We want to congratulate our friend and neighbor Ellen Blum Barish on the launch of her online brainchild, “Thread: A Literary Magazine.” It can be found at http://www.threadliterary.com The launch was held at a packed Curt’s Cafe in Evanston last Wednesday evening, where nine writers read their personal essays to the assembled. I was so happy to be there and personally witness the magic that a good story by the reader sparks with an attentive audience. Ellen, a highly talented author, writing coach and teacher, sincerely hopes that both new and seasoned writers participate in this new and exciting online forum. I know at some point I will be. I’m also pleased to announce that Ellen will be the featured author at the Chicago Jewish Authors Literary Series at Max and Benny’s on the evening of February 23 starting at 7:00.