poetry and prose about place

five ways to prepare for reading from your work

with 5 comments

I love to read aloud and my work as a writer gives me lots of reading opportunities.


Reading at Westminster Books, Fredericton


Readings take lots of preparation:

  1. Practice. Stand, read and time your readings. Keeping to the allotted time respects the audience and keeps the reader calm, particularly near the end of the reading. No last minute timing revisions. No being ‘hooked’ off the stage!
  2. Prepare any remarks not in the reading itself. I usually give a little background to my reading and make a few remarks between poems. These words will be delivered more smoothly if they are composed, written down and practiced.
  3. Include a give-away. I sometimes raffle one of my paintings or another associated item during my book launches and readings. Everyone likes bookmarks. Business cards should always be available.
  4. Use props. Once I gave a talk to a group of high school students about career development. I took an old pair of hiking boots with me to talk about my time in the field. The boots make the presentation funny and gave the audience an image to focus on. I often bring my cardboard stand-up aliens when I read from my Meniscus books.
  5. Involve your audience. Always leave time for questions. Consider adding some interactive components to your reading: ask the audience mid-reading questions, pass a book around, include a quick show of hands.


my stand-up aliens at a New Maryland market


I have two readings and a book fair in the next weeks:

WordsSpring, WFNB

7 PM, May 11, 2018 (Friday) at Quality Inn & Suites Amsterdam, Quispamsis for WordSpring (Writers Federation of New Brunswick) – I will be reading from my two newest books: Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, and Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Copies of all my books, including ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ will be for sale.

Book Launch, Westminster Books

7 PM, May 25, 2018 (Friday) at Westminster Books in Fredericton. I will be launching my book Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill. Cary Caffrey (a.k.a. Terry Armstrong) will also be reading from his Girls from Alcyone Science Fiction Series. Everyone is welcome!

2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival

I will be selling my books at the 2018 Metro Moncton Book Festival, June 9, 2018 (Saturday), 10 AM to 3 PM at the Moncton Lions Community Centre (473 St. George Street
Moncton, NB).


Reading at The Attic Owl, Moncton


Plan your readings and your audience will appreciate the time you have taken.


If you are in the area, please come to one of my readings. I would love to see you there!


all my best,


Written by jane tims

May 9, 2018 at 7:00 am

5 Responses

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  1. Great advice – I’d never thought about the characteristics of a good book reading.

    Liked by 1 person


    May 10, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    • I’m waiting to hear you are publishing an old fashioned recipe book. Think about the great reading you could have with samples!


      jane tims

      May 12, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      • Someday – I’d love to write a book with some of my favorite hundred-year-old recipes, but I never seem to be able to find the time to work on it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person


        May 13, 2018 at 12:26 am

  2. Hi Jane
    Such good advice. I love to read as well. Thanks for the tips. Like you, I think it is important to ‘read’ the audience first and then chose appropriate matetial to suit their interests and the occasion. Best of luck with your upcoming adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    Rosalie Lawrence

    May 9, 2018 at 7:39 am

    • Rosalie! Thanks. You are right and audience assessment could be preparation # 6. This weekend, I read to other writers.


      jane tims

      May 9, 2018 at 10:27 pm

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