News & Events

World Release: Around That Age, I Liked To Play With Fire

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June 2nd—

Please join 826CHI as we celebrate the release of our 2015 Young Authors' Book Project, Around That Age I Liked To Play With Fire. 

This anthology features 100+ personal narratives by 10th graders from Curie Metropolitan High School, which explore themes of power and place. These young authors have written about extraordinary real-life circumstances in bold and courageous prose, including stories of overcoming and transforming life's most intense moments. The book features a foreword by Alex Kotlowitz, and WBEZ's Natalie Moore will share a few words at the release party.

When: Saturday, June 6th, noon-12:30pm
Where: Printer's Row Lit Fest, in the Poetry Tent

Summer Programming

June 2nd—

We have an exciting summer ahead, chock-full of creative writing Camps and Workshops! Please note that registration has closed and all programs are full and fully waitlisted, with the exception of:

>> What We Tweet About When We Tweet About Love (for rising 9-12 graders)
>> Your Family Coat of Arms (for rising 3-6 graders)

If you have any questions about your child's registration status, please call 773-772-8108.

Prologue: A Cocktail Party of Literary Proportions

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June 2nd—

THIS FRIDAY: A fantastic view of Lake Michigan. Luxe raffle prize packages. Delicious hors d'oeuvres. Open bar and signature cocktails ("Lime and Punishment"!). Best-selling author Elizabeth Berg. Readings from our esteemed student-authors. AND, an appearance from one of Chicago's literary legends.

All this and more awaits at Prologue, the 826CHI Associate Board's cocktail party of literary proportions. Now is the time to secure your ticket—and help write the future for Chicago's youth.

CLICK HERE to purchase a ticket today!

When: Friday, June 5th, 7-10pm
Where: The Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S Michigan Ave, Floor 22
Tickets: $85 regular, $125 VIP
More info:

Chapbook Release Recap

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June 1st—

Thank you to each of the families, volunteers, students, and friends who cheered our young authors on last Thursday! An especially huge thanks to intern Kayla Schwalbe for managing the book's production and designing the layout, Miden Wood for illustrating the cover, and Mike Hernandez