Tag: The Astoria Bookshop

Queens & Me: Personal Writing Workshop

Want to explore writing personal essays? Interested in learning more about Queens’ history? Do both!

Join our own Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on April 17th (6:30-8 pm) at The Astoria Bookshop for a FREE workshop inspired by our May 2023 No, YOU Tell It! “Here & Gone” show. Space is limited. Click here to reserve your spot today.

Engage with this stunning piece by Astoria-based artist Yelena Tylkina depicting history highlights – Westinghouse Time CapsuleNorth BeachAstoria Pool Sentinels, and The First Photocopy – from the Greater Astoria Historical Society archives, and tell your story!

Get the Queens “Here & Gone” image and view more of Yelena’s artwork via Fine Art America.

Copies of the No, YOU Tell It! Ten-Year Anthology will be available at the workshop.

Meet “Fly By” Artist Annie Shi

Sep 28 2023 @ 7:00PM

I never drew more planes in my life! – Annie Shi

Delighted to meet artist Annie Shi at the Astoria Bookshop during the Queens Art Fair organized by Sunnyside Arts; we commissioned her to create this animated image of Elinor Smith’s 1928 flight under four East River bridges – Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg … and Queensboro!

Our storytellers’ true tales were inspired by Annie’s artwork, and we asked her about the experience:

When Kelly Jean first told me about this project, I was ecstatic that I could take part in such an important show but also worried that I wouldn’t be able to do Elinor Smith justice as I’m not used to working with historical figures. But with the help of Kelly Jean, Tim Lindner, and Bob Singleton of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, I learned a lot about Waco planes, barnstormers, and, most importantly, Elinor. We wanted to illustrate her story and achievements, which I’ve worked into a gif and short zine. I never drew more planes in my life!

Learn more about Annie below and get your tickets to receive your copy of her Elinor Smith-inspired Zine at our show!

I’m an artist based in Queens who loves storytelling, the supernatural, and cats! I also enjoy making bite-sized, cozy gifs and participating in art fairs during my free time!




The Greater Astoria Historical Society is the place to learn and celebrate Long Island City and its neighborhoods. Learn more at astorialic.org.

This project is supported by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Flushing Town Hall.

This project is made possible (in part) with public funds from the Queens Arts Fund, a re-grant program supported by New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by New York Foundation for the Arts.

Event Information

Sep 28 2023 @ 7:00PM

Grove 34 (31-83 34th St, Astoria)

Summer Reading!

Looking for some summer reading? Check out our 10-year anthology for story swaps from over the years and behind-the-scenes insights from the people involved.

Available to order online or in person at The Astoria Bookshop and WORD Brooklyn.

Anthology at The Astoria Bookshop & Upcoming Event

Our ten-year anthology from Palm Circle Press is now also available through The Astoria Bookshop! We’ve had so many great memories here over the years and are looking forward to making more in the next ten years.

Save the date, 11/10 for our anthology event at the shop, and order your copy here.

October 28, 2022 Post Comment News Tags:

Meet “Punch Up” Story Coach Pichchenda Bao

Sep 26 2022 @ 7:00PM

In celebration of our 10th year, we’re continuing to build community by inviting No, YOU Tell It! alums back as guest story coaches and directors. We want our diverse alumni to step into the mentorship roles they benefited from to help guide new storytellers.

Meet Pichchenda Bao, who participated in our first evening of poets swapping with stand-ups #BKBF Bookend Event at The Astoria Bookshop in 2019. Give a listen to her story swap with comedian Carolyn Castiglia. 

We’re honored to have Pichchenda return as a “Punch Up” story coach at our first story meeting this week to provide her insights as a poet who left her comfort zone to write and perform prose with No, YOU Tell It! 

Photo credit: Mengwen Cao

Pichchenda Bao is a Cambodian American writer and poet, infant survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, daughter of refugees, and feminist stay-at-home mother in New York City. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, exhibitions and events. She has received support from the Queens Council on the Arts and Bethany Arts Community. She is a 2022 Kundiman poetry fellow and a 2019 Aspen Words emerging writer fellow. Read her work at pichchendabao.com.

