Founded in 2010 by Peg Alford Pursell, Why There Are Words (WTAW) is an award-winning literary reading series that takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area every second Thursday. In 2016, WTAW began expanding to other cities, and can now be found in seven more national locations: New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, Austin, New Orleans, and Asheville.

In 2016, Peg Alford Pursell launched WTAW Press, a 501(c)3 non-profit  independent publisher of exceptional literary books, springboarding off the tradition of the reading series. For more information, see the WTAW Press website and sign up for the newsletter.

The flagship Why There Are Words series takes place second Thursdays in Sausalito, CA at Studio 333, located at 333 Caledonia Street. Doors open at 7pm and readings begin at 7:15pm. $10 at the door.

Each reading event presents a range of writers, including those who have published books and those who haven’t. All writers share the criterion of excellence.

While often writers who read at the series have recently had a book published and are in the midst of promoting their new work, the guiding idea behind the series is that good work is timeless and needs to be heard regardless of marketing or commercial concerns.

Each branch of WTAW has its own unique flavor. To learn more about the branches and their organizers/hosts, check out this page.

If you’re interested in reading, please see the information about participating on this page.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter announcing upcoming readings each month, and do attend the readings! WTAW is a community, an opportunity to meet and talk with authors, readers, and talented and engaged people of all backgrounds.

You can find us on  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Instagram, and Youtube.

We are always interested in hearing from enthusiastic and capable people who would like to get involved. All positions are strictly voluntary, though we can arrange for college credit for interns, if that’s a possibility. To contact Peg Alford Pursell, email whytherearewords AT gmail DOT com. Be patient! WTAW is a complete labor of love.