Lies, Dreaming #17 – Tell me something I don’t know

We are delighted to announce the contributors for our seventeenth podcast, which has as its theme “Tell me something I don’t know”.

You can subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right.

Here is a rundown of our contributors:

Becky Downing is a Liverpool-based, Actor, Poet & Playwright. She began writing for Theatre in the Rough in 2012 and has since created work for various festivals & projects with the Company including ‘A Concept of Beauty’ for the Liverpool and the Titanic Fest (2012), ‘The Jewellery box’ for the Lusitania Exhibition (2015) and a short audio play, ‘Haunted Sefton’ in 2016. Since then, Becky has been writing Poetry for her website, toured with Want The Moon Theatre Company this year playing ‘Joss’ in ‘Other People’s Teeth’,  and has just written & Performed her one woman show ‘We’ve Been Bette’ at theatre 503, London.

Kathryn Thomson is a Scottish poet currently living in Glasgow. After a degree in Scottish Literature and Language, she now works part-time as a freelance poet and has worked closely and written for a number of third-sector organisations. She also produces monthly email newsletters that you can sign up to here. Find her on Instagram and her Website.

Ellen Storey is a writer and editor living in Aberdeenshire.  She has been writing since childhood and edited her mother’s memoirs of post-war Germany which were published in 2009. She enjoys taking part in workshops/projects, and wrote for the EU-funded Dovetail partnership in Nottingham which published an anthology in 2014. She also contributed a biographical chapter to Women’s Voices, Women’s Words published by Global Press in 2016.

Michael McGill is an Edinburgh poet who has recently had work published in Far Off Places, Picaroon Poetry, The Haiku Quarterly, Likely Red Press and Eye Flash Poetry Journal.

Twitter: @MMcGill09

Our next theme will be ‘The Nightshift at McDonalds’. Check out this blogpost for further details.

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Call for Submissions #18 – The Nightshift at McDonalds

We want your words. Your words inspired by the theme ‘The Nightshift at McDonalds’.

When we say ‘we want your words’ we want anything that involves you making noises; it’s only limited by what your mind can come up with and a time constraint: a maximum of five minutes in length (a limit, rather than a target). We’re interested in any style of writing, we want to show off the range of spoken word. We are happy to broadcast previously published works.

Whatever you send, the podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files. Please save your file with your name and poem title.

Recordings can be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com by the 31st of January 2019 for a podcast at the end of February.

The theme for the podcast is The Nightshift at McDonalds.

We’re looking forward to your responses!

All submissions will receive a response within 10 days of the deadline passing.

Contributors to the podcast will receive a payment of £5.

Call for Submissions #17 – Tell me something I don’t know

 

We want your words. Your words inspired by the theme ‘Tell me something I don’t know’.

When we say ‘we want your words’ we want anything that involves you making noises; it’s only limited by what your mind can come up with and a time constraint: a maximum of five minutes in length (a limit, rather than a target). We’re interested in any style of writing, we want to show off the range of spoken word. We are happy to broadcast previously published works.

Whatever you send, the podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files.

Recordings can be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com by the 15th of November 2018 for a podcast at the end of November.

The theme for the podcast is Tell me something I don’t know.

We’re looking forward to your responses!

All submissions will receive a response within 10 days of the deadline passing.

Contributors to the podcast will receive a payment of £5.

So…you want to do an open mic night

Open mic nights are essential for the arts to develop. It’s where people find their voice, try out new things, and make the first step on that infinitely long ladder marked ’emerging artist’.

However, they’re also a place where you might find yourself picking things up as you go along. You’re often going in with just you, your words and no other knowledge.

Here then is a list of things that you should know about when you go to your first open mic. If there’s anything missing please mention it in the comments.

1. Actually go to some open mics first.

Open mics may all have similar formats but they all have different characters. Find the ones that feel right to you, and consider it from an audience perspective. This will help inform your performance and technique.

It will also help you deal with the drinking culture that exists at poetry nights. Often they’re in pubs or BYOB events, and your tolerance is something only you can know. No matter how nervous you get, it’s best not to get pissed before you go on stage.

2. Getting a slot may take time

Search engines or asking friends for advice should present you with some of the open mics in your area. Usually they will put out a request for open mic-ers in the weeks before hand, and ask people to email in requests.

It is possible that they will get more requests than there are slots, so you may not get a place straight away but you should get first rejection for the next event. There may also be dropouts on the night, so you might get put on a reserve list for when this happens.

3. Practice beforehand

Before you go, make sure you practice your pieces. This helps your confidence and gives you a sense of how long your pieces are.

