The greatest superheroes live among us in secret. They cover up histories with radioactive spiders, maintain mild mannered alter-egos, and dash into defunct phone booths to assume spandex and cape. Great literary heroes live among us in secret as well. They fictionalize childhood traumas, maintain nom de plumes, and dash into bookstores to keep them from becoming defunct. Each year, Quiet Lightning honors nine Neighborhood Heroes, local writers who made major contributions to the San Francisco literary scene in the past year. The celebration demonstrates the superpower of turning thoughts and feelings into stories through live readings of the authors’ works. Quiet Lightning is a nomadic reading series native to San Francisco, famed for favoring pure reading over banalities. True to its name, it has hosted readings in such venues as a greenhouse and a pirate store, and the submission-based nonprofit has sparked a dynamic change in the S.F. arts scene. Quiet Lightning is expanding to books and films, as well as the popular annual reading, Litquake.