Shore Poets is always on the lookout for talented poets who would like to read their work to our appreciative audiences. Our standard format features sets from 2 invited poets, plus 3-4 open mic readings. Headline poets read for 20 minutes, in the second half of the programme. The invited reader in the first half reads for 10 minutes, and open mic slots are 3-4 minutes each, depending on numbers (4 minutes if there are 3 readers, 3 minutes if there are 4 readers).


Headline readers will normally have published a minimum of one full collection with a reputable press; poets reading in the shorter, 10-minute slots will likely have been publishing their work in magazines and journals and have released or be working towards a pamphlet, chapbook or book. While many of our invitations are made on the basis of committee recommendations, you’re welcome to contact us at any point in the year if you’d like to be considered: although we obviously programme ahead, spots do sometimes open up – and if we’re full this year we’ll happily consider you for subsequent seasons. Please give us an idea of where you’re at with your work and what you’re about as a writer; you can also send us links to some poems or a small sample.We particularly welcome expressions of interest from women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities.


With 3-4 open mic slots per event, we host a wealth of dram-sized readings by up-and-coming writers. For open mic readings, it isn’t necessary to have been published or to have prior experience performing your work in public: all you need is good poems plus enthusiasm for presenting them to an audience! For our part, we’re delighted if we can enable you to gain experience giving readings in what is always a warm, welcoming environment.

Please note that slots do need to be booked in advance – they’re very popular, so we’re rarely able to accommodate prospective readers on spec. We’re also keen to hear from as many different voices as possible so, although we’ll happily have you back for a repeat open mic appearance if you’ve enjoyed yourself and would like to perform again, within any given season we’ll prioritise those who haven’t read for us already that year.


If you’re interested in any of these opportunities, drop us a line at shorepoetsedinburgh @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). The Shores is a labour of love and we all have other responsibilities to juggle; we’re also a collective, and we make programming decisions collectively. While we’re always swift to respond to open mic requests, then, correspondence about invited slots may take a little longer. But we WILL get back to you (and thank you for being patient with us)!