There’s a lot to do in between all that writing, and no it’s not more writing (though we never discourage that!). One tip that teachers and successful writers always stress is to make sure you’re experiencing all the different aspects of the literary community, not just the cozy writing corner you occupy every day. Go to an author event at a bookstore, see a play, visit the American Writers Museum. And best of all for writers is to attend a reading! Chicago has lots of opportunities to see these communities in action, and there are even ways to involve yourself, too. An invaluable part of these public events, specifically a reading, is the exposure of your work to new and more ears.
One special event showcases StoryStudio students in particular. Is This a Thing? is a live lit show that began in 2014 after students from a StoryStudio course (Introduction to Live Lit) decided to create a storytelling night where they could share some of the work they had developed at StoryStudio. Under the expert tutelage of their class leader, Ian Belknap, the students wanted to take what they’d learned and actually put it into action. As Chicagoans know, these types of events are popular, and with little surprise, the monthly live lit show took off.
Five years later, those storytelling nights have evolved into a well-known show that features new and experienced storytellers, and brings in a consistently engaged and supportive audience. Held in the back of O’Shaughnessy’s at Ravenswood and Wilson, a typical show has a unique theme and six or seven storytellers. All stories are true, first person accounts.
Keeping with the nature of writers and classes, a workshop is held before the show, where the producers are always available to provide feedback and support for storytellers. Is this a thing? welcomes storytellers of any experience level, and every show has at least one first time storyteller, so don’t be shy!
Is This a Thing? is held the second Monday of each month, February through July, and September through December. Former StoryStudio students Jake Cowan (a co-founder and producer), Suzy Weinberg, Damian Raszewski, and Elena Colas (producers) welcome all hopeful readers! Their fall schedule is ready for your story.
Do you want to tell a story with Is this a thing? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!