Roundup: Writing Centers

As we launch a new blog format for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on writing centers.

Chances are, there is a writing center in your city. 826 National alone has locations in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t.

Most writing centers offer a variety of programs – creative writing classes, 1-on-1 tutoring, field trips, scholarships, and more. Often geared toward the under-resourced, these places allow many children and young adults the opportunity to tap into their creative potential.

Here at Ploughshares, we’ve highlighted in past blog posts some of the best articles about writing centers, writers’ conferences, and writers’ colonies.

  • Take a closer look at the Chicago division of 826, where students line up to have their author photo taken (with fake mustaches) and brainstorm character ideas for their stories. Also, learn about 826’s The Boring Store, which addresses “all of your hollow needs.” 


  • In this post see how Jim Shepard and other nationally-acclaimed authors were up for rent at 826 Boston.
  • Grub Street is a nonprofit writing center right around the corner from Ploughshares. Last summer Grub Street students came to visit us at the office. Learn more about this field trip and their programs in this write-up.


  • Another great place to learn more about your city’s writing centers is through our Literary Boroughs series. In this collection of posts, we take a look at where to learn and where to write, among many other literary happenings.

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