Events

10 Philly Literary Happenings That Every Book Lover Should Know About

Looking to sidle up to the city's literati? Here's where you'll find them.


Philadelphia literary events

The Drexel Writers Room is one local host of Philadelphia literary events. Photograph by Stuart Goldenberg.

1. Apiary Magazine’s launch parties

They only happen once a year (well, almost), but keep an eye out: When this beloved local literary magazine drops a new edition, they blow it out with live music, DJs, performing poets, beer and a ton of dancing. Apiarymagazine.com.

2. Blue Stoop

This barely year-old nonprofit (founded by local authors Joshua Demaree and Emma Eisenberg) is bringing publishers, writers and readers together in a fresh way: Their website has a resource list, they have courses for those looking to hone their craft, and they host happy hours with beer. Bluestoop.org.

3. Creative at the Cannery

The cool kids pack into Dock Street Brewery’s Cannery to see top talents take the open mic. Short stories are read, drinks are poured, and inspiration floods the room. 705 South 50th Street, West Philly.

4. Big Blue Marble Bookstore clubs

This shop organizes its clubs by very 2019 themes. Join in on “Woke & Well-Read” or “The Body Is Not an Apology.” 551 Carpenter Lane, Mount Airy.

5. Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam

This city is awash with poets who are looking to share their innermost thoughts. And many head to these monthly face-offs, held at the PhilaMOCA. 531 North 12th Street, Poplar.

6. All But True

Founded by local publisher New Door Books, this series at Penn Book Center pairs up authors to do readings and facilitate discussions on everything from dealing with the tragedies of mass shootings to thrillers in YA fiction. 130 South 34th Street, University City.

7. Main Point Books clubs

This spot has rotating groups that aren’t run-of-the-mill. Think: paperback fiction, science fiction and young adult. 116 North Wayne Avenue, Wayne.

8. Backyard Writers workshop

Serious about getting published? Fiction writers can find like-minded artists and honest feedback at these workshops. Become a member, submit your story, and sit through 45 minutes of critique. Backyardwriters.org.

9. Drexel Writers Room

This might be located on a college campus, but creative writers of all ages are invited to the free monthly writing workshops. Show up with your words and share when ready. 3250 Chestnut Street, University City.

10. Head House Books subscriptions

This neighborhood shop just rolled out a program that keeps your mailbox filled with the books everyone is talking about. Fill out a form, and the staff will send you a new pick every month or quarter. They’ve got a program for kids, too. 619 South 2nd Street, Queen Village.

Published as “Book It” in the March 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.