Happy Hour Lecture Series

No, not that kind.

No, not that kind.

september 28

submission party with loie rawding

Are you ready to send off your best work, apply for an artist residency, draft a query letter, or throw your hat in the ring for another writing-life honor? Join us for a lively submission party, where you’ll tackle those goals in the company of other writers. At this party at Porch HQ, we can ask each other for a quick copy edit or feedback on a proposal or cover letter, share tips on where to submit and other opportunities, get advice from Porch instructor Loie Rawding and other Porch staff, and maybe engage in some good-natured competition with our fellow writers. We’ll have snacks, libations, WiFi, tunes, and a copy of the latest Poets & Writers; you bring your A-game and laptop. Set goals and get ‘er done!

When: Saturday, September 28, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Where: Porch HQ: 2811 Dogwood Pl., 37204

Libations: Indeed.

$10 members, $15 non-members

October 10th

Burn the Turn: A happy hour class on line editing with elizabeth chiles shelburne


The difference between your manuscript getting a “yes” or a “no” is often in the details, in cutting what Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner’s editor called the “extraneous baggage.” In this interactive class, author and former Atlantic staff editor Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne will teach you how to torch your manuscript of the filler words that junk up stories and slow prose. (The class title comes from the number of times the instructor found herself having to cut instances of her characters “turning to stare” or “turning to look.” Good lord.) Of course, everyone’s list is slightly different, so through the instructor’s examples and a brainstorming session, we will establish a list of words or phrases to hunt for and then strike out on the prowl, using Find and Replace as our weapon of choice. As a group, we will find those tic words, laugh at ourselves when necessary, and brainstorm cuts or replacements. This kind of editing can help you get to the heart of your prose, but is also easy to accomplish in snatches of time here and there. Class participants should bring their computers, a willingness both to share their words and laugh at the instances of their use, and, if desired, some purse beer. You will leave the class with a cleaner manuscript and a toolkit for line-editing that will leave you one step closer to being ready to submit!  

When: Saturday, October 10, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Where: Porch HQ: 2811 Dogwood Pl., 37204

Libations: Indeed.

$10 members, $15 non-members

Past Events

diy mfa series: To mfa or not to mfa?

Join us and a panel of degreed and non-degreed writers as we discuss the pros and cons of the MFA; what to expect for cost and the time commitments in earning the degree, career strategies and paths for both options, alternative education routes for writers, and success stories from both sides of the frontlines.

When: Saturday, August 24 at 5:30 pm
Where: Porch HQ — 2811 Dogwood Place in Berry Hill
Libations: Indeed.
$10 for members, $15 for non-members

Panelists Included Lisa Bubert, Tom Hrycyk, Ciona Rouse, and Yurina Yoshikawa


May 22: Lessons from a Judge's Perspective

K.K. Fox was a preliminary judge for the 2018 Flannery O'Connor Award, a book prize from the University of Georgia. The prize is for a collection of short stories read and selected anonymously. Previous winners include Ha Jin, Antonya Nelson, Rita Ciresi, and Mary Hood.

Through the judging process, K.K. noted valuable lessons about what makes a short story collection cohesive, comprehensive, and competitive. Come join us to hear what makes one collection stand out over another and tips for constructing a strong collection.

When: Wednesday, May 22, 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Where: Porch HQ: 2811 Dogwood Pl., 37204

Libations: Indeed.

$10 members, $15 non-members

About the Instructor: K.K. Fox lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Her recent fiction has appeared in Joyland, Kenyon Review Online, Superstition Review, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is a fiction editor for Four Way Review and served as a preliminary judge for the 2018 Flannery O'Connor Award.


Writing is hard. Getting published is even harder. Former Nashvillians and graduates of the Vanderbilt MFA program discuss all stages of the publication process – from drafting to revising to building a cohesive collection. These two award-winning poets will share their experiences writing and publishing a first book, and offer participants practical advice on how to move forward with their own project. Edgar and Anders will also read from their newly-published collections. Q&A to follow.

Libations: Yes.
$10/members, $15 non-members

Edgar Kunz is the author of Tap Out (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). A National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow and former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, his poems appear widely, including in Ploughshares, New England Review, The Sewanee Review, and most recently in U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith’s podcast The Slowdown. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches at Goucher College and in the MFA program at Salve Regina University.

Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of The Low Passions (W.W. Norton, 2019). His work has appeared in BuzzFeed, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Poetry Daily, The Sun, Best New Poets, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of Ninth Letter’s Poetry Award as well as the 2017 Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Minneapolis.