ILWACO - "We'd like to see more public attention given our local writers," says Luanne Hanes, owner of Olde Towne Trading Post in Ilwaco. "So we're going to be open the last Wednesday evening of the month to provide an opportunity for the community to hear the authors read their original works."
Coffee and goodies will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m., with a sign-up sheet provided for those who wish to read. The open mic will start at 7 p.m., with an hour divided among those who sign up.
"We're not sure how many we'll get this first month," continues Hanes, "but we hope the word will spread and we'll become something for the writers and public to look forward to."
Jan Bono, local author, is the coordinator and emcee for the event. "Writing is a pretty solitary pursuit," she says. "This will be an opportunity for writers to get out and mingle with other writers, and also for the public to come enjoy hearing excerpts from our labors."
Nothing is more satisfying to an author than to hear live audience reaction to what they read. "We'd like to pattern this after the Nye Beach Writers' Series in Newport, Ore.," says Bono. "I've attended some of their programs, and am always impressed by the quality of work presented."
The Nye Beach Series offers a featured writer each month followed by an open mic opportunity for members of the audience. There is a limit of 10 readers at each event, on a first-come, first-read basis.
"For now, we'll just concentrate on doing the open mic," says Bono. "Once we get established, we'll begin thinking about having featured writers do presentations." She laughs. "And I'd be thrilled to have 10 writers sign up to read!"
All genres are welcome, whether science fiction, literary non-fiction, mystery, romance, memoir, poetry, fantasy, playwriting, even songwriting. People who write lyrics are invited to bring instruments.
The first of these events will be on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. "Although Nye Beach asks for a $5 donation, since we don't have a featured program speaker, our gathering is free for the time being," says Bono with a smile. "But I did promise Luanne she'd be selling a lot of coffee."
All participants are encouraged to promote and sell their books and CDs at the event. For more information, call Bono at 642-4932.