Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words January 9: Your Selected Readers

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on December 11, 2013

PAHR-TEE! For four years, WTAW has been doing what you love while we have been doing what we love: gathering writers extraordinaire to read their works to listeners extraordinaire. Join us on January 9, 2014, to celebrate the beginning of our quinquennium and to hear the top six writers you selected from the last four extraordinary years to read at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors will open at 7 pm and readings start at 7:15. Bring extra cash for books and booze.

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash is the author of a novel, The Last Good Chance, the nonfiction book, On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11, and most recently the acclaimed collection of stories, Stay Up with Me. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Believer, and The New York Times. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he currently teaches at California College of the Arts.

Lynn Freed

Lynn Freed

Lynn Freed’s books include six novels, a collection of stories, and a collection of essays.  Her work has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Narrative Magazine, Southwest Review, The Georgia Review, among others. She is the recipient of the inaugural Katherine Anne Porter Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/O. Henry Award, fellowships, grants and support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Born in South Africa, she now lives in northern California.

Molly Giles

Molly Giles

Molly Giles has published three award winning collections of stories, Rough Translations, which won The Flannery O’Connor Prize, the Boston Globe Award, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Creekwalk, which won the Small Press Award for Short Fiction and the California Commonwealth Silver Medal for Fiction; and Bothered, which won a flash fiction prize from Split Oak Press. Her novel, Iron Shoes, has won no prizes at all. She has an ebook of stories coming out from shebooks titled Three For the Road, and new stories in The Fairy Tale Review and Black Heart. Her latest story collection, All the Wrong Places, just won the Spokane Prize for Fiction and will be forthcoming from Willow Springs Press later this year. She taught fiction writing for many years at San Francisco State University and the University of Arkansas, has edited many published writers, and mentors through the Path to Publishing program at Book Passage. She is currently working on another non-prize winning novel.

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold

Glen David Gold is the author of the novels Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside.  His short stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, Playboy, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, the LA Review of Books, Tin House, and Black Clock. He has written comic books for DC and Dark Horse. Lately he’s been writing scripts for The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Welcome to Night Vale, and the first chapter of his memoir is forthcoming in Zyzzyva. In 2014, the Circle Theater in Hollywood will launch his multi-part adaptation of Otto Friedrich’s City of Nets.

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

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 the internationally bestselling A Series Of Unfortunate Events and his new series, All The Wrong Questions. He is adjunct accordionist for the pop group The Magnetic Fields.

Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard is the author of four short story collections: The Odditorium, Disappearing Ingenue, The Instinct for Bliss, and Spirit Seizures; and four novels: Phoenix, Selene of the Spirits, Late Bloomer, and the brand new Palmerino. She is also the author of Devotedly, Virginia, a biography of Arizona philanthropist Virginia Galvin Piper. Her short stories are frequently anthologized and cited in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, the Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature, and numerous other anthologies and textbooks. Her fiction has appeared in over sixty renowned literary journals, including The Paris Review, A Public Space, Agni, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Gettysburg Review and others. A recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation, she teaches at Arizona State University.

Why There Are Words takes place every second Thursday of the month, when people come from San Francisco, the North Bay, the East Bay — everywhere — to crowd the house. The brainchild of Peg Alford Pursell, this literary goodness has been going strong for four years. Interns Hal King and Kim Marcellino make everyone happy.

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents “Underneath”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on July 15, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Underneath August 9 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Join us for an extraordinary night as seven authors reveal worlds underneath words.

Melissa Cistaro

Melissa Cistaro’s stories have been published in the New Ohio Review, Brevity, Anderbo.com, Sparkle and Blink, the KQED Perspectives series, and in the anthology Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost.  Her essay “The Undertow” was a semi-finalist in Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland’s Notes & Words essay contest.

