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!

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THC Reading Series Presents a Halloween Free-for-All, Saturday, October 25 @ 7 PM

Spooky Treet

It’s Halloween time for the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series! You might argue, based on the material that some of us read, that it always feels like Halloween with us. This time, though, it’s for real!

Instead of our usual featured reader format, we’ll be celebrating the season with an evening-long, Halloween-themed open mic. Bring your best scary stories, poems, and dramatic works (or just autumn-themed material–that’s wonderful, too) to share with our audience! This month’s reading will be held on Saturday, October 25, starting at 7 pm, with free admission and food and drink available for purchase. And because we’re feeling festive, costumes are totally welcome but not required.

Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside. Questions? Shoot us an e-mail at thcreadingseries (AT) yahoo (DOT) com.

See you on October 25!

THC Writers Group Meeting (and an Art Reception!), Saturday, September 13

Attention, writers! The Tamale Hut Cafe Writers Group will be holding its September meeting on Saturday, September 13. Join the group at 2PM 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 13th at 2PM.

Also, a special plug for later that evening: as some of you may know, Tamale Hut Cafe also serves as a kind of gallery space and every few months features the work of a different visual artist on the walls. Stephanie Bieniek, a regular face at Tamale Hut reading events (and partner extraordinaire of Writers Group coordinator Matt Bieniek) will be the next featured artist. The opening/reception for her show also will take place on Saturday, September 13th, but at 7 PM. It’s an open house, so stop by Tamale Hut Cafe and check out Stephanie’s work!

Hope to see you there for one (or both) of these events!

August 2014: No Reading, but a Writers Group Meeting, At Least!

Hello, all! Just to keep you posted as to what’s going on this month:

  1. The Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series will be taking the month of August off. Never fear; we’ll be back on September 20 with a reading featuring the author of The Hard-Boiled Detective, Ben Solomon. Keep an eye out early in September for a blog post with more details!
  2. The Tamale Hut Cafe Writers Group will, however, be holding its August meeting on Saturday, August 16. Join the group at 2PM 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 on the 16th at 2PM. Hope to see you there!

THC Reading Series Presents Lauren Jankowski, Saturday, July 26 @ 7 PM

Author Lauren Jankowski
Author Lauren Jankowski

We’re always incredibly excited when we get to present an emerging author as part of the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series. This month, it’s our pleasure to welcome fantasy author and activist Lauren Jankowski as our featured reader.

If you’ve attended a Tamale Hut reading before, you know that a lot of our regular readers are pretty darn big on the idea of writing fantasy and sci-fi stories that feature strong female characters. Given that Lauren has made it her mission to populate fantasy fiction with believable, interesting heroines (because as she says on her website, “there are never enough”), we’re happy to have her join us on the 26th. She’ll be reading from and selling the books that are part of her series The Shape Shifter Chronicles, including her debut novel, Sere from the Green.

As always, we’ll be starting off with our featured reader’s presentation at 7 p.m.; an open mic will follow. Head on out to Tamale Hut Cafe at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, grab some of the food and drink that will be available for purchase, and join us for an evening of fantasy and fun. See you on July 26th!

Author’s Bio: Lauren Jankowski has been an avid reader and a genre feminist for most of her life. She holds a B.A. in Women and Genders Studies from Beloit College. Aside from fiction, she has also dabbled in non-fiction, writing for sites like “The Next Family” and “Planet Fury.” She has been writing fiction since high school, when she noticed a lack of strong women in the popular genre books. When she’s not writing or researching, she enjoys reading (particularly anything relating to ancient myths) or playing with her pets. She also participates in activism for asexual visibility and feminist causes. She enjoys speaking about genre feminism, a topic she is quite passionate about, and hopes to bring more strong heroines to literature. Her debut novel was “Sere from the Green,” the first volume in her ongoing series “The Shape Shifter Chronicles.”

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

Writers! We have another double-header this month, with the Writer’s Group meeting on the same day as the Reading Series! Join us Saturday, June 14, at 2PM at Tamale Hut Cafe, 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside, 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 or to get on the distribution list. Or you can just drop by on the 10th at 2PM. Hope to see you for the writers group, the Tamale Hut Cafe Presents reading that night, or both!

THC Reading Series Presents the Winners of the THC Writing Competition, Saturday, June 14 @ 7 PM

Something a little different this month for the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series: not one, not two, but three featured readers, and a night of prizes and surprises.

Earlier this year, Chris Krazmus, a familiar face around Tamale Hut Cafe, launched the first ever Tamale Hut Cafe Writing Competition. Saturday, June 14, will be the date that the winners are announced, and they’ll be announced as part of this month’s THC Reading Series event, with the first, second, and third-place contestants getting called up to the mic to share their prize-winning stories.

The entries were judged by three esteemed Chicago-area writing professionals and friends of the Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series:

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.

Come for the prize winners; stay for the open mic afterward! The reading begins at 7 p.m., and food and drink will be available for purchase. And as always, Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside.

See you on June 14th!

A Tamale Hut Doubleheader on February 8: Reading Event with Michael Matula + Writers Group Meeting

What can we say? We like to pile it on.

On Saturday, February 8, Tamale Hut Cafe will be hosting two writing-related events. First of all, the THC Writers Group will be gathering at 2PM at Tamale Hut Cafe for fun conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of each others’ 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 on the 11th at 2PM.

Then, at 7 PM, the THC Reading Series will be holding its regular event for the month of February. Our featured reader for the evening will be Michael Matula, a suspense and horror writer who has been entertaining us during the Reading Series open mics for the past several months. Join us as Michael reads from his published works! Stay for the open mic!

As always, both the Writers Group meeting and the Reading Series event are free to attend, with food and drink available for purchase. Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside. Whether you visit at 2 PM or at 7 PM or just hang out for the whole day, we’ll see you on February 8!

Author Michael Matula
Author Michael Matula

Featured Reader Bio: Michael Matula is a thriller novelist and story writer from just outside of Chicago, IL. He once dreamed of being a comic book artist, sketching pictures and caption bubbles in class when he really should have been studying. Unable to draw fast enough to keep up with all the ideas and storylines he came up with, he wrote out a side story for one of his characters. He ended up falling in love with writing and never really looked back. His first novel, Try Not to Burn, was published by Post Mortem Press, and has been called a “mash-up of The Matrix and Dante’s Inferno.” His short fiction has been published by Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine and DarkFuse, and also appeared in Wrapped in Red, an anthology from Sekhmet Press.

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

Writers! It’s almost time for the January meeting of the THC Writers Group. Dig yourselves out of the snow and come join us Saturday, January 11 at 2PM at the Tamale Hut Cafe for fun conversation, camaraderie, and a little constructive criticism of each others’ 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 on the 11th at 2PM. Hope to see you there!