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Creative Colloquy

South Sound's premiere reading event

The Creative Colloquy team listening to a reading at B Sharp Coffee House from left: Jenni Prange Boran, Joshua Swainston, Melissa Thayer, William Turbyfil, Chris Casella and Jackie Fender. Photo credit: Lee Heath

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Created by Jackie Fender a little more than two years ago, Creative Colloquy has become the South Sound's preeminent literary event. Creative Colloquy is an online magazine featuring short stories, novel excerpts, poetry and other literary work by mostly Tacoma and Olympia writers. Starting in March 2014, CC started holding readings at B Sharp Coffee House once a month.

"That first event came along and I anticipated a room full of just our friends and family. Instead, sixty people came out, many complete strangers to everyone involved in that first reading, and it was clear from that day that CC was filling a void that many of us had felt," Fender said.

The public readings featured, in the first hour, local authors reading the stuff they had published in the online CC publication, followed by an open mic in the second hour with brave local writers, some professional and some beginners, reading their stuff in public for the first time. It was a huge hit from the start.

"When it comes down to it, I started CC at the prompting of my writer friends who daydreamed of a platform to share stories. The CC vision of contributing to the local literary culture has exceeded anything we could have hoped for. It's a lovely beast where established and novice writers of all genres can connect and share," Fender said.

In celebration of their first year, CC published an anthology of local writers and held a Creative Crawl, a kind of literary arts walk with readings in many downtown Tacoma venues such as King's Books, Sanford and Son, Embellish Multispace Salon and others. CC has now published its second anthology and is scheduled for a second Creative Crawl in October with readings at Zodiac Supper Club, Kings Books, Tacoma Cabana, Doyle's Public House, Odd Otter, Harmon's Tap Room, Destiny City Comics and B Sharp.

"We have returning community partners like Drunken Telegraph and UWT curating line-ups as well as some new faces producing storytelling hours like Beautiful Angle. The inaugural C3 was pretty amazing and boasted an impressive attendance, and we are looking forward to making this year a larger and more astonishing production. Should be a lot of fun," Fender said.

Among the regular readers at the monthly events are local favorites such as Christian Carvajal, Titus Burley, Marissa Meyer, William Turbyfil, Lucas Smiraldo, Melissa Thayer and Jennifer Chushcoff.

This year, Olympia CC has started with readings at Traditions Café, which will move to Forrey's Forza Banquet Room in Lacey in August.

"It's amazing to see how much support Creative Colloquy has gotten," said assistant director Joshua Swainston. "The writing talents for the South Sound seems to be an endless well. We never know who's out there until we put out the call for submissions, and we are always surprised and delighted by what we get from the community in return."

Creative Colloquy, every third Monday at 7 p.m., B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Opera Alley, Tacoma, and every first Monday at 6:30 p.m., Forrey's Forza Banquet Room, 130 Marvin Road Southeast, Lacey.

Creative Crawl, Mon., Oct. 5, 6-9 p.m., various locations in downtown Tacoma.

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