poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘preparation

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

apples, apples, apples – preparing for public readings

with 4 comments



I associate fall with picking apples and enjoying all those apple-related treats – apple cider, apple squares, apple jelly and, of course, the apples themselves.




As part of my celebrating of fall and apple picking, I will be giving four public readings of my book over the next couple of weeks. Since my book ‘within easy reach’ is about eating local foods, my readings will focus on my memories of the apple harvest and trips to local orchards.

The readings are:

Oct. 15, 2016 (Saturday) Sussex Regional Library 2:00 PM (also reading will be Beth Powning, Gerard Collins and Janie Simpson)
Oct. 16, 2016 (Sunday) Odd Sundays at Corked, Fredericton 2:00 PM (also reading will be Harris Sullivan and participants in the Open Mike Session)
Oct. 22, 2016 (Saturday) Rusagonis Women’s Institute 2:00 PM (their theme this year is Pulse Foods, so I will be including a poem about sprouts!)
Oct. 26, 2016 (Wednesday evening) Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Nasonworth 7:00 PM (this is the first event in a series called Authors Coffee Hour)
My preparations for these readings involve a bit of time:
  1. I make a selection of the poems I will read. For the first two readings, I’ll select poems about apple picking – this is the time when New Brunswickers visit local orchards to get the best fall apples! I mark my book with post-it tabs so I can find each passage easily.
  2. I make a few notes about how I want to preface each poem. I put the notes on other post-it tabs right on the page. Some poets don’t like to preface their reading – I like to say something about each poem since I like to prepare the listener.
  3. I practice my readings aloud, including my preface comments. Practicing helps me time the presentation and work out phrasing and emphasis.
  4. I do some promotion for each of the readings – posting on my blog, on Facebook and Twitter. For the Authors Coffee Hour I also have a poster to put in a couple of local places.




I love to read in public. Sometimes I worry a bit about audience response and the possibility I may stumble on delivery. But, if I am well prepared, I can relax, take three deep breaths and enjoy reading my words aloud.


Copyright 2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

October 14, 2016 at 7:18 am

%d bloggers like this: