Why There Are Words

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

Posted in readings 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 May 10: “Unforgotten”

Posted in readings 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.


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