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Lit Boston: What's Happening in October?

In the October 2020 edition of "Best of Boston," we bring you our top Boston lit events this month, taking place virtually. See below for our list of local literary happenings.

 

Virtual Event: Joanna Schaffhausen in conversation with Edwin Hill

Thursday, October 1st at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books in welcoming Joanna Schaffhausen, in conversation with Edwin Hill (The Missing Ones), for a discussion of her latest book All the Best Lies. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Andrea Hairston with Daniel José Older

Thursday, October 1st at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0-$5

A Virtual Event by Porter Square Books

Porter Square Books is pleased to present a virtual talk with Andrea Hairston, author of Master of Poisons, in conversation with Daniel José Olde. Award-winning author Andrea Hairston weaves together African folktales and postcolonial literature into unforgettable fantasy in Master of Poisons. This event is hosted on Crowdcast, and is free and open to all. RSVP here.

 

Lambda LitFest: A Weeklong Celebration of Queer Black Artistry

Monday, October 5th - Friday, October 9th | Event Fee: $0 (Space is limited and registration is required)

A Virtual Event by Lambda Literary

Lambda LitFest is back for its fourth year with a week-long festival that will celebrate and defend Black LGBTQ lives. Join over 20 BIPOC LGBTQIA+ writers in conversations on art-making, joy, and how to dismantle a white supremacist, ableist, cisgender, heteronormative world. More info here.

 

Boston Book Festival

Monday, October 5th - Sunday, October 25th | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by the Boston Book Festival

The Boston Book Festival presents New England's largest literary festival, as well as other events year-round. Registration is now available for all #BBF2020 live-streamed sessions on Crowdcast. Save your spot today! More info here.

 

Virtual Event: Sigrid Nunez

Monday, October 5th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed novelist Sigrid Nunez — author of the National Book Award–winning novel, The Friend — for a discussion of her latest novel, What Are You Going Through. She will be joined in conversation by Emily Gould, author of the novels Friendship and Perfect Tunes. RSVP here.

 

WDtS Egleston: Writing the Body (Remote)

Tuesday, October 6th from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM | Workshop Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

As part of GrubStreet's Write Down the Street community program, writers based near the Egleston or Mattapan Branches of the Boston Public Library can take this free drop-in class. This ninety-minute class will seek to shift writing from a brain-based activity to one that is grounded in our physical bodies. We will begin with an optional guided breathing exercise to drop into our bodies, then move into writing exercises that explore the connections between different sensations, emotions, and body parts. Learn more and register here.

 

Virtual Event: Jazmina Barrera in conversation with Sally Snowman

Tuesday, October 6th at 4:30 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Boston Harbor Now

Join Boston Harbor Now for a discussion of lighthouses and harboring with authors Jazmina Barrera and Sally Snowman. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Jorie Graham

Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes poet Jorie Graham — author of over a dozen poetry collections including the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Dream of a Unified Field — for a discussion of her latest collection of original work, Runaway: New Poems. She will be joined in conversation by fellow Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Transnational Literature Series: Launch for Grieving by Cristina Rivera Garza with Sarah Booker and Lina Meruane

Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 – $24.95

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith and Deep Vellum Books

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith and Deep Vellum Books for the English-language launch of Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country by Cristina Rivera Garza, translated by Sarah Booker, in conversation with Lina Meruane. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Catherine Grace Katz

Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes historian Catherine Grace Katz for a discussion of her debut book, The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War. She will be joined in conversation by Jeffrey Toobin, chief legal analyst at CNN and author of True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump. RSVP here.

 

GrubStreet’s Lit Up Gala 2020

Wednesday, October 7th from 7:30 PM to 8:15 PM | Event Fee: Pay What You Will (starting at $1)

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

Join bestselling author and Grubby Award Winner Celeste Ng and comedian and emcee Bethany Van Delft at Lit Up, GrubStreet's annual literary showcase and fundraising gala. This year's online event will be on a "pay what you will" basis. The program will include performances by local writers, an exclusive "behind the scenes" with Celeste Ng, and a chance to bid on exciting items. Read more about the work you're supporting and buy your tickets here.

 

First Line Frenzy Deluxe: Editors Critique Your First Paragraph

Thursday, October 8th at 1:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Reedsy

Join literary agent and freelance book editor Jon Michael Darga, and First Line Frenzy creator and freelance book editor Rebecca Heyman, for an hour of in-depth, incisive, educational first-paragraph critiques. Using samples sourced from our audience, Jon and Rebecca will discuss how best to activate voice, conflict, and world-building in just the first 150 words of your book. For more information click here.

