ON THIS PAGE:
Note: The submission period for Issue 1 of whirred has ended. Thank you to all who
have submitted; you will be contacted in the near future. If you wish to submit material for the next issue, please watch
the News page to find out when I am looking for new submissions. Volunteers are still needed and are
encouraged to contact me at the e-mail address listed below.
I welcome all questions, advice, and comments (even negative ones provided they are
constructive). If there's anything you want to tell or ask me, you can reach me (Steve Sauvé) at
from filling my inbox with unwanted solicitations.
In addition, to keep costs of the final product low and also to give whirred an appropriately unique style, I am
not only burning the CDs myself, I am also designing and constructing the sleeves the CDs ship in, as well as producing
the artwork for the sleeves and labels. I am not a visual artist by any means. If you
would like to volunteer your skills to assist in the design of the product, contact me at the e-mail address listed above.
I would also be appreciative of help in assembling the packaging, canvassing bookstores and other venues in an attempt to
get whirred on their shelves, and advertising through posters, magazines, and other media. Every individual who
volunteers or otherwise plays a part in the process of getting the whirred out will be credited both on the CD
and on the website. Substantial amounts of help may also snag some people free copies of the issue they assisted with.
Much of the work appearing on whirred will come from artists I have specifically requested contributions from.
Unfortunately, I can't be everywhere at once, and I'm certain that there are more than a few brilliant performers who
I have never had the pleasure of meeting. There are also some of you out there who are just starting out and want to
break into the scene but have yet to read anywhere other than the more intimate, "normal" poetry readings that occur
throughout the city... the crowds at performance poetry events such as Spoken Words Broken
Brushes can be quite intimidating to those without any experience on the stage. Hell, I've been reading and performing
regularly around this city for nearly two years and I still get terrible stage fright.
What I'm basically getting at is that I want to give everyone a fair chance to be in whirred. In fact, if it
comes down to a choice between two pieces of equal quality, one by a friend and favoured performer of mine and one by a
relatively unknown poet, I'm going to choose the latter individual. Maybe it's just a pipe dream, but I think whirred
could play a part in helping to facilitate the growth and recognition of the spoken word community. The best way to do that
is to help those who are just finding their voices get heard.
For a printer-friendly version of the submission guidelines right-click
here and select "Save Target As..." to download them in Rich Text Format (.rtf). Optionally,
left-clicking will open the document in your browser.
Your first step, before doing anything else, should be to check here to be certain that
the poem you want to submit fits the style and spirit of whirred. Once you have done that, choose which of the
three following format options works best for you, and then scroll down to the media specifications to
see exactly what is expected from a submission of that type. Be sure to read everything carefully:
blatant disregard for the guidelines listed below may and often will result in your submissions being ignored.
- Live Audition
- Come out to one of the poetry events I attend regularly so I can see the piece(s) you would like to contribute.
Currently, my favourite events are Spoken Words Broken Brushes (monthly) and the
Café Nostalgica Poetry Open Stage (weekly). I very rarely miss either of these events, but
you may want to contact me at the e-mail address given at the top of this page to make sure I'll
be in attendance.
- You can audition at one of the above mentioned venues without e-mailing me first. That's perfectly fine.
Come to the event, check out the atmosphere, and if you feel comfortable enough to get behind the mic, come introduce
yourself to me before you go up and tell me it's an audition piece.
- If you are unable to attend one of the aforementioned events but you would still like to audition, you can
contact me and invite me to come see you at any other poetry-friendly literary event. Make sure
you give me the correct date, time, and location for the event. I will let you know if I can make it there.
- One last note, don't let the concept of "auditioning" get you too nervous. If you have an unruly audience or your
delivery is off due to stage jitters, I am not going to automatically dismiss you from consideration. After your
performance we will talk and if you feel your performance was not a personal best, or perhaps you think you would do
much better in a private recording, please feel free to express these concerns.
- Text Submission
- If there is a poem you would like to perform for the CD but you can't fit an audition into your schedule any time
soon, you can send me the poem by e-mailing it to me at the address above. Please make sure to
put something along the lines of "whirred submission" in the subject line.
- Put your poem directly in the body of the e-mail itself. In other words, if you have it saved in Word format, cut
and paste it into the message area of your e-mail. Attachments will not be accepted.
- The thing about spoken word is that your performance adds something to the poem that cannot be communicated by
mere letters printed out on a page or computer screen. For this reason, text-based submissions are obviously not the
preferred choice. They will be considered, but you will not be accepted on the merits of your writing alone.
- Text submissions are best used as a "pre-audition." You can e-mail me a batch of poems
(three to five) and I can tell you which one(s) I prefer and would like to hear. You can then use one of the other two
submission options to show me your performance skills with the selected poem(s).
