where the writers are

Latest News & Events

Why There Are Words


Why There Are Words Literary Reading Series presents the following readers on the theme "Ignored" September 13 at Studio 333 in Sausalito, 7-9pm. $5.

David Booth

David Booth is the author Peer Participation and Software, a book about crowd-sourcing and democracy (MIT Press, 2010). His fiction has appeared in many print and online journals, including Washington Square, The Missouri Review, and The Farallon Review. David was a creative writing instructor at the University of San Francisco for 10 years. He now teaches humanities (history and language arts) at Gateway High School in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. He has just completed the first draft of a novel called The History of Adoption, where he explores child adoption and the teaching of literacy to adolescents in the United States.

Traci Chee

Traci Chee is an always-writer and sometimes-teacher. She has a graduate degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University and is looking forward to earning her teaching credential. In recent years her work has been published in The Big Stupid Review and ABJECTIVE, and her collection of short stories, Consonant Sounds for Fish Songs, is forthcoming from Aqueous Books. She lives in California, where she keeps a fast dog and a weekly blog. She likes fish and ships.

Lindsey Crittenden

Lindsey Crittenden is the author of two books: The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray and The View From Below: Stories. Her personal essays—on everything from visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin to the pitfalls of too much California sunshine—have appeared in The New York Times, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, East Bay Express, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has won national awards and been published in Glimmer Train, Bellingham Review, Quarterly West, and other publications. She lives in San Francisco, where she teaches writing at UC Berkeley Extension and through the Glen Online, blogs weekly, and is at work on a novel.

Erich Origen

Erich Origen is a New York Times bestselling humorist. His first book, Goodnight Bush, which he co-created with friend Gan Golan, was a hilarious yet poignant bedtime story about the Bush Administration, that became a breakout hit in 2008, and the book’s words were sung by jubilant choirs across the country. His second book (also created with Gan), The Adventures of Unemployed Man, a superhero parody about the economic crisis, was an international bestseller and one of the best-reviewed graphic novels of the year. Erich and Gan have teamed up again on the hilarious instant classic to create Don’t Let the Republican Drive the Bus! Erich has a special connection to this book’s soul: His mother was a charter bus driver whose livelihood was devastated by Republican union-busting. Erich studied film and television at the University of Southern California, where he won the Bernard Kantor Award for Academic Excellence. You can follow his blog at http://origen.tumblr.com/

Caroline Paul

Caroline Paul is the author of Fighting Fire, a memoir of her career as a San Francisco firefighter, and East Wind, Rain, an historical novel that takes place on the Hawaiian island of Niihau at the start of World War II. Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology will be published in April 2013.

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone is the author of the novel The True Sources of the Nile and co-author of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Future Dictionary of America, the Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers, Dedicated to the People of Darfur: Writings on Fear, Risk, and Hope, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other places.She has taught in Seoul, in Bujumbura, at San Francisco State University, at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the MFA in Writing and Consciousness, first at New College of California and later at California Institute of Integral Studies. She teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the author of the memoir A House with No Roof —After My Father’s Assassination, A Memoir, (Counterpoint Press, 2011), with an introduction by Anne Lamott. She was born in San Francisco and raised in Bolinas, California. She graduated from Scripps Women’s College Phi Beta Kappa and traveled to Scotland on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. During her time in Scotland she published her first book, Sleeping with Monsters: Conversations with Scottish and Irish Female Poets. She lives in Fairfax, California.

Sarah's Latest Blogs

Apr.30.2013 - 8:38 pm
When I'm at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference, or reading The Writer's Chronicle, I'm always amazed by how beautifully eccentric we all are, and by the...
Continue Reading »
Jan.07.2013 - 3:12 pm
I spent the morning with people whom I think about all the time, who do not know I exist, and who cannot know I exist. In their world, I do not exist, and this is part of their...
Continue Reading »
Aug.16.2012 - 5:57 pm
Nancy Au (whose own writing and art can be found at peascarrots), has done some terrific interviews for the Why There Are Words reading series. I’m reproducing our interview here...
Continue Reading »
May.25.2012 - 4:28 pm
The process of exploring a set of ideas about literary works is a treasure hunt for something that doesn’t exist until you find it. In that way, it’s just like writing fiction...
Continue Reading »

Comments from Sarah

May.31.2012 - 10:12 am
In response to: Where the Imagination Lives (the Pleasures of Hell)
Thank you, Carolyn. It may well be undersung because it involves looking at some pleasures that are very much not the...
Apr.06.2012 - 1:00 pm
In response to: Taking risks
Thank you, Liz, for this kind note, and for your own beautiful and risk-taking work. I love to see what happens when...
Sep.19.2011 - 9:52 am
In response to: Buffy, Angel, and Spike; Edward and Bella; Sookie and Bill; Louis and Lestat; and Elizabeth Costello, the ur-unvampire
So glad if the post brings you to the book. It's remarkable. Not embodied in the same visceral way as some of his other...
Feb.23.2011 - 2:20 pm
In response to: Obsessive Objects
Thanks, Carolyn -- that's what the writers who gave this panel did very beautifully, give permission to obsess, whether...
Dec.14.2010 - 11:33 am
In response to: Yes, I Do Like Your Link (A Little Too Much), Or, Why I’m Going Off the Internet for the Holidays
Thanks for this response! I love the idea of "mildly fulfilling social interaction taking earth by storm." The computer...

Published Reviews

The True Sources of the Nile
Published by The New York Times
Sarah Stone's fine first novel is about a love affair between Anne Copeland, a 37-year-old Californian doing human rights work in central Africa, and Jean-Pierre Bukimana, a...