Events

We love to work with and support all types of creatives.

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What we do.

We host a variety of events at A Novel Idea, from author readings and signings to workshops to book clubs and storytimes. In our first three years, we held an astonishing 600 events! 70% of which were free or suggested donation. We have numerous events that run monthly, such as our open mic and two book clubs. Our goal is to offer regular events to the community that are interesting and innovative. To stay up to date on A Novel Idea events, check out our calendar. If you’re interested in hosting an event, please reach out to us at events@anovelideaphilly.com. Our books are currently closed to event requests. We will reopen sometime this summer for Fall 2022 events.

Upcoming Special Events

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Folkloric Fiction: Kris Spisak In-Conversation with Christina Rosso (Online)

Join us for an evening exploring folkloric fiction with authors Kris Spisak and Christina Rosso. This event is in celebration of Kris’s debut novel The Baba Yaga Mask.

 

Thursday, August 11th 6pm ET via Zoom
Suggested $5 Donation

 

A little bit about The Baba Yaga Mask:

When their Ukrainian grandmother is lost on a trans-Atlantic Flight, two sisters are swept into a quest across eastern Europe to find the woman who had always told more tales than truths.

 

From Poland to Slovakia to Hungary and beyond, Larissa and Ira navigate the steps of Ukrainian folk dance, the cliff-side paths of Slovak Paradise National Park, and the stark realities of war, folktales, and feminism, all for the sake of chasing who they’re starting to believe is a true Baba Yaga. Understanding their family’s roots has never been more clear.

 

The setting’s mythic properties drift like ghosts in the humid air, hinting of the folktales the sisters whisper like codes of bravery. The nesting dolls they discover reveal how each woman becomes stronger when tucked one, within another, within another-forgetting lies and truths to seize upon history, love, and the familial traditions that have shaped them into who they are together.

 

About the Authors

Kris Spisak wrote her first three books—Get a Grip on Your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused (Career Press), The Novel Editing Workbook (Davro Press), and The Family Story Workbook (Davro Press)—to help writers of all kinds sharpen their storytelling and empower their communications. Her debut novel, The Baba Yaga Mask (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing), was inspired by her family’s experience in the post-WWII Ukrainian diaspora and has been called “A complex, poetic tale” by Kirkus Reviews. When not working on her own projects, Kris is an active speaker, workshop leader, and fiction editor.

 

Christina Rosso (she/her) is a writer, educator, and bookstore owner living outside of Philadelphia with her bearded husband and rescue pups. She is the author of CREOLE CONJURE (Maudlin House, 2021) and SHE IS A BEAST (APEP Publications, 2020). Her writing has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, and the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she teaches in the humanities department at Moore College of Art. For more information, visit http://christina-rosso.com or find her on Twitter @Rosso_Christina.

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The Human Body in Words (In-Person)

Dr. Manning Peskin and Dr. Reisman will be discussing their new books, telling stories about practicing medicine, and exploring how the diseases that afflict the human body shape the way we live and die.

 

Thursday, August 18th 7pm at A Novel Idea

Suggested $5 Donation

Limited seating available. Masks required for all attendees!

 

About the Authors

Sara Manning Peskin, MD, MS, is an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. She sees patients with cognitive and behavioral disorders in the Penn Memory Center, the Penn Frontotemporal Dementia Center, and the PennNeuroCovid Clinic. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Boston Globe Magazine, among other publications.

 

Jonathan Reisman M.D.is an internist and pediatrician, as well as an author, naturalist, traveler, and teacher of wilderness survival and prehistoric crafts. He has practiced medicine in some of the world’s most remote places, including the Arctic, Antarctica, the Nepali Himalayas, rural Appalachia, the urban slums of Kolkata, India, and on Pine Ridge Reservation. His writing has appeared in The New YorkTimes, The Washington Post, Slate, and Discover Magazine.

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Bookstore Romance Day (Outdoor Meet & Greet)

A Novel Idea is excited to host an outdoor book signing this year for Bookstore Romance Day! Come by the shop between 12-3pm on Saturday, August 20th to meet your favorite local romance authors. Featuring Xio Axelrod, Timothy Janovsky, and Roan Parrish.

 

Copies of their books will be available to purchase during the event.

 

About the Authors

Philly native, Xio Axelrod is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction and romance. Her rock and roll fairytale, THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES, has been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Popsugar, Essence Magazine, Vulture, Buzzfeed, and more. Xio grew up in the music industry. When she isn’t working on the next story, she can be found behind a microphone in a studio, writing songs in her bedroom-turned-recording-booth, or occasionally performing under a different, not-so-secret name.

 

Timothy Janovsky is a queer, multidisciplinary storyteller from New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College and a self-appointed certificate in rom-com studies (accreditation pending). When he’s not daydreaming about young Hugh Grant, he’s telling jokes, playing characters, and writing books. His first novel, NEVER BEEN KISSED, was released in May of 2022. YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MATTHEW PRINCE will follow in October 2022.

 

Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia, where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. Roan’s next release, THE HOLIDAY TRAP, is queer, holiday romcom. It will be quickly followed by THE RIVALS OF CASPER ROAD, book #4 in her Garnet Run series.

