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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Profile Mon Mar 28 2011

Jen Bosworth & Stories at the Store

This profile was submitted by Megan Fulara.

Bosworth.jpgGrowing up in Evanston, IL, Jen Bosworth had an upbringing similar to many of today's suburban youth. The daughter of Ines and Chuck Bosworth and sister to Cecily, Jen attended Evanston public schools and eventually made her way to DePaul University where she auditioned and was accepted to the Theater Conservatory. Not exactly sure which career direction she wanted to go in life, theater seemed as good a path as any. After graduation Jen was cast as the lead actor in the Steppenwolf Theater's production of The House on Mango St. Following the success of her public stage debut, Jen continued acting, starring in the television series "ER" and "Early Addition"-- both filmed and produced here in Chicago. Seeking a life of greater fortune and promise, Jen abandoned her local fame and headed west to L.A. where she promptly quit acting.

Dumping her trained skill in the land of the silver screen where actors are born and careers are launched wasn't exactly planned as Jen describes her cross country move.

"I'd come all this way to find what I was looking for and was surprised when acting wasn't it!"

That's when she began writing.

"Here I was working for this A-list Hollywood actor and I was miserable! Life in L.A. is not sustainable for very long unless you become an addict."

So Jen opened up her notebook and began putting her thoughts on paper. During her six year stay in L.A. she allowed writing to become her addiction and in turn it became her saving grace. She even took a class on how to write and perform a one person show and successfully launched and starred in her own production titled, I'm Not Trying to Get an Agent, This is My School Project. The show was a success and she toured with it in both L.A. and Chicago. Well received by her audiences and tired of living life in the fantasy of L.A. Jen decided it was time to come home.

"I was almost 30, very depressed, my father was ill---I knew it was time to come home."

Fortunately for Jen, her time spent in L.A. also provided her some life skills. She obtained two Master's degrees both in the field of counseling and was able to secure employment at a rehabilitation clinic in Chicago. Back home again, Jen was eager to get involved with local writers and polish her new found writing skills. She auditioned for a storytelling event hoping to meet the same success she had with her writing as she had out West, and was rejected.

"I didn't know what to do or where to go with this skill I had developed, so I started my own thing," Jen said.

"I knew what a sanctuary writing had become for me and I thought--there must be others out there like me!"

So with the help of a few friends, Stories at the Store was born. The mission of this program and the vision of its founder is to grow a community of writers in the Chicago land area working together to promote and showcase their work.

"Hearing your own words out loud really does matter to the human race," Jen said, then joking adds, "Or else that's just my Spiritual Psychology degree talking!"

Stories at the Store is a once a month free storytelling event hosted at The Store, emceed by Jen herself. Her humor and personal anecdotes provide a comfortable atmosphere where even new writers can feel comfortable telling their stories aloud. After living in an isolated and exclusive environment as Jen describes her time spent in L.A., Stories at the Store is meant to be an inclusive event where everyone is welcome.

"I believe everyone has a story to tell," Jen says of her event.

Stories at the Store aims to promote and develop the storytelling art by creating partnerships and networking opportunities where writers can make contacts and further their careers. After a decade spent chasing dreams and developing new talents local artist Jen Bosworth hopes that this event of her own creation can allow her to make storytelling her full time business.

"I have a lot to say and many stories to tell. I'm grateful for my life experience and all that has shaped who I have become. Storytelling gives life to my words and validates my life experience."

Jen encourages other writers to join her in her efforts. Stories at The Store can be heard the last Wednesday of every month. For more information please contact Jen at Jenbosworth(at)gmail(dot)com.


Aspiring writer Megan Fulara helps promote Stories at the Store and other literary events in Chicago. Her work has been featured at Stories at The Store. She can be reached at mfulara(at)comcast(dot)net.

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Diane Kastiel / July 13, 2012 11:44 AM

Hey, Jen - stumbled on this article via a link from Essay Fieta page. Assume this is kaput (?!) b/c The Store website seems to be out of date...still, very interested in what you're doing. I've just recently got into storytelling (the Moth) but been writing "forever," and looking to connect w/other writers and storytellers - for community, inspiration, critique, etc. So thought I'd drop you a line.... Cheers!

myles rothstein / November 19, 2012 6:18 PM

sat in front row saturday.
you offered me some of your pop. What a life!

I met Ines a couple times. She was at our condo for dinner once.
Nice lady.

My name is


Kelley / May 10, 2013 6:30 PM

I knew your dad--an incredible man.
Are you still writng? I'm with OCWW Winnetka; perhaps you could speak for us?

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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