And what is a writing center, anyway? Here's how Grub Street explains what they do:
Grub Street is a non-profit creative writing center dedicated to nurturing writers and connecting readers with the wealth of writing talent in the Boston area.
Our mission is to support creative writers at all stages of their development so that they can achieve their goals of publication, social and professional networking, gainful employment in the field, and/or personal enrichment.
We accomplish this by providing university-level instruction via multi-week courses, seminars and conferences; bringing the transformative power of creative writing to underserved populations – specifically teens and seniors – via innovative programs and community events; financially supporting and offering unique professional development opportunities to creative writing instructors, seminar leaders and administrative staff; elevating the literary profile of the city of Boston to increase its relevance among major publishing houses and prominent authors in all genres; and maintaining a vibrant, inspiring and accessible space where writers can find professional resources and connect with each other in a spirit of mutual support.
Grub Street builds on Boston's proud literary tradition by making the city more welcoming for writers, and more inspiring and culturally alive for all of us.
What could this mean for Anchorage? I think it could mean: a regular place for workshops that don't cost the university rate of $400-600. A place where top visiting writers could come and visit with us, now that we don't have the Writing Rendezvous. A drop-in center with fun writing classes for underserved young people; or a place from which to organize programs that we send out to prisons and other places that might benefit from the occasional workshop.
We already have some great organizations and programs, from Alaska Sisters in Crime, to the Writers Guild, to 49 writers -- and there are many more, with no shortage of talent and energy out there. But do we need a nonprofit that ties some of these services and populations together (hopefully, in a physical building)?
Share your ideas, connections, doubts, and opinions here, friends.
*P.S. The other cities that have 826 Valencia chapters are: Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Boston, and most recently, DC.