Loading…
This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.

Log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Tuesday, April 17
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit: Dictionary Stories—Short Fictions and Other Findings by Jez Burrows
Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings by Jez Burrows is a collection of very short stories composed entirely of example sentences from various dictionaries and accompanied by whimsical, minimalist drawings by the author.
“Burrows has a talent for a delightfully askew existentialism…wickedly short...exquisitely rendered... A fabulist remix of the English language and a tribute to clever lexicographers everywhere.” — Kirkus Reviews

Authors
avatar for Jez Burrows

Jez Burrows

Jez Burrows is a British designer, illustrator, and writer. After studying graphic design at the University of Brighton, he spent three years designing books, identities, posters, maps, and playing cards; and creating illustrations for clients including The New York Times, Nike... Read More →
avatar for Jane Solomon

Jane Solomon

Jane Solomon is a lexicographer based in Oakland, CA. She spends her days writing definitions and working on various projects for Dictionary.com. In the past, she’s worked with other dictionary publishers including Cambridge, HarperCollins, Oxford, and Scholastic. Jane is a coauthor... Read More →



Tuesday April 17, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Tuesday, May 15
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit: Hippie Food—How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman
This enlightening narrative history—an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan— traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream and created a distinctly American cuisine. Kauffman will be in conversation with journalist Denise Sullivan. Doors open at 11:30 am, event begins promptly at 12 noon.
“An outstanding food and cultural history…In this informative, briskly paced first book…Kauffman is equally thorough in tracing how these early innovators inspired the food co-ops and whole food stores that exist today.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Tuesday May 15, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Tuesday, June 5
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit:Chasing Mercury—A Novel by September Williams
FREE!

An epileptic Black ballerina and a Powwow dancer meet in the Montreal Airport. They are both scheduled to perform in 1973 Cold War Berlin. During the transatlantic crossing their love evolves. On a long layover in Zurich, he stuns her by depositing many hundreds of thousands of dollars into his Swiss bank account, to which he adds her name with no true explanation. Is she an accomplice to something, or is this just love in the time of mercury poisoning?

September Williams’ debut novel is a romance-suspense-memoir that connects human rights, environmental justice and romance. Williams is also a Bay Area physician, bioethicist, and filmmaker.

Authors
avatar for September Williams

September Williams

September Williams is an American physician-writer, bioethicist and filmmaker. Her work exist in a realm punctuated by the diversity of her clinical practice and life. She focuses on promoting resilience for people who are ill, aging, dying, or stressed by environmental and humanitarian... Read More →



Tuesday June 5, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Saturday, June 9
 

7:30pm

Lit Cast Live—Jennifer Egan at Green Apple Books on the Park
FREE!

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.

Authors
avatar for Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection.  Her new novel, Manhattan Beach, published last fall, has been awarded the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.  Her last novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize... Read More →



Saturday June 9, 2018 7:30pm - TBA
Green Apple Books on the Park 1231 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
 
Tuesday, June 12
 

12:30pm

Poetic Tuesday–June
FREE!

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

This year see’s a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology Learn Then Burn, and other publications.



Authors
avatar for Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is author of Amulet (2013, Write Bloody Press). A Saint Mary’s MFA grad, he is currently program manager for Kearny Street Workshop.



Tuesday June 12, 2018 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco, CA 94103
 
Tuesday, July 10
 

12:30pm

Poetic Tuesday–July
FREE!

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

This year see’s a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology Learn Then Burn, and other publications.

Learn more here.


Authors
avatar for Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is author of Amulet (2013, Write Bloody Press). A Saint Mary’s MFA grad, he is currently program manager for Kearny Street Workshop.



Tuesday July 10, 2018 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco, CA 94103
 
Tuesday, July 24
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit: On Doing Nothing by Roman Muradov
FREE!