 

Writer-in-Residence Virtual Reading 2020

Thursday, October 8th at 6:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Associates of the Boston Public Library

Please join Associates of the Boston Public Library for a virtual reading welcoming the 2020-2021 Writer-in-Residence, Autumn Allen, and celebrating outgoing 2019-2020 Writer-in-Residence, Shawna Thomas. Both writers will read from their respective manuscripts. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: David Michaelis

Thursday, October 8th at 6:00 PM | Event Fee: $0-$5

A Virtual Event by Porter Square Books

Join Porter Square Books in welcoming David Michaelis for a talk on his new biography, Eleanor: A Life. This event is hosted in partnership with the American Inspiration series of American Ancestors NEHGS and the State Library of Massachusetts. This event is hosted on Crowdcast, and is free and open to all. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Susan Minot

Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Susan Minot — author of the acclaimed, bestselling novels Monkeys and Evening — for a discussion of her latest story collection, Why I Don't Write. She will be joined in conversation by Amy Hempel, author of Reasons to Live and Sing to It. RSVP here.

 

Literary Oases with Marjan Kamali

Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Fall for the Book

Novelist Marjan Kamali discusses a literary oasis in the heart of revolutionary Tehran in this free, virtual Fall for the Book event. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Mathias Risse

Friday, October 9th at 12:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Harvard Book Store and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics welcome Mathias Risse — Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University — for a discussion of his latest book, On Justice: Philosophy, History, Foundations. He will be joined in conversation by Eric Beerbohm, Professor of Government and Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University and author of In Our Name: The Ethics of Democracy. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Eileen Myles

Friday, October 9th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned, award-winning poet Eileen Myles — author of over twenty volumes of poetry as well as the acclaimed memoir, Afterglow — for a discussion of their book-length essay, For Now. RSVP here.

 

Free Virtual Poetry Workshop with Marcus Jackson

Saturday, October 10th at 1:30 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Ohio Poetry Association

Join the Ohio Poetry Association for a free contemporary poetry workshop with poet Marcus Jackson. This event is free and open to the public. Registration closes on Friday, October 9th, at 9 PM EDT. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: V. E. Schwab with Holly Black

Sunday, October 11th at 6:00 PM | Event Fee: $27

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Brookline Booksmith welcomes acclaimed author V.E. Schwab for a discussion of her latest book, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, in conversation with NYT bestselling author Holly Black. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Antony Johnston with Greg Rucka

Monday, October 12th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 – $33.95

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Join Brookline Booksmith in welcoming graphic novel greats Antony Johnston and Greg Rucka as they celebrate Johnston's debut thriller The Exphoria Code. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Sinan Aral

Monday, October 12th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Sinan Aral — David Austin Professor of Management at MIT and founding partner at Manifest Capital — for a discussion of his book The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health — and How We Must Adapt. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Transnational Literature Series: Namwali Serpell with Chris Abani

Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 – $23.95

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for a conversation with Namwali Serpell and Chris Abani. They'll be discussing Namwali Serpell's Stranger Faces. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Moira Weigel and Ben Tarnoff

Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Logic Magazine co-founders Moira Weigel and Ben Tarnoff for a discussion of their co-edited book, Voices from the Valley: Tech Workers Talk About What They Do—and How They Do It. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Page Dickey in conversation with Bill Noble

Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for a conversation about gardening and transitions, between Page Dickey and Bill Noble, about Page's new book, Uprooted: A Gardener Reflects on Beginning Again. RSVP here.

 

FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series

Wednesday, October 14th from 12:30 PM to 1:15 PM | Workshop Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

Looking for some virtual midweek writing community? Or do you have a schedule that gives you free afternoons instead of evenings? Join our FREE Brown Bag Lunch Writing Series live via easy to use video conferencing. For 45 minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some cool writing exercises. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

Wednesday, October 14th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for an event with Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross. They'll be discussing their book, A Black Women's History of the United States, as well as playing Two Truths and a Lie. RSVP here.

 

WDtS Egleston: Decolonizing (Y)our Writing (Remote)

Thursdays, starting October 15th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM | Workshop Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

As part of GrubStreet's Write Down the Street community program, writers based near the Egleston or Mattapan Branches of the Boston Public Library can take this free drop-in class. So many of us who have experienced the effects of colonization on our homes — but how have we, and in turn, our writing, been colonized? ¿Escribimos en el lenguaje del colonizador? ¿Seguimos reglas de escritura que no hacen sentido para nuestras experiencias? Este taller de escritura de seis semanas será totalmente bilingüe en español y en inglés para mejor explorar como descolonizar nuestra escritura. Learn more and register here.

 

2020 MAAH Stone Book Award Virtual Ceremony

Thursday, October 15th at 6:30 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by the Museum of African American History (MAAH) and The James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation

Join MAAH Stone for their Virtual Award Ceremony hosted by WGBH Under the Radar’s Callie Crossley and produced in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.They will be honoring Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism by Jelani M. Favors. Click here for more details.

 

Virtual Event: Daniel Mendelsohn

Thursday, October 15th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Daniel Mendelsohn — author of the National Book Critics Circle Award–winning books Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture and The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million — for a discussion of his latest book, Three Rings: A Tale of Exile, Narrative, and Fate. He will be joined in conversation by James Wood, author of How Fiction Works. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Eddie R. Cole

Friday, October 16th at 12:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Eddie R. Cole — an associate professor of higher education and organizational change at UCLA — for a discussion of his book The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Anaïs Duplan

Friday, October 16th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 ($3 contribution suggested)

A Virtual Event by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Anaïs Duplan — author of the poetry collections Take This Stallion and Mount Carmel & the Blood of Parnassus — for a discussion of his latest book, Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture. He will be joined in conversation by Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us. RSVP here.

