Dear Fellow Book Lovers,

Several years ago I established an open mic event for emerging writers. An open mic event is where writers have an opportunity to read or perform some of their work to an audience. I have hosted this event in several bars around Melbourne, as well as at the Ubud Writers Festival a couple of years ago. Many emerging writers have read their work in public for the very first time. Yes, most were nervous – that's putting it mildly; but the supportive, welcoming environment that was created helped them through it.

Since becoming Festival Director of Melbourne Jewish Book Week a year ago (and what a year it's been), one thing that has become apparent is that there are many people in the Jewish community who write. I've been sent published and unpublished works, in all genres. And I suspect for all those who have sent me something, there are tens – even hundreds – more who are keeping their written gems locked in a drawer or on a computer.

So, MJBW has decided to hold a virtual (online) open mic event in 2021, on Tuesday 20th April at 8 pm (AEDT).

I am hoping as many of you as possible will take this opportunity to read a short piece of original work (3-4 minutes) to an appreciative audience. This is not about professionalism – you will not be judged on the quality of your work. Think of it as an opportunity to have your voice heard. It can be any genre: fiction or non-fiction, memoir or a poem.

I know this is a few months away, but I wanted to give you some time to sit down and write a piece (or search for that disregarded masterpiece you wrote and put away).

So, get your pieces ready, then use our submission form to send your work through. There's no rush — I'll send through a reminder closer to the date.

I am very much looking forward to hearing from you — as is the rest of the MJBW community.
Warm regards,

Nicolas Brasch

Festival Director, MJBW


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