News & Events


Fall Programs Begin!

August 21st—

We‘ve had a rejuvenating summer, but we’re already hungry for homework and writing projects this Fall, when students and volunteers will once again fill our writing center. Please take out your pencils for some updates on program dates and waitlists!

After-School Tutoring & Writing
Begins September 26th. Though this program is at capacity, you can now apply for the waitlist here. Please note that this waitlist is not a registration form and does not guarantee admittance into the program.

Field Trips
Begin September 12th. This program is at capacity for the 2016-17 school year, and the waitilist is closed.

In-School Partnerships
We are *this close* to sharing the exciting news of this year’s partnerships. Stay tuned!

Begin September 24th. Registration for all Fall 2016 Workshops is full, and the waitlists are closed.

If you have questions about any of our programs, please email

Staff Retreat

August 17th—

The 826CHI staff is returning from a beautiful two-day team building and planning retreat, thanks in large part to the generous folks who hosted and fed us! Lunch at Saint Lou's Assembly, digging into our values at Gensler, talking through communication styles and workplace norms in Forum Studio / Clayco's sunny offices, then decompressing with a boat ride thanks to the The Electric Boat Company.

We are a happy team, but ready for naps.

Welcome, Maria and Mike!

Welcome, Maria and Mike!

August 12th—

Please join us in welcoming our two newest team members; Director of Programs Maria Villarreal and Communications Coordinator Mike Hernandez! We're definitely about to blow our cover with all this excitement.

High School Writers Camp!

High School Writers Camp!

August 11th—

High School Writers Camp, our summer residency program hosted at DePaul University, presented their creative work to their families and 826CHI staff on August 11 after two weeks of engaging prompts and inspiration from professional writers. Led by the intrepid Maria Rivera and speakers like Jennifer Steele, Khadijah Kysia, and Peter Sagal, 826CHI's students experimented with the boundaries of literary genres and discussed their own unique writing processes. They played studied screenplays, played surrealist games, and even used tarot cards to spark creativity.


Students used these creative catalysts, as well as advice like, “enter the house without going through the front door,” “write from the gut,” and “read everything, even bad writing” to work on poetry, short stories, and excerpts from longer projects.  These creations, which address topics like struggle and resilience, pulsate with the growth of young gifts being nurtured.

We would like to give an immense shout-out to Maria Rivera, Dave Welch, and DePaul University. Thank you also to our speakers Ericka L. Sánchez, Jennifer Steele, Stacy Snyder, Khadijah Kysia, Jim Sandherr, Jose Daniel Rivas, Michele Morano, Peter Sagal, and Dan Stolar.

Register for Fall Workshops

August 4th—

Registration is now open for our fall Weekend Workshops season! We've put together a lineup of collaborative, engaging, and interdisciplinary creative writing-focused Workshops for students in grades 1-12. Priority enrollment is reserved for students from low-income families and/or English Language Learners, though we encourage students of all backgrounds to apply.

Visit our Workshops page for details and application details. Deadline is midnight on Sunday, August 21st, 2016.

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