Category Archives: Uncategorized


This site was a lot of fun while it lasted, but I’m giving it a huge overhaul. The new site is going to be amazing and much more professional. Plus, it will serve as the dual home for and Stay tuned for the remodeled website, which should be rolled out within the next month.


Update: Broad Shoulders Podcast

The Broad Shoulders podcast is live…and it sounds amazing. Give it a listen. In. Your. Earhole.

Bridgeport, Broad Shoulders and Essay Fiesta

There are three major literary things going on in my life this month, all of which you should be privy to. And so I am privying you up with this blog post.

1. Stories from the Bottom of the Glass – Bridgeport

Six of the best damn live lit performers in the city are coming to Bridgeport to tell true stories of their own drunken mistakes.

Food and delicious concoctions will be provided. Complementary craft beer provided by Wild Onion Brewery. This is a free event with a suggested $10 donation to keep the performers in booze.

This show is a part of the Bridgeport Version Fest 12, a month-long celebration of this historic community.

Friday, May 18, 2012 – 7pm

The SMALL Showroom (aka Co-Prosperity Sphere gallery)
3219 S Morgan Street

There is ample free street parking. The location is a 15 minute walk from the Halsted Orange Line.

Admission: $10 Suggested donation

Keith Ecker, host/producer of Essay Fiesta
Samantha Irby, writer of Bitches Gotta Eat
Ian Belknap, overlord of Write Club
JH Palmer, contributor to Gaper’s Block
Shannon Cason, winner of the Moth Chicago GrandSLAM
Dana Norris, host/producer of Story Club and writer of Bad With Men

2. Broad Shoulders Podcast

Soon you will be able to listen to my angelic voice via the Broad Shoulders podcast, a joint collaboration of In Our Words’ Nico Lang, Story Club’s Dana Norris and myself. Stay tuned.

3. Essay Fiesta – The Book Cellar

The Bulls might be out of the game, but we’re just getting started. Essay Fiesta is here to deliver you one of our best line-ups yet. And all this is going down at the Book Cellar on May 21st at 7 p.m. to help fund 826CHI. Thanks partners and sponsors Southport Grocery, Murder Mystery Maniacs and Chicago Underground Comedy.

This month Keith and Alyson welcome:

Director and Second City instructor Jen Ellison

Actor, writer and teacher Arlene Malinowski

Poet and playwright Chris Bower

Co-creator of In Our Words Nico Lang

Writer, editor and teacher Chris Terry

Look at Essay Fiesta’s May Line Up!

Hey kiddies! We’ve got a doozy of an Essay Fiesta lined up for May. Seriously. Alyson and Keith are thoroughly impressed with the caliber of talent. This isn’t marketing spiel, people. It’s the real deal. Take a look for yourself. Below are the people who will rock your world on May 21 at 7 p.m. at the Book Cellar:

Jen EllisonDirector and Second City instructor Jen Ellison

arlene malinowskiActor, writer and teacher Arlene Malinowski

chris bowerPoet and playwright Chris Bower

Nico LangCo-creator of In Our Words Nico Lang

Chris TerryWriter, editor and teacher Chris Terry

I’m Back!

I am sorry for abandoning this blog so unceremoniously. Or perhaps it was ceremoniously…because how else do you abandon a blog besides just failing to update it?

In any case, I have been busy being gainfully employed at my new company Jaffe PR. It’s a great agency full of great people, and they aren’t just paying me to say that. One of my favorite aspects of the job so far is my ability to blog for the company. And so I wanted to share with you all some of my recent blog posts. Enjoy!

I just published a piece about cursing on the Essay Fiesta blog. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Essay Fiesta

At Essay Fiesta, we have a set of guidelines that we provide all of our readers. One of the most contentious guidelines is our suggested limited cursing policy. It’s also one of our most misunderstood policies. Allow me to explain.

First, we abide by the rules of our generous partner, the Book Cellar, which has graciously lent us their space for use to host our little show. And because the Book Cellar is a family-friendly retail environment, it is their request that readers be mindful of their language. This does NOT mean no cursing. It means be smart with your cursing. And honestly, I think this is great advice for any writer.

Fuck! Do I love cursing! It can be an extraordinarily effective device in your writing. At times, no other word will cut it like the four-letter kind. There’s just a certain kind of weight that the…

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Press Release Writing Basics This Thursday

Have you ever wondered how to get your name in the news? Are you trying to drum up more clients for your business? Do you need more individual donors for your organization? Then you need to learn to market yourself to the public. And one of the best ways to do this is through press releases.

Press Release Writing

I am teaching a class through the wonderful site called Press Release Writing Basics. It’s a 2-hour workshop held this Thursday at Noble Tree in Lincoln Park. I do not mess around when I teach. YOU WILL LEARN! And if possible, I’ll even provide some personally tailored advice to give you some ideas of how you can get the coverage you desire. And for only $20! Sign up today!

Here’s what you’ll leave with:

1) Format – What are all those little details that you should include in your press release, from a dateline to those little hash marks at the bottom. You need your press release to look like a press release.

2) Content – Pitching your business to the media is a nuanced skill. Merely saying your product is worth writing about is not enough. You need to be clever and think like an editor in order to create a press release that will actually get media attention.

3) Distribution – So how do you find media contacts to reach out to? And how do you alert them to your press release? What’s the protocol on follow-ups? This class will touch on each one of these critical points regarding press release distribution.