Our director, Jill Pollack, has been busier than ever with some new happenings here at StoryStudio. When we interviewed her about exactly what is making things so crazy, we just hoped she’d have enough time to share any big news – but luckily for us, she was too excited to stick to our questions! Instead, she gave us the full inside scoop about StoryStudio’s upcoming expansion to a brand new North Shore location!
NOTE: Sadly, StoryStudio closed it’s North Shore location at the end of 2013. Happily, we’re offering more classes and events at our Chicago location!
Driving north on Sheridan Road, I’m struck by the light reflecting off Lake Michigan, the beautiful architecture, the loud silence of being outside of the city. And this makes me think of my time at Ragdale, even further north in Lake Forest, and the prairie coming alive each morning. There’s more open space here in the North Shore, and the great thing about open space is that it fuels a writer’s imagination. It’s always been the dream to expand the StoryStudio community to additional locations and we’re pleased to announce that our first satellite studio will be in Winnetka, Illinois. Chicago’s north suburbs have a long and rich literary history and StoryStudio North Shore is looking forward to providing a home for writers from Evanston to Lake Bluff.
The North Shore studio will start out with daytime classes for adults and tutoring for teens. You’ll see us adding in more programming and developing a robust youth institute. We’re especially excited to announce the new College Application Essay Prep Camp for juniors in high school.
You’ll also continue to see expanded programming at our Chicago location and more opportunities to meet new writers and become more involved in literary Chicago.
How did the idea for a second location come about?
It’s always been the plan to open up additional StoryStudio locations. Our Chicago studio will always be the “mothership,” but our philosophy of providing the right setting and the right guidance to help writers discover their unique voices, is one that easily traverses geography.
We decided to open in the North Shore first because we have a number of talented teachers who live up there and lobbied hard. Plus, the North Shore has a great arts and literary life so that StoryStudio will fit right in.
How will the North Shore location differ from the Chicago location?
All writers know that a slight change in setting can open up myriad opportunities that you hadn’t even contemplated.
The North Shore studio is located in Winnetka’s cozy downtown, a few blocks away from theBook Stall, art galleries, shops, and restaurants. There’s even a small park right next to the building. So the atmosphere is one of open space and community. Inside, the main classroom features a wall of southern-facing windows letting light in all day long. There is a private tutoring room, and a kitchen.
In addition to a change of setting, the North Shore location will feature more daytime classesand will have a major focus on youth programming.
What won’t change, is our philosophy of teaching writing and providing a home for writers wherever they are on their writing journey.
What opportunities will the new location offer current students?
The North Shore may sound far away to some of you. But StoryStudio’s second studio means that we’ll be able to partner with more organizations to offer more unique opportunities to our students who live and work within the city limits, or in any of Chicago’s suburbs.
One special program is our summer writing retreat at Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest. This year the theme is “Word by Word,” and it will offer tailored classes for those interested in generating new works of fiction, personal essay/memoir, or writing for children & young adults.
We’re also looking to partner with other north shore institutions like the wonderful independent bookstore, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court.
So what happens next?
You can also check out upcoming classes and workshops at StoryStudio North Shore:
- The Writing Workshop (Tuesdays, April 5 to May 24)
- Writing Life Stories (Two sections! Tuesdays, April 5 to May 24, or Thursdays, April 7 to May 26)
- Writing for Children and Young Adults (Wednesdays, April 27 to June 15)
- College Application Essay Camp (June 20-24 or July 11-15)