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An Evening with Mike Keren & Amanda Headlee (In-Person)

Woodhall Press is thrilled to partner with A Novel Idea to present two of its acclaimed (and sort of local) authors: ascendant horror writer (and Pennsylvania’s own) Amanda Headlee with her debut novel ‘Till We Become Monsters + award-winning memoirist Mike Keren (from nearby neighbor New Jersey) with his debut caregiving memoir Four Funerals, No Marriage. Both books are rich with family dynamics, obligations and heartbreak, as well as their respective unique takes on the terrors that can accompany such dynamics, obligations, and heartbreak.

 

Tuesday, August 23rd 7pm at A Novel Idea

*Masks required for all attendees!

Suggested $5 Donation

 

“With her debut novel, Till We Become Monsters, Amanda Headlee raises the genre to a chilling new level. I recommend reading this one with all the lights on.” —Phil Giunta, author of Like Mother, Like Daughters 

 

Four Funerals, No Marriage isa heartbreaking memoir that is also highly relatable and often darkly funny.” – Michael Sadowski, Author of Men I’ve Never Been: A Memoir, one of Book Authority’s 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Books of All Time


With a love of scary stories and folklore, Amanda Headlee spent her entire life crafting of dark fiction. She has a fascination with the emotion of fear and believes it is the first emotion humans feel at the moment they are born. Most of her work focuses on dark fiction associated with folklore and cosmic horror. You can follow Amanda on    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at her website: www.amandaheadlee.com.

 

Trained as a psychologist and psychoanalyst, Mike Keren first learned caregiving while helping to raise his younger brother, but really flourished as he “came out” into the AIDS pandemic. He has authored and co-authored numerous articles for publication. He is supported in his endeavors by his loving husband, Tom, and their two canine children, Carley and Clyde. They divide their time between central New Jersey and the mountains of northeast Pennsylvania.

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A Novel Idea & Mason Jar Press Present an Afternoon of Poetry & Prose (Online)

Join us for an afternoon of poetry & prose, featuring seven incredible writers. This event is in partnership with Mason Jar Press.

 

Saturday, August 27th 2pm ET via Zoom

Suggested $5 Donation

 

About the Authors

Caroline Bock is the author of Carry Her Home, winner of the Fiction Award from the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, and LIE and Before My Eyes, young adult novels, from St. Martin’s Press. The winner of the 2018 Writer magazine story award and the 2021 Adrift story award from Driftwood Press, she is also the fiction editor of the anthology This Is What America Looks Like: poetry and fiction from DC, Maryland, and Virginia and co-editor of the literary journal WWPH Writes. Her creative work has appeared in SmokeLongPloughsharesBethesda MagazineBrevity, Gargoyle, the Grace& Gravity series and more. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Fiction from The City College of New York. Find her often at Twitter at cabock writes.

 

(LetitiaDespina)

1984 born

wrote

2008 moved to dk

wrote

2009-2010 lived in delhi

wrote…

2014 became mother

2015 graduated MA film/media

2020-2021 aged a lot, even though time compressed

2021 (at the very end) – published first volume of pohetry  (which also has shit in the title)

 

Taiwo Hassan is a writer of Yorùbá descent, a poet and a vocalist. A Best Of The Net Nominee, his poems have appeared in trampset, Kissing Dynamite, Lucent Dreaming, The Shore, Brittle Paper, Dust Poetry Magazine, Ice Floe Press, Wizards In Space and several other places. He emerged the first runner-up for the MANI 10 year anniversary Poetry Competition. He’s also an undergraduate student of Demography and Social Statistics at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ilé-Ifẹ̀, Osun State, Nigeria. His first chapbook, Birds Don’t Fly For Pleasure is forthcoming for publication by River Glass Books.

 

BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; they are a writer creating delicate connections. they have called anynumber of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Revolute Lit, Roanoke Review, After the Pause, and corporeal, among others. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories.

 

Tiffany Promise (she/her) is a writer, poet, chronic migraineur, and the mother of two wildlings. She holds an MFA from Cal Arts, and her work has been published/forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Trnsfr, Okay Donkey and elsewhere. Tiffany now lives in Austin, Texas, but is originally from the mudbug-riddled swelter of the Gulf Coast, which is the setting of her first novel, Eggs.

 

Corinna Schulenburg (she/her) is a queer trans artist/activist committed to ensemble practice and social justice. She’s a mother, a playwright, a poet, and a Creative Partner of Flux Theatre Ensemble. Poems in: Arachne Press, Beaver Magazine, Capsule Stories, Lost Pilots, Long Con, LUPERCALIA Press, miniskirt magazine, Moist, Moonflake Press, MossPuppy, Oroboro, Okay Donkey, Poet Lore, SHIFT, The Shore, The Westchester Review, and more. https://corinnaschulenburg.com/writer/poet/

 

Ashish Kumar Singh (he/him) is a queer poet from India and a post graduate student of English Literature. Other than writing, he reads and sleeps extensively. Previously, his works have been published in Chestnut Review, Blue Marble Review, Brave New Voices etc.

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Community Drafts Open Mic (Online)

Community Drafts is back! Join us for the August edition of Community Drafts, A Novel Idea’s monthly open mic. Open to artists of all genres. Performances will begin at 7pm. We ask all performers to keep performances to 5-7 minutes.

 

Wednesday, August 31st 7pm ET via Zoom

 

Signups will be taken care of at the beginning of the event.

 

Suggested $5 donation. Free tickets are always available.