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The secret origin of how it came to be


The Main Line Writers Group had been operating for five years, the Wilmington Writers Group for three. We had published a book of our member stories a couple of years earlier. Things were chug-chug-chugging along. 

My good friend and extraordinary writer Tony Conaway was talking with me in the parking lot after a fall meeting. Tony, I should note, is a phenomenal writer. With his booming baritone and immense presence, he was more than a writer: he was a damn fine performance artist.

Although he submitted several pieces to participate in an occasional Noir At The Bar held in Philadelphia, he was blocked out because his pieces had not been published. At that moment, I was inexplicably pissed off. How could a writer as good as Tony be blocked? I remember my exact words. "Fuck them. We'll do our own." Sometimes a good curse phrase is needed as a rallying call.

And we did, ensuring that Tony always had the featured spot he deserved. I changed the name slightly to Noir at a Bar and designed a logo worthy of the endeavor. After our first two readings in West Chester, Jay Kennedy, a board member for the Oxford Public Library, suggested doing an event associated with them. We agreed on it being a fundraiser of some sort, then worked out the details. 

Together, the Library and I hosted three (update: now four) fundraisers and published one book of original stories before Covid changed our scheduled futures. Ever since, we've been social distancing...until now.

We're back....but sadly, without Tony. He passed in 2021. But he's as much a spirit in all this now as he ever was. If you listen closely, you might even be able to hear him in the background. I know I can. 

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All the readers have great stories. Plan to show up and bring some friends. 

That wouldn't kill you, would it?


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