Virtual Open Mic (Apr 23)


Tuesday 23rd April, all day long
at and around the internet

This month, for one month only, tragically and perhaps wonderfully, our home at the Forest Café will be closed for plumbing work on the night of the Inky Fingers Open Mic. Rather than move to a new venue or a different night of the week, we’ve decided to try an experiment: our first ever virtual open mic!

Here’s how it works: This month we’re taking our  philosophy of open mics — that we want any words in any style by anybody, and that it’s free to come and free for anyone to perform, regardless of experience or identity — online. Throughout the day, we’ll post wordly works by everyone who sends us something, and then create an online archive of the day. We have no idea what will happen! Just like our live nights, it will depend entirely on who comes along. But we’re fairly sure it’ll be a strange, wonderful and surprise-filled day of words.

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Thanks to everyone who took part in the Virtual Open Mic, either as participant or audience. We hosted 33 writers across stories, poetry, audio, video, vispo, sound poetry, scriptwriting and more! We had 844 unique views from 266 visitors over the course of the day! We only made two editing mistakes as far as we know! The work was great! We’re immensely happy. Thank you.

You can now read the full event on these pages:
Episode 1 (Harry Giles, Roddy Shippin, Jennifer Watson, Ruth Aylett, Derek White, James Hamilton)
Episode 2 (Rosa Macpherson, Stu Anderson, Katy Ewing, Stuart Jones, Billy Watson, JA Sutherland)
Episode 3 (Vicki Jarret, Laura Bilton, Alison Summers, Alan Waddell, Michael McGill)
Episode 4 (Georgi Gill, Halsted Bernard, Hannah Lavery, Clive Birnie,  Simon Bendle)
Episode 5 (Max Scratchmann, Antonia Landi, Andy Todd,  Peter Mackie, Marie Yan)
Episode 6 (Until Midnight, Winston Plowes, Andrew Blair, Sean Burn, Callum Davies, Alison Campbell Kinghorn)

The submission guidelines are kept below for your interest. Submissions are now closed, but we do hope to run another of these in the future, so stay in touch via

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Submission Guidelines

Submissions are open from now until midnight of Sunday 21st April. Every contributor can send up to three pieces of writing maximum, and every contributor will have at least one of those pieces published on our website. You can send:

  • Poems up to 40 lines
  • Stories up to 1000 words
  • Links to audio and video up to 5 minutes (please do not send us the raw files; links only!)
  • Textual experiments you’d like to try out in strange and wonderful formats
  • Anything else you can think of

We recommend SoundCloud for audio hosting and Vimeo for video hosting, but you can use other services if you prefer. We recommend .doc and .odt for text files; you can send other things, but if we’re overwhelmed  by entries we can’t promise to work out how to read them.

We will publish the selected work once on this website only. You will retain all rights to your work. Do feel free to license it under Creative Commons if you want to, though.

We will not publish hate speech or other work which breaks the Forest’s Safer Spaces policy. Topics which might be triggering are welcome but may be published under a warning.

Now send us your stuff!

That email address: