Showing posts with label Open mic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Open mic. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Writers' Night Out Features Newton Smith & Robert Lee Kendrick

Our 2017 Season Opens on April 14 in Blairsville, GA

You're invited to hear poems from two Ph.D. poets who have new, highly acclaimed books: Newton Smith will read from his Camino Poems: Reflections on the Way, and Robert Lee Kendrick from his Winter Skin. After the featured readers, there's an open microphone for anyone wanting to share their own poems or prose. All this takes place at 7 pm on April 14 at the beautiful Union County Community Center. Please note, we will be meeting in a first floor conference room this month rather than the ballroom, and the grill will not be open for dinner until May.

Of the two books, celebrated North Carolina author, Ron Rash, says: “Newt Smith’s spiritual journey is rendered with such attentiveness and fidelity that we become his fellow travelers. We too share the pain and effort but above all the wonder, and are reminded that in matters of the spirit the journey and destination can be one,” and “Robert Lee Kendrick’s poems transport the reader into the deep, dark souls of his narrators, but the elegance of his language gives the poems a rough, hard-earned grace.”

Smith, who lives in Tuckasegee, NC, received his Ph.D. from University of North Carolina. He's the treasurer of NCWN-West and a retired professor who taught creative writing, poetry and literature at Western Carolina University. He has been published widely in literary magazines including Southern Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, Ann Arbor Review, Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, and others. Smith now devotes his time to travel, gardening, Buddhist studies, mindfulness practices, and hiking in nature, especially in the Smoky Mountains. During his 2014 pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago he wrote a poem every day reflecting on the physical body, nature, and the spiritual.

Kendrick also has a Ph.D., earned from the University of South Carolina. He grew up in Illinois and Iowa, but now calls Clemson, South Carolina home, where he lives with his wife and their dogs. His poems have appeared in top journals, such as Tar River Poetry, Xavier Review, Louisiana Literature, South Carolina Review, The James Dickey Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Winter Skin, was released in 2016 by Main Street Rag Publishing.

Writers’ Night Out is a free monthly event, sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West. It takes place on the second Friday of the month, April through November. Open mic readers sign up at the door and can read for three minutes each. The Union County Community Center (map here) is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course at 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76,  phone (706) 439-6092. Food is available for purchase in The View Grill, but please arrive by 6 pm to get served.  For more information, please contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Thursday, March 9, 2017

We're Back: Writers' Night Out 2017 Schedule

This little guy won't be reading but you can!

Union County Community Center

Blairsville, GA

2nd Fridays of the month at 7 pm


Reading followed by open mic

Here's our calendar:

April 14: Robert Kendrick and Newton Smith
May 12: Diana Anhalt
June 9: Glenda Beall
July 14: Christopher Martin
Aug 11: Tribute to Tom Lux + humorous poetry open mic
Sept 8: Andrea Jurjevic and Jason Allen
Oct 13: Natalie Grant
Nov 10: Dana Wildsmith

Open mic follows for poetry or prose readers (3 minutes each)

Contact Karen Paul Holmes for more info


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sneak Peak: Our Featured Poets for Writers' Night Out, Aug 12

Ginger Murchison has had poems featured three times on The Writers Almanac since April.

Hear Garrison Keillor read them:

Ginger Murchison

Ginger will read along with 
Lynn Alexander  
former Atlanta Review poetry editor 

Writers' Night Out
Friday, August 12
7 p.m.
Union County Community Center
Blairsville, GA
Lynn Alexander

Open Mic follows the featured readers

Both poets will have books for sale

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Something a Little Different at Writers' Night, July 8

Royston and Holmes to do "Call & Response" Poetry Reading, Blairsville, GA

Back by popular demand, the duo of Rosemary Royston and Karen Paul Holmes plan to once again pair up their poems and alternate their reading, rather than one poet reading all her poems followed by the other.

