Why There Are Words


Welcome! This is the place to learn about Why There Are Words, the literary reading series that takes place every second Thursday of the month, at Studio 333 on Caledonia Street in Sausalito, CA, 7 PM, $10 donation at the door. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter announcing upcoming readings each month. (We never share your email with anyone!)

Each reading presents writers who have published books and those who have not yet. All share the criterion of excellence. WTAW began in January 2010 as a prose only reading series. Poets read — but read prose. Beginning in 2013, select poets will read their poetry on a quarterly basis.

If you’re interested in reading, please contact Peg Alford Pursell at whytherearewords at gmail dot com.

Writers who are starting out — i.e. those who haven’t yet published a book — are granted reading slots through a submission process.

Submission Guidelines:

1.  Original fiction – please send a single file containing all submitted materials, including your bio.

2.  No more than 7 minutes total reading time, which equates to 3-3.5 pages of double-spaced prose, 12 pt. text.

3.  Include your name, phone number, and e-mail within the body of your email.

4.  Please send all submissions via e-mail to Peg Alford Pursell at whytherearewords at gmail dot com.

If you are a teacher or friend of writers, please share this information and encourage your students and friends to submit their work for consideration.


— Very few slots are available for poetry. If you want to submit your poems for one of the few openings, follow the above guidelines, sending no more than three (3) poems.

— Previous readers can submit work again after the anniversary of their last reading has passed – so one year from when you last read. WTAW reserves the right to privilege first-time readers.

Why There Are Words was founded by the host and curator Peg Alford Pursell not long after she moved to Sausalito from the East Coast mainly for the purposes of building a literary community and showcasing Bay Area authors. Readers since have come from all over, however, and WTAW is happy to provide a venue for them. WTAW is a treasured part of the Bay Area community and was named SF Guardian’s Best of the Bay for Literary Event in 2012. The series counts among its attendees those who don’t miss a single reading, and thanks them for their loyal support.

Please note that events are usually standing room only. To get a seat, come early!


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