Meet Our Readers

Tomorrow, Cameron Gearen, Keisa Reynolds, Meagan Dahl, and Megan Henricks share their deepest and darkest.  Possibly some less serious secrets as well.

Cameron Gearen is a poet and memoirist, competent baker of scones, single mom of two teen girls, and owner of a banjo that she doesn’t know how to play. Once, she was the receptionist during a bank robbery in which no one was harmed. She has lived in Thailand, mainland China, New England, and Minnesota–but she is a native Chicagoan and glad to be back. Cameron is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the Hemingway Foundation. Her book, Some Perfect Year, came out in 2017 from Shearsman Press. She’s working on a memoir and on sinking deeper into her fold in pigeon pose.

keisa reynoldsKeisa Reynolds is a writer and storyteller based in Chicago. They are Bay Area-raised with Midwestern manners. They produce two monthly storytelling series in Logan Square, Whine Club at Uncharted Books and Connections at Jimmy Beans Coffee. They are a graduate student in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola University Chicago and hold a BA in Cultural Studies from Columbia College. You can follow them on Twitter at @kfromdabay and read more of their work at



 Meagan DahlMeagan Dahl is a writer, artist, and “former” theater kid. By day she works as a digital marketing strategist, and by night she trash blogs and watches an unhealthy amount of true crime TV. Meagan spent most of grad school making performance art videos that no one will ever see, and her short fiction and poetry works have been published in several obscure literary magazines. Her best life decisions (so far) were moving to Chicago 4.5 yrs ago and adopting her cat children Hall & Oates.




megan henricksMegan Henricks is a writer, performer, and pie slinger from Chicago. She studied acting at The Theatre School at DePaul University, became a talent agent for a couple minutes after she graduated, and has since made her way back to her own creative endeavors. She enjoys pet parades and has seen arguably too much of the show “Ballers” starring The Rock on HBO.




Meet Our Readers

The kind of girl you read about/in the new wave magazines joins us Wednesday for Freaks and Geeks: Rebecca Vipond-Brink, Jessica DiMaio, KT Hawbaker, and Veronica Arreola bring the geeky, weird, and sometimes both. Whoa. We’ll also be having a raffle, because we love raffles: a gift certificate to our favorite comic book store, Challengers!

Rebecca Vipond-Brink

rebecca vipond-brink

Rebecca Vipond-Brink is a journalist, editor, and artist who’s written for such publications as BuzzFeed, Waypoint, and, most prolifically, The Frisky. She’d like to take this opportunity to plug the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Domestic Violence Outreach Ministry, to which she gives her time, and encourage you to make donations to or volunteer for Sarah’s Inn and Housing Forward, shelters for DV victims and the homeless (respectively) that do tremendous work in the west suburbs of Chicago.



Veronica Arreola

Veronica ArreolaVeronica I. Arreola is professional feminist, writer and a mom. She’s been a fish researcher, fried pizza puffs, and a door canvasser for Greenpeace. Today she runs UIC’s new Latinx in Science office. Veronica serves on the national board of Bitch Magazine. She has written a lot of things, spoken to a lot of people and received awards for it too! This veteran blogger met her husband 25 years at the mall in a shoe store. Today they are raising a very sporty & smartypants daughter. You can find her online at or @veronicaeye on Twitter & Instagram.




Jessica DiMaio

jessica dimaioJessica is an aging goth who hates board games, but loves cosplay, dissecting pop culture with friends, and impromptu new wave dance parties. She has had essays published in OG feminist magazines, such as BUST and Bitch, back when people still read print. She works as an esthetician at Salon Echo in Edgewater, and if you want someone to talk to about Game of Thrones while getting the perfect brow arch, she’s your girl.




KT Hawbaker

KT HawbakerKT Hawbaker is a fiercely Midwestern, fiercely emotional nonfictioneer. She is an arts and entertainment journalist with the Chicago Tribune, and she recently graduated with her Master’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You might also know her as June Carter-Gash, HBIC over at “A Fairy Home Companion,” a podcast that drags “A Prairie Home Companion” in the name of queer histories.






Meet Our Readers

This month’s theme is The Other Woman, and here’s a mild spoiler: we’re going to start out classic, then get ~*experimental*~. We won’t say much more. The mystery is part of the Other, after all.

