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Reading Series Census: LIC Reading Series

By on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 at 9:04 am

LIC Reading Series

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?
LIC Reading Series

The LIC Reading Series was named for its Queens neighborhood – the series takes place on the second Tuesday of every month in the LIC Bar in Long Island City, Queens.

Who founded the series, and who runs it now?
Catherine LaSota is the Founder, Curator, and Host of the LIC Reading Series.

What genres or mediums does the series include?
The series features primarily fiction writers, as well as poets and essayists/memoirists. We try to feature at least one writer each month who lives in, writes about, or otherwise has a special connection to Queens, but this is by no means a requirement of all of our featured readers.

What is the format of the series?
We have three readers every month. The format is: two readers, then an intermission, then our final reader, and we conclude with a panel discussion.

Where does the series take place?
In the lovely carriage house of the LIC Bar, 45-58 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101

When and how often is the series performed (and is it seasonal)?
Monthly – the second Tuesday of every month except for August (our one month off)

How long has the series been active?
Since April 2015

Where can people find information about series on the web?
We are in the process of developing a dedicated website, but for now please check out our Facebook page at
We can also be found on Twitter @licreading and on Instagram @licreadingseries

Do you take submissions, solicit material, or a combination?
Currently, the LIC Reading Series is curated predominantly with solicited material.

Did you set out with specific goals when the series was launched and have they changed over time?
The LIC Reading Series was launched in April 2015 because most of the high profile reading series in NYC seemed to be taking place in Manhattan and Brooklyn, despite the strong writing community in Queens. The goal was to have a monthly event in this borough that would feature bestselling and critically-acclaimed writers, with a special focus on Queens in the selection of writers and the format of the series. Past and upcoming featured writers include: Victor LaValle, Megan Abbott, Matthew Thomas, Mia Alvar, Sam Lipsyte, Akhil Sharma, Julia Fierro, Saeed Jones, Dylan Landis, Jim Shepard, Rachel Cantor, Alexander Chee, John Leguizamo, and more.

What distinguishes the series from others?
We are proud of our borough, and we highlight this in the format of the series: every reader is asked to share a brief personal anecdote about Queens before reading from their work for ten minutes. Most people, incredibly enough, seem to have some kind of story to share about Queens, even if they’ve never lived in the borough. We’ve also had some amazing writers, like J. Robert Lennon, write new stories just for the series based on research they’ve done on Queens.

Our panel discussions are also pretty special, and they include a free raffle where audience members are eligible to win gift certificates from local Queens businesses if their question is chosen at random from the Magic Silver Box.

In the winter months, our series is especially cozy because there is a working fireplace in the carriage house where our events take place.

Finally, we have partnered with independent bookstore The Astoria Bookshop to sell our readers’ books at our events.

The next LIC Reading Series is schedule for Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 8 p.m. at LIC Bar and features John Leguizamo, Mira Jacob, and Tracy O’Neill.



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