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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

Each April, while the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing,  there is the taste of poetry in the air. Students taking part in Rebecca Wee’s poetry courses have been hard at work bringing poetry to campus through many different projects. From hidden writing filled eggs, painted rocks, and  a “poetree” outside of the campus library among others!  As I too am a participant in the class, I, in my true typical fashion, wanted to aim big.  

Back in December I hosted my very first open mic to a full house at a local coffee shop off campus. This was for a website a friend and I created for queer writers in the Quad Cities area to find community and submit their work.  Through RainbowPagesQC, I have had amazing success in getting interest in both the site, and our events.   I figured the best way to bring people together and be surrounded by poetry was to combine this class project with the community of Rainbow Pages along with my other friends and classmates. 

Seeing as this was my first major event I myself solely hosted on campus, I worked extremely hard down to the littlest of details. From Rainbow party hats, to emergency contraception and of course some treats to keep my participants’ hunger at bay!  When hosting this event I looked at 3 main things:  logistics (time and place), promotion (word of mouth/flyers) and finishing touches ( fun things that will be memorable for my audience).  

Getting a location was probably the hardest part.  Having to pick a date a month in advance is one thing, but then making sure to communicate with multiple people is not a skill that a lot of people are born with.  Ultimately as long as you have a good group of people in your corner who want to see you succeed, your event will succeed, even in the most difficult of circumstances. 

Promotion is the easier part.  Initially, think of your audience and reach out to them directly.  Place flyers around your campus, tell professors and friends to spread the word.  Make graphics on social media!  The possibilities are endless!  Plus having date, time and location down, you already have everything you need to tell prospective audience members. 

The final step is polishing up the venue with personal touches and hosting the event!  I had lots of incentives for attendance that have become a staple for my open mics. People love getting free things.  Having free things sets you apart from a lot of other events and it allows for them to really shine through.  Performers at my open mic loved the eggs filled with prompts, and my audience loved walking into a space with stickers, candy and contraception! 

After all the night was said and done, we had a total of 17 readers, not including repeat performers.  That night and the next day I had countless audience members come up to me saying just how much they appreciated the event and how much fun it was.  After all my hard work, it felt good to have such support and recognition being sent my way.

Overall, I am honored that my events not only can bring people together but also that I have the opportunity to create a safe and supportive environment for all my friends.  There are so many more events in my future, and I can’t wait to see what’s to come next!

Janey Locander is a Junior at Augustana College who is currently studying WGSS, Psychology, and Creative Writing. She has a passion for not only reading and writing, but also photography, volunteering, and squishmallow collecting to name a few. She has worked with many publications and programs across the Quad Cities such as the Midwest Writing Center's YEW internship , Love Girls Magazine, and so much more.