Finding The Write Place: Volumes Book Cafe

 

Volumes Book Cafe

1474 N Milwaukee Ave

Chicago, IL 60622

Hours:

Mon-Sat 9:30AM – 10PM

Sun: 10AM – 8PM

(Hours subject to change. Check the cafe’s website for up-to-date info)

Noise level: Medium level of noise. People are talking in small groups and there are board games you can play, but there is no music playing in the background.

Availability of space: Good amount of tables present (about 5 low tables, 2 hi-top tables and a bar of seating). I went during lunchtime on a Saturday and had no problem finding seating.

Bathrooms: Yes.

Food: Yes, pastries.

Wifi: Free (password on each table).

Outlets: Yes, at the bar top along the wall.

I loved this cute cafe, but the thing I loved most by far was that it’s also a USED BOOKSHOP! The whole back section is a bookstore. They also have adorable bookish knickknacks for sale and a book subscription program! I definitely recommend this to any writer who likes to find new reads when they’re writing and doesn’t mind conversations happening around them. (I just wore headphones and I was perfectly fine!) I think this is my new favorite neighborhood cafe and bookstore in the Wicker Park area!

 

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This post is brought to you by Kat Cho at ChiYAwriters.com.

Chicago Reads: ChiYA Book Babies

Two ChiYA members released their book babies into the world! What a time to be alive!

On January 16, Samira Ahmed released her debut, LOVE HATE & OTHER FILTERS.

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This amazing #ownvoices book tells the story of American-born 17-year-old Maya Aziz, who is torn between worlds: the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter, and the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe pursuing the boy she’s known since grade school, who’s finally falling into her orbit.

There’s also the real world. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, the community Maya’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must determine in which world she truly belongs.

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On January 15, ChiYA members attended a launch party at Anderson’s Bookshop to celebrate the birth of this book baby.  The night was exciting! The event was packed; friends, family, and fans alike turned out to welcome LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS into the world.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the next week, we received the joyous news that LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS debuted on the Young Adult Hardcover New York Times bestseller list! I get the feeling she’s only getting started.


On February 6, Gloria Chao released her debut, AMERICAN PANDA.

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First of all, HOW CUTE IS THIS COVER? I can’t get enough of smiling POC on YA book covers. It makes me so happy and definitely sets the tone for the book.

AMERICAN PANDA is a hilarious, touching #ownvoices book about 17-year-old Mei, a freshman at MIT who is on track to fulfill a future predetermined by her parents: become a doctor, marry a pre-approved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, and produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is definitely not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if the secrets are worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

 

Once again, CHiYA headed out to Anderson’s for Gloria’s launch event, and it was super fun. There was cake served on panda plates, sparkling cider, and joy all around. I know this book is deeply personal for Gloria, and I think that makes it all the more special.


And there’s more coming from these brilliant authors!

Samira is under contract for two books: MAD, BAD, & DANGEROUS TO KNOW, a YA thriller told in dueling narratives that weave between past and present, follows a Muslim-American teenager who partners with a descendant of French author Alexandre Dumas to unravel the mystery of a 19th-century Muslim woman who appears in letters between Dumas and Eugene Delacroix (2019), and INTERNMENT, a YA book about a near future in the United States where Muslim Americans are forced into an internment camp and a seventeen-year-old must fight against Islamophobia, oppression, and complicit silence (2019).

Gloria’s next project is MISALIGNED, a YA novel about a teen outcast who is simultaneously swept up in a whirlwind romance and down a rabbit hole of dark family secrets when another Taiwanese family moves to her small, predominantly white Midwestern town (2019).


Interested in meeting the authors in person and getting your book signed? This blog post outlines upcoming events, including a don’t miss one featuring both authors.

I’m so proud to be a member of ChiYA. Stayed tuned. Great things are coming from all of us!


This post is brought to you by Ronni Davis at ChiYAwriters.com.

Chicago Reads: Upcoming YA Book Events (Feb/March 2018)

The next couple of months are packed with great YA readings at Chicago’s many independent bookstores, including debut book events with ChiYA’s very own Samira Ahmed (LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS) and Gloria Chao (AMERICAN PANDA)!!!

