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


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 Our books are currently closed to event requests. We will reopen sometime this fall for Winter 2022 events.

Upcoming Special Events


An Evening at A Novel Idea (In-Person)

Fiction and poetry from writers local to Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware – Jon Chaiim McConnell celebrates the release of his eco-disaster novella “thrum” (called a “controlled detonation of a debut” by the Broad Street Review), joined by: Sonja Vitow who will be reading from their novel-in-progress; new material from award-winning author Jonathan Koven; Adam Gianforcaro, whose poetry examines the human condition through a lens of queer identity and anxious mystery; and Alison Lubar, who explores the (dis)connection between the metaphysical and sensual in their debut chapbook, “Philosophers Know Nothing About Love.”


Thursday, September 29th 6pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk
Suggested $5 Donation
*Masks required for all attendees!


About the Authors

Alison Lubar (they/themme) teaches high school English by day and yoga by night near Philadelphia, PA. They are a queer, nonbinary femme of color whose life work (aside from wordsmithing) has evolved into bringing mindfulness practices, and sometimes even poetry, to young people. Their debut chapbook, Philosophers Know Nothing About Love, is out now with Thirty West (May 2022); you can find out more at or on Twitter @theoriginalison.


Adam Gianforcaro is a writer living in Wilmington, Delaware. His stories, poems, and essays can be found in Hobart, HAD, No Contact, NorthwestReview, Poet Lore, Cheap Pop, and elsewhere. He was an Honorable Mention in The Maine Review’s 2021 Embody Awards and a winner of Button Poetry’s 2018 Short Form Contest.


Jonathan Koven grew up on Long Island, NY. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from American University works as a technical writer, and reads chapbooks for Moonstone Arts. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Delana, and their cats Peanut Butter and Keebler. ReadJonathan’s poetry debut Palm Lines (Toho, 2020) and his award-winning fiction debut Below Torrential Hill (Electric Eclectic, 2021).


Sonja Vitow (she/they) is a queer Jewish teacher who recently moved back to Philly after over a decade in Boston. They received their MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in 2013, and are currently pursuing their PhD in Human Sexuality from Widener University. Some of their writing can be found in Rattle, Harvard Review, Fugue Journal, TheRumpus, and Carve Magazine, or at


Jon Chaiim McConnell is a writer and filmmaker living in New Castle, Delaware. He is the former fiction editor of Split Lip Magazine and Redivider, and former associate editor of Whole Beast Rag. His debut novella thrum came out in 2021 as the first book from Los Angeles-based publisher Eye Cult Attic, and his short fiction has appeared in HeavyFeather Review, Yemassee, and Blackbird, among others. He can be found at


Morality Play with Readings by Lauren Hilger, Cassidy McFadzean, and Mary Zhou (In-Person)

“Lauren Hilger’s Morality Play is a dance lesson in duality, when duality is multiplied, of what was, what is, real and imagined. A disquieting, reassuring look at how we see who we were, Hilger’s visions feel like past and future encouragement, an all-knowing theatre performance. I found myself unable to shake one of the opening lines, ‘I know how to live my life now.’ Because by the end of the book, I feel I do too.” —Shauna Barbosa


Like a wild song fluent in, and flung against, awkward self-delusion and constrictive cultural norms, Morality Play offers a vision of womanhood as expansive as lucid dreaming, where all the “wrong words” become our “mother tongue.” In Morality Play, Lauren Hilger forges a restless path between the impressionable folly of youth and the boundlessness of individual becoming. Join us for a multi-genre reading with new work presented by Lauren Hilger, Cassidy McFadzean, and Mary Zhou.


Saturday, October 1st 6pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk

Suggested $5 Donation

*Masks required for all attendees!


Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM, 2016) and Morality Play (Poetry NW Editions, Summer 2022). Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellowin poetry from MacDowell, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared in BOMB, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens.


Cassidy McFadzean was born in Regina, earned an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and currently lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of two books of poetry: Drolleries (McClelland & Stewart 2019), shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, and Hacker Packer (M&S 2015), which won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A new chapbook, Third State of Being is available from Gaspereau Press.


Mary Zhou (they/she) is an artist based in Philadelphia. Their poetry is forthcoming in Oversound and Philadelphia Poet Laureate Trapeta B. Mayson’s Healing Verse Poetry Line.


Outdoor Book Signing with Nick Perilli & Shannon Frost Greenstein (In-Person)

Join us for an outdoor book signing in front of A Novel Idea on Passyunk featuring: Nick Perilli, Author of Child Lucia and Other Library Fabula and Shannon Frost Greenstein, Author of These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things.


Saturday, October 15th 1-3pm out front of A Novel Idea


About the Authors

Nick Perilli is a writer and librarian existing in Philadelphia. His chapbook Child Lucia and Other Library Fabula is now available from Ethel Press and his debut novel Cul-de-sac will soon be available from Montag Press! The cheap website he created is and he’s on social media as @nicoloperilli.