- Digital Media
- This is an excellent compromise between the two options listed above. Record your poem and compress it into either
mp3 or Ogg Vorbis format, then put it somewhere online for me to download. All you really need to do this is a
half-decent microphone for your PC. Refer to the media specifications below for appropriate
recording settings and software recommendations. If you've got the bandwidth and a digital camcorder, you can even put
a video of yourself online for consideration (whirred will occasionally have video content).
- Do NOT e-mail me audio/video files. I'll say it for you one last time: e-mail attachments
will not be accepted. Hotmail has limits on the acceptable size for attachments, not to mention the
limited room in my Inbox. If you know of some other free e-mail service that does not have these limitations,
contact me and let me know.
- If you have a website, that should be the obvious first place you consider for posting the file. Keep in mind that
placing the file on your website does not mean you have to make the file available to everyone. Just create a new page
that is not linked to by any of your other pages, then e-mail me with the URL of the new page.
I will let you know when I have retrieved the file so that you can remove it from your site if you wish.
- If you don't have a website, a very easy alternative is to open up a Yahoo!
Group and upload the file into the Files section. There is space there for up to 20 MB of files, and you can own
multiple Yahoo! Groups if you want.
- NOTE: I have a Yahoo! Group of my own for people to send me files, but this is only
for those whose poems I have personally requested. All unsolicited files must be posted either to your own Group or
to some other online spot you can give me access to.
- Live Audition: Anything goes. Music, props, audience participation...
whatever. If it fits in with the general concept of spoken word as detailed in the mission
statement, then go for it. You can audition as many poems / performance pieces as you can fit into the time allotted
by the venue we are attending.
- Text Submission: As stated above, embed your poetry into the
body of the e-mail. Do not include your poems in an attachment. You may submit as many as five poems at one time. You
should also indicate if you can upload a digital file or make yourself available for a
live audition if one or more of your poems is considered for publication.
- Digital Media: As stated above, mp3 and Ogg Vorbis (.ogg) are the preferred compression
formats for digital submission. If you are going to record yourself at your computer, you should use a unidirectional
microphone. If you're unsure if your mic is unidirectional or not, don't worry too much – your submission will be
considered either way.
- Software: If you don't have recording and/or compression software, I suggest the free
Audacity audio editor. I recommend that you download the latest stable
version (1.0.0), not a beta version: a beta application may crash your system. However, I am currently
using version 1.1.3 without any problems (1.2.0 caused crashes for me), which can be found on the Audacity team's
SourceForge.net project download page here,
but if you don't speak geek that list of downloads can be very confusing. (You should also note that, regardless of
which version of Audacity you choose, if you want to export your media in mp3 format, you'll need to download the
LAME MP3 Encoder Library, which is linked to on the same page where you find the stable version of the
Audacity audio editor.
- Record in either one (mono) or two (stereo) channels; you can use more if your poem includes some form of
accompaniment and you know what you're doing, but for most cases 1 or 2 channels is plenty.
- Sampling: 44100 Hz or higher rate, 24 or 32-bit format (don't worry if your software doesn't give you control
over sample format).
- Export: If you export in mp3 format, choose a bit rate of either 128 or 160. As for Ogg Vorbis exports, I'm not
sure—I haven't played around with .ogg files enough to know what would be ideal here. I'd say mid-quality. If
the .ogg file has unpleasant audio artifacts that weren't present in the uncompressed audio session then simply export
it again at a higher quality level.
- I can do the volume leveling and noise reduction myself. Just make sure that your voice is clear and above all
background noise. Live recordings are, of course, acceptable.
- Note: A well-recorded audio submission may very well be directly converted into CD audio for use on
whirred; if the recording quality is found to be lacking but your poem is accepted for publication, another
recording will be requested and/or arranged.
Soon this space will detail the process from getting accepted to getting published, including the requirements and
benefits that go along with getting into whirred.
The 2004 Canadian Spoken Word Olympics will be held October 8-10 (tentative) right here
in Ottawa! Slam teams as well as individual spoken word artists from across Canada and the U.S. will compete for the
coveted Flaming Mike.
The Golden Star Lounge is an event that
happens on the last Friday of every month. It includes an open mic set followed by the featured performers, and the night
wraps up with an open poetry slam. If you've never been to a slam, GO.
Join the Writers' Deadline!! mailing list to keep up to
date with information of interest to the Ottawa writing community. I've been a subscriber to this free listserv for years
and it's an invaluable resource.
Bywords.ca should always be your first stop if you want to know what's going on in the
Ottawa literary scene. Their event calendar is pretty comprehensive.
magOmania is an awesome resource for finding Canadian magazines. Check out how
many literary journals there are in this country! And that's not even including the small distribution 'zines
Kiss Machine! What a brilliant idea! For every issue they choose two
discordant themes and ask for submissions that incorporate the two. This formula has resulted in some great writing and
comix over the course of it's still young run. I highly recommend it.
Page Half-Full Poems is local poet Pearl Pirie's
website. She has a sizeable collection of her own poetry there, as well as an excellent links page.
I am more than happy to trade links with other poetry-related sites. Check here for contact