 

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): FREE Saturday Sessions for Teens

Saturday, October 17th from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM | Workshop Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

If you love storytelling, have always wanted to write a novel, and are keen to turn off that inner editor who might be holding you back, then sign up for NaNoWriMo: YAWP Edition. Analyze the root of the voices that "live" in our heads and bring them to the forefront in your work in Releasing the Oppression in Our Minds. Create memorable monsters, unforgettable atmospheres, and suspenseful twists and turns in plot that are the hallmarks of the scary story in Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark. Learn more and register here.

 

Virtual Event: Rebecca Roanhorse with Ken Liu

Monday, October 19th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $28 – $36

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Join Brookline Booksmith for a conversation with Rebecca Roanhorse and Ken Liu. They'll be discussing Rebecca Roanhorse’s new novel, Black Sun. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Elizabeth Lesser in conversation with Madeline Miller

Tuesday, October 20th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for a great conversation between Elizabeth Lesser, author of Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes, and Madeline Miller, author of Circe. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Pamela Sneed

Tuesday, October 20th at 8:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 – $24.95

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Join Brookline Booksmith in welcoming Pamela Sneed as she launches Funeral Diva, her essay-and-poetry memoir of coming of age during the AIDS crisis. RSVP here.

 

Tasveer South Asian Litfest

Tuesday, October 20th – Sunday, Oct 25th | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Tasveer

Tasveer is celebrating their second annual Tasveer South Asian Litfest (TSAL) virtually from October 20-25, 2020. This free event will feature South Asian writers participating in unique virtual events focused on various themes through book readings, panel discussions, and Q&A. For more information click here.

 

Virtual Event: Transnational Literature Series: Xiaolu Guo with John Freeman

Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith and Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith and Seminary Co-op Bookstores for a virtual event with Xiaolu Guo and John Freeman to discuss Guo's latest book, A Lover’s Discourse. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Lynda Cohen Loigman in conversation with Jenna Blum

Thursday, October 22nd at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for a great conversation between Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Wartime Sisters, and Jenna Blum, author of The Lost Family. RSVP here.

 

FREE Happy Hour Writing Session

Friday, October 23rd from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM | Workshop Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by GrubStreet

Leave work behind on Friday, October 23rd, from 5:30pm-6:30pm, grab a snack and/or your favorite after-work beverage, and log into GrubStreet Remote for some writing! In 60 jam-packed minutes, you’ll meet fellow writers and get your creative juices flowing with some great writing exercises. RSVP here.

 

Book Launch: Women in the Waiting Room by Kirun Kapur

Sunday, October 25th at 2:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by 5x15

Join 5x15 for this very special online conversation to launch Kirun Kapur's newest book, Women in the Waiting Room (Black Lawrence Press), a finalist for the National Poetry Series. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Women in Horror

Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for their Women in Horror panel with Elisabeth Thomas (Catherine House), Alexis Henderson (The Year of Witching), and Zoje Stage (Wonderland). The panel will be moderated by Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon). RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Shruti Swamy in conversation with Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for a great conversation between Shruti Swamy, author of A House is a Body: Stories, and Chaya Bhuvaneswar, author of White Dancing Elephants. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Transnational Literature Series: Evening of Poetry with Éireann Lorsung, Valzhyna Mort, and Khaled Mattawa

Wednesday, October 28th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0 – $33

A Virtual Event by Brookline Booksmith

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for an evening of poetry with Éireann Lorsung, Valzhyna Mort, and Khaled Mattawa. RSVP here.

 

Virtual Event: Craft on Draft: Turning Research Into Compelling Stories

Thursday, October 29th at 7:00 PM | Event Fee: $0

A Virtual Event by Belmont Books

Join Belmont Books for a Craft on Draft virtual event with authors Jeffrey Colvin, Daphne Kalotay, and Rishi Reddi, who will discuss using research to craft authentic fiction that engages contemporary readers. RSVP here.

About the Author

GrubWrites is a space for the writing and reading community to share ideas and seek advice, a place where writers at the very beginning of their careers publish alongside established authors. Book lovers, we bring you reviews, recommendations, and conversations with exciting new authors to keep you up to speed on all things lit. Writers, this is your one stop shop for expert craft talk, opinions on how we learn and teach writing, and essential advice about the publishing industry.

Plus, we want to hear from you! Our ongoing call for submissions is open to literary community members of all types and persuasions. We want to hear from students, teachers, authors, readers, editors, agents, publicists, and any devotee of the written word. If you have something to say about writing, reading, the publishing industry, or anything related to the literary world, this is the place to voice it. We’re particularly committed to advocating for a diverse range of voices in the literary marketplace and raising the visibility of writers from under-represented communities.

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