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 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!

Our featured reader for May 25: Robert Rodi!

RobertRodi_authorphoto
Author Robert Rodi

I know that we already made a post announcing the date and time of our May reading event (this Saturday, May 25, at 7 p.m.!), but we also like to tout the artistic triumphs of those authors who graciously agree to be our featured readers. So to whet your metaphorical appetite for Saturday’s reading, below you’ll find the official bio for our May reader, Robert Rodi.

Just a reminder: Tamale Hut Cafe is located at 8300 W. Cermak Road in North Riverside. This reading event is free and BYOB, with tamales and tinga available for purchase and an open mic to follow the featured reader’s presentation. See you Saturday!

Author’s Bio:

Robert Rodi was born in Chicago in the conformist 1950s, grew up in the insurrectionist 1960s, came of age in the hedonist 1970s, and went to work in the elitist 1980s. This roller-coaster ride has left him with a distinct aversion to isms of any kind; it also left him with an ear for hypocrisy, cant, and platitudes that allowed him, in the 1990s, to become a much-lauded social satirist.

After seven acclaimed novels set in the gay milieu (Fag Hag, Closet Case, What They Did to Princess Paragon, Drag Queen, Kept Boy, Bitch Goddess and When You Were Me), Robert grew restless for new challenges and decided to re-brand himself as an author of nonfiction. His first endeavor, Dogged Pursuit: My Year of Competing Dusty, the World’s Least Likely Agility Dog, was released by Hudson Street Press in 2009. His newest effort, Seven Seasons In Siena: My Quixotic Quest for Acceptance Among Italy’s Proudest People, is a 2011 release from Ballantine Books.

He is also republishing his early novels under the heading Robert Rodi Essentials, and has also released two original novels, The Sugarman Bootlegs and Baby. All are available as digital ebooks and traditional trade paperbacks.

Robert is the creator of several comic-book series, including Codename: Knockout and The Crossovers, and he has written a number of series for Marvel, including Elektra, Rogue, Tomb of Dracula, Astonishing Thor, Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, and Thor: For Asgard.

Robert’s shorter fiction can be found in a number of anthologies, including Men On Men 5, His, and Sandman: Book of Dreams, and his novella Glad, Gladder, Gladys was serialized online at USAToday.com. His literary criticism has appeared in the pages of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, NewCity, and The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review. He blogs about the Chicago performing arts scene for The Huffington Post, and pens his own self-proclaimed “guerilla lit-crit” blog on Jane Austen, Bitch In a Bonnet—the first three years of which have been collected in book form.

He was a founding member of the Chicago-based performance art troupe, The Pansy Kings, who were active throughout the 1990s, and he wrote sketches for the Live Bait Theater’s revues Junk Food and Dear Jackie: The Queen of Camelot Remembered. Recently he became an auxiliary member of the monologuist ensemble BoyGirlBoyGirl.

Robert still lives in Chicago, in a century-old Queen Anne house with his partner Jeffrey Smith and a constantly shifting number of dogs.

Save the Date! THC Reading Series Presents Robert Rodi, Saturday, May 25 @ 7 PM

We took the month of April off, but now, we’re back! The Tamale Hut Cafe Reading Series returns on May 25, and we’re proud to have Robert Rodi join us as our featured reader. Mr Rodi’s a gifted and long-established Chicago writer and storyteller who works in prose, comics, and music. An official biography will be coming in the following days, but if you’re curious and can’t wait, please visit his official site to get an idea of the fun that lies ahead.

As always, the reading starts at 7 pm with an open mic to follow the featured reader’s presentation. Hope to see you there!