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Friday, March 6

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Book Club

Bookmarks Fri Mar 06 2015


Saturday! Swan Day Chicago celebrates female artists of all forms-- writers included. From 10 am to 3 pm, check out performances and keynote speakers at 618 S. Michigan Ave.

Saturday! Chicago Author's Club returns to Open Books to host writers Brian Russell and Hannah Gamble in a discussion of the art and process of poetry, 3 pm.

Saturday! Sector 2337 hosts Danny's Reading Series, featuring poetry by Olivia Cronk and Aaron Kunin, 7 pm.

Sunday! Serving the Sentence returns to Towbar to pay respects to the sentence of the month, "The last time this happened I swore, 'Never again;' but here we are." 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Mon Mar 02 2015

March Madness Continues at Story Club North Side this Thursday

Thursday, March 5, Story Club North Side presents March Madness at Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan Rd.

Story Club mixes featured readers with an open mic. Sign-ups begin at 7:30pm and the event kicks off at 8pm. Following the open mic will be actor Maggie Andersen, writer Bokeen and artist Riva Lehrer. The audience will vote for their favorite story of the night. The winner will be included in the forthcoming Story Club Magazine.

The event is hosted by the energetic duo of Dana Norris and Erin Kahoa. The event is 21+ and there is a $10 suggested cover.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Thu Feb 26 2015

Opaque Reading Series at Uncharted Books Tomorrow

Opaque Reading Series hosts their third reading tomorrow, Feb. 27, at 7pm at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee Ave.

This reading series aims to showcase literary performances of the "in-between." The theme for the night is growth. Covering that will be readers Daniela Olszewska, Mary Mueller, Emma Alamo, Adam Bangser and Madison Zielinski.

There will be a full color zine available at the event for the suggested price of $5. For those interested in reading at future Opaque events, contact them at

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Wed Feb 25 2015

Begin the Madness of March with Tuesday Funk

Time marches on, and so does Tuesday Funk. Join us in the upstairs lounge at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark St., on Tuesday, March 3. The readers will be Keidra Chaney, music writer and cofounder of The Learned Fangirl; Mare Swallow, executive director of the Chicago Writers Conference; poet Danielle Susi; storyteller Genevieve Waller; and writer Tom Underberg.

Doors open at 7pm sharp -- no earlier, alas, but get there as close to 7 as possible to grab a table, as the room fills up quickly. The show begins at 7:30pm, with one intermission. Eden Robins and Andrew Huff (me) co-host. Admission is free, but you must be 21 or older. RSVP, if you like, on Facebook.

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Essay Tue Feb 17 2015

On Happiness (or, To Have and Have Not)

By John Rich

Editor's note: The following essay was read at Tuesday Funk, a montly reading series sponsored by Gapers Block, on Jan. 6, 2015.

I don't know what one means by happy
I'm happy spasmodically
If I eat a chocolate turtle, I'm happy
When the box is empty, I'm unhappy
Happiness is
Happiness is a word for amateurs.

— "Happiness Is," Violent Femmes

On August 12, 2014, the American actress Lauren Bacall died of natural causes. She was a month shy of 90 years.

"Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete," Bacall once said. "If you're alive, it isn't."*

Continue reading this entry »

Book Club / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Feb 13 2015


Tonight! Comic construction guru Scott McCloud, author of such formative instructional works as Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics, will be at the Art Institute this evening for the winter lineup of the Chicago Humanities Festival. There he will discuss his recent work with Chicks Dig Comics author Lynne Thomas, 6 pm.

Tonight! You may have seen Issa Rae's web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl; but you may not have heard that she's released a book of the same name, including the same hilarity. Tonight the author and comedian will read excerpts from and discuss her book at the Swedish American Museum, 7:30 pm.

All day Today! The Poetry Foundation hosts lyrical high schoolers in the Chicago Regionals of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation competition. Support these students as they vie for a spot in Washington, D.C., where they'll represent Illinois in the national Poetry Out Loud finals.

Saturday! Get romantic with the Poetry Foundation as Suzanne Petri guides listeners through a series of poem recitations. The poems, though varied in tone and launguage, all center around the obvious V-Day topic: Love. Free, 5 pm.

