On July 23, 6 author will gather at Indy Reads Books as part of the first Downtown Writers Jam hosted by The Geeky Press. We’re currently curating those authors, and taking recommendations from friends, colleagues, and other people involved in the Indiana writing scene. Don’t wait to be nominated, though. You can submit your own work for consideration.

Meanwhile, we wanted to introduce you to our second brave soul: Michelle Freed.

Michelle FreedMichelle is a humorist, journalist, public speaker and occasional cheap therapist. She is also a closet disco queen. Her contributions have appeared online and in a variety of publications, including the Indianapolis Star, ProjectEve.com, AimingLow.com, and countless corporate websites, magazines and newspapers.

Most recently, Michelle wrote, produced and performed the one-woman show, “Come Dance with Me! (but first can I borrow your pants?).”She performed it as part of the 2013 IndyFringe Festival, and at Theatre on the Square, Indianapolis. She is currently working on her first book.

In sixth grade, her English teacher said, “You are a good writer.” She didn’t believe it. Yet she inadvertently landed her first humor column in college for the Oklahoma Daily, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning student newspaper. She’s been writing in some form or another ever since.

You can find her on Facebook, on Twitter at @MichelleFreed, and on Instragram at michellefreed.

At The Downtown Writers Jam

What’s the name of the piece from which your DWJ story comes? Come Dance With Me! (But first can I borrow your pants?), an original one-woman show.

What was the question or idea that sparked that original piece? When I describe my hometown in Oklahoma to strangers, they truly don’t believe me. “That’s just like the movie Footloose!” they say. Yes, it really was. Except there was no Kevin Bacon to come save the day. And for reasons I reveal in my monologue, it had a profound impact on the way I view the world. I wanted to share my experiences in a humorous but poignant way.

What should the audience expect from your storytelling at the Downtown Writers Jam? In my 60-minute show, I share these great life lessons I learned on or around a dance floor, one decade at a time. I’ll be sharing the scene from the ’70s, because that decade represented my “formative years.” The audience will learn why dancing is so significant to me, and hopefully they’ll laugh! I’m pretty sure many will walk away with a new term and definition that will be both amusing and mildly disturbing.

Get to Reading

Best book or long-form writing we should read, but probably haven’t? And why? I stumbled across an essay one day that almost made me weep. It’s called, “The Secret Truth About Writing,” by Guy Bergstrom. He is an author and a “reformed journalist,” among other things. Throughout my earlier career, I continuously struggled to follow what I saw as restrictive writing rules and formulas…and hated every minute of it. His words genuinely spoke to me, and kind of jolted my brain and gave me permission, in a sense, to follow my instincts when it comes to writing. His essay – and other cool stuff – can be found at redpenofdoom.com.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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