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Tuesday, July 28, 7:00pm. ***Postponed to August***
Women of the World Book Club with Maleka Fruean.

We are a book club that reads international and multicultural women writers, both fiction and non-fiction. We meet the last Tuesdays of the month at 7:00pm. July's book: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

Wednesday, July 29, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group with Minter Krotzer.

The Life Stories Book Group is designed for writers but all are welcome. We will read and discuss mostly memoirs, both contemporary and classic, focusing on the writing and structure as well as content and narrative. We will meet the last Wednesdays of the month. July's book: Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i by Garrett Hongo.


Saturday, August 1, 3:00-5:00pm.
"Self-publishing Down and Dirty: Doing it on the cheap but looking like you spent a fortune," a 2-hour free workshop with award-winning designer Dave Bass.
Space is limited. To RSVP, email outreach(at)bigbluemarblebooks(dot)com.

    Workshop outline
  1. Getting Your Computer Life in Order (or Help! My computer’s holding my precious book hostage!)
  2. Dressing Your Child to Go Out Into the World (or Editing & Feedback – Get Some)
  3. Tag Your Work (or You wanna sell your work? Get an ISBN!)
  4. Digital, Print, Digitally Printed (or Createspace, Ebook, Kindle, Nook; Know what you’re getting so you don’t get took)
  5. Formatting (or How Amateur Can You Bear to Look?)
  6. Covers (or We Do Judge Books by Their Covers So Choose Wisely)
  7. To images and beyond (or Book Illustrating in the Graphic Age)
Click to display/hide bio.

Saturday, August 1, 7:00pm.
Women Under Pressure.

An evening with three local novelists - Maria Casale, Dylann Rhea, and Doreen McGettigan - who explore the lives of ordinary and extraordinary women under pressure.

Maria Casale's novel The Caregiver, a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be "the help," came out in 2014. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Kalliope, Bucks County Writer, PMS, the anthology Prompted, and various on-line venues. Maria is currently working on two novels at once (sometimes three!) and blogs at She lives in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, with her husband, daughter, and Shih Tzu.
Coming from a small suburban town in New Jersey, Dylann Rhea has always had a passion for writing. In the past year, she created her own fantasy world through her first book, Tormented Soul, the first installment of the Storm Trilogy. She is currently working on her sequel, Fallen Warrior, which is expected to come out this fall. She sits on the executive board of the Press Club of Pa. She chairs and facilitates their professional development workshops.
Doreen McGettigan is a freelance journalist, award-winning blogger, teacher and an author. Doreen is an advocate for victims of all crimes, especially the elderly and the homeless, who are hesitant to report that they have been victimized. She speaks and writes about how to avoid being a victim or a perpetrator of road rage and what you can do that will actually help the homeless. Her first book, Bristol boyz Stomp, is the true story of her brother’s random road rage murder. Her second book The Stranger In My Recliner, is the true story of Sophie, an 80-year-old homeless woman that Doreen and her husband John took in and cared for, for 3-years. She lives in Delaware County, Pa., just south of Philadelphia, with her husband.

Wednesday, August 5, 7:00pm.
Publishing for Poets.

Print journals, online journals, famous journals, upstart journals, submission services, contests, open reading periods -- how's a poet supposed to navigate all of this and still have time to write? In this 2 hour workshop, Elliott will introduce you to the world of poetry publications.
More details, including cost and registration info, on our Classes page.

Thursday, August 6, 7:00pm.
Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism.

Authors David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon discuss their new study of violence against abortion providers in an event co-sponsored by The Women's Medical Fund.

Living in the Crosshairs is a rich and humane portrait of women's health professionals who persist in their work despite harassment because they believe in what they are doing. These providers' voices have not been heard in recent debates, leaving the public with a deficient understanding of exactly how abortion is limited in this country, yet their experiences illuminate the truth of the issue of how violence limits women's access to abortion. Drawing on ideas from interviewing providers across the country, David Cohen and Krysten Connon propose several legal and societal reforms that could improve the lives of providers, foremost among them redefining targeted harassment as terrorism rather than protest.

David S. Cohen is a law professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and gender and the law. Prior to teaching, Cohen was a staff attorney at the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia and litigated cases involving abortion clinic safety, reproductive rights, Title IX, and LGBT family law.
Krysten Connon is a 2012 graduate of the Drexel University School of Law. Following law school, Connon worked as a federal judicial law clerk. She is currently an attorney in private practice in Philadelphia.

Saturday, August 8, 7:00pm.
Couples' Night: Readings, Music, Writing, and a Ukulele! with Ben Szuhaj, Nirvikar Singh, and Zoe Moscovici.

Join us for a Summer Saturday evening of fiction, poetry, music, snacks, writing games, snacks, friends, fun, and even a ukulele.

Sunday, August 9, 10:00am-3:00pm       Kids' event!
Kids' Lit. Mini-Fest.

A one-day festival of books, arts, music, action heroes, and dinosaurs!

• 10:00 am - Music and Dancing with Eco-Man
• 10:30 am - Richard McLaughlin, author of the anti-bullying book The Skunk with a Stinky Attitude
• 11:30 am - What makes an Action Hero? Find out with Valerie Lang, author of Andy Takes Action, and then design your own Action Hero cape.
• 1:30 pm - Dinosaurs! Explore the world of dinosaurs with Bob Walters and Tess Kissinger, author/illustrators of Discovering Dinosaurs. Learn about the 100 new species discovered in the last three years, and make your own Dino Art with two of the world's top paleoartists!

