News & Events

West Town Lit Day

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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 >>

Chicago Reader on GirlForward and 826CHI

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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 >>

Partner Spotlight: YNPN Chicago’s Blog

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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. 

Associate Board’s Open House

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September 3rd—

826CHI's Associate Board invites you to enjoy wine, cheese, and conversation at our Open House on Thursday, September 17th, from 6:30 to 8pm.

Are you looking to network, give back, and have fun outside your typical 9-to-5? Want to support a well-respected, passionate, and creative organization? Join us on the 17th to learn more about how YOU can support the inspiring work of 826CHI!

Please RSVP to to make sure we have enough brie and pinot grig to go around, and spread the word to your friends and coworkers!

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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 after-school tutoring, weekend 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 their 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