Friday, May 01, 2009


All :

I'm ridiculously excited to tell you about the Philly Spells Writing Center, an amazing new nonprofit whose mission is to get kids excited about creative writing:

Spells is a writing center inspired by the model established at Dave Eggers’s 826 Valencia. While it is not in any way affiliated with the 826 National organization, we base our mission and model directly on theirs and plan to achieve the same level of success.

Spells’s mission is to get 6 to 18 year olds excited about creative and expository forms of writing. Philly’s budding writers, like their peers in other cities where 826 has been successful, will benefit from free and constant access to a welcoming—and often wacky—venue whose staff and volunteers are focused on engendering a love of writing and on introducing students to the life-changing potential that comes with embracing and exploring new forms of self-expression.

Spells’s physical space will open in September 2010, but we’ve got lots of magic planned to roll out before then. Check back here often to see what’s new.

Like the 826 models, Spells  will be fronted by a retail store. Spells’s store, Wiz-Mart (a working title), will sell madcap merch that sparks the creative magic in us all.

The 826 model has been hugely successful in other cities, & is something that will be of huge benefit to Philadelphia's kids, especially at a time when the arts in public schools are suffering from under-funding.  We are so fortunate to have an amazing writing community, a truly committed & engaged group of poets & writers, who could potentially help fill that gap.  Imagine giving a few hours a month -- or a week -- to the next generation of writers, instilling in them both a passion for reading & writing as well as an understanding of the importance of community.

The founders have assembled a great group of volunteers & there are lots of opportunities to get involved.  Check out their website, join their facebook page, watch Dave Eggers talk about the original 826 Valencia at the TED Prize Awards & stay tuned for upcoming events -- 


Jenn McC.  

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