Announcements, Book, Commentariat

Help Us Plan a Book Tour!

OK, Shapelings, lots of you have been asking where we might be going on a book tour, and the answer is, we have no idea yet.

Well, we have one idea. There will definitely be an event at Re/Dress in Brooklyn on June 5. Other than that, nothing’s firm yet. So we need a little help from American readers. (Apologies to non-American readers, but right now, we can’t afford to tour anywhere else.) 

First, questions:

1) Do you own/work for/frequent a venue (bookstore, plus-size boutique/bar) that might be interested in hosting an event with us? Can you put us in touch with someone there?

2) Do you attend/work for a college that might be interested in having us come to speak about body image/lead a workshop/whatever? Do you know who to talk to about that?

3) Do you live in a city where you suspect (or better yet, know for a fact) we could get a large audience to come out for an event? If so, where?

And now, caveats:

1) Our publisher is contributing precisely $0 to our travel fund, so this whole tour will be coming out of our own pockets. Realistically, that means we might only be able to hit a few cities, and they will probably be the big ones that everybody goes to. If we had unlimited time and money, we would LOVE to visit the little ones nobody goes to, but that’s just not feasible right now — with the exception of college towns where the colleges will pay to bring us in as speakers. (If you know of a great venue or think we could get a great crowd in a smaller city, please do mention it! We’ll consider anything! Just be aware that there are some pretty severe time and money limits going on here, so we don’t want anyone to be surprised and disappointed if it turns out we just hit a few big cities on the east coast, plus our hometowns.)

2) In light of the above, there will probably be very few events at which both of us will be present. The Re/Dress shindig will be one, and we will probably both be in Minneapolis at the end of June, so we’ll try to organize something there. Otherwise, it’s likely to be  just one of us. 

All right, take it away, U.S. Shapelings. Where should we go? Who might want to host us? What kind of fatty networks do you know about in your hometown? 

Thanks in advance for whatever you’ve got.

154 thoughts on “Help Us Plan a Book Tour!”

  1. Well what do you know, I will be in Minneapolis at the end of June! And Brooklyn on June 5! :)

    Which is good, because I actually think I don’t have any more bookstore or coffeeshop connections around here.

  2. Most of the B&N stores here in NYC seem to have separate event planners. Since you can sell them that you’re already having an event in Brooklyn, would it be feasible to call and find out whether any of the rest of them would be willing to host something around that time?

    There is also the Drunken!Careening!Writers! series at the KGB Bar. Here’s a link to a description of the series and, I believe, one of their event producers:

  3. Philadelphia! Big Moves Boston is touring our Fat Camp show down to Philly on May 8-9, and we’ve got the space in that weekend for an author appearance at the Rotunda (I know, right? The ROTUNDA).

    Boston! If you haven’t already talked to Jaclyn and the folks at Center for New Words… Big Moves would rally SO MANY FATTIES out to that reading.

  4. Champaign-Urbana is close enough to Chicago and you might be able to get a decent crowd there. If you’re interested I can poke my friend who’s the event planner for the University’s bookstore to see if they want to do an event.

  5. in DC there is a great bookshop, Politics and Prose, that has a book reading every single day and draws great crowds. i love that bookstore myself and am amazed by the history (wallace stegner read there!). i feel like your book would fit in perfectly with the politically aware/engaged environment there. wish i could say i had great ins with the people who work there, but it wouldn’t hurt to shoot them an e-mail.

  6. I’m still more than happy to try getting you some funds. Our semester ends in early May and starts again at the end of August. Let me know – the director of the gender and multicultural life department is definitely on board!

  7. In NYC, Housing Works bookstore, cafe is a great activist space where I volunteer. Email me if you’re interested in contact info for the event manager.

  8. Another vote for Boston, though I’m a grad student at Harvard, and really think the students here would benefit from a dose of reality about body image and health.

    Also Porter Square Books in Somerville does book readings a lot…

  9. Bah. I work at a bookstore, but we don’t do signings there because it’s a text book store. But I would love it if you came to Gainesville. We have a Cacique/Lane Bryant AND a Torrid at our mall, plus like 4 Catos, so I assume there are enough fat women here who actually like the idea of wearing clothes that fit. And there’s the school….

    I wish I could be helpful.

  10. Just out of curiosity, when will this book tour be happening?

    It all depends. Regular book-toury stuff will likely be May through Julyish, ’cause we want a big push when the book comes out. College appearances, however, are likely to be in the fall, because the book’s coming out so close to the end of term for most schools.

    FWIW, I might try to arrange something in Indy earlier, since I’m down there a lot anyway.

  11. Esme, FL is Marianne’s territory. :) I wouldn’t rule it out, but since she lives in Orlando, it would make a lot more sense for her to do Gainesville, if there’s gonna be a Gainesville event, while I do Champaign/Bloomington/Madison/whatevs.

    And Mary Worley, I love Madison, so that’s on the “I’ll really try” list for sure.

  12. I’m a long-time lurker, but I work at a feminist bookstore in Austin, TX, and I would love to have us host an authors’ event! There’s actually a bit of fan-girl squeeing over the idea, but that’s neither here nor there. The owner of course has final say over these things, but I can’t imagine she wouldn’t be amenable.

    You can reach me (Casey) or the owner at or 512-472-2785. You can also send mail to email in my comment if you want to talk to me more informally first.

  13. San Francisco!!! I go to school at UC Santa Cruz, and while we’re too small for you to come :( I can definitely make the trek to come see you lovely ladies!

