The Writers’ Corner – Word Up Next

Word Up Next

Word Up Next is a listing of writers’ events in the North Shore.  All recurring writing meet-ups and open mics are listed at the bottom.  Want to add something to the calendar?  Email 


Tuesday, January 14, 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Remembering Poet Mary Oliver
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton

Join us for a free-form discussion focusing on Mary Oliver’s poems. Facilitated by poet & teacher Carla Panciera.  Free and open to the public, bring along a friend. In the event of nasty weather, we will meet on Wed. 15th. For More Info

Saturday, January 18 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Writing Workshop w/Danielle Jones – Journaling
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, Salem

Danielle Jones will lead a workshop exploring journaling as a daily practice for writers. Regardless of genre, every writer begins by staring down the blank page, which can be both intimidating and unforgiving. But what if you think of that blank page as a chance for play? A space to rant, reconfigure, keep a record—a way to let the many sides of yourself come together on the page. We’ll look at images and poems intended to get the conversation started, and revisit old entries with strategies for generating new material. You’ll leave with prompts, excited for the first several weeks of your writing new year. BYOJ!
Danielle Jones holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is associate director of the Writers House at Merrimack College. Her work has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets, Incessant Pipe, Memorious, and elsewhere. She’s a recipient of a 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. For More Info

Tuesday, January 21, 7 pm
ShopTalk with Kris Asselin
Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, 345 Main St, Wakefield

Have you ever been told that you “tell” too much in your writing; that you need to “show” more? What does that even mean? Join me as I share specific examples from published books to demonstrate how to infuse your writing with more detail and pull your reader into your story. Come prepared to write as we workshop our own writing samples. You’ll never be accused of “telling” not “showing” again!

The Room to Write is excited to help bring a ShopTalk workshop to the Wakefield Beebe Memorial Library. ShopTalks are offered through NESCBWI (New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and present a FREE opportunity for local adult writers of all genres and levels to participate in a professional workshop sponsored by NESCBWI and the Wakefield Public Library. Kris Asselin will be presenting her workshop Writers Toolbox: Show and Tell, Reinventing Your Scene on Tuesday, January 21st at 7:00 PM. Save the date and Register for the workshop to ensure your spot by clicking HERE! Make more room for your writing in the new year! 

Wednesday, January 22, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Words After Work with Aine Greaney
Gloucester Writers Center, 126 E. Main St, Gloucester

This evening writing workshop is suitable for working adults or those balancing volunteer work with family responsibilities.

The Words after Work workshop will cover the following: 
– An overview of the documented research and benefits on/of expressive writing for
personal wellness and resilience
– How to develop and maintain a consistent writing practice–even when you work full time
– Journaling tips for those who hate handwriting or find it hard to stick to a writing schedule
– A brief overview of current nonfiction genres  and how to transition your personal writing to publish-able pieces such as personal essays

This workshop will include 2 -3 in-class writing exercises and peer review. Class minimum 5, maximum 12. $45

Thursday, January 23 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
An Evening with Author Peter Zheutlin
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton

Author Peter Zheutlin will talk about his newest book The Dog Went Over the Mountain. He is a freelance journalist and best selling author of works like Rescue Road: One Man, Thirty Thousand Dogs, and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway. Books will be available for sale and signing after the talk. This program is free and open to the public. In case of inclement weather the snow date for this program is Thursday, January 30. For More Info

Friday, January 24, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Flora Has an Adventure: Meet the Author!
Essex Public Library, 30 Martin St, Essex

Several years ago a local chicken visited the Essex Library for story hour…and her adventure is now featured in author Karin Gertsch’s charming picture book, “Flora Has an Adventure.” Meet the author and real characters from the book! Join us for a reading of the story and special themed activites. RSVP appreciated: Email or call 978-768-7410 For More Info

Saturday, January 25, 10 am – 3 pm
Scribbler’s Ink Writing Prompt Workshop
Location shared after registration, Nahant, MA

NO MATTER IF YOU ARE AN ASPIRING OR SEASONED WRITER, ONE RULE IS THE SAME FOR US ALL; YOU NEED TO PUT PEN TO PAPER AND MAKE TIME TO WRITE. The price of the day workshop is $80.00. This includes the workshop itself, a catered lunch and beverages.
For more info call: 781-983-2882

Monday, January 27, 11 am – 12 pm
Faculty Reading, Salem State University
Ellison Campus Center, 1 Meier Drive, Salem

