Whitney Scott

Jenene Ravesloot

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Open Mics

Saturday,  October 27, 2018, 10 a.m. — Tina Jens returns to the TallGrass stage for a scary

celebration of ​Hallowe'en. She has had numerous stories and poems published by major New York

publishers and small presses. Her honors include awards from the Writer's Digest Competition and

the Horror Writers Association; her novel in stories, The Blues Ain't Nothin': Tales of the Lonesome

Blues (Design Image Group 2002), received several honors, including 1st Prize for Best Novel: Nat'l

Federation of Press Women and nominee for Best First Novel by both the Horror Writers

Association & International Horror Guild Award. The TallGrass Open Mic follows her presentation.

Saturday, November 17, 2018, 10 a.m. — Editor Whitney Scott returns with 'Getting Published  — WHAT do Editors Want? — a Writing Workshop' for all writers, beginners as well as established authors. She has spearheaded the editing and production of the acclaimed 'Black-and-White' series of annual anthologies for 23 years, and has been a writing coach and instructor, editor, publisher and book reviewer for the American Library Association's BOOKLIST Magazine for over 25 years. The basics of professionalism and most commonly found problems with manuscripts are among the topics included. The Open Mic follows her workshop.

Saturday,December 15, 2018, 10 a.m. — A favorite among Open Mic audiences, Jo Piazza takes the stage as Featured Author for the first time. Known for family memoirs and witty, insightful essays, Jo has been a longtime Open Mic regular.

Emily Dagostino

Catherine Underhill


Martin Altman

Jenene Ravesloot

Brittany Roque

Tina Jens

Tracie Padal

Joe Weintraub

Michele Williams

Bill Grady

Susan Dewar


Lylanne Musselman

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​V V V

​​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. 2017's Publishing Party for THE MOON  was  at Sulzer, 4455 North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, where we packed the house.

  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE for the 2019 Anthology, LOON MAGIC, is  May 31, 2019

  • SUBMIT YEAR-ROUND OR VIA SUBMITTABLE TO May 31, 2019. Send your writing for consideration: details on submitting for possible anthology publication and cash awards totaling $1,000are found on this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows. The 2019 anthologytheme: LOON MAGIC and Other Night Sounds. Itsdeadline: May 31, 2019. Please click on the 'Anthology Guidelines' tab for complete, updated guidelines. We are accepting submissions year-round via postal mail; Submittable submissions preferred, however, and are available November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018, in addition to postal submissions.

  • Submittable entries preferred and accepted November 1, 2018, through MAY 31, 2019 at: http://tallgrasswritersguildDOTsubmittableDOTcom/submit​​​​​​​​

  • Postal entries also accepted. See this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows; refer to year-round postal mail.
  • You may include your entry fees with other items ordered from this web site. See pages 4 and 6. We always urge contributors to purchase a past copy to familiarize themselves with Outrider's formats and content.


Martin Altman

Willa Moore

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Upcoming Special Events​​​

Saturday, October 13, 2018, Special Event at 1 p.m. — Writers on Breast Cancer, a program of poetry, essays and short fiction in observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Featured authors are prize-winners Emily Dagostino, Marcy Darin, Willa Moore, Susan Namest, Whitney Scott, and Grazina Smith. Free to

all, free parking, and free light refreshments. Not a medical or scientific event, this is a program from respected literary authors on a disease that is epidemic in America, and impacts directly or indirectly, every family—including those of these talented artists. 

This program is free to all, with free parking, and free light refreshments.

Saturday, November 3, 2018, 2 to 4 p.m. — TallGrass joins Beverly's Longwood Writers Guild talent for a joint 'Combined Voices' reading. Contributors to THE STARS, our most recent anthology, present their poetry, fiction and short fiction, along with the Longwood authors delivering their new and collected work.

Friday, December 7, 2018 — Special Event at 7, 'Holiday Landscapes,' a TallGrass Writers Guild Themed Reading at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue.   Authors Martin Altman, Emily Dagostino, Willa Moore, and others will perform work ranging from holiday bell-ringers on city corners, chop-your-own Christmas tree farms, and neighborhood displays of flashing neon holiday decor.

Saturday, December 8, 2018 — Special Event at 1:30 P.M.-- STARS! The 2018 Tri-State Reading at the Milwaukee Public Library, 814 W Wisconsin Avenue, features contributing authors to the 2018 TallGrass anthology, THE STARS. These outstanding talents live in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, and will present their poetry, fiction and essays in this 23rd in Outrider Press' series of annual anthologies. BOOKLIST Magazine praised THE STARS: "Work in the collection consider life's various connections on or to Earth as well as the profound vastness above....Outrider's anthology series continues to curate diverse voices, offering ample interpretations of the infinite beauty, power, and mystery of the stars."

