Jen Spyra headshot

Made Local

Jen Spyra


“Jen Spyra’s stories are shocking, silly, smart, and absurdly funny. Underline both those words, I don’t care how much it costs!”


With Matt Weiss, history teacher at Shady Side Academy and “voice” of the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds ultimate frisbee team

A bride so desperate to get in shape for her wedding that she enrolls in a new kind of workout program that promises the moon but costs more than she bargained for. A snowman who, on the wish of a child, comes to life in a decidedly less savory way than in the childhood classic. And in the title story, a time-hopping 1940s starlet tries to claw her way to the top in modern-day Hollywood, despite being ridiculously unwoke.

In this uproarious, addictive debut, Jen Spyra takes a culture that seems almost beyond parody and holds it up to a funhouse mirror, immersing the reader in a world of prehistoric influencers, woodland creatures plagued by millennial neuroses, and an all-out birthday bash determined to be the most lavish celebration of all time, by any means necessary.

Pittsburgh and Squirrel Hill native, Jen Spyra was a staff writer for Late Show with Stephen Colbert for four seasons. Prior to that she was a senior writer for The Onion. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

“These stories are absolutely hilarious. For those who want to laugh, and I mean full-on, put-it-down-and-slump-over-on-the-couch guffaws, this is the book for you.”

SHANNON REED, author of Why Did I Get a B? And Other Mysteries We’re Discussing in the Faculty Lounge



Big Time is available for sale from White Whale Bookstore.

Big Time cover


Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 6 p.m.


At this time, all in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated or present a recent negative COVID-19 test. Masks must be worn by everyone for the duration of their visit. You will need to bring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, photo ID, and mask. Find detailed entry requirements at


Free, with registration
In-person registration includes a link to the livestream
Registration may also be completed by email at or by phone at 412.622.8866.


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Liann Tsoukas and Rob Ruck

JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Heather Cox Richardson

OCT 28