That’s a wrap! Thanks to everyone who came out for APRIL, and double-thanks to everyone who helped out manning the doors, taking photos, applying lipstick—you name it.

See you next year!

Our Mission

is to connect readers with independent literature and the authors and publishers of this relevant and vitalizing work.

Our Vision

As motivation for our programming, APRIL envisions:

Our Values

APRIL values…


Whether you’re a small press, an author looking to read or just a curious bibliophile, we’d love to hear from you!

Feel free to email us, or head to our Facebook page.


The 2014 festival has come and gone! Check back in this space for any APRIL offseason events.

Reverse Fan Mail

Reverse Fan Mail is back as part of the 2013 fundraiser! Donate $35 to APRIL and get an original piece of writing made out to you.

This year, we’re honored to offer pieces from Stacey Levine, Ed Skoog, Joshua Beckman, Matthew Rohrer, Mark Leidner, Ryan Boudinot, Rebecca Bridge, Jac Jemc, Wendy Xu, Jane Wong, Rich Smith, Ted Powers, Peter Mountford, Drew Swenhaugen, Mike Young, Amber Nelson, Megan Kaminski, Richard Chiem, Matthew Simmons, and Doug Nufer.

In addition to these written RFMs, we’re also offering illustrated Reverse Fan Mails. When you donate $55, you get a written piece and a print of an original illustration based on that piece! This year, illustrators Tessa Hulls, Derek Erdman, Aidan Fitzgerald, C.M. Ruiz, and Darin Schuler will grace your pages with their wonderful drawings.

New to Reverse Fan Mails? You can read some older Reverse Fan Mails here.

And here’s what a few of the past Reverse Fan Mails have looked like:

Book Club

The APRIL Book Club meets monthly-ish, and focuses on books from some of our favorite small presses. Up next is IF I SHOULD SAY I HAVE HOPE, by Lynn Melnick (YesYes Books).

The Book Club meets April 13. All Book Club meetings are held in the Cafe at the Frye Art Museum

To sign up for a membership, please email kellen@aprilfestival.com with your name, phone number, and mailing address. (We won’t use this information for anything besides the Book Club). This membership comes with three books and reserved seating at the monthly Book Club meeting. Book Club memberships are $30.

Individual Book Club books are also available for purchase from participating bookstores Elliot Bay Book Company and the University Book Store.

Space is limited at the monthly Book Club meeting, so please RSVP to kellen@aprilfestival.com if you’d like to attend, but are not a Book Club member.

At January’s Book Club meeting, we discussed Derek Palacio’s singular novella, HOW TO SHAKE THE OTHER MAN (Nouvella Books, 2013). You can find Willie’s review of SHAKE here. We also paired SHAKE with a piece hanging in the Frye. Willie selected Franz Von Stuck’s “Pieta,” for it’s powerful depiction of grief.



Here are some of the nice things folks have said about APRIL and APRIL-related shindigs in the past.

“It’s everything that a good book festival should be, with all the bulls*&t trimmed away.” (The Stranger, 3.20.13) “…our festival tries to refute this tired notion that ‘literature’ is for a very specific, bookish group of people, and that it only occurs in certain designated spaces.” (Vol. 1 Brooklyn, 2.20.13) “I’ve never really seen anything quite like it.” (The Stranger, 4.2.12) “…poems about sex, refrigerators and terrifying dreams.” (City Arts Magazine, 10.19.12) “These kinds of things happen but once a lifetime.” (City Arts Magazine, 3.28.12) “This is no series of sedate readings.” (Seattle Met, 3.15.12)

For press inquiries or images, please email us at info@aprilfestival.com

Media outlets may use any and all photos on this website, provided you credit the photographer for each. If you have photo questions, or would like high-res versions of any of these photos, please email us.


Below are some of our favorite shots from APRIL 2013. To check out more photos like these, head to our Facebook page!