Recapping a few of TallGrass Writers Guild's Special Events

Thursday, August 31, Special Event at 7 p.m: 'Autumn Memories,' a Themed Reading at the Book Cellar, Chicago's delightful small indie book store at 4736 N Lincoln Avenue. As summer draws to a close, we recall past seasons of falling leaves and look forward to the coming autumn — the changing season that's also tinged with sadness as the end  of the year grows nearer; daylight dwindles; and memories abound as the leaves color, fall, and turn brown; classes begin; and kids look forward to trick 'n treating. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018, Special Event at 1 p.m: The Publishing Party for THE STARS, 23rd in the acclaimed Black-and-White series of annual anthologies published by Outrider Press in association with TallGrass Writers Guild. Contributing anthology authors sign copies as people meet, mingle and network with friends, family members, and colleagues of the anthology contributors. This reading will feature Grand Prize winners past and present, and complimentary light refreshments.

Readers presenting cuttings of their work in STARS: Martin Altman, Emily Dagostino, Marcy Darin, Gay Guard-Chamberlin, Elizabeth Harper, Nancy Heggem, Grace Kuikman, Robert Lawrence, Tracey Ludvik, Kathleen McElligot, Marjorie Skelly, Grazina Smith, and more. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Special Event at 7 p.m: 'The Games of Summer,' a Themed Reading at the Book Cellar, Chicago's delightful small indie book store at 4736 N Lincoln Avenue. Original work by TallGrass Writers Guild members on warm weather games including tennis, lawn croquet, golf, skateboarding, competitive swimming and diving, and of course, ​baseball with writings from Martin Altman, Juley Harvey, Robert Lawrence, Tracie Ludvik, Susan Namest, Jo Piazza, Lynn Veach Sadler, and Joe Weintraub.


April 8, 2018, Special Event: TWG's National Poetry Month Reading: a 2 p.m. event at Chicago's Conrad Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue. Featured Authors were Timothy David Rey and Robert Lawrence. The Sulzer Auditorium was packed as 50 people of all ages turned out for this exciting two-author program that included Tim and Bob's colleagues taking part in these authors' dramatic monologues and writings for multiple voices. Beautiful shared energies and a standing ovation made this one of TallGrass Writers Guild's most successful programs.

March 16, 2018, Special Event: 'Couch Potatoes & Comfort Food' ​— a Themed Reading at Chicago's Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue. Original work by TallGrass Writers Guild members on these related themes with poetry and prose on aspects on joining a Couch Potato Organization, becoming The Empress if Ice Cream, and more with: Martin Altman, Pat Gallant, juley harvey, Bob Lawrence, Marjorie Skelly, Jo Piazza, Jenene Ravesloot, Tom Roby IV, Whitney Scott, Susan Zamarow, and more.

Special Event: November 11, 2017, MOON reading, at Chicago's Beverly Central Library, a 'Combined Voices' reading jointly sponsored by the Longwood Writers Guild and TallGrass Writers Guild, and featuring MOON's contributing TallGrass authors Martin Altman, Marcy Darin, Bill Grady, Kathleen McElligott,  Whitney Scott, and Grazina Smith.

Special Event: October 20, 2017, MOON reading, at Chicago's Little Indie Press Festival

Columbia College's Little Indie Press Festival was the site of our program where we presented a reading that featured contributors to THE MOON, the most recent Black-and-White anthology published by Outrider Press in affiliation with TallGrass Writers Guild. Martin Altman, Bob Lawrence, Marjorie Skelly, and others read their poetry and short fiction on this theme that has fascinated through the ages. Presented by Whitney Scott, editor and publisher of Outrider Press.

​​​Special Event:  September 16, 2017, Publishing Party for THE MOON

This Featured Event was the Book Party for the 2017 anthology, THE MOON, celebrating its publishing,

the 22nd in the series of annual anthologies published by Outrider Press in affiliation with TallGrass

Writers Guild. The program of readings from the collection's poetry, fiction, and essays by their authors was led by Whitney Scott, who edited this anthology, which fully captures the fascination

with "La Bella Luna" that transcends language, belief system, and nationality. Showcased were Grand Prize winners Tracie Renee Padal for Poetry and Jenene Ravesloot in Prose.​​ 

​​Special Event:  April 1, 2017, TWG's National Poetry Month Reading

"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's two outstanding 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's '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.​​​​​​​​

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Maureen Connolly

Michele Williams

Bob Weinberg 

Allan Johnston

​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 Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Ave, usually the 4th Saturday of each month (varies with holidays) at 10 a.m. Open Mic readers follow the Featured Author's program, and can present 6 to 8 minutes of work. FREE to all;
  • Themed Readings —  Four FREE programs a year by TallGrass members at Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago;
  • Special Programs —  Include April's National Poetry Month and October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, FREE to all.
  • Yearly Tri-State readings  — At venues throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin; and 
  • Seasonal/Holiday Programs by the TallGrass Performance Ensemble at libraries, nature centers, and universities throughout the Tri-state region. These Performance Ensemble shows of poetry and flash fiction are free to the public, and have earned a listing in The Best of the Best, the programming guide librarians use to present quality special events to library patrons throughout Illinois.

Tina Jens

Timmothy Holt

Events ​​

Unless otherwise noted, Open Mics and Special Events are held at Chicago's Sulzer Library, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, where FREE parking is available. TallGrass Writers Guild events are FREE and open to the public. For details, email tallgrassguildATsbcglobalDOTnet

RJ Nelson

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

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


Tom Roby IV

Gay Guard-Chamberlin

Timothy David Rey

​​​​​​Joe Weintraub

Timothy David Rey