High: Making plans with a literary-minded friend to attend a StorySLAM and getting excited about the night’s theme—something like “Doubt” or “Haunted” or “Hot Mess.”

Low: Sneaking your phone out during class or work at exactly 3 pm the week before the event, refreshing the page every few seconds, in order to snag tickets before they sell out.

Low: Joining one of two massive lines outside of the Housing Works Bookstore Café nearly an hour before doors open, then flooding inside when they do, desperate to score a seat (or a stair).

High: Hearing the storytellers’ intriguing and hilarious first lines.


Low: Uncomfortably laughing when storytellers tell inappropriate or overtly graphic sexual stories.

High: Hearing the storytellers nail their last lines.

Low: Uncomfortably laughing when the storytellers’ jokes don’t quite hit.

High: Seeing a storyteller take the mic for the first time and deliver one of the best stories of the night.

High: Cracking up at the host’s on-the-spot reactions to the audience’s write-in stories.

High: Noticing the diversity and friendliness of the crowd (though, admittedly, a high percentage of audience members are carrying publishers’ tote bags).

High: Laughing collectively for two hours at the woes of living in New York, at the quirks of being a literature lover, and at the woes and quirks of being a literature lover living in New York.

–Alyssa Matesic, Editor-in-Chief