Based on the idea that fiction is an international movement supported by local communities Joyland is a literary magazine that selects stories regionally. Editors work with authors connected to locales across North America.
Kara Levy has been the San Francisco editor of Joyland for six years. A former Steinbeck fellow at San José State University, she earned her MFA at Columbia University. Her stories have been published in the Alaska Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, and the Mississippi Review, and she was a winner of Narrative’s 30 Below contest.
Zoë Ferraris moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi-Palestinians. In 2006, she completed her MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. Her debut novel, Finding Nouf, won the LA Times Book Award. That novel and its follow-ups, City of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, published in over thirty-five countries. She currently lives in San Francisco.
Ruth Galm’s debut novel, Into the Valley, will be out from Soho Press in August 2015. Her writing has also appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, and Joyland. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a past resident of the Ucross Foundation. She was born and raised in San José, California, spent time in New York City and Boston, and now lives in San Francisco.
Rachel Khong is the senior editor of Lucky Peach, and has worked for the publication since its inception in 2011. In addition to Lucky Peach, her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Believer, The Rumpus, American Short Fiction, Joyland, and California Sunday. She is currently at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.
Marian Palaia is the author of The Given World, a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” pick for summer 2015, forthcoming in April from Simon and Schuster. Marian has lived in San Francisco, on and off, since 1985, and has also lived in Maryland, Montana, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Nepal, where she was a Peace Corps volunteer. In past lives, she has been a teacher, a truck driver, a bartender, and the littlest logger in Lincoln, Montana.
Maggie Tokuda-Hall has an MFA in writing and a tendency to spill things. She splits her time between writing for kids and adults, and her debut picture book, And Also an Octopus, is due out next year. You can find her short fiction on Joyland, Midnight Breakfast, The Tusk, and Boing Boing, or on her website, prettyokmaggie.com.
SPECIAL GUEST Daniel Handler is the author of five novels, most recently Why We Broke Up, which won a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the just-published We Are Pirates. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for numerous books for children, including the thirteen-volume A Series Of Unfortunate Events, the four-volume All The Wrong Questions, and The Dark, which won the Charlotte Zolotow Award. He has received commissions from the San Francisco Symphony and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is collaborating with artist Maira Kalman on a series of books for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, including Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait. His regular column for The Believer, “What The Swedes Read,” investigates the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he continues to serve as the adjunct accordionist for the Magnetic Fields, among other musical projects. His books have sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages, and have been adapted for screen and stage, including a Netflix television version of the entirety A Series of Unfortunate Events, currently in development.
Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay, the South Bay–everywhere–to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for five years.
Gabriel Blackwell is the author of Shadow Man: A Biography of Lewis Miles Archer and Critique of Pure Reason, a collection of essays and fictions. His work has appeared in Conjunctions, Tin House, Puerto del Sol, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He is the reviews editor of The Collagist and a contributor to BIG OTHER.
Laura E. Davis is the author of the chapbook Braiding the Storm (Finishing Line Press). Her poem “Widowing” won the 2012 Crab Creek Review Poetry Contest, judged by Dorianne Laux. Other poems and reviews are featured or forthcoming in Mason’s Road, Right Hand Pointing, The Rumpus, A-Minor, Super Arrow, and Redactions, among others. She is the founding editor of Weave Magazine, and teaches poetry writing, translation, and recitation in San Francisco, where she lives with her partner, Sal.
Steve De Jarnatt grew up in the small logging town of Longview, Washington. He attended Occidental College, graduated from The Evergreen State College, and recently completed the Creative Writing MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles after a long career as a writer and director in film and television. He counts among other credits the indie cult film, “Miracle Mile.” His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Meridian, The Cincinnati Review, The Santa Moncia Review, The Best American Short Stories 2009, and New Stories from the Midwest.
