Riverhead Books-VIDA bash at Brooklyn Brewery!

1. Cat among the merch! (…Making a beeline for the beer cup, thus affirming every suspicion I have ever had about cats.) 2. The crowd, buzzing.

What: Riverhead Books’ first annual VIDA fundraiser.

Where: Brooklyn Brewery.

When: Last night.

Who: Read on, dear reader.

1. Ben Hyman, editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Tara Singh, assistant editor at Penguin; Mackenzie Brady, agent at Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. 2. These lovely women were extremely gracious when I interrupted their conversation to take a photo: Jenni Ferrari-Adler, literary agent; Kate Kennedy, freelance editor; Renee Zuckerbrot, literary agent.

Here at Electric Literature, we love women writers. (We’re especially proud that three of our first four Recommended Reading authors are women.) So we were delighted to attend Riverhead Books’ first annual fundraiser for VIDA, whose mission is to support and promote Women in the Literary Arts.

The venue was buzzing, the beer was free flowing, the fish were jumpin’. Cool spectacles and tote bags proliferated. Most importantly, people were discussing the role of women in the literary arts with passion, optimism, conviction and determination. This reporter came away feeling excited and optimistic. There has never been a better time to be a lady writer.

1. Caitlin O’Shaegh Nessy, assistant editor at Viking (Caitlin, I HOPE I SPELLED YOUR NAME RIGHT); Carina Guiterman, Caitlin’s intern; Martin Sweeney, Parks Department intern. These kids were so nice. Plus! Martin was the first non-literary person I photographed last night. GO MARTIN. We need more civilians like you supporting Women in the Literary Arts! 2. Rachel Spector, an attorney, and Josh Malbin, a writer.

1. Beerstory. 2. Jon-Jon Goulian, author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt; Stephanie LaCava, writer; Greg Kessler, photographer. (These folks knew how to take a photo. Smokin’.)

1. Eric Banks, President of the National Book Critics Circle; Michael H. Miller of The New York Observor; Michael Miller of Bookforum. 2. Emily Wunderlich, editorial assistant at Gotham Books; Robert Colorafi, New York City Transit employee and recurring Dish star; Lauren Reddy of Time Out New York.

1. Cate Marvin, poet, Vida co-founder, champion of Women Writers; Holly Burdoff, intern co-ordinator at Vida and behind-the-scenes planning star. 2. Michael Fusco, designer and husband of the lovely Emma Straub, who is the author of Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures (forthcoming) (can’t wait to read it) and Other People We Married (read it, loved it).

1. Benjamin Kress, visual artist. He collaborated with Cate Marvin on 2-UP last year. 2. Alison Liss and Melanie Tortoroli, both assistant editors at W.W. Norton. 3. Jackie Snow, taking photos for the New York Daily News.

1. The Eleventh hour: Books — sold out. Beer cup — empty. 2. The cat: drunk?

Thank you, Riverhead and VIDA, for a throwing a very fun party in support of a very worthy cause. We salute you.


Elissa Goldstein was born and raised in Melbourne. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College and is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. You can find her here.

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