Q: Who can participate?

A: Anyone. Novice and veteran wordsmiths, alike, are welcome to participate in the open mic section of Drop the Mic. Arrive when doors open at 7:00pm to sign up for one of five open mic slots.

Q: How strict are you with the 3 minute limit?

A: We time the open mic slots--everyone gets 3 minutes, flat!--because we'd like to ensure at least five voices are heard during this portion of the evening. The audience starts clapping at the timer's signal when three minutes are up. If we have additional time, we'll work down our wait list.


Q: What kind of writing can I share?

A: Performance poetry, poetry, essays, fiction, non-fiction, storytelling (see below), etc. Knock our socks off with work that makes us hope you come back--and that brings us back for more!

Q: What kind of "storytelling" are you talking about?

A: We especially enjoy true, personal stories. These stories align most with The Hook's mission. These are stories about something that actually happened to you and which you are ready to share with the community. But we will certainly welcome fiction, folktales, and traditional tales. Go for hilarious, sad, redemptive, embarrassing, powerful. It's up to you! Just be prepared by having practiced a bit at home.

Q: Does my writing have to be memorized?

A: Nope! But you might consider challenging yourself to deliver stories and performance poetry memorized, eventually. It's fun and a unique challenge that sometimes strengthens our writing because many folks tend to edit as they memorize.

Q: What kind of language/content is acceptable?

A: Our events are designed for adults (18+). But we do often find high school students hanging out with us and we love to have them with us. Colorful language can sometimes backfire on a presenter, so if you include it, be sure it adds to your material and won't distract from your awesomeness!

Q: Can I share more than one piece of writing in an evening?

A: Open mic writers have three minutes to share one or more pieces. If we have extra time (perhaps because multiple wordsmiths were conservative with their time) we'll open things up to the wait list.

Q: Do I have to stay for the entire evening?

A: These events are very popular and usually sell out. Arrive as soon as you can after doors open at 7:00 pm (especially if you want to share your writing in an open mic slot) and stay as long as you can. The shows start at 7:30. Drop the Mic is designed to wrap up around 9:30. If you present your writing, stay to listen to others, please! One of our biggest pet peeves is when wordsmiths stay just long enough to present their own material and then skedaddle out right away when their turn is over. Being a supportive audience member is half the fun!

Q: Can I just sit and listen?

A: Gracious, yes! These events wouldn't be possible without you!

*Open mic, storytelling, and spoken word events are popular throughout the world. We're not pretending to do anything new here. But we are doing something that's new to Cedar Rapids and we thank our friends like Chicago's Scott Whitehair for helping to pave the way--specifically in the context of personal narrative storytelling--so that we don't have to invent the wheel. 

© 2020 by The Hook

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