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 story times. In our first two years, we held an astonishing 400 events! 70% of which were free or suggested donation. We have numerous events that run monthly, such as our open mic, three book clubs, and tarot salon. 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 We are currently booking virtual events for Fall 2021.

Upcoming Special Events


A Night of Poetry & Prose: Alessi, Huynh, & Mattison (Online)

Join us for an evening of poetry and prose in partnership with Mason Jar Press.


Thursday, May 6th 7pm ET via Zoom

Suggested $5 Donation


Michael Alessi is the author of The Horribles (Greying Ghost) and Call a Body Home (Mason Jar Press). His work has recently appeared in NinthLetter, Passages North, The Pinch, Mid-American Review, The Cincinnati Review and other journals. A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, he holds an MFA from Old Dominion University *and is a PhD candidate at the University of Cincinnati.


Lucian Mattison is a US-Argentinian poet and translator and author of two books of poetry, Reaper’s Milonga (YesYes Books, 2018) and Peregrine Nation (Dynamo Verlag, 2017), winner of the 2014 Dogfish Head PoetryPrize. He won the Puerto Del Sol Poetry Prize and has poetry, short fiction, and translations that appear in numerous journals including Catamaran, CutBank, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hobart, [PANK], The Offing, Sixth Finch, and have been featured on He is currently based out of the Bay Area and is an associate poetry editor for Barrelhouse.


Amanda Galvan Huynh (she/her) is a Mexican-American writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of Lotería (Sundress Publications, 2022), Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks, 2019) and Co-Editor of Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (The Operating System, 2019). Her writing has been supported by fellowships and scholarships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others. Currently, she is a doctoral student in English at theUniversity of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

Community Drafts Open Mic (Online)

Join us for the VIRTUAL edition of Community Drafts, A Novel Idea’s monthly open mic. Open to artists of all genres. Performances will begin at 8pm. We ask all performers to keep performances to 5-7 minutes.


Friday, May 7th 8pm EST via Zoom


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


Suggested $5 donation. Free tickets are always available.


An Evening with Gina Nutt and Melanie Finn (Online)

Join us for an evening with Two Dollar Radio authors Gina Nutt and Melanie Finn.


Thursday, May 13th 7pm ET via Zoom
Suggested $5 Donation


Gina Nutt is the author of the essay collection Night Rooms (Two Dollar Radio) and the poetry collection Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press). She earned her MFA from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and other publications.


Melanie Finn, author of Away From You (2004), The Gloaming (2016), The Underneath (2018), and The Hare (2021), was born and raised in Kenya and the US. The Gloaming was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a finalist for the Vermont Book Award and The Guardian’s “Not the Booker” Prize. The writer and producer of the DisneyNature wildlife epic Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos, she is also the co-founder and director of the Tanzanian-based charity Natron Healthcare. She and her family live on a remote hill in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.


Register now at!

Garden Days Story Time (Online)

Come celebrate the season in bloom safely together!


Join us for a special story time in honor of “Garden Days”, a verdant series of events as part of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s (PHS) Bloom Philly! celebration ahead of the Philadelphia Flower Show at nearby FDR Park in South Philadelphia.


We have a bunch of wonderful books all about spring, flowers, and Mother Nature.


Saturday, May 15th 11am ET


The story time is free to attend and will be via Facebook Live!

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Jeannine Ouellette In Conversation with Athena Dixon (Online)

Join us for an evening with authors Athena Dixon and Jeannine Ouellette.


Thursday, May 20th 6pm ET via Zoom
Suggested $5 Donation


A native of Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is the author of The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Split/Lip Press) and No God in This Room (Argus House Press). Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) and in various publications including GAY Magazine and Narratively. She resides in Philadelphia. Learn more about the author at


Jeannine Ouellette is the author of The Part That Burns, a memoir in fragments. Her work has appeared in Calyx, Narrative, North American Review, Masters Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Writer’s Chronicle, among others, and in several anthologies including Ms. Aligned: Women Writing About Men and Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. Her work has been supported by Millay Colony for the Arts and Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts.  She teaches writing through the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, and Elephant Rock, an independent creative writing program she founded in 2012. She is working on her first novel.

The May the Earth Stood Still (Online)

Join us for an evening of poetry featuring Anthony Palma, Brooke Palma, “Catfish” John Wojtowicz, and Erica Abbott.