Time them to make sure they don’t go over the limit (this should be given to you in advance). Remember to include patter in your timings. If the only way to finish the pieces is to rush through them, cut one so you can do it properly. If If you’re going over time, either cut the number of pieces you’re reading or perform something else instead.

You want people to like your work, so don’t wang on either really fast or for too long and lose any goodwill you might have gained.

Don’t worry about making a mistake: bear in mind only you know what your poem should sound like, so if you do make a mistake only you will notice. Just continue with the poem rather than trying to go back and fix your mistake.

4. Reading from paper

Reading from paper is fine, if that’s how you prefer to perform. Also it’s likely to be a new piece you’re reading so you’re forgiven for not knowing it off by heart yet.

However, I would recommend that you do not read from individual sheets of paper held in your hand, and instead use a notebook or pad. This is because you’re probably going to be nervous when performing, and if you’re holding sheets of paper they will shake with your nerves. When you notice this it can make you more nervous. Reading from a notepad (with the words written in pencil initially so they’re easier to edit) means it’s much less obvious when you’re nervous as there’s no rustling noise and so this cyclical problem of nerves doesn’t occur.

5. Patter

If you’re nervous, just concentrate on greeting the audience and saying what the name of your poem is. That’s all they need to know. Try to practice this along with the poems beforehand. As you get more confident from repeated performances you’ll get better at talking to the audience (and indeed you will repeat the same patter between poems), but when you’ve got a time limit it’s best not to ramble.

Never self-deprecate. 

6. The microphone

If there is a microphone, use it. Do not assume everyone in the audience is able to hear you without your voice being amplified.

Before we get to the actual microphone, there’s the stand to consider. Microphone stands are adjustable, usually there’s a locking mechanism halfway down the pole which can be loosened when spun to the left or tightened when spun to the right (aka ‘righty tighty, lefty loosy’). If the mic isn’t at the same height as your mouth when you stand normally, loosen this and raise/lower the pole accordingly, then tighten it.

You want the mic to be at mouth height, and you want to speak into it directly, so don’t move around too much or else the sound quality fluctuates. Don’t put your mouth right up to the mic, a few inches away is fine. If you’re speaking directly into it your voice will get picked up.

7. How to end a poem

It isn’t usually that clear when a poem has finished. A simple nod and a ‘thank you’ is a good way of marking this.

Other ways to mark the end use visual clues such as stepping backwards from the mic. If you’re reading from a notepad, you can close it to signal that you’ve finished.

8. Do not fuck off after you’ve finished your slot

If you have no urgent business to attend to, stay and watch the other performers. Obviously it’s polite to do so, but you might actually learn something/be inspired/enjoy it. Plus no one will think you are a dick.

NB. if you are a dick, stop being a dick.

9. You will get feedback, just not necessarily in detail

You always get feedback at open mic nights. You can see the audience, you can hear how they’re reacting to your work, you can gauge the weariness of their applause. If you’re doing a comedic piece, then it’s a lot easier to tell if that’s worked. For anything that isn’t designed to evoke laughter it’s a bit harder to tell.

You will probably not get more detailed feedback than this, though some nights do encourage it.

10. This is where you can fail

The whole point of open mic nights is to try things out. Some of them will not work. This is fine. This is how you find out which things you’ve written are good. If you get offered a feature slot you should know which of your pieces people like from doing open mic nights.

Do not use feature slots to try out lots of new material, that’s what the open mic nights are there for.

With thanks to Matt McDonald, Lloyd Robinson, Finola Scott, Alistair Mackey, David Paton, Paul Case, Gavin Cruickshank, Dave Lee Morgan, and David Macpherson.

Call for Submissions #16 – Supermarket Sweep

We want your words. Your words…inspired by Supermarket Sweep.

When we say ‘we want your words’ we want anything that involves you making noises; it’s only limited by what your mind can come up with and a time constraint: a maximum of five minutes in length (a limit, rather than a target). We’re interested in any style of writing, we want to show off the range of spoken word. We are happy to broadcast previously published works.

Whatever you send, the podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files.

Recordings can be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com by the 31st of July 2018 for a podcast at the end of August.

The theme for the podcast is, in honour of the late Dale Winton, Supermarket Sweep.

We’re looking forward to your responses!

All submissions will receive a response within 10 days of the deadline passing.

Contributors to the podcast will receive a payment of £5.

Call for Submissions #15 – NEIGHBOURS

We want your words. Your words…inspired by Neighbours.

When we say ‘we want your words’ we want anything that involves you making noises; it’s only limited by what your mind can come up with and a time constraint: a maximum of five minutes in length (a limit, rather than a target). We’re interested in any style of writing, we want to show off the range of spoken word. We are happy to broadcast previously published works.

Whatever you send, the podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files.