This month's Writers’ Night Out is on Friday, July 8. The 7 p.m. reading will be followed by an open microphone for those who’d like to share their own work. The event is free and open to the public at the Union CountyCommunity Center in the heart of Blairsville, GA. If you'd like to purchase food or drink at The View Grill, please come by 6 p.m. (the food is good but service can be slow).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fike and Moore Headline Writers' Night in Blairsville, April 8

Writers' Night Out (WNO) begins its 6th year with two popular poets:

Janice Townley Moore
Rupert Fike

Reading begins at 7 pm
Open mic follows -- sign up at the door to read poetry or prose for 3 minutes.

Janice and Rupert are highly published poets and entertaining readers. Janice is a favorite local poet, and Rupert wows crowds in Atlanta. The venue is lovely.
What's not to love?

Monday, February 29, 2016

Writers' Night Out 2016 Schedule - Blairsville, Georgia

Mark your calendars now for a stellar line-up...

Writers' Night Out is about to begin it's 6th year. Some readers may be added, but here are the dates and featured writers so far. And remember... there's always an open mic.
Union County Community Center, Blairsville
  • April 8: Rupert Fike & Janice Townley Moore
  • May 13: Carol Crawford
  • June 10: Jonathan Kevin Rice (will teach the next day at Writers Circle) & Ronald Moran
  • July 8: Rosemary Royston & Karen Paul Holmes
  • August 12: Ginger Murchison & Lynn Alexander
  • Sept 9: Jim May
  • Nov 11 Christopher Martin& Staci Bell

The Union County Community Center in the heart of Blairsville has once again agreed to be our gracious host. They let us use the facility for free, with no minimum requirement on food purchases, which is an amazing benefit to NCWN-West and the area writers and audience.

Watch this blog for more information about the April 8 reading. Rupert and Janice are Writers' Night favorites.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Steven Harvey, Beloved Teacher & Writer at Writers' Night, Blairsville, GA

Don't Miss this Special Guest

Friday, October 9

Dr. Steven Harvey
Writers’ Night Out features retired Young Harris College professor, Steven Harvey, PhD, on Friday night, October 9. An open microphone will follow for those who’d like to read their own poetry or prose. The event takes place at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville and is free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase. The program begins at 7 p.m., but attendees should arrive by 6 p.m. if they plan to eat.
Harvey’s most recent book is The Book of Knowledge and Wonder, a memoir about coming to terms with the suicide of his mother. It was published by Ovenbird Books as part of the “Judith Kitchen Select” series.  A section of the memoir appeared in The Best American Essays 2013.  He is also the author of three books of personal essays, A Geometry of Lilies, Lost in Translation, and Bound for Shady Grove and edited an anthology of essays written by men on middle age called In a Dark Wood.  Harvey is a professor emeritus of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, a member of the nonfiction faculty in the Ashland University MFA program in creative writing, a senior editor for River Teeth magazine, and the creator of The Humble Essayist, a website designed to promote literary nonfiction.  He lives in the north Georgia mountains.  You can learn more about Steven and his work at his web site: .
Writers’ Night Out is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West and takes place on the second Friday of the month, April through November. Prose writers or poets wishing to participate in the open mic can sign up at the door to read for three minutes. In its fifth year, the event draws audience members from four counties. The Union County Community Center is located at Butternut Creek Golf Course, 129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512, off Highway 129 near the intersection of US 76, phone (706) 439-6092.  For more information, please contact Karen Holmes at (404) 316-8466 or

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Scott Owens & Glenda Beall at Writers' Night Out, Sept 11

Join us for this dynamic duo on Friday evening, September 11 at 7 p.m.

Glenda Beall

Scott Owens

Dinner in The View Grill: please arrive by 6 p.m. or earlier*
Program in the Ballroom: 7 p.m. followed by open mic

Union County Community Center
129 Union County Recreation Center Road (near intersection of 129 and 76)
Blairsville, GA
map (note: the Holiday Inn on the map is now a Comfort Inn)

The readings are free and open to the public. 
Sign up at the door for open mic, limited to 3 minutes per reader. 
*Optional food/refreshments are self-pay. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hendersonville Open Mic Welcomes Guest

Patricia Vestal hosted the monthly Open Mic at the library in Hendersonville recently.