  14. I second the call for Philly!! There’s a pretty big (lol) fat acceptance community here and events like these do well. We got 35 people to come to a zine-making party on Love Your Body Day without a ton of notice!

  15. You should think about coming to Atlanta – largely populated! and of course I would love to see you……

  16. Seattle! There are 3, count ’em 3, Universities here (U of WA, Seattle Pacific and Seattle U) so lots and lots of college aged folks. I should be able to put you in touch with the Center for Sex Positive Culture folks to see about space/promotions/where to stay/audience etc. Plus there’s the Elliot Bay Book Company which has a killer coffee spot/author’s talking space down stairs and a really neat independant vibe. And I know they do signings all the time. I may not know a whole bunch of people, but I’d totally do the leg work to help get you out here.

    P.S. In the summer, the weather is so amazing…

  17. I don’t know how far West you’ll be able to come (if at all) but Denver’s a pretty awesome big city. The Tattered Cover bookstore downtown does a lot of book signings and Metro State College on Auraria campus also has an excellent GLBT/Women’s center that would probably be interested in HAES. If you can’t do it this time you should definitely put it on the list for your next tour.

  18. Well, if you’d like I can have my manbeast talk to his store’s event planner, but… I don’t want to be mean, but unless Dayton is the unofficial home of the Shapelings I don’t think you’d draw much of a crowd here.

    Now, if you manage to write a book series about a teenage girl and her pet sparkly vampire they’ll be all over you like sprinkles on a baby donut.

    His store does do nice events though, when you’ve got a bit bigger of an audience I highly recommend it.

  19. Oh wow! I’ve been lurking here forever, but I am breaking out of that to say that I attend a tiny, tiny liberal arts college in Sarasota, FL (about 2 hours southwest of Orlando, 3 hours southwest of Gainesville) and I think it would be pretty awesome if on your college loop you or Marianne could come! A lot of students here pride themselves on being conscious about politics and privilege and the like and we have lots of speakers on racism and sexism, but body politics of the kind you cover here doesn’t get discussed much. Students have a lot of opportunity to bring in speakers; I’ve never done it personally, but I do know who to talk to about it. We’re very small and on a limited budget, so I don’t know how much we could offer, but I would definitely be interested in trying to make this happen.

    I’m sorry if this sounded completely incoherent or overly pushy, but I got really excited. aah. Thank you for everything you write here, by the way; at the very least it’s always thought-provoking and often very encouraging to me personally.

  20. Re: Seattle – for sure! I live down in Olympia (an hour south), and you could totally get a killer crowd here. It’s a college town with a thriving fat positive community, plus many local venues for readings/signings/etc. Then you could head down to Portland, OR, also a killer city. Do an I-5 tour in three days and hit three awesome locations!

    If you’re interested in Olympia, The Evergreen State College is a good place to start. Also the Capital Theater has lots of events/readings/shows, and it’s right downtown. I could probably get you a contact there.

  21. COME TO BOSTON!!!!!

    We have tons of college students who are always on the lookout for cool events.

    There’s a book store called The Brookline Booksmith just outside of Boston (public transportation accessible) in Coolidge Corner and they’re always hosting cool authors and poets and drawing a big crowd. Every Tuesday, in fact, but maybe they’d do it some other night too,

    Brookline and Boston are teeming with progressive feminists who want to hear this stuff!

  22. re: Seattle

    Odd as it sounds, one good place for you to do a body positive presentation might actually be the Fashion dept at UW. They just had their fashion show featuering all kinds of bodies.

  23. I have a possible Philly area college connection for you, but I need to talk to someone first. It would be a good place for a body image-related visit, though, IMHO.

  24. The Igigi boutique in San Francisco has started hosting some events on Saturdays. Granted, up to now it’s been “Come in and look at our clothes,” but I definitely think it’s worth a shot, contacting them. I have a name and e-mail I could give you, or I could do a “CC both parties” type of e-mail introduction.

  25. My vote is for Powell’s, in Portland. Per Wikipedia, it “claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.” Portland is a very progressive city, lots of FA activism, you’d be so well received there. And yeah, you could easily do Seattle at the same time!

  26. Go to Madison! I am in Stevens Point, and would definitely drive down.

    Mary Ray – um, is there really a Sassy Fat Girls Social Club? Are you accepting new members?

  27. If you guys want, I could talk to people on my college campus (Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland) and see if anyone would be interested in using some of their funding to pay you to visit. I’d really really love it if you guys would.

  28. Mills College in Oakland might be interested in hosting a book tour event if you’re coming out to the Bay Area. It’s a small liberal-arts women’s college, but it’s in Oakland, and community outreach is a big thing there so it might work out to a large enough audience to make it worth your while.

    The Division of Student Life would be a good place to start inquiring (510 430 2130, student _ life [at] mills [dot] edu) Also, check out the Women’s Leadership Institute (510 430 3196, wli [at] mills [dot] edu), they might be interested in co-sponsoring the event. I’m no longer a student there and have no personal ins to help out, though.

    The Mills website is:

  29. D.C.! I agree that Politics and Prose is great, though I don’t have an in there either. I think they are pretty easy to get in touch with though. Otherwise, American University in D.C. would probably love to have a talk…but since school is out by then I don’t know how likely they’d be to schedule (or pay) for it due to low turnout.