The Jackie Hell, APRIL festival’s fairy godmother, will cut you. (Photo c/o Joseph Lambert)

Matthew Rohrer, reading at the APRIL Showcase at Richard Hugo House. Continuing a theme of the festival, Rohrer rearranged the APRIL balloons to spell PILAR. “I’ve always thought that was a beautiful name.” (Photo c/o Greg Bem)

The teeming hordes listening to Heather Christle read at Vignettes. (Photo c/o Joseph Lambert)

The winner of the second annual A Poet, a Playwright, a Novelist and a Drag Queen event, Cherdonna (with crown) and her assistant, Baby CherCher! (Photo c/o Greg Bem)


For the goings-on of the APRIL crew, reviews, interviews and the full run of Reverse Fan Mail pieces, please head to our blog!


Tara Atkinson, Founder and Managing Director

Tara Atkinson has worked as an editor, an arts journalist, a publishing assistant, a home health aid, an organic farmer, a standardized test quality controller, and a line cook. In 2013 she earned her MFA from the University of Washington. Her chapbook, “Bedtime Stories,” is out now from Alice Blue

Willie Fitzgerald, Founder and Creative Director

Willie Fitzgerald grew up in Cabin John, MD, went to school in Wisconsin and now lives in Seattle. His writing has appeared in HOARSE, Keep This Bag Away From Children, City Arts Magazine and online at MSN.

Kellen Braddock, Finance and Development Director

Kellen Braddock no longer has an appetite for vegetables. Lately she marries produce in a blender and shoots the mess, like a pill, before coffee. She finds pleasure in knowing that Netflix really gets her, steadfast to her “Controversial,” “Strong Women” taste preferences. First ground-under-foot experience happened in NYC. She recently completed her MFA in Arts Leadership at Seattle University.

Frances E. Dinger, Media Relations Coordinator

Since 1990, Frances has lived in eight houses, three apartments, three countries and three states, but she currently lives in Seattle. Her fiction & essays have appeared in Thought Catalog, Small Doggies Magazine and Metazen, among other places. In 2012, she co-curated the art installation “Read With Me” in Seattle’s Occidental Park & presented a paper on the future of publishing at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Aidan Fitzgerald, Designer

Aidan Fitzgerald is an Artist and Cartoonist from Maryland currently living in Seattle. He is a founding member of the Intruder comics newspaper. You can see an assortment of work at aidandrawings.tumblr.com



2014 Volunteers

Caitlin Smelser, Emily Wittenhagen, James Ganas, Hannah Clark, Justin Duffus, Richard Chiem, Bill Doerfield, & Lillian Nickerson.

Extra-double-shoutouts to the wonderful photo/video wizards Leighan Schreiber, Colleen Zickler, Dylan Haydu, Rachel Robinson, and Cassie Bell. Sparkle Leigh earns a special commendation for make-up application in the line of fire.


2014 Donors

Channing Redford & Jim Braddock, Ben Blum, Lillian Nickerson, Hollis Hill, Kellen Braddock, Rahel Tesfahun, William J Graham, Susan Fitzgerald, Patricia Dinger, Anne Michelson, Kim Selling, Nancy Cassanova, Chris Burlingame, Leighan Schreiber, Matt Nelson, Catherine Graham, Kenny Coble, Lacey Jane, Darren Focareta, Ross McMeekin, Sierra Stinson, Cara Beth Rogers, Amber Nelson, Ed Skoog, Bernardo Malfitano, Tim Hayden, Alison, Kelly Froh, Catie Young, Spike Friedman, Nicholas Stokes, Kate Lebo, James Ganas, Publishing Genius, Jerry Richard, Jake Uitti, Diana Salier, Alex J. Parton, Brittany Dennison

2013 Donors

Brittany Dennison, Channing Redford, Susan Graham, Alan Bransted, Peter Kane, Penelope Mitchell, Karen Allman, Patricia Dinger, Benjamin Blum, Darren Davis, Bruce Holbert, Richard Vanderknyff, Everett Ehrlich, Greg Flores (and all of HOARSE), Summer Robinson, Nancy Casanova, Hannah Clark, Edmund Zagorin, Bryan Ohno, Lauren Davis, Hollis Hill, Kelly Froh, Bill Carty, Chris Prandoni, Matthew Simmons, Nancy Ramsey, Christine O’Connor, Rebecca Brown, Greg Bem, Kelly Roesing, Samuel Moss, Ramzy Suleiman, Edward Wolcher, Nate Sloan, Cheri Walters, Matt Nelson, Ava Cole (Ms. Meow Meow), Lauren Othon, Kerri Ladish, Zachary Schomburg