In an age of obsessive productivity and stress, this illustrated ode to idleness invites readers to explore the pleasures and possibilities of slowing down. Beloved author and illustrator Roman Muradov weaves together the words and stories of artists, writers, philosophers, and eccentrics who have pursued inspiration by doing less. He reveals that doing nothing is both easily achievable and absolutely essential to leading an enjoyable and creative life. Cultivating idleness can be as simple as taking a long walk without a destination or embracing chance in the creative process. Peppered with playful illustrations, this handsome volume is a refreshing and thought-provoking read.

Authors
avatar for Roman Muradov

Roman Muradov

Roman Muradov is an award-winning author and illustrator, originally from Russia, now living in San Francisco, where he is a professor at California College of the Arts. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Paris Review, Vogue... Read More →



Tuesday July 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Tuesday, August 14
 

12:30pm

Poetic Tuesday–August
FREE!

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

This year see’s a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology Learn Then Burn, and other publications.

Learn more here.


Authors
avatar for Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is author of Amulet (2013, Write Bloody Press). A Saint Mary’s MFA grad, he is currently program manager for Kearny Street Workshop.



Tuesday August 14, 2018 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco, CA 94103
 
Tuesday, August 21
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit—Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds by Rachel Levin
FREE!

Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds is a lighthearted but legitimately helpful illustrated field guide for what to do in the face of 50 of our most feared—or frustrating—animals. From mountain lions to moose, bears to bees, rats, raccoons, mice… even lice!  As humans encroach on wild places, encounters with animals have become increasingly commonplace. But what are the rules for facing a moose up close? Do you run from a coyote or stand your ground? How deadly, really, are black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, and sharks?
Packed with expert tips, fascinating animal facts, and harrowing true tales (from writers like Peter Orner and Samin Nosrat), Look Big is a must-have survival guide for outdoor, urban, and suburban adventurers alike. If you have ever feared the approach of a grizzly, the spray of a skunk, or an army of cockroaches in the kitchen, this book is for you.

Authors
avatar for Rachel Levin

Rachel Levin

Rachel Levin is the first San Francisco restaurant critic for Eater and a freelance journalist who has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, Outside, Sunset, and elsewhere. Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All Kinds is her first book. byra... Read More →



Tuesday August 21, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Saturday, August 25
 

1:00pm

Master Class Mixer: T.J. Stiles—Writing Nonfiction Like a Novel
$105

Researching that sprawling nonfiction book project, but finding yourself bogged down in the narrative?

Every great nonfiction book, from biography to academic tome to travelogue to memoir, needs the same arc, the same tension found in great fiction. But how to unearth the through-lines of your masterpiece? Back by popular demand is Litquake's Master Class Mixer with two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, T.J. Stiles. Called “a superb researcher” by the Washington Post, Stiles recently won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in History for Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America. He is also the winner of the 2010 Pulitzer for Biography and the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. A Guggenheim fellow, he has taught creative nonfiction at Columbia.

Classes are limited to just 15 students, lasts for three hours, and concludes with a reception for the author.

For each Master Class Mixer, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund or credit to a later class. If you are unable to attend your class, please email info@litquake.org at least seven days prior to receive a refund or credit, minus a $25 service charge. 

Authors
avatar for T. J. Stiles

T. J. Stiles

T.J. Stiles, called “a superb researcher” by the Washington Post, won the 2010 Pulitzer for Biography and the 2009 National Book Award for Nonfiction for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt. His new book is Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a N... Read More →



Saturday August 25, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Saturday, September 8
 

1:00pm

Master Class Mixer: Natalie Baszile—Fictional Time and Place
$105

Natalie Baszile won accolades for her debut novel Queen Sugar (which became a runaway New York Times bestseller and launched a hit TV show of the same name) for painting a vivid picture of the world of modern-day sugar cane farmers in Louisiana. O magazine called Queen Sugar “a sensory experience, a tableau vivant that Baszile skillfully paints in a palette simultaneously subtle and bold.” Creating a fictional world that sweeps the reader away is a skill all writers wish they had! Want to learn her secrets? Come to this class. Natalie Baszile has an MA in African American Studies from UCLA and earned an MFA at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.


