News & Events

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Eat Your Words Success

October 12th—

We are unbelievably grateful for and completely floored by the generosity shown to us last Thursday night at our inaugural Eat Your Words gala. We raised $130,000 to support our creative writing programs, which we offer free-of-cost to thousands of Chicago students each year. Now settle in and make yourself comfortable, because we have a ton of amazing people to thank...

THANK YOU to the culinary superstars who donated their time and delicious food and drink— Marty Fosse, Anteprima; Lee Wolen, BOKA; Josh Kulp & Christina Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken; Danny Mejia, mfk.; Abra Berens, Local Foods; Mark Hellyar, Momotaro; Patrick Sheerin, Trenchermen; Kevin Cuddihee, TWO; Hunter Moore and Charlie Schott, Parson's Chicken & Fish; Julie Matthei and Ellen King, Hewn; Danny Shapiro, Scofflaw; Dustin Drankiewicz, Punch House; Katherine Duncan, Katherine Anne Confections; Jen Mason and Patrick Cloud, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits; Two Brothers Coffee Brew & Eatery; Revolution Brewing; and Seasons Soda.

THANK YOU to those who contributed time and talent to our program—to Steve Dolinsky (The Hungry Hound) for emceeing our evening and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for recording a message for us. To authors extraordinaire Cristina Henriquez (The Book of Unknown Americans), Monica Eng (WBEZ's Chewing the Fat), and 826 co-founder Dave Eggers for sharing food memories. To 826CHI student and Food Network star Madison G, who served as the evening's resident food critic.

THANK YOU to GlitterGuts and Jasmin Shah for beautifully photographing the evening (View all photos HERE).

THANK YOU to our Maitre'd-level sponsors, who took a chance on a first-year event and infused the evening with their generosity— Demeter Millwork, Independent Publishers Group, William Blair, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Dunkin' Donuts, and Wingstop.

THANK YOU to Warby Parker, whose cheerful volunteers bussed tables like nobody's business and brought delight and energy to our night.

and, finally, THANK YOU to each and every guest who joined us in Ovation's beautiful space. We are blown away by your generosity and your firm belief in our mission to bring creative writing programs to Chicago youth. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

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West Town Lit Day

September 17th—

On Saturday, September 26th, 826CHI and the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply are partnering with local organizations and businesses to celebrate all things literary in the Wicker Park and West Town neighborhoods.

Read local and shop small all along our neighborhood literary crawl! Page through zines at Quimby’s, renew your library card at the West Town branch, and swing by our Secret Agent Supply to stock up on the latest student-authored publications! More info here >>

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Chicago Reader on GirlForward and 826CHI

September 16th—

If you're not yet familiar with GirlForward, this Chicago Reader feature will catch you up to speed on the incredible work they do with adolescent refugee girls. By providing a safe space for individual mentorship, community building, and academic instruction, GirlForward empowers girls to be strong, confident, and independent.

They wrote beautiful, brave memoirs with 826CHI this summer— read all about it >>

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Partner Spotlight: YNPN Chicago’s Blog

September 14th—

Our friends at YNPN (Young Nonprofit Professionals Network) Chicago just featured us in their blog's Partner Spotlight series—CLICK HERE for exclusive insights into what 826CHI has cooking for the coming school year.

YNPN is an excellent resource for those interested in growing their connections within Chicago's nonprofit community. They regularly host networking meetups, provide professional development options, and share news about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. Check 'em out! >>

“Bad Idea Book Tour” at 826CHI

September 7th—

Three innovative, critically-acclaimed authors extraordinaire—Colin Winnette (FondlyMcSweeneys), Amelia Gray (The New Yorker), and Aaron Burch (Another Chicago Magazine)—are embarking on a grand midwestern book tour: The Bad Idea Book Tour. They'll each be reading from their latest works in our Secret Agent Supply on Monday, September 28th at 7pm. Following the reading, there will be a brief Q&A and an opportunity to get your books signed, including Winnette's latest: Haints Stay.

This event is free and open to the public—bring your friends! And follow their tour on Twitter: @badideatour.


Amelia Gray ​is the author of four books, most recently Gutshot (FSG 2015). Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She lives in Los Angeles.

Aaron Burch​ is the founding editor of Hobart and the author of three books, most recently Backswing (Queen’s Ferry Press). He lives in Ann Arbor, MI, where he teaches at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University. 

Colin Winnette ​is the author of five books, including the SPD Best Seller Coyote (Les Figues Press 2015) and Haints Stay (Two Dollar Radio 2015). His writing has appeared in McSweeneys, Lucky Peach, The American Reader, and Gulf Coast. He is the associate editor of PANK magazine, and he lives in San Francisco. 

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