Happy Valentine's, Book Clubbers, and Good Luck with your Friday-the-13th's!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Author Fri Feb 06 2015

Zine Fest Returns!

Screen shot 2015-02-06 at 2.06.12 PM.pngZine Fest has announced today that they will be returning in 2015 with a few tweaks, more space, and many more artists and authors. This year's festival for self-publishers will take place on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 in Plumbers Union Hall just off the Ashland/Lake Pink and Green Line stop. The hall, a new choice for the Fest, will be able to hold over 200 exhibitors, meaning this year's will be the biggest Zine Fest to date.

Years past the Fest has topped off its wealth of exhibitors with readings, panels and classes, and this year is no different. Though specifics are forthcoming, expect plenty of workshops on the DIY of self-publishing, and panels featuring the industry's greats.

Want to exhibit? Submissions for Zine Fest 2015 open on February 22 at noon sharp (central time). Either way, make your way to 1340 W Washington Blvd. on May 8 and 9 for the best self-publishing the scene has to offer!

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Feb 06 2015


Saturday! Whistler in Logan Square hosts Author Halle Butler in a release party for her new book, Jillian. The night also features comedian Jared Larson and animator Jenna Caravello, among others, 6 pm.

Saturday! Whether you're looking to expand your art horizons or need venue ideas for your next reading, 24+ hour arts festival 2nd Floor Rear 2015 will investigate Chicago's wealth of alternative art spaces. An astounding lineup of contributors will be putting up experimental works in the I am Logan Square Gallery, Hume Gallery, Dreamland D, Kitchen Space, Corner, the Whistler Storefront Gallery, Tritriangle, and Autotelic Studios. The festival is free and open to the public!

Sunday! Author José Ángel N. will stop into the Book Stall at Chestnut Court to discuss his book Illegal: Reflections of an Undocumented Immigrant, 3 pm.

Sunday! Live Lit show That's All She Wrote returns to Great Lakes Tattoo, 7:30 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Events Wed Feb 04 2015

Writers, Get to Work

In addition to its October conference, the Chicago Writers Conference holds workshops and talks throughout the year. And two upcoming events will be of particular interest if you're making this the year you finish that book you've been working on.

chicagowritersconference.jpgThis Thursday, Feb. 5, CWC presents Demystifying YA: Take Your Young Adult Novel from Process to Published, a panel discussion featuring YA authors Natalie Haney Tilghman, Elizabeth Wheeler, Stefanie Lyons and Wendy McClure; Esther Hershenhorn moderates. They'll provide insights into what they've learned about the YA genre over the years, from writing tips to marketing ideas. The discussion takes place from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr. Tickets are $30.

And on Wednesday, Feb. 11, author Samantha Hoffman leads "The Art of Revision - The End is Just The Beginning," an interactive workshop on how to polish your manuscript to better hook potential readers -- agents and publishers in particular. The workshop is at 826CHI, 1276 N. Milwaukee Ave., from 6:30 to 8:30pm, and is currently full, but you can get on the waitlist -- or agitate for another session soon!

Andrew Huff / Comments (0)

Submissions Wed Feb 04 2015

Curbside Splendor Ushers in New Year with New Submissions

Local publisher Curbside Splendor is accepting book submissions from Feb. 1 through March 31.

They are accepting full manuscripts only (don't forget to include a cover letter). Curbside publishes novels as well as short story, essay and poetry collections. Some past titles have included Chris L. Terry's YA novel Zero Fade (Gapers Block's review), Dmitry Samarov's memoir Where to? A Hack Memoir (Gapers Block's review), Megan Stielstra's essay collection Once I Was Cool, and Tim Kinsella's novel Let Go and Go On and On, to name a few.

Submit via Submittable. There is a $10 submission fee. Previously published work will not be considered.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Events Mon Feb 02 2015

Come Celebrate Back to Print's 5th Annual Jubilee this Tuesday

jube5poster.jpgChicago publishing organization Back to Print celebrates its fifth birthday with its annual Jubilee this Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 8pm at Cole's Bar, 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave.

This print collective focuses on self-publishing independent fiction, poetry, and comics. The event marks the 25th edition of The Deadline, a monthly broadsheet showcasing editorials, stories, and artwork.

