THC Reading Series 3/19



The featured reader for our March event will be Helios contributor and THC regular, Nathan M. Beauchamp.

Nathan started writing stories at seven-years-old and never stopped. From his first grisly stories about carnivorous catfish, mole detectives, and cyborg housecats, his interests have always emphasized the strange. Nathan works in finance so that he can support his habit of putting words together in the hope that someone will read them. His hobbies include reading, photography, arguing for sport, and pondering the eventual heat death of the universe. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two young boys.

The Reading Series will begin at 7:00 pm with Nathan, followed by an Open Mic. As always, there is no cover. BYOB. THC — Supporting the arts!

Bill Hillman


Our next Tamale Hut Reading Series event will be on Saturday, February 20th at 7pm when we will welcome Bill Hillman as our featured reader.

Bill is the author of the award-winning, internationally-acclaimed novel The Old Neighborhood. He’s appeared on NBC’s Today, CNN International and BBC World Service talking about his acclaimed memoir Mozos: A Decade Running With the Bulls of Spain. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and on NPR.

After Bill, we will open up the mic for anyone who would like to share their words.

As always there is no cover and no minimum purchase. THC — Supporting the Arts!


Germania Solorzano


Germania  Solorzano is a work in progress.  She likes curmudgeonly older folk who tell good stories.  Although she was born and raised in Chicago, she was conceived in Nicaragua and believes that must mean something.
Germania also has the distinction of being the very first reader at Tamale Hut’s Reading Series and will be joining us again to celebrate 10 years of tamales, tinga, and the arts.
Stop by this Saturday, January 16th at 7pm and hear for yourself why she is so special.


Tamale Hut Cafe was opened on January 16, 2006. What better way to celebrate our first decade in business than by bringing back our first ever Reading Series featured reader — Germania Solorzano? C’mon down and hear her stories followed by an open mic. The festivities will begin at 7pm on Saturday, January 16th.

10 Years of Tamales!

Tamale Hut Cafe opened on January 16, 2006. What better way to celebrate than by bringing back the first ever Reading Series featured reader Germania Solarzano? C’mon down and hear her stories, have a piece of cake, and stick around for open mic. Festivities begin at 7pm on Saturday, January 16, 2016.

Check out Tamale Hut Café Writers at the 2015 Chicago Book Expo!

Next Saturday, November 21, in addition to our end-of-the-year extravaganza reading featuring the winners of the Tamale Hut Café Short Story Contest, we’ll also be involved in another Chicago-area literary event: the 2015 Chicago Book Expo at Columbia College. The table is officially under the banner of the Tamale Hut Café Writers Group (for which we have the wonderful Matt to thank for coordinating this whole thing!). Along with Matt and writing group regular Marianne Koerfer, you’ll see a couple of familiar faces from the Tamale Hut Café Reading Series–Phil Reebius and Michael Penkas–selling their books and chatting with people.

The Chicago Book Expo is an excellent opportunity to check out independent publishers and authors and learn about other literary events in Chicagoland. And, hey, if you happen to want to swing over to Tamale Hut Café and join us for our last reading of the year afterward, we wouldn’t be sad to see you there, either.

Have fun, and happy reading!

Note: Change of Time, THC Writers Group Meeting, November 14

Just a quick note for anyone planning on attending the November meeting of the Tamale Hut Cafe Writers Group: Matt has sent word that the restaurant’s space will be booked later in the day, so the meeting will be starting at 1 pm instead of the usual 2 pm. You can find more information about the November 14 meeting (and about the group in general) on the Tamale Hut Cafe Writers Group blog. Thanks, Matt!

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:

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: 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!

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 and keep up with Brendan’s other activities at