Broke Hack Mountain

broke_hack_mountainSix writers. One cabin. Very limited cell service.

What could possibly go wrong?

Rob Hart organized a writing retreat over the long Fourth of July weekend, christened it Broke Hack Mountain, and it was extremely productive. Rob invited Todd Robinson, Jon McGoran, Josh Bazell, Dan Krokos, and me to come along, and we spent a ton of time pounding away on our keyboards. And eating. And making fire. And eating. And snoring.

Rob’s summary of the weekend is great: Broke Hack Mountain: A Recap, and Tips for Planning Your Own Writing Retreat

Extra thanks to my wife Beth, who sent me to the cabin loaded up with fruit salad, grapes, bananas, and more. She saved me from a diet of exclusively bacon and steak!

Jessica Zempel Wins First James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship

Zempel Family at Sodak ShoresJessica Zempel, a student at Wilmot High School in South Dakota, is the winner of the first annual James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to graduates of Wilmot High School who display an aptitude in creative writing by authoring a short story.

Jessica’s story, “Love, Lust, and Death,” was chosen as the winner by novelist Jon McGoran.

Set in Quedlinburg, Germany, “Love, Lust, and Death” is about a serial killer and a woman who falls in love with him and tries to reform him.

Earlier this month, Beth and I traveled to Wilmot to present Jessica with her $250 prize during Wilmot High School’s Academic Awards Program. The night before the program, we enjoyed a great dinner at Sodak Shores with Jessica, her parents, and her English teacher, Danielle DeGreef.

Jon McGoranJessica also received an autographed copy of Jon’s latest novel, the excellent DUST UP and an autographed copy of THUGLIT #16 featuring my short story “It Bothers Me,” set in Wilmot.

A special thanks to Wilmot High School principal Larry Hulscher for all of his assistance and to English teacher Danielle DeGreef for encouraging so many students to submit stories.

You can learn more about the scholarship, including the reason it goes to a student at Wilmot High School, right here.

HOW TO CONTRIBUTE

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible (at least in the U.S.) contribution to the James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund, the South Dakota Community Foundation makes it easy.

You can contribute with a credit card online. (If you contribute online, SDCF covers all transaction fees. There’s no cost to you or the fund.)

Or you can contribute by sending a check made payable to “James & Jeanne Arneson Memorial Scholarship Fund” to:

South Dakota Community Foundation
P.O. Box 296
Pierre, SD 57501

No contribution is too small. Thank you!

This Saturday, 3/19: N@B in Philadelphia

Noir at the Bar Philadelphia - March 2016NOIR AT THE BAR is returning to Philadelphia this Saturday, March 19, at Society Hill Playhouse.

The playhouse, founded in 1959 by Jay and Deen Kogan, will soon close for good — so help us give it a proper sendoff! Noir at the Bar starts at 6:45 p.m. SHP is located at 507 S. 8th St. in Philly. (Click the poster for all the details.)

I can’t wait to read some of my fiction alongside this amazing lineup of writers:

  • Scott Adlerberg
  • Jen Conley
  • T. Fox Dunham
  • Dana King
  • William Lashner
  • Jon McGoran
  • Adrian McKinty
  • Richie Narvaez
  • Rick Ollerman
  • Edward Pettit
  • Joe Samuel Starnes
  • Wallace Stroby
  • Duane Swierczynski
  • David Swinson
  • Dennis Tafoya

I hope to see you there!

Society Hill Playhouse

Bottom photo via Google Street View.

N@B Returns to Philly on March 19

Noir at the Bar Philadelphia - March 2016Philadelphia’s Society Hill Playhouse, founded in 1959 by Jay and Deen Kogan, has been the site of countless memorable performances (including several editions of the great NoirCon conference).

Society Hill Playhouse is closing its doors for good soon, but not before a group of 16 crime writers take to the stage for what promises to be an epic NOIR AT THE BAR event.

NOIR AT THE BAR at Society Hill Playhouse will take place on Saturday, March 19, 2016. The show starts at 6:45 p.m. SHP is located at 507 S. 8th St. in Philly. (Click on the poster for all the details.)

Philadelphia is the original home of N@B, so it’s always a special time when it returns to the City of Brotherly Love.

I’m excited and honored to be reading my fiction at this N@B, which will also feature readings by a killer group of writers:

  • Scott Adlerberg
  • Jen Conley
  • T. Fox Dunham
  • Dana King
  • William Lashner
  • Jon McGoran
  • Adrian McKinty
  • Richie Narvaez
  • Rick Ollerman
  • Edward Pettit
  • Joe Samuel Starnes
  • Wallace Stroby
  • Duane Swierczynski
  • David Swinson
  • Dennis Tafoya

That’s an amazing lineup, and I hope to see you there!

Society Hill Playhouse

Bottom photo via Google Street View.

Jon McGoran’s Dust Up – Launch Party on 4/19

Dust UpThe launch party for Jon McGoran’s new biotech thriller DUST UP is taking place in Philadelphia on April 19!

In addition to Jon’s novel, you can enjoy beer from St. Benjamin’s Brewing Company, snacks from Weavers Way Co-op, live music from Rich Ciocco and Matt Davis, and the stunning views from the Skyline Room & Roof Deck atop the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Central Branch.

A portion of proceeds from books sold at the event will support sustainable agriculture and education in Haiti, where much of the book takes place.

I read an advance copy, and DUST UP is a fantastic novel. An absolutely top-notch thriller.

Get your (free!) tickets to the event right here.