​​​​​​​​​​Coming Events​​​​

​Themed Reading at Chicago's Book Cellar, 4736 N Lincoln Avenur: "Summertime Adventures," on Thursday, July 20 at 7 PM with TallGrass members presenting writings recalling childhood road trips and hikes; mountain climbing; photo safaris; Outward Bound ventures; winter camping trips; and spiritual journeys and pilgrimages to peace and enlightenment. This free event is open to all and features Martin Altman, Juley Harvey, Willa Moore, Jenene Ravesloot, Tom Roby IV, Anne Schultz, and others—NOT TO BE MISSED!

Readings from THE MOON by area contributors will take place in Chicago on dates TBA.

Publishing Party for THE MOON—Sulzer Regional Library on Saturday, October 14, 1:00 pm at the Chicago's Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N Lincoln Avenue. Contributors to the 2017 anthology, THE MOON, will read from their writings in that title, meet, mingle, and sign copies. Features Jenene Ravelsoot, winner of the Grand Prize for Prose; Tracie Renee Amirante Padal, Grand Prize winner for Poetry; and Maureen Connolly, Marcy Darin, Robert Lawrence, Tom Roby IV, and more. Refreshments, and free to all. 


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

​Special Event: Kickoff Reading of THE MOON, Sunday, June 11

This Featured Event of the Printers Row LitFest, (the nation's third largest book fair of its kind), kicked off 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.

Accepting $500 Grand Prizes were: 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.

THE MOON 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. 

For details, go to: www.printersrowlitfestDOTorg to learn about LitFest.

Special Event: TWG's National Poetry Month Reading, 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'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.

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 submission guidelines for our annual anthology/contest with $1,000 in cash awards.


​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 do send us your submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays for THE STARS, our 2018 title in this ling-running series; click on 'Anthology Guidelines' for complete instructions. 


Michele Williams


Tracie Padal

Martin Altman

Timothy David Rey

​​​Joe Weintraub

​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 three 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.

Jenene Ravesloot

R.J. Nelson

Recent Open Mic Featured Authors

Michele Williams

Bob Weinberg 

Susan Dewar

Willa Moore

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, July 23 —  Poet Elizabeth Harper, author of Lovesong From Psychopaths, Fairy Tales Gone Awry, and most recently, A Mercenary Girdler, reads in bars, cafes, galleries, and bookstores  Her work has appeared in many literary journals and magazines including Caffeine Dirge, Exact Change Only and Oh, Sweet Flowers. She is a lifelong resident of Chicago and currently hosts an open mic variety show at Phyllis' Musical Inn called "Elizabeth's Crazy Little Thing."

Following her TallGrass Writers Guild 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.

​​​​​Joe Weintraub

Maureen Connolly

Whitney Scott

Bill Grady

Lylanne Musselman

Upcoming Events-​​​​​​Open Mics

Willa Moore

Maureen Connolly

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.​​

TallGrass Writers Guild Open Mics have provided opportunities for newcomers to the publishing scene as well as seasoned veterans for over 25 years. 

Allan Johnston

Tom Roby IV

Timmothy Holt

Brittany Roque

Jenene Ravesloot

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

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


Tom Roby IV

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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. 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: THE STARS. 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 preferred, however, and are available November 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, in addition to postal submissions.

  • Submittable entries preferred and accepted November 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018 at: http://tallgrasswritersguildDOTsubmittableDOTcom/submit​​​​​​​​

  • Postal entries also accepted. See this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows; refer to year-round via postal mail.
  • Click on the 'Anthology Guidelines' tab for complete, updated guidelines. 


Postal entries also accepted. See this site's Anthology Guidelines section that follows; refer to year-round via postal mail.