Busybird Publishing is always interested in trying to be socially conscious.
Our anthologies were initially designed to give new and emerging writers exposure. Our books will usually give a portion of proceeds to a charity and/or foundation, and/or will help to raise awareness for a cause. We run workshops on photography, writing, and publishing, and we’re always happy to answer questions – especially if it helps inexperienced authors (or authors who aren’t that knowledgeable about the publishing industry) to avoid pitfalls, such as unscrupulous businesses who’ll try to exploit that author’s inexperience for money.
We also try to be community-minded, fostering our studio – here in the heart of Montmorency, Victoria – as a creative hub. One of the ways we do that is through our monthly Open Mic Night, held the third Wednesday of every month from February – November.
Some people will frown. A number of writers will scrunch up their faces, and find nothing more distasteful than reading in public. Ewww! Why ever would you do that? Most writers think all they have to do is write, publish, and their books will march off the shelves to the adulation of the public.
Maybe it works that way if you’re Stephen King, JK Rowling, or some other bestselling author with an established fan base, but if you’re just starting out, or even if you’re published but still establishing a readership, letting the world know of your existence – not to mention your writing’s existence – is a necessity. That means you’ll always be hustling: doing interviews, giving talks, and performing readings.
Now here’s what Open Mic can do for you:
- Give you experience reading in public. Sure, it might be terrifying – at least at first. But the audiences at our Open Mic Nights are always friendly, nurturing, and supportive.
- Show you how your material connects with an audience. You might believe something you’ve written is brilliant. But there’s no better gauge than seeing how an audience respond.
- You get to network. Yes, writing is an insular vocation, but you will – at some point – need to rely on others. You could meet another writer with whom you can exchange work for feedback. You could meet an editor who can help you, or even a publisher who’s interested in looking at your work on the strength of your reading. You could meet prospective readers, who want more of your work. If you have a book (or books), you could sell copies. (We’re always happy for people to do that at our Open Mic Nights.)
- You could make friends. Again: writing = insular vocation. There’s nothing more invaluable than making friends who understand your dreams and frustrations and all that.
There’s a lot to gain from Open Mic Night. So if you’re writer, think about the way reading could be beneficial to you.
Of course, Open Mic Night isn’t just for writers. We get asked that often: If I come, do I have to read? Like the moment somebody walks in, we hook a cane around their neck and haul them to the podium, a spotlight blaring in their eyes. Open Mic Night is about entertainment. It’s about fun. It’s about culture. It’s about being ‘open’. So if you just want to come along and sit in the audience, that’s perfectly fine, too. And it’s a great alternative to staying at home, watching television, or dawdling around on the net, procrastinating. Have an inexpensive night out, enjoy the readings, chat with people before and after the Open Mic section begins.
Busybird’s Open Mic Night costs just $5.00 entry. That covers a raffle door prize, the refreshments that are provided (a great assortment of nibblies and beverages), with a small amount going to the pool that constitutes the Busybird Creative Fellowship – a fellowship we award an inexperienced writer, designed to help with their development, and nurture and guide their formative steps into the industry.
The next Open Mic Night is Wednesday night, 19th April, beginning at 7.00pm and running until 9.00pm. No bookings are required. If you want to read or perform, just come in and write your name on the booking sheet – a warning, though: the final order is randomised by our emcee Blaise, so don’t think putting your name last means you’ll read last. We also randomise the order to mix up what you get.
If you have any queries, feel free to email us or call us on (03) 9434 6365.
We hope to see you all there!