Tonight is the night! Monday, April 20th! Do Smokey the Bear proud and come out to The Book Cellar at 7 pm. (Bring s’mores. And Doritos. Plus a couple pizzas and a bag of Funyuns. Thanks.) We’ll be passing around the bucket to raise money for 826CHI and our smoking-hot readers will be passing around some smoking-hot stories.
Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels The Hundred-Year House and The Borrrower, and the forthcoming story collection Music for Wartime. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories four years in a row, and appears places like Harper’s, Tin House, and This American Life. The recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, she’ll be visiting faculty at that Iowa Writers’ Workshop this fall.
Scott Whitehair is the producer and co-host of This Much Is True, the creator of Story Lab Chicago, and the organizer of Do Not Submit, a citywide series of open mics where you, yes all of you, get to tell your stories. When he’s not performing all over the city and teaching lots of classes, Scott spends his small sliver of free the time on a bike, at the grill, or in a sauna.
bokeen grew up in the shadow of O’Hare airport. He occupies his time cooking, riding his bike, combing his hipster beard and pushing pencils for a software company. He is also putting finishing touches on his book, Near Mrs.: Essays About Dating, which will be published later this year. You can find more of his work at bokeen.com.
Allison Shoemaker originally hails from the fleshy, non-thumb side of Michigan. She’s a staff writer for Groupon, an AV Club contributor, and has also performed with or contributed to You’re Being Ridiculous, Is This a Thing?, and Consequence of Sound. She’s an ensemble member with The Ruckus, for whom she curates [REDACTED], a probably-illegal movie commentary series she helped create with her pal Brooke Allen. She also sings very loudly for The Lucky Shiners, Chicago’s premiere fight-themed cover band.
Gina Watters is a writer for the Chicago-based pop culture website, The Addison Recorder. She also co-hosts their official podcast, the Addison Recorded, along with fellow writer Meryl Williams. She’s one of the approximately 38.7 million Chicagoans originally from Michigan, but hopes people like her anyway.
Josh Noel writes about travel and beer for the Chicago Tribune. He previously covered crime for the Tribune and for the Baton Rouge Advocate. He has contributed to This American Life, co-wrote a book on this history of Wrigley Field and is currently shopping a book-length project on the beer industry. He has spent the last eight years writing essays for a travel journal that maybe he’ll also try to publish one day.