Lindsay Porter

Lindsay PorterLindsay Porter is a writer, performer, and teacher. She has taught creative writing and theatre in prisons, hospitals and schools. She recently returned from the William Inge Center in Kansas where she helped children create a new play based on their personal stories. Lindsay recently ventured into the world on stand-up comedy and is looking for an open mic that will allow her to maintain her 9 o’clock bedtime.











Morgan McNaught

Morgan McNaughtMorgan is a writer/actor/director/generator with Eugene vibes and a Midwest heart. They have performed at the now deceased Steppenwolf Garage, The Goodman, The New Colony, The Guild Literary complex, Salonathon, and The Alphawood Gallery, among others. Their text is featured in the Persephone Project with walkabout this summer in the Chicago Park District and you can catch their feature on August 31st at The Fly Honey Show. Morgan has a website where u can find more things out: or on Instagram @theeternalscout.






Katie Johnston-Smith

Katie Johnston-SmithKatie Johnston-Smith, a Pittsburgh native, moved to Chicago after graduating from Belmont University (Nashville) with a degree in musical theatre. She is a member of the comedy collective, The Nerdologues, a producer with Mortified Chicago, and film collective Muscular Clown.






Lisa Farver

Lisa Farver

Lisa Marie Farver is a writer, comedian, and selfie model. She has shared stories at You’re Being Ridiculous, The Stoop, tenx9, Loose Chicks, Slut Talk, Sex Positive. The Chicago Reader described Lisa’s storytelling style as Faulknerian, which is either awesome or questionable, depending on how you feel about Faulkner.

Meet Our Readers

Double agents. Passing. Going undercover. There’s a lot of ways to be not what you seem, and this Wednesday Brooke Allen, Allie Wachowski, Kim Nelson, and Bea Cordelia get into these cases of Mistaken Identity with humor, grace, guts.

Brooke Allen

Brooke Allen is a Chicago playwright and storyteller. Her work has been published on such websites as Story Club Magazine and Role Reboot. She has performed with YBR, Essay Fiesta, Mortified, Paper Machete, Guts and Glory, Write Club and more. She loves pizza and cats.






Allie Wachowski

Allie Wachowski is a writer, local internet sensation, teen heartthrob, and the self proclaimed Mariah Carey of the Midwest. you can find her online, or getting asked to leave your favorite bar.







Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is a writer, performer, lifelong Chicagoan, karaoke enthusiast, and regular contributor at Drinkers with Writing Problems. This summer, you can read her Game of Thrones recaps at HeauxsChicago. She’s on Twitter and Instagram with the handle @ponytailup, where you can see lots of pictures of her awesome dog.







Bea Cordelia

Bea Cordelia is an award-winning, Chicago-bred, internationally slandered writer, filmmaker, performance artist, actor, producer, educator, & activist whose work uplifts & reimagines the narratives of transgender people. Her “life-changing” solo show Chasing Blue has featured in Steppenwolf Theatre’s LookOut performance series & The Brick’s inaugural Trans Theatre Festival in Brooklyn. In 2016 she developed her first multimedia installation The Cosmic Body in a University of Chicago Performance Lab residency through Salonathon, was made a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Creative Writing Fellow for her poem “The Future,” and made headlines for her lawsuit against the City of Chicago regarding its sexist & transphobic ordinance forbidding the exposure of breasts in establishments with liquor licenses. She is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency, and is currently working on the forthcoming web series The T with co-creator Daniel Kyri & distributor Open TV.

Meet Our Readers

We’ve got a big appetite for Lucy Knisley, Sarah Becan, Nadine Kenney Johnstone, and Lauren Jordan. We’re also three years old! We were three last month too but uh, we forgot. Join us for a belated birthday celebration and stories about snacks. There will be pie.

Lucy Knisley is a graphic novel author and illustrator. She’s written and drawn five published books, including “Relish; My Life in the Kitchen” and Eisner nominated “Displacement.” She lives in Chicago and when she’s not working, she’s hanging out with her tiny little fat baby.

