By Ian MacAllen on Monday, March 7th, 2016 at 9:04 am
The New York City Reading Series Census is an ongoing project to catalogue the contemporary literary scene. Any reading series curator in the New York area can take the survey here.
What is the name of the series, and what is the significance or meaning of the series name?
Halfway There: a reading series in Montclair. The phrase “halfway there” is lifted right from the Bon Jovi anthem “Livin’ On a Prayer.” We are a New Jersey series and wanted something that reflected Jersey. Since we are a series that supports the emerging author, the term “halfway there” has extra significance.
Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
Nicole Haroutunian and Apryl Lee, fiction writers who met in the Sarah Lawrence MFA program. We’re both NJ-natives and Apryl lives in the Montclair area.
What genres or mediums does the series include?
Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.
What is the format of the series?
We start with an hour to mingle, drink coffee and browse books provided by Watchung Booksellers. Then our 3-4 readers read, followed by an audience Q&A.
Where does the series take place?
At the Red Eye Cafe in Montclair, NJ.
When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
Quarterly — September, December, March, June.
How long has the series been active?
Our inaugural event was this September 14th!
Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
Mainly solicitation. We also open a submission period for a pop-up event in April.
Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
Our goal is to host a literary series that brings together established and emerging voices, as well as local and visiting writers.
What distinguishes the series from others?
There are not many places in the northern New Jersey region that host a regular reading series of this sort, one which features fiction, nonfiction and poetry and that brings together emerging and established authors. We had a feeling that New Jersey needed a literary series like this, and the community’s enthusiasm proves that we were right!
The next Halfway There is scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016 at Red Eye Cafe in Montclair and features Keene, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Boris Tsessarsky.