See you at Culture Lab, LIC on 9/26 for the show! RSVP via Facebook or email us at noyoutellit@gmail.com.

Event Information

Sep 26 2022 @ 7:00PM

Culture Lab LIC, (5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, New York, NY 11101)

Episode 65 – Alumni Show (Part 2)

Breakups can be confusing at times, especially when your heart parts ways with a city. Our first story takes us over the Hudson from New York City to New Jersey as our narrator reflects on what it means to move on from the place that she’s always loved.

In celebration of our 10 Year Anniversary here is a throwback swap. Part of our first alumni storyteller show at The Astoria Bookshop. “A Breakup Story” was written by Julia Granacki and is performed here by Molly Touger.

Top left: Julia Granacki; Bottom left: Molly Touger

Prompted by a social media challenge to replace your profile picture with your celebrity look-a-like, our next storyteller leans into her own definitions of beauty and identity as she starts to appreciate her likeness to Cher.

Switching it up, here’s “On Becoming Cher” written by Molly Touger and performed by Julia Granacki.

These stories were performed live on July 17th, 2014. Give a listen to the first half of the evening in Episode 5 of our podcast. Thank you to The Astoria Bookshop! Visit them at astoriabookshop.com.

Thank You for a Great “Defiant” Show!

Special thanks to:
Everyone who came out!
Our amazing storytellers!
Our lil’ crew!

Left to Right: Tim Lindner, Erika Iverson, Moncho Alvarado, Marcos Stafne, KJ Fitzsimmons, Desi Waters, and Bobby Hankinson. Photo credit Sachyn Mital

Culture Lab LIC at The Plaxall Gallery for the perfect venue.
Lambda Literary for being our partner for this event.
The Brooklyn Book Festival for including us as a 2021 Bookend Event.
The Astoria Bookshop for supplying our prize books.
City Artists Corps: A $25 million New York City program to get all of us show makers back out and making shows.

Sachyn Mital (www.sachynmital.com) for the fantastic photos! Click here to view more photos from the show on our Facebook page.

Meet “Defiant” Storyteller Bobby Hankinson

Sep 28 2021 @ 7:00PM

Our “Defiant” show is two weeks away! Meet our first storyteller Bobby Hankinson and come out on 7/28 for a chance to win a copy of WELCOME TO KWEENDOM from The Astoria Bookshop.

Photo by Mindy Tucker

Bobby Hankinson (he/him) is a Brooklyn-based writer, performer, creative and full-time homosexual. He is the host and producer of Kweendom, a live LGBTQ comedy and storytelling show, which TimeOut NY described as “consistently dope” and Thrillist called “extremely gay.” He also edited WELCOME TO KWEENDOM, published by Wheatfield Press in 2021, featuring essays from LGTBQ writers and a foreword by Alan Cumming. In addition to performing across the country, Bobby is pop-culture writer for leading LGBTQ website Towleroad.com. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, VICE, Gothamist and more.


Event Information

Sep 28 2021 @ 7:00PM

Culture Lab LIC, Gallery B (5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, New York, NY 11101)

Save the “Defiant” Date

Sep 28 2021 @ 7:00PM

Our Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event is on! We’re teaming up with Lambda Literary again for a night of queer storytelling with a twist.
The four curated storytellers are working together to develop their true tales inspired by the theme “Defiant” on the page. Come out to Culture Lab in Long Island City on 9/28 and watch as they swap and present each other’s stories on stage. Plus, literary prizes from The Astoria Bookshop!


Event Information

Sep 28 2021 @ 7:00PM

Culture Lab LIC, Gallery B (5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, New York, NY 11101)

New “Defiant” Show!

“Words can wound but they also have the capacity to heal.” – Kent D. Wolf, NYTI Snapped!

As Pride month comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce that for our next show, we are once again teaming up with Lambda Literary for an evening of queer storytelling with a twist!!

More information soon about No, YOU Tell It! “Defiant” coming in September as part of the 2021 Brooklyn Book Festival and produced in partnership with Lambda Literary and The Astoria Bookshop.

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