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 John McNally, Saturday, October 17 @ 7 PM

McNally book coverWhen a book has a title like Lord of the Ralphs, how can you resist?

This month, we’re delighted to welcome author John McNally back to Tamale Hut Cafe Presents. McNally, a former resident of Burbank, Illinois, made his daring escape from the Great Midwest years ago. Currently, he resides in Louisiana and teaches as the Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana – Lafayette. We’re not quite sure if it’s the Italian beef or the Chicago-style hot dogs that have pulled him back here (or, you know, his friends and professional contacts); either way, we’re quite happy that Tamale Hut Cafe will be one of his stops on his fall book tour as he promotes his new young adult novel, Lord of the Ralphs.

The reading will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, with McNally’s presentation; an open mic will follow. As always, the event is free, with food and drink available for purchase. And for those who have never joined us (It’s a great month! Bring a ghost story!), Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

See you on October 17!

Author John McNally
Author John McNally

Author’s Bio: John McNally is the author of three novels (The Book of Ralph, America’s Report Card, and After the Workshop), two story collections (Troublemakers and Ghosts of Chicago), and two books on writing (The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide and Vivid and Continuous). His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in over a hundred magazines, anthologies, textbooks, and newspapers, including Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. His new book, Lord of the Ralphs, is his first Young Adult novel. A native of Burbank, Illinois, he is Professor and Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, where he now lives.

THC Reading Series Presents Brendan Detzner, Saturday, September 19 @ 7 PM

Author Brendan Detzner
Author Brendan Detzner

If you’ve been to a Tamale Hut Presents reading any time within the past few years, you know Brendan Detzner. And if you don’t know Brendan Detzner,  you’ve been missing out on some excellent horror stories.

Brendan has a new short story collection, Beasts, coming out at the beginning of October. This month, we’re giving him the spotlight so that he can show us what he’s been working on. If you like your stories surreal, amusing, and incredibly haunting–well, you’re probably a regular guest at our readings, to be honest. But this is definitely the month for you.

The reading will begin at 7 p.m. with Brendan’s presentation; an open mic for writers in all genres and fields will follow. As always, admission is free, with food and drink available for purchase. And for those who have never joined us, 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 19th!

Author’s Bio: Brendan Detzner‘s work is sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and usually very strange. His work has appeared in Chzine, Pseudopod, Bizarrocast, One Buck Horror, the Twilight Tales anthology “Book of Dead Things”, the Dark House Press anthology “Exigencies”, and a bunch of other places. He runs the Bad Grammar Theater reading series in Chicago. You can look up Bad Grammar at www.badgrammartheater.com and keep up with Brendan’s other activities at www.brendandetzner.com.

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!

THC Reading Series Presents Alexei Collier (and Haiku Night!), Saturday, June 20 @ 7 PM

Author Alexei Collier
Author Alexei Collier

This month, the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series offers up a little bit of the good and familiar with a little bit of something kinda new.

If you’ve been to our readings before, then you’ve probably heard Alexei Collier (or just Alex) read during the open mic. His fantasy and science fiction stories always have an epic feel to them, so for June, we’re quite happy to see where his stories bring us when he takes the floor as our featured reader.

And then there’s the other thing: during a previous reading, a bunch of us had a good laugh at the idea of doing a Haiku Night. Well, last month, several of our readers went for it, so this month, we’re making it official: bring your haiku, and join us for the open mic! Keep in mind, this is totally optional. Readers are welcome to read anything they’ve written that will fit within the ten-minute open mic slots. We just think that haiku is fun and so are encouraging people to share whatever they’ve got.

Another note about this reading: we’ll be taking the month of July off and returning in August, so come see us one more time before we all head off on summer vacation!

And if all of that wasn’t enough motivation to get you out to THC (this is the last note, I promise), this will be the last Tamale Hut Cafe reading with the inimitable Jenny Seay at the helm before she heads west for the next chapter in her life. Come celebrate this gal with us!

As always, the reading will start at 7 p.m. with Alex’s presentation; the open mic will follow. Tamale Hut Cafe’s food and drink will of course be available for purchase. And if you haven’t been here before, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

See you at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 20!

Author’s Bio: Alexei Collier grew up in sunny Southern California, but now lives across the street from Chicago with his wife and their cat. His short fiction has been published by Cicada, Ideomancer, and Tales to Terrify, and he is currently seeking an agent for his completed fantasy novel, The Stepping Stones.

THC Reading Series Presents the ‘Exigencies’ Showcase, Saturday, May 16 @ 7 PM

Every now and then, we hold a reading event that showcases several featured readers instead of just one. That’s what Tamale Hut Cafe Presents has in store for you this month.

