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Hatbox Readings: NH Writers' Project Night at the Hatbox Theatre

Next Hatbox Readings: May 14, 2017 6pm

This event will be 6-8:00pm on May 14 in the Hatbox Theatre in the Steeplegate Mall complex (270 Loudon Rd, Concord, New Hampshire) [map and directions]. There will be three readings.


RUBEN’S WEB by Julie Schappals

Ruben’s Web is a historical fiction set on the New Hampshire frontier at the height of the French and Indian War.  Philip Moore, an illegitimate blacksmith who moonlights in his uncle’s smuggling and counterfeiting ring is blackmailed by ruthless French spy, Ruben Gates.  Ruben forces Philip to become a courier or he will release information that will send Philip, his smuggling partners and other innocents to the gallows.  Until Philip can devise an escape plan, he unwillingly makes dangerous trips into the Vermont forests to deliver British intelligence to a French Colonel.  However, the love a woman leads him to a path of truth and freedom.  Using his expert forgery skills, he finds a way out of Ruben’s Web that redeems his soul and impacts history in a way that still reverberates. 

Julia (“Julie”) Schappals is a semi-retired international business attorney whose closet ambition was to write fiction.  After relocating from Los Angeles to New Hampshire, she wrote and published several articles on various boring legal issues. During this time, she became fascinated with the nearly forgotten history of colonial New Hampshire and began dabbling in the art of novel writing.  She lives in Bedford with her husband, dog and tyrannical parrot. She is also an instrument rated private pilot and former aircraft owner.


THE FAR SIDE OF VEGAS by Daniel Ellison

Three men in their fifties find that the road of life they have travelled has led them to an impasse.  They decide to embark on a journey. Together they head west. The journey takes them into a wilderness of extremes: The highest point in the lower Forty-Eight, the hottest, the driest and the grandest, The far side of Vegas. While exploring the Farside, each one finds the nugget that leads him to the Mother Lode. That is, the one thing that is missing and has the power to complete his life. The Farside is replete with stories of boom to bust. Seeking treasure is a consuming endeavor. Holding on to treasure and reaping the benefits thereof, often proves impossible.The challenge: Will the treasure remain a mirage, always visible, but fading into the distance as one draws near? It’s a question of the heart for our three travelers.

Dan was a USN Radarman, 2nd class Deep Sea Diver. He also served in the Peace Corps in Morocco & Colombia.  He holds a BA from the University New Mexico in Anthropology and an MS from the University of Missouri.  He has had various positions with State of New Hampshire: Outdoor Recreation Planner, Probation/Parole Officer, Program Planner, and the Department of Corrections.  He taught at New England College and New Hampshire Technical Institute.   He has published articles in Runner’s World, Walking Magazine, Mother Earth News, and had a weekly column in the Concord Monitor ("At Your Leisure & Father is in the Kitchen"). He is reasonably fluent in Spanish & French and likes Jack Kerouac, He's always looking forward to the “too huge world, vaulting us, to the next great venture beneath the sky.”


A VICIOUS PIXIE by K. Dalton Barrett

"A Vicious Pixie" is a fantasy novel about, you guessed it, a pixie.  One of the last surviving pixies after their home was destroyed by a mysterious enemy. Now she just wants to live her life in peace. But a powerful aetherist has other plans for her. While fleeing the aetherist's forces, she meets up with another fugitive. A boy who can't use or be affected by magic of this world, the aether. Can they find out why the aetherist wants them both before it's too late?

K. Dalton Barrett is a computer programmer by day, a theater nerd by night, but always a writer. He recently had a short story published in Volume 5 of the NH Pulp Fiction series, "Live Free or Ride". His play, "Targets" was produced by the Community Players of Concord and won the 2003 NH Theater Award for Best Original Drama. His play "The Demon and the Detective" was recently given a staged reading by the Milford Area Players.


Readings at the Hatbox Theatre in Concord is a series NHWP began for its members in 2016. This is a semi-regular event where actors read entertaining selections from 'works in progress' by three NHWP authors, and the audience offers feedback, critique, and reactions. 

This event will not only allow the author to "hear" some of their novel, story, or book, but also receive immediate feedback.  The audience will experience new works from NH authors live and contribute directly to the creative process of a grateful author. 

All Hatbox Reading events are free for NHWP MEMBERS, but $5.00 for the General Audience (+ $1.50 for reserving tickets in advance).  As a member of NHWP you will recieve an email from with a passcode ahead of each reading which you will need to use when reserving your tickets.  The passcode is entered at the end of the online registration process and will zero out the cost.  Refreshments along with stimulating conversation will be provided during intermission. Come enjoy the arts in Concord's new theater space, the Hatbox Theatre!

To take part in a future Hatbox Readings Program as an author:

If successful, Hatbox Readings will be held semi-regularly dependent upon the scheduling needs of the Hatbox Theatre and availability of the space and actors. We anticipate authors will be given a few weeks notice if they have been selected to take part in the next round.  PLEASE NOTE:  We will prioritize the submissions of authors who have attended other Hatbox Reading nights, since we believe that if you would like the feedback and support from a Hatbox audience for your work, you should have in turn provided feedback and support for the work of others.

The NHWP Programming Committee will attempt to arrange a balanced program for each event, which may include genre-specific nights. Hatbox Readings are geared toward authors who have a complete manuscript and are at the "beta reader" stage. The manuscript should have gone through several drafts and edits before it is shared with an audience. 

An actor will read 10-20 minutes of their work. A feedback session will follow allowing the audience to provide comments, and ask questions of the author. Authors are encouraged to submit the beginning of their book or story (to test-run a section prospective agents and editors would likely request) or to submit another significant scene or chapter of their work.  

To apply for this program, please fill out this submission form. The Programming Committee will endeavor to include you in an upcoming Hatbox Readings event.

This program is open to all members in good standing of the NHWP.

Past Readings

March 12, 2017




December 11, 2016

CINDY by Josh Bresslin
WHEREFROM by Mary Downes

July 17, 2016

THE ORACLE FILES: ESCAPE by Masheri Chappelle