Check out these upcoming events, and as always, let us know if we missed anything in the comments:

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REIGN THE EARTH
A.C. Gaughen
Thursday, February 1 at 7:00 PM
Anderson’s Bookshop (La Grange)

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BEFORE I LET GO
Marieke Nijkamp
Friday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

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LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS
NOTEWORTHY

Samira Ahmed and Riley Redgate
Saturday, February 3 at 3:00 p.m. 
57th Street Books (Hyde Park)

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THE HAZEL WOOD
Melissa Albert
Saturday, February 3 at 2:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

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AMERICAN PANDA
Gloria Chao
Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

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THE SWEETEST KIND OF FATE
Crystal Cestari
Tuesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m.
The Book Cellar (Lincoln Square)

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AMERICAN PANDA

Gloria Chao
Saturday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m.
57th Street Books (Hyde Park)

love hate and other filters book coveramerican panda book cover
LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS
AMERICAN PANDA

Samira Ahmed and Gloria Chao
Friday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. 
Women & Children First (Andersonville)

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SATELLITE
Lauren Emily Whalen
Friday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. 
The Book Cellar (Lincoln Square)

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BLACK PANTHER THE YOUNG PRINCE
Ronald L. Smith
Monday, February 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

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HEART OF IRON

Ashley Poston
Friday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

children of blood and bone book cover
CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

Tomi Adeyemi
Thursday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville)

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RESTORE ME
Tahereh Mafi
Friday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m.
Community Christian Church (hosted by Anderson’s Bookshop)

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This post is brought to you by Lizzie Cooke at ChiYAwriters.com.

Chicago Writes: Local Writing & Book Conferences in 2018!

Since ChiYA is a Chicago based site, I thought I’d give you guys some local Writing Conferences and Book Festivals that are taking place in 2018:

The Book Cellar’s Annual Young Adult Book Festival

When: TBD, Generally takes place in April

What: A one day book festival centered around Young Adult fiction.

Where: Chicago, IL

Cost: FREE

The 2018 Writing Workshop of Chicago

When: June 23, 2018

What: Per the website

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (250 total).

Where: Chicago, IL

Cost: $169 — EARLY BIRD base price for registration to the 2018 WWOC and access to all workshops, all day. As of October 24, 2017, registration is now OPEN.
Add $29 — to secure a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with any of our literary agents in attendance.
Add $69 — for an in-depth, personal critique of your one-page query letter from Brian Klems, one of the day’s instructors.
Add $79 — for an in-depth personal critique of the first 10 pages of your novel.

There is already a huge list of agents attending including, Moe Ferrara (BookEnds Literary), Kelly Van Sant (D4EO Literary), Gemma Cooper (The Bent Agency), Marcy Posner (Folio Literary), with more to come!

Chapter One Con

When: TBD, usually in late summer/August

What: An amazing conference for young writers!

per website

The Chapter One Young Writers Conference (or Ch1Con) is a writer’s conference entirely by and for teens and young adults.

Where: Rosemont, IL

Cost: Early Bird Admission ($49.99)

Regular Admission ($74.99)

Late Rate Admission ($99.99)

Anderson’s Bookshop Young Adult Literature Conference

When: TBD, usually around November

What: 2-day event meant as a conference to showcase young adult novels to booksellers, librarians, and fans. Saturday is the “adult day” which is when the booksellers, librarians and adult fans can attend for $120. Sunday is teen day which is free and only permits teen fans.

Where: Naperville, IL

Cost: $120 for adults on Saturday. Free for teens on Sunday

BONUS! Online Conferences!

Write On Con

When: February 9-11, 2018

What: Per the website

WriteOnCon is a three-day online children’s book conference for writers and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, and even new adult. It was founded in 2010 and is now run by a new team of writers who are eager to hearken back to the awesomeness that they remember so fondly from being attendees over the years, while also bringing exciting new elements to the mix.

WriteOnCon features blogs, vlogs, pitch sessions, Q&As, critique forums, and more — there’s something for every writer/illustrator, in every stage of their career. From the comfort of your home, a library, a coffee shop — any place with an internet connection — you can meet agents and editors, connect with potential critique partners, and generally soak up a whole bunch of knowledge!

Where: ONLINE!

Cost: $5

Manuscript Academy

When: TBD, though you can access all past classes right now for a fee of $225 (Or go a la carte for $49 per class)

What: Per the Website

The Manuscript Academy, LLC is brought to you by literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer, conference organizer and media professional Julie Kingsley, and Manuscript Wish List®.

We offer world-class publishing instruction that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home or your favorite coffeeshop. Unlike traditional conferences, you simply need a computer, a tablet, or even your smartphone to log in and enjoy the very best instruction from some of the top minds in the literary community. Every online Manuscript Academy conference will give you the full educational and networking value of a traditional writing conference, but without the hassle of travel, paying for meals out, or arranging childcare.

Where: ONLINE!

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This post is brought to you by Kat Cho at ChiYAwriters.com.

Finding the Write Place: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com that highlights some of our favorite places to write here in the Windy City.

