SPINE OUT: January 19th, Reading in NYC with Samira Ahmed, Emmy Laybourne, & More


Oh. Oh my. Now this is exciting. In mid-January, I'll be joining a number of awesome authors, including one I work with (I represent Samira Ahmed!), for a special reading in New York City.

Spine Out.

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.

You can grab tickets off of Dixon Place's website, and there's a Facebook page where you can RSVP, if you want.

Giveaway: The Asteroid Belt Almanac

asteroid belt

Back in May, The Head & The Hand Press' Asteroid Belt Almanac came out. This was (and still is!) a pretty big deal for me. It was the first time one of my essays appeared in an actual book.

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.

The other day, Nic Esposito (founder and publisher at The Head & the Hand) and I grabbed a cup of coffee, and did some catching up. He also dropped off a couple author copies of the Almanac.

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. (more…)

Fun News: Reading at the Chilltown Literary Festival, INKED on Goodreads, & Wedding Plans

wordbooks logo

Truly, this has been one amazing summer.

I signed books at Book Expo America (a dream!) and Wizard World Philly, I saw one of my essays published in an actual anthology, and the translated editions of The Geek's Guide to Dating have been popping up all over Instagram and Twitter.

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.

Here's a bit about the festival from WORD's website.

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.

Anyhow, I hope to see a few of you there! You can RSVP for the event here on Facebook.

bloomsbury spark

Second bit of news, my YA novel, INKED, finally popped up on Goodreads! And I just love the short description my awesome editor (hi Meredith!) managed to put together for it. Because seriously, I am TERRIBLE with the elevator pitch for the book.

You can add it to your shelves here. It'll be out in November. Keep an eye out for a cover reveal and some pre-order buttons soon! It's almost here!


And in non-book news... the fiancee (check out her blog at Beauty and Britches) and I picked out our wedding venue for the Spring of next year. That's her scoping out the view from the space.

Life is good, kids. <3

The Asteroid Belt Almanac: Out Now!

asteroid belt

Earlier this month, a bunch of people gathered inside Philadelphia's Indy Hall in Old City to celebrate the release of The Asteroid Belt Almanac from Head & the Hand Press. My essay, A Missed Connection (or Craigslist Time Machine) is included in this book, which is thrilling for a number of reasons.

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.

And the company I get to keep in the book? Lots of talented folks are in there, Christine Neulieb (Lanternfish Press), Alex Vuocolo (Generocity), Sarah Grey, and plenty of other great folks.

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.

asteroid belt toc

So thanks for that, Head & the Hand.

You can order a copy of the almanac over on Head & the Hand's website. As for my essay, you can read it excerpted over on Forces of Geek. Thanks for promoting the book, Stefan!

Upcoming Bookish Events this Spring

Wow, this month has been a whirlwind of awesome. I ran around like crazy during Philly Tech Week, participated in an awesome gameshow event at National Mechanics, and had my (sold out!) Creative Mornings talk earlier this month.

I should have a video of that soon, but for now, here's my favorite picture.

creative talk

And here are a few more fun things coming up soon.

Hang On With Aaron Nevins: Friday, April 18th
A local comedy talk show in Philly, featuring celebrated comedian Michellen Biloon as a guest.

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.

Signing at C2E2 in Chicago: Saturday, April 26th
I'm heading to C2E2 with Quirk, and will be signing on Saturday. 2:30PM, Booth 520.

Reading & Signing @ Drexel University Bookstore: Monday, April 28th
The second reading with Togather and Barnes & Noble College, this time at Drexel.

There will also be a release party for The Asteroid Belt Almanac (Head & the Hand Press) sometime in the middle of May at Indy Hall. I have an essay in that book, along with my friends Christopher Wink and Christine Neulieb. Really excited to see that on my bookshelf.