With 180 events and over 850 authors in its twelfth year, Litquake, SF's premier literary festival, just keeps getting bigger and better. (It's even expanded to other cities–Seattle and Austin are getting their own editions of the Lit Crawl later this month.) Trying to choose from such a wealth of riches is difficult, but these eight events caught our eye. If you have a particular area of interest, from sci-fi to food writing to mysteries to children's books, be sure to check out the full schedule for many more intriguing offerings.
Verbal Calisthenics: An Evening with Four Funny Women
Saturday, October 6, 8 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.) Tickets are $12.
A diverse cast of female author-comedians are the highlight of this Sunday-night event. Merrill Markoe, former head writer for David Letterman and the author of eight books, headlines, alongside Last Comic Standing alum Laurie Kilmartin, who just released her humorous parenting book, Shitty Mom; Community and Happy Endings writer Hilary Winston, whose memoir is entitled My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, and comedian Zhara Noorbakash, who starred in the one-woman show All Atheists Are Muslim and contributed to the Love, Inshallah anthology of Muslim women's romantic histories.
Ramblin' Reckless Hobo: A Woody Guthrie Tribute
Sunday, October 7, 8 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.) Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
The wide-ranging singer-songwriter who inspired the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen is getting an evening dedicated just to him, with musical performances from Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo), Jill Olson (Red Meat), and Country Joe McDonald. Guthrie biographer Ed Cray, Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson, novelist Alan Kaufman, and poet Francisco X. Alarcon will all read as well.
Quiet Lightning: The Greenhouse Effect
Monday, October 8, 8 pm, at the Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park. Admission is $5 at the door.
For a look at SF's up-and-coming literary talent, spend an evening at Quiet Lightning, a unique "literary mixtape" that eschews author introductions and banter in favor of a high-energy, wall-to-wall reading experience. After each Quiet Lightning event, the stories read that night are compiled into a book. The readers are diverse, ranging from mixologists to filmmakers to computer programmers to circus performers. The stunning setting in the Conservatory of Flowers doesn't hurt, either.
Two Guys from Chicago: An Evening with Daniel Clowes and Dave Eggers
Tuesday, October 9, 8 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.) Tickets are $15.
Calling Clowes and Eggers just "two guys from Chicago" is a bit of an understatement; Clowes (Ghost World, Eightball) is one of the leading lights of the graphic-novel scene, and even had his own retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California this year, while Eggers (A Hologram For the King) is a best-selling author, publishing impresario, and charity figurehead known throughout the city. They'll chat about the creative process, their current cultural interests, and whatever else strikes their fancy. If Clowes and Eggers whet your appetite for more author chats, you can also catch a double feature of Michelle Tea and Susan Straight, followed by Daniel Handler and Andrew Sean Greer, at the same venue on Thursday.
Stories on Stage: Fiction of the Fantastic
Tuesday, October 9, 7 pm, at Shotgun Players Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door.
For a theatrical take on a literary reading, consider trekking over to the East Bay for a performance that will bring the stories of four acclaimed authors-- Judy Budnitz, Lysley Tenorio, Adam Johnson, and Daniel Orozco-- to life. Director Sean San Jose emphasizes the surprising and surreal elements of each author's work, teaming up with a cast of four to bring each one off the page and onto the stage.
Thursday, October 11, 7 pm, at the Make-Out Room. Admission is free.
Book nerds won't want to miss this literary-centric edition of a good old-fashioned pub quiz, with categories like books, authors, and literary ephemera. Bring a team or form your own, then grab a drink or two from the Make-Out Room's bar and get ready to rumble. Goodreads community manager Patrick Brown will emcee, and offer some prizes for the winners.
The Art of Writing
Saturday, October 13, 1-5:30 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.) Tickets are $5 per panel or $8 for two.
Many Litquake attendees harbor literary dreams of their own, and this day-long workshop should satisfy their hunger to know more about the craft behind three forms of writing: long-form journalism, the short story, and the novel. Each panel will feature five published authors chatting about the process behind creating their work, as well as a Q&A session with the audience.
Saturday, October 13, 6-9 pm, various locations in the Mission
As any Mission denizen knows, one October Saturday is given over to the Lit Crawl, with authors and eager listeners spilling out of every bar, restaurant, gallery, and music space in the neighborhood. The schedule is vast, and includes readers on topics like sex, mysteries, skateboarding, ice cream, Bikram yoga, autism, Muni, travel, Shakespeare...and that's not even cracking the surface. Check out the schedule; we guarantee you'll find something that catches your eye.