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


June 24, 2018, 2 p.m. — Jerry Pendergast — This life long Cook County resident has lived in the North Park section of Chicago since marrying Kathleen Crane in 1980. Jerry graduated from Northeastern Illinois University and has had work published in Mill Hunk Harold Quarterly, Solidarity Times, Children, Churches and Daddies, Blue Collar Review, and After Hours.

Coming Soon on SATURDAY, July 21, 2018, 10 a.m. — NEW DAY, NEW TIME — Bob Lawrence debuts his most recent title, Japan, containing photos, illustrations and a variety of writing styles inspired by his trip there. He writes, "Stemming from my first trip to Japan, this book began as the script for a featured reading I gave in 2013 at the Gallery Cabaret, then hosted by Janet Kuypers, in Chicago. My aim was to capture the complexity of experience by interweaving different motifs in different styles, ranging from haiku to comic monologue. The illustrations, mainly photos I took, as arranged by my publisher, Paul Ryan, add a new dimension to that effort. Paul plans to publish a dozen boxed, limited art edition; displayed recently during my National Poetry Month feature at Sulzer Regional Library." Following their publication in June, a larger run of 7" by 9" paperbacks will be available through Amazon.​

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


  • 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

Events ​​

Open Mics and Special Events held at Sulzer Regional Library Auditorium, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, unless otherwise noted​​

Timothy David Rey

RJ Nelson

Jenene Ravesloot

Tracie Padal

Joe Weintraub

Bill Grady


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

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


Timothy David Rey

Catherine Underhill


Brittany Roque

Maureen Connolly

Allan Johnston

Lylanne Musselman

Robert Lawrence

Gay Guard-Chamberlin

Whitney Scott

​​​​Joe Weintraub

Martin Altman

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Michele Williams

Susan Dewar

Tom Roby IV

Timmothy Holt

Jenene Ravesloot

Tina Jens

Michele Williams

Bob Weinberg 

​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. effective July, 2018.Open Mic readers follow the Featured Author's program, and can present 6 to 8 minutes of work. FREE to all;

  • Themed Readings Four times a 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.

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

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 affiliation with TallGrass Writers Guild. If you have work in the book, this is an opportunity to sign other contributors' copies and in return, sign theirs as you can meet, mingle and network with friends, family members, and colleagues of the anthology contributors. This event, free and open to the public, will feature Grand Prize winners past and present, complimentary light refreshments...and YES...there will be CAKE. 

Recent Events: Recapping a few of TallGrass Writers Guild's Special Events

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.

December 14, 2017, Special Event: 'Holiday Gifts,' a Themed Reading at Chicago's Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenue. Original work by TallGrass Writers Guild members on 'Holiday Gifts,' with poetry and prose on aspects of gifting including shopping; receiving; and loving (or not so much) that chartreuse, scarlet and raspberry-striped sweater w/lots of purple and turquoise reindeer. Features: Martin Altman, Pat Gallant, juley harvey, Bob Lawrence, Willa Moore, 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.​​ Whitney Scott, editor and publisher of Outrider Press, produced this program.

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.