THC Reading Series Presents the Winners of the 2015 THC Short Story Contest, Saturday, November 21 @ 7 PM

What a way to close out the year!

Earlier in 2015, Tamale Hut Cafe launched the second annual edition of the THC Short Story Contest. (Okay, technically it was called the Tamale Hut Cafe Writing Competition in 2014, but you know how ideas change and grow over time!) The goal: entrants had to submit their best short story in 3000 words or less in any genre. The top prize: a none-too-shabby $500 (with prizes for second and third place as well, along with two honorable mention prizes).

According to the contest organizers, there were about forty entries this year. This month, the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series is proud to host the winners of the Short Story Contest reading their award-winning entries! Who took the top prizes? You’ll have to show up to find out, but we’re excited for an excellent night of entertainment.

Just as in 2014, the entries were read and the winners selected by three notable judges:

Photo of Robert RodiRobert Rodi is the author of nine novels (most recently Baby), two memoirs (most recently Seven Seasons In Siena), and one volume of literary criticism (Bitch In A Bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austin From the Snobs, The Stiffs, The Simps, And The Saps). He has just self-published his first Young Adult novel, Parallel U., under the name Dakota Rusk. He is also an accomplished spoken-word performer and musician. He lives in Chicago with an alarming number of dogs and, somewhere among all that fur, a husband. He is old enough that if you ask where he was when Kennedy was assassinated, he will tell you. So. Don’t ask. You should, however, check out his site: www.robertrodi.com

Photo of Regina BuccolaRegina Buccola is an Associate Professor of English and a Core Faculty Member of Women’s and Gender Studies at Roosevelt University. She has a PhD in English Literature (with a concentration in Women’s Studies) from University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a MA in English Literature from the University of Kentucky, and a BA in English and Journalism. She teaches more classes than there are fingers on both hands, and has been an enthusiastic supporter of this writing competition, providing indispensable guidance and advice. Feel free to check out her full profile on the Roosevelt site: sites.roosevelt.edu/rbuccola You can also follow her on Twitter: @thelittleprof

Photo of Tina JensTina Jens teaches the Fantasy Writing courses at Columbia College-Chicago .Her short stories have appeared in numerous mass market and small press publications. the former editor and producer for Twilight Tales, she is a three-time Bram Stoker Award nominee; an International Horror Guild Award nominee; and winner of the National Federation of Press Women’s Award for Best Novel.

The evening will begin promptly at 7 p.m., and there will be an open mic after the winners’ readings, with ten-minute open mic slots available for any and all readers interested. As always, the event is free, with Tamale Hut Cafe’s food and drink available for purchase. And in case you’ve never joined us before, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

This will be our last reading event for 2015 before we reconvene in January 2016 (when we’ll celebrate Tamale Hut Cafe’s tenth anniversary), so we hope you’ll join us. See you on November 21!

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THC Reading Series Presents Gia Claire, Saturday, August 15 @ 7 PM

Author Gia Claire
Author Gia Claire

Put on your stilettos, and get ready to laugh – Tamale Hut Cafe Presents is back!

Now that we’re done with our July hiatus, the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series is happy to feature a stellar presenter for our August reading.

Anyone who’s been to any of Tamale Hut Cafe‘s comedy night events will recognize Gia Claire. What you may not know, however, is that Gia is also an author. This month, she’ll be reading selections from her memoir, Head First, a work that’s laced with the humor she’s become known for.

The reading starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, with Gia’s presentation; an open mic will follow. Admission is free, with food and drink available for purchase. And as always (because buildings don’t move), Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, just east of the intersection of Cermak and 1st Avenue.

See you on the 15th!

Author’s Bio: I am an author, speaker and stand up comedienne.  I have 20 years in corporate america as a sales leader, and currently hold a position in genetics and toxicology.    After all this time I realize the thing I am most passionate about is inspiring people to harness their personal power though mastering their thoughts.  I know we all fumble, doubt, and make mistakes, but in the end it’s all part of the journey – all part of our offering back to the world.  I like to make people laugh – to connect with them on a visceral and authentic level.  I believe all the adversity I’ve been through has led me to this very moment.  I help people break chains, barriers, get UNSTUCK, and live a life of freedom to be themselves.

Save the Date(s)! THC Reading Series Events for 2015

The Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series may have taken a break for the month of July, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have great readings planned for the rest of the year. Here’s our schedule for the rest of 2015:

Check back here close to each date for more information about the featured reader (or readers!). All readings are on Saturdays and will start at 7 p.m; as always, we’ll hold an open mic for the second half of the show.

We look forward to seeing you!

June THC Writers Group Meeting + New Blog Announcement!

Good news! Matt, the coordinator of the Tamale Hut Café Writers Group, has started a blog where he’ll be sharing announcements of upcoming meetings and recaps of meetings recently held. You can behold it for yourself in all its glory at thcwritersgroup.wordpress.com.

But just in case you came here looking for information…

The next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, June 13, at the Tamale Hut Café, starting at 2PM.  If you can attend, we’d love to see you there.

