S285. The Word on the Street: How to Start & Run a Community Literary Series

B115, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Do you run—or want to start—a reading series in your community? Most literary events are hosted by bookstores, colleges, libraries, festivals, etc. But it’s possible to host your own series outside the umbrella of a larger existing organization. Our panelists direct thriving independent literary series. From managing venues, fundraising, and publicity, to luring big-name writers to town, we’ll discuss the nuts-and-bolts of founding, running, and sustaining small community literary events.



Naomi Williams is the author of the novel Landfalls, a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle John Leonard First Book Award. Her short fiction has appeared in many journals and garnered a Pushcart Prize. She has an MA in Creative Writing from University of California, Davis, and codirects the reading series Stories on Stage Davis.

Peg Alford Pursell is the author of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow, a collection of hybrid prose, and A Girl Goes Into the Forest (forthcoming). She is the director and founder of the national reading series Why There Are Words, and of WTAW Press.

Sue Staats’s fiction and poetry have been published in the Los Angeles Review, Graze Magazine, Farallon Review, Tule Review, r.kv.r.y, and other journals. She earned her MFA at Pacific University, and curates, directs, and hosts the literary reading series Stories on Stage Sacramento.

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge and is a former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner. She is the creator of the quarterly reading series Hitched and a cofounder of Women Who Submit.

Nita Noveno


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center