For writer and publicist Sloane Crosley, as one door closed when she locked herself out of her apartment, another one opened: the world of published writing.

Crosley, who will deliver today's Common Hour lecture, published her first book, a collection of humor essays titled "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," in April. HBO recently acquired the rights to turn the essays into a television series. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, the Village Voice, and many other noted publications.

With comparisons made to the writing of David Sedaris, Dorothy Parker, Chuck Klosterman, and Sarah Vowell, Crosley's essays are simultaneously witty and light-hearted, indulgent and genuine. The stories tackle a diverse range of topics, from a childhood obsession with the early computer game "The Oregon Trail," to her experience baking cookies for an intimidating boss, in the shape of the boss's head.

Crosley, who graduated from Connecticut College in 2000 with a degree in creative writing, told the Orient her path to writing narrative nonfiction was unintentional.

"I sort of fell backwards into it," Crosley said. "One day, I was moving apartments in New York, and I managed to brilliantly lock myself out of the first apartment, because my roommate had switched the lock."

After hiring a locksmith, she "managed to lock myself out of the second apartment that I was moving to?and actually the same locksmith came to bail me out, which was very strange."

Crosley sent an e-mail chronicling the misadventure to a group of friends, including one who worked at the Village Voice. He encouraged her to expand the story into a finished essay, and it eventually got published in the Voice. As a result, Crosley got a job writing situational comedy stories for the Village Voice and discovered that she loved the genre.

In addition to writing and her work as a publicist for the Vintage Books division of Random House, Crosley is an active advocate for literary non-profit organizations, including the New York Public Library's Young Lions Committee and The Moth, a story-telling organization in New York.

Her advice to students interested in writing, or any arts field, is to not let their young age and inexperience discourage them from pursuing a career in their desired field.

"You don't really have to wait to be great, or to do what you want to do," Crosley said. "I think that one of the best things I ever did was really complete an intensely terrible novel as an undergrad, which will never see the light of day?but I'm glad I did it so I know that I can at least start and finish, maybe to a more quality effect later."