Entertainment for the event will be joyous and maybe raucous with a mix of music and readings. Music will be provided by acts The Bribes, Tyler Bagwell, VINO ,and Lisa Leszczewicz. Readings feature various Back to Print authors including Adonis EndApartheid Quercia, Eric Bartholomew, Nicholas Souder, and Alex Bonner (who penned Normal Ave., the first novel released by Back to Print). Hosting will be Back to Print's editor-in-chief Elizabeth S. Tieri.

As all good celebrations do, there will be cake to commemorate the occasion. Back to Print publications will be available for sale as well.

John Wawrzaszek / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jan 30 2015


Tonight! Live Lit show Funny Ha-Ha returns the Hideout to discuss Radio favorites over the years, 6:30 pm.

Tonight! Author Scott Blackwell reads from his book See How Small at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Tonight! Quimby's hosts Making Magic Happen: a discussion amongst zinesters and librarians on how to turn event ideas into reality, 7 pm.

Saturday! Zine makers, roll up your sleeping bags and pack your s'mores. Quimby's is hosting their annual Zlumber Party, 9:30 pm - whenever!

Sunday! Renowned cultural theorist Cornel West will be sharing a new collection of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work, The Radical King, at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 2 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jan 23 2015


Howdy, Book Club! Ready for this weekend's ridiculous revelry?

Tonight! Shermin Nahid Kruse will be sharig stories from her new book Butterfly Stitches, inspired by the true tales of Iranian Women, at the Book Cellar, 7 pm.

Saturday! If you thought the Empty Bottle Book Club was over, you thought wrong! It was only on a quick 15-month break, and Saturday it returns for more food, drinks and discussion of Viv Albertine's memoir, Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys, 5:45 pm.

Saturday! The Book Cellar's busy weekend continues with the Fourth Annual Book of the Year Awards where The Chicago Authors Association will honor those books that took 2014 by storm. Winning authors, who will be in attendance to discuss their work, include Scott Jacobs (Famous Ski Hills in Wisconsin), Rebecca Makkai (The Hundred-Year House), Samantha Irby (Meaty), and Kristin A. Oakley (Carpe Diem, Illinois (A Leo Townsend novel)), 7 pm.

Saturday and Sunday! Crystal Palaces in Cockaigne opens at the Hairpin Arts Center, and is slated to be up all week with nightly festivities (including a Story Club appearance this Thursday night); gallery opening Saturday at 8 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Submissions Thu Jan 15 2015

Rated S For "Submissions": Chicago Literati's TV Issue

Call it a mixture of high and low culture: online literary magazine Chicago Literati is looking for your stories about your "stories." Television is the theme for the January issue, so dust off your fan fiction or petition to get Mr. Belvedere in syndication and submit.

The lit community, including CL contributors, has responded with everything from Barney Miller portraits to posts about the comforting nostalgia afforded by sitcoms from the last millennium ('90s TGIF lineup forever). Founder and editor-in-chief Abby Sheaffer even shared an exclusive interview with Wendy Robie, who played Nadine Hurley on cult favorite Twin Peaks.

The deadline for submissions is February 5, and Chicago Literati is looking for "your best art, essays, fiction and photography depicting your love and fascination with TV." And who knows--that just might include your compilation of Arrested Development chicken dance gifs.

Danette Chavez / Comments (0)

Bookmarks Fri Jan 09 2015


Tonight! The Kates hit the Book Cellar at 8 pm for comedy especially provided by Chicago's wealth of female comics, 8 pm.

Saturday! Don't forget weekly favorites, Paper Machete at the Green Mill @ 3 pm and Blackout Diaries at at High Hat Club @ 8 pm.

Sunday! That's All She Wrote,a Lovely Live Lit show held at Great Lakes Tattoo, will present a slew of talented storytellers, free and BYOB, 8 pm.

Sunday! Serving the Sentence challenges writers to concoct a story all using the same first sentence. This month's show will begin (and begin, and begin) with the phrase, "The coffee table was $20,000, I kid you not." Come out to Towbar to see what unfolds, 7 pm.

Miden Wood / Comments (0)

Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.



Sun Mar 8 2015
Serving the Sentence @ Towbar

Sun Mar 8 2015
Here, Chicago @ Theater Wit

About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Miden Wood,
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