Tuesday, May 25th 7pm ET via Zoom

Suggested $5 Donation


Erica Abbott (she/her) is a Philadelphia-based poet and writer whose work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, perhappened, Bandit Fiction, and other journals. She is the author of Self-Portrait as a Sinking Ship (Toho 2020), her debut poetry chapbook. She volunteers for Button Poetry and Mad Poets Society. Follow her on Instagram @poetry_erica and on Twitter @erica_abbott.


“Catfish” John Wojtowicz grew up working on his family’s azalea and rhododendron nursery in the backwoods of what Ginsberg dubbed “nowhere Zen New Jersey.” Currently, he works as a licensed social worker and adjunct professor. He has been featured in the Philadelphia based Moonstone Poetry series, West-Chester based Livin’ on Luck series, and Rowan University’s Writer’s Roundtable on 89.7 WGLS-FM. He serves as the Local Lyrics contributor for the Mad Poet Society blog. Recent publications: Toho, Glassworks, Tule Review, Kansas City Voices, West Trade Review, Patterson Literary Review, and The Poeming Pigeon. Find out more at:


Brooke Palma grew up in Philadelphia and currently livesin West Chester, Pennsylvania. Many of her poems focus on the connectionsbetween culture and identity and finding beauty in the everyday. Her work hasbeen published in The Mad Poets’ Review, Moonstone Arts, TohoJournal, and E-Verse Radio (online), and work is forthcoming in Unbearables: A Global Anthology (spring 2021). Her chapbook, ConversationsUnfinished, was published by Moonstone Press in August 2019. She hosts theLivin’ on Luck Poetry Series at Barnaby’s West Chester.


Anthony Palma’s work attempts to bridge the gap between poetry and other forms while addressing issues of social justice, identity, and existence. His work has appeared in publications such as Rue Scribe, Oddball Magazine, and the Show Us Your Papers Anthology. His debut collection of poetry, flashes of light from the deep (Parnilis Media), is now available at A Novel Idea. Be sure to look him up on social media at anthonypalmapoetry.


Shakespeare 4 Ways: Four Teachers Share Their Take on the Bard (Online)

Join us for an evening celebrating and exploring Shakespeare with a panel featuring Paula Marantz Cohen, Scott Newstok, Molly Booth, and Erica Cantley.


Wednesday, June 2nd 6pm ET via Zoom
Suggested $5 Donation


Paula Marantz Cohen, an English Professor at Drexel, has a timely book coming out in February 2021, Of Human Kindness: What Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Empathy.


Scott Newstok, professor at Rhodes College, published his book How to Think Like Shakespeare, last year during the pandemic.


Molly Booth, a professor at Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts, has two fabulous YA novels, Saving HAMLET (my favorite) and Nothing Happened.


Erica Cantley, former English teacher at the Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, PA. Published her memoir Teaching HAMLET as My Father Died last year during the pandemic.

Charles Fergus In Conversation with Cathy Miles Grant (Online)

Join us for an evening with local author Charles Fergus and educator Cathy Miles.


Thursday, June 10th 7 pm ET via Zoom
Suggested $5 Donation


Charles Fergus writes mysteries set in Pennsylvania in the Jacksonian Era of the 1830s. He also writes books about nature and wildlife. His deep knowledge of the natural world informs his fiction, letting him invoke a strong sense of place. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks wrote the following about Charles’s first mystery: “Deeply imagined and intricately plotted, A Stranger Here Below marries richly textured historical fiction with the urgency of a mystery novel. Fergus knows certain things, deep in the bone: horses, hunting, the folkways of rural places, and he weaves this wisdom into a stirring tale.”


Charles is the author of twenty books. His two Gideon Stoltz mysteries are Nighthawk’s Wing, published in 2021, and A Stranger Here Below, which came out in 2019. Charles has written for publications as various as Audubon, the New York Times, Highlights for Children, Country Journal, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Pennsylvania Game News.


Cathy Miles Grant recently retired from a career in education that included teaching high school French for a decade. She enjoys reading historical fiction and narrative nonfiction and is particularly drawn to works that expand the moral imagination. She is currently writing a nonfiction book based on the experiences of her father. A Quaker, he worked with the Friends Ambulance Unit in mainland China just after World War II, when that country was torn by civil war, and into the dawn of the new Communist nation. Cathy and Charles Fergus met each other through singing together in a hospice chorus based in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (now unfortunately suspended by the pandemic), and a shared love of writing and good books.

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