  30. A BIG second vote for the DC metro area. Politics and Prose hosts speakers nightly, but I would also recommend Busboys and Poets, which has one location in DC and one location in NoVa- they say they are “a restaurant, bookstore, fair trade market and gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace.”

  31. Another vote for Portland and Powells! Although, if you want to support the smaller independent bookstores, we also have In Other Words, the only surviving non-profit women’s bookstore in the country. They host events and readings all the time.

  32. i went to oberlin college, in OH. i have a feeling that some student group there might be willing to pay you a small amt (like, hopefully to cover your travel expenses). it’s been a while, though, so i don’t know who to put you in touch with. maybe poke around the website a little? or email me if you’re interested, and you’d like me to poke around the website for you?

    i’m currently in LA. you should come here. i have no useful contacts, but it’s LA! there’s certainly a need.

  33. Kate!

    Rumor has it you might be swinging by Cornell/Ithaca for Love Your Body Day next October- I’ve been in touch with the woman behind the curtain who deals with these things, and I told her I would DO ANYTHING to get you over here… so here is my official plea for you to come educate the overly-educated masses next semester. After all, I just ordered Yes Means Yes from Amazon, and naturally I need you to sign it for me!

    her contact info: Laura Weiss, Director of the Cornell Women’s Resource Center

  34. I’m the director of publicity at a publishing house in the NW. I am happy to be of help–I can give you good suggestions of venues were readings are usually well-attended, how to get some extra publicity, and contact info. for the bookstores. Please feel free to email me if you want some help.

  35. I’m in Milwaukee and would definitely head to Madison if you went there. (I think there is a Chicago — Madison Megabus, which would be way cheap for you.)

  36. If you go to IU, I will definitely be there! I live in Louisville, which is not terribly far south.

    I go to the community college here, but we are very closely tied with University of Louisville. I might be able to talk to the Women’s Studies director at Jefferson Community College and get some more info for U of L.

  37. Please come to Bookpeople in Austin, Texas. It is the only independent bookseller left in Austin, and they host readings and book signings by small, independent authors/publishers alla time. I don’t know who, specifically, to contact, but here is their website:

    I will definitely be there if you come.

  38. i have a feeling that some student group there might be willing to pay you a small amt (like, hopefully to cover your travel expenses).

    Yeah, to be clear, that’s all I’m talking about in terms of colleges paying. We’re not looking to get rich — and we’d certainly consider going to colleges that can’t pay, if we’re already in those towns. But so far, the people I’ve talked to at colleges have offered to cover travel — something bookstores, bars, and our publisher can’t do for us — which makes a big difference, especially for me. (Since I freelance, I can work from anywhere, so the travel costs are the only thing really holding me back. Marianne also has to negotiate around an office job.)

    And yes, imnotemily, Laura is one of those college-people I’ve talked to, and we’re on for next fall, though we haven’t hammered out deets yet!

  39. So, no Toronto leg of the tour, then? :(

    Just saw this. Not at present, though I haven’t ruled it out, since I have people there. Problem is, I’m not even sure if Penguin Canada is bringing the book out, or if you’re going to be stuck ordering it from the U.S. Will look into that.

  40. Also, I’m wondering whether Jessica and/or any of the other YMY authors could get you on the NYU calendar.

    Also, I’m wondering whether it would be worth it to try and get Kelly Brownell and his cronies at Yale to put their $$$ where their mouths are and put you on the Columbia/Barnard calendar.

    Also, would Professor Harriet Brown be able to have S.I. Newhouse School of Communications sponsor something, perhaps for the opening of the 2009 School Year?

    Also, you probably already know this, but the more clips you collect from advance press for your appearances and the more video coverage you have of yourself busily signing books at IU and Chambana, the more additional places will beg to have you.

    /end spamments

    *sings IU fight song to harveypenguin*

  41. Sorry if this has been mentioned already–couldn’t read the entire thread, but COME TO MILWAUKEE!! I go to Marquette and I like organizing things (vague much?) especially things I care about, so I bet I could mobilize a crowd for you and get some university funding. Plus, I would totally love to meet you!

    I think I’m just going to apply for funding through the university and see if we’d be able to sponsor a workshop or book talk for you here…would April be too early to kick off your tour?

  42. would April be too early to kick off your tour?

    Well, I won’t have books to sell until May 5, so it’s not ideal. But I might be interested anyway. Let me know what you find out.

  43. I have connections at both UW and Seattle University.

    And if you’re in Seattle, I also recommend Third Place Books. They do a lot of signings/readings and the events draw pretty good crowds, I think.

  44. I am no longer a student there, but Winona State University in Winona, MN would be an excellent stop for your tour, especially if you’re going to be in Minneapolis. I have a few contacts in the Women’s Studies department, particularly one professor who specializes in body/fat issues. Every year they do a series of events for the Women’s Studies department and they have brought in several interesting authors, so I’m sure it is entirely possible that they could pay for your visit. They also have a good crew of local people who come for these kinds of events (not just college students) and I would definitely make my way over from Rochester to see you.

  45. Tiffany, that sounds terrific — and I’m in the twin cities often enough that even if we can’t do something for the end of June, I’m sure I could work it around a different trip. Could you point your contacts in my direction or vice versa?

  46. If you’re going to be in NYC anyway, upstate is not too far away. :) It seems that there’s a nexus between Rochester-Syracuse-Albany with eating disorders groups and the fab Harriet Brown and others at Syracuse University focusing on media and body image, so there might be enough oomph to make it worthwhile to have some sort of event somewhere relatively close to the city, like Albany.

