There’s still time to participate in Write Across Chicago!


Who can participate. Writing groups can be organized at a wide variety of locations across Chicago – schools, museums, library branches, community organizations, non-profit organizations, churches, business offices. For writing workshops held by some organizations where participants already write, signing up gives the group recognition and ability to upload writing to the website.

Sign up your group. It’s easy! Go to the sign-up page to register your group and describe it briefly.

If you’re interested but independent of an office or organization. View a list of Chicago Public Library branches and other locations with open enrollment groups, as they get signed up.

Scheduling. Write Across Chicago takes place during October 2018. We urge groups to meet at least once per week for at least an hour. If groups wish to continue or have more active schedules we’ll of course be delighted.

Group size. We recommend no more than 10 to 12 participants per group. If writing is especially popular at your organization (or class), it’s fine to set up multiple groups.

What to Write. People often think of writing either as school essays or “creative” writing of stories or poems. However, writing serves many purposes in our lives – for practical work, connecting with family and friends, telling our own stories to help others understand us, writing about life’s challenges, participating in our communities. Many people keep journals and poetry tucked away in a drawer somewhere. This program promotes and honors all these types of written communication that serve and enrich our lives, so we do not specify a program-wide theme or topic.

Instead it works like this:

  • writers in some groups may connect their writing to already planned activities.
  • Book clubs at library branches may decide to write about topics brought up in a book they are reading.
  • Members of a community organization may wish to write about an issue in their neighborhood.
  • Groups and school classrooms using a writing workshop may wish to welcome writing on any topic of participants’ choice.

Helpful guidelines and writing ideas are provided on the Write Across Chicago website. Guidelines for sharing writing respectfully in the groups are also available.