Why There Are Words

Why There Are Words and Joyland, with Daniel Handler, May 14, 2015

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on April 15, 2015

Why There Are Words presents a collaboration with Joyland, along with special guest Daniel Handler. Join us May, 14 2015, at Studio 333 in Sausalito. Doors open at 7pm; readings begin at 7:15. $10.

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, editor

Kara Levy, editor

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.

Zoe Ferraris

Zoe Ferraris


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-upsCity of Veils and Kingdom of Strangers, have been international bestsellers, published in over thirty-five countries. She currently lives in San Francisco.

Ruth Galm

Ruth Galm

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 ReviewIndiana 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

Rachel Khong

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 FictionJoyland, and California Sunday. She is currently at work on a novel. She lives in San Francisco.

Marian Palaia

Marian Palaia

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

Maggie Tokuda-Hall

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 JoylandMidnight Breakfast, The Tusk, and Boing Boing, or on her website, prettyokmaggie.com.

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

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.

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 “Give Me”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on November 12, 2012

Join us for Why There Are Words, December 13 at 333 Caledonia St., Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7 pm, $5. An enchanting night of readings that will leave you chanting, Give me more! 

Gabriel Blackwell

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

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 RumpusA-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

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

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

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

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
(photo by Samantha Florio)

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.

Why There Are Words May 10: “Unforgotten”

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on April 19, 2012

Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme Unforgotten May 10 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5. Join us as these authors create another unforgettable night. That’s Why There Are Words.


Dan Coshnear

Daniel Coshnear is the author of Jobs & Other Preoccupations (Helicon Nine 2001), winner of the Willa Cather Fiction Award. He lives in Guerneville where he works at a group home for men and women with mental illnesses and teaches at various SF Bay Area university extension programs. He hopes to publish a new collection of stories in 2012 with Kelly’s Cove Press.


Rob Davidson

Rob Davidson is the author of The Farther Shore: Stories (Bear Star Press, 2012), The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells, and Field Observations: Stories. He has won the 2009 Camber Press Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and been twice selected as the artist-in-residence at the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony. His work has appeared in Zyzzyva, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Indiana Review, The Normal School, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. Davidson teaches creative writing and American literature at CSU Chico.


Cheryl Dumesnil

Cheryl Dumesnil’s memoir, Love Song for Baby X: How I Stayed (Almost) Sane on the Rocky Road to Parenthood, will be released by Ig Publishing in 2013. Her collection of poems In Praise of Falling won the 2008 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. She is the editor of Hitched! Wedding Stories from San Francisco City Hall and co-editor, with Kim Addonizio, of Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. Her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Indiana Review, Calyx, and Many Mountains Moving, among others. Her essays have appeared in Hip Mama, MamaZine, and Literary Mama. She is a regular contributor to Out and Around: Writing From the Crossroads of Suburbia, Parenthood, and Lesbian Life.


Stefanie Freele

Stefanie Freele’s newest book is the story collection Surrounded by Water (Press 53, March 2012). She is also the author of the story collection Feeding Strays. She recently won the Glimmer Train Fiction Open, and her stories are published or forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Sou’wester, Mid-American Review, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West, The Florida Review, American Literary Review, Night Train, Edge, and Pank. She is the fiction editor of the Los Angeles Review.


Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler is the author of the novel Why We Broke Up, (Little and Brown, December 2011), awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor, as well as The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth , and Adverbs. He has scripted two movies, Rick and Kill The Poor, and he is working on a musical with Stephin Merritt commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. As Lemony Snicket, he is the author of many books for children.


Leota Higgins

Leota Higgins has an MFA from the University of San Francisco and is currently at work on her first novel “Still Searching,” the first chapter of which has been published by Achiote Press in their debut story collection Routes.



Julia Flynn Siler

Julia Flynn Siler is the bestselling author of two works of narrative history, Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure and The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty. An award-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent, she was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and Business Week and also wrote extensively for the New York Times. Her first book, The House of Mondavi, became a New York Times bestseller and was named a finalist for a 2008 James Beard Foundation award and a 2008 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Reporting. Her second book, Lost Kingdom, became a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller shortly after being published in early 2012 and has won critical praise.


Lysley Tenorio

Lysley Tenorio is the author of the brand new debut collection of stories Monstress (Ecco Harper Collins, February 2012). His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Manoa, and The Best New American Voices and Pushcart Prize anthologies. A Whiting Writer’s Award winner and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in the Philippines, he currently lives in San Francisco, and is an associate professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

May 13 Reading, Complications

Posted in readings, Sausalito by whytherearewords on April 16, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Ethel Rohan

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.

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