2013 APRIL Salon Donors:

Lauren Davis, Justin Duffus, Jeremy Springsteed, Willie Smith, Kellen Braddock, Jay Yenkich, Ava Cole, Nicole Bernard, Sam Moss, Calvin Pierce, Richard Chiem, Alan Bransted, Thomas Walton, Jessica Severance, Aidan Fitzgerald, Joseph Lambert, Adam Boehmer, Jamie, Sarah Lloyd, Elizabeth Cooperman, Brittany Dennison, Marlin Standingfish, Frances McCue, Garth Brewe, Rich Smith, Alex Garland

2012 Donors

In our first year, we raised more than $5000 via Kickstarter, all thanks to our incredibly generous donors.

APRIL graciously thanks:
Marie Slaight, joshuA, Aidan Fitzgerald, Anthony Fleming, readlearnwrite, Rick VanderKnyff, Kate Sullivan, Jeffrey Simmons, Susan Graham, Ken Austin, Kara Marie Cooperrider, Stephanie Pereira, Lauren Davis, Neil Ferron, Jessica Massart, Jamey Braden von Mooter, Lynne Nugent, Flying Object, Diane Cook, Darian Gee, Melissa Gira Grant, Scott Burau, Dennis Yang, Stone Soup Theatre, Charles Alvis, Jeff James, Katie Seling, Gretchen Kolderup, Lloyd Cargo, Matt Rowe, Michael Lieberman, Katie Woodzick, Rebecca Meredith, Charles Karasek, Jenny Hayes, Futurepoem, Kelly Carlos, Brittany Dennison, Claire Fox, Gregory Laynor, Dan Brady, Jennifer Abel Kovitz, Amy Helen, Joy Ralph, Lys Ruben Blanc, Edward Mullany, Stephen Dossick, Peter Olson, Pietro Conforto Bardellini, Courtney Johnson von Nieda

Readers and Performers


Matthew Dickman, reading a poem to Xanax, at the 2013 APRIL Benediction.

APRIL 2013 featured some wonderful readings and performances. Thanks to, in no particular order: Matthew Dickman, Jackie Hell, Rebecca Brown, Punishment, Summer Robinson, Rich Smith, Rebecca Bridge, Amber Nelson, Heather Christle, Cherdonna, Elissa Ball, Peter Mountford, Neil Ferron, Calvin Pierce, Maged Zaher, Dave Thomas, Thomas Walton, Elizabeth Cooperman, Greg Bem, Emily Beyer, Jennifer Burdette, Rachel Kessler, Rauan Klassnik, Matthew Rohrer, Sherman Alexie, Fly Moon Royalty, Paul Constant, Paul Nelson, Anastacia Tolbert, Stephen Roxborough, Amalio Madueno, Nadine Maestas, Brad Loomis, Nancy K Dillon, the Bushwick Book Club, Jeremy Springsteed, Jason Conger, and the Ink and the Echo


We had some amazing readings and performances for APRIL 2012. Thank you to:

Rebecca Brown, Christopher Frizzelle, Debra DiBlassi, Mallery Avidon, Jackie Hell, Heather Folsom, Megan Kaminski, Lily Divine, Crystal Curry, Zachary Schomburg, Debra DiBlassi, Mallery Avidon, Jackie Hell, Heather Folsom, Levi Fuller, Matthew Simmons, Ryan Call, Chelsea Martin, Stacey Levine, Doug Nufer, Paulette Gaudet, Richard Chiem, Greg Bem, Jamey Braden, Kate Lebo, Diana Salier, Sarah Galvin, Ed Skoog, Riley Michael Parker, Robert Duncan Gray, Lindsay Allison Ruoff


APRIL has been lucky enough to work with some amazing organizations in Seattle and beyond. Thank you to:

Richard Hugo House
The Stranger
alice blue