Regular readers of this blog or our newsletter will know our spiel: Open Mic Night is a great way to see how your material connects with a live audience, to meet and chat with like-minded people, and simply to promote yourself and your work. It’s also a great developmental tool – as a writer, you will be required to read publically at some point in your career. You might get a book deal, and need to read at the launch. Or to give a reading at a bookstore or library. Public reading is the little brother to writing.
And all that’s true.
What’s more, very simply, Open Mic Night is fun. Take all the facets of professional development out of it, and Open Mic Night is an entertaining night out, offering something for everybody, whether it’s a poem to be moved by, or a story to laugh at. Diversity is one of Open Mic Night’s strongest features.
Perhaps most importantly, since Busybird has been running our Open Mic Night – since midway through 2013 – we’ve developed a sense of community. There are regulars who attend unfailingly, revelling in the delight of sharing their work with others and chatting, whilst new attendees are always surprised about the welcoming, supportive, and nurturing environment.
This year, we’re taking the nurturing one step further.
This year, Open Mic Night is going to be a little bit different.
Previously, there’d been three staples of Open Mic Night.
Firstly, you haven’t been required to book. That remains exactly the same. You don’t have to book. Just show up. It’s that easy. Most people actually like to show up a bit earlier, and chat with others. If you want to read or sing or perform, you just have to put your name down on the running sheet for the night – a warning: putting your name down last on the running sheet does not mean you will be called up last. The order is actually randomised by our emcee for the night, Blaise.
Secondly, we provide refreshments – there’s always something to drink, and nibblies. This is also staying the same. There’ll always be something to satiate your thirst, or satisfy your hunger.
Thirdly and finally, to attend Open Mic Night we’ve requested a gold coin donation. This is where we’re going to do things a little bit differently. Now, we’ll be charging a $5.00 entry fee. Part of this will cover operational expenses for the night (providing the drinks and nibblies, etc.).
But part of it will be pooled in a fund for the Busybird Creative Fellowship.
The Fellowship is intended to help a fledgling artist – a writer who’s had less than three publications, or an artist wishing to exhibit for the first time – improve on their craft through mentoring, use of Busybird facilities, free entry to our in-house workshops, discounted publishing services, and a cash prize of $500.
This is our means of trying to give back to the writing community, and to help somebody develop their craft through our experiences and skills and resources.
Applications for the Busybird Creative Fellowship will open Thursday 1 October and close Friday 30 October 2015. The Busybird Creative Fellowship has a page on our website here and a Facebook page here. We also have a Facebook event for Open Mic Night here.
At $5.00 for entry night, Busybird’s Open Mic Night still provides an entertaining and cheap night, so we hope to see you all there!