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This October, we’re thinking beyond the remote book reading. For Electric Lit’s first ever virtual salon series, we’re hosting events with some of our favorite writers and artists to talk about literature, lies, and… elves? Here is the schedule of events, with more information below!

  • Writing White Fragility, an editorial discussion, presented by Penguin Random House, October 20, 6-7 PM EST
  • Swords Out: A Dungeons & Dragons Murder Mystery, presented by Substack, October 22, 8-10 PM EST
  • Magical Feminism, an editorial discussion, October 26, 6-7 PM EST
  • Spot the Fake Memoir, A Game of Two Truths and a Lie, presented by Sipsmith London, October 28, 7-8 PM EST

If these times don’t work with your schedule, don’t worry! A recording of all salons will become available to ticket holders via the Crowdcast page immediately following the event.

To purchase books by the presenters and participants, visit our virtual salon page on Bookshop.org.

All of the funds raised support Electric Lit’s mission to make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive, and help us compensate for Covid-related financial losses. Don’t wait to reserve your ticket. See you there!

A limited number of sponsorships and press passes are available. Please send enquires to editors@electricliterature.com.


Writing White Fragility, an editorial discussion, presented by Penguin Random House

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
6 to 7 PM EST / 3 to 4 PM PST

Recommended Reading senior editor Brandon Taylor talks to Ross Feeler about “Parisian Honeymoon,” a story about a man who discovers that his new wife is a bigot. They will discuss their editing process, and how to write anti-racist stories with racist characters without being morally didactic.

This event is presented by Penguin Random House

Brandon Taylor is the author of the acclaimed novel Real Life, which has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. The senior editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Lit Hub, he holds graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Iowa, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction.

Ross Feeler’s short stories have appeared in The Common, The Potomac Review, Story|Houston, Hypertext, New South, and others. In 2019, his novel-in-progress won the Marianne Russo Award from the Key West Literary Seminar. He reads fiction submissions and occasionally writes for The Masters Review. He lives in Central Texas, where he teaches English at Texas State University.

Swords Out: A Dungeons & Dragons Murder Mystery, presented by Substack

Thursday, October 22, 2020
8 to 10 PM EST / 5 to 7 PM PST

Some of the funniest and most charismatic authors we know—John Darnielle, Leah Johnson, Daniel Lavery, Amber Sparks, and R. Eric Thomas—join Dungeon Master Matt Lubchansky for this classic tabletop role-playing game with a literary twist. The publisher of Lightning Bolt Literature has been murdered, and they’ll have to solve puzzles, fight monsters, and maybe even battle a god to get to the bottom of things. If you’ve never played D&D before, don’t worry—most of our players haven’t either.

This event is presented by Substack.

John Darnielle is the leader of the band The Mountain Goats and the author of Universal Harvester and the National Book Award-nominated Wolf in White Van.

Leah Johnson is the author of inaugural Reese Witherspoon book club YA pick You Should See Me in a Crown (and a former Electric Lit employee!).

Daniel Lavery is Slate’s Dear Prudence, a founder of The Toast, and the author of Texts from Jane Eyre, The Merry Spinster, and Something That May Shock and Discredit You. 

Amber Sparks is the author of the story collections The Unfinished World, May We Shed These Human Bodies, and And I Do Not Forgive You.

R. Eric Thomas is a humor columnist at Elle and the author of the essay collection Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America.

Dungeon Master Matt Lubchansky is a cartoonist and illustrator, associate editor of The Nib, and coauthor of Dad Magazine. 

Magical Feminism, an editorial discussion

Monday, October 26, 2020
6 to 7 PM EST / 3 to 4 PM PST

Electric Literature executive director Halimah Marcus talks to Marie-Helene Bertino and Elissa Washuta about coping with trauma and subverting expectations at the intersection of magic and reality. They will discuss how magic works in practice and as a rhetorical device in fiction.

Marie-Helene Bertino is the author of the novels Parakeet (NY Times Editors’ Choice) and 2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas, and the story collection Safe as Houses. Her work has received The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, The Iowa Short Fiction Award, and in 2017 she was the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Fellow in Cork, Ireland. She teaches in the M.F.A. programs of NYU, The New School, and Institute of American Indian Arts and lives in Brooklyn, where she was the Associate Editor for One Story and Catapult. Her fourth book, the novel Beautyland, is forthcoming from FSG in 2022.

Elissa Washuta is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a nonfiction writer. She is the author of My Body Is a Book of Rules and Starvation Mode, and her book White Magic is forthcoming from Tin House Books. With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and Potlatch Fund. Elissa is an assistant professor of creative writing at the Ohio State University.

Spot the Fake Memoir, A Game of Two Truths and a Lie, presented by Sipsmith London

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
7 to 8 PM EST / 4 to 5 PM PST

Making stuff up is an important writerly skill, as long as you don’t present it as true. Five Electric Lit contributors and writing group pals Angela Chen, Lilly Dancyger, Deena ElGenaidi, Jeanna Kadlec, and Nina St. Pierre will try to pass autofiction off as memoir, in a literary twist on this time-honored get-to-know-you game. Hosted by Jess Zimmerman.

This event is presented by Sipsmith London.

Angela Chen is a science journalist and the author of Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex.

Lilly Dancyger is the editor of Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger and the author of the forthcoming memoir Negative Space. 

Deena ElGenaidi is a writer, reporter, and editor and the creator of the web series Codependent.

Jeanna Kadlec is a culture writer and the former resident astrologer for Electric Lit.

Nina St. Pierre is an essayist, reporter, and collaborative writer with Idea Architects.

Captioned recordings will be available after the events—please contact editors@electricliterature.com for more information.


Looking for the Masquerade?

For the past three years, Electric Lit has hosted the Masquerade of the Red Death on the Thursday before Halloween at Littlefield, in Brooklyn. This isn’t the year to host a pestilence-themed dance party, but we hope to be back in 2021!