Word Up Next

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


November 10, 12, 17, 18,19, 24, 25, 26, 12/1 various times
NaNoWriMo Events
Witch City Writers Group, Various Locations (see link)

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Learn more about the challenge and launch your novel at nanowrimo.org.       Learn More

November 13, 7-8:30
New York Times Columnist Andrew Rosenthal
Salem Visitor Center, 2 Liberty St, Salem

Andrew Rosenthal, New York Times columnist, will be in Salem for a dialogue on the use and misuse of information in a democratic governance. The event, “The Attack on Truth: Democracy at Risk”, will be a community discussion sponsored by Salem State University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons. This event is part of a two-day program made possible by the Spector Gardner family. This free event is open to media and the public.

Rosenthal has served at the New York Times in a variety of editor roles, including Editorial Page editor, assistant managing editor, foreign editor, and Washington editor. He has written extensively on presidential elections and politics. Prior to his tenure at the New York Times, Rosenthal was the bureau chief in Moscow at The Associated Press. He received his bachelor’s degree in American history in 1978 from the University of Denver.  

November 14, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
It Happened Like This …
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, 14 Union St, South Hamilton

You know those stories you tell over and over again? It’s time to put them in writing! Bring  a story idea, an anecdote, or a memorable photo or other prompt to this hands-on workshop and we’ll get you started. Presented by retired journalist and workshop leader Steve Crowe. Free and open to the public, bring along a friend.        Learn More

November 14, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Randy Ross
Gloucester Writers Center, 126 E. Main St, Gloucester

God Bless Cambodia is a picaresque comedy about a never-married hypochondriac who takes a trip around the world hoping to change his luck with love. It’s an unflinching look at how men feel about sex, love, marriage, and massage parlors. The book features adult situations, adult language, and more adult situations.

Randy Ross is a Somerville-based writer, lecturer, and performer. His comedic novel, “God Bless Cambodia,” was published in 2017 by The Permanent Press, an independent press specializing in literary fiction. His one-man show “The Chronic Single’s Handbook” has been featured at theater festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2007, he took a trip around the world and learned to say in three languages: “Speak English?” “Got Pepto-Bismol?” and “Where is the evacuation helicopter?” The novel and one-man show were inspired by the trip. Previously, Ross was an executive editor for PC World magazine. He holds a masters in journalism from Northwestern University.          For More Info

Thursday, November, 15, 2018, 7-8 pm
Rivals Unto Death: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr
149 Main St, Amesbury, MA

It is the most famous duel in American history, but what prompted the sitting Vice President and the former Treasury Secretary to settle their differences with guns blazing? Rick Beyer, author of Rivals Unto Death, explores their intricate thirty-year rivalry that led to their deadly encounter, following them through battlefields, courtrooms, bedrooms, and arguably the wildest presidential election in history – all the way to their day of destiny in Weehawken, New Jersey.

Rick Beyer is a New York Times bestselling author and an award winning documentary producer, and a long-time history enthusiast. His independent documentary, The Ghost Army, premiered on PBS in 2013 and  won a CINE Golden Eagle Award. It tells the story of an extraordinary WWII unit that used creativity and illusion to fool the Germans.  He also has co-authored a bestselling book on the unit that is being developed as a Hollywood film.  Rick has produced numerous other documentaries and is  the author of the popular Greatest Stories Never Told series of history books. He has also made numerous media appearances, and frequently speaks to audiences on subjects that include innovation, filmmaking, and the quirky tales that make history come alive. He is an adjunct faculty member in the communications department of Lasell College.  Space is limited, sign up required.    Learn More

Thursday, November, 15, 2018, 7-9 pm
Author Anthony Sammarco – Jordan Marsh: New England’s Largest Store
Peabody Institute Library, 15 Sylvan St, Danvers, MA

Founded in 1851 by Eben Dyer Jordan and Benjamin Lloyd Marsh, Jordan Marsh opened their first store selling fabrics and assorted dry goods to Victorian Bostonians. Following the Civil War, the store moved to Washington Street where in its new five story building, they unveiled the novel concept of “department shopping” under one roof.

Jordan Marsh offered clothing, furniture, toys and goods that attracted shoppers six days a week. It offered personal service,
easy credit, art exhibits and music. It became a treasured part of life for shoppers and by the 1970s it was the largest chain in New England.

Many mourned when it was sold, and the Macy’s name went up 1995. Come hear about its fascinating history as Boston’s
first department store by the author of the history of this once cherished shopping venue.        Learn More

Thursday, November, 15, 2018, 7:30-9 pm
Emma L. Andrews Library, 77 Purchase St, Newburyport

Join us Thursday, November 15 from 7:30-9:00 to hear local author Meg Mitchell Moore discuss her latest novel, The Captain’s Daughter. Ms. Moore received a B.A. from Providence College and a master’s degree in English Literature from New York University. She is the author of The Arrivals, So Far Away, and The Admissions. Before turning to fiction, Ms. Moore worked a freelance journalist for a variety of business and consumer magazines. Today she lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three children, a new puppy, a lot of laundry, and a good amount of laughs.