David Corbett

David Corbett is the author of four novels: The Devil’s Redhead, Done for a Dime (a New York Times Notable Book), Blood of Paradise (nominated for numerous awards, including the Edgar), and Do They Know I’m Running (Spinetingler Award, Best Novel Rising Star Category 2011). His short fiction and poetry have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, with two stories selected for Best American Mystery Stories (2009 and 2011). In May 2012, Mysterious Press/Open Road Media re-issued his first two novels plus a story collection in ebook format, and Penguin will publish his textbook on the craft of characterization The Art of Character in January 2013.

Jennifer duBois

Jennifer duBois is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and recently completed a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Playboy, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, ZYZZYVA, The Northwest Review, and elsewhere. Her first novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was published by The Dial Press in March 2012.

C.J. Hribal is the author of the novel The Company Car, which received the Anne Powers Book Award, and the novel American Beauty.  He’s also the author of the short fiction collections Matty’s Heart and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Award for Short Fiction, and he edited The Boundaries of Twilight: Czecho-Slovak Writing from the New World. He has held Fellowships from the NEA, the Bush, and from the Guggenheim Foundations, and has twice won the Sternig Award for Short Fiction.  He is the Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University, and is a member of the fiction faculty at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers.

Kara Levy

Kara Levy’s fiction appears in Alaska Quarterly Review, Mississippi Review Prize Issue 2009, TriQuarterly, Zen Monster, Drunken Boat, the Huffington Post, and Narrative, where she was a winner of the 30Below Prize for writers under 30. A graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University, she was a recent Steinbeck Fellow in Fiction at the Center for Steinbeck Studies in San Jose. She lives in San Francisco.

Wendy Merrill

Wendy Merrill’s memoir, Falling into Manholes: The Memoir of a Bad/Good Girl (Putnam 2008), was sold at the Maui Writers Conference in 2006. Her personal essays also appear in the anthology Single Woman of a Certain Age (Inner Ocean, 2006) and, Single State of the Union (Seal Press, 2007). She is described by Anne Lamott as “a wonderful new voice — smart, funny, and wildly real.” She founded WAM Marketing Group, a unique marketing communications company based in Sausalito, where she currently lives above ground and beyond her means.

Frances Stroh

Frances Stroh is an installation artist turned writer who lived and worked in London for two years on a Fulbright Grant. She is writing a memoir entitled “Fire-Brewed: The Fall of the Stroh’s Beer Family” about her family who made beer in Detroit for a hundred and fifty years. Her work has appeared in Rosebud and on her blog, Irritable Brain Syndrome. She struggles mightily to employ Twitter in creative ways but enjoys the process.

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents “After All”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on June 18, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme After All July 12 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Join us as seven authors share stories big and small. It’s why there are words after all!

Lauren Becker

Lauren Becker is editor of Corium Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Opium, Hobart, Juked and some other nice places. Her collection of short fiction is included in the anthology Shut Up/Look Pretty (Tiny Hardcore Press, 2012). She lives in Oakland, where she hosts the reading series, East Bay on the Brain. She has never been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Joe Clifford

Joe Clifford’s work has appeared in Big Bridge, the Connecticut Review, Drunken Boat, Fringe, Opium, Thuglit, Word Riot, and Underground Voices, among others. A collection of short stories, Choice Cuts, and his noir novel Wake the Undertaker will be published by Snubnose Press this year. He is the producer of Lip Service West, a “gritty, real, raw” reading series in Oakland. He has been to jail but never prison.

Sere Prince Halverson

Sere Prince Halverson is the author of The Underside of Joy (Dutton, January 2012), translated into fifteen languages. She worked as a copywriter and creative director for 20 years while she wrote fiction and raised kids. She and her husband have four children, and live in Northern California.

Joy Lanzendorfer

Joy Lanzendorfer’s work has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entrepreneur, Bust, and others. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, where she served on the editorial board for Fourteen Hills. Her chapbook The End of the World as I Know It won runner-up for the Michael Rubin Chapbook Award at SFSU. For the last five years, she has been a judge in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. She just completed her first novel.

