News & Events

Audio Project Release

Audio Project Release

October 21st—

Q: What are you doing on Thursday, November 17th, 4:30-6:00 PM?

A: Celebrating the release of our After School Tutoring & Writing students’ year-long interview project, Ears as Big as My Head!

Prepare your ears for the hilarious, emotional, and poignant soundwaves of student work coming their way. Listen, laugh, cry, and marvel at the stunning work our students have done interviewing friends, family members, volunteers, and even the occasional pirate. In these professionally-edited stories, you’ll hear about birth, loss, inspiration, migration, parents’ dreams for their children, and much more. And, in case the art moves you to create your own work, we’ll have an interview station ready to record your very own oral history with a friend!

Details at our event page.

Associate Board Open House

Associate Board Open House

October 27th—

Want to join a team of energetic professionals supporting young writers? 826CHI’s Associate Board gives you a chance to network while doing important outreach for 826CHI and planning events like our annual gala, Prologue. To learn more, meet Associate Board members for hors d’oeuvres and refreshments at 826CHI on Thursday, October 27th at 6pm. See their Facebook event for more details.

Compendium Volume 5 Released!

Compendium Volume 5 Released!

October 18th—

Two years of raw youthful creativity and loving editorial work came to fruition at The Promontory in Hyde Park this week as our students read their work from the newly-released 826CHI Compendium  Volume 5. More than a hundred family members, friends, volunteers, and other supporters packed the house as students read the most moving, hilarious, and powerful work from two years of 826CHI programming, now bound in a beautful embossed cover designed by Thomas Quinn and Ambrose Holiday of Blank is the New Black. Special thanks also goes out to Kinsley Koons, without whose dedication to editing this book would not exist.

Organized by age and held together by the theme of growth, The Compendium Volume 5 is now for sale in the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. Pick up your copy today and see what enraptured every single person at our release event, and find pictures from the event HERE.

Thank You for Making Eat Your Words a Night to Savor!

Thank You for Making Eat Your Words a Night to Savor!

October 7th—

Last night’s second-annual Eat Your Words filled Ovation — and our hearts — with the warmth and generosity of more than 200 guests. Together we filled our bellies with some of the most delicious drinks and creative cuisine this fine city has to offer and raised an astounding $100,000 to support our tuition-free creative writing and publishing opporunities for youth across the city of Chicago.

On behalf of our staff, board, volunteers, partner teachers, and the 2,500+ student-authors we work with each year, we want to thank everyone who helped make this event a success —

The following chefs, mixologists, and restaurants:
Lee Wolen and Meg Galus, BOKA
Jeremy Leven, mfk.
Brian Enyart, Dos Urban Cantina
Carlos Cruz, St Lou's Assembly
Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions
Hunter Moore, Parson's Chicken & Fish
Abra Berens, Stock
Will Duncan, Moneygun
Bob Begandy, Punch House
Rory Toolan, Scofflaw
3 Floyds Brewing
Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Seasons Soda
Dark Matter Coffee
Trader Joe's

Our gracious hosts,
Spencer Lokken and Ovation 

Our masterful and ever-patient designer:
Ambrose Holiday of Blank is the New Black

The event planners of our dreams:
Leah Allen
Julia Collins

Our passionate emcee and musical guest:
JC Brooks (of JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound)

The ever-talented and inspiring guest speakers:
Dave Eggers
Anna D. Shapiro
Luis Alberto Urrea
Isabella S. and her family

Their kindness directly feeds the creativity of our growing young writers.

Volunteer with Us!

Volunteer with Us!

September 30th—

Our school year’s about to begin and we’re looking for dedicated, passionate volunteers to mentor and guide our students as they work on brave, ambitious, and creative writing projects this school year.

Ready to get started? Click HERE to apply, and email with any questions. Orientation dates below!

New Volunteer Orientations

  • October 4th, 6:30 - 8pm
  • October 5th, 12:30 - 2pm
  • November 8th, 6:30 - 8pm
  • November 9th, 12:30pm - 2pm
  • December 6th, 6:30 - 8pm
  • December 7th, 12:30pm - 2pm
  • January 10th, 12:30pm - 2pm
  • January 1tth, 6:30 - 8pm
  • January 25th,  6:30 - 8pm
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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., a store with a not-so-secret mission. Our unique products encourage creative writing, imaginative play, and trigger new adventures for agents of all ages. Every purchase supports 826CHI's free programming, so visit us at 1276 N. Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park or online to pick up spy glasses, fake moustaches, our latest student publications, and much more!