Open mics are a gamble—-there’s usually a teenager with an angsty diary entry or a rocksteady cover of “Bad Romance” sprinkled in amid the good stuff. There’s a time for anything-goes amateur art, but there’s also a time for well-thought-out curation.

For last week’s Fiction IssueJohn Wilwol chose four D.C.-focused stories from a remarkable trove of submissions from local writers, and the winners will read from their featured pieces at Kramerbooks this Sunday at 7 p.m. In conversation with Wilwol, the authors (Theodore Johnston, Temim Fruchter, Brent Sandmeyer, and Ronald Emile Williams) will explore their writing and take questions from the audience.

The four stories cover a diverse range of style and substance—-there’s a future-facing probe of a drone mishap; an Orthodox Jew’s tale of grappling with family, queer identity, and eyeliner; an emotional gentrification explainer; and an imagining of what really went down when Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo. Come hear them! We can’t promise you’ll like them all, but we commit to minimal angst and no bastardizations of pop songs.