Tuesday, August 11, 7:00pm.
The Power of Black Women's Stories.

With Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, author of the short story collection Blue Talk and Love, and Tamara Winfrey Harris, author of The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is the author of the short story collection Blue Talk and Love. Born and raised in Harlem, New York, she has received the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and honors and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Yaddo, the Mellon Foundation, and the Center for Fiction in New York City. Her work has appeared in Callaloo, Best New Writing, American Fiction, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Feminist Studies,, The, and The Feminist Wire, where she is Associate Editor for Arts & Culture. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Tamara Winfrey Harris specializes in the intersection of race and gender with current events, politics, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, In These Times, Ms., and Bitch magazine and online at Fusion, The American Prospect, Salon, the Guardian, Newsweek/Daily Beast, XOJane, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today,, and Clutch magazine. She has been called to address women’s issues for major media outlets, including Ebony and NPR’s “Weekend Edition.”

Wednesday, August 12, 6:00pm.
Queer Literary Alliance Book Group.

A new book club for the store! QLA is a monthly book club open to everyone, focusing on queer books. Queer books exist in every genre and we hope to celebrate that, intentionally focusing on books by non-white people, non-cis folk, people with disabilities, and other identities sometimes marginalized by the greater queer community. We will meet 2nd Wednesdays of the month at 6:00pm. August's book: My Education by Susan Choi.

Thursday, August 13, 7:00pm.
The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series presents Cassendre Xavier (founder, curator, and host).

For author bios and upcoming schedule, please visit

The Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002) is a nurturing environment that celebrates women in the craft of multi-genre writing. It was founded, and is curated and hosted, by Leeway Transformation Award-Winning community cultural artist and organizer Cassendre Xavier. (Previous curators include Sherella Gibbs and Louise Bierig). The Series is free and includes mixed-gender open mic and Q&A with featured readers. For submissions or more information, please visit, or send a 200 word writer's bio, plus pic and public contact URLs (website, Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.), to: cxwriting(at)gmail(dot)com, or as a message via our Fan page:

Friday, August 14, 10:30am.
Shabbat Storytime with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Kids' event: More details below.

Thursday, August 20, 7:00pm.
Dr. Robert Garfield, Breaking the Male Code: Essential Skills for Solving Men's Emotional Crisis.

Robert Garfield, M.D., a psychotherapist and clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, has been recognized by Philadelphia Magazine as both one of the city's "Top Docs" and "Best Therapists." An engaging speaker, he has presented his work on men's friendships to both lay and professional audiences and published numerous articles on the subject of male emotional intimacy.

Saturday, August 22, 5:00pm.
Breaking Free.

Join us for a night with three local writers: Asha Molock, A.R. Bey, and Kendall Hayes.
Click to display/hide author bios.

Sunday, August 23, 2:00pm.
Family Stories: Finding Them, Sharing Them, Celebrating Them.

Join local authors Elaine Jones and Patricia Randolph for an afternoon of fiction and picture books.

Tuesday, August 25, 7:00pm.
Women of the World Book Club with Maleka Fruean.

We are a book club that reads international and multicultural women writers, both fiction and non-fiction. We meet the last Tuesdays of the month at 7:00pm. August's book (postponed from July): Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Note: The group will be going on hiatus after this meeting.

Wednesday, August 26, 7:15pm.
Life Stories Book Group with Minter Krotzer.

The Life Stories Book Group is designed for writers but all are welcome. We will read and discuss mostly memoirs, both contemporary and classic, focusing on the writing and structure as well as content and narrative. We will meet the last Wednesdays of the month. August's book: The Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere by Debra Marquart.

Thursday, August 27, 7:00pm.
Big Blue Young Adult Book Discussion with Jen Sheffield.

An open discussion group for adults who read YA and teens who like to talk about books. We meet the fourth Thursdays of the month at 7:00pm. August's book: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Friday, August 28, 7:15pm.
Poetry Aloud & Alive. Featured reader: John Williams.
Everyone's favorite neighborhood poetry gathering. Hosted by local poet Mike Cohen, with a featured reader and an open reading to follow. For more information, please contact the Mad Poets Society.

Classes at Big Blue Marble

Please see our Classes page for information on writing workshops and other classes.

Just For Kids

bead maze

Wednesdays, 10:00am.
Big Blue Marble Story Time with Sarah Rose

Come sing songs and read some of the best new and classic kids' books!

Fridays at 10:30am: 6/12, 7/24, 8/14
Shabbat Storytimes with jkidphilly & Germantown Jewish Center.

Babies, toddlers, and young children and their grown-ups (parents, grandparents, nannies, etc.) are invited to join us for a special storytime, focusing on the joy of Shabbat. We'll read stories, sing songs for Shabbat, and make an easy activity to take home. Juice & challah to enjoy! Led by jkidphilly Center City Director Gabby Kaplan-Mayer and GJC Education Director Rabbi Alanna Sklover.
Questions? Contact Gabby at 215-320-0376.

Sundays from 1-5pm: 4/12, 5/17 (cancelled), 6/14, 9/13, 10/18, 11/1
Story Corners Specialty Writing Workshops for Kids!

These workshops, led by author and teacher Cordelia Jensen, will combine games, craft points, and writing exercises to make for a fun and creative afternoon. Ages 9 and up.
More details on our Classes page.

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551 Carpenter Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19119


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  • Book Clubs

    Final Tuesday, 7:15pm.

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