Timmothy Holt

​TallGrass Writers Guild - Chicago Open Mics, Readings, Annual Anthologies 

TallGrass Writers Guild is Chicago-based, independent arts organization serving writers at all levels of development for almost 30 years. TWG provides local, regional, national, and international performance and publication opportunities. 

Performance Opportunities — ​Chicago's Most Supportive Open Mic for over 25 Years

  • Open Mics — ​Chicago's long-running monthly Open Mic takes place monthly at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, resuming December 18 (see details below);
  • Themed Readings each year by TallGrass members at Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago;
  • Yearly Tri-State readings at venues throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin; and 
  • Programs by the TallGrass Performance Ensemble at libraries, nature centers, colleges and universities throughout the Tri-state region. Offering a large range of seasonal and holiday themes, these Performance Ensemble shows of poetry and flash fiction have earned a listing in The Best of the Best, a resource used by programming librarians to present quality special events to library patrons throughout Illinois.

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​​Publishing Opportunities


  • TallGrass Writers Guild quarterly Newsletter,which contains columns; reviews; and member news of recent publications, play readings, and other achievements; and Manuscripts Wanted, pages listing and online publications​ seeking poetry, essays, fiction, illustrations and photos.


  • Annual anthologies published in affiliation with Outrider Press, who donates all pre-press services including editorial, design and typeset support. Publishing parties for each year's anthology are at the historic Sulzer Regional Library. This year's Publishing Party for HOME was on Saturday, October 1 at 1:00 pm. at Sulzer, 4455 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, where we packed the house.


  • To submit your writing for consideration: details on submitting for possible anthology publication and cash awards totaling $1,000 are found on this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows. The 2017 anthology theme: The Moon, which will be broadly interpreted to include harvest and hunters' moons; moon mapping; rockets to the moon and moon landings; the dark side of the moon; gardening in moonlight; rituals, magic, alchemy under the full moon and more. Its deadline: March 31, 2017. Please click on the 'Anthology Guidelines' tab for complete, updated guidelines. We are accepting submissions year-round via postal mail; Submittable submissions will be available November 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017, in addition to postal submissions.


  • Postal entries preferred, not required.
  • Submittable entries accepted through March 31, 2017 at: http://tallgrasswritersguildDOTsubmittableDOTcom/submit​​​​​​​​​

     
  • Click on the 'Anthology Guidelines' tab for complete, updated guidelines. 

 


Martin Altman

RJ Nelson, former member of the TallGrass Board of Directors, headlined the prestigious Society of Midland Authors' monthly program at the Cliff Dwellers Club in Chicago on November 22. Author of DIRTY WATERS: Confessions of Chicago's Last Harbor Boss, he recounted the many ironies of his stewardship as former superintendent of special services and director of harbors and marine services for the Chicago Park District. The onetime chaplain at Cornell University was hired in 1987 to clean up the corruption of the office, following four predecessors who had all wound up in prison. Under then-Mayor Harold Washington, "everything changed. The old culture of complete patronage was in disarray. Harold brought in reforms..." 

     DIRTY WATERS: Confessions of Chicago's Last Harbor Boss is available through the University of Chicago Press

Anne Schultz enthralls listeners (from left) Whitney Scott, Joe Weinberg, and Bob Lawrence

​​​​​Joe Weintraub

Michele Williams

Michele Williams

​​Open Mics


TallGrass Open Mics are held at Chicago's Sulzer Regional Library Auditorium, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, on each month's fourth Sunday afternoon unless re-scheduled because of holiday conflicts. Sign-up to read begins 1:15 P.M. Our start time is 1:30 p.m. Special Events may be held at other venues.


Sunday, Febuary 26, Open Mic—​​​1:30 pm—​​​Anne Schultz headlines with taless of her charming, handsome, (and imaginary since he's created by cosmic forces) jaguar, who's no stranger to others who've seen him being walked around the block by Anne. She's a London native who brings with her memories of post-WW II rebuilding and her years stateside spent teaching.

​     The Open Mic readers follow the program. Each has up to 6 to 8 minutes to present poetry, fiction, essays, comedy, and more. ​Newcomers and experienced readers welcome.


