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Michael Penkas moved to Chicago in 2004 and soon after became a member of Twilight Tales, a small press and weekly reading series. His first published story, "Parable of the Lazy Rooster," appeared in the expanded edition of Tales from the Red Lion in 2007. He currently has over a dozen published stories.
Following the dissolution of Twilight Tales in 2010, he became part of Cult Fiction, a writers workshop and seasonal reading event. His stories were performed at five events before the group was put on hiatus in late 2011.
Currently, Michael Penkas is a regular participant at the Top Shelf Books (Palatine) open mic event, Tamale Hut (North Riverside) reading series, the Bad Grammar (Chicago) reading series, and the Gumbo Fiction Salon (Chicago). He is the website editor for Black Gate.