OneBookAZ eBook Publishing Program


One Book AZ

OneBookAZ, the annual all-ages reading program that brings people together through a shared literature experience. OneBookAZ encourages communities across the State of Arizona to read the same book at the same time and participate in discussions and programs centered on that book. This year, the writings of three Arizona “content creators” were chosen through an eBook writing competition that was held in November.

This year’s Adult selection is “Lauren Greasewater’s War,” by Stephen Hirst, “Corr Syl the Warrior,” by Garry Rogers is the Teen selection, and the Children’s book winner is “The Space Adventures of Jack Smacker Little Leaguer,” by Mike Giglio. All three books are available until June 1 for free digital download to a Kindle or any other e-reader at and with a valid Chandler Public Library card. Users can visit any of the four Chandler Public Library locations if they need assistance in downloading any of the books.

Additionally, the Downtown Library will be hosting an eBook publishing program at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 in the Copper Room, 22 S. Delaware Street. This program will feature author Vincent Alascia, who will discuss this new frontier for authors, small presses, and the traditional publishing industry.

“This program, on a practical level, will assist authors and aspiring authors by presenting viable approaches to navigating the learning curve presented by digital publishing,” said Chandler Librarian Ted Liebler. “Taking a wider perspective, digital publishing fits into the maker movement in that the library can provide technical information to help support the manifestation of a creative work.”

The annual One Book AZ program was brought to Arizona in 2002, and coordinated by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State.

Gangplank Chandler Announces Free Learn to Draw Series

Gangplank Chandler Announces Free Learn to Draw Series
Find your creativity on Monday nights by learning to draw.

CHANDLER, September 12, 2013

You were born creative. You have the capability to write, sing, draw and so much more. You have just learned to supress it. This four week series will help you re-discover the creator inside you have disconnected with. Pick up a pencil and start sketching. These weekly classes with professional artists will get you out of your comfort zone and start drawing. You will be amazed at what you are capable of creating.

Monday nights October 7th through October 28th at Gangplank Chandler from 7:00pm to 8:00pm will be the free Learn to Draw series. The first two sessions will be on using Perspective with local artist Christy Mackellar and will guide the beginner through a basic understanding of perspective to make sketches look more realistic. The second two sessions will be Drawing from Life with local artist Gilead and will feature a live model and a tutored opportunity to learn to draw from life.

These four classes are designed for beginners looking to get started. They will be kicking off a regular Monday program at Gangplank that encourages artists to practice their crafts and help each other improve. There is no cost to attend the classes but you will need to bring your own supplies (pencil and paper).

About Gangplank
Gangplank is a group of connected individuals and small businesses creating an economy of innovation and creativity. We envision a new economic engine comprised of collaboration and community, where industries come together to transform our culture. Gangplank was founded in 2008 in Chandler by Derek Neighbors and Jade Meskill. Since then, the Gangplank network has expanded to Tucson, Arizona, Avondale, Arizona, Sault St. Marie, Canada, and Richmond, Virginia.

Derek Neighbors, Catalyst
Phone: 480-539-6800


How Do You Picture Your Summer?

Become a better photographer over the summer at Gangplank Chandler!

We all know you’ll be Instagramming your day at the beach or grilling out, so why not take your skills up a notch?

Gangplank Studios is offering a workshop for all skill levels. From intro lessons for aspiring photographers, to master tips for seasoned professionals.

How Do You Picture Your Summer runs May 29 – September 25. Students will meet Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Gangplank.

2 picture your summer flyer small

Instructors Kameron Williams and Andrew Ruiz are sharing their skills as part of Gangplank’s Studios Initiative.

“I’ve learned so much at Gangplank, this is my way of paying it forward,” says Williams.

As Creative Director of Lillimedia, Williams knows the importance of visuals in today’s marketplace. He also understands the hurdles.

“Photography is expensive enough, spend it where it counts, on gear. Learn for free.”

When asked about helping competitors in his field, Williams says teaching helps him grow artistically, and believes in Gangplank’s mission of collaboration over competition.

In fact, the course is designed with collaboration in mind. Each class begins with students sharing and critiquing each other’s photos. By working together, whichever skill set you’re starting from, your photography is guaranteed to jump to the next level.

The course is divided into three 6-week sections.
Section 1: How To Take a Good Photo
Section 2: Ambient vs. Studio
Section 3: Break-Away and Shoot

Students will need to use their own gear; including but not limited to a DSLR Camera, SD Card, and USB thumb drive.

Sign up here, and good summer shooting!

For more information, contact Williams at

Photo exhibit to benefit Gangplank Jr

Gangplank’s guest-blogging series illustrates the array of personalities and experiences embodied by our community. All invited participants – past brownbag speakers, anchors, new members, City of Chandler employees and others – share their Gangplank stories. Interested guest posters should send a draft to our Director of Operations.

By Greg Taylor, a Digital Marketer at TMC Interactive, Content Creator, Collaborator, Photographer, Skateboarder, Blogger, & Music Lover

I love music and I love photography – smash the two together and you’ll find a passionate music photographer. There’s something about the excitement of flashing lights, the loud music and standing in the photographer’s pit before a rock show that can’t be explained.

