Reading # 49 | Tuesday Funk
Reading # 49

Second September debriefing


Sassy parking meter.
Tuesday Funk, in association with the wildly successful new Chicago Writers Conference, put on a terrific reading event this past Friday night at Open Books in Chicago's River North. If you've come to expect the unexpected from Tuesday Funk, then you probably weren't surprised about being surprised about some of the surprises that were sprung upon that evening.

After some introductory remarks about the great work that Open Books does and about our sponsorship partner the Chicago Writers Association, Patricia Skalka kicked things off for us with a noirish, engrossing scene from her Wisconsin-set mystery novel, Death in Door County. Host William Shunn followed that up with the stream-of-consciousness narrative of an old woman awakening in a new robotic body, "Find the Gray Triangle." And Rachel Wilson brought us a poignant chapter from her forthcoming debut young adult novel, Don't Touch.

Our Poem by Bill, "Telegraph," was composed on a topic provided by CWC backer Tina Woelke—"reading." M. Salahuddin Khan followed that up with a powerful excerpt from his novel Sikander, about a young Afghani mujahid who must live with the reality of his first killing. And Mary Robinette Kowal, after an emotional epistolary story about resurrection from the dead, startled and delighted our audience with a shadow puppet play from the 17th century.

People, this is the sort of thing you miss when you miss Tuesday Funk! But don't despair. We'll be bringing you videos from the evening over the next couple of weeks, and then we'll be back on October 2nd with our United States of Horror Edition featuring John Everson, Cynthia (cina) Pelayo, and The Colin & Ishmael Players. Be sure to join us!

Reminder: Tuesday Funk #49 is tonight!


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Good morning, Chicago! Tuesday Funk could not be more pleased to be bringing you, in association with the Chicago Writers Conference and Open Books, our first special Friday reading event!

This remarkable evening, featuring attendees of the Chicago Writers Conference, will include Patricia Skalka, William Shunn, Rachel Wilson, M. Salahuddin Khan, and Mary Robinette Kowal, plus a Conference-specific edition of our patented Poem by Bill.

This special event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Open Books, 213 W. Institute Pl. in Chicago's River North neighborhood (convenient to the Brown Line stop at Chicago Ave.). Doors open at 7:00 p.m. The Samich Box food truck will be available outside Open Books from 6:30 on, and you may bring your own beer and wine to the reading.

Remember, the event itself is FREE, but you MUST have a ticket in order to attend. Click here to register and print your ticket, and we'll see you tonight!


Meet Our Readers: William Shunn


High strung
William Shunn is the author of thirty works of short fiction, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon-nominated novella "Inclination" (available as an audiobook from His stories have appeared in Salon, Asimov's, F&SF, Science Fiction Age, Realms of Fantasy, Storyteller, Electric Velocipede, and various Year's Best anthologies. An early draft of his memoir The Accidental Terrorist can be heard as a podcast.

Bill is also a co-producer and co-host of our Tuesday Funk readings, of which his Poems by Bill are a regular feature. In the wake of the recent World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, he is beginning to come to terms with the fact that his best-known piece of writing by far is his essay on "Proper Manuscript Format." He is unwelcome ever to return to Canada, and claims he is not actually a grand motherfucker.

Please see Bill and the rest of our accomplished readers at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 14th, for our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition at Open Books in Chicago!

Meet Our Readers: Patricia Skalka


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A native Chicagoan, Patricia Skalka grew up reading books from the once-a-week mobile library in her far southeast side neighborhood. Although always a fan of fiction, she spent most of her professional life writing award-winning medical and human interest articles for Reader's Digest, Ladies' Home Journal, and more than a dozen other national publications. She also ghosted non-fiction books for Rodale Books and Random House, and is co-author of Nurses on Our Own (St. Martin's Press, Avon), which was optioned for a TV movie.

Now she's where she's wanted to be all along─writing novels. Death in Door County, the first book in her literary mystery series, is being considered by a leading publisher, and she's hard at work on the second installment. Pat is a member of the Authors Guild and Off Campus Writers Workshop. Check out her reviews of fiction and non-fiction books─both new and old favorites─on her blog, Books in Brief.

Please see Pat and the rest of our accomplished readers at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 14th, for our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition at Open Books in Chicago!

Tuesday Funk likes Open Books


Tuesday Funk is delighted to be producing this Friday's Chicago Writers Conference special reading event together with Open Books, an organization that truly needs and deserves your support.

Open Books, if you don't know, is a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond. Their mission is to enrich lives through reading, writing, and the unlimited power of used books.

Their programs include reading buddies for elementary school students; creative writing field trips for 4th through 12th graders; college and career mentoring for high school juniors; literacy workshops for all ages; and much, much more.

Their bookstore, open 7 days a week in River North, offers more than 50,000 donated books for sale to support their programs. Tax-deductible book donations are always welcome, and you can learn many other ways to support and help out Open Books by visiting their website,

Open Books is located at 213 W. Institute Pl., conveniently near the Brown Line stop at Chicago Avenue. Watch this space to learn how you can attend our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition of Tuesday Funk at Open Books, Friday, September 14th, 7:30 p.m., featuring Patricia Skalka, M. Salahuddin Khan, Rachel Wilson, William Shunn, and Mary Robinette Kowal. We hope to see you there!

