Monday, June 01, 2009

Ottawa Open Mic Ops & Tips

Whether you write poetry or prose, tell stories or perform spoken word, there’s a place for your words to be heard in Ottawa.

To read at an open mic, you usually have to arrive early and sign up.
Look for a list by the door or ask someone where the sign up sheet is.
Usually there’s a maximum amount of time allotted per open mic reader.
Make sure you know what it is and don’t go over the time limit; that includes any intro.
Remember if you need a long intro to describe a poem, it's probably not the right poem to read.
If you have merch: poetry chapbooks, cds etc, see if you can put them out on a merch table or let the audience know.
Open mics are usually followed by a feature reader, or sometimes preceded by.
If you come to share your work at the open mic, also be respectful of the feature. Don't yack thru their set.

Here’s a list of reading series that include an open mic. Further information about the series, including contact information, times and web sites can be found on the calendar of literary events or by clicking on the links below.


2nd Monday of the month-but not during summer: the New Stalgica, 603 Cumberland, 8pm. Hosts Sean Moreland and JF Lafleche-sign up sheet is at the bar.


2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month-Tree Reading Series, Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue, hosted by Rod Pederson-sign up sheet is by the door. one of Ottawa’s longest running reading series.

2nd Tuesday of the month-Voices of Venus, Umi Café, 610 Somerset St. W. Hosted by Amazon Syren and Faye Estrella, a series to celebrate the spoken word and women writers, but not exclusive to women.


Every Thursday-Café Nostalgica Poetry and Music Open Stage-603 Cumberland, 8pm. Hosted by Kevin Grant. Primarily a music open stage, but amenable to poetry and prose.

1st Thursday of the month- the Creative Act, Cuppedia, 97 Main Street. Hosted by Christopher.

1st Thursday of the month; 7:30 pm. Story Swap-hosted by the Ottawa Storytellers Association.

Last Thursday of the month-In/words open mic, Montgomery Legion (downstairs Hall), 330 Kent Street-hosted by an In/Words editor


1st Saturday of the month-Capital Slam, 56 Byward Market, spoken word poetry-those who participate get free admission. Hosted by Capital Slam.


2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, except July and August, Sasquatch Writers Performance Series, Royal Oak II, 161 Laurier East, downstairs-sign up sheet on a table by the fireplace. Hosted by Lynne Alsford. one of Ottawa’s longest running reading series.

two Sundays a month and sometimes more!: the Dusty Owl Reading Series, Swizzles Bar and Grill, 246-B Queen Street-sign up sheet on a clipboard by the door. open mic follows feature.

For other literary events taking place in Ottawa and area, please consult and click on events; for literary news, contests, workshops, conferences and more consult the news section of the site.

If you are involved in an open mic or a reading series that you don't see on the calendar of events, please contact me at amanda at bywords dot ca

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