A WriterHouse of one's own
Christy Strick, this year's Hook fiction winner, isn't resting on the laurels she garnered for her short-story "Moving" . With the help of her writing group, Strick has moved on to an even more ambitious project–- a place for writers to hang their laptops and do writerly stuff.
WriterHouse, located behind the Preston Avenue Bodo's, opened its doors May 21 and offers secure, affordable writing and meeting spaces for members, and classes and literary events that will be open to the public.
"We'd been meeting three years as a group, critiquing each other's manuscripts," explains Strick. "We talked about how great it would be to have a place to meet. There's nothing wrong with coffee shops, but they're not as quiet or private as we'd hope."
For $50 a year, scribes can join the WriterHouse club–- although you don't have to be a published writer to join, notes Strick. A hundred bucks a month rents non-reserved space in one of the writing rooms, and $175 a month (or $500 a quarter) secures a reserved room of one's own–- shared with one other member. Tenants have 24/7 access, and can commune with other writers in the communal kitchen. Heck, they can practically live there.
"If somebody rents space, we ask that they're committed to writing, and not just checking their email and hanging out," stipulates Strick.
"It feels miraculous," says Debbie Prum (another Hook fiction winner). "I was lying around all winter thinking about a writing center. I'm so psyched."
Strick and the WriterHouse board members are counting on classes, rent and memberships to help support the not-for-profit effort, as well as fundraising. For now, "I keep writing checks," says Strick.
The founding writers themselves want to get back to writing–- something other than checks.