Emmy Laybourne, bestselling YA author of books like Monument 14 and Sweet (this was one of my favorite books last year, you guys), hosts this wonderful event in NYC every other month or so, inviting authors to come share personal essays on stage.
It’s been a long time since I read a personal essay at a reading. The last time… oh goodness, was First Person Arts in Philadelphia, maybe? Valentine’s Day like two years ago? I’m not even sure. Point is, it doesn’t happen often, I’m just so thrilled to be invited.
Not sure if I’ve ever said it here, but I’m a little obsessed with essay collections.
I own almost all of the Best American Essays… collections, pulling random essays from them for the courses I teach at Peirce College. I also own a bunch of the Travel Writing, Nonrequired Writing, and other Best… books. What can I say? Essays make me happy. So it was a real thrill to see one published in print for the first time.
Since I already own two copies and sent one to my Mom, I figured I’d run a little giveaway. To introduce you guys to the book, some of the contributors (yes, even my faux nemesis Christopher Wink), and this fun local publisher.
You can enter to win a copy by entering the Rafflecopter below. You can follow / like the publisher, the contributors, etc. to enter. Good luck, and I’ll send out THREE copies at the end of the month. Read more
Things are lovely. And hey, they’re only getting better. <3
A bit of news! First off, I’m going to be reading at the inaugural Chilltown Literary Festival in Jersey City in July. It’ll be at the WORD Bookstore in Jersey City on Saturday, July 12th. All of my friends from Jersey City (hi Darlene!) and in Brooklyn (hi Preeti!) know that when I visit those areas, the WORD Bookstores in those neighborhoods are MUST VISIT PLACES for me. And I’m just so thrilled that I get to read at one.
We’re throwing a day of literary programming all around downtown Jersey City, culminating with an evening drinks mixer into nighttime panel featuring New Jersey authors and New Jersey stories. Current authors throughout the day include Emma Straub (The Vacationers), Eric Smith (The Geek’s Guide to Dating), Emily Croy Barker (The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic), Murray Carpenter (Caffeinated), Ed Lazellari (Awakenings, The Lost Prince), and John Gomez (Legendary Locals of Jersey City).
Okay. So I LOVE Emma Straub’s books, I absolutely adored Emily Croy Baker’s magical novel, and I recently picked up Ed Lazellari’s Awakenings.
Is it weird to bring a giant stack of books to an event you’re part of, you know, for autographs? Asking for a friend.
I’ve had some essays published here and there, with Philly’s Apiary journal and The Bygone Bureau, but this is my first piece in a print anthology. I’m one of those people who collect ALL of those Best American Essays books, and never stopped thinking about how cool it would be to have an essay in print someplace. This is mostly your fault, Robin Black.
But the fact that my pal Christopher Wink is included in the book with me… well, that was really the icing on this already delicious cake.
I’ve rambled about Chris here on the blog before. The co-founder of Technically Philly, we’ve always had this silly faux rivalry going on between our blogs. But I’ve always felt like we’ve been on this journey as writers together. As an undergrad, he wrote for me when I was in graduate school and running Uwishunu. Just two eager dudes, psyched to be writing.
I’d leave that blog to pursue my career in publishing, and he’d go on to launch Technically Philly to great success. But I’ll always be thankful that we met each other back then, sending him off to write about museum exhibits and restaurants. These days, we’re always at each other’s events, swapping stories, rambling about our projects, busting chops. And it’s just such a thrill to see our names together on a table of contents.
Reading & Signing @ University of Penn Bookstore: Tuesday, April 22nd
Togather and Barnes & Noble College invited me do three talks and signings in the Philly area. This is the first one, at the Penn bookstore. I’m excited about this, since the last time I read there was when I self published my first novel years ago. www.togather.com/event/901/bnc286-profitable-passion-projects.html