They had a special guest this month. Lisa Lopez Snyder, the current Writer-in-Residence at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, read from her first novel, which she is finalizing.  

Pat thanks OM supporters Ken Fitch and Lana Hendershott who had met Snyder at a reception and told her about the event. Accompanying her, and providing some information on their program was a Ranger who works with the program. She is also a writer who is eager to attend and read at future OM events. For information on the program and Lisa Lopez Snyder go to

Despite the smaller number of readers this month, the material read was excellent, some of it hilarious, some quite powerful, as is usually the case with this diverse group.

Announcements were made about the upcoming Bookfest at Blue Ridge Community College this week-end, April 24 and 25.  

The next Open Mic reading will be held at the library May 18.  To receive the monthly announcement for reader registration,  email  Notices go out about a week prior to the reading which is the third Monday of each month.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Representatives for Netwest do a great job

The goal of the NC Writers Network West is to have at least one representative in each county of our region which includes nine counties south and west of Asheville. That person is given free membership in NCWN as long as they hold an event in their county – an open mic, critique, Writers Night Out, or some kind of gathering for writers and poets that is open to the public. 

Janice Moore and I (Glenda Beall) are reps for Clay County. Janice facilitates the monthly poetry critique group. I facilitate Coffee with the Poets and Writers which meets once each month on Wednesday morning. We have featured readers and open mic followed by a social time.

Karen Holmes and Rosemary Royston are reps for the Georgia counties that border North Carolina. Writers Night Out, a monthly reading, has been a successful venture for several years hosted by Karen Holmes. 

Lucy Cole Gratton and Mary Ricketson are representatives for Cherokee County. Lucy does an excellent job of hosting monthly readings at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The monthly Netwest prose critique group is also held in Cherokee County at the Tri-County Community College.

In Jackson County, Newt Smith and Kathryn Byer share the rep duties
and hold Coffee with a Poet each month at City Lights Book Store.

Henderson County representatives, Lana Hendershott and Patricia Vestal, hold a monthly open mic night that has become very popular with writers there. Having two reps work together and share the responsibility of the event eliminates pressure to always be present. Of course our members are usually happy to be the emcee if the representatives cannot attend. Staci Lynn Bell has volunteered to help with hosting Coffee with the Poets and Writers. She does a great job.

It is not difficult to begin an open mic or other event for writers in your area. Find a coffee shop, restaurant, book store, or any place that will open their doors to the group for an hour. Send out word to all the writers in your area either by contacting NCWN or other writers you know in your county. Post a few flyers at the local library or other writerly places in the area.

Those of us who have been doing this for many years will be very happy to help you get the event off the ground and going strong. An NCWN or Netwest sponsored group has the advantage of being a non-profit and that often eliminates having to pay for a venue.

If a group meets in a coffee house or restaurant, they should all purchase something to eat or drink. That is the courteous thing to do and builds a good relationship with the owner of the shop. Also, tipping the waitress goes a long way in making your group welcome at the restaurant.

We sit and write alone but we need community. We need to be with like-minded people to talk about our craft, to discuss our work and learn from each other. An open mic event might be the first time a budding writer gets up enough nerve to read his/her work out loud to an audience.

There are rules for open mic events and for critique groups that will ensure success. The representative in charge sets these rules and makes them known to anyone who participates. A time limit or word limit has to be set to give all those who sign up an opportunity to read.

A good critique group adheres to certain rules to keep writers from becoming defensive or from being too critical and losing members. We have a set of rules for critique that has worked for twenty years and has enabled local poets to help each other and become published.

Our representatives have done a great job for years. We need more people who will take a lead in their counties and promote the literary arts with an event for poets or writers or both.

