Read650 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. Read650 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.
Featuring Derin Tanyol, Kimberly Lee, Nancy Goodhue, Barbara Josselsohn. Eating may be the most truly universal activity, and there's a whole lot of preparation behind it, whether we're feeding ourselves, our families, or guests in our restaurant. The submission prompt we published for the 650-word stories you're about to hear was "What's Cooking?" and we invited writers to share their stories of culinary trials and triumphs.
Featuring Jennifer Rawlings, Sarah Bracey White, Annabel Monaghan, David Masello. Ah, summer—a break from school and a time to sleep in and hang out with friends. Or maybe instead it's a time to catch the bus, clock in, and put on your nametag. We've assembled a trio of summer job stories from talented writers who recall those summer days all too well.
The Great Outdoors
Featuring Anna Paret, Ann Levin, and Marilyn Ogus Katz. When I was a kid, my family took summer camping vacations in the Adirondacks. My parents packed a tent and sleeping bags and food and utensils and a deck of cards, and we drove five hours north from New York City to a kind of paradise with trees beyond counting, sweet, clear lakes for swimming, more stars that I’d ever seen before, and a crackling fire in a ring of stone. Instead of TV, there was conversation and stories of ancestors, and time spent gathering wood and water—time that was altogether different from what we shared at home. Those childhood memories shaped the course of my life—and my choice to settle in New York’s beautiful Hudson River Valley. For today's show, I've selected three stories about the Great Outdoors (not all as bucolic as mine); stories first performed for a live audience in a theater in New York City.
What We Ate
Featuring Margarita Meyendorff, Kathy Curto and Steven Lewis. Food is a truly universal topic, and if you’re hungry for some good writing, you’re in luck, because stories are what we have on our menu.
Featuring Alison Smith, Manuela Hoelterhoff, Joe Goodrich, and Hayley Stoddard. Dogs amuse us, comfort us, and work for us – herding sheep, pulling sleds, sniffing for bombs or drugs, and alerting us to visitors or deliveries. They're been our companions and co-workers for thousands of years, and dogs and humans share a unique bond of friendship and love… And science has recently established that dogs really do love us -- and not just because we feed them.
For most of us, our mother is our first love. For a time, she is our entire world, serving as our protector, nurturer, and teacher. Our relationships with our mothers is simple and elemental.. while at times being the most fraught and complicated relationship we’ll ever know. And if you ARE a mother, you know it's the hardest job there is. This episode features writers Kate Mayer, Sarah Bracey White, Jennifer Rawlings, and Lucy Iscaro.
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!
That extraordinary voice!