Let’s Make Out!: Stories of Awkward Love

Relationships can be challenging and complex, especially when there’s kissing involved! This Valentine’s Day weekend, 2nd Story will celebrate the awkward, but charming, moments from relationships of all kinds. From a honeymoon so disastrous that it threatens to cause a divorce only a few days into a marriage, to a drunken kiss that will live in infamy, this month we bring you stories of kisses and the awkward moments they often produce.

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The Storytellers


Ames Hawkins

Ames’s most recent work appears in Water~Stone Review, Off the Rocks, and Q Review. Her essay, “Optickal Allusion,” was selected by Robert Atwan as a notable essay of 2011. Her hybrid essay—a manifesto—appears in the edited anthology, RAW: (Reading and Writing) New Media; she has a co-authored piece in the new collection, Resilience: Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for GLBT Teens.  She is currently curating the Lambda Literary Association’s 25th Anniversary Collection. She has engaged in drag/queer/story performance in Chicago with Genderfusions, Northern Lights, and Second Story. Ames was a 2012 fellow at the In(ter)ventions residency at The Banff Centre, a 2010 Lambda Literary Retreat Writer’s Fellow, and a 2007 Breadloaf Contributor.

Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens

Jim Stevens studied theater and film in Chicago and Paris, and has written  and directed work that has been seen at festivals around the country. He has performed stories at Story Lab Chicago and This Much Is True. Jim is also a General Manager for an art tile manufacturer.


Lott Hill

Lott Hill is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, photographer, and a strong believer in engaged citizenship. He received his MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago, where he now serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence. Lott’s fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in multiple issues of Hair Trigger, Columbia Poetry Review, Fish Stories, B-City, Metropolitan Universities, The Spoon River Poetry Review, AdBusters, Demo, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities Peer Review and is a regular featured reader at 2nd Story.  His story Crazy for You is also included in the 2nd Story Anthology, Briefly Knocked Unconscious By A Low Flying Duck.


Laura Krughoff

Laura Krughoff is a writer whose fiction has appeared in The Washington Square Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Threepenny Review, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, among other journals and magazines. She has taught fiction writing at Loyola University Chicago since 2005 and is currently a PhD student in the Program for Writers at UIC.


Robyn Okrant

Robyn Okrant is an actress, author, freelance writer, & yoga teacher. She has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC’s The Oprah Effect, The Bonnie Hunt Show, The Joy Behar Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Her book, LIVING OPRAH: My One Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk, was published in the US, UK, Australia and oddly enough, Portugal. Robyn's essays can be read at The Huffington Post, Washington Post, and www.robynokrant.com. She's spun yarns at The Paper Machete, This Much is True, Essay Fiesta, Interface 2.0, Skald, Tales of Adventure, and The Women in Comedy Festival. Robyn holds an MFA in performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Wyl Villacres

Wyl Villacres is the founder of the I Feel Pretty Writers Collective E-zine and current Rogers Parkian. He's read with Silver Tongue and Two Cookie Minimum and has been published in Time Out Chicago, Newcity, Newsweek's Tumblr, and a bunch of websites that are pretty hip and underground, so you probably haven't heard of them.  Wyl is currently living on pasta and PB&Js while finishing his novel- like most aspiring writers.


About the Stories & Wine Series

At our flagship Stories & Wine series, we pair some of the best wines in the city with some of the finest storytellers you've ever heard. Whether you're looking for something bright and crisp or something complex and full-bodied -- in either your story or your wine! -- you'll find it at our Stories & Wine series.

Images from from Webster's Wine Bar