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November Montgomery County Zoom Open-Mic

December 12, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM


On December 12th the Montgomery County chapter plans to host an open-mic session as its monthly meeting. 

Usually, open-mic sessions set restrictions about readings; for example, usually readings are limited to fairly short works, things that can be read in 5 minutes or less, and that’s tempting because in December we’re restricted to our allocated 2 hours for our program.  Another chapter needs the Zoom account fairly soon after that, and we have to give them time to rearrange the chairs and tables, erase the whiteboard, and all the other chores that arise when a venue is passed from one group to another.  So we’re time-constrained next month.

But short readings often mean that you have to curtail a longer work to fit it in.  You have to choose to read this paragraph and omit that one.  You have to leave out portions of your work that seemed important when you wrote them.  Sometimes that’s good, because it forces you to think hard about what is really necessary in your work and what isn’t.  Sometimes you could be wrong about whether that paragraph is important or not, and being forced to stay within a short time forces you to face that truth.  But it’s also possible that you are right, and the paragraph you are omitting really does matter.  If that’s true then when we, the listeners, hear the curtailed work we miss something of what you as the author intended.  Some bit of closure is lost.

To test my theory about the possible importance of omitted paragraphs I’d like to open this session to at least a few longer readings.  Because of our time constraint we still have to place limits, and I’ll specify two of them.   For the first hour I’d like to raise the time limit for a single reading to 15 minutes, and leave the second hour for shorter works.  That’s enough time to read a whole 2000 to 2500 word chapter, or short story, or poem, or essay.   And that limit implies the second: we can’t fit more than four 15-minute readings or six 10-minute readings, into a single hour. 

Bring whatever you would like to read to us, including quick readings no matter how short.  But if you have something you’ve been hesitant to share with us because you can’t quite pare it down to the usual 5-minute limit, if you’d like to read something of yours that will take some time, up to a fuzzy limit of 15 minutes, please write to me to let me know (email address below).  If you can, let me know how long the reading will be.  I’ll keep a list, in the order I get the requests, and I’ll fit as many as I can into the first hour of the session.

Write to me at [email protected]

Thanks to everyone who participates. 


Montgomery County Zoom Meeting Link:

For more information email: [email protected]