Meet Our Readers: M. Salahuddin Khan


Born in Burewala, Pakistan, in 1952 of refugee parents from India, M. Salahuddin Khan is a management consultant. From 1998 to 2007, he was the Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer, and Senior VP of Global Marketing and Strategy for NAVTEQ Corp. From 2006 to 2008, he was publisher of Islamica Magazine.

In 2008, Khan was co-executive producer of a 12-minute short movie called The Boundary, starring Alexander Siddig (Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven). The movie was about civil liberties at a U.S. border crossing in a post-9/11 world. Khan has made radio and TV appearances, including NBC, CTV, WBZ Boston, Mancow in the Morning, and others. He is also the Thursday host of Radio Islam at WCEV 1450 AM Chicago and has had featured op-ed pieces in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Huffington Post.

In less than a year following initial publication, Khan's debut novel, Sikander, was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2011 Paris Book Festival,

winner in the fiction category at the 2011 Beach and 2011 Hollywood Book Festivals, and runner-up in the same category for the 2011 New York Book Festival. Sikander was also the winner in the multi-cultural fiction category at the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, and nominated for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for 2011. Khan was also awarded the CAIR Chicago Book Award for 2012.

Along with being a husband to loving wife Rehana and father to their six children, Khan is a designer, engineer, artist, writer, inventor (with several U.S. patents), and worldwide traveler.

Please see Salahuddin and the rest of our accomplished readers at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 14th, for our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition at Open Books in Chicago!

Meet Our Readers: Rachel Wilson


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Rachel Wilson's YA debut Don't Touch will be published by Harper Children's in Summer 2014. Rachel studied Theater at Northwestern University and earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

As a company member of Barrel of Monkeys Children's Theater, she teaches, adapts children's writing for the stage, and wears lots of silly hats! She also performs regularly in Barrel of Monkeys' long-running show, That's Weird, Grandma! Rachel lives on the beach with a sweet dog named Remy Frankenstein. You can find her on Twitter at @storybookgirl or at

Please see Rachel and the rest of our accomplished readers at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 14th, for our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition at Open Books in Chicago!

Meet Our Readers: Mary Robinette Kowal


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Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor, 2010) and Glamour in Glass (Tor, 2012). In 2008 she received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2011, her short story "For Want of a Nail" won the Hugo Award for Short Story. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. She served two terms as Vice President of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her stories appear in Asimov's, Clarkesworld, and several Year's Best anthologies. Mary, a professional puppeteer, also performs as a voice actor, recording fiction for authors such as Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit

Please see Mary and the rest of our accomplished readers at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 14th, for our Chicago Writers Conference Special Edition at Open Books in Chicago!

Tuesday Funk #49: September 14th

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Hey, Chicago! Tuesday Funk is bringing you an extra helping of the Funk this month. But before I tell you about that, let me tell you a little something about the Chicago Writers Conference, to be held September 14-16 at Tribune Tower, and why you should get your ass to it.

What do you get as an attendee of the inaugural edition of the Chicago Writers Conference? You get three days of talks and sessions about the business side of publishing from professionals of every stripe—editors, agents, and writers alike—including a keynote address from Guggenheim Fellow and MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" recipient Aleksandar Hemon.

What's more, Tuesday Funk and Essay Fiesta are teaming up with the CWC to bring conference attendees two nights of the great "live lit" that makes Chicago's such a vibrant writing scene. Tuesday Funk kicks things off the night of Friday, September 14th, with an evening of fiction readings at Open Books featuring Mary Robinette Kowal, M. Salahuddin Khan, Rachel Wilson, Patricia Skalka, and William Shunn. Essay Fiesta follows on Saturday night with a great program of personal essays.

The catch is, only a handful of seats will be available at these readings to folks not attending the conference. The only way to be guaranteed a seat is if you register now. But hurry! Only a handful of slots are left, and you have less than 24 hours remaining to register! Late registration will close at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7th.

So please consider joining the CWC, and we'll see you September 14th at Open Books!

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Attention, Chicago Writers Conference attendees! You have until tomorrow night to get us your submissions for our rare special Friday edition of Tuesday Funk.

The reading will take place the evening of Friday, September 14th, at the non-profit Open Books bookstore, in conjunction with the Chicago Writers Conference.

We're currently looking for three conference participants to fill out the roster for this very special evening of fiction and poetry. If you'd like to be considered as a reader, please email us at Tell us a little about yourself and about your work. Include the piece(s) you'd like to read by pasting the text into the body of your email. (We prefer not to download attachments.) For fiction, limit your submission to a total of 2,000 words or less. For poetry, send a sample of four or five poems. Readings will be limited to 10 minutes or less.

We are open to any type or genre of fiction and poetry, so long as it's entertaining to listeners. But since we won't be at our usual adults-only location on September 14th, please keep the contents to a mild R rating. And remember, you must be a registered Chicago Writers Conference attendee to participate. (And yes, we will check. Submissions from those who aren't registered by August 25th will not be read.)

The entries are rolling in! Submissions are due by Saturday, August 25th, end of day. The three readers selected to participate will be contacted by no later than September 1st. Don't miss your chance to participate in this exciting evening of live literature, and good luck!

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Tuesday Funk

About Us

Tuesday Funk is an eclectic Chicago reading series, hosted by Andrew Huff and Eden Robins, showcasing a monthly mix of fiction, poetry, essays and performance. Join us next on Tuesday, April 7 T.B.A., 7:30 p.m. at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Admission is free.

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