Two Bad Apples Present Reading for Relief (June 25-26)

Reading for Relief MPLS fundraiser

This two-night online reading will be a fundraiser for several non-profits in Minneapolis which are rebuilding the city. There are huge sections of Minneapolis which are now food deserts, especially in minority-populated neighborhoods. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and mercados were burned down by white supremacists. 

My home, Minnesota, is the state with the second-largest racial inequality in the country, based on education, salary, house ownership, and incarceration rates. White ownership covenants in the first half of the 20th century helped to segregate Minneapolis, whose neighborhoods remain highly segregated to this day.

Almost 70% of all people now support the Black Lives Matter movement. While that’s a start, I wanted to find ways to help as a Latinx ally, aside from putting a BLM sign on my lawn.

My friend, Angel Luis Colon, and I were discussing the lack of representation in crime fiction. Although there are organizations and writers who promote diversity and inclusivity, several online readings (as well as blogs, book reviews, and conferences) remain segregated. Just like Minneapolis.

Something Angel said really struck a chord with me: Be the change you want to see.

I could sit around and hope that one day, crime writers of color would be included in more industry events. OR I could use my past experience as a literary coordinator to help create an awesome, fun, exciting virtual reading and fundraiser for Minneapolis a reality.

Which is where the idea for READING FOR RELIEF, a two-night virtual reading and fundraiser to rebuild Minneapolis came to life with my friend and fellow bad apple, Angel Luis Colon.

2 Nights, 2 Bookstores, 14 Awesome Crime Writers of Color!

With book sales matched up to $2000 at Once Upon A Crime and the Astoria Bookshop to benefit non-profits committed to rebuilding Minneapolis.

The online readings will take place on Thursday, June 25th, and Friday, June 26th, and will begin at 6pm CT/ 7pm ET.

Thursday’s readers include: Abby Collette, Tracy Clark, Jennifer J. Chow, Stephen Mack Jones, Cheryl Head, and Angie Kim. Hosted by yours truly and Once Upon A Crime.

Friday’s readers all have stories in the Anthony-nominated anthology, Pa’ Que Tu Lo Sepas. They include: Carmen Jaramillo, Alex Segura, Richie Narvaez, Hector Acosta, Desiree Zamorano, Hector Duarte, Jessica Laine, and Cina Pelayo. Hosted by Angel Luis Colon and the Astoria Bookshop.

Sign up today!



Sisters in Crime award winner Jessica Laine writes contemporary crime fiction with a Latinx twist. Her short stories are featured in two Anthony-nominated anthologies, Pa Que Tu Lo Sepas and Murder-A-Go-Gos. She tweets @msjessicalaine. Learn more at

Author: Jessica Laine

Jessica Laine lives in Minneapolis. Her novels-in-progress have won the 2017 Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland award and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America-Midwest Hugh Holton award.

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