The Pen is Mightier Than the Storm

Superstorm Sandy is still very present for countless Jersey Shore residents struggling to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses. Now one local author has come up with a great way for literary types to help those in need.

On Tuesday, December 4, a number of South Jersey journalists will gather for Philadelphia Loves the Jersey Shore, a fundraiser intended to aid Sandy’s victims by way of the written word. The event was conceived by by Jen Miller—a longtime New Jersey Monthly contributor and author of the blog, Down The Shore With Jen.

The event kicks off at 7 p.m. at Philadelphia’s Pen & Pencil Club, a local watering hole for journalists since 1892, and will feature readings by 10 local writers reflecting on their “strangest, wildest and most wonderful stories about that place we all love.”

Miller, who is hosting the evening, is asking for a minimum donation of $5 at the door, with proceeds going to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. She’ll also be accepting canned goods for the Community Food Bank of NJ, which is feeding those in shelters.

The roster of readers includes a few regular NJM contributors, including Caren Chesler, Robert Strauss, and myself.

“I’m still asked often what people can do to help Sandy victims, and a lot of Philadelphia-area residents just can’t get to the hardest-hit places. So I figured I should do something near where they live,” says Miller. “I know a lot of Philadelphia-based writers who cover the Jersey Shore, so I thought why not see if they could share their best work and build a benefit around it?”

Miller—who booked all 10 readers within four hours of setting up the event two weeks ago—says the night isn’t going to focus on tragic tales of Sandy’s destruction, but rather the fun, weird and wild stuff we’ve all come across at the Jersey Shore.

“The pictures coming out of the northern beaches are so awful,” says Miller. “And I want people to remember why the Shore is so great, why we go back every year, and why people are rebuilding. And, of course, raise some money for those who lost everything.”

So come on out next week, enjoy a pint, and listen to some local scribes reflect on their most treasured spots by the ocean.

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