News & Events

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Chapbook Release Party: Imaginary Lands

November 24th—

Our After-School Tutoring & Writing students’ first chapbook of the school year follows an Imaginary Lands theme. Students have created their own countries, including details like its national anthem, population, flora and fauna, the role of government and laws, celebrities of note, and local customs. Local artists have created maps of these imaginary lands, which will accompany our students’ writing—like in Chronicles of Narnia or Game of Thrones.

A few examples of Imaginary Lands included: Unicornapolois, Stickfigula, Woodland, Peanut Land, Aqua Land, and Muffin Land, which, according to 2nd grader Neftali, “It’s nowhere but your head.”

We’ll kick off the evening with a community potluck (HOMEMADE FLAUTAS, Y’ALL), followed by readings from our student-authors. This is our first book release in our new home and we’re so excited to pack the room in support of our amazing students. Come one, come all! Join our Facebook event >>

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#INTERNviews: Neeka and Katie

November 21st—

In this final (!) installation of #INTERNviews, Katie and Neeka discuss their celebrity look-a-likes, tandem bike rides with famous authors, and a Very Swayze Thanksgiving.

Name: Neeka Stewart
Code Name: Neekachu
Intern track and future goals: I am a Volunteer & Outreach Intern. I coordinate volunteer shifts and make sure our lovely tutors and volunteers are approved and ready to help out here at 826CHI!

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
I get mistaken for Beyoncé sometimes but only by people who clearly don't know what she looks like, because let's be honest, she is flawless!

If you could ride on a tandem bike with one author from history, living or dead, who would it be?
If I could ride a tandem bike into the sunset with J.K Rowling and talk about Harry Potter forever, I'd be pretty darn happy.

Best Thanksgiving memory?
We always had Thanksgiving at my Aunt Karen's house with my whole extended family and if I was lucky, my big cousins would let me play their video games! Oh, and the yummy food, of course!

6-word memoir:
Always looking for a fun adventure!

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Name: Katie Watts
Code Name: Quinn Peters. This was my pen name when I was a kid, writing mystery stories on my typewriter.   
Intern track and future goals: Communications. (If you don't "like" this, I'll know.) Right now I’m working on my master's in nonprofit management. I think as long as I’m working with creative people in a creative environment I’ll be happy.

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? Who would play you in the movie version of your life? 
I get compared to Kristen Wiig about once a week. I think she should play me, because she’s hilarious, self-deprecating, super awkward, and a total babe (obviously). I'd offer Bill Murray a cameo. I'm still waiting for one in real life.

If you could ride on a tandem bike with one author from history, living or dead, who would it be?
Kurt Vonnegut. We’d wear tweed, and I would take him on a picnic.

Best Thanksgiving memory?
Last year, some friends and I had "a Very Swayze Thanksgiving." Pie and Point Break? Road House and stuffing?! Come on. (We're reviving it this year. Dirty Dancing and crescent rolls, anyone?)

6-word memoir:
La dee da, la dee da

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#INTERNviews: Micki and Sheela

November 18th—

This week, Micki and Sheela discuss time traveling with Socrates and Donald Draper, being immortal for a day, and ephemeral pleasures in writing, love and...lunch.

Name: Micki Burton
Code Name: Mrs. Iglesias
Intern track and goals: Development Intern. My goal is to make a living in writing and/or comedy, or, at the very least, find a good way to use the English Literature major I have.

If you could time travel, where would you go? Why? I would definitely go to the 1960s, but only if I could live in the universe of Mad Men. I long for the time of tie dye and the release of The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, but I'd really want to be brainstorming with Peggy and Don in the SC&P offices.

If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? I would take a quick trip to space so I could float around in zero gravity without worry.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? When's Lunch?

6-word memoir: I'm hungry and I just ate.

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Name: Sheela Kumar
Code Name: Agent Condor. A California Condor swooped over me once while I was hiking in Point Reyes, CA. I had no idea a bird could be that terrifying - you know, just one bird, because Hitchcock showed how scary they would be if they coordinated.
Intern track and goals: Development. I am excited to learn from the best (Tammy Fickel) and would love to write a successful grant for 826CHI.

If you could time travel, where would you go? Why? Athens, Ancient Greece during the life of Socrates.

If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? I would hang-glide from peak to peak in the Canadian Rockies close to where I grew up.

What would you name the autobiography of your life? Ephemeral Pleasures in Writing and Love

6-word memoir: Sought to hold meaning in words.

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Chillfest at The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co.

November 13th—

Mark your calendars for this Saturday, November 15— Chillfest (in conjunction with the Wicker Park-Bucktown Chamber of Commerce) at The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co!

Get started on your holiday shopping while Honey & the 45s, The Midnight Kicks, Hazel and The Grimms, and The Lifeline perform all-acoustic sets, all day long.

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#INTERNviews: Kayla and Laura

November 11th—

In the fourth installment of #INTERNviews, Kayla and Laura discuss their goals working with young writers, their epic living room concerts, and (literally) climbing mountains.

Name: Kayla Schwalbe
Code Name: Sylvana Cahoots
Intern track and goals: Publications! I'm excited to learn more about desktop publishing and its impact on young writers! Specifically, I'm interested in getting more comfortable with InDesign and learning about curriculum development.

You get to have a personal concert in your living room. Who is the opening act? Who headlines?
The Civil Wars would be magically reunited to open, Bon Iver would headline. It would be the definition of epic.

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen or place you’ve been before, what would you paint?
There's a ruined ancient city called Termessos just outside Antalya, Turkey. On part of the trail, you walk up a hill, and at the top you can see the theater, the valley thousands of feet below, and the mountains. The theater is amazingly well preserved, and it's perched on a cliff. On clear days, you can sit there and see all the way to the sea. I'd want to paint that, and capture the vast sense of time and space there.

Write the truest sentence that you know.
Happiness is a choice made over and over in dark hours and low places.

6-word memoir:
Gut over heart; mind over matter

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Name: Laura Myers
Code Name: Spiderman
Intern track and goals: Programming intern.  I participate in the In-School project at Mitchell Elementary School, in After-School Tutoring & Writing, and Wednesday morning Field Trips.  My future goals are to understand what motivates young students to write, and how our society can encourage those reasons beyond school, as well as how creative writing skills strengthen other aspects of schooling. Another goal is to have a student like working with me so much, they ask to be put with me again and again.

You get to have a personal concert in your living room. Who is the opening act? Who headlines?
The opening act would be Bowling For Soup, because I loved listening to them when I was younger and they seem awesome, and then Yellowcard, who I've loved since sixth grade.

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen or place you’ve been before, what would you paint?
This past summer, my boyfriend and I hiked to the top of the Estes Cone, a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I loved being there with him. We were over 11,000 feet up, and the view was absolutely amazing, you could see the Rocky Mountains stretching ahead of you in every direction.  It took us six hours and the Clif Bars and peanut butter sandwiches we ate at the top was some of the best food I've ever had.  I'd paint that.

Write the truest sentence that you know.
"In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life: it goes on." ~Robert Frost

6-word memoir:
Shy people have the loudest minds.

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