Ericka Lutz

Ericka Lutz is the author of the recently published novel The Edge of Maybe. Her seven non-fiction books include On the Go with Baby and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stepparenting, and her short fiction and creative non-fiction have appeared in numerous books, anthologies, and journals, including Literary Mama, Because I Love Her, Paris: A Love Story, and Green Mountains Review. She won the Boston Fiction Festival in 2006 with her story “Deer Story,” and was a two-time fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her full-length solo show “A Widow’s To-Do List” is in development. She teaches writing at U.C. Berkeley. She is currently writing a second novel based in Oakland about family ties… but this one has ghosts.

Aimee Phan

Aimee Phan is the author of The Reeducation of Cherry Truong (St. Martin’s Press, March 2012). Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was awarded the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award in Prose, a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction, and a finalist for the Asian American Literary Awards. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Oregonian, among others. A 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, she received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. She teaches in the MFA Program in Writing and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts.

Eric Sasson

Eric Sasson’s story collection Margins of Tolerance (Livingston Press, May 2012) was the 2011 Tartt First Fiction Award runner-up. His story “Floating” was a finalist for the Robert Olen Butler prize. Other publication credits include Explosion Proof, BLOOM, Nashville Review, The Puritan, Liquid Imagination, Alligator Juniper, Trans, The Ledge, MARY magazine, and THE2NDHAND, among others. He’s taught fiction writing at the Sackett Street Writers Workshop and lives in Brooklyn.

Why There Are Words March 8: “Unspeakable”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on February 10, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following authors March 8 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Can the unspeakable be put into words? Come find out when these six writers take on that theme.



Chris Cole

Chris Cole’s first novel, The Speed at Which I Travel, is about an existentialist, time-traveling teenager from the Midwest. Chris Cole sits on the board of the SF literary organization Quiet Lightning, and is a co-founder of the Pints and Prose reading series. Under the name “Disembodied Poetics,” he writes a daily blog of verse and occasional prose to thousands of dedicated followers.




Timothy Crandle

Timothy Crandle’s fiction has been honored with the Jack Dyer Prize from Crab Orchard Review, the Waasmode Prize from Passages North,and second prize in the Zoetrope: All-Story Fiction Contest where it was selected from over 2500 entries by Joyce Carol Oates. In autumn 2010 he was writer in residence at Ox-Bow School of the Arts. He has worked as a roofer, painter (walls only, never canvases), pizza delivery man, casting director, and electrical engineer. He holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco, and lives and writes in Oakland.



Krys Lee

Krys Lee is the author of the debut novel Drifting House. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was raised in California, and studied in the U.S. and England. A finalist for Best New American Voices in 2006, her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Narrative magazine, California Quarterly, Pacific Ties, the Korea Times, and Asia Weekly. She lives in Seoul.



Kate Moses

Kate Moses is the author of Cakewalk, A Memoir,nominated for a Northern California Book Award, and the internationally acclaimed, award-winning novel Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, published in fifteen languages. As a founding editor and staff writer for Salon, Kate Moses co-edited Salon’s groundbreaking daily feature Mothers Who Think and two bestselling anthologies of essays on motherhood inspired by the site, Mothers Who Think and Because I Said So. A native of San Francisco, she teaches in the creative writing programs at San Francisco State and the University of San Francisco.



Meghan Thornton

Meghan Thornton won the poetry prize at the 2010 San Francisco Writer’s Conference and was published in the Poets 11 Anthology. She is a board member of Quiet Lightning, and her poetry and short stories can be found in Sparkle & Blink. She wrote her first novel, a vampire romance, in high school. Knowing that it would never sell, she moved on to poetry. She is currently editing her novel, “The Sword in the Cellar,” the first in a middle grade fantasy series that, unfortunately, has nothing to do with vampires.



Barry Willdorf

Barry Willdorf is author of the novel, The Flight of the Sorceress. In 2001, he published a semi-autobiographical novel, Bring the War Home. His legal publishing credits include co-authoring How To Pass the LSATs,/em>, and part of the Matthew Bender series, California Forms of Jury Instructions. He was a contributing editor for Matthew Bender’s Trial Master series. Born in New York City, he grew up in Massachusetts, and claims to be the first person to have surfed on Cape Ann.