  47. pleasepleaseplease come to IU! I have no useful connections at all, but I would attend and it would be awesome.

    My undergrad, Grinnell College, is in the middle of nowhere but they have great resources for things like bringing speakers to campus so they might be able to cover travel expenses. The Feminist Action Coalition holds Love Your Body Week every year in October or November. I don’t know who is running it anymore, but the group email is

  48. I have connections at both UW and Seattle University.

    Would you e-mail me about that and/or let your connections know one or both of us might be interested, and pass along my e-mail? (katesblog at gmail)

  49. interfacings, thanks for the Grinnell tip! That’s another pretty easy ride for me.

    littlem and car, I’ll definitely ask Harriet about trying to do something in Syracuse around the time I’m in Ithaca. Thanks.

    Everyone: Forgive me for posting 8 billion times in a row. I was only skimming the thread before, but I just sat down to make a spreadsheet with your suggestions, and I kept noticing all these new posts! (I suspect FJ or SM also cleaned out the mod queue somewhere in there.) Thank you all so much for the ideas and offers of help! And keep it comin’!

  50. And in the process of looking for more current info about the Grinnell FAC, I found out they had Marilyn Wann speak at Love Your Body Week 2008, so I’d say definitely they’d be interested. I’ve mentioned you to the organizers of last year’s LYBW though this sort of Grinnell-only social network/blog site.

  51. You must come to Portland! Both Powell’s and In Other Words seem like ideal places.

    Also, I work at a hotel in Lake Oswego, about 15 minutes away from Portland. Depending on what time of the year you’d be there, I could either get you a room pretty cheaply or free. It’s right on the bus line, or I’d be happy to drive you around.

    Please come to Oregon!

  52. I second (third?) Olympia, WA.
    This is a great bookstore for a small reading:

    In addition to Evergreen, there’s also St. Martin’s College and South Puget Sound Community College, which has a large venue to present in as well. There are many other smaller universities in addition to the bigger ones here in Washington State.

    You could fly into Portland and rent a car and drive up to Olympia, then Seattle. You could do this in the course of a week or less.

    Heck, you could even take the train between Seattle and Portland with stops in Olympia, and I can transport you to/from the train station (just ask Meowser.)

    I would totally help with publicizing your Olympia appearances.

    I am selfishly lobbying for an Olympia stop because I want the Fat Acceptance here to spread far and wide.

    If you would like my assistance, email me at fat dot athletes at gmail dot com. (or through my blog, or at the email address in the comment box).

    Seattle also has some influential newspapers, and Olympia has a daily newspaper as well. Tacoma might be another good stop (with a daily paper), and the University of Washington campus there has a nice venue, I’m told.

    I wish I had better ideas for raising money to cover the costs of your travels, but money is tight all around, especially at universities.

    Just an idea — possibly a stupid one — I wonder if there would be a possibility of some sort of paid workshop that Shapelings (and Shapelings-to-be) could attend — an old-school consciousness-raising-type thing — that could cover your airfare and lodging costs so you could at least break even on the costs but sell more books in the process. Olympia might be a good spot for this as it’s not expensive, in-between Portland and Seattle, and a lovely place to come in the summer.

  53. Thanks, WRT2. I actually have a grad school friend in Olympia, too, so it’s a definite possibility.

    Just an idea — possibly a stupid one — I wonder if there would be a possibility of some sort of paid workshop that Shapelings (and Shapelings-to-be) could attend — an old-school consciousness-raising-type thing — that could cover your airfare and lodging costs so you could at least break even on the costs but sell more books in the process.

    Definitely not a stupid idea! We’ll need to think about how we’d work that, if we want to try it.

  54. I live near Re/Dress, will be there if I’m back from my huge work trip in time, also would be delighted to chip in a bit on costs for any peripheral appearances you want to do in the greater NY. I don’t know if you have any funding mechanisms set up yet (not reading exhaustively right now, on the road and scary busy) but seriously, do a post or put up a sidebar or email me or something if there’s something you’d like to do and it’s a stretch.

  55. I have no connections, nor do I know about turn-out, but I would think that Santa Fe and or Taos might be great. Albuquerque is fun too. (Hopes that you can make it to somewhere in the southwest.)

  56. I’m sure if you contacted the University of Iowa you would get a gig. They dig progressive things. Not to mention that it’s often called the gay oasis of the midwest. If you needed I could probably find out who to talk to, since I know some people who work on campus.

  57. I have massive amounts of connections at SU, especially with the Grad Student Organization and the Honors Program. *plots* And I’m pretty sure that my parents would offer a place for someone to stay, too (my mother works on campus, and they live in walking distance).

    (Ooooh, I wish I thought the book all the honors students have to read over the summer weren’t picked already! I think I’ll go suggest it anyway.)

  58. Looks like none of us DC Shapelings have an in at Politics and Prose, so here’s the info from their website: All event-related inquiries can be sent to our Events Coordinator, Mike Giarratano, at Hope to see you there!

    By the way, it’s great to scroll through the comments and see the “ooh PICK ME’s” from all over this great land of ours :)

  59. Would you be interested in coming to the Baltimore Book Festival in September? I know it’s still a way out, but if the festival brings you in they’ll pay travel/lodging if necessary. Nothing fancy, but they treat their authors really well. I can put your publisher in contact with festival organizers.

