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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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Miscellaneous Thu Nov 19 2015

Chicago Publishers Resource Center: A Space for Chicago's Literary & Visual Culture

chiprcFor an avid consumer of all things literary, Chicago is a relative paradise. Small presses produce top quality work by local authors, there are readings and lectures every night, the CPL has an ample calendar of worthy events, and there are book sales, fairs, and stores so popular and personable they develop following. The city's literary community is accessible and inviting for its consumers and fans. But being on the creative side isn't necessarily as open, and writing, drawing, and self publishing in this city can even be a little isolating.

In 2013 John Wawrzaszek (a GB Book Club contributor) started a nonprofit aimed at fostering a common space for writers, artists, designers and self publishers. Modeled after Portland's Independent Publishing Resource Center, the Chicago Publishers Resource Center is a not-for-profit headquartered in Wicker Park. They provide a free space for workshops, community meetings, art exhibits, readings, and classes.

One of the longer running programs at CHIPRC is the Wasted Pages Writing Workshop. "It was my first winter in Chicago, and Wasted Pages helped get me through it," says current workshop leader Elizabeth O'Connell Thompson. "It's not an easy thing to drag yourself into the slush when you could be warm at home, but I've found that the community spirit of the CHIPRC gets you going, and makes you want to keep going." The Wasted Pages Workshop meets weekly during December and January and accepts 12 writers of varying skill levels.

In addition to Wasted Pages, CHIPRC offers a wide array of programming and makes its space available to meet needs of Chicago's eclectic arts and literary scene. Catherine Hannah found a welcoming space for what she was seeking. She says, "I wanted to find the female comics community and be a part of it." She reached out to CHIPRC to create that community, and now leads a collective of trans and cis female cartoonists, artists and writers that meets on the last Wednesday of every month.

Are you looking to join a workshop in Chicago or looking for a space to hold a reading or publish a chapbook? Maybe you should think about reaching out to CHIPRC. Elizabeth O'Connell Thompson nicely summarizes what CHIPRC has to offer when she says, "If you're outside of a creative scene, it can be intimidating to try to break in, but there is no breaking required here -- just come say hi."

Right now CHIPRC is in the midst of a fundraising effort. Check out their classes, workshops, and upcoming events, and consider joining the community.

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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