We invite our representatives to leave a comment here and tell us what you do and why your events are successful.

Email if you are interested in becoming a rep in a mountain county that doesn't presently have one. We will be happy to help you get started. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Writers Night This Saturday: Scott Owens, Staci Bell

September 13

Featured on Writer's Almanac and winner of many poetry awards, Scott Owens once again travels from Hickory, NC to read for us. He'll also teach a workshop at Writers Circle in Hayesville on Saturday.

Joining him at Writers' Night Out on September 13, will be writer and former talk-show host, Staci Bell, from Murphy.
An open mic follows the featured readers. Sign up at the door.

We meet at the lovely Union County Community Center in the heart of Blairsville.  Come early for dinner and drink (optional, for purchase).
Important Update (/12/14): This month, we will meet in the A/B Conference Rooms on the ground floor where we were last month. Dinner is optional and served upstairs in the View Grill (great view of the golf course and mountains!). There will be complimentary iced tea and water served in our room. You can bring food and a drink (alcohol included) down with you if you'd like, but there will be no waitress service in our room.  
Program starts at 7:00, so please plan enough time to order/eat if you're having dinner there. The Union County Community Center is gracious enough to not enforce a minimum food order for our group, so you don't need to feel obligated to have anything (but the socializing is fun!).

For more info:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Come Hear Lucy Cole Gratton, July 12 Writers' Night Out

Don't miss Lucy!

She writes poetry and short essays of interest and misadventures about activities around her property on Lake Apalachia. The program begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. (dinner available for purchase) and reading following at 7 p.m.. There’s also an open microphone for those who’d like to read their own writing (limit 3 minutes of prose or poetry).

Union County Community Center

129 Union County Recreation Rd., Blairsville, Georgia 30512 
Behind Holiday Inn Express near the intersection of US 76 and Highway 129
phone (706) 439-6092

We usually meet in the upstairs ballroom (alternate location is A-B conference room on first floor). Click here for the map.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Henderson County Open Mic

Martha O. Adams reads her work
Congratulations to our Henderson county NetWest Reps, Lana Hendershott and Pat Vestal, who have recently organized an Open Mic in Hendersonville, NC. This no-cost NetWest sponsored event is held at the Henderson County Library, 301 N Washington St, Hendersonville, NC, 28739 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on the third Monday of the month.

The library, conveniently located in the center of town, has an auditorium, just to the right of the main entrance, with ample seating. Non-messy snacks and drinks, such as bottled water, are allowed into the auditorium. The time of the event was chosen to allow for those who are at work to come to the Open Mic at the end of their work day, before they go home.

It's working well. Lana and Pat report that the event is well attended, and that writers in their area are happy to have this venue for reading their work.

Full details can be found on the NetWest calendar page here. For more information, or to sign up to read your work, please e-mail Lana or Pat at Henderson County Events,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Photos from Coffee with the Poets in July

Carolyn Johnson and Estelle Rice, members of NCWN West, were featured poets this month. Compliments followed by those attending.
Barb Haynes, Mike Keller, Estelle Rice, Linda smith

Carolyn Johnson, poet and writer
Open Mic readers were Bob Grove who read a humorous essay, Linda Smith who read a poem. Barb Haynes, reading her work aloud for the first time, entertained us with a short essay. Mike Keller and Joan Howard also read poetry. Anyone who attends is invited to read a short prose piece or a poem.
Coffee with the Poets is held the second Wednesday of each month at Cafe Touche, Main Street, Hayesville, NC. The community is invited.
Contact Glenda Beall at 828-389-4441 or for more information.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Coffee with the Poets, Hayesville,NC, Wednesday, February 11, 10:30 AM

will be the featured poet Wednesday, February 11, 10:30 AM for Coffee with the Poets at Phillips and Lloyd Books on the square in Hayesville, NC.

All writers and members of the community are invited. Open mic for poems and short essays or stories.