  60. I assume you have Women & Children First in Chicago on your list. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s a terrific feminist bookstore. I’ve done two readings there and was able to draw big crowds. Of course, Chicago is my home, but I helped two L.A. writers get an audience, too. If it happens, I’ll be happy to tout your appearance.


  61. By the way, it’s great to scroll through the comments and see the “ooh PICK ME’s” from all over this great land of ours

    I know!

    Would you be interested in coming to the Baltimore Book Festival in September?

    Yes! Please e-mail me!

    I assume you have Women & Children First in Chicago on your list.

    But of course. I also need to call them back about another possible event for Feed Me.

  62. Okay, so I know that Cleric at Large brought up Toronto as a possibility, and I understand that Penguin Canada may or may not decide to publish a Canadian edition, but JUST IN CASE, I used to work with the University of Toronto Bookstore and I know their people (well, person now) who organizes their reading series. Let me know if you are interested. My former boss used to work with the Equity Studies program in New College, so she could certainly drum up some interest there, and while I don’t know anyone at the Toronto’s Women’s Bookstore personally, I have friends of friends who do. Also, Maximum Woman and Commesse (plus-size boutiques) might be interested in hosting. I don’t think you’d get any cold hard cash out of any of these places, but you could definitely sell some books!

    Also I can feed you and offer a place to crash. I suspect you won’t need the latter (since, you know, you used to LIVE here), but I make some mean chocolate earl grey cookies.

    U of T Bookstore Reading Series:

  63. I’m a long-time lurker, but I work at a feminist bookstore in Austin, TX, and I would love to have us host an authors’ event! There’s actually a bit of fan-girl squeeing over the idea, but that’s neither here nor there. The owner of course has final say over these things, but I can’t imagine she wouldn’t be amenable.

    Hi Casey!



  64. Please come to Bookpeople in Austin, Texas. It is the only independent bookseller left in Austin

    MinervaK – Bookpeople is not the last. Check out BookWoman (on N. Lamar) when you have a chance.

  65. Kate, I’ve emailed you some information (I didn’t want to post it here for identity reasons) about this. Hope it helps!

  66. I know Marianne has some connections here in B’ham, so I could definitely scout around for venue ideas and contacts if that’s a possibility. Most of my contacts here are in art, marketing, and the pagan community, but there are a few Shakers here as well, so who knows what I could come up with.

    And I’d absolutely make the trip to Atlanta (which I do fairly often anyway) for either of you.

  67. If you do wind up in Florida, I’d love to see you in Jacksonville (hour and a half away from Gainesville). I’m a tenth grade English teacher who also teaches our school’s Creative Writing course. It would be wonderful to have you in under the auspices of a published author speaking about writing…and then I’d just love for you to be able to speak about the book’s content. I have plenty of teen girls who ought to hear it.

  68. Re: reasonable driving distance from Chicago, maybe you could make that stretch to Lansing, Ann Arbor, or Detroit, MI? Major universities (so possibly able to provide some cost reimbursement as you mentioned) are in all of those places, and I would love to be able to attend the event. Michigan is one of the only states with an anti-size-discrimination law… OK, that’s a stretch, but I really want you to come here! :)

  69. Well, if you’re planning on coming to Minneapolis, you could also swing up to St. Cloud State University. I’m an alumni, and they have an excellent women’s center. This would totally fit in with them (and St. Cloud is only an hour northwest of Minneapolis) and I think you could draw a pretty big crowd. I’m including the link to their site:

    Good luck, and I hope to see you in Minneapolis!

  70. May I please second spacedcowgirl!? I attend Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich., and there’s a decent-sized crowd of students on campus who would love to hear you speak (40,000 students total study at the university). Many attended the documentary “America the Beautiful” and came to see Jessica Weiner, plus the health center’s coordinator/nutritionist is fantastic and will almost definitely get you a slot in one of the bigger theaters on campus (plus they’ll pay for you to come!). You can reach her at

  71. Another “yes, please!” for a DC reading. Also, I work at George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA. I know the people who work on Alcohol, Drug, and Health Education (including positive body image stuff — I know at least one of them has ready this blog once upon a time), and the lovely folks at the Women and Gender Studies program (my grad program)! Unfortunately, none of us have funds, and school will mostly be out by the time you’re traveling. So, if you’re up for not getting paid here, let me know and I’ll email with people’s emails. But, I’m not sure it’ll work just now.

    Also, in the fall, we have a book festival — Fall for the Book — in conjunction with the city of Fairfax. There *will* be funds for that, but it’s best to contact the Fall for the Book people directly (just google it), if you’re interested in doing something here around that time. If you are, I can hook you up with the aforementioned people, who might be interested in co-sponsoring, publicity, etc.

  72. Hi Kate,
    I just sent you another (sorry for my obsession) email about coming to Cornell U/Ithaca In October for Love Your Body Day. I have a million ideas for programs (both large and small) that we could arrange while you’re here, and lots of connections within the University that I’d love to utilize.

    Can’t wait to make this happen!

    P.S. Hi Emily from Ithaca! :)

  73. There is no reason to drive through the wilds of W. Texas to come to Lubbock, but we are a great stop if you happen to be driving through the area. If you are driving from Dallas to Albuquerque or Austin to Denver, check with me. I might be able to get the Women’s Studies department at Texas Tech to put you up for the night and have you talk. I also have tontacts with a lot of the alternative healing community out here.

    Since we tend to be a bit isolated out here (can you say “understatement”?), you might get a bit of a crowd.

