Literary Organizations

826CHI (A Teen Organization!) • Chicago Dramatists • The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame • Chicago Writers Association • Chicago Writers Conference • contratiempo • Guild Complex • NewTown Writers • The Poetry Center of Chicago • Poetry Foundation • Teen Writers and Artists Project (A Teen Organization!) • Truestar Foundation (A Teen Organization!) • Young Chicago Authors (A Teen Organization!)

The local chapter of a national organization started by author Dave Eggers, it provides a wide range of free programs to youth ages 11-18, including workshops, tutoring, and assistance in getting published in its zine or anthology, or elsewhere.

Chicago Dramatists
Workshops, readings, classes, and special programs, including the Resident Playwright program and the Network Playwright program, all with the aim of helping beginning and established dramatists to develop their work, expand their professional affiliations, showcase their plays to the theatre marketplace, and collaborate with actors, directors, and audiences during the creative process.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Crowns past, present, and future literary literary achievements by holding celebratory events, awarding prizes and recognition, collecting and exhibiting literary artifacts, and documenting the accomplishments of Chicago’s best writers.

Chicago Writers Association
A local professional association that, for $25 a year, provides its members with the opportunity to participate in CWA author reading and book signing events at book expos, fairs, and festivals; to be published in association e-zine and blog; to be entered into its Book of the Year Contest, and more.

Chicago Writers Conference
Classes on specific aspects of writing life, such as taxes or submissions; free readings at Open Books; and a big annual two-day conference (October 24-26, 2014) that features talks and workshops on topics ranging from interacting with agents to marketing self-published work.

revista contratiempo, a bilingual monthly cultural and opinion magazine; El taller, free biweekly creative writing workshops in Pilsen; Ediciones Vocesueltas, a book imprint that publishes Spanish-language authors in Chicago; and collaborations with other cultural, literary, and educational organizations to present events that serve to preserve and highlight the cultural identity and contributions of the Spanish-speaking Latino populations in the United States.

Guild Complex
A forum for literary cross-cultural expression, discussion, and education, in combination with other arts, connecting communities, artists, and ideas. Programs include Palabra Pura, a bilingual poetry reading series; Applied Words, performances in which creative writing is juxtaposed with multiple art forms, often in unique settings; and The Poetry Performance Incubator, a meeting of poetry and theatre.

NewTown Writers
Free salon-based writer’s workshops where members and guests share works-in-progress, along with other reading events, performances, publications, and promotion, all in support of queer literature. Founded in 1980.

The Poetry Center of Chicago
Readings, workshops, and arts education, including Hands on Stanzasa program that places Chicago poets in public school classrooms for 20-week sessions. The center’s goal is to make poetry accessible to the general public, to stimulate and encourage young poets, and to advance the careers of poets by offering them professional opportunities.

Poetry Foundation
A well-respected 99-year-old magazine called Poetry, a comprehensive award-winning website, and a variety of public programs and educational activities aimed at increasing public understanding and enjoyment of the literary arts—all serving the larger purpose of establishing a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

Teen Writers and Artists Project (A Teen Organization!)
A forum for teens to share their writing and artistic work, to receive guidance from professionals, to become part of a supportive community, and to find out about opportunities.

Truestar Foundation (A Teen Organization!)
True Star MagazineTrue Star Jr. Magazine, True Star Radio (Broadcast on WCSU) and True Star Online, an interactive blog, all created by teams of urban youth throughout the city, predominately minority, ages 11-18. 1,300 paid apprenticeships since its inception in 2006. TSF’s mission is to promote literacy and entrepreneurialism, reduce youth delinquency rates, and to provide training and resources so that there is a healthy transition for youth entering early adulthood.

Young Chicago Authors (A Teen Organization!)
Free workshops as well as performance and publication programs, including Louder Than A Bomb, the largest youth poetry festival in the world, a phenomenon that was the subject of an award-winning documentary.