Exigencies has been dubbed a “neo-noir anthology,” a collection of short stories tinged with urgency and suspense. For our May reading, we’ll be featuring two of the authors with stories in this collection: Chicago-area writer Nathan M. Beauchamp and one of the many familiar faces at our readings, Brendan Detzner.

It’s sure to be a nail-biting time (unless nail biting is a habit you’ve worked hard to give up on), so come out and join us! The reading will start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, with the featured readers; an open mic will follow. As always, admission is free, and there will be Tamale Hut Cafe’s food and drink available for purchase. And just for your reference, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

See you on the 16th!

Author Bios:

Author Nathan M. Beauchamp
Author Nathan M. Beauchamp

Nathan M. Beauchamp is a short fiction and novel writer who lives in Chicago with his wife and two young boys. His short fiction has appeared in Spark: A Creative Anthology, Pantheon Magazine, Under the Bed, The Big Adios and the Exigencies anthology. Chimera, Nathan’s YA science fiction novel, is available on Amazon. Nathan holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Western State University.

Brendan
Author Brendan Detzner

Brendan Detzner‘s work is sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and usually very strange. His work has appeared in Chzine, Pseudopod, Bizarrocast, One Buck Horror, the Twilight Tales anthology “Book of Dead Things”, the Dark House Press anthology “Exigencies”, and a bunch of other places. He runs the Bad Grammar Theater reading series in Chicago. You can look up Bad Grammar at http://www.badgrammartheater.com and keep up with Brendan’s other activities at http://www.brendandetzner.com.

THC Reading Series Presents Ted Morrissey, Saturday, April 18 @ 7 PM

Author Ted Morrissey
Author Ted Morrissey

Nope, we didn’t mistakenly duplicate an earlier post; we’re just getting our revenge on Mother Nature.

Author Ted Morrissey was scheduled to be our February featured reader, but the weather conspired against him and kept him from joining us that evening. This month, we’re giving it another go and welcoming him to Tamale Hut Cafe to be our featured reader for the month of April!

Ted has a long literary history that includes establishing the literary journal A Summer’s Reading in the late ’90s and later earning his Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University. An author with a penchant for revisionist fiction, he’ll be joining us on Saturday, April 18, to read from one of his history-based novels. He’ll also have copies of his works available.

The reading will start at 7 p.m. with Ted’s presentation; an open mic will follow. As always, the event is free to attend, with food and drink available for purchase. And just in case you haven’t been here before, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, Illinois.

See you on April 18!

Author’s Bio: Ted Morrissey is the author of four books of fiction, including the novels Men of Winter and An Untimely Frost, as well as stories and essays in more than thirty journals, among them Glimmer Train, Prick of the Spindle, Writers Ask and the North American Review. A Ph.D. in English studies, he’s also published The Beowulf Poet and His Real Monsters, which won the D. Simon Evans Prize for distinguished scholarship. He lives with his wife Melissa near Springfield, Illinois. Together they have five adult children and a rescued terrier-poodle-Lord-only-knows mix named Einstein. Visit at tedmorrissey.com.

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 Reading Series Presents Ted Morrissey, Saturday, February 21 @ 7 PM

Author Ted Morrissey
Author Ted Morrissey

While we were wandering the Chicago Book Expo in December, we had opportunities to speak with several authors. This month, we’re happy to say that we’ll be featuring one of the authors we had the pleasure to meet: Ted Morrissey!

Ted has a long literary history that includes establishing the literary journal A Summer’s Reading in the late ’90s and later earning his Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University. An author with a penchant for revisionist fiction, he’ll be joining us on Saturday, February 21, to read from his historically based (and aptly named, at least for this time of year) novel An Untimely Frost. He’ll also have copies of his works available.

The reading will start at 7 p.m. with Ted’s presentation; an open mic will follow. As always, the event is free to attend, with food and drink available for purchase. And just in case you haven’t been here before, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, Illinois.

See you on February 21!

Author’s Bio: Ted Morrissey is the author of four books of fiction, including the novels Men of Winter and An Untimely Frost, as well as stories and essays in more than thirty journals, among them Glimmer Train, Prick of the Spindle, Writers Ask and the North American Review. A Ph.D. in English studies, he’s also published The Beowulf Poet and His Real Monsters, which won the D. Simon Evans Prize for distinguished scholarship. He lives with his wife Melissa near Springfield, Illinois. Together they have five adult children and a rescued terrier-poodle-Lord-only-knows mix named Einstein. Visit at tedmorrissey.com.