In the lead up to their final event of the year, Speakeasy’s president Amelia Hughes gives us a little insight into this student-led spoken word club.
Back in the 1920s, a speakeasy was an underground bar where its customers could ‘speak easy’ and freely in the times of tough prohibition laws without fear of being reported. The term has been re-appropriated, and now our speakeasy is a place where writers can read their creative works aloud without fear of ridicule.
In a city as small as Adelaide, Speakeasy is a great way to connect with other aspiring authors, especially when you’re young and maybe don’t know anyone else who writes. Small writing communities—such as ours at Speakeasy Flinders—can help encourage writers to take that final step to be published, and offer a network of support and people to bounce ideas off of. It’s also a lot of fun being able to talk about your own work with people who are interested in what you want to write, instead of a friend or family member and watching as their eyes slowly glaze over, their head nodding periodically.
A lot of what people choose to read at these events are short stories, segments from larger stories, or a few poems, but occasionally we have the chance to hear creative non-fiction, a scene from a play, or even a song.
We also produce a couple of zines each year. A zine is a type of hand-made portfolio crossed with a scrapbook, usually made by artists who want to creatively display a selection of their works. Our zine feature a collection of short stories, poems, flash fiction and even a bit of art, mostly submitted by the students of Flinders University. Many of those who submit also participate in the Speakeasy reading events, having the chance to share their work both verbally and on paper. We sell our zines at our event for only a few dollars, and the profits help us continue as a club.
At our events at The Wheaty we like to feature a prominent writer from the Adelaide community. Taking our stage for the final event of 2017 is Mark Tripodi, a playwright whose play, Anteworld, featured at the Adelaide Fringe in early 2017. Hearing established writers at a small event like ours shows the aspiring creative minds of Adelaide that anything is possible.
Our final event for the year is on the 22nd of November at The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Gold coin entry. We will also be selling the ninth volume of our beloved Speakeasy zine, fresh off the press.
Words by Amelia Hughes