Sarah Becan is a comics artist, author, illustrator and designer, and the creator of “I Think You’re Sauceome”, a food-centric autobiographical webcomic. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Saveur, Eater, StarChefs, Tasting Table, TruthOut, and the collaborative serial collection Cartozia Tales. She was awarded a Xeric Award and a Stumptown Trophy for Outstanding Debut for her first graphic novel, The Complete Ouija Interviews, and her work has twice been nominated for the Ignatz Award. Lately, she’s been illustrating cookbooks, such as The Adventures of Fat Rice, and if she had her way, she’d do nothing but draw pictures of food all day.

Lauren Jordan is a southern transplant living in Chicago with her two cats. She manages the online shop Hey Chickadee when she’s not drawing comics, knitting hats, or baking cookies. She hosts a podcast about food if you’re into that sort of thing which you would be if you’re at this reading. You can follow her work at!

Nadine Kenney Johnstone is the author of the memoir, Of This Much I’m Sure, about her IVF challenges and the healing power of hope. Her infertility story has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Today’s Parent, MindBodyGreen, Metro, and Chicago Health Magazine, among others. She teaches at Loyola University and received her MFA from Columbia College in Chicago. Her other work has been featured in various magazines and anthologies, including Chicago Magazine, The Moth, PANK, and The Magic of Memoir. Nadine is a writing coach who presents at conferences internationally. She lives near Chicago with her family. Follow her at



Meet Our Readers

This week, we’ve got Chloe Riley, Elizabeth Gomez, Julie Jurgens, and Sarah Souri breakin’ the law breakin’ the law. Get your legal ass to Gallery Cabaret to for stories of protest, poor choices, good choices, and more.

Chloe Riley

Chloe Riley is a journalist, skeptic, and bullshit fighter, depending on the day. She writes about death and old magazines in a blog called Pimp to the Mouthbreathers and she’s also written for The Guardian, the Chicago Reader and Huffington Post. She writes about criminal justice, politics, and theater and she eats oatmeal even though it deeply pains her to do so.



Elizabeth Gomez

Elizabeth GomezElizabeth Gomez is a comedian, writer, and a free bleeder. She performs all over the city, but you may have seen her on Check Please, which means she is Chicago famous now. She is the founding writer of Drinkers with Writing Problems, cast member of the Kates, founder of the Windy City Rollers, and possibly the reason your parents broke up.



Sarah Souri

Sarah SouriSarah Rashmee Souri is a psychotherapist, musician, writer, and speaker. Her previous storytelling experience includes performing at Sunday Morning Stories at The Second City in Chicago, as well as The Moth and Wordplay in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Sarah believes in the therapeutic power of storytelling, and she hopes her story will inspire you. To contact Sarah, please visit her website at




Julie Jurgens

julie jurgensJulie Jurgens has appeared on stages all over the city, magically, like some kind of beautiful teleporting genius. Once she’s on stage she tries to change history in small but substantial ways, then leaves again, hoping beyond hope that the next stage appearance will be the appearance that takes her home.

Sibling Rivalry is Live

March’s show is up on iTunes and Stitcher — the theme was Sibling Rivalry and Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, Al Rosenberg, Molly Rafferty, and special guest host Carly Oishi take you through brothers, sisters, step, blood, and everything in-between.

Meet Our Readers

Get out your quills and charge your keyboards, we’re talking about letters. Legal letters, letters of recommendation, Dear John letters, FAN LETTERS OMG, from the desk of Maggie Tomasek, LeeAnn Yops, Anna Wolfe, and Lisa Hilleren.

Maggie Tomasek

maggie tomasekMaggie Tomasek is a writer, comic, runner and rapper. She’s performed at the kates, Write Club, Story Club, You’re Being Ridiculous, Essay Fiesta and Tuesday Funk, among many others. Maggie is also a member of She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-female Beastie Boys tribute. You can see her with She’s Crafty on Saturday, May 6, at Township in Logan Square.




LeeAnn Yops

LeeAnn YopsLeeAnn Yops (long “O” in that “Yo”) is a Chicago-based stand-up comedian, storyteller and writer originally from Wisconsin. She’s your go-to guide for all thing 80s and 90s related. LeeAnn is the creator of the website BH9021WHOA, the site that’s better than a Mega Burger about everyone’s favorite teen drama zip code. When she’s not busy gushing over Luke Perry, she also runs a monthly storytelling show about music called Appetite for Rock n’ Roll Storytelling. You can catch Appetite every second Wednesday at the Elbo Room at 8 p.m. for a true evening of oral debauchery.


