Can I organize my own GRTTWaK-style event?

Of course, so long as you call it something other than Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, to avoid confusion.1

GRTTWaK isn’t a franchise. It’s a tiny passion project run by a married couple, part-time, evenings and weekends. We’ve been organizing GRTTWaK shows for almost a decade and in that time, we’ve developed enough esoteric ways of doing things that franchising just isn’t feasible right now.

Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from putting your own unique spin on a juvenilia-reading event. Nobody owns the idea of sharing cute/funny/embarassing juvenilia on stage, and there are lots of other events where people read childhood/teenage diaries, poetry, short stories, etc.

Chronologically, Sarah Bynoe’s Teen Angst Night (Calgary, then Vancouver) was the first event like this we’ve heard of. Mortified is another. Cringe (NYC and London) and Salon of Shame (Seattle) and Dear Diary (Toronto) are others. Obviously, there are similarities between these events, but each is unique in its format and execution.

Ariel from Salon of Shame wrote a great how-to guide called Start a diary reading event in your town! Also, Mortified’s FAQ has some good advice about making your event unique (scroll down to “Can I do a Mortified-inspired show in my city if I call it something else?”).

Finally, if you start your own GRTTWaK-inspired reading event, let us know. We’re always keen to hear from kindred spirits, and we’re happy to help wherever we can.

  1. It’s important to choose a meaningfully different name (e.g. “Adults Read Stuff They Wrote When They Were Young” isn’t meangfully different).