The method of self-expression through words is an art form like no other. Whether you’re a creator or just someone who appreciates the hutzpah it takes to stand up and speak your mind, you’ll find loads of local events designed to create a forum for local lit lovers. From story clubs and open mic nights to literary groups and writer’s circles, you’ll find that Tampa Bay is teeming with experiences to tell and hear a great story.
Wordier Than Thou
With events all over Tampa Bay, you are sure to find a hilarious and entertaining date night option that is filled with supportive members to cheer you on and laugh at all your cringe-worthy memories. Check out their weekly Critical Drinking Book Club in St. Petersburg, their upcoming Lit Crawl in Ybor City’s Historic District, or even their Poetry and Prose Open Mic Night in Sarasota.
Located in Seminole Heights, Tampa, First Draft is an event that happens the third Thursday of every month at Southern Brewing to bring together like-minded individuals to share their stories on various subjects.
Their schedule is on their Facebook page, where you can see the featured storyteller or author plus the theme of the gathering. Each session has a different theme – ranging from dreams, government, science, and even kids – and will feature a local author or storyteller to share a snippet of their latest book or experience. Facebook.com/FirstDraftTampa
Sacred Sounds Tampa
If you’re a bit more adept in the art of poetry, then Sacred Sounds Tampa is the right place for you. Try your hand at their monthly poetry slam that features 10 “Open Micrs” and 12 “Slammers” to allow you to show off your skills in the written word. Be forewarned: the competition can be fierce!
Keep St. Pete Lit
Keep St. Pete Lit is a massive organization that offers literary events all over Tampa Bay, from poetry night in various St. Petersburg coffee shops, to book fairs and signings at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa. Check out the Events section on their Facebook page for a full list of all their upcoming events.
Along with their weekly events, they also host much larger events that bring together smaller literary organizations across Tampa Bay, such as their annual SunLit Festival. KeepStPeteLit.org
Tampa Storytelling Festival
The award-winning annual Tampa Storytelling Festival features a selection of workshops, notable literary speakers and opportunities to share your written work and stories with your local community.
The goal of the festival is to promote the art of oral storytelling and develop public speaking in both children and adults, as well as share the folk tradition of entertaining through the art of stories. Along with storytelling and developing public speaking, the Tampa Storytelling Festival strives to promote community involvement and engage people of all ages in the pursuit of literature.
Happening every year in April, the Tampa Story Telling Festival is a great way to get inspired by the abundance of local literary talent. TampaStory.org
Black Crow Coffee Co.
Almost each day has a special theme at Black Crow Coffee in St. Petersburg, but their most intimate night is the Open Mic Poetry night when Black Crow invites writers of all skills sets to share their prose on the third Thursday of every month. Be sure to check out what other events they have happening throughout the week, too. BlackCrowCoffeeCo.com
Your Real Stories
Your Real Stories is a non profit organization in the Tampa Bay area that shares the stories of real people, living in your neighborhood! They host events around Tampa regularly, featuring storytellers that share their real-life experiences, such as surviving cancer.
It also has a larger event every October, called Story Days in Tampa Bay, which is a week-long event dedicated to storytelling! YourRealStories.org
Feature Image Credit: Keep St Pete Lit