Anna Wolfe

Anna Rose WolfeAnna Rose Wolfe is an writer / performer. She is the co founder of Scout & Birdie, and online literary magazine and podcast. Anna is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she earned a BA in Acting and a minor in Gender Studies. She performs regularly with The LIVINGroom, a solo performance ensemble. Anna has been featured in venues and fests around Chicago, such as Life Line Theater’s Fillet of Solo Festival, Greenhouse Theatre Center’s Solo Celebration, Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival, National Cool Shorts, The Plagiarists Salon, and The Election Monologues.

Lisa Hilleren

lisa hillerenLisa Hilleren is a North Dakotan who moved to Chicago via Wisconsin. Lisa is the founder of, a blog dedicated to car free camping in the Chicago region. While Lisa usually writes about bicycles or feelings about bicycles, sometimes she also just writes about feelings. If you’d like to know more about Lisa’s bicycles or feelings, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @yo_uterus.

Meet Our Readers

Sister sister brother brother blood and step and everything in between on Wednesday with Molly Rafferty, Al Rosenberg, Leah Jones, Kenzie Seibert, Amy Eaton, and the triumphant aka I asked her and she said okay return of co-host Carly Oishi (Jasmine is taking the air in England). The theme is Sibling Rivalry and we hope to see you there.

Kenzie Seibert

Kenzie SeibertFrom the suburbs of Chicago, Kenzie trained at The iO Comedy and The Second City Conservatory. Currently, you can see her through the end of April with the amazing all-female cast of “For The Love Of”, at Pride Films and Plays, where she is a proud company member. You can also see her on and the Huffington Post with her satirical film piece, “Pinkwashing for a Cure”, where she sheds light on the injustice behind booby health. She does storytelling at The iO Comedy Theater, The Annoyance Theater, and The Second City. She also performs drag as The Duchess, at Berlin Drag Club, and every month at Gender Is A Drag— the variety show she co-created and co-hosts with her partner, at The iO Comedy Theater. She is represented by BMG talent, and fueled by the Lincoln Ave Burrito House.

Molly Rafferty

Molly RaffertyIf Tina Fey and Jerry Seinfeld had a baby, Molly Rafferty would run away from it because babies are disgusting. Molly (just barely) graduated from Columbia College Chicago’s Fiction Writing program and has studied comedy writing at iO, Second City, and FemCom. Molly has read her work at Reading Under the Influence and Essay Fiesta, and she’ll also be performing at the Book Cellar with the Kates in June. An ornery educator by day, Molly spends her nights co-hosting “Smartmouth,” a feminist history tribute podcast.


Al Rosenberg

Alexandra RosenbergAl Rosenberg is a writer and Professional Jew. She also likes to think of herself as a professional sick person and lesbian, but she doesn’t actually get paid for that. She spends what little free time she can wring from her day reading, gaming, and being a mediocre cat mom. You can find her super sad essays and mostly sassy game reviews on




Leah Jones

Leah JonesAfter 15 years in Chicago, Leah Jones is finally willing to admit that she’s here to stay. She is a former stand-up comic, long-time blogger, and is starting to threaten her boss that she’s going to start a podcast about healthcare policy. She lives in Ravenswood with her two cats and insists that there’s always room for pie.

Amy Eaton 

amy eatonAmy Eaton has performed original work with Tellin’ Tales Theatre and is a 2-1 Write Club winner (though she swears that 1 was really a tie).She has performed as an actor with Curious Theater Branch, Thunder Rd Ensemble, Mary-Arrchie and others. She served as Artistic Director for Evanston Children’s Theater and founded Mudlark Theater Company.
She lives with her two beautiful giant size teenagers who are being homeschooled, her incredibly patient husband and three jerky cats.
She comes from the Twilight Zone. But that’s another story.


Heroes is Live

Our first show of the year is up. Get over to iTunes and let Amy Sumpter, Crystal Lynette, Louise W. Knight, Deborah Siegel, and Allie Kahan take you on a hero’s journey.

mariah carey