Indianapolis Recognizes National Day on Writing
Saturday, October 20th with City-wide Writing Initiative
In the last few years, folks in and outside of Indianapolis have had a lot to say about the city. Locals and nonlocals have weighed in on the city’s benefits and drawbacks. Most of the individuals talking, writing, and being heard are politicians, journalists, or economic developers. What is consistently missing from those media messages are the voices of the Indianapolis community. All too often, the common and everyday experiences that shape our lives and impact community go unnoticed and memories connected to our living spaces remain undocumented. How can we talk about what our communities should be if we don’t know what they were?
Literacy and writing advocates of Indianapolis are proud to announce CityWrite, a city-wide memoir writing initiative designed to encourage writing and capture experiences. CityWrite takes place on Saturday, October 20, from 12pm to 2pm at numerous locations across Indianapolis. During CityWrite, people across the city are encouraged to come together, explore written memories and reflections associated with their community, and join in an effort to document and share these experiences.
In order to cast a wide net to capture a wide variety of voices, CityWrite will take place simultaneously at a variety of writing sites and coincides with the National Writing Project’s National Day on Writing. CityWrite is the result of a collaborative partnership between Indianapolis literacy organizations including the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, IndyReads, Second Story, the Writers’ Center of Indiana, the Hoosier Writing Project, Big Car, the Marian University Writing Center, and the IUPUI Writing Program.
During CityWrite, participants are encouraged to choose from one of over 25 CityWrite sites located across Indianapolis and attend a free, collaborative memoir writing session. Each CityWrite site will operate on Saturday, October 20th (most operate from 12pm to 2pm), and will be staffed with a facilitator to guide participants through specific writing prompts centered around time and place. Families and individuals need only show up at a CityWrite writing site on Saturday, October 20th with an eagerness to take part in the Indianapolis vision of the National Day on Writing. For those willing to share, stories and memoirs generated during CityWrite will be collected and made available online at citywriteindy.org
CityWrite is the vision of Mark Latta along with Darolyn “Lyn” Jones. As writers, community activists, and educators, Mark and Lyn have worked together for several years on a variety of memoir and ethnography projects, but each with the same vision: to encourage everyone to use their voice. Writing is a way for people to use their own language to illustrate the common and uncommon human experience we each share.
Accustomed to conducting memoir writing projects one at a time, at one location at a time (often at IMCPL branches through an ongoing partnership with the Writers’ Center of Indiana), questions began to swirl about what could happen if a coordinated and trumpeted memoir writing session could take place across the entire city, capturing numerous views and perspectives. If the results from one single memoir writing session were fundamentally transformative for those participating, how could those results be replicated across an even wider audience? To help answer this question, CityWrite sites have been chosen based on geography, cultural relevance and community perspectives. Sites will intersect all walks of life and will include libraries, bookstores, schools, churches, shelters, brewpubs, union halls, coffee shops, and retail stores.
Our goal in this inaugural year is to include 25 diverse community sites and encourage families and individuals to meet in their respective spaces on Saturday, October 20 from 12-2 p.m., write, and then share. These stories will provide a wonderful opportunity for each of us to gather, hear, and learn about the people, places, and events in our community directly from the individuals who built and represent our community.
How You Can Help:
Confirmed CityWrite Sites:
Note: this list will continue to grow as sites are being confirmed daily. For the latest locations, please visit www.citywriteindy.org
To host a CityWrite site, please email Mark Latta at mlatta AT marian.edu
Central Library (Learning Curve)
40 E. St. Clair Street
East 38th Street IMCPL Branch
5420 E. 38th Street
Haughville IMCPL Branch
221 W. Michigan Street
Nora IMCPL Branch
8625 Guilford Avenue
Fountain Square IMCPL Branch
1066 Virginia Avenue
Lawrence IMCPL Branch
7898 N. Hague Road
911 Massachusetts Ave.
Big Car Service Center
3819 Lafayette Road
Writers’ Center of Indiana
812 East 67th Street
3200 Cold Spring Road
AFL-CIO / Unite Here!
1701 West 18th Street
About The National Day on Writing:
The National Day on Writing was created as a joint project with the National Council Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Writing Project (NWP) and initially sought to work primarily with students in schools or universities. Over the years, this project has grown to include local community sites including the Indianapolis site, Hoosier Writing Project. For more information, please visit http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting and the Hoosier Writing Project website at http://www.hoosierwritingproject.org/
For More Information about CityWrite or to host a CityWrite site, please contact:
Darolyn “Lyn” Jones