WRITERS SERIES: JOAN WICKERSHAM. Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m., Ellison Campus Center, Salem State University, 352 Lafayette St., Salem. Award-winning author Joan Wickersham, whose most recent book is “The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story,” will speak as part of Salem State University’s Writers Series. Free. 978-542-7890, www.salemstate.edu/arts.
JEWISH BOOK MONTH: PARENTING EXPERT TO SPEAK. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Cohen Hillel Academy, 6 Community Road, Marblehead. Parenting expert Meg Akabas will share her new book, “52 Weeks of Parenting Wisdom,” and outline the strategies that help busy parents make attainable changes in parenting, week by week. Free event part of JCCNS’ Jewish Book Month series. Details and reservations at http://www.jccns.org/jewish-book-month-2/, or 781-639-2880.
Fairs, festivals & sales
TALE OF A WHALE PRESCHOOL FESTIVAL. Friday, Nov. 1, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Ipswich Family YMCA, 110 County Road, Ipswich. Cynde McInnis brings her life-size whale classroom to the festival. Meet Nile, a 43-foot whale, in person. Learn about whales and water safety, create art, dance, and get sporty. Free community event. www.northshoreymca.org, www.thewhalemobile.com.
ST. ANN’S PARISH BAZAAR. Friday, Nov. 1, 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Ann’s Church Hall, 140 Lynn St., Peabody. Bazaar includes theme baskets; jewelry; children’s table; prize table; country store with baked goods, knitted items and homemade fudge; food; raffles; and almost 24 vendors and crafters. Free admission. Anne or Nate Masterson, 978-531-3945.
SIXTH ANNUAL HARVEST FEST. Friday, Nov. 1, 6 to 9 p.m., Essex River Bible Church, 391 Bay Road, South Hamilton. Free family fun night with food, musical chairs, Jell-O and donut eating contests, and more. 978-468-4500, www.essexriverbiblechurch.org, or email@example.com.
HARVEST FAIR. Saturday, Nov. 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Church in the Cove, 167 Hale St., Beverly. Fair features crafts, holiday decorations, quilts, baked goods, grandma’s attic, knitted items, used books, silent auction, raffles, jewelry, and more. Breakfast and lunch café also available. 978-922-5135.