November Reading Series – Tamale Hut Café Writers Group

Next Saturday, the THC Presents Reading Series will be helping the Tamale Hut Café Writers Group celebrate ten years of monthly meetings. Please join us as many of our writers bring their favorite stories to share, and share some of your own during the open mic part of the evening. Or just come and listen to some fine stories read by some of the talented people who live in your neighborhood! The fun starts at 7pm on Saturday, November 12 at the Tamale Hut Café, 8300 W. Cermak Road, North Riverside, IL.

As always, there is no cover, there will be wonderful food to purchase, and you are encouraged to BYOB. THC — Supporting the Arts.

October Featured Reader Mike Penkas

THC Presents is thrilled that Chicago mystery-horror writer Mike Penkas will be Halloween-month’s featured reader. C’mon in and hear Mike present a few stories to keep you on the edge of your seat getting to the bottom of whodunit; laughing your head off along the way with Mike’s signature sinister, playful, highly-intelligent humor; and even after you find out–to everyone’s massive surprise–the killer was the butler and the Devil made him do it, you can still only scratch your head and go hmmm…

Scary stories, camaraderie, and tamales by the campfire…a Saturday night like this is how to be in the season!

Saturday October 29, 2022 @ 7:00 pm … at the Tamale Hut Cafe’ , 8300 W. Cermak Rd. North Riverside , IL

A Message to the Reading Series Community

In March of 2020, the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series was canceled. As per that month’s blog post, the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution”–  just days before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Cook County with its 1st wave. 

For two and a half years, “March Reading Series Canceled” sat at the top of our post feed, month after month announcing the pandemic’s ruinous effect on local writers and the community spaces we inhabit together. After so much time apart, we all have a lot to catch up on– stories to tell, ears to lend, and through all this, a THC Reading Series community to rebuild. 

First things first: the series’ organizers have a blog to revive! As we look back through digitized memories of the before-times, we are reminded of the importance of maintaining a rich library of Reading Series history through record keeping made accessible online. A blog allows us to not only communicate announcements to Reading Series regulars, but also to cement artists’ broader visibility online and engage with newcomers searching for a local writer’s community. 

Look out for regular event announcements going forward. We at THC thank you for your continued support of the Arts.

The last event at the Hut before the world changed. (February 2020)

June Featured Reader Christine Fugate

Here’s a special message from our June Featured Reader:

Good golly, it’s already June. But hey, good news for those who like stories, and enjoy stories about me and my rascal of a father. On June 25th, I’ll be the featured reader at Tamale Hut Cafe’s Reading Series! Mark your calendars and come through if you’re around, not busy that weekend and you hope to win my eternal gratitude, lol xoxox omg I srsly can’t believe it’s June, wtf?

Join us in welcoming Christine back to the THC stage on Saturday, June 25th starting at 7:00. Afterwards we will open the mic to any others who want to share their words. As always, there is no cover and you are encouraged to BYOB. THC — Supporting the Arts.

March Reading Series Cancelled

We at Tamale Hut Cafe love good food, good music, good art, and good writing. We also love our patrons and artists. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to cancel our Reading Series for March.

We will be back on April 18th when our Featured Reader will be Bernard Cox.

In the meantime, cough into your elbow, be kind to each other, and don’t forget to find the beauty that is around you.


February Featured Reader Casseola Rogers

Tamale Hut is please to announce that Casseola Rogers is our Featured Reader for the month. Join us on Saturday, February 22nd at 7:00 when she will read from her latest work.

Cassie is a hopeless Romantic and is a strong believer in the power or words. Cassie currently resides in Chicago, IL with her husband and children. She has definitely mastered the art of multitasking. Cassie is an education addict. She obtained her Associates in Biological Science from Malcolm X college, her Bachelors and Masters from Kaplan University in Health Care Administration. She is currently in school working on her Doctorate degree while working full time. Finally living her dream, she has also found time to write fiction romance novels with a twist of suspense which is her passion. Cassie has been reading romance novels for years and started writing fiction romance while in high school as a hobby. Stepping out on faith, she decided to pursue having her work published. B Love Publications launched Cassie’s first published novel, Concealed Skill. There are 3 words to describe Cassie fun, determined and Sweet. She completely believes that being a Gemini allows her to play so many roles in life. While she has many favorite authors, she admires the late great Maya Angelou. A quote she stands by is, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart” `Maya Angelou

After Cassie reads, we will open the mic for all who want to share their words. As always, there is no cover. THC– supporting the arts!

All Open Mic for January

To kick off our 13th season, the Reading Series will host an all open mic on January 18th. The fun begins at 7:00 and continues until all have been heard. This month also celebrates the start of THC’s 15th year in business!

If you’ve been thinking about sharing your work, this is a great time to do it. We guarantee a receptive audience and a safe space to spread your wings. Likewise, we love listeners so if you haven’t been to Tamale Hut in a while, come on down to encourage local voices.

As always, there is no cover. THC — Supporting the Arts.


Reading Series Short Story Contest Finalists as Featured Readers

Tamale Hut Café’ is excited to announce the top five short stories selected for this year’s Short Story Contest. They are:
Brendan Detzner – Strays
Aaron Longoria – When You Walk Your Dog
Matt Holmes – Tom Petty is Trying to Kill Me.
Harold Holt – Jazz Swagger
Gary Doherty – The Living Room
All writers will attend the Tamale Hut Café’ Presents event on Saturday, November 23th at 7PM at the Tamale Hut Café to read their stories and unveil the final rankings and be awarded the following prizes:
1st- $300
2nd- $200
3rd- $100
Two (2) Honorable Mentions- $25 each
About Jenny Seay Our Contest Judge:
Jenny has a 2010 MFA Creative Writing degree from Columbia and 2001 Creative Writing degree from Columbia College.  She is a native Chicagoan and currently works at University of California Berkeley as a Class Giving Officer.
Jenny is the founder of the Tamale Hut Café’ Reading Series.
Please join us on November 23rd and support these writers. Thank you

October Featured Reader Matt Bieniek

Barnstormers front coverReading Series regular (and THC Writing Group coordinator) Matthew Bieniek will be celebrating the release of his latest novel, Barnstormers Book One: The Adventures of Kiki and Bridget, at the Tamale Hut Cafe on Saturday, October 19th.

Matt’s been entertaining us over the past two years with his tale of two women pilots as they face action and adventure in the early days of aviation, and now the first volume is complete! Join us at 7pm to hear Matt read another exciting chapter in his saga, then have him sign a copy of the book for you. Open Mic will follow for all who want to share their words.

As always, there is no cover and you are encouraged to BYOB. THC — Supporting the Arts.

September Featured Reader Christopher Krazmus

Join us on Saturday, September 28th at 7:00 as we welcome Christopher Krazmus to the Tamale Hut Cafe.

Christopher Krazmus continues releasing new editions from his coffee table story-picture book collection. This time he launches

“Evidence of Existential Alien Intelligence”

You can be pretty sure you’ll hear parts of some stories and themes like these: Science fiction? You bet. Mystery and romance. Check. Comedy? Next Question. If embarrassing stories about personal failures can be funny. If doing something half-assed is worth it, then you can say everything best comes from inspiration. That’s what this coffee table short story picture-book collection means to be. That’s sexy, spiritual, and mysterious.

After Chris reads, we will open the mic to any who want to share their words. As always, there is no cover. THC — Supporting the Arts!

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