Join the group for conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of your work. All are welcome, no matter what genre you write in. Please e-mail thcwritersgroup@gmail.com for more information or to get on the distribution list. Or you can just drop by 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside on Saturday the 13th at 2PM.

Hope to see you there!

Check Out the Tamale Hut Cafe 2015 Short Story Contest!

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, for the second year in a row, Tamale Hut Cafe is holding its Short Story Contest!

Do you have a story that’s 3000 words or less and that you think is worth a nice chunk of prize money? (Or, have you been looking for some kind of external motivation to sit down and finally get that story idea banging around in your head down on paper?) Then check out the Tamale Hut Cafe 2015 Short Story Contest. It doesn’t matter what genre you work in, but it does matter 1) that you submit the story through the contest’s Submittable page by July 10, 2015, and 2) if you’re chosen as one of the top prize winners, that you can come hang out at Tamale Hut Cafe and read your story on Saturday, November 21, 2015. So take a look!

A disclaimer: we here at the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series have nothing to do with running the contest, so check out the two pages linked above if you have questions or comments for the contest organizers. However, we will be welcoming the first, second, and third place winners as our featured readers in November 2015, so we hope to see you then.

Good luck!

THC Writers Group Meeting, Saturday, May 9 @ 2 PM

Has it been a month already? The next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, May 9th, at the Tamale Hut Café, starting at 2PM.  If you can attend, we’d love to see you there.

Join the group for conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of your work. All are welcome, no matter what genre you write in. Please e-mail thcwritersgroup[at]gmail[dot]com for more information or to get on the distribution list. Or you can just drop by 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside on Saturday the 9th at 2PM.

Hope to see you there!

THC Writers Group Meeting, Saturday, April 11 @ 2 PM

The next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, April 11th, starting at 2PM.  Join the group for conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of your work. All are welcome, no matter what genre you write in. Please e-mail thcwritersgroup[at]gmail[dot]com for more information or to get on the distribution list. Or you can just drop by 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside on Saturday the 11th at 2PM.

Hope to see you there!

THC Reading Series Presents Janet Wondra, Saturday, March 28 @ 7 PM

Author Janet Wondra
Author Janet Wondra

It’s always wonderful to see familiar faces. It’s even better to see familiar faces and hear new works at the same time!

This month, we’re thrilled to welcome back Janet Wondra as our featured reader. Janet has previously delighted the THC Reading Series audience with her worldly, thoughtful poetry. This time around, she has an assortment of new fables and fairy tales to share with us; she’ll also be promoting Oyez Review, Roosevelt University’s literary magazine, of which she is the editor and publisher.

Janet’s reading will begin at 7 p.m. on March 28; an open mic will follow her presentation. As always, the event is free, and Tamale Hut Cafe will have food and drink available for purchase. For those who have never attended one of our shows, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

See you on March 28!

Author’s Bio: Janet Wondra is currently venturing into the world of narrative, writing short pieces in the vein of folk tales and fables and what might be their sly modern descendants. Her largest body of work, though, is in poetry and creative nonfiction. Her most recent poetry chapbook is Bad Attitude (Finishing Line Press), and individual poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Denver Quarterly, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Witness. Her creative nonfiction is included in Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction (Norton) and In the Middle of the Middle West: Literary Nonfiction from the Heartland (Indiana University Press) as well as in such journals as Bellingham Review and Connecticut Review. This summer her essay “Cleaning Theory” will appear as the archival feature on The Southern Review’s website. She teaches creative writing at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she is editor and publisher of Oyez Review.

THC Writers Group Meeting, Saturday, March 14 @ 2 pm

Writers! Looks like we might be getting a break in the arctic weather this week, but that just means we’re swapping frozen sidewalks for puddles from the melting snow. Put on your galoshes and join us Saturday, March 14 at 2PM at the Tamale Hut Cafe for fun conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of your work. All are welcome, no matter what genre you write in. Please e-mail thcwritersgroup[at]gmail[dot]com for more information and to get on the distribution list. Hope to see you there!

THC Writers Group Meeting, Saturday, February 14 @ 2 PM

I just had to include the first paragraph of the e-mail that Matt, coordinator of the Writers Group, sent to the distribution list: “The date of the next Tamale Hut Café Writers Group is fast approaching.  I’m not planning anything special because it’ll be Valentine’s Day, and you don’t have to bring me chocolates or flowers.  A nice card will be just fine.  You know what I like.”

No matter how you feel about chocolates, flowers, or Valentine’s Day cards (I’m partial to conversation hearts myself), the next THC Writers Group meeting will be Saturday, February 14th, starting at 2PM.  Join the group for conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of your work. All are welcome, no matter what genre you write in. Please e-mail thcwritersgroup[at]gmail[dot]com for more information or to get on the distribution list. Or you can just drop by 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside on Saturday the 14th at 2PM.

Hope you’ll visit Tamale Hut Café then for the Writing Group, and on the 21st for the next Reading Series night (more details to come)!