Word Up Next

Word Up Next is a listing of writers’ events in Salem and nearby towns.  All recurring writing meet-ups and Open Mics are listed at the bottom.  Want to add something to the calendar?  Email ellorelizabeth@gmail.com. 

Upcoming Festivals

September 20-22
Salem Lit Fest
Various Locations, Salem, MA

Celebrate reading and writing with us at the 10th Salem Lit Fest!

Opening Keynote Speaker on Friday 9/20, hosted at The Cellar, Hotel Salem: Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light.  
Followed by Poetry and Flash Fiction featuring local writers and live music by Rule of 3.

Saturday 9/21:  Enjoy a series of family activities at the Salem Library as well as Keynote Speaker: Hank Phillippi Ryan award-winning author of The Murder List hosted at The Cellar, Hotel Salem,

Lunch with the Authors will take place on The Roof at Hotel Salem

A special evening event with Gothic Readings with FunDead Publications and by music with DJ Zombie.

Sunday 9/22 is dedicated to Young Adult Novels with author panels and book signings, hosted at The House of Seven Gables.

With panels of over 40 authors across fiction and non-fiction and so much more. Make sure you add this to your calendar.

Click Here for Full Details

September 27-28
Dogtown Writers Festival: Finding Words in Place
Gloucester Writers Center, Gloucester, MA


We would like to share with you a new event for writers! The Dogtown Writers Festival is for writers of all levels and includes nearly every genre. The Poetry workshop will be held at the T.S. Eliot House in Gloucester, MA. Further details to be released in May 2019. Journalist Sandy Tolan, author Anita Diamant, and many more!

Click Here For Full Details.

September

Monday, September 23, 6:30-8:30 pm
Room to Write Writers and Illustrators Meet and Greet
Wahlburgers,
930 Market Street, Lynnfield

Meet up with fellow writers and illustrators and get down to business. These events are a casual way to gather with a diverse group of writers and illustrators at all levels and have become the most accessible and reliable way to connect with creative minds in the north of Boston region.

This quarter’s theme highlights the marketing and business side of being a writer or artist of any sort. If you want your article, book, blog or visual art to be seen and enjoyed, you need to have a few marketing and business insight to help guide your efforts!

Enjoy a snack, a drink and getting to know one another. Gather
ideas from a group of talented professionals with a variety of backgrounds, including:
– Gayle Nowak (The Story Stylist) Public Relations and branding
– Andy Levine (Andy Levine Creative) Photography and Headshots
– Ryan Kavanagh (Kryin78) Film production and editing
– AnnMarie Gallivan (Create Artisan Studio) Visual art studio, retail and workshops
– Euwan Godfrey (Swampscott Neighbors) Magazine article submission and sponsorship
– Kelly Carey (24 Carrot Writing) Self-management and setting goals
– Meghan Bierenbroodspot (Local Marketing Coordinator) Community outreach
– Cami Baker (Mingle to Millions) Networking and Marketing

This Meet & Greet is sponsored by The Room to Write and located in space being generously provided by Wahlburgers Lynnfield with special thanks to those people of reference listed above who will be available to answer your questions.

Contact Colleen Getty at colleen@theroomtowrite.org with questions or to let us know you will attend. Visit: www.theroomtowrite.org for more information or to learn about other programs and events. See you there! For More Info

Thursday, September 26, 7:30-9:00 pm
Writers Series: Helena Maria Viramontes
Salem State University, Viking Hall, 71C Loring Ave, Salem


Helena María Viramontes is the author of “The Moths and Other Stories” (1985) and “Under the Feet of Jesus”(1995), a novel. Her second novel, “Their Dogs Came with Them” (2008), published in paperback by Washington Square Press, focuses on the dispossessed, the working poor, the homeless, and the undocumented of East Los Angeles, where Viramontes was born and raised. Her work strives to recreate the visceral sense of a world virtually unknown to mainstream letters and to transform readers through relentlessly compassionate storytelling.
In the 1980s, Viramontes became co-coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association and literary editor of XhistmeArte Magazine. Later in the decade, Viramontes helped found Southern California Latino Writers and Filmmakers. In collaboration with feminist scholar Maria Herrera Sobek, Viramontes organized three major conferences at UC-Irvine, resulting in two anthologies: “Chicana Creativity and Criticism-Charting New Frontiers in American Literature”(1988) and “Chicana Writes: On Word and Film” (1993).
Named a Ford Fellow in Literature for 2007 by United States Artists, she has also received the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus and a 2017 Bellagio Center Residency from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2015, California State University at Long Beach inaugurated the Helena María Viramontes Lecture. Viramontes is Goldwin Smith Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, where she is at work on a new novel.

