1 Writer. 5 Minutes. 650 Words.


Read650’s mission is to promote writers through live performances that celebrate the spoken word. It’s a literary forum for true personal stories—two pages and 650 words long—read aloud by the writer before an audience.



Read650 is interested in short essays on specific topics to be read aloud, by the author, at staged readings throughout the year. 


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The colossal power of Beethoven’s music inspires us like no other composer, and the central movement of his string quartet no. 15, written in the last years of his life, is a “Holy song of gratitude.” As part of Carnegie Hall’s 2020 season-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, Read650 and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center will collaborate to present a New Year’s celebration of healing arts: a curated series of five-minute, 650-word stories of gratitude.

The format will be a departure for Read650, with six writers presenting personal stories of gratitude on stage in Act 1, followed in Act 2 with a performance by the New York Classical Players of Ludwig van Beethoven's string quartet no. 15; his profound "Holy song of Gratitude."

In addition to the essays presented on stage, selected "Gratitude" submissions will be curated by Read650's editorial committee in a printed anthology available for sale at the event and on Amazon.

Submission Deadline: November 1, 2019

Show: 2PM Saturday, January 4, 2020

Venue: Bruno Walter Auditorium, Lincoln Center • NYC

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You Don’t Have to Be Jewish

Tales of a religion and a cultural identity. Whether you found the afikomen at Passover or your roots in America, whether you were raised Jewish, keep Kosher, or crave treif, share your experience and your story in 650 or fewer words.

Submission Deadline: January 1, 2020

Show: 3PM Sunday, March 15, 2020

Venue: Ossie Davis Theater, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

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We’ve all got one. And so did she. Maybe you’re a mother, or you’ve seen others in action. We’re interested in stories about mothers, mothering, and various act of motherhood, from any and all perspectives.

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2020

Show: 2PM Sunday, May 10, 2020

Venue: City Winery NYC

Carnegie Hall Spring Festival


Straight Outta Ireland

A Read650 live event, was part of Carnegie Hall's spring festival, "Migrations: The Making of America," and was recorded March 10, 2019 at City Winery, New York City.

Malachy McCourt reads My American Dream.