Shannon Frost Greenstein (she/her) resides in Philadelphia with her children and soulmate. She is the author of “These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things”, a full-length book of poetry available from Really Serious Literature, and “Pray for Us Sinners,” a short story collection with Alien Buddha Press. Shannon is a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy and a multi-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Pithead Chapel, Bending Genres, and elsewhere. Follow Shannon at or on Twitter at @ShannonFrostGre.


Copies of the authors’ books will be available to purchase.


Tarot Readings with Marguerite Recupero (In-Person)

Tarot is a window into the soul. Feeling Blocked?
Seeking Guidance? Tarot can help you find the way.


We’re thrilled to have Marguerite Recupero offering tarot readings at the shop on Sunday, October 16th, 23rd, & 30th from 12-3pm.


Book a reading with Marguerite Recupero in-person or via video chat. $20 for 30 minutes, $40 for 60 minutes.


Sundays, October 16th, 23rd, & 30th 12-3pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk
*Masks required!


In 2017 Marguerite obtained her degree in Writing from the University of the Arts. It was shortly after having returned to Mass that she began her professional practice as a Tarot Reader. Through her workwith the Tarot, she began her studies as a Death Doula; in 2021 she became a certified Death Doulathrough the Conscious Dying Institute. She currently hosts Death Cafes at Transcending RootsApothecary in Fishtown. You can listen to her podcast Death Becomes Tarot on all platforms, which is an extension of her work with Death and the Tarot. Her fiction work is an exploration of queerness and the craft. You can read a collection of her short fiction on Vocal or though her


All But True: Poems of Complex Identities (In-Person)

Join us for the October All But True, featuring Black Lawrence Press authors Ananda Lima and Raena Shirali and their poetry collections exploring complex identities. All But True readings are curated by the Working Writers Group and sponsored by the bookstore A Novel Idea on Passyunk. We’re thrilled that Blue Stoop is co-sponsoring this reading with us too!

Wednesday, October 19th 6:30pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk

Suggested $5 Donation

*Masks required for all attendees


About the Authors

Ananda Lima is the author of Mother/land (Black Lawrence Press), winner of the Hudson Prize. She is also the author of four chapbooks: Vigil (Get Fresh Books), Tropicália (Newfound winner of the Newfound Prose Prize), Amblyopia (Bull City Press), and Translation (Paper Nautilus). Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review,, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, Pleiades, The Common, The Hopkins Review, and elsewhere. She has served as the poetry judge for the AWP Kurt Brown Prize, as staff at the Sewanee Writers Conference, and as a mentor at the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Program. She has been awarded the inaugural Work-In-Progress Fellowship by Latinx-in-Publishing, sponsored by Macmillan Publishers, for her fiction manuscript-in-progress. She has an MA in Linguistics from UCLA and an MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction from Rutgers University, Newark.


Raena Shirali is the author of two collections of poetry. Her first book, GILT (YesYes Books, 2017), won the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, and her second, summonings (Black Lawrence Press, 2022)won the 2021 Hudson Prize. Winner of a Pushcart Prize & a former Philip Roth Resident at Bucknell University, Shirali is also the recipient of prizes and honors from VIDA, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, & Cosmonauts Avenue. Formerly a Co-Editor-in-Chief of Muzzle Magazine, Shirali now serves as Faculty Advisor for Folio—a literary magazine dedicated to publishing works by undergraduate students at the national level. She holds an MFA in Poetry from The Ohio State University and is an Assistant Professor of English at Holy Family University. The Indian American poet was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and now lives in Philadelphia.


You Can Go Your Own Way Paperback Release Party (In-Person)

Join us for an evening celebrating the paperback release of young adult novel You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith. He will chat with local author Farah Naz Rishi about writing rom coms.


Tuesday, October 25th 6:30pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk
*Masks required for all attendees!


About the Authors

Farah Naz Rishi (she/they) is a Pakistani-American writer and voice actor, but in another life, she’s worked stints as a lawyer, a video game journalist, and an editorial assistant. She received her B.A. in English from Bryn Mawr College, her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and her love of weaving stories from the Odyssey Writing Workshop. When she’s not writing, she’s probably hanging out with video game characters. You can find her at home in Philadelphia, or on Twitter/Instagram/Tiktok at @farahnazrishi.

Eric Smith is a literary agent and author living in Philadelphia. As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books.


His novels include Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press, 2020), You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, 2021), and Battle of the Bands (Candlewick, 2021) co-edited with Lauren Gibaldi. His latest, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, was written with Alanis Morissette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaption of the Tony and Grammy-award winning musical.


