Noir at the Bar at the Wonderland Ballroom

Last weekend, I did something that I have never done before. I went to a bar in DC to listen to crime fiction writers read out loud in front of a crowd of people. It was at the Wonderland Ballroom, in DC. I had never been there, but heard about the event, called “Noir at the Bar,” through Facebook. A friend of mine who is a writer would be reading there and so it posted on my news feed. I was intrigued. I had heard of slam poetry at bars, but I didn’t realize that the same could be done for fiction. I guess it makes sense. So I decided to go, and lucky for me, my amazing husband agreed to go too.

The Wonderland Ballroom was a bit smaller than I had imagined. Noir at the Bar was being held upstairs and started at 6. We reached there at about 6:15 and the place was already packed. The only available seating was way in the back, by the bar.

There were 9 readers in all, including my friend, Natasha Tynes, who was there to promote her new book “They Called Me Wyatt.” Many of the readers were fantastic and I really admired their bravery for getting up there on stage and expressing themselves. I can remember writing short stories in school and having to get up in front of the class to read and feeling miserable about the whole situation. I was never confident enough! But these people really showed me how it’s done. I was even inspired a little bit to get back into writing. Maybe… who knows?

The presenters from Saturday’s performance were:

Mark Bergin
Bill Beverly
Jenny Drummey
James Grady
Nik Korpon
Christina Kovac
Matthew Jones
Natasha Tynes – my favorite, of course!
Caroline Walker

After everyone got a chance to read, the audience voted for who did the best job. The lucky winner then received a black t-shirt that reads on the front “I won D.C.’s Noir at the Bar and all I got was this dumb t-shirt.” Then on the back it says, “Oh, and herpes.” Unfortunately, my friend didn’t get the shirt. I’m sure she probably didn’t mind.

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