Meet 826CHI


If you’ve been to Wicker Park, you may have passed by The Boring Store and wondered about the funny-sounding name. CWC can faithfully attest that the place is anything but boring. Though it is in fact a store, it’s also home to the non-profit organization 826CHI. Founded by award-winning writer Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, the 826 tutoring centers have the very important and the very awesome mission of helping kids with their writing skills. Through free tutoring, field trips focusing on activities like storytelling and bookmaking, support within the classroom, and other programs, 826CHI transforms Chicago students into writers. Close to 4,000 children, ranging from ages 6-18, feel the thrill of becoming a published author or nailing a difficult essay or simply enjoying how much fun it is to write a story with your friends. This is all possible thanks to a vast network of volunteers, educators and philanthropists who understand that writing and storytelling can be an incredibly powerful tool for overcoming adversity.

What does this have to do with CWC? First off, we’re big fans of any local organization that motivates people to write. However, the reason we’re putting a spotlight on this great organization is because we’ll be collaborating with them in the upcoming months. Our goal is to bring greater offerings to both our audiences, starting with our upcoming workshop on July 8. More details to come in the newsletter and on the blog.

We can’t wait to see what this friendship will create!

Chicago Writers Conference is everywhere! Executive Director Mare Swallow will be speaking at Northwestern University’s Career Day this Saturday, May 31. The MFA/MA in Creative Writing program has created a day-long event that will interest writers of all stripes. Panels include “Working in Academia,” “Chat About Agents,” “Not Teaching,” and many more. Mare will be a panelist for “Writing and Social Media.” The event is free and open to the public.

We have so much in store we can barely stand it! Get all our latest updates by signing up for our newsletter, liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter. Get more info on this year’s conference, details on future workshops and events, and updates on our annual fundraiser.