as long as it meets the Hosted Games standards.

Basically like any of these contests, there’s kind of a huge issue with lots of work being produced for what might be nothing. But then the prize pool’s not much worse than the contract you get officially writing for them, which is $7500 advance plus 25% royalties.

So if you’re interested in writing in ChoiceScript and think this sounds fun, why not give it a shot? It’s got a better prize pool than NaNoWriMo! Pace yourself, though. It’s gotta be done by NEXT year.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!



Monday, November 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Write-in
Spearheaded by Forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, the library will support writers daring enough to take on the NaNoWriMo (or 30 Poems) challenge by hosting regular “write-ins” during the course of November where participants gather to write together. It’s a great way to get a head start on your writing and hang out with other folks who share your interest in the written word!
Wednesday, November 9th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
NaNoWriMo Teen Writing Workshop (Ages 12 and up)
Are you a teen? You doing this whole write a novel thing? Could be doing worse with your free time, teen! You old writer you. Get to writing, find out how to write better and get some advice! Get a publishing contract as the Youngest Best Novelist Ever!
Friday, November 11th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Northampton Unbuttoned: the Girls of The Mill River Button Company, circa 1874: An Exhibition by Elisa Lanzi & Nancy Meagher
Elisa Lanzi and Nancy Meagher present Northampton Unbuttoned, an installation of contemporary artworks inspired by the “plaid-clad” girls that sorted, carded and packed boxes of shaped and dyed buttons made from vegetable ivory at the Mill River Button Company in Leeds. See artwork celebrating little-known but influential figures from Northampton’s past!
Smith College Museum of Art [20 Elm St, Northampton, MA 01063] at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Free Second Friday
Do you love museums, but not FIVE DOLLAR love museums? This is the perfect moment to see one of our local museums for free! There is a suggested donation of five dollars.
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Homecoming 2016: Opening Reception at the Mead
The Mead Art Museum welcomes back Alumni, Friends of the Mead, and all Homecoming participants to a reception in the galleries. Come and experience “The Mead Reimagined” featuring “Accumulations: 5,000 Years of Objects, Fictions, and Conversations” – six new exhibitions. Including but not limited to a bell that when rung shatters any alloy into its component parts.
Saturday, November 12th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Art in the Making – LIVE!
Artist Rico Gatson inaugurates Hall Walls, an annual project that gives artists and students the freedom to create an ephemeral artwork on the walls of the museum. Stop by to see the mural painting in progress!

Board Games:

Friday, November 11th
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
Tabletop Game Night
Hang out with folks and play some board games, mostly they wind up being European style little wooden block games but you can feel free to bring whatever!
Sunday, November 13th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix
Heroes! Clicking? It’s impossible to resist. This time, make your Heroclix only characters with Strange in the name! That’s Dr. Strange, Hugo Strange, and it’s not our job to find everything for you we got you started with some now find a full team.


Wednesday, November 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Brit Bennett, The Mothers
Teen romance, teen pregnancy, cover-ups, friendships, and doubt! Love triangles, motherhood, and dang we’re seeing why people are anticipating this one so much it sounds intense. The author will be there to talk and read excerpts, and you can buy the book too!
Thursday, November 10th
Hooker Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College at 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Ken Ono, author of My Search for Ramanujan
Oh neat! Ken’s the son of a prominent mathematician and his dad was pretty intense about him following his dreams by dropping out of school. He justified his troubles with the pressure-cooker of his home life by invoking Ramanujan, the Indian math prodigy who twice flunked out of college. He weaves his own biography into Ramanujan, and has devoted his career to further understanding the man who inspired him. Ramanujan was pretty intensely awesome.
Packards [14 Masonic Street, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
RESCHEDULED — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Book Discussion + Dinner
Rescheduled due to weather! Talk about the classic Philip K. Dick book about the nature of humanity and sentience and also being a noir detective that was eventually adapted to screen as Blade Runner with some local folks who like books! It’s probably the one of Dick’s books most friendly to folks who are interested in his stuff, a little less drug-induced tangential stuff. RSVP if you’re attending!
Saturday, November 12th
Odyssey Bookshop [9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Discussion with Maria Padian, Wrecked
Wrecked deals with the aftermath of a campus sexual assault. It focuses on how memory, identity, and who sits in judgement shapes what we believe. Maria Padian is said to take on sexual assault with unflinching honesty, shedding light on an important topic. Sounds tough to read, but important.
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Friends of the Greenfield Public Library Cider, Donut, Raffle Drawing AND Book Sale
This one seems like it’s just what it says on the tin. Support the library, grab some cheap books, and eat some baked goods!
Sunday, November 13th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Book Launch & Author’s Signing: The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow: Northampton’s Forgotten Settlement by John Irving Clapp
John Irving Clapp, of Florence, will launch and read from his latest book, The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow: Northampton’s Forgotten Settlement. John will reveal the little known history of the small village of Roberts Meadow that was located in the northwest corner of Northampton on Kennedy, Sylvester and Chesterfield Roads. There are books for purchase and FREE refreshments! Lovely!