  74. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

    Between Durham and Raleigh– so three major universities (UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke) with large populations of residents who would love this and students who need to hear it. Also, not only are there universities, but coffeeshops/bookstores/venues of all types abound.

    I work in the Women’s Studies building, so if you’re looking for funding/help/sponsership to come to this area, they would be my first recommendation.

  75. Re: reasonable driving distance from Chicago, maybe you could make that stretch to Lansing, Ann Arbor, or Detroit, MI?

    I was going to suggest Ann Arbor. They have a bazillion bookstores and UM of has a good women’s studies department that might be interested in a workshop. I did some grad work in the department and know a few people who are still there, so I could probably find out who the event planner is pretty easily.

    I’m in Detroit now, and while we do have a huge university here, there isn’t a central WS department and there aren’t a whole lot of easily-located independent bookstores, so I think Ann Arbor would be a better bet for a Michigan stop.

  76. Just an idea — possibly a stupid one — I wonder if there would be a possibility of some sort of paid workshop that Shapelings (and Shapelings-to-be) could attend — an old-school consciousness-raising-type thing — that could cover your airfare and lodging costs so you could at least break even on the costs but sell more books in the process. Olympia might be a good spot for this as it’s not expensive, in-between Portland and Seattle, and a lovely place to come in the summer.

    I second (third, fourth?) this idea! Lots of great venues for this type of event here. I work in marketing and would be happy to help with publicity, posters, etc. Also, as Olympia is in-between, we could definitely draw folks from Seattle & Portland.

  77. Another recommendation for the Boston metro area. I’ve gone to readings at Porter Square Books, Harvard Bookstore and the COOP — all good spaces in Cambridge.

    And as a Syracuse grad, I have to give them a plug as well. I’ve been gone from there for over a decade, but if The Feminist Collective still exists, they might be a good group to contact for help in possibly picking a venue.

  78. Hey Kate,

    I saw that someone posted earlier about being a student at UC Santa Cruz – I am a staff member at the Women’s Center at UC Santa Cruz, and I do NOT think we’re too small for you. :) Occasionally, we bring in speakers and set an agreement for them to do a small tour (like 3 UC’s) or a certain amount, so that we can all chip in, as well as benefit from hearing the speakers. If you’re interested, I’d love to talk to you about it. Especially since SF, Santa Cruz, and the state of Wisconsin are the only places in the country where size is a protected class! I’d be thrilled to have you or Marianne come and hang out.

  79. 1) I used to work for, and still frequent, a local independent and progressive bookstore in St. Louis. They do more events than any other bookstore in the area, I believe (several weekly). I know the owners and some folks who do event planning there, if you’re interested.

    2) I work for and am a student at a university whose women’s or or gender studies programs might be interested in having you come in and speak, etc. If you wanted to make it a two-fer with the above, I could definitely get some contacts, but my very close contacts are not in those specific departments.

    3) I live in St. Louis (see above) and we have gotten good turnout for similar events. Speaking to the contacts will give you a better idea, obviously. If you are interested in coming into town, email me directly.

  80. Krista, I’ve actually already got a bookstore lined up in St. Louis — there’s a Shapeling who owns one! — but would love to talk about doing college stuff there.

  81. I vote for Seattle!!! I actually live in Bellingham so I don’t really have connections to help you get the gig like some of these other ladies, but if you did a stop in Seattle you can count on me for advertising in B-ham! I already have a carfull worth of FA friends who would make the drive down.

  82. Hey, SLC is probably not a choice destination. And my Uni has just cut spending for visiting writers and the like. But I do think you should try to get to Iowa City and read at Prairie Lights, esp. since you, Kate, at least, are only a car ride away. It’s not a big city, obvs, but it’s a city that takes its readings seriously.

  83. I’m begging for a Philly appearance. The Rotunda is a really good venue, and there are a few bookstores and boutiques where the advertising would probably go well for a good turnout. I’d be willing to pound the pavement and distribute fliers to stores to advertise the event.

  84. I get why Ann Arbor is potentially more appealing at first blush (more populous general area, known as a progressive city, etc.), but Genevieve’s comment is really intriguing… sounds like MSU could work well based on the contact info and prior screening of “America the Beautiful.” I wasn’t sure what the lay of the land was there in terms of women’s studies/health and body issues, so that is good to hear.

    I am an MSU alumna, so I’m a little biased, but I would keep an open mind about E. Lansing, especially if you don’t end up being able to work something out with U of M, assuming that is your first choice. (MSU actually has more students than U of M, which probably means little in terms of attendance for your event, but I just point it out to indicate that it too would be a major venue and potential good option.) Or if you’re willing to stick around for more than one day or schedule two events in a day, you could hit both places pretty easily. They are about an hour apart.

    Other than that, I got nothing in terms of contact info or useful data so I’ll shut up now. :)

  85. am an MSU alumna, so I’m a little biased, but I would keep an open mind about E. Lansing, especially if you don’t end up being able to work something out with U of M, assuming that is your first choice.

    Oh, I totally wasn’t blowing off East Lansing, and I agree that Genevieve’s comments made MSU sound like a good possibility. I only mentioned being interested in Ann Arbor b/c I would like to spend a night there. (I’ve only driven past it a million times.) I hadn’t even thought about whether that would be a bookstore or U of M or both. Could be I/we do a bookstore in Ann Arbor close to the pub date, and a visit to MSU next fall or something.

