Organising a reading at Torriano Meeting House

What do reading organisers do:

If you offer to organising a reading at Torriano Meeting House (TMH), the key responsibilities are to book readers for the 2nd half of the reading (and introduce them on the night) and to help to promote the event.

Process for organising a reading:

(i) Email with possible dates for a reading and ideas for poets you would like to book

(ii) You will notified within two weeks if dates are available.

(iii) As soon as possible (and at least one month before the reading date) - send through:

Frequently Asked Questions

On the night:

What time should I arrive?:

TMH readings are scheduled to start at 7.30pm but often start slightly later due to the gradual arrival of the audience. As reading organiser, it is best to arrive around 7.15pm

What is the format for a Torriano reading?

Readings at TMH consist of ‘readers from the floor’ in the 1st half and guest readers in the 2nd half. ‘Readers from the floor’ is an open mic where each poet (or singer) reads/performs one poem or song.

Do I need to supervise ‘readers from the floor’?

As the reading organiser, it is helpful if you are able to take responsibility for taking a list of ‘readers from the floor’ and then introducing the 1st half - but if you do not want to do this, it is not compulsory.

How many readers should I book for the 2nd half?

The recommended number of readers for the 2nd half is either 2, 3 or 4 however some organisers choose to invite more readers who read for a shorter time each.

How long should the 2nd half last?

The recommended duration of the 2nd half is around 45 minutes - for examples, 2 poets reading for just over 20 minutes each, 3 poets reading for around 15 minutes or 4 poets reading for just over 10 minutes each.

Wine & Fees:

Am I expected to bring wine?

TMH does not have a budget to provide refreshments for readings. We very much appreciate it if reading organisers or featured poets are able to bring a bottle of wine or two (and some crisps) for the audience to share.

Do you pay a fee or expenses for poets?

Only in rare and exceptional circumstances. TMH is an entirely user-funded, volunteer-run independent arts organisation. All door money goes towards covering the costs of keeping the TMH running.

Can readers bring books to sell?

Yes, if readers have books or pamphlets they are very welcome to bring copies to sell - there is a table to put them on next to the seating area. To avoid confusion, it’s generally best for poets to take the money directly rather than through TMH if possible.


How does Torriano Meeting House promote readings?

Readings at TMH are promoted in a range of ways including: on a paper leaflet, on the Hearing Eye and TMH websites, via the TMH email list, on the Poetry Library website and through a listing in the Camden New Journal website.

What happens if reading organisers do not promote readings themselves?

Sometimes not much. It is vitally important that reading organisers do further promotion beyond the basic activities that TMH volunteers are able to carry out. We put on an average of 45 Sunday readings a year and while we do have 5 - 10 regular attendees who attend most readings, this is not enough on its own to provide the audience that guest poets deserve.

How should I promote my reading?

It is good idea to use a mixture of online and offline methods that could include:

If you have further queries, please email: