The Downtown Writers Jam, Vol. 3 (Jam & Juice): A Recap

The Downtown Writers Jam, Vol. 3 was a special presentation done in conjunction with our friends at the Indy Literary Pub Crawl. This program was a special fundraising event for Indy Reads, a nonprofit that “serves adults 18 years of age and older in Central Indiana who struggle with reading and writing, or who are learning English as a new language.”

The Outcome

  • 60 people at the the Jam
  • 80 paid guests at the Literary Libations fundraiser
  • Raised $1,460 for Indy Reads jail literacy program

Through ticket sales and our silent auction, our authors and guests raised $730. Thanks to a matching donation, that total was doubled.

The Downtown Writers Jam Vol. 3 Recap

In this iteration of the Jam, we had five authors and more than 60 people who came to our show. We offered a truncated version since we had a fundraiser later that night, but that didn’t slow our storytellers down.

Vol.3 Writers

Before you watch the performances, you should know a thing or two about the event. The authors and audience created a long-form literary event infused with a jazz sensibility and spiced it up with the rules of a poetry slam. It was unlike any traditional reading in that The Jam required that the audience participate in the process, giving the writers immediate (and sometimes uncomfortable) feedback.

Here’s how it works:

The Winner

The Jam isn’t a competition, but we do select three judges from the audience who are asked to rate each story on a scale from 1 to 10. We tally up the scores at the end, and announce winners (who receive nothing, by the way). In truth, this was the best Jam from top to bottom.

David Blomenberg ended up taking home the grand prize. You can watch him tell his story:

or watch Kari McElroy…

If you couldn’t make it to the event, you can watch performances from all our shows on our YouTube channel, or you see the photos in our Flickr album (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3).

Photo Jam

You can see a complete photo and video recap of the event.

A complete list of feedback from our Jam response cards

It’s easy for me to tell you that the Jam was a rousing success, but there’s no reason for you to believe the organizer. Here’s what people told us on their feedback cards.

  • Awesome
  • Loved it
  • Excellent
  • Good show. Glad to see an increasing turnout
  • So much fun. Thanks for organizing.
  • It was my first one and it was wonderful. I can’t wait for the next one.
  • Loved it.
  • So much fun. Thanks so much.
  • Thanks for making me do it.
  • Haven’t attended before. Pretty neat.
  • Fun night.
  • Excellent
  • Amazing. Had a great time. Everyone had such an excellent presence.
  • Lots of fun. Would love to come to the next one.

The Juice: Literary Libations with Indianapolis Literary Pub Crawl

The second part of our evening was a fundraiser done in conjunction with our friends at the Indianapolis Literary Pub Crawl, who put together a one-room pub crawl at the Indy Fringe Theater. The event included beer from local breweries Outliers Brewing Company and TwoDEEP Brewing Co., mead/cider from New Day Craft, delicious food from Yats, a literary photo booth by Lusicovi Creative, music, and a silent auction.

Plus readings from:

Vol. 3 Sponsors

The Geeky Press, a loosely-affiliated writers collective and organized by Brad King (me), is driving this show. If you’d like to play with us, read up on what we do and maybe think about joining us. As for the Jam, it takes a village to put on a killer show.

The Indianapolis Literary Pub Crawl was co-founded by Erin Cataldi and Heather Howard in 2013. Both are non-stop readers and hope to help spread their love of reading by supporting Indy Reads, an organization that helps teach literacy to residents of central Indiana.

We’re  lucky to have an organization such as Indy Reads Books, which has agreed to let us take over their establishment for a few hours. They host a plethora of amazing events, including the monthly Indy WordLab series

The space is perfect for a night of storytelling. Come prepared to experience an old-school book environment.

Vouched Books has been instrumental in getting the word out, and they’ll be on hand at the event. Whether they are reviewing work on its website, hosting a reading, or selling small press books at one of it’s guerrilla bookstores, the heart of Vouched Books is this: they love small press literature.

Our friend Barbara Shoup who is the executive director of the Indiana Writers Center, a literary hub that hosts workshops, readings, and gatherings, has thrown the support of their organization behind this. You might also want to take a look at the IWC workshops.

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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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