  86. I vote for Seattle!!! I actually live in Bellingham so I don’t really have connections to help you get the gig like some of these other ladies, but if you did a stop in Seattle you can count on me for advertising in B-ham! I already have a carfull worth of FA friends who would make the drive down.

    Tangerina, do you go to WWU (or, as I always think of it, Quintuple-U)? I almost went there! I almost gave up all of my big L.A film student dreams for the mere fact that I find that city and the campus to be so so gorgeous.

    And on that L.A film student note – please do come to Los Angeles! Unfortunately my school, being a film school, probably wouldn’t be that interested in hosting you. But there are all sorts of book stores and schools down here, I’m sure you could actually make a lot of rounds without even leaving the area. I’ll see what I can find for you guys.

  87. Ooh, I second Edn up there! Pittsburgh would love to have you. I have an in with the women’s university here (Chatham) and you’d get a great turnout, we have a very feminist community here. It’s a nice place!

  88. I’m happy to host. I live in Rockland County, NY. 18 miles north of NYC. Feel free to contact me if there is a need.

  89. If you happen to come to Case Western, might I suggest stopping by Baldwin-Wallace College as well? It’s my alma mater and right outside town; they have a women’s activist group, but also a crap-ton of RAs and HDs who are always looking for programs. (Also that published, freelance author thing.)

    I can contact my friend-the-RA there; he might know who to email.

    They even have a Healthy Things (I forget what it’s really called) series. I think this would be a great addition. (Other topics include healthy relationships and stuff like that — it’s not actually about weight loss. Body positivity would fit right in.)

    B-W is a half hour west of Case Western; Oberlin is a half hour west of B-W, so it’s right in a line. There are also three colleges past Case — John Carroll, Ursuline, and Notre Dame Ohio — and one between Case and B-W (Cleveland State), but I have no contacts at any of those.

  90. The DC area seems to have a bunch of Shapelings, and there’s this really great bookstore here called Politics and Prose that often has events there. Its on the corner of Nebraska and Connecticut Ave NW

    Here’s the website:

    I don’t know anyone that works there but its an awesome little store that gets a lot of different authors in.

    Also American University has Women’s Initiative who like to bring in people to talk about ED and body image. I, personally, would like to see an FA talk on campus. Unfortunately, the only person I know who’s involved is the director of the Vagina Monologues.

  91. I also vote for Portland, OR! I think that both Powell’s and In Other Words would be good choices. More people would show up to Powell’s, but In Other Words would be cozier (and, likely, more receptive to the idea — Powell’s might have your reading be at the one in Beaverton or something, and I love you guys but probably wouldn’t truck out there for it) (Ok, I’m biased because IOW is 1/4 mile from my house, too)

  92. Hi! I’m a friend of Ms. Kirby’s, and I just want to say that if you hit Boston and want some delicious nom noms for your stop here please check out (i work there) – we can deliver an awesome cupcake tree or some pies or somesuch and would love to be present. :)

  93. If you do make it out to Ohio, I definitely recommend Denison University, about 40 minutes or so from Columbus; I’m a bit biased because it’s my alma mater, but because of that I also know that the generalized guest speaker budget is (relatively) massive for a small school, and that the Women’s Studies department tends to bring in at least one major speaker per year. I’ll have to check to see who the department head is these days, but I did my work study in the office while I was there so I might be able to poke them a bit if you think that it could be an option! Like I said, it’s a small school, but feminist/progressive speakers were always very popular when I was there.

    Also, there’s always Ohio State, which is just a ridiculously huge school.

  94. I live in NYC but work in publishing, and so I know a fair amount of book buyers. Politics & Prose is a superb choice for DC. The buyer’s name there is Barbara Meade, and she’s an awesome woman. Someone earlier in the thread gave you the event planner’s name, which might actually be the place to start. Whatever the case, Barbara and her partner hire really smart, enthusiastic people, so I imagine anyone you talk to there will be helpful. Note: I think this store is doing well and will only do even better now that Obama’s in town. Book buyers across the country have been saying, “Oh, Politics and Prose is so lucky–they’re going to get the Obama family as regular customers!”

    For NYC, someone suggested Housing Works, which is excellent, and a perfect place for a talk by you. Bluestocking, too. I also highly recommend getting in touch with McNally Jackson, a bookstore in the Soho neighborhood. The staff and owners are extremely hip and smart, and the bookstore is fast becoming a sort of cultural center. I think they would welcome you with open arms.

    By the way, it’s true that bookstores do not have money to pay authors to speak–and it’s especially hard for them in these economic times. However, if you speak at the right bookstores (like Politics & Prose, and so on), you will get invaluable publicity and support. “Word of mouth PR” really happens big time after a successful book event at a key community store.

    Finally, I think many, many colleges and universities would welcome a talk and/or workshop by you. So many young women on campus have eating disorders and body dysthymia and so on, and I think your message would be passionately embraced. I also think that most, if not all, would gladly handle your travel expenses etc.

    Good luck, and congrats on the new book. Thanks for all you do here!

  95. An addendum… I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but you should post your proposed tour schedule on SP asap. Even if the tour is still in its very preliminary stages, I recommend posting dates and major cities that will be definite stops. You have a loyal and loving following, and so I think that offers will pour in–and if your fans have more of a concrete idea of the schedule, it will be easier for them to make plans and get things going. I have a feeling this book tour of yours is going to be a great adventure! :)

  96. You can stay with me for Boston and Kim for the Northampton/Amherst area, which I suspect would be extremely receptive. You could even hit your old Vermont stompin’ grounds, Kate.

