Curated Open Mic 2020

We have moved our “Curated Open Mic” online! This year’s edition includes 21 poets, from a broad range of ages, professions, ethnicities, and stages of development.

  View the Curated Open Mic on YouTube

Read about all the Virtual Open Mic poets

Virtual Open Mic Requirements and Instructions

If you’re a poet interested in being part of a session and can share a link to yourself reading a poem, please provide the following information (preferably before October 14) if you would like to be featured in our Festival communications. The earlier you submit, the more likely we will be able to include your work.


  • 5 minutes or less
  • One video per poet
  • Only links sent through the application form will be accepted
  • Preferred due date: October 9 (we will accept videos through October 14)
  • Read and follow the full requirements below

Full requirements for recording and uploading:

  1. Audience:
    • Remember WEPF is a family and community event. Consider that you will have an “all ages” audience when you select your poem to read.
  2. Time Limit: 
    • Be aware of the 5 minute limit for WEPF Open Mic readings. Print your poem or memorize it if you prefer. Read it a few times and time yourself.
  3. Follow the Script:
    • Before you begin, make a brief script. Say “This is for the West End Poetry Festival. I am <your name>. This is my poem, <poem name>.” Keep any other introduction very brief if you do any further introduction at all. You can add more written description when you post your video.
  4. Record your video
    • It’s fine to record using the camera functions on your laptop, phone, etc. You can also record using Zoom, or record directly into YouTube.
    • Check out our Tips and Tricks for recording a video.
  5. Post your video to YouTube:
    • Uploading to YouTube from a saved video is fairly simple. You’ll need a YouTube or Google account to log in.
    • At the YouTube home page, you’ll see the Create camera icon on the upper right corner of your browser. Start there and choose Upload videos or Go live.
    • Go live lets you record directly into YouTube. YouTube allows you to trim your recording’s ends before you post, but not much more. Then you Upload (clicking on the Upload word or icon).
  6. Submission Title:
    • When you upload, you’ll be able to add a title and description of your work using the Edit function found on the video in your channel. Please use this form for the title: “#CarrboroIsPoetic <your name> <your poem name>”.
    • In the description, you can elaborate on the introduction, include the text of your poem, provide a link to its publication site (if it’s been published online), and the like. (See an example of Paul Jones here.)
    • Be sure to mark your video PUBLIC so everyone can see it.
  7. Once you have recorded your poem, APPLY HERE to be included in our open mic.
    • Use the link to your recorded, uploaded, titled, described poem in the WEPF form.
    • Enjoy your work and the work of others on Saturday! We will share a link to our Open Mic Playlist on FaceBook, YouTube, and here on our website on October 17, 2020.

Virtual Open Mic Submission Example by Paul Jones: