The Thirsty Word: Third Thursday Reading Series

Until the series can safely resume live and in person at Natalia Danel’s Hazel Moon Cafe, Thirsty Word host Meredith Siemsen (right) invites you to join the fun on Zoom 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, originally launched in Fairfield at the Hazel Moon Café, but for the time being taking place online via Zoom.

The Thirsty Word features five 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 around the region—and occasionally, thanks to the inclusive nature of the internet, writers from different parts of the Midwest.

Next up: On Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m., settle into your lazyboy with a cup of hot or spiked something, put yourself on mute for a while, and enjoy the written word straight from the horse’s mouths. We’ll wrap up around 9 p.m. for all you early-to-bedders.

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!

Join the Zoom Meeting:

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!