My Writing Shed, "a nonprofit created by writers, for writers," serving Central Illinois by offering space "to create and connect, learn and grow, and share their experience and work with others," opened recently at 716 W. Main St. in Peoria, Ill.
In a q&a with WCBU, co-founders Jennifer Flaig, Cara Dossett and Destinee Wilson spoke about the opportunities the Shed currently offers and what is anticipated for the near future.
"We did a lot of research, when we were creating this and kind of coming up with how we were going to do it," Flaig said. "It's not very common to have a space actually designed for writers. You can go to coffee shops, you can go to bookstores, which I love, especially Lit. on Fire. But it's not the same as, you know, just having that environment. So we try to take the best of all the worlds and put it together in one space.... You pay what you can, you come in here, we'll have some writing times, people can come in and do their thing, we're going to partner with Lit. on some open mic nights and some other events, things like that."
Wilson noted that "after being, like, locked up for the last couple of years during quarantine I think that this is really like a haven for writers--where we don't have a place like this that exists outside of academia. And I think that what we're really giving people--and not just other people, like for me, as well--is worth so much more than anything else that we can offer. Just having that space where people can go as a safe haven."
Dossett added: "It's really been a lot of fun so far, with our soft opening, just being able to see people at work doing what they love to do--writing, creating. And so far people have really enjoyed it. They've just come here. They've let loose. They create. They relax. And we've already had regulars. We've had books written here. And that is so awesome."