Card Games:

Saturday, November 12th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Harry Potter Demo
The Envoy program will be having another Demo! A delightful game called Hogwarts Battle! There’s going to be a certified demoer there to teach you how to play as Harry, Ron, Hermione, or The Best Student Neville Who We All Love! It’s a co-op deck-building game where eventually you’ll defeat He Who Must Not Be Named, also known as Voldemort.

Comic Books:

Sunday, November 13th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Do you craft comics? Do it with pals at this Comic Creator’s Jam! It’s full of very nice people, sometimes playing drawing games, sometimes just hanging out and talking and making merry. It’s a wonderful time for anyone interested in artwork or writing or combining the two of them in some fell manner!


Monday, November 7th
MYSTERY LOCATION at 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Deeper Dive into Functional Programming w/Clojure – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Functional programming’s more of a thing recently, learn more about it at this Deeper Dive! In this talk, Jochen Rau will pick up from where the last one left off and introduce the ecosystem of Clojure for web developers by demoing one-page and multi-page applications! You’ll also have a chance to ask questions and speak with your fellow web devs!
Wednesday, November 9th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Are you an Agile developer? Would you like to be? Well hang out with some folks who know a lot about Agile methods and learn from their short presentations!


Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cupcake Wars
Four cupcake decorating contests! Each participant will leave with four cupcakes. Food, frosting colors, all sorts of things to decorate with! All sorts of secret rules and restrictions to make things interesting as well! Winners get not a large prize or a medium price or a tiny prize but a small prize. Sign up at the library or call (413) 665-2642.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
A Party & More With The Well-Tempered Ukes
Mark your calendars, new and old friends & supporters! The Well Tempered Ukes “celebrate” their year long musical residency at the Forbes Library (2015-2016). Closing reception to follow. The scare quotes sort of make it seem like the Ukes are planning something horrible. Definitely keep your head on a swivel and if the uking starts juking toward any nameless chants in forgotten tongues we want you the scarper as quick as you can.
Thursday, November 10th
Springfield Public Forum [34 Court St., Springfield, MA] at 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM
David Gergen
A person who’s done a ton of advising to presidents will talk right after the election about electoral issues. The thing about this particular event is that it’s going to be a really hard one to pay attention to as the post-election landscape will as far as we can tell be an endless howling void which we are forced to wander eternally for having had the bald hubris to attempt democracy.
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is an art form that we have scattered experience with but a lot of people wicked like. The nice part about anime is that you pretty much only need to pick one show and you’ll have 11,000 hours to get through. We once started watching One Piece, saw it had 500 30-minute episodes, and slowly walked into the sea.


Saturday, November 12th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Button It!
Textile and costume historian Lynne Zacek Bassett will explore the history of buttons and more specifically, button making in Northampton in conjunction with the Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton exhibition, Northampton Unbuttoned. Pre-button life must have made dressing really annoying, we’re proud that Northampton was on the bleeding edge of button tech.


Thursday, November 10th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
Play a game where you pretend to be another person! That covers a pretty wide range, so we don’t know exactly what’ll be up here but for some reason most of these games involves swords and dragons at some point. Even if someone tells you you’re going to be playing an RPG about minding a small convenience store, take a few levels in Long-swords just in case.


Nacul Center [592 Main St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
How and Why We Walk Upright: The Evolution of Human Locomotion with Dr. Brian Umberger
Ever wondered why we’re upright instead of on all fours? Well it’s a long story how we got to this rather unique and exciting locomotive method, and you’ll learn all about it from Dr. Brian Umberger, a professor at UMass!

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