SpoFest Online

SpoFest Poetry and Prose : Be A Featured Reader

If you’re looking for a open mic event, we host one on the last Tuesday of each month.
Sign Up and Guidelines for our Writing Prompt Open Mic event

What Is SpoFest?

SpoFest stands for spoken word festival.

SpoFest is an in-person and virtual spoken word event for poets, writers, and authors to promote their original work.

These events are hosted on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 7-9 PM CST.

These events take place on Zoom, and are streamed live to our SpoFest Facebook page.

Zoom doors open at 6:30 PM CST. Facebook live stream begins around 6:45 PM CST.

Each event is recorded live, and will be available to watch on-demand when the event has ended.

Be sure to bookmark our event page to keep up-to-date on future SpoFest events!!!
Our Calendar of Events!

There will be a few changes to our format beginning November 16th: three featured readers per event, a new start time of 6-8pm CST, and there will be an open mic segment after the conclusion of the featured reader event.

Event Format: what to expect

There are four featured readers per event. Each reader receives 15 minutes to read which is divided up into thre five minute turns at reading.

You can read any genre or style of writing, both fiction and non-fiction. (original works only)

There is also Q&A in which we learn more about our featured readers.

The event contains 12 segments, and will be conducted in the following manner.

Segment 1:
First five minute turn for readers

Segment 2:
Co-host presents word of the day and On This Day in Literature

Segment 3:
Second five minute turn for readers

Segment 4:
Co-host presents Did You Know?

Segment 5:
FB/Zoom update

Segment 6:
Q&A with the four featured readers

Segment 7:
Co-host reads five minutes from their book which is available in our book drawing

Segment 8:
Final five minute turn for readers

Segment 9:
Co-host announces date/time of the next must-watch SpoFest events

Segment 10:
FB/Zoom update

Segment 11:
Book drawing

Segment 12:

See and hear SpoFest in action!

It is important that you understand our unique format, and that you know what to expect by participating in our event as a featured reader.

Towards this end, it is mandatory that you watch the August 3rd SpoFest event!

Watch our August 3rd 2021 SpoFest event here. Thank you!

If you have already watched the August 3rd event: including any of the events after this date, and understand the format, great!

However, please familiarize yourself with any changes to our featured reader guidelines below that may of been made since your last visit to this page. Thank you!

Featured Reader Guidelines: updated 08/04/2021

* These guidelines are designed so that you sound your very best: organized and prepared, and that the event moves along in a timely manner. *

* If you sound like a professional, it’s more likely the viewing audience will be interested in your work, and possibly buying your books as well. *

Featured readers will use Zoom to participate in the event. Download and Learn how to use it:
Using Zoom

Let the host know in advance of the event if you need to use Zoom’s screen share to present photos or videos during one of your turns at reading.

We ask readers to show up early on Zoom: 6:30-6:45 PM CST.

By showing up early, the host can resolve any audio/video issues, and to answer any last minute questions before the event begins at 7 PM CST.

We encourage all readers to use a headset mic or lapel mic. This will allow for a much more enjoyable listening experience for yourself and the audience.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you time yourself reading each of your selections before the event. Although the target is five minutes per turn, it is okay to go over by 15-30 seconds.

To help prevent readers from going over when reading, and while answering questions during the Q&A segment, the host will start a five minute and a two minute timer respectively.

* When reading:

* a five-minute timer will start once you begin reading.
* A soft tone will sound once the timer has reached five minutes.
* You have 30 seconds after this point to wrap it up, Then we move onto the next reader.

* When answering questions:

* A two minute timer will start once you have been asked each question.
* A soft tone will sound once the timer have reached two minutes.
* You have 30 seconds after this point to wrap it up, then we ask you the next question.
* Before the event begins, carefully think through how you will be answering each question.

Here’s a handy tool to determine how long it takes to read your selections. Simply paste your selection into the box provided and receive an estimate instantly!
Handy Read-O-Meter

Be ready to read when it’s your turn.

Any prefatory material such as introducing your work, is included in your five minute turns.

Keep an eye on the time as you’re reading, or set a five minute timer on your phone.

Readers will be responsible for muting and unmuting themselves when beginning and ending their turn at reading.

Please say “thank you” when you are finished with your turn at reading.

Find a quiet place and make sure Zoom is the only app running on your system.

Be respectful and kind to your fellow readers.

If you need to leave the event for any reason, do so. You do not need to explain why. We’ll assume the reason was important.

We strongly embrace our right to free speech. However, do not use EXCESSIVE profanity or vulgarity.

Signing Up To Be A Featured Reader

If you have watched one of our events, understand the event format, and would like to be a featured reader for SpoFest, contact the host, James, on Facebook.
Connect with SpoFest founder and host James Bryant on Facebook

Once you have connected with James, let him know a good time to speak on the phone. This call is to establish your writing credentials and to decide on a date for you to read from the available dates.

James will email featured readers an information packet which will prepare them for their scheduled reading.

Typically readers signing up for the very first time will take priority over those who have already read in our events.

This keeps things fresh, new voices presenting each week.

Slots are available on a first come, first served basis.

Please note: we are experiencing increased interest from the writing community and slots are being filled quickly. So act fast!

** Let us know as soon as you can if you are not able to read on the date scheduled. This gives us time to schedule someone else. Thank you. **

This concludes our sign up and event guidelines. Read on if you would like to learn how this event can help promote you and your original work.

Ways In Which Being A Featured Reader Can Help Promote You And Your Original Work

This is an excellent opportunity for poets, authors, and writers to:

Promote themselves and their work
Promote their new book
Reach a new audience
Meet editors
And maybe find a publisher!


Like and share on Facebook any SpoFest audio, video and written content you are a part of.
Invite your fellow poets, authors, and writers to read at future events
Invite your family and friends to watch the events you’re reading at.

Connecting with Us

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact James on Facebook, or if you would prefer, give him a call. We’d be happy to walk you through the sign up process!

Contact SpoFest founder and host James on Facebook

Phone: 660 553 4572

Watch each SpoFest live stream event here! (includes on-demand content of past SpoFest events)

SpoFest Open Mic Poetry and Prose FB page

SpoFest Open Mic FB group

Find us on Twitter:


SpoFest: Spoken Word Festival
From Text, To Tongue, To The World Beyond!

2021 SpoFest Poetry and Prose Calendar Of Events

October 5th:
Rochelle Wisoff Fields, Robert Miltner, Roxanne Hoffman, Greg Field
Co-host: Steve Abbott

October 19th:
John Burroughs, J R Turek, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Su Flatt
Co-host: Jose Faus

November 2nd: all Missouri poet laureate event!
Maryfrances Wagner (current), and (former), Walter Bargen, William Trowbridge, Aliki Barnstone, and Karen Craigo.
Co-host: Rick C. Christiansen

The final three events of 2021 will feature three readers and a new start time of 6-8pm CST.

November 16th: Nathan D. Horowitz, Amy Hoskins, Michael G. Hickey
Co-host: Gregory Seth Harris

December 7th: Patrice Melnick, Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Alise Versella
co-host: Robert L. Dean, Jr

December 21st: George Franklin, Amy Sage Webb-Baza, Lee Eric Freedman (includes holiday music from Julia Reynolds)
Co-host: Hayley Mitchell Haugen