We love our readers and reward them with free admission for themselves and a guest!
Before you sign up to read, we strongly urge you to come see the show, and to read the rules below carefully.
Readers who don’t follow format won’t be invited back to read at future Salons, and that really IS a shame.
6 Reader Rules of Shame
Please read all of the rules. There will be a test, in front of a room full of drunk people.
1. You MUST be the author of your reading
This is the core tenet of the Salon of Shame: you can only embarrass yourself. You cannot read from a letter someone else sent you, a poem written by an ex, or anything anyone except you yourself have written. The shame is yours and yours alone.
2. Readings should be ONLY FIVE MINUTES LONG
There’s this weird thin line between funny and self-indulgent; that line is called five minutes. Shame is best in small, hilarious, focused doses… so prepare your reading beforehand and make sure it’s short, sweet, and as embarrassing as possible. Reading for less than 5 minutes is fine, too. All readers should prepare and time their reading at home before the Salon.
3. We like adolescent writing
Teen readings are the most entertaining, but childhood and college writing can work, too. The most popular selections are teen-aged diaries and awful poetry, but other pieces include high school essays, unsent letters, awful middle school short stories, etc. Please make sure your writing is at least a decade old. We don’t want to laugh at your current pain – we want to laugh at your vintage pain.
3a. …but don’t be a dick
We celebrate the fact that our younger selves weren’t always as, well, “mature” as our older selves. That said, while we’re certainly looking to hear your 15-year-old self ruminate on politics, dating, friendship and other subjects, we’re gonna pass on stuff that’s blatantly homophobic, transphobic, racist or misogynistic.
4. Just read — DO NOT PERFORM
The Salon of Shame is a reading series – do not hijack our show with stand up comedy, spoken word, or slam poetry. Be expressive, but DO NOT turn your reading into a performance piece with a prepared introduction or dramatic interpretation. Keep your witty, self-aware asides to a minimum. Audiences have been known to loudly heckle people who break this rule.
5. If you sign up to read and don’t show, you won’t be asked to read again
We’ve had a disconcerting number of readers in the past sign up and then email the day before or of the show letting us know they can’t make it. We understand that shit happens, but if you flake out on reading, it’s unlikely we’ll ask you back to read again. Please do not sign up unless you’re truly able to commit.
6. The Salon of Shame is a 21 and older event
You can read about teens, kids or babies, but the youngins’ should probably watch something with less angst and BJ techniques.