Best Resources For Aspiring Writers In Chicago

July 29, 2013 7:00 AM


For some writers, making the leap from working on a novel at the local coffee shop to actually getting published can be a daunting task. Luckily the Chicagoland area offers a number of resources to help out aspiring writers. Whether you want to attend a seminar on how to get published or just want to get opinions on the latest chapter in your epic saga about zombies and vampires, consider checking out the following resources. The events are also a great way to meet other writers while also improving your craft.



The Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC)
858 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

For a lot of people, writing isn’t the problem — it’s what comes after the writing that stumps them. This is where the Chicago Publishers Resource Center (CHIPRC) comes in. Their main goal is to build a community that can offer writers and other creatives access to the space, tools and education they need to publish their own work. If you want to learn how to take your stories and construct them into a handmade masterpiece to sell to all your adoring fans, CHIPRC can provide you with the resources (computers, a copy machine, a scanner, paper cutters, comb binding machines, a button maker and more) and the expertise to make that happen. They also have events and workshops every month that both build the community (like their recent meet & greet social) and educate artists (like their recent figure drawing session hosted by Dean Johnson). CHIPRC offers annual, 3 month and student memberships that allow you to use their resources for a moderately cheap price. Find out more about them on their website.



Beverly Arts Center
2407 W. 111th St.
Chicago, IL 60655 ‎
(773) 445-3838

If you’re a novice writer, you know there’s probably nothing more terrifying than having your current work critiqued at a workshop. After all, this is likely the first time someone other than yourself is reading your work. If you’re willing to take the plunge, then consider stopping in at the BAC Writers, a monthly workshop that meets at the Beverly Arts Center. You may bring your work for critique by the group and ask the group to help you with a part of the piece that’s just not coming together for you, like flat dialogue or a too-long character description. A fee applies for every session; for the schedule and information on the fees, check out the organization’s website.

Chicago Writers Association
P.O. Box 6505
Evanston, IL 60204

Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just getting started, the Chicago Writers Association can offer you a wealth of resources. A non-profit dedicated to helping Chicago-area writers, the Chicago Writers Association offers a wide selection of events where you can meet with other writers while learning and discussing new trends in writing. For instance, the organization’s upcoming event, the Second Annual Writers Block Party, takes place Aug. 17, 2013, and features a discussion on the merits and drawbacks of self-publishing. It also publishes the Write City Magazine, which includes works from members.

Midwest Chapter Of The Mystery Writers Of America
Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore
7419 W. Madison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130

If writing about murder and crime is your forte, then consider checking out the Midwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. The chapter encompasses 13 states, but meets monthly from September through May at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Forest Park, Ill. The group holds events throughout the year, and recently sponsored a workshop during Printers Row Lit Fest. Its meetings include discussions and lectures pertaining to publishing, helping writers become informed and knowledgeable.

Related: Best Writing Workshops In Chicago



Off Campus Writers Workshop

Writing can be a solitary existence, so that’s why Off Campus Writers Workshop plans events so writers can meet and network. The organization meets every Thursday morning from September through May, and features topics on a variety of genres and writing styles. If you have a manuscript, you can submit it for a critique, too, and learn how you can improve your work. The OCWW’s next event begins Sept. 12, 2013, and most events are held at the Winnetka Community House (620 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka). For information on membership, check out OCWW’s website.

‘Palm-Of-The-Hand’ Memoir Writing Workshop
Oak Park Public Library
834 Lake St.
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 383-8200

For some, sharing their life story through the written word is the ultimate goal. Perhaps you’d like to eventually publish your memoir through a large publisher, or maybe you just want a recording of your life to be given to your descendants. But where and how do you even begin writing your life story? If you’d like to try your hand at memoir writing, then consider checking out the ‘Palm-of-the-Hand’ workshop at the main branch of the Oak Park Public Library. Led by Michael Czarnecki, participants will learn how to write stories on different aspects of their lives. The event takes place Sept. 5, 2013, and kicks off at 7 p.m.

Related: Best Poetry Events In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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