Once upon a time my wife and I were teachers. We interacted with fresh-faced students every day. We read and wrote constantly and shared both the triumphs and the frustrations of trying to do those things well. We also struggled financially and eventually moved to greener, stabler pastures.
To make up for that loss of intellectual interaction, we started the Nitty-Gritty Magic City Reading Series. Hosted at the Desert Island Supply Company (DISCO), we bring in authors from the region (and even one from Seattle) in a laid-back atmosphere where the writers can share their work and interact with listeners afterward. At the outset, I developed the above logo and worked with Katherine and Ashley to develop brand language, mission, and goals.
So far we’ve partnered with Church Street Coffee & Books who donate coffee and pastries, as well as Good People Brewery who throw in a couple six packs every month. Melissa Dunne and Blayne Ward design the posters, and Monolith Radio International records each reading.
Attendance grew steadily in the first year, from 20 in August to 50 before the summer hiatus. The following years saw steady crowds, swelling as large as 150 when we partnered with I Am the F-Bomb for a night to benefit the Crisis Center.
One thing we always prided ourselves on was being able to pay our readers. This is rare in the world of literary readings. We accomplished this partially through the sale of t-shirts I designed and hand printed, and the sale of handmade notebooks.