Why There Are Words February 9: “Vision”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on January 14, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme: Vision February 9 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Come see for yourself what all the rave reviews for the reading series have been about.

Marcus Banks

Marcus Banks finds himself at many literary gatherings.  A blogger and critic, his book reviews have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Prick of the Spindle, and Rain Taxi.  He has also published personal essays in Superstition Review, and from 2005-2007 was the technology columnist for the Gotham Gazette. You can follow his jottings at http://mbanks.typepad.com/.

Kirstin Chen is a 2011-2012 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose

Kirstin Chen

State University. She has won awards from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Emerson College. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, Pank, Juked, The Good Men Project, and others, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best New American Voices anthology. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from Emerson College. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she is completing her first novel, Soy Sauce for Beginners, set in her homeland of Singapore.

Nicole McFeeley

Nicole McFeely is the author of hundreds of bar napkin scribblings and countless other incoherent jottings. She has not written a book, won a grant, or enrolled in a graduate program but has plans to do perhaps two of these things in the next ten years. Destroyer of free time, she currently works as a bartender and freelance editor and serves as the Director of Outreach for Quiet Lightning and the Assistant Editor of Litseen.com. http://nicmcfeely.wordpress.com/

Chicken John is a Showman living in San Francisco. A contributor and instigator

Chicken John

with a long history of arranging Serendipity to accommodate Chaos when she comes to Destiny’s house for dinner. He is a documented confusionist. He is a qualified insultant. He also a mechanic and a writer. He owns a gigantic bus and an odd warehouse in San Francisco. In his spare time he enjoys longs walks off a short pier, underwater basket weaving, and writing dumb bios about himself. He would like you to buy his new book, The Book of the Is. http://chickenjohn.com/

Jacqueline Luckett

Jacqueline Luckett is the author of the new novel, Passing Love. After wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and planning.’ Prayin’ and dreamin’ . . . just like that old Dusty Springfield song urges, Jacqueline Luckett finally put pen to paper and wrote, not one, but two novels. Jacqueline considers her novels great way to get a lot off her mind and to visit her favorite city, Paris. She travels frequently in search of another city that mesmerizes her as much as Paris, and is sure that when she finds it more story ideas will come her way.

Carol Sheldon

Carol Sheldon’s first novel, Mother Lode placed in the top five percent of Amazon’s International Breakthrough Novel Contest of 2011. She’s published two books of poetry. Her poetry can also be found in Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference Anthology, Hot Flashes and Marin Poetry Anthology. Two of her plays, Sandcastles, and Lifelines were chosen for professional productions. Several other works have won awards. She holds an MA from University of Michigan, and teaches poetry, novel, and memoir writing classes. She also enjoys directing and acting, believing her experience on stage has informed her writing. http://carolsheldon.wordpress.com/

Susanna Solomon’s fiction has appeared in the online magazine Harlot’s Sauce

Susanna Solomon

Radio, in print in Vintage Voices, West Winds Centennial, and the Point Reyes Light. Her fiction lately has been inspired by entries in the Sheriff’s Calls Section of the Point Reyes Light. She is at work on a short story collection and is polishing her first novel. In cafes all over Marin, in quiet corners, she is often visited by her characters Mildred and Fred, who not only have a lot to say about what they read in the paper, but about getting older, burglars in their backyard, and uncooperative lawn chairs.

Jon Wells

Jon Wells is a designer, writer, and filmmaker living in Mill Valley. He Died All Day Long is his first novel. His design work has been recognized in venues such as the San Francisco Show, Addy Awards, Print Magazine books, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. His first film, At the Epicenter of the Epidemic, documenting the HIV/AIDS crisis in Honduras, was shown at the Tiburon International Film Festival. He is a member of the Tuesday Night Writers and is a Squaw Valley Community of Writers alum.

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