Arts and CultureSan Francisco

The Broke-Ass Guide to FREE Events at Litquake X

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news
Michelle Tea & ODC Litquake 2008

Photo of Michelle Tea & ODC dancers at Litquake 2008 by R Samuel Klatchko

Heyo, broke-asses! The DIY Diva here with a post a little out of the norm for me.

One of the coolest things about San Francisco is the diversity of festivals and events we have here in our fair city.  We’ve got freak, geek, music, film… And, book festivals.

This Friday, October 9th, marks the beginning of the best known literary festival/convention in San Francisco: Litquake

Which happens to be celebrating its 10th birthday this year.

Can you believe it?  Litquake is a “tween!”  Oh, snap!

There are a ton of really cool events which are scheduled to be happening around the Bay Area the 9th through the 17th of October, featuring authors of great fame, medium note, local interest and total unknowns.  If you’re a writer, Litquake is the best way to rub elbows with those lucky bastards who already are published, publishers who can make your dreams come true, agents and other members of the literary glitterati.  Plus, you’ll get a little culture.  Everyone needs a little culture.

Stunning endorsement aside – I’m fairly biased here – there are a lot of really cool events happening during Litquake X which are absolutely FREE.  Including a pub crawl (something all we broke-asses like).  Here is a list of FREE and cheap Litquake events for you to enjoy.  Perhaps I’ll see you at some of them!

FRIDAY, October 9

Berkeley Breathed, author of Flawed Dogs, the novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster, 6:30 pm. Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park. Free.

SATURDAY, October 10

Off the Richter Scale: Readings at the Main Library, 11 am- 5 pm. Biography, memoir, poetry, sci-fi, illustrated works, contemporary life. Free.

Chaos is a Friend of Mine, 6-8 pm. Authors and musicians spew forth on the topic of music. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk. $5.

Color Me SF: The Science Fiction Worlds of Octavia Butler and Carl Brandon, 7 pm. The Variety Preview Room Theatre, 582 Market. $5.

Be Afraid! Evil Queens, Menacing Dykes, and Secret Gay Agendas,
8 pm. Joe’s Barbershop, 2150 Market. $5.

SUNDAY, October 11

Shaken and Stirred: Litquake in Conversation , 12:30-4:30 pm. Panel discussions on the literary life. Main Library. Free.

Roz Savage, author of Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean, 3 pm. Books Inc. in the Marina. Free.

Literary North Beach Walking Tour, 5 pm. A ramble through North Beach. Starts at: The Beat Museum, 540 Broadway. Free.

Barely Published Authors, 7 pm. Readings by the Bay Area’s best up-and-coming masters of prose. Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd. St. Free.

MONDAY, October 12

Getting Your First Book Published: A Publishing Industry Roundtable 3 pm. Foundation Center, 312 Sutter St. Free, but advance reservations required.

Being Discovered: First-Time Authors Reveal All
5:30-7:30 pm. Foundation Center, 312 Sutter St. Free, but advance reservations required.

Poetry at Grace Cathedral, 7:30 pm. A benefit for Poetry Flash.
Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St. $5 suggested donation; no one turned away.

TUESDAY, October 13

Mary Roach, author of Stiff, Spook, and Bonk, at noon and 7 pm.
Center for Literary Arts, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San Jose. Free.

One City One Book’s Doug Dorst (Alive in Necropolis) in conversation with Adam Johnson, 6 pm. Main Library. Free.

Christian Siriano, author of Fierce Style: How to Be Your Most Fabulous Self, 7 pm., Book Passage Corte Madera. Free.

National Book Critics Circle presents Collapsing Borders: Reading Global Culture Through Literary Translation, 7 pm. City Lights. Free.

Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River, 7:30 pm.
Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park. Free.

WEDNESDAY, October 14

John Besh, author of My New Orleans: The Cookbook, 6:00 p.m. Omnivore Books on Food, 3885A Cesar Chavez St. Free.

Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic’s Daughter, 7 pm
Books Inc. in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness. Free.

Fred Rosenbaum discusses Cosmopolitans: A Social and Cultural History of the Jews and the San Francisco Bay Area , 7-9:30 pm
Jazz Heritage Center, 1330 Fillmore Street. Free.

Linda Gordon, author of Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits,
7:30 pm. Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Free.

THURSDAY, October 15

Kidquake, Middle School Program, 10 am.-12:15 pm. Readings, and workshops for grades 6 through 8. Main Library. Teachers must sign their classes up in advance by fax (415-550-7825) or email ( Free.

Readings in Bed: A Sensuous Night at supperclub, 5-8 pm. A panel of erotica writers hold forth from beds. supperclub, 657 Harrison. $10 suggested.

A Wild Imagination, 6 pm. A group of Sendak-inspired authors in a multi-media presentation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Free with museum admission; $5 after 5 pm.

Original Shorts: Survival of the Fittest, 7 pm. Short stories presented in conjunction with Evolve 2009. Varnish Fine Art (note change of venue). Free.

Subterranean SF: Hard Boiled Writing With An Edge, 7 pm.
Noir and mystery in San Francisco. Location: also a mystery. Free.

Sarah Vowell, author of The Wordy Shipmates and star of This American Life, 7:30 pm. The Booksmith, 1644 Haight Street. Free.

James Ellroy, author of Blood’s a Rover, 7:30 pm. Books Inc. in the Castro, 2275 Market St. Free.

Tracy Kidder, author of Strength in What Remains, 7:30 pm.
Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Free.

FRIDAY, October 16

Tom Dolby, author of Secret Society, 5:30 pm
Books Inc. in Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness. Free.

Teenquake: Teen Takeover Night at the Library, 6:30-9 pm. YA author panels, workshops, performances and more. Main Library. Free.

Underground Exposed: A Zine Retrospective, 8 pm. Panels will feature some of the city’s best zinesters. Chrome Bags, 580 4th St. Free.

SATURDAY, October 17

Annual Lit Crawl – Phase 1 (6-7 pm), Phase 2 (7:15-8:15 pm), and Phase 3 (8:30-9:30 pm). Absolutely Free!

For a more detailed schedule please visit

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Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler is a freelance writer and professional blogger. IRL she is a very nice person, regardless of what you might have read about her on the innerwebs. Kate lives in Berkeley with her dog, Max. You can follow her on Twitter @adorkablegrrl


  1. Chloe - Pennywise Reporter
    October 10, 2009 at 10:03 pm


  2. Kate Kotler - DIY Diva
    October 11, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Thx Chloe!