Bob Weinberg

Michele Williams

Allan Johnston

Tracie Padal

Willa Moore

Tom Roby IV

​​​Joe Weintraub

Upcoming Events-​​​​​​Open Mics

​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, Chicago (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.


​​​​​​​Coming Soon...

Special Event  June 11 — Kickoff Reading of THE MOON, 22nd in the series of annual anthologies published by Outrider Press in affiliation with TallGrass Writers Guild — this Featured Event of the Printers Row LitFest, (the nation's third largest book fair of its kind), has readings from the collection's poetry, fiction, and essays by their authors, and is led by Whitney Scott, who edited this anthology on the moon.

Accepting $500 Grand Prizes are: Jenene Ravesloot for Prose, and Tracie Renee Padal for Poetry. Additional Illinois residents reading include: Susan Baller-Shepard, who won Second Place in Prose; plus Marcy Darin, Kathleen McElligott, and Grazina Smith. It contains wide-ranging writings from Blue, Blood, Wolf, Harvest, and Hunter's Moons to moon-centered ancient beliefs and rituals, and the "moon madness" said to occur when the moon is full; just ask any Emergency Room Nurse. At Jones College Prep School, 700 S State Street (at Harrison).

For details, go to: www.printersrowlitfestDOTorg to learn about this and other LitFest attractions including over 150 vendors of new, used, rare, and collectible books; author readings and signings; panel discussions with editors and agents; and The Li'l Lit Fest for younger readers. Notable authors appearing include Scott Turown mystery writer and Rita Dove, former Poet Laureate of the United States.

Printers Row Lit Fest runs from Saturday, June 10 through Sunday, June 11, 10 A.M. to

6 P.M., and is located on N Dearborn north of Polk Street to Harrison. Free and open to all.

Special Event — June 29 — Summertime Adventures, a TallGrass Themed Reading at Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue at 7 P.M. and is free to all, with TallGrass Guild members' original poetry, fiction, and essays on everything from recollections of childhood dives into the forbidden quarry to family car trips visiting nobody's favorite relatives.


Recent Events

Recapping a few of TallGrass Guild's Recent Programs

Special Event: TWG Honors National Poetry Month, Saturday, April 1, 2017

"Poetic Voices," on Saturday, April 1, 2017, starred two of TallGrass' award-winning

poets, Maureen Connolly and Jenene Ravesloot at Chicago's exciting venue, Let Them

Eat Chocolate. This special event marks the first time TallGrass has offered a Poetry Month

program, but certainly not the last as the two women delivered strong, passionate, and

delicately nuanced work with performances that perfectly complemented their writings.

Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Chicago's Book Cellar

Another SRO audience for TWG talent 'Welcoming Spring' with readings that ushered

in the change of seasons  with Willa Moore, Jenene Ravesloot, Marjorie Skelly plus work from

far-flung TallGrass members including Tracey Ludvik...and more.

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.

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.


​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.

And send us your submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays; click on 'Anthology Guidelines' for complete instructions. Details soon to come.


Michele Williams

Maureen Connolly


Jenene Ravesloot

​​​​​Joe Weintraub

​​​​​​​​​​​V V V

Brittany Roque

Tracie Padal

Whitney Scott

Susan Dewar

Martin Altman

Timmothy Holt

Timothy David Rey


Jenene Ravesloot

R.J. Nelson

Willa Moore

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Maureen Connolly

Bill Grady

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

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


TallGrass Open Mics are held at Chicago's Sulzer Regional Library Auditorium, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, on May 21, held the fourth Sunday of each month 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, June 25 —  Bob Weinberg, reading from and discussing his new release, Registered Respiratory Therapist, based on his profession in that field.​​​ 

Bob is a regular attendee of TallGrass Writers Guild events that include monthly Open Mics at the Sulzer Regional Library, and themed readings held three times a year at The Book Cellar, in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Following his program are Open Mic readers (sign-up to read starts at 1:15 P.M.) who are welcome to 6 to 8 minutes of performance time to present poetry, fiction, essay, comedy, music and more. TallGrass Open Mics are normally held the fourth Sunday afternoon of the month, and are re-scheduled for holidays. These events are free and open to all.


Lylanne Musselman

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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 2018 anthology theme: TBA Its deadline: March 31, 2018. 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, 2017 to March 31, 2018, in addition to postal submissions.

  • Postal entries preferred, not required. See this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows; refer to year-round via postal mail.
  • Submittable entries accepted through March 31, 2018 at: http://tallgrasswritersguildDOTsubmittableDOTcom/submit​​​​​​​​​

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