Heads Up, Chicago! Let’s Write!

by Melisa on December 13, 2016

Athenaeum Theatre seats

It’s almost time, Chicago!

Consider this your “one month warning” post…

We will be accepting submissions to consider for our SIXTH ANNUAL AND GRAND FINALE Chicago show—which will be held on Sunday May 7, 2017 at the Athenaeum Theatre—starting Friday, January 13th. We wanted to give you some time to get your true stories of motherhood on paper or into the computer! Let’s get writing (or editing), shall we?

Are you sitting there thinking you could never write your story because you’re not a writer, or thinking you could never get up on a stage and tell your story because you’re not a professional speaker? Are you thinking you or your story isn’t good enough? Stop it. We’re here to tell you otherwise.

This is not a show for professional speakers/writers (though we welcome all levels of experience). LTYM is about Motherhood and Motherhood is for EVERYONE. Your voice and story may be the one that reshapes someone’s perspective of life when our 2017 show hits the stage. Your story is unique. Your story is needed. Your voice IS worthy and your words ARE good enough. (P.S. You don’t even have to be a mom. More about that in a minute.)

Our selection process involves choosing an awesome mixtape of sorts, with essays that cover lots of different perspectives and emotions. We are always proud to end up with a beautiful quilt made of stories that feel like they came together via magic. We can’t give you an exact formula for an essay that is a guaranteed pick because there isn’t one. That said, here’s what we’re generally looking for in Chicago:

1. IMPORTANT: Each piece must fall between 3-5 minutes when read aloud. This is approximately 2 pages, but will vary widely depending on format, content, and speaking style. PLEASE PRACTICE BEFORE SUBMITTING and edit appropriately to achieve the desired time. (Note: we cannot emphasize how important the time of your essay is. It’s okay if it’s a little over five minutes, but if it’s way over then your chances of being selected for the show will likely decrease.)

2. The main theme of your piece must fall within the topic of “motherhood.” Any true story about any aspect of motherhood is great! If you’re unsure whether the MAIN theme of your essay is motherhood, please read it to a friend or two and ask them! If your friends tell you that the main theme of your essay seems to be “overcoming a self esteem problem” or “dating in the 21st century” (Just pulled those from the air), then you’ll need to do some heavy editing or submit something else.

3. We always look for a diverse mix of stories. In addition, we look for funny essays, sad essays, and everything in between. You don’t have to be a mom to be in a LTYM show. You don’t even have to be a woman! We welcome all stories of motherhood from all people. (Note #1: HUMOR can be so very difficult to write (and read out loud), and every year this is the category in which we have the least number of submissions. If one of your superpowers is writing humorous essays, please consider submitting one! Note #2: By diverse we also mean race, religion, ethnicity, personality type, and every other element under the sun that could provide a story with unique perspective. Check out this post we wrote about angles you can take with your essay if you’re not a mom.)

4. You must be the author and owner of all rights to your piece. (It’s totally fine if it’s been previously published as long as you retain the rights, and you will still hang onto the rights to your piece if selected for the show.)

5. You must be available to attend an audition date and two rehearsal dates (these will be announced when the submission period begins) as well as, obviously, the show date: May 7th from 11-7 (approximately).

We hope your wheels are turning! The Windy City brings it every year and we couldn’t be more excited about our sixth and final season; let’s see what you’ve got, Chicago! Keep checking back here for our charity partner announcement, sponsor news, and of course, submission details! Let’s go!

Please note that all cities have their own guidelines and if you’re interested in any other show you should check their local website for details, which will be updated according to their own schedules! If you’d like to subscribe to the LTYM National newsletter, click the link in our sidebar.

We want to thank Anicca Float Club, Naperville Moms Network, Balee Images, Chicago Elevated, Naperville Art League, and 404 Wine Bar for being the first to sponsor our 2017 show. More sponsor announcements soon!

Any questions? Please email us at LTYMChicago@gmail.com.

Finally, whatever you celebrate, we hope that you get to make some wonderful memories this month. Happy New Year, and we’ll meet you back here in January!

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