Founded in 2010 by Peg Alford Pursell, Why There Are Words (WTAW) is an award-winning literary reading series that takes place every second Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area, and beginning in 2017, will take place at 5 more national locations: New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Austin.

In 2016, Peg Alford Pursell launched WTAW Press, a 501(c)3 non-profit  independent publisher of exceptional literary books, based on the tradition of the reading series. For more information, see the website and sign up for the Press’s 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 7 PM. $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.

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