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Queens Improv Literary Event to Put Local Writers on the Spot

LONG ISLAND CITY — A group of Queens writers will take the stage this weekend for a literary event that will put their improv-skills to the test.

"Nature of the Muse," will take place Sunday in the fireside carriage house at LIC Bar, on Vernon Boulevard. A group of five local writers will read their work to the crowd, and then they'll be asked to do some on-the-spot writing, churning out a poem or piece of prose in 10 minutes or less based on prompts from the audience.

"It's like rock-and-roll, put you on the spot and see what comes out," said Audrey Dimola, Queens resident and writer who organized the "live-writing" event, inspired by exercises she's done at writing workshops.

"I'm really fascinated by the idea of a muse, and the reasons behind what makes us write and what makes us do what we do as creative people."

Audience members will be asked to write down a word, phrase, or idea, which will then be used as prompts for the participating writers. The group will also be reading their own previously written work.

The event is the latest in a series of writing-themed happenings in western Queens, as the area's literary scene continues to grow. Over the last few years, reading series have popped up in Astoria and Jackson Heights, and the borough got its first literary magazine published this past fall.

"Queens always had a problem with being overshadowed by Manhattan and Brooklyn," Dimola said. "We're really trying to say, hey, there's creative stuff going on here in Queens, there are writers here."

"Nature of the Muse," will take place Sunday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at LIC Bar, 45-58 Vernon Blvd. The event is free with a one-drink minimum and will feature performances by musical guest Ace Elijah.