Reading Series Seriousness

Looking back at the calendar, I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since we held the very first installment of the Rough Copy Reading Series. It’s a total cliche, but time really has flown. Every month, I panic just a little; Will we be able to get readers? Will anyone show up? Am I drinking too much to announce the next reader coherently? The answers were always in the affirmative.

Through all the panic and worrying though, there is excitement. There is an opportunity to hear amazing writers, meet wonderful people, and have a lot of fun. But, the past few months have brought so many changes here at Rough Copy, and in an effort to keep up, it looks like we’re going to have to say goodbye to the reading series, at least for now. It’s sad for me, but the extra time each month will certainly free me up to pursue awesome activities such as resting, napping, and loafing. Three things I excel at, and have been neglecting for far too long. It will also give me time to finally, finally, finally post all of the pictures from a year’s worth of readings! So look forward to that.

Many, many thanks to all of our fantastic featured authors, our brave open mic-ers, to Canvas Art Bar (who will be moving to a new location in January. Good luck with the move!), and to the rest of the Rough Copy team! Everyone rocks.




Ali McCart founded the Portland-based Indigo Editing and Publications a little over five years ago. Since then, she and her band of like-minded editors have worked tirelessly in forming a company whose services, publications and local presence are unaccountably unique.

In addition to its ongoing offerings of editing and writing mentorship services, Indigo hosts the annual Sledgehammer Writing Contest—a scavenger hunt/team writing free-for-all that asks contestants to simultaneously test their skills in treasure hunting and under-the-gun scribbling. Indigo puts out its own literary journal (Ink-Filled Page) and offers regular classes on the ins and outs of the writing business.

McCart—along with Indigo’s Senior Editor Kristin Thiel and Associate Editor Susan DeFreitas—will be reading at this month’s Rough Copy reading series, on July 27. I sat down with the three of them to talk about the relationship between editing and writing, their upcoming artistic endeavors, and the many-headed beast that is Indigo Editing and Publications.

Shane Danaher: So first of all, do you want to just tell me a little bit about Indigo, how it got started and what it is?

Ali McCart: So, Indigo is a collective of editors and each of us has different specialties. We work with authors and publishers and organizations based on our various specialties. Nonfiction, health and wellness, memoir, fantasy, sci-fi, and other genres. We’ve got three of us here and then we have a fourth editor who’s actually in Sacramento. And so it didn’t work out for her to be in the reading this month. But yes. We edit for publishers and independent authors alike.
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All’s Fair

This month we are pleased to welcome two more great writers to our reading series. Please join us this month as featured authors, Julian Smith and David Wolman read pieces on this month’s theme, Love and War.

June 29 7:00

Canvas Art Bar, 1800 NW Upshur

Theme: Love & War


The Cost of Writing

This month’s theme is something that’s probably been on everyone’s mind lately. We’ve all spent some time contemplating the cost of living, our purchases, what is worth the price, and what needs to be left behind. Our wonderful (and they’re pretty wonderful, I have to say) featured authors this month will be reading on the theme, Bought & Sold. This month we are pleased to have Tom Bissell and Cheryl Strayed join us. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 25 7:00. Canvas Art Bar



This month’s reading is for the brave. Those brave enough to tell and those brave enough to listen. Join us for this month’s Last Wednesday Reading Series as Kerry Cohen and Liz Prato tell tales based on the theme, Secrets & Lies. Don’t forget, an open mic follows, so bring your own stories of dirty laundry and skeleton stuffed closets!

Wednesday, April 27th at 7:00, Canvas Art Bar


Best Wednesday of the Month

Update:  This month’s reading is full steam ahead, but you may notice a missing name. Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues, Kerry Cohen will not be able to participate. She will be joining us at a future reading.

A few things to note about this month’s reading; one, it will be awesome, but you already knew that; and two, it is the second reading to be held on our new and permanent Last Wednesday slot.  You can now mark your calendars for the last Wednesday of the month.  Because you’ll be busy.  Listening to awesome authors reading awesome things.

This month’s roster of awesome people is impressive indeed.  We’re so pleased to have prolifically published poet and Producer/Host of the New Oregon Interview Series, Nora Robertson and 2011 Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient, Crystal Williams.

Monthly Reading Series (Now on Last Wednesdays!)

Date: February 23, 7:00PM

Location:  Canvas Art Bar

Theme:  Home


Dear Maugham

Our Contributing Editor, Shane Danaher, fits a little Somerset Maugham into his reading list:

I picked up a copy of The Painted Veil to fill the gap in my reading schedule between finishing Death in the Andes (great!) and waiting for my copy of American Rust to show its face (also great!…I hope). It was my intention to go with something “lighter.” I was curious about Maugham because he holds this kind of odd place in the canon whereby he’s regarded with some respect, but he’s rarely considered as a participant in the strictly regimented ranks of Literature. I decided to check it out.

First, let’s talk about the novel’s strengths: Maugham’s truest talent is a sense for character, and that predilection is on full display in this novel. The Painted Veil is the story of one Kitty Fane (originally “Kitty Lane,” but the Lane family threatened to sue Maugham unless he changed the moniker). The book is centered on her relationship with her husband—a taciturn, government bacteriologist.

The novel opens with Kitty en-media-res in her affair with a dashing, colonial Sub Prefect. The setting is Hong Kong in the 1920s, and Kitty, bored with her husband, disdainful of his lack of social pluck, has embarked on the affair out of a petulant desire to live the life to which her moneyed London upbringing has made her feel entitled. Her husband (name of Walter) finds out—naturally. However, due to the dynamics of Walter and Kitty’s relationship, this discovery leads them in some interesting directions.

Read the rest here.