In celebration of LatinX Heritage Month, Salem State University will be hosting a number of engaging events through September and October under the theme, ‘As I Am… I Belong.’ All Salem State University students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome. For More Info

October

Tuesday, October 8, 6-7 pm
Before the Devil Fell Book Release Party
Copper Dog Books, 272 Cabot St, Beverly


Raised on family lore and local legends, Neil Olson felt compelled to write his own thrilling tale of witchcraft, resulting in his capturing the atmospheric charm and mysterious secrets of New England in BEFORE THE DEVIL FELL. Olson is a Massachusetts native who grew up in Cape Ann and is the critically acclaimed author of The Black Painting. For More Info

Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Writers Workshop 1
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton


Do you have a great idea and don’t know how to get started? Are you stuck with a messy first draft and need help with organization and editing? Come prepared to exercise your writing skills and review all aspects of the craft including character, setting, and dialogue. We’ll discuss outlining techniques and “planners” vs “pantsers”, learn about brainstorming, story vs plot and how to find your writer’s voice. We’ll run some writing sprints and share ideas to build writing endurance. All levels and genres of writers welcome to this class, free and open to the public. Join us for the follow-up workshop on Wed. 16th at 6:00. For More Info

Thursday, October 10, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Jean Trounstine: Sentence to Literature
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, Salem


Jean Trounstine is an activist, author, and professor emerita at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts who worked at Framingham Women’s Prison for ten years and co-founded the women’s branch of Changing Lives Through Literature, an award-winning alternative sentencing program. For More Info

Tuesday, October 15, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Writer Series: Alexandria Peary and Alfred Nicol
Salem State University, Ellison Campus Center, 1 Meier Drv, Salem


Alexandria Peary is the author of six books, including The Water Draft (Spuyten Duyvil 2019), Prolific Moment: Theory and Practice of Mindfulness for Writing (Routledge 2018), and Control Bird Alt Delete (University of Iowa Press). Her work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Slope Editions Book Prize, and the Joseph Langland Award from the Academy of American Poets. Maintaining a dual career in creative writing and composition-rhetoric, she has published over 150 shorter pieces in places including New American WritingGettysburg ReviewPoetry Daily, the Poetry Foundation, Yale ReviewNorth American Review, Boston Review, and Crazyhorse (literary) as well as College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Review, and New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, and Pedagogy (scholarly). She is the history editor for the Journal of Creative Writing Studies and the Head Poetry Reader for Baltic. She specializes in mindful writing to help others reduce writing blocks and maintains the blog prolificmoment.com

Alfred Nicol’s most recent collection of poetry, Animal Psalms, was published in 2016 by Able Muse Press. He has published two other collections, Elegy for Everyone (2009), and Winter Light, which received the 2004 Richard Wilbur Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New England Review, Dark Horse, First Things, Commonweal, The Formalist, The Hopkins ReviewMeasure and many other literary journals and anthologies. Nicol’s poem “Addendum” was included in the 2018 edition of The Best American Poetry.

The Salem State Writers Series, now in its 30th year, invites noted authors of short stories, biography, poetry, poetry, memoir and essays to share their work at free readings throughout the academic year. The series is sponsored by the Center for Creative and Performing Arts and the English department. For More Info

Wednesday, October 16, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Writers Workshop 2
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton


Do you have a great idea and don’t know how to get started? Are you stuck with a messy first draft and need help with organization and editing? Come prepared to exercise your writing skills and review all aspects of the craft including character, setting, and dialogue. We’ll discuss outlining techniques and “planners” vs “pantsers”, learn about brainstorming, story vs plot and how to find your writer’s voice. We’ll run some writing sprints and share ideas to build writing endurance. All levels and genres of writers welcome to this class, free and open to the public. For More Info

Tuesday, October 22, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Mike Tougias’ Ten Hours Until Dawn Featuring Peabody Hero, Frank Quirk
Peabody Institute Library, 82 Main St, Peabody


During the height of the Blizzard of 1978 the pilot boat Can Do, with five men onboard, set out from Gloucester to assist a lost Coast Guard boat and an oil tanker that was in a Mayday situation.   Ten Hours Until Dawn  tells the story of what happened on that awful night when the seas were producing monstrous waves of 40 feet and the wind was screaming at 100 miles per hour.  The captain of the Can Do was Frank Quirk from Peabody.

Using slides of the boats, audio recordings, maps, and photos of the storm, Tougias will take the viewer through this incredible night where many lives hung in the balance, and explains what happened and why.  
 A book signing of Tougias’ new middle-reader adaptation of the book, Into the Blizzard, will follow the presentation. Students are encouraged to come to the presentation. For More Info

Wednesday, October 23, 7:00- 8:00 pm
National Novel Writing Month for Newbies

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

For those interested in finding out a little more about the camaraderie and writing frenzy that is November’s National Novel Writing Month. Drop in, ask questions. 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 ellorelizabeth@gmail.com.

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

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 ipswichpoetrygroup@gmail.com 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
Location: 
Gloucester Writer’s Center, 126 East Main St, Gloucester  

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

Amesbury Library Writers’ Group
Dates/Times:
 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 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 volunteeers

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 

Powow River Poets Reading Series
Dates/Times:
Bimonthly, 2nd Saturday at 3 pm; next up Nov. 10
Location: 
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


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

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
Location: 
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 

Salem Writer’s Group
Date/Time:  1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm
Location: 
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 

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 winterstreetwriters5@gmail.com

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