The Thirsty Word: Third Thursday Reading Series

Thirsty Word host Meredith Siemsen (right) invites you to join the fun every third Thursday.

I’ve been thinking about a quote that was floating around online a few months back, which read something like, “Lack of success is not an indicator of talent, just lack of a deadline.” I’m a writer. And I need a deadline. How about you?

When your creative passion is something you have to squeeze in around three day jobs, it can be challenging to find the time or energy to keep at it.

No loss, right? If you don’t work on that historical fiction novel, no one will notice or mind. If you don’t ever share that poem about your Czech grandmother, nobody will be the wiser. But you’ll carry that extra weight around for a while, like a semi-precious stone that ought to be set in gold and given away but is still sitting in the pocket of your trousers, companion only to a piece of lint. Nobody wins.

However. Something mysterious happens when you sign up to read a new work at your local “writer’s night.” By golly, somehow you manage to finish that piece. Or whittle down a better version of that chapter. And that nagging weight begins to float off you, leaving space for something new to come in.

And chances are that short story, that character, or that image you articulated from a whisp of a memory or from your super weird imagination will stick to somebody listening, lighten their load, connect a dot, make them feel less isolated, or move them to fits of laughter.

The sharing of written stories, tragedies, hilarities, and curiosities—out loud and in person—creates the kind of vulnerability and connection that strengthens community. Cliché alert: Art matters!

No, but it does. Which is why writers of any ilk—and the non-writing community at large—are warmly invited to attend the Thirsty Word reading series on the third Thursday of every month at Fairfield Food Collective / Breadtopia Cafe, 400 N. 2nd Street, and in the warmer months outdoors at Petra Park, a few steps south of the convention center.

The Thirsty Word features five or six writers each month who want to share new work, ten minutes a pop, in any genre. Slightly more manicured than an open mic format, this reading series is a relaxed event featuring wordophiles from Fairfield and around the region. Readings begin at 7:30 p.m. and wrap up before 9 p.m.

If you’d like to be considered for a reading spot, please email Meredith Siemsen at Note your preference for a reading date, if you have one. Write on!

Look for the monthly event and Zoom link at

Meredith Siemsen

Meredith, an Iowa native, was baffled when she earned her high school's writing award in 1993. It wasn't until twenty years later that she discovered she actually enjoyed wordcraft. (Too bad she's still a two-fingered typist.) Thanks for reading, friends!