New chapter of DimeStories to open in Fort Collins Friday

Maddie Wright

Collegian file photo

DimeStories is a poetry reading without the poetry.

DimeStories, a new monthly event taking place at the Bean Cycle on the second Friday of every month, opens this Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m. It is an opportunity to listen to and read 3 minutes worth of prose.

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As an organization, DimeStories has chapters around the country. The Fort Collins chapter is hosted Amanda Martinek, who recently moved from San Diego. As a writer and editor herself, Martinek was tasked with beginning the Fort Collins group. 

“It’s basically a really short, concise, fun way to share stories, and anyone can get up and read them, whether you’re a published writer or you wrote something funny in your notebook that day,” Martinek said.

Formatted like an open mic, people can sign up to read starting at 5:30 p.m., and performances begin at 6. Martinek said DimeStories started 10 years ago in San Diego by novelist Amy Wallen.

“Hosting DimeStories was also a bit of response to the popular 3-minute slam poetry format,” said DimeStories manager, Jennifer Simpson, in an email to the Collegian. “But DimeStories was never seen as a competitive battle like the slam scene, it was the time limit that was attractive. With a tight time limit, each reading can go quick. And for it to stand out, the writer needs to craft a story that is revised to its essence.”

The time element provides a challenge, Martinek said. 

“There’s a lot of different ways to tell stories,” Martinek said. “With the open mic style event, it’s usually poetry based this event specifically is to invite all types of writing, genre, and to make it a little more prose based while still remaining that short snappy entertaining short story kind of narrative.”

It’s a great way to get some validation for your creative work. The worst that can happen if a writer reads his or her 3-minute story is they will be applauded.” – Jennifer Simspon, DimeStories manager 

Martinek said the friendliness and welcoming environment that this event seeks to create should put nervous writers at ease and will hopefully give the platform for experience. 

“I hope that writers and authors use this as an event to get some public speaking experience, get their work out there into the community (and) feel more comfortable sharing,” Martinek said. “This is a very open and welcoming environment to do so.”

The sense of community is something that shines through with events like this, said Simpson, through the support and affirmation from peers. 

“It’s a great way to get some validation for your creative work,” Simpson said. “The worst that can happen if a writer reads his or her 3-minute story is they will be applauded.”

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As this is new to Fort Collins, DimeStories is wishing good luck to Martinek and the community as the organization prepares for its Fort Collins opening on Friday.

DimeStories Opening: March 9 at 6 p.m. 

“I’m super excited that Amanda is going forward with this,” Simpson said. “The entire DimeStories community will be rooting for her success. It will be a great addition to the Fort Collins community.” 

Collegian reporter Maddie Wright can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @maddierwright.