Writers Read™ is a literary forum promoting established and emerging writers through curated live and digital performances celebrating the spoken word. It’s a high-quality platform for true personal stories—two pages and 650 words long, read aloud by the writer before an audience. Writers Read™ places a strong emphasis on the craft of writing—word choices, sentence structures, the arc of the narrative. Our submission-based events are developed around broad themes that invite a wide range of expression. An editorial committee curates and sequences the content of each show and, where necessary, our editors collaborate with writers to further refine their work.
Straight Outta Ireland
In many parts of the United States and certainly in New York City, the St. Patrick's Day holiday is often larded with a kind of shamrockery or paddywhackery that makes some of us cringe a bit. You know -- the mugs of green beer and those big "Kiss Me I'm Irish" buttons and t-shirts. Instead of overcooked corned beef and cabbage, Writers Read™ acknowledges this St. Patrick's Day with four rich personal stories reflecting the lived experiences of Irish and Irish-American writers—individual perspectives, presented with an emphasis on craftsmanship. Originally performed for a live audience at City Winery in Manhattan, these stories were proudly presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s citywide spring festival, “Migrations: The Making of America,” acknowledging and honoring the perseverance and resilience of immigrants and the contributions they continue to make on America’s diverse cultural landscape.
Holidays are a time to celebrate cultural traditions and set work aside. A holiday offers a break in our routine, prompting a three-day weekend in the sun—or a three-hour snow delay at the airport. Some holidays are lightweight and fun, making you think about watermelon and fireworks, while others seem solemn or fraught, setting the stage for either a delicious meal or a family drama. The special "Holidays' event we presented on stage at the Ossie Davis Theater featured a collection of true holiday stories spanning the range from sunburn to heartburn. We've chosen three of those stories to present in today's show.
O'SHAUGNESSY, Corinne • Five / FORMAN, Sharon • Ghosts at the Costco / PATTISON, Cari • The Bronxville Exorcist • BTL: MASELLO, David • A Postcard on Postcards. Read 650 celebrates writers and the spoken word five minutes - and 650 words - at a time, and on today’s show we present excerpts from a show entitled "Haunted," featuring true stories of Premonitions, Superstitions, and Apparitions. Halloween has been around for more than a thousand years, and its origins can be traced back to an ancient Celtic festival during which it was believed that the souls of the dead returned to their homes.
New York Stories
PALMA, Eileen • The Moskowitz Girl / GREDLER, John • SRO / MANNING-SCHAFFEL, Vivian • What Makes a New Yorker? / BTL: LEVIN, Ann • The Blank Page. There simply is no other place in the world like New York. Its architecture, culture, and general buzz combine to make New York the greatest city in the world. But New York is also a collection of unique neighborhoods, people. and stories, and we've selected three of those stories today from a live event we produced for a full house at The Cell Theater on West 23rd Street.
The First Time
You never forget your first puppy, your first car, or your first love. Some firsts are mundane, (first olive), while others are unforgettable (first high dive). A first can be a solemn rite of passage or a dream come true, and some firsts supply practical knowledge we carry forward. Like, for example, why you should avoid games involving dice and money, or why tequila shots are actually a very bad idea.
Back to High School
Featuring Annabel Monaghan, Arthur Bell, Julie Trelstad, Sarah Bracey White. Bus rides and best friends. Marching band and mean girls. Homeroom and home grown. Whether high school was the site of your fondest memories or the scene of the crime, the stories we've selected from a live show might just transport you to that not-so-distant world of nerds, jocks, and stoners.
New to This
I have resisted podcasts because I thought they would take up too much time. Read650 is the perfect size, the perfect sound, and full of good stories well told. I feel like Goldilocks: this one is just right.
Read 650 is the best podcast I listen to. Takes no time to get out of your head and into the minds of great storytellers - one topic at a time.
650 Where Writers Read
These are terrific pieces, read aloud by the writers. I enjoy the mini collections of three or four pieces on a central theme. The work is fabulous, and the voice of the writers bring the essays to life. Rock on 650! Highly recommended!