Summary of The Captain’s Daughter:When Eliza Barnes was growing up in the lobstering village of Little Harbor, Maine, she could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them – but she’d always known she’d leave that life behind. Now she’s settled in the high-society circle of an affluent Massachusetts town with her husband and two daughters. But when her father – a widowed lobsterman- injures himself in a boating accident, Eliza returns to her home to come to his aid. When she arrives in Maine, she discovers her father’s situation is more dire than he let on. Her homecoming is further complicated by the reemergence of her first love and the repercussions of their shared secret. Then Eliza meets Mary Brown, a seventeen-year-old local who is at a crossroads of her own, and Eliza can’t help but wonder what her life would have been like if she’d stayed. By turn poignant, incisive, and laugh-out-loud funny, The Captain’s Daughter is an unforgettable novel about the choices we make and the consequences we face in their wake          Learn More

Friday, November 16, 9:30-12:30 
Meet & Greet New England SCBWI Metro North
Trails End Cafe, 97 Lowell rd, Concord, MA

Spend some time with the North of Boston Children’s Book writers and Illustrators. We’ll write first then socialize from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Learn More

Sunday November 18 2-4 pm
“Poetry Salon”: The Poems of Israeli Poet Yehuda Amichai and Their Influence on Guest Poet Carol Seitchik
Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St, Marblehead

On November 18th, the Abbot Library’s Poetry Salon will continue its exploration of poetic influence with the work of two poets: Yehuda Amichai, the creator of a modern Israeli poetry, and guest Carol Seitchik, Beverly poet and art curator. Amichai was described by Ted Hughes as “a truly major poet” whose work constituted “the undersong of a people.” In Jerusalem he was the only poet who could crowd arenas and his work was a favorite of rock musicians, who set his lyrics to music. His poetry is pungent, ironic, tender, playful and despairing by turns and is marked by the energy of its language. Carol Seitchik, with family in Israel, has deep familiarity with the country and with its major poet. Amichai has influenced her. The Salon on November 18th brings her poems and Amichai’s into the same conversation. Claire Keyes, Salem State University Professor Emerita, will serve as moderator. Please join us at the Abbot Public Library on November 18th, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm    Learn More

Sundays November 18, 25 from 1-4:30 pm
NaNoMo Write-In

Beverly Public Library, 32 Essex St, Beverly

We’re excited to be hosting NaNoWriMo Write-Ins this November. Bring your laptop, notebook, or scribe to the library select Sundays (11/4, 11/18, and 11/25) where we’ll have tables, chairs, outlets, free Wifi, and snacks. Your write-in host will be Julia Mohler, Municipal Liaison for the North Shore. She’ll provide discussion breaks, encouragement, and timed writing sprints.

Get started by creating a free account at https://nanowrimo.org/ where you can join virtual write-ins, track your word count, earn badges, find writing tips, and interact with fellow NaNoWriMo addicts. If you’re looking for time and space to write but don’t want to register as a NaNoWriMo participant, that’s fine too! Free; open to writers of all ages. Questions? Please email ridenour@noblenet.org.       Learn More

Thursday, November 29 7-8:30 pm
Poets in the Round
Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St, Salem

Join us for Poets in the Round: a spontaneous, rapid-fire mix of verse, where poems are chosen not by preference, but based on a word or image in the poem read prior. You’ve never seen a reading quite like this!       Learn More

Thursday, November 29, 7-8:30 pm
New England’s General Stores: Author Talk with Ted Reinstein
Beverly Public Library, 32 Essex St, Beverly

‘Chronicle” reporter and author, Ted Reinstein, joins us this evening to discuss his new book, New England’s General Stores: Exploring an American Classic, co-authored with his wife, Anne-Marie Dorning. 

The general store is literally as old as America itself. It was a place to pick up mail, the newspaper, and perhaps chat over a cup of coffee and a warm wood stove. In talking about New England’s General Stores, broadcast journalist Ted Reinstein shares the rich and colorful history of this iconic institution, how they figured in the rise of early American commerce, why they began to fade, and why they have begun to come back and even be re-invented and re-imagined for a new era. Told with anecdotes from a variety of local landmark stores across the region, the presentation is accompanied by the award-winning photography of Art Donahue.

A Q&A session and book signing will follow the presentation. Free and open to the public. Questions? Contact ridenour@noblenet.org or 978-921-6062, ext. 2135. Sponsored by the Friends of the Beverly Public Library.   Learn More


There are no events for December.  Did we miss something? Email it to ellorelizabeth@gmail.com or check out the regular writing meet-ups and Open Mics listed below. 

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.

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. Upcoming dates: October 6, November 17, December 1 (Joint meeting with Massachusetts State Poetry Society, Annual Holiday Party)    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

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 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
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

Readers & Writers Guild
Dates/Times: 3rd Friday of select months at 7:30 pm
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.  Upcoming meetings: November 16; January 18, 2019 
Check website for featured writers. 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
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
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