Upcoming Open Mics and Special Events


  • ​March 18, 7 PM—​​​'The Coming of Spring'—​​​Themed Reading at The Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago. Cast TBA   
  • March 26—​​​Marcy Darin, Open Mic Featured Author whose writings have appeared in the famous CHICKEN SOUP series as well as several Black-and-White anthologies
  • April 1, 1 PM​​— TallGrass Writers Guild's Nat'l Poetry Month Reading featuring TallGrass Poets Maureen Connolly + Jenene Ravesloot, whose latest book-length collection is SLIDERS. At Let Them Eat Chocolate, 5306 N Damen Ave in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. 773.334.2626      
  •      ​Date TBA—​​​Kathleen McElligott, award-winning author of MOMMY MACHINE, debuts its sequel, second in the planned Elaine McElroy trilogy. 

Bill Grady


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Tracie Padal


Lylanne Musselman


Willa Moore

​​​​​​​Outrider Press Small Press Publishing & Writing Contests

Outrider Press small press publishing w/editorial, design & typeset support writing contests & anthologies  

   

RJ Nelson

Author of DIRTY WATERS

Tom Roby IV

​​​Joe Weintraub

Upcoming Events

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Jenene Ravesloot

R.J. Nelson



TallGrass Member RJ Nelson Headlines Society of Midland authors

Brittany Roque

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Jenene Ravesloot

Maureen Connolly

Susan Dewar

Allan Johnston

​​​​​​Recent Events

Recapping a few of TallGrass Guild's Oct-Dec Programs


TallGrass Writers Guild Themed Reading 

Friday, December 15, 2016​ at Chicago's Book Cellar


TWG talent delighted the SRO audience at this free event with a diverse program of 'COZY...' readings that ushered in the winter season from Martin Altman, Robert Lawrence, Willa Moore, and Joe Weintraub (with special guest Pat Curtis). Listeners were especially warmed on that bitter cold, windy Chicago night with reader Michele Williams' 'My Cozy Life,' recounting the serenity and joy of reading a good book that's propped against the purring cat in her lap, a beautiful animal whose picture she shared with the audience.


CHICAGO BOOK EXPO
Sunday, November 13 at Columbia College-Chicago


The TallGrass table boasted book displays of its two most recent Black-and-White anthologies, HOME (2016) and EMBERS AND FLAMES (2015), published in affiliation with Outrider Press; distributed handouts on TallGrass Writers Guild and the anthology series, now in its 22nd year; and met and mingled with the large group of Expo-goers. President Whitney Scott also doubled our visibility at this high profile venue by appearing with her fellow members of the Society of Midland Authors, and promoting these two recent titles.

COMBINED VOICES: ​​​A Reading with TallGrass & Longwood Writers Guild

Saturday, November 5 at the Beverly Area Planning Association


Chicago's historic Beverly neighborhood was the site of this event combining TallGrass Writers and Longwood Writers Guild members presenting their contributions to the 2016 (HOME) and 2015 (EMBERS AND FLAMES) Black-and-White series of annual anthologies. (For complete guidelines for 2017's THE MOON, see the 'Anthology Guidelines' tab). LD Barnes, Bill Grady, Grace Kuikman, and Grand Prize Winner in Fiction, Grazina Smith, were readers along with others including Martin Altman, Bob Lawrence, Kathleen McElligott, Joe Weintraub, and others presenting original work. We packed the house, with standees leaning against the wall at this free reading.


VOICES: ​​​A Group Reading of Anthology Contributors

Friday, October 21 at Columbia College-Chicago


Columbia College-Chicago was the venue for the Little Indie Press Festival, now in its second year, and, for the second consecutive time, we had a reading spotlighting contributors to recent Black-and-White anthologies. Martin Altman, LD Barnes, Bob Lawrence, Joe Weintraub, and Grand Prize Winner in Fiction, Grazina Smith, were among those presenting their work. TallGrass also staffed a vendor table at The Little Indie Press Festival, displaying recent anthology titles and distributing information on TallGrass Writers, and anthology submission guidelines for THE MOON, due in 2017.


HOME PUBLISHING PARTY

​Saturday, October 1 at Sulzer Regional Library


SRO was the order of the day as we packed the Sulzer Auditorium with Willa Moore and Ron Scroggins' musical performance followed by fifteen contributors from four states presenting their work published in HOME. The talent, applause and refreshments table were epic, and included readings from both Grand Prize winners: Grazina Smith for 'Executive Order 9066' in Prose and Guy Thorvaldsen for 'Sweeping' in Poetry. Don't miss the 2017 Publishing Party for THE MOON-and send us your submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays; click on 'Anthology Guidelines' for complete instructions.



Willa Moore