Line Break : Projects

Poets of Queens Reading Series

Line Break is pleased to welcome a new local reading series to the neighborhood! Our guest Olena Jennings, who read for us at Line Break #10, has recently founded the new organization Poets of Queens, with a mission to celebrate the poets of Queens and create a community around poetry in Queens.

In keeping with that mission, the new Poets of Queens Reading Series will take place this Wednesday, December 6, 7:30 pm at Vintage Wine Bar at 23-14 Ditmars Blvd in Astoria. The featured poets will be Sherese Francis (who read for us way back at Line Break #1) and Lucas Hunt.

So please, head out to Vintage on Wednesday night to support poets and poetry in Queens, and we'll hope to see you there!

More info:


We're delighted to announce that host William Shunn's new short story, "Last," has just appeared at, an online science fiction anthology and writing competition presented by XPRIZE.

XPRIZE, as you may know, is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public science competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit all of humanity. (No small goal, there.) One of their latest initiatives is a push for science fiction stories that promote a more hopeful future than the dystopian visions that seem to be so popular.

To that end, XPRIZE has launched, a site that is both an online anthology and a fiction contest. Thirty well-known science fiction writers have all contributed short stories about the passengers on a transatlantic flight that departs Tokyo in 2017 but somehow lands in San Francisco in 2037. The contributors list includes names like Margaret Atwood, Hugh Howey, Nancy Kress, Bruce Sterling, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, and Charles Yu, whose stories were written to highlight the amazing positive effects that twenty years of scientific advancement could have on a city like San Francisco.

As for the contest, XPRIZE invites readers to submit their own stories about the passenger in Seat 14C. The winner, to be chosen by members of the XPRIZE Science Fiction Advisory Council, will receive round-trip airfare to Tokyo, four nights in a four-star hotel, and $1,500 in spending cash, besides having his or her story published on

Find everything you need to know about entering at:

But hurry! The deadline for entries is August 25, 2017.

"Last" illustration by Marco Melgrati for William Shunn's story in XPRIZE's Seat 14C anthology - click to view - mousewheel to zoom

Will you answer "The Call"?


Here at Line Break, we love to feature the work of our readers when we can. So please, on this Independence Day, check out this animated short film by Jonathan Weiss, which was scored by our recent Issue #9 reader William Cusick.


Queens Lit Fest 2017
For three years now, the Queens Lit Fest has highlighted the incredible talent and diversity of writers in this greatest of New York City's boroughs. Line Break host William Shunn participated last year, and he's delighted to be doing so again this year.

William Shunn reads for Line Break at the Queens Lit Fest, LIC Landing, Long Island City, NY, July 16, 2016 - click to view - mousewheel to zoom
The Queens Lit Fest 2017 runs for two full days this weekend at LIC Landing in Long Island City. Admission for both days is free but does require an RSVP.

Bill will be reading promptly at 7:00 pm on Sunday evening, but don't come just for him. Come for an afternoon, evening, or all day to hear a wide array of Queens poets, essayists, storytellers, and more, including Line Break veterans like Emily Alta Hockaday, Jackie Sherbow, and Audrey Dimola.

It's going to be a great event. Don't miss it!

Queens Lit Fest 2017
Saturday, April 29 & Sunday, April 30

LIC Landing
52-10 Center Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
Free with RSVP

LIC Landing is a leisurely walk from the 7 train at Vernon Blvd.–Jackson Av.


Calgary Herald: Bomb threat sends crews into action - click to view - mousewheel to zoom

"It was 30 years ago today, that the Mounties hauled the kid away..."

Yes, our host and producer William Shunn celebrates a dubious anniversary today—that of his infamous arrest on terror-related charges in Canada. We don't want to spoil too much, but if you click on the video below we'll let Michael Ian Black give away the punchline.

Or, if you're so minded, you could pick up a copy of The Accidental Terrorist, the acclaimed memoir in which Bill explains what happened before, during, and after that fateful arrest. All ebook versions are on sale for only 99 cents, and prices are slashed on signed print editions.

And please, come see Bill when he hosts the fifth issue of Line Break, on Saturday, March 4th, 3:00 pm at Q.E.D. in Astoria, Queens.


The Monarch Papers by CJ Bernstein
Every so often, we at Line Break like to shine a spotlight on new projects by our past readers. Boy oh boy, do we have a great one for you today!

CJ Bernstein wowed our audiences twice last year with a fairy tale steeped in the mythology of the world of The Monarch Papers, the interactive mystery/fantasy novel on which he was hard at work at the time.

Now, nearly a year later, The Monarch Papers is live and underway. It's a beautiful, complex, immersive project that defies description, so we'll just borrow this description from Mr. Bernstein himself:

The Monarch Papers is a completely free interactive literary experience. Part novel, part game, you are the missing piece in a puzzle that’s remained unsolved for a thousand years.

This is not just a story you read. You participate in it directly, through social media and blogs. You solve puzzles, you collaborate with other players, interact with the characters, and even influence the direction of the story. Best of all, it's not too late to start playing!

The Monarch Papers is 100% free, though if you feel so moved, you can support the project via Patreon. But whether you do or not, we hope you'll start reading and playing today. It's truly an experience like no other.

James Gordon's cri de cœur


James Gordon (a/k/a G.P.A.) was unable to make it to last Saturday's Line Break thanks to a cancelled flight from his native Chicago. But we still want you to sample the raw power of his work, and nothing he's done is as raw or powerful as this brand-new poem, "Police Are Bullies." Take a listen. Then listen again.

Line Break

About Us

Line Break is an eclectic Queens reading series, hosted by William Shunn, showcasing a monthly mix of fiction, poetry, essays and performance. Join us next on Saturday, March 3, 3:00 p.m. at Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105. Admission is $7.

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