by PJ Colando
Public speaking is consistently cited as regular folks’ number one fear. Public reading of one’s work may top writers’ lists? Ya think?
Get over it, O.C. Writers, and get yourself LIT UP in front of an enthused crowd like the one pictured at a recent event. With an audience like this to greet your reading, what’s not to like?
It’s Writer Nirvana in the O.C., as reliable as a full moon: the third Tuesday, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., at Kean’s Coffee, 13681 Newport Ave., #14, Tustin 92780.
This group is focused; as literates, they listen closely and well. Audience members are appreciators, not competitors. LIT UP breeds the warmth of recognition earned, not commanded. It’s reciprocal high value time. I’ve forged relationships there, so I can promise that your participation will not go unrequited. To be immersed in the world of other writers is an attraction, not fatal, though perhaps an addiction.
The event is spearheaded by Maddie Margarita and Pure Fiction League, the critique group in which she participates. All were daunted by the Platform mandated to market and sell books. Even traditionally published authors tell me they squirm in the present landscape. The chasm opened after a writer has jumped into the publishing world can smash one’s aspirations like the rock that perpetually splattered Wily Coyote.
Achievement-oriented Maddie decided to create a venue for her peers. Her goal was to engage, encourage, and motivate herself as well as others. She hones an array of insightful comments and inquiries to keep the evening alive. It’s all win-win, all good for two-and-a-half years. There are plans to expand, to LIT UP elsewhere.
When you elect to LIT UP, you’ll read an excerpt of your work—published or work-in-progress—amidst the occasional fizz-and-whirl of a cappuccino machine, the tinkle of spoons or forks, appreciative laughter if your reading has a humorous flair or an empathetic tear induced by drama.
Kean Coffee has a multitude of concoctions and confections, blonde-and-sweet or straight black coffee made with beans roasted in-house. You’ll be given a dollar discount on your drink. If you like your coffee hot, Kean has it; if you prefer cold, they’ve got that, too. If you like your prose to be hot/cold, you can provide that as well.
There’s a table to display your promotional materials and book(s) for sale, strategically placed where ‘simply caffeine’ seekers traipse in-out Kean’s Coffee, on the corner of a busy strip mall. Who knows what a stray eye will recall, what will lure someone to stay awhile, relish your oral read, and purchase take-home treat.
Be like Maddie, a spunky woman who models “Just do it”: submit yourself to this opportunity for immersion and inclusion. They currently accept submissions up to 2200 words in all genres—except erotica—as Kean Coffee is a public venue.
Pack your fear in your back pocket and get LIT UP. Submit. You may be among the coveted few who have the opportunity to present your prose interactively with a faithful core, a community of writers. Listener/practitioners who delight in others’ work. Submissions are reviewed by a committee. For submissions or questions please email Maddie at mtighe123 [at] cox [dot] net.
Maddie is reaching for the stars, wanting to include you among them, aiming for enough literary cachet to attract every writer, agent, editor, and media outlet in southern California, including Hollywood.
What would you cite as a pinnacle for your writing career, the Mt. Kilimanjaro quest of your keyed-up life? A million books sold? Ten weeks on the ‘New York Times’ bestseller list? A two-book deal with Hachette?
One of mine was my Miss America moment after I LIT-UP! Come to Kean on Tuesday, October 18; I’m keen to see you (wink-wink)
(photos by Garrett Miller)
PJ Colando writes women’s fiction with preposterous plots and lively characters swirled amidst issues of social angst: entitlement, fracking, and medical marijuana use, though not piss-and-vinegar politics. She formerly called writing her elegant hobby—a premise that must be abandoned because she earned a fiction award at the recent Southern California Writers Conference. Join her on her Boomer humor blog on her author site: http://www.pjcolando.com
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