Recently, Gangplank asked me to display some of my favorite concert photographs on the Gangplank art walls. I was more than flattered to be asked but the challenge was the limited space for only eight photos. How can I select only eight? The answer was simple: crowdsourcing.

Through my site and Twitter I asked people to vote for the photos they wanted to see printed and framed for exhibit. They responded and the eight (of the 30) that made the grade we produced.

The exhibit contains photographs of Muse, Roger Clyne, Jim Dalton (of Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers), Rev. Horton Heat, Silversun Pickups, Agnostic Front, Death By Stereo and Five Finger Deathpunch.

My passion for music photography doesn’t pay my bills but that doesn’t mean it can’t help out a good cause. All prints on exhibit are for sale for $70 with 100% of all monies collected going directly to Gangplank Jr.

Thanks to everyone for allowing me to display my work.

Photographer Interview

When Gangplank announced our Chandler Photo Throwdown in the spring of 2010, two photographers jumped on board right away. Nearly a year later, Peter Hart and Jeff Rivers have become star volunteers, assisting in building our Gangplank Studios program and taking fabulous pictures of our events. Recently, we hosted a headshot event that allowed Jeff and Peter to hone their portrait skills. We took a moment to ask about their experience and what they learned.

What got you started with photography?

Peter: As part of my undergrad, I took classes on photography/videography, so I knew some of the foundational principles. I knew that when I got a serious camera, it wouldn’t be a hobby, but I would put my head down and figure out how to make commercial-grade, creative photos. When I finally bought a DSLR, with its instant feedback, that when my knowledge and experience took off. I didn’t get into photography until it was digital.

Jeff: About 15 years ago, when I was looking for a hobby. I thought photography would be challenging to learn and rewarding if I got halfway decent at it. My first “real” camera was a fully manual Pentax SLR. It was no-frills – nothing like the DSLRs that we have now – but it forced me to think about what I was doing and learn to take good photographs.

Describe your ideal headshot subject.

Peter: As a photographer, it helps when a subject is relaxed and willing to try new poses. At this photo shoot, I had a few who were like this. Personally, all of the attendees at the photo shoot were ideal because they were all interesting people doing interesting things.

Jeff: Someone who’s fun and willing to try different things. Everyone at the event was great to work with in this regard.

What equipment did you bring to the shoot and why?

Peter: I used a Canon Rebel XTi, which is an entry level DSLR. I rented a 85mm f/1.8 telephoto lens to use for the shoot. I used my 50mm f/1.8 for when there were two people in the shot. I own three flashes and I borrowed one from a friend to give me more flexibility. 60” and 48” umbrellas spread the light from the flashes over a wide area. This softens or eliminates the shadows on your subject.

Jeff: I was a little paranoid that equipment might fail or I’d get set up and change my mind about the equipment I wanted to use, so I brought way too much equipment – nearly everything I own. In the end though, I went with a pretty simple set up. I used a white seamless background and one light – an Alien Bee B1600 shot through a Westcott Apollo 50″ softbox. I triggered the flash using Pocket Wizard flash triggers.

What is the most difficult part of taking headshots?

Peter: The subject. We all know the landscape of the human face so well that we can interpret a person’s facial expression instantly. If the subject is nervous, anxious, apathetic, or fake, no amount of equipment, lighting or Photoshop can take it away. The success of my photos is determined by my ability to bring out the true personality of the subject.

Jeff: For me, it’s trying to make my subjects comfortable and then posing them. I want the people I’m working with to be comfortable and relaxed. When that happens, everything else takes care of itself.

What methods did you use to make your subjects more comfortable?

Peter: Before I took a shots, I talked with each person. Nothing about getting headshots is natural or normal. I had done research on each person on my list beforehand, so I already had some questions to ask. With this group, conversations were easy because each person was doing something awesome. Once I felt they were ready, I took a few practice shots to set my exposure and to get them used to the process. I kept them talking throughout the session. I also played some awesome progressive music with a good beat to get at least one of us in the mood. Some (ok, all) of my sessions took longer than we scheduled, so thanks to Jeff for picking up my slack ;)

Jeff: Before we started shooting, we’d spend a few minutes chatting. I asked them about their job and what they were going to use their portrait for. Once the shoot started, I tried to give everyone clear instructions, even if I was just making it up as I went along. Once the event started, I was comfortable, so I think that may have come through as well. There were only a handful of times that I had to resort to threats and intimidation.

What did you learn from the event that will help you as a photographer?

Peter: My personal goal in this shoot was to learn how people relax. One criticism of my earlier work was that my subjects looked nervous. My lighting doesn’t matter if the person is nervous.

Jeff: I saw the event as a great opportunity for all involved – it was a no-brainer for me. I got some hands-on experience doing something I enjoy – working with people to find a pose or a stance that suited them best. I met a bunch of new people. And I got to provide the participants with a nice portrait. It’s great to see people using the photos from the event in their social media profiles.

Chandler Urban Art Project

There are two ways to deal with graffiti – paint over it and hope it doesn’t happen again or show the neighborhood kids how it’s done and make the community that much better looking.

Graffiti is an art form when done right, but when local kids tagged the back wall of the second Gangplank building with some “affiliations”, it was decided that we react by turning a negative into a positive by creating a unique urban art piece that celebrated the graffiti medium. Continue reading