Monsoon Voices is currently closed to submissions. See “Recent Notes” for more details.

Creative work is selected for:

Originality: Presenting a voice, subject or idea in a unique way.

Literary quality: Solid writing that entertains, inspires and educates our audience.

Respect: For the audience and other artists. Monsoon Voices is not a slam or competition.

Balance: Within the work itself, and in context with other work performed at the event.

Sensitivity: Material should be suitable for a PG audience. Children sometimes attend events with parents.

Public Performance Experience. We appreciate artists with experience performing in public, and/or those willing to sufficiently practice reading their work out loud to ensure a level of vocal quality. Assistance can be provided. Monsoon Voices is a live event for a reason: because our audience wants to hear every word. We believe the success of the event depends on the quality of each individual performance.

Content Requests

Writing: Literary fiction, poetry, personal essay, humor and creative non-fiction.

Music:  Solo vocalists and solo/duo instrumentalists of cello, guitar, violin, viola, harp and piano. Original compositions, traditional and improvisational styles are welcome. Classical, jazz, blues and folk pieces are preferred. During each Monsoon Voices event, one musician (or a duo) play(s) four short pieces which are interspersed between the literary readings.

Optimistic themes: Work may concern any subject (in any genre) that expresses a valuable, thought-provoking, and/or hopeful message. We value material that shows respect for all people. We like gentle humor. We admire brevity. We love specific images, as opposed to philosophical generalities. We enjoy hearing about humility and humanity. We also appreciate depth:  the story or stories that flow under the surface story.

Though in the real world, we support and encourage writers of all shapes, sizes and genres, we choose not to feature work at our events containing overtly negative themes. To fully understand the kind of material we celebrate, please review the ‘Journal of Monsoon Voices’, which includes a selection of writing featured at Monsooon Voices events. Thank you.

Administrative Guidelines

Sending and Formatting: Writing may be sent via email attachment or within the body of an email. Primarily, work should be in the form of an MS Word document, double spaced, 12-point font, noting titles on each piece. Poetry may be single-spaced.

Music: Musical clips or links to musicians’ Web sites may be sent via email, or musicians may contact us to schedule an audition.

Page limit: Poetry or prose that fills an eight-minute oral segment. In general, an eight-minute read covers approximately 6-7 pages of double-spaced material but page length varies with each reader.

Novel excerpts or long essays: These should be edited to an eight-minute segment prior to submission. Unfortunately, we are unable to read long manuscripts and edit for you. We recommend writers select or edit a section work that attracts listeners and gives them “a taste” of the material. Audience members will be intrigued by the excerpt, and will not need to hear the entire story at Monsoon Voices in order to enjoy it.

Please include a scene containing action or tension which introduces the vital characters. Dialogue, action and dramatic scenes work best when read to a live audience. This segment should present a conflict, a beginning, middle, and an end.

Repeat performers: Though we’ve altered our views on this point in the past, we feel it’s extremely important to recognize great work, no matter who creates it. If you have performed at Monsoon Voices, you are welcome to send us future submissions. We encourage you to try out sending us material in a new genre. In the final selection process, we’ll favor quality writing and music over anything else.

Editorial Critiques: All Monsoon Voices performers chosen are eligible to receive general editorial critiques of their work. Critiques are positive and include brief comments about structure, form and style. A critique and a 15-minute phone discussion is $30.  If interested, please note your request on the submission form. For more extensive writing support and details about Traci Moore, the editor, visit her web site:

The Acceptance Letter: Unfortunately, not everyone who submits writing to Monsoon Voices can be invited to perform. We apologize!  We do take great care with our selection process, and feel this practice enhances our event. But please don’t let our standards slow you down. Just send us your best work. You’ll likely amaze us!

Promoting You!  All Monsoon Voices performers are welcome to exchange business cards, and sell their chapbooks, books and CDs at our events. We also publish performers’ biographies and contact info in our marketing material and on our Web site. We want your fans to know where to find you!

Publishing note: If material is accepted, Monsoon Voices reserves one-time rights to publish an audio/video recording and/or text version of each live performance on our web site. If you have questions or concerns in this regard, we will be pleased to discuss them with you.

Additional requests: Occasionally, we ask writers to submit additional writing samples. This occurs if we notice a writer’s talent in his/her original submission, but believe another piece might better suit the Monsoon Voices theme. If we believe a submission requires heavy editing or structural work before “going live”, we allow the performer the option to adjust his piece for a later performance.

Submission Form

If you haven’t already done so, please read through our revised submission guidelines prior to submitting work. Submissions should follow to our stated guidelines, meet our content requirements and include the completed form to be considered for Monsoon Voices. Thank you!

Send answers to the following questions via email with your work attached (to monsoonvoices [at] on or before the deadline pertaining to the event date of your choice. Performers’ names will be announced 1-2 weeks after every submission deadline. 

  1. Your name:
  2. Your stage or pen name (how you would like to be introduced):
  3. Light-hearted biographical sketch about you. (3-5 sentences about your interests, background, or trivia – approximately 30 seconds when read):
  4. Phone number and preferred email address:
  5. Category of work,  i.e., poetry, fiction, memoir, classical guitar, etc.:
  6. Writers are allowed eight minutes maximum reading time total. This guideline respects other performers who may need to edit their work to comply, and audience members who appreciate hearing a variety of material in short segments. Writers may submit more than one piece if all pieces total eight minutes or less.    After timing your performed piece(s) with a stopwatch, how long (in minutes and seconds) was your performance?
  7. Have you read/performed your work in public before?
  8. Do you feel comfortable reading/performing your work in a public setting?
  9. If your work is chosen, may Monsoon Voices list your contact information on our web site and marketing material, so fans may reach you? If so, what info should we list? Please note one of the following: phone number, email, website, blog, myspace address:
  10. If your work is chosen, does Monsoon Voices have your permission to record your performance and publish an audio/video recording and/or text version of your reading for one-time use on our web site? (After one-time use, all rights to such material revert back to authors.)
  11. If your work is chosen, you are eligible to receive a $30 editorial critique of your writing. (See details noted in submission guidelines.) Would you like to receive a critique?
  12. What event date(s) do you prefer?
  13. How did you hear about Monsoon Voices?
  14. Would you like your email address added to (or to remain on) our distribution list (to receive  news, deadlines and event announcements)?
  15. Comments or questions:
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