Chicago Athletic Association Lobby

12 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
Open 24 hours, small bites menu & beverage service begins 11a.m. The Milk Room serves coffee and pastries beginning at 7a.m. that you can bring to your table.

(Hours subject to change. Check the hotel’s website for up-to-date info)

Noise level: Quiet in the morning, but fills up and gets noisier throughout the day and best for those who don’t mind activity around them or wearing headphones. Music generally unobtrusive and varies–seasonal, 80s, etc.

Availability of space: Wide variety of seating, again, more available during the morning hours. There is one library-style table with outlets that seats 10 as well as small round tables that seat 2 along the windows. Large chairs and sofas are grouped together throughout the lobby and seating by the three fireplaces is always popular. On a Sunday afternoon, three of us were able to find spots at the library table.

Bathrooms: Yes (but hard to find–ask the front desk or a member of the wait staff)

Food: Yes! There is a small bites and drinks menu. The hotel also has a number of places to eat–including a Shake Shack on the ground floor and the Game Room next door to the lobby that you can step away to.

Wifi: Free

Outlets: Yes at the long table and some along the walls by the small round deuce tables.

When you enter the hotel, head up the stairs on the right of the ground floor entrance and you’ll be transported to old Chicago as you arrive in the lobby of the hotel. I love writing at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. In fact, I wrote and revised a large chunk of my debut novel here. It’s perfect for folks who want to feel like they are writing in a Hogwarts common room or love a clubby feel amidst beautifully preserved gothic architecture. Also excellent for those who want to treat themselves to a cocktail after they hit the day’s word count.

Great for small groups or for solo writers . This is one of ChiYA’s favorite haunts. And the hotel holiday decoration game is on point (and excellent for selfies). They even serve glögg.

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This post is brought to you by Samira Ahmed at ChiYAwriters.com.

Ask ChiYA: How to Find a Writing Group

Ask ChiYA is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com in which we answer readers’ questions about the world of YA writing and publishing.

question markQuestion: 

Hi! I’m interested in writing a YA novel, but I’m a senior in college—there’s no writing group on campus, and I’m not friends with anybody who wants to write. Is there a writing group related to Chicago YA writers I could join? Thanks!

Answer:

Hi Reader!

Thanks so much for reaching out. ChiYA doesn’t have a writing group, but here are a few suggestions from our bloggers:

  • The NaNoWriMo forums are a great community, and I found them super helpful and supportive when I was starting out. There’s also a local chapter called ChiWriMo. It’s not specifically YA focused, but writers for all ages/genres participate in their chats, meetups, etc. They have a Facebook group, as well.
  • The 88 Cups of Tea Facebook group is very supportive, and I know some folks have found critique partners through that.
  • The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers lots of resources for new writers, including local critique groups and mentorship programs. There is a fee to join the organization, but there’s a student rate if you’re interested. Also, the “Blueboard” discussion forums are open to everyone, even if you’re not a member.
  • You might try starting a writing group on campus by reaching out to creative writing professors or posting a flier in the English department. There’s a good chance some other students at your college would also love to join a writing group.

Finally, a word of caution: as always, be careful when using forums or other online resources. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable or requests to meet up in person (outside of a group-sanctioned event in a public place), contact the forum moderator immediately.

Best of luck!

The ChiYA Writers

P.S. If you know of any other good resources for new writers, please leave them in the comments below!

P.P.S. If you have any questions for ChiYA, please reach out via our contact form. We’d love to hear from you!

Chicago YA Writers
This post is brought to you by ChiYAwriters.com.

Finding the Write Place: Everybody’s Coffee

Finding the Write Place is an occasional series on ChiYAwriters.com that highlights some of our favorite places to write here in the Windy City.

Everybody’s Coffee

935 W Wilson Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
Every Day: 7am – 5pm

(Hours subject to change. Please check the Everybody’s Coffee website for up-to-date hours.)

Noise level: Quiet. A great place to work.

Availability of space: There is plenty of space available.

Bathrooms: Yes

Food: Yes! Check out their delicious menu here.

Wifi: Free

Outlets: Yes

Everybody’s Coffee not only has plenty of space for patrons, they also have a theater available for events. The first time I was here was for an SCBWI event. Their theater has a projector and space for about sixty people (and you can bring food and drink in, which is awesome). As an avid tea drinker, I’m always happy to find a place with a good selection, as there was here.

This seems to be a great place for small groups, and they also have the capacity for large events. I know SCBWI-Illinois holds many of their events here, so clearly they have been happy with their experience!

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This post is brought to you by Gloria Chao at ChiYAwriters.com.