Every month, I organise an open-mike night called Hotchpotch for writers to read their work in front of an audience.
For the last couple of years, we’ve been using a bar called the Tinsmith, who took us in when a previous venue closed. We’re indebted to them for allowing our group to keep going, and we made it clear that the move was on good terms.
They have a snug area that offers some degree of separation from the other customers. Over the last few months, however, our audience has grown beyond this area. As a result, it’s become difficult for everyone to hear, even with a PA system.
With help from another member, we scouted out a few locations, bearing in mind that any venue needs to benefit from our presence. Some didn’t have the privacy or the space we need, while others charged amounts that we wouldn’t be able to sustain in the long run. We found the Mayfly, who take a reasonable approach to space versus cost.
Of all the impending changes ahead, the format of Hotchpotch remains the same: for writers to read out their fiction or poetry with no judgement and no criticism. The next meeting is on Monday 14 May.