Writing w/o Walls
An SF Bay Area Reading Series
  • Whoa. We’re Back!

    So we ended up taking a year off. It went by really quickly. But every now and then I’d run into someone who remembered the reading series. A few even remembered it fondly. Of those, there were even a few who wanted to see it return. “It’s on hiatus,” I’d tell them. “What does that mean?” I didn’t really know myself. I guess that’s when the conversations usually took a turn for the awkward–pregnant pauses, hems, haws and all of that.

    But I was having this same conversation with my friend, Autumn Darbrow, recent CCA MFA in Writing graduate, and she said, “Yo, Jeff. I wanna help. Let’s bring it back!” (okay, not a direct quote, but you get the picture.) So a lot of people say a lot of things. But, true to her word, Autumn rolled up her sleeves and found us a new venue, Cafe du Soleil on Haight Street in San Francisco. We opened a call for submissions on the theme “Second Chances” and couldn’t be more thrilled with the quality of work we received. Please plan on joining us for our first event in a year on August 29th, 2013. Hope to see you there!

    Jeff Von Ward

    P.S. Submissions are now open for our second event. Send us anything you have, up to ten minutes in length, on the theme “Dog Days.” Submit here.

    Fellow writer and provocateur and my new co-host, Autumn Darbrow.

    Fellow writer and provocateur and my new co-host, Autumn Darbrow.

    No one cares about your reading

    Did you see Michael H. Miller’s article in The Observer,  No One Cares About Your Reading?

    Sure we’ve all been to readings like this, but maybe it’s more of an East Coast phenom as we’re frequently left breathless by the bevy of  talented writers and reading series available in the SF Bay Area.

    I guess we’re spoiled.

    As the new kids on the block, we at Writing without Walls have been fortunate enough so far to feature an Egyptian dancer, a DJ, and, in August, we’ll have a musical performance by Anna Ash. We hope these little flourishes don’t detract from the main event, however, which is always to showcase new and inspiring work by writers. We do feel like these acts can complement the readings and manage to keep our audiences engaged and entertained.

    Of course, we also draw a lot of inspiration from many of the established reading series we’re fortunate enough to have  in our own backyard. Some of our tried and true favorites include:

    • Quiet Lightning, Evan Karp and Charles Kruger’s peerless submission-based reading series. Each month, the featured readers are also published in Sparke+Blink. These two are a class act and have been generous in welcoming new interlopers.
    • Porchlight, a Storytelling Series, curated by Beth Lisick and Arline Klatte. Each month, six people tell ten-minute true stories without notes.
    • LitQuake. More than a mere reading event, it’s the lollapalooza of San Francisco literary events, founded by Jack Boulware and Jane Ganahl, including our favorite excuse to drink: LitCrawl (not that we needed one).
    • Literary Death Match, curated by Todd Zuniga, Alia Volz & M.G. Martin: 4 writers, 3 judges, 2 rounds, one epic finale!
    • LitUp Writers, Jennifer Lou and Graham Gremore’s humorous reading series focuses on the absurdities of modern life.
    • Portuguese Artists Colony, Caitlin Meyer and crew’s fantastic reading series.
    • The Rumpus, Stephen Elliot’s literary lifestyle online magazine also hosts a stellar reading series.
    • Writers With Drinks, Charlie Anders’ inimitable reading series.
    • BangOut, Amick Boone and Kevin Hobson host this “this and dirty” theme and submission-based reading series.
    • MFA Mixer. Last by certainly not least, one of our monthly favorites (as well as how the three of us met in the first place!). Host Sean Labrador Y Manzano brings together MFA Writing students from all of the SF Bay Area’s many writing programs. Students from CCA, CIIS, Mills, USF, SF State, St. Mary’s, and sometimes even SJSU, are typically represented as well as occasional guests from low residency programs.

    We’re also excited about Hollie Hardie’s new monthly open mic reading series in Berkeley, Saturday Night Special.

    Did we miss any? Please share your favorites with us and our readers below in the comments.

    photo by skippyjon.