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The 2020 Mentorship August Experience


In many ways, 2020 has been filled with tragedy.

We’re here to provide a change of pace: some good news. We adore the mentorship program — don’t tell anyone else, but it’s the area of the journal about which I am the most passionate! Between now and August 28th, we will be facilitating enhanced and increased engagement both with the written word and with the literary industry at large.

What does this mean? It’s pretty simple—we’ll be sending out weekly poetry and prose prompts each Tuesday, attending a number of free, online events hosted by literary publications and bookstores around the country (and hopefully world!), and hosting weekly open mics just for you all so you can share what you’ve written that week and establish even more meaningful and empowering connections before we all head back to school.

Sound enticing? We’re so glad to hear it! All you have to do to opt-in is be a 2020 summer mentorship student and fill out the below form.


Questions We’ve Anticipated You May Have

Do I have to participate if I’m in the mentorship?

  • No, absolutely not! Only participate if you would like to do so — this experience is meant to be a fun, optional addition to your mentorship experience if you would like it to be. We know there are a lot of you who are traveling, studying, or otherwise committed for the month of August, so no worries at all.

Can I participate some weeks? Sorry, I just have this thing, an important trip or thing that’s Week 2, 3, or 4 of August… 

  • Yes! No pressure at all. Come to events if you can! Come to open mics if you can! Write some poems or a few stories based on the prompts if you can! Read what you’ve got to share if you can!

I just have this thing on Friday nights so I can’t make the open mics, but I’m totally down to write from the prompts and go to some of the events (or vice versa, any which way!)… 

  • Totally fine. Participate however you want, to whatever extent you want!

When, how, and where will open mics be held?

  • Open mics will be held via Zoom every Friday at 5pm Eastern Standard Time (American EST). Each student reader will have 5 minutes to read poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or anything in-between. We will host 12 student readers each evening, for a total of an hour in program length. The Zoom link for each Open Mic will be sent out each Friday morning.

Sounds great! How do I sign up to read for an open mic?

  • Peter will be sending out a sign-up sheet each week, so you can sign-up to read at that Friday’s open mic that way! Please be advised that sign-ups will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis, and that priority will be given to those who have yet to read.

Do I have to read something new/that I wrote that week at an open mic?

  • No, you can read anything you’re a) excited about, b) looking for feedback or thoughts on, or c) both! We do encourage you, of course, not to stick to the work you already feel is “done”. Let yourself stretch, experiment, and creatively leap!

Can I invite my parents, friends, family, teachers, classmates, pets, dentist, florist, postman, etc. etc. etc. to the open mic?

  • You bet! All you have to do is send anyone you’d like to invite the Zoom link once it goes out. Please note, however, that we will not be uploading the open mics following the event.

Where can I find a list of the events you mentioned are unfolding during the month of August that I should attend? 

  • See below — “(Totally Optional, But Highly Encouraged) Events to Consider Attending!” NOTE: Please consider RSVPing sooner rather than later for any events you hope to attend, as seats may fill up.

Any other questions?



    • August 4 – Prompt #1 & Sign Up Sheet for Open Mic #1 Goes Out (First Come, First Serve to Read!)
    • August 7 – Open Mic #1
    • August 11 – Prompt #2 & Sign Up Sheet for Open Mic #2 Goes Out (First Come, First Serve to Read!)
    • August 14 – Open Mic #2
    • August 18 – Prompt #3 & Sign Up Sheet for Open Mic #3 Goes Out (First Come, First Serve to Read!)
    • August 21 – Open Mic #3
    • August 25 – Prompt #4 & Sign Up Sheet for Open Mic #4 Goes Out (First Come, First Serve to Read!)
    • August 28 – Open Mic #4


(Totally Optional, but Highly Encouraged) Events to Consider Attending!

Again: we highly, highly recommend signing up/RSVPing to those readings you hope to attend ASAP, as seats will almost certainly fill up for some of these events!