Recordings can be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com by the 3oth of April 2018 for a podcast at the end of May.

The theme for the fifteenth podcast is Neighbours.

We’re looking forward to your responses!

All submissions will receive a response within 10 days of the deadline passing.

Contributors to the podcast will receive a payment of £5.

Lies, Dreaming #13 – RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

We are delighted to launch our thirteenth podcast on the theme of “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”. You can stream it now via Soundcloud:

You can also subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right.

Here is a rundown of our contributors:

Ian Richardson enjoys writing and performing poetry and is always greatly encouraged when his work is published. His works appear in various anthologies and he has been a contributor to Lies and Dreaming since Podcast #1. He lives on the East coast of Scotland where the biggest thing he has seen rising out of the sea is the morning sun. 

Janette Ayachi (1982- ) is a Scottish-Algerian poet who has been published in over sixty literary journals and anthologies from presses such as Polygon, Freight, Seren, and Salt’s ‘The Best British Poetry of 2015’. She collaborates with artists, has been shortlisted for a few chewable accolades, and has performed her work on the BBC Radio, as well as across the U.K at various events. She has a combined honors degree in Literature and Film from Stirling University and an MSc in Creative Writing from Edinburgh University. She is the author of poetry pamphlets Pauses at Zebra Crossings and A Choir of Ghosts, and a children’s chapter book The Mermaid, The Girl and The Gondola published by Black Wolf Edition press. Her first full poetry collection Hand Over Mouth music will be published by Pavilion (University of Liverpool) in 2019, and she is currently working on Misdialing The Muses: A Poet’s Memoir.

J.S.Watts is a UK novelist and poet. Her writing appears in publications in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the States and has been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. She has published five books: two poetry collections, “Cats and Other Myths” and “ Years Ago You Coloured Me”, plus a multi-award nominated SF poetry pamphlet, “Songs of Steelyard Sue”, all published by Lapwing Publications, and two novels, “A Darker Moon” – dark literary fantasy, and “Witchlight”  – paranormal romance, published in the US and UK by Vagabondage Press. See www.jswatts.co.uk for further details.

Antonia Seaward is a spoken and written word artist based in the Southside of Glasgow, whose words are as pragmatic as they are poignant with a very human tone. When she is not writing poetry at her kitchen table she is looking after her three young girls.

 

Our next podcast theme is “HORSES”. Submission criteria can be found here.

 

Call for Submissions #14 – HORSES

We want your words. Your words…inspired by HORSES.

When we say ‘we want your words’ we want anything that involves you making noises; it’s only limited by what your mind can come up with and a time constraint: a maximum of five minutes in length (a limit, rather than a target). We’re interested in any style of writing, we want to show off the range of spoken word. We are happy to broadcast previously published works.

Whatever you send, the podcast will be set to an ambient soundtrack, so we ask that the recordings are vocals only. Preferred audio formats are mp3 and wav files.

Recordings can be sent to lies.dreamingpodcast at gmail dot com by the 31st of January 2018 for a podcast at the end of February.

The theme for the fourteenth podcast is HORSES.

We’re looking forward to your responses!

All submissions will receive a response within 10 days of the deadline passing.

Contributors to the podcast will receive a payment of £5.

Lies, Dreaming #12 – Postcards from the Future

We are delighted to launch our twelfth podcast on the theme of “Postcards from the Future”. You can stream it now via Soundcloud:

You can also subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right.

Here is a rundown of our contributors:

Colin Bramwell is a writer and performer from the Black Isle. His various projects include creating and performing spoken word theatre shows at fringe festivals across Europe, translating the Taiwanese poet Yang Mu, playing piano for Scottish improv wizards Men With Coconuts, and trying to write poems about Milo Yiannopoulos without doing loads of sick burps. He’s the artistic director of Teuchter Company, a group dedicated to making genre-spanning theatre. You can listen to a solo version of his second show, Tiger, here: https://colinbramwell.bandcamp.com/releases

Elaine McKay lives in Scotland. She is a graduate of Glasgow University. She has stories included in several anthologies and has flash fiction pieces published in various places online.
She is also the author of the picture book, ‘Grandma’s Face Tells Her Story’ (published by eTreasurespublishing.)

Maria Di Mario is a Scottish writer based in Barcelona. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. Her creative interests include the natural world and concepts of family. She swims in the sea every day.

Stephen Barnaby was raised by stoats and taught to communicate entirely through fifty snuffly, grunty noises, which he has successfully and randomly rearranged into two pamphlets, Self Loathing Ostrich Tragedy and It was Happy Hour at the Nutty Nun.

 

Our next podcast theme is “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!”. Submission criteria can be found here.