  97. Oops, M must have been commenting from this computer and her nom de blog stayed in the Name field — that was actually me, J, saying that.

  98. I’m going to be talking to everyone I can think of in the coming weeks, any idea of about when you’d be able to be here and do you like, have a lecture or something that you’d be able to give? I just want to pitch this to people as well as I possibly can, so I want to know as many details as I can

  99. As a Metro State student, I second Denver/Auraria campus. Our Women’s Institute is very cool. Also, I did a paper on FA for Feminist Theory last semester, which was well-received by my prof (who is the interim director of the institute), so I think there’s an audience here.

  100. I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but you should post your proposed tour schedule on SP asap.

    Ditto. I’d love to go to the NYC, but it depends on whether I can drive there and back in the same day, or if it’s a late evening, whether there might be one closer than that, etc. etc.

  101. any idea of about when you’d be able to be here and do you like, have a lecture or something that you’d be able to give?

    Timing is wide open right now, though most colleges seem to be booking stuff for fall rather than spring or summer. (I/we’d be delighted to do something in the late spring or summer, but there’s no point if no one’s on campus.)

    We can give a lecture or a reading and Q&A, depending on what they’re looking for. Feel free to e-mail me for more info.

    Oh, and as for posting the schedule, we certainly will once there is one. Right now, like I said, the Re/Dress event — evening of June 5 — is the only confirmed one.

  102. Please please please come to Los Angeles. I feel perfectly justified in saying this is the city that needs you the most. I can’t give you any info on who to contact or where to go, other than Book Soup on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood is a good independent bookstore. Wherever you turn up in L.A., should you turn up, I’ll be there with bells on. Years ago, when Wendy Shanker came here to host a fatshion show for Macy’s Woman and also promote her book, I was there and got her to sign my copy. I couldn’t convince any of my friends (some of whom were quite fatshionable) to join me, and you might not get many people coming out, but I think this is exactly why L.A. needs you. Please come. We need to hear the message.

  103. Not fitting your criteria, but going to put it out there anyhow:

    NEDIC (Canada’s National Eating Disorders Information Centre, is having their second Body Image and Self Esteem: Shades of Gray conference in Toronto May 11 and 12. NEDIC is a wicked, feminist organization that gets it.

    Of course it’s in Toronto, their schedule is set, blah blah blah. But it’s a national conference and would be a fantastic opportunity to see a bunch of Canadian people doing the work (and educate others who don’t quite get it yet, but who are interested enough to go to this conference).

  104. Kate, I forgot to come back so I didn’t see your response… in no way did I get the impression you were blowing off MSU, so I hope I didn’t come off as obnoxious in that way or as trying to dissuade you from going to AA (which I think is a great idea). I was just excited about Genevieve’s comment and also wanted to put in a plug, as is my nature. :)

  105. A general suggestion: If you’re interested in visiting a college campus, another office that might provide funding and/or housing in exchange for a presentation would be the housing department, sometimes called residence life, residential living, or some variation thereof. Resident Assistants or Advisors, the students who live in and manage dormitories, are required to put on developmental programming for their students, and usually have access to funds to pay for speakers and snacks. Your topic would be so relevant to undergrad students in terms of their emotional health and well being, that I think you could find some support there.

    I still have some connections in residence life at Texas A&M and the University of Texas, if you’d be interested in either. Obviously Austin would be a more appealing destination for an out of towner and non-Aggie than College Station!

    Good luck! I’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll show up somewhere in Texas. :-)

  106. If you’re going to be in the NY area, why not swing by Bent Pages in Staten Island, I’m sure they’d love to have you, and I can put you in touch with the owners.
    Or you can go their Facebook or MySpace pages.

    The other place you might consider stopping by is The Real Women Summit , which will take place June 26-28 th in Chicago. For More information go to:

  107. @interfacings: That is an excellent way to describe Plans.

    I second Grinnell, by the way. When Marilyn Wann came, she drew a huge (for Grinnell*), enthusiastic crowd. The current FAC leaders here seem to be really into fat acceptance.

    Also body positivity more generally has been a pretty visible issue around here since a campus publication called Riots Not Diets came out. (If you come, you should get someone to find you a copy, it’s great.)

    *I’d guess there were between 100 and 200 people there.

  108. Delurking just for this. :)

    I go to WIllamette University, in Salem, Oregon, and think you might be able to speak here. I know our gender studies department has funds for speakers. Not sure when you’re planning to tour (plus we’re waaaaaay out here on the west coast), but I could talk to the department if you’re interested.

    Plus we’re close to Portland, if you do a stop there. Powell’s does speakers all the time.

  109. First off, good luck to you ladies on your book tour and i look forward to reading the book!
    Secondly, i asked my husband, who works at EMU, (eastern michigan university, in ypsilanti, mi – right near ann arbor) he said you should get in touch with the womens and gender study program, being a little bit smaller university, they might provide you with a forum.

  110. Kate, if you will come to Grand Rapids Michigan I will personally pick you up at your door, drive you both ways and provide food and lodging if you are willing to stay in my messy house. I’ll even take you home again if Al agrees to the ransom. :)

    We sat next to each other at the first Fat Rights Coalition meeting!

    Marianne AND Kate – I’m going to talk to my social work department and the Masters Social Work Student Organization about paying for you to do a fat acceptance workshop here at GVSU. We are big into diversity social justice at our school. Then you can stay at a nice clean hotel instead of my messy house. :)

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