Valerie Fioravanti is the author of Garbage Night at the Opera, winner of the 2011 Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Her fiction, essays, and prose poems have appeared in many literary journals, including North American Review, Cimarron Review, and Hunger Mountain. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Creative Writing, and is at work on a novel set in Italy. She teaches in private workshops in Sacramento and as a writing coach, and runs the award-winning reading series Stories on Stage.
Anne Galjour is an award-winning playwright and actor. Her playwriting credits include the upcoming world premiere of Turtles & Alligators, a Cajun Kitchen Comedy at the Bayou Playhouse in Spring 2013; Bird in the Hand; Okra; and The Queen of the Sea. Her solo performance credits include You Can’t Get There from Here, Hurricane Mauvais Temps, Alligator Tales, and The Krewe of Neptune. Awards for her work include the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award – Best Original Script; the Will Glickman Playwriting Award and Bay Area Theater Critics Award – Best Original Script; theAmerican Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Emerging Playwright; the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle – Best Solo Performance; the S.F. Solo Mio Festival – Outstanding Solo Artist; and the S.F. Bay Guardian “Goldie” for outstanding performance artist. She is a lecturer in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, recently awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of far too many books for children, including Who Could That Be At This Hour?, the first volume in his new series, All The Wrong Questions.
Arisa White is the author of the debut collection Hurrah’s Nest, the 2012 winner of the San Francisco Book Festival Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an editor of Her Kind, the official blog for VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, is forthcoming from Willow Books.
May 13, 7 PM at Studio 333. $5 gets you in. The theme is Complications. You know what those are. So do the authors who’ll be reading. Come and hear theirs.
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, and Adverbs, and far too many books as Lemony Snicket, including the forthcoming 13 Words, a collaboration with Maira Kalman. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and child.
Tony DuShane is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, a novel loosely based on his life growing up a Jehovah’s Witness. Vanity Fair picked it as a Hot Type title for March 2010. He lives in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and writes for lots of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Mother Jones, and SFGate.com. He hosts the radio show Drinks with Tony and DJs at bars and clubs around San Francisco. He uses Wild Hair Moustache Wax and is obsessed with the World’s Strongest Man Competition.
Lori Ostlund’s first collection of stories, The Bigness of the World, received the 2008 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by the University of Georgia Press in October 2009. She was one of six emerging women writers chosen to receive a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award in 2009. Her stories have appeared in New England Review, The Georgia Review, and The Kenyon Review, among other journals. She teaches developmental English and story writing at The Art Institute of California-San Francisco and is currently at work on a novel and a second story collection.
Christina Sunley was born in New York City, raised on Long Island, and has lived for the past twenty years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended Wesleyan University, got a BFA in Film from New York University, and received her Masters in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Christina’s short fiction has appeared in a variety of literary journals. She was a writer-in-residence at Klaustrið (The Monastery), a stone farmhouse in a remote area, near where her grandfather had lived. The Tricking of Freya is her first novel, about which Publishers Weekly (starred review) said “”This grand coming-of-age-novel boasts a dynamic set of characters and a rich bank of cultural and personal lore, making this dark, cold family tale a surprisingly lush experience.” Christina also works full-time in the nonprofit sector.
Bora Reed was born in Seoul, Korea, and grew up in Southern California. In 2002, she left her job in campus ministry, went to writing school, and started working on a novel set in the Korean War. In 2006, she was privileged to travel to North Korea with her father, who left Pyongyang in 1950 as a war refugee. North Korea, then and now, remains one of her enduring interests. To support her writing habit, Bora now works as an editor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She holds a MFA from Warren Wilson College and a MA in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ethel Rohan now lives in San Francisco. She received her MFA in fiction from Mills College, CA. While there, she was awarded both a Dean’s Undergraduate Merit Scholarship and an Alumni Graduate Merit Scholarship. Her work has or will appear in Storyglossia, Keyhole 9, The Emerson Review, Los Angeles Review, and Potomac Review, among many others. She blogs at her website.