Calling all writers to GrubStreet

UMass Boston student Sofia writes in her notebook.

When writing for this section, I notice I usually cover the visual arts, music, movies or theater. However, this week I decided to highlight the one art form that I love: writing! Writing seems to be dismissed more times than not, but writing is such a dynamic way to express yourself. And just like the other forms of art, there are many layers to writing. You can explore numerous genres like nonfiction, poetry, narrative, fiction and more. But even then, these genres break down into sub-genres. Self-expression goes even deeper with factors such as character or world development. Needless to say, there’s a lot more that goes into writing than people may assume.

Writing can be difficult, especially when it comes to creating and adding layers to your work. Sometimes things can remain monotone and lack excitement. I’ve been there, especially when I've experienced writer's block.

However, there are resources in Boston for writers to expand their skills and emerge themselves into a diverse learning environment.

For this week, I wanted to highlight a writing center in Boston called GrubStreet. Located in Seaport, GrubStreet uses inclusive short classes, workshops and programs to unite the writing community of Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods. They even have opportunities for consulting and more professional advice and tips.

GrubStreet is trying to keep writing vital, relevant and thriving as they “believe that narrative transforms lives, builds bridges, and produces empathy” (1). When explaining why they believe writing matters, GrubStreet writes, “Creative writing explores and documents the human condition and creates meaning in the lives of those who practice it. We believe the act of writing can change both ourselves and the world” (1). Upon learning more about this company, I could tell that they truly care about the writing community and its value.

They emphasize the unity of writers, and that is where more of their learning and growing comes from. They say, “All writers need insightful readers, inspiration, support, and honest feedback. That’s what GrubStreet provides, in a supportive and thriving community” (1). Supportive is the keyword there. Getting to where I am now took a lot of constructive criticism and the help of other writers. However, it’s a daunting experience when you feel as if the person critiquing you is unsupportive or even judgmental. I remember being held back when it came to receiving “help” from the wrong types of people.

GrubStreet works to eliminate that type of issue and enables a space that is safe and encouraging. This type of positive environment is a sure way to grow your skills and expand your work.

Some of their classes and programs do come with a price, however, they do offer many free sessions for newcomers to partake in, to get a feel of the staff, the workload, etc.

For example, they are hosting a free discussion in Seaport on Oct. 13, surrounding one of their programs called "The Novel Generator". At this session, you can ask questions about this program and look into the requirements for applying. If you wish to write a novel and work with professional instructors and fellow writers, then this program would be a great opportunity for you!

If you want something a little more simple, GrubStreet is hosting a free remote “Grubby Desk Lunch” session. This is all done by video calling and will be a 45-minute session on Oct. 20 where writers will eat their lunch, share their ideas, and partake in some engaging and fun writing exercises.

Sessions like these are perfect for individuals who may need a little extra help brainstorming and coming up with some new methods and techniques.

Again GrubStreet prides itself on its supportive atmosphere. A session like this would be constructive and could possibly even make you some new friends who share the same interests as you.

Overall, if you’re a writer on campus looking to take your writing a step forward, I highly recommend you take a look at GrubStreet’s Headquarters in Seaport.

Do note that the majority of their classes and programs require proof of vaccination before entering them.

They not only want their space to be safe mentally, but also physically!

1) https://grubstreet.org/about/

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