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6 Tips for the Writer Doing Library Readings (Co-starring Donuts)

Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging Marlaina Cockcroft Tips for Library Readings

By Marlaina Cockcroft

Marlaina Cockcroft at a library podium, white screen behind her with a slide about cryptids

My short story, “Leviathan,” is one of those featured in the Improbable Press anthology Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging (Volume Silver).

Since the anthology is all about cryptids, I was delighted to be able to do a library presentation about cryptids! Based on that fun experience, I learned some tips for future library presentations:

  • Bring a water bottle, so you don’t spend the entire talk worrying that your voice is going to die on you.
  • Remember that everyone knows what the Loch Ness Monster and mermaids are, but not everyone knows the word cryptid. You might need to correct someone when they say, “… crypto?”
  • Practice using the tech in advance, so you’re not staring at your Square reader thinking oh no please work when you try to sell copies of the anthology.
  • Maybe make sure the library front desk knows about the event? That way when people call to confirm it’s happening, they don’t get a confused response.
  • Make sure you have someone to advance the slides for you, because it makes your job easier, and that way you don’t have to get your kid to do it last-minute.
  • Try not to have your event coincide with your kid’s troop doing an Eagle Scout project outside, because he’ll keep sneaking out to grab extra donuts from them.

But everyone seemed to enjoy the presentation and I got some nice support from family and friends, including some critique group members I haven’t seen in a long time or have never gotten to meet in person.

And if any other groups would like to learn all about kelpies, selkies, and other watery magical creatures, I’ve got a fun slideshow for you.

Parts of this blog first appeared on Marlaina's
website under My Book Presentation.

Marlaina Cockcroft writes modern-day stories about folklore and misunderstood monsters for children and adults. Short stories have been published in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction, as well as the anthology "Strange Fire: Jewish Voices from the Pandemic." She lives with her family in New Jersey. You can find her online at or on Twitter.

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