Authors
avatar for Natalie Baszile

Natalie Baszile

Natalie is the author of Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” fame, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN, Oprah’s television network. Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren... Read More →



Saturday September 8, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Tuesday, September 11
 

12:00pm

Comfort Lit—A Year Off: A Story About Traveling the World—and How to Make It Happen for You by Alexandra and David Brown
FREE!

On their first date, David started describing to Alexandra his plan to quit his job and travel around the world for a year. Without hesitation (and surprising them both) Alexandra blurted out “Wait for me.” He did. Three months after that first date they quit their jobs and embarked on a round-the world adventure together that would take them to Costa Rica, New Zealand, Thailand, India, Romania, France, Ireland, and more. They traveled together for a full year—and one year after they returned to San Francisco, they got married.

A Year Off is the story of their journey and their romance. It combines their personal story with inspiration and practical advice for would-be travelers looking to make their own tour. It includes real-world tips on putting your career on pause, planning your route, setting a budget, adjusting to life on the road, finding your “travel rhythm,” discovering the “traveler’s code” of  generosity and hospitality, and finally making a soft landing when you return home. It shows that it is possible to step out of a high-achieving lifestyle for an extended, and transformative, adventure. Alexandra and David are now happily married and live in San Francisco with their daughter. They still travel frequently.

Authors
avatar for Alexandra Brown

Alexandra Brown

Alexandra Brown is an author and marketing strategist. She attended the Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and works in advertising with a focus on digital and content strategy. She has written about her family in the essay collection My Parents Were Awesome and food... Read More →
avatar for David Brown

David Brown

David Brown is an enthusiastic project collector and a business strategist. He attended the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and also studied anthropology, philosophy, and African studies. He currently works in brand management with a specialty in consumer packaged... Read More →



Tuesday September 11, 2018 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Salon 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104

12:30pm

Poetic Tuesday–September
FREE!

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

This year see’s a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology Learn Then Burn, and other publications.

Learn more here.


Authors
avatar for Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is author of Amulet (2013, Write Bloody Press). A Saint Mary’s MFA grad, he is currently program manager for Kearny Street Workshop.



Tuesday September 11, 2018 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco, CA 94103
 
Saturday, October 6
 

1:00pm

Master Class Mixer: Katy Butler—Straw Into Gold: The Alchemy of Memoir
$105

Writing about loss, death, and traumatic events can be healing. But the books can be a bummer for readers unless the material is alchemized with style and skill. In this workshop, Katy Butler, known for her bestselling memoir Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, about caring for her dying parents, will show you how to find the upward arcs in your story and transform the "straw" of ordinary memory into the "gold" of a narrative that can electrify readers. Knocking on Heaven's Door was a major bestseller, named a Notable Book by The New York Times, a Buzz Book by Independent Booksellers Assoc., and one of the year’s Ten Best Memoirs by Publishers Weekly.

Classes are limited to just 15 students, lasts for three hours, and concludes with a reception for the author.

For each Master Class Mixer, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund or credit to a later class. If you are unable to attend your class, please email info@litquake.org at least seven days prior to receive a refund or credit, minus a $25 service charge.

Authors
avatar for Katy Butler

Katy Butler

Katy Butler's Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death (2013) was a major bestseller, named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, a Buzz Book by the Independent Booksellers Association, and one of the year's Ten Best Memoirs by Publishers Weekly. Her... Read More →



Saturday October 6, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Tuesday, October 9
 

12:30pm

Poetic Tuesday–October
FREE!

Enjoy line breaks during your lunch break, as some of the Bay Area’s best poets and musicians share their work in the great outdoors.

This year see’s a new host and curator, Jason Bayani, artistic director for Kearny Street Workshop (the oldest multi-disciplinary Asian Pacific American multi-disciplinary arts organization in the country) as well as a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology Learn Then Burn, and other publications.