Hear Salem State writing faculty read their recent worksSalem State faculty will read their recent work. Come hear the words of writing faculty Kevin CareyBill CoyleRegina FlynnAlex PearyJ.D. Scrimgeour, and Ann Taylor, as well as writers in other departments. For More Info


Wednesday, February 12, 3:00- 4:00 pm
An Evening with Author Joseph Finder

Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton

New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder will discuss his new book, House on Fire.  Finder is the author of thirteen previous books, including Killer Instinct, which won the International Thriller Writer’s Award for Best Novel of 2006. Two of his other books, Paranoia and High Crimes, became major motion pictures. Books will be available for sale and signing after the talk. In case of inclement weather, the snow date for this program is Wednesday, February 19. For More Info

Thursday, February 20 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Salem State Writers Series: Kimberly McLarin
Salem State University, Ellison Campus Center, 1 Meier Drive, Salem

Kim McLarin is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Taming It Down (1999), Meeting of the Waters (2001), and Jump at the Sun (2006) and of the memoir Divorce Dog: Motherhood, Men, & Midlife. McLarin is also co-author of the memoir Growing Up X with Ilyasah Shabazz. Her most recent book is Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Life and Love.
McLarin’s nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, the New England Review, the Sewanee Review, Glamour, The Washington Post and other publications. She is a former staff writer for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Greensboro News & Record, and The Associated Press. Currently she writes a monthly column for For More Info

Saturday, February 22 7:30 pm
Write Like a Girl 2020 Hosted by FunDead Publications
The Witch House, 310 Essex St, Salem

February is Women in Horror Month. What better place to celebrate than Salem, Ma in The Witch House, the last standing building with a connection to the Salem Witchcraft Trials.
Join us for the fourth annual Write Like a Girl, a live gothic and horror fiction readings by female horror writers from New England, reader lineup TBA. Tickets available starting January 6th!

Doors open at 7:30pm for attendees to shop privately with FunDead Publications and The Cemeterrarium and the books of the readers performing. Tickets will be *very* limited due to the size of the performance space of this incredible historic house. Half of the ticket cost will be donated to Safe Child Africa, a charity protecting and providing for children accused of witchcraft in Africa.
We’d like to thank Elizabeth from The Witch House for giving this event its annual home. For More Info

Recurring Meet-Ups & Open Mics

Below is a listing of writing groups and writing meet-ups happening in the area.  We do our best to keep this up-to-date but please click the link to confirm weekly meeting times with the group’s web page.   Want to add your group?  Email

Amesbury Library Writers’ Group
 Monthly on the 1st Wednesday at 6:30 pm
Location: Amesbury Public Library, 149 Main St, Amesbury

The Amesbury Library Writers’ Group is an open group of writers who are currently working on writing projects. The purpose of the group is to meet to read and critique the writings of each group member. Each member is to be actively and regularly engaged in submitting their own work in progress for review, regularly reading the submissions of other members of the group, and regularly meeting in person to discuss their writings and the writings of the other group members. Writers in all genres are welcome to attend.

The group will meet on the first Wednesday of every month. This group is open to anyone who would like to participate and an individual must attend two consecutive meetings of the group to have their work critiqued. This group will be run and facilitated by volunteers

The library hosts a monthly poetry series with an open mic. Each month there will be a featured poet followed by a discussion, an open mic and light refreshments. Stephen Wagner, Amesbury Poet Laureate, hosts this event. 
For More Info 

Amesbury Poetry Open Mic
Date/Time: Last Tuesday of the Month 6-7 pm
Location: Amesbury Public Library, 149 Main St, Amesbury

The library hosts a monthly poetry series with an open mic. Each month there will be a featured poet followed by a discussion, an open mic and light refreshments. Stephen Wagner, Amesbury Poet Laureate, hosts this event.  Learn More

Beverly Farms Library Memoir Writing Group
Dates/Times: First Saturday of the month, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Beverly Farms Branch Library, 24 Vine St, Beverly

Have you always wanted to start your story? Are you in the middle of a memoir? Join the library’s new writing group on the first Saturdays of each month for support and critique. Bring copies of your work to share with the group. All are welcome. Learn More

Ipswich Poetry Group
Dates/Times: 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6:30 PM

Location: Ipswich Library, Collins Room, 25 N Main St, Ipswich

The Ipswich Poetry Group meets to share poems in progress and give and receive feedback. All are welcome! Email with questions or call Sarah at 617-584-7025.   For more info

North Shore Poets’ Forum Meetings
Dates/Times: 3rd Saturday of the month at 11 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Beverly Public Library, 32 Essex St, Beverly

