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Chicago Chock-Full of Literary Goings-Ons This Weekend

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 11, 2010 7:40PM

2010_06Wilson.jpg Did you hear? This weekend the Printers Row Lit Fest is taking over Dearborn from Congress to Polk streets. Chicago’s annual literary festival includes panel discussions, booths, author discussions and signings, events for kids, cooking demonstrations, and tons of other programming. Kind of surprisingly, a slew of other literary events are happening this weekend and aren’t happening at the Lit Fest. Here are our recommended picks:

Cat Cora: The first female Iron Chef and co-founder of Chefs for Humanity will be stopping by Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand on her new book tour. The event includes a food demonstration, discussion with open Q&A, and signing of her new book, Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist, which is included with the price of admission. The recipes in the book mirror Cat’s motto: “just because a dish is classic doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.”
Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand, 66 E. Randolph St., June 11, 6 p.m., $35 via or by calling 312.742.TIXS.

Mark Baechtel: The author of Shaping the Story: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Short Fiction is leading a class on constructing character. Students will look at how voice, point of view, gesture, dialogue, and emotion combine to create rich, complex characters that stay with the reader long after the story ends.
StoryStudio Chicago, 4043 N. Ravenswood, #222., June 12, 10 a.m., to be put on the waiting list, email or call 773.477.7710.

Drinking and Writing Festival: Sean and Steve of the Drinking & Writing Brewery have an event that combines two of our favorite things. This year’s “write till you puke” festival celebrates the life and work of Mike Royko, Pulitzer Prize winner, author, softball player, voice of the people, and Chicago journalist. While enjoying craft beer donated by breweries such as Rock Bottom, Goose Island, Metropolitan, Three Floyds and Half Acre, participants will have the opportunity to listen to speakers and readings and participate in the 2 Drink Minimum Contest. Ticket price includes all events for the day and 10 drink sample tickets good for all the guest beers.
Hopleaf Bar, 5148 N. Clark St., June 12, 12 p.m., $20 in advance via or $25 at the door

Dan Clowes: The cartoonist of David Boring, Ghost World and Ice Haven and the Eightball comic book series will be signing new book Wilson. Wilson is about a middle-aged loner on a quest to find human connection. He sets out to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife and discovers he has a teenage daughter. Clowes’ work is insanely popular, so get there early. Piece Pizza, who is co-sponsoring the event, will be donating pizza, too, so get there extra double early.
Quimby’s Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave. June 12, 7 p.m., free