Learn more here.


Authors
avatar for Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani

Jason Bayani is author of Amulet (2013, Write Bloody Press). A Saint Mary’s MFA grad, he is currently program manager for Kearny Street Workshop.



Tuesday October 9, 2018 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets, San Francisco, CA 94103
 
Saturday, November 17
 

1:00pm

POSTPONED: Master Class Mixer: Daniel Mallory Ortberg—From Blog to Blockbuster: Moving From the Web to the Printed Page
$105

Not content with being worshipped as a minor god for his online presence as Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice columnist and co-founder of The Toast, a melange of feminist, parodic rewrites of classic literature, Daniel Mallory Ortberg made the leap to the printed page in 2014 with the wildly popular Texts from Jane Eyre, followed this year by The Merry Spinster – listed by many publications as one of the most anticipated books of the year. Litquake is thrilled to have Daniel teaching his first master class mixer, which will coach writers on moving from writing online to writing a book. Ortberg was included in the 2015 Forbes 30 under 30 list in the media category.  


Saturday November 17, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Saturday, December 1
 

1:00pm

POSTPONED: Master Class Mixer: Cultivating Chaos—with Cristina García
$105

This fiction workshop will encourage you to make a mess—to let your writing unspool in unpredictable, organic ways; to welcome what surprises and disturbs you; to harness wildness without domesticating its energies. We will create from a (chaotic) sense of mission, discovery, and relentless curiosity. And we will learn how to do this consistently enough to make a lasting, vivid difference in our work.

Cristina García is the author of seven critically-acclaimed novels, including the recently-released Here in Berlin, King of Cuba, Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel. Her work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into 14 languages. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and an NEA grant, Garcia has taught writing in dozens of locations, including Mills College, UCLA, USC, Hunter College and more. Of her fiction, Michiko Kakutani of The New York Timessays, "[García] is blessed with a poet’s ear for language, a historian’s fascination with the past, and a musician’s intuitive understanding of the ebb and flow of emotion.”

Authors
avatar for Cristina García

Cristina García

Cristina García is the author of seven critically-acclaimed novels, including the recently-released Here in Berlin, King of Cuba, Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, and The Lady Matador’s Hotel. Her work has been nominated for a National... Read More →



Saturday December 1, 2018 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Saturday, January 19
 

1:00pm

Resolve to Write a Novel in 2019!
One of the biggest obstacles any writer faces is finishing the first draft of a novel. As Joyce Carol Oates said, "Getting the first draft finished is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor." Enter Grant Faulkner, exec director of NaNoWriMo, the organization that has generated thousands of first-time novels, and created one of the most effective approaches to writing a first draft. Get ready to leap to new creative heights!

In this session, Faulkner (also the author of Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo), will provide a crash course in novel writing and a framework to finish your novel in 2019. He'll discuss the power of diving in, banishing one's inner editor, and taking creative risks. He'll also talk about the often disregarded keys behind every great work: setting an audacious goal and a deadline, tracking your daily progress, and connecting with others in a creative community.

This is your year to finish the novel of your dreams. Come with laptop or notepad prepared to write--with abandon!



Authors
avatar for Grant Faulkner

Grant Faulkner

Executive Director, NaNoWriMo
Grant Faulkner is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. He has published a book of essays on creativity, Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo; Fissures, a collection of 100-word... Read More →


Saturday January 19, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Mechanics' Institute Board Room 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
 
Friday, February 15
 

TBA

SUBMISSIONS OPEN!
Since 1999, San Francisco's annual Litquake literary festival has drawn booklovers of all types to enjoy words and ideas, straight from the artists' mouths. This year's festival dates will be October 10-19, 2019.

Submissions open on February 15 for the Litquake festival, Lit Crawl SF, and the fifth annual Litquake Writing Contest. All submissions close May 1. Submitters will be notified by August 2019. We look forward to reading your submission.

Click here to submit.

Friday February 15, 2019 TBA