Members are asked to bring a little bit of food or a beverage to share (cookies, little sandwiches, cheese, whatever). Each meeting will feature a presentation on a poet, movement or form that should be of general interest to members. After the program, members are encouraged to bring an original poem and six to 10 copies for members to offer gentle critique.   For More Info

Open Mic
Dates/Times: 1st Monday of the month, 7:30 – 9:30 PM
Gloucester Writer’s Center, 126 East Main St, Gloucester  

Read for five minutes. Bring your words. Get heard.   For More Info

Powow River Poets Reading Series
Bimonthly, 2nd Saturday at 3 pm; next up Nov. 10
Newburyport Public Library, 94 State St, Newburyport

The bimonthly series, is free and open to the public, and includes an Open Mic. Poetry enthusiasts are urged to attend. The Open Mic is limited to ten poets, so come early to the library to sign up. The time limit is one poem or two minutes, whichever is shorter, so please time your reading when you rehearse.   For More Info

ReachArts First Friday Open Mic
Dates/Times: 1st Fridays at 7:00 pm
Location: ReachArts, 89 Burrill St, Swampscott

Featuring a kaleidoscopic line-up of poets, musicians, storytellers, and oddballs, ReachArts in Swampscott hosts a First Friday Open Mic that has gained a loyal local following. Each month, hosts Larry Power and Lee Eric Freedom invite newbies, seasoned performers, and all others (15 years or older) who wants to come to come and have way too much fun with a mic in hand.

Readers & Writers Guild
Dates/Times: 3rd Friday of select months at 7:30 pm
Location: Christ Church, 149 Asbury Street, South Hamilton

Our Readers & Writers Guild meets to hear a featured reader as well as share open mic time, peruse attendee’s books for sale, and enjoy pot luck refreshments.  Check website for upcoming dates. All are welcome!  For More Info

River Bards Fall Poetry Series & Open Mic
Dates/Times: First Friday of the month at 7 pm
Location: Battle Grounds Coffee Company, Haverhill

Creative Haverhill’s River Bards present Fall Poetry Series and Open Mic nights at Battle Grounds Coffee Company! Each event will begin with a featured poet, followed by the open mic portion of the evening. Participants should limit their readings to 3-5 minutes. Sign ups are first come, first served on the night of the event. Food and drink are available for purchase!  For More Info

Salem State Veteran Writers Workshop 
First Tuesday of the month
Location alternates monthly between Salem State and Salem VFW Post 1524

A monthly writing workshop that provides military veterans and civilians an open forum in which to explore writing among peers. Writing prompts will be given, followed by workshopping and conversation. Our location alternates monthly between Salem State and Salem VFW Post 1524.    For More Info

Salem Writer’s Group
Date/Time:  1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, Salem

All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.     For more info 

Speak Up Open Mic
Date/Time: Wednesdays at 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Location: Walnut Street Cafe, 157 Walnut St, Lynn

One of the most beloved and highest attended poetry circles on the North Shore, the Walnut Street Café in Lynn regularly draws a crowd of poets, storytellers, comedians, local eccentrics, community activists, and overall creative people. Anybody is welcome to attend, whether to read or perform (all skill levels welcome) or listen.

Winter Street Writer’s
Date/Time: Last Tuesday of the Month 9:30 – 11 am
Location: Beverly Public Library, 32 Essex St, Beverly

We are a Beverly-based writing group.
For inquiries, please contact

Witch City Writers’ Workshop
Dates/Times: 3rd Monday of the month at 6:30 pm
Location: Varies between Beverly Library and the Cummings Center

Join our workshop! Please review submissions before you attend and be ready to offer feedback (written feedback is always welcome). Please also review the workshop guidelines in the drop-off folder. You are welcome to bring food/drink (no alcohol).  Please bring a $2 cash contribution to workshop meetings to participate. If you prefer, you can bring $30 cash for a full year of no-fee workshops.      For More Info

Writer’s Open Studio
Dates/Times:  Every Tuesday at 8:40 am – 11:30 am
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, Salem

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.  The building will be open from 9:45-12:00 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting. Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.         For More Info 

Zumi’s Open-Mic Poetry
Date/Times: Every 3rd Saturday 6-8 pm
Zumi’s Espresso, 40 Market St, Ipswich

Celebrate poetry, coffee and community at our legendarily friendly open-mic! Bring a poem to share, tell a story, or sing a song. Listeners and creative types of all stripes welcome! Contact Sarah Vickery at

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