News & Events

Calling All Poets

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June 19th—

Attn: Poets—the Guild Literary Complex's Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest offers the chance for YOU to win $600 for your original work of verse! Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, July 1st at 5pm. Read all about it HERE >>

Together in Flames

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June 11th—

Thanks to Curie Metropolitan High School​ for welcoming 826CHI to "Together in Flames: a Literary Extravaganza." Student authors of Around That Age, I Liked To Play With Fire joined other bold voices from CPS Shakespeare​, Poetry Out Loud​, and Louder Than A Bomb for a school-wide celebration of the literary arts.

View photos HERE >> 

Printer’s Row Book Release

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June 10th—

At Printer's Row Lit Fest on Saturday, June 6th, 826CHI celebrated the release of Around That Age, I Liked To Play With Fire, an anthology of narrative journalism penned by 10th grade students from Curie Metropolitan High School. Columbia College's Arts & Poetry Tent was packed with supporters as the ever-inspiring Natalie Moore of WBEZ opened the morning by encouraging our students to just write, rather than agonize over the nature of "being a writer." Nearly 20 students approached the microphone to share excerpts of their pieces, then autographed books for adoring fans.

You can purchase this book online, or in the brick-and-mortar Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.

Dunkin’ Donuts to Benefit 826CHI

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June 10th—

Just say no to ridiculously long brunch lines on Saturday, June 20th...and treat yourself to doughnuts and coffee at the Damen/North Dunkin' Donuts in Wicker Park. On 6/20 only, 20% of the day's profits will benefit 826CHI!

Prologue Success!

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June 9th—

On Friday, June 5th, 826CHI's Associate Board threw its 2nd-annual cocktail party of literary proportions—Prologue. Hosted at the Cliff Dwellers Club with a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan at sunset, the sold-out crowd of more than 120 of Chicago's young professionals enjoyed signature cocktails and the ambiance of a jazz pianist as 826 student-authors shared their work—alongside Chicago literary legend Stuart Dybek.

Mr. Dybek spoke with passion about the importance of programs like 826 to engage young peoples' creativity and potential then read from "Ecstatic Cahoots"—a phrase that beautifully encapsulates the wit and whimsy of 826CHI's students and programs.

826CHI would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to our sponsors;
Advisory Research
BuckleySmith LLP

And to our esteemed student-authors and special guests;
Maria Rivera, classroom teacher at Curie Metropolitan High School
Jose G., Esperanza R., and Isaias D.
Stuart Dybek

View event photos HERE, and shots from the Glitter Guts photobooth HERE.

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826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

With this in mind, we provide drop-in tutoring, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.


826CHI shares its space with The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.—run by the neighborhood's only spy supplyists—which outfits its spy-entele with the latest and greatest in espionagical wares. All funds raised through sales in the store go to support 826CHI's free programming. Visit us in Wicker Park and pick up a fresh grappling hook, carrier pigeon, envelope X-ray spray, hollowed-out can of shaving cream, or weather-resistant notebook, or shop online