An Evening with Josh Hitchens, Author of Haunted History of Philadelphia (In-Person)

As one of the most haunted cities in the nation, the City of Brotherly Love is a haven for unexplained phenomena. The specter of an innocent waiter murdered in 1783 is sometimes seen breaking dishes and smashing glasses at the City Tavern, once a meetinghouse for George Washington, Paul Revere, and other patriots. Anguished screams and haunting footsteps are still heard among the cellblocks of Eastern State Penitentiary. Among the picturesque streets of Chestnut Hill sits Baleroy Mansion, whose plethora of supernatural hosts has earned the home the nickname of “the most haunted house in America.” In Haunted History of Philadelphia, author and paranormal historian Josh Hitchens relates twelve chilling tales of Philly’s past and present.


Wednesday, October 26th 7pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk
Suggested $5 Donation
* Masks required for all attendees!


Josh Hitchens was born and raised in Sussex County, Delaware. He has been a storyteller for the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia since 2007. Josh is also a theater director, actor, playwright, and teaching artist who has been called “Philadelphia’s foremost purveyor of the macabre” by local press. His first book, Haunted History of Delaware, was released in July 2021 by Arcadia Publishing. Josh is deeply honored to tell the spooky stories of his second home in Haunted History of Philadelphia. He is also the creator of two podcasts for the paranormally inclined. Going Dark Theatre examines the humanity behind the horror in true tales of hauntings, unsolved mysteries, and weird history. In Hitchens on Horror, Josh acts as a horror host for the behind the scenes info of some of your favorite scary movies. Josh has also had the immense honor of interviewing and writing a cover story article about his favorite director David Lynch for Philadelphia Weekly  in March 2022 to mark the 45th anniversary of Lynch’s first film Eraserhead, as well as writing several articles and reviews for Philly’s Broad Street Review. He lives in West Philadelphia with his partner and a cat named Mina.


Tales That Keep You Up At Night (In-Person)

Join us for an evening of spooky tales that are sure to keep you up at night! Featuring readings by Stephanie Feldman, Erin E. Adams, Craig Laurance Gidney, and Christina Rosso. This event is in celebration of Stephanie Feldman’s latest novel SATURNALIA. 
Saturday, October 29th 5pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk
Suggested $5 Donation
*Masks required for attendees!
*Costumes encouraged!
About the Authors

Christina Rosso lives and writes outside of Philadelphia with her two rescue pups and bearded husband. Together they run an independent bookstore and event space called A Novel Idea on Passyunk. In 2016, Christina received her MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English from Arcadia University. 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 or find her on Twitter @Rosso_Christina.


Craig Laurance Gidney is the author of Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories; Skin Deep Magic: Stories; Bereft (a YA novella), and A Spectral Hue (a novel). He has been a Lambda Literary Finalist three times, was a Carl Brandon Parallax Award Finalist, and won the inaugural Joseph S Pulver Sr Award for Weird Fiction. The Nectar of Nightmares is his most recent collection. He lives in Washington, D.C.


Erin E. Adams is a first-generation Haitian American writer and theatre artist. She received her BA with honors in literary arts from Brown University, her MFA in acting from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, and her MFA in dramatic writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. An award-winning playwright and actor, Adams has called New York City home for the last decade. Jackal is her first novel.


Stephanie Feldman is the author of the novels Saturnalia (forthcoming, Oct. 2022) and The Angel of Losses, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award, and finalist for the Mythopoeic Award. She is co-editor of the multi-genre anthology Who Will Speak for America? and her stories and essays have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Electric Literature, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Maine Review, The Rumpus, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn. She lives outside Philadelphia with her family.

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STILL THE STARS Book Launch Party (In-Person)

The adventure begins… join us at A Novel Idea on Passyunk to celebrate the book launch of STILL THE STARS, the YA debut novel in verse from Philly author Elayna Mae Darcy.


Tuesday, November 1st 6:30pm at A Novel Idea on Passyunk

Suggested $5 Donation

*Masks required for all attendees!


There will be a reading from the book and a Q&A session, as well as the opportunity to have your books signed by the author!

Then stick around after to browse the beautiful shelves of A Novel Idea, AND get an oracle card reading from the author with their handmade deck that’s based on the one in the book!



Be sure to pre-order your copy from A Novel Idea, which you can do at!


Virtual Story Time with Suma Subramaniam, Author of Namaste is a Greeting

Join us for a very special virtual story time with Suma Subramaniam, Author of Namaste is a Greeting.


Saturday, December 10th 11am ET via Facebook Live


Namaste calms your heart when things aren’t going right.
Namaste is saying “You matter.”


What is namaste? It’s found in a smile, a friendship, a celebration. It exists in silence; it can be said when you’re happy or when you’re feeling low. For one small girl in a bustling city, namaste (“I bow to you”) is all around her as she and her mother navigate a busy marketplace—and when she returns with a little plant and chooses to give it to an elderly neighbor, it can be seen in the caring bond between them. In a sweet, universal text, debut author Suma Subramaniam shines a light on a word with significance far beyond yoga class, while artist Sandhya Prabhat makes the concept of mindfulness come alive in delightful illustrations likely to draw children in again and again.


Discover namaste’s many meanings in a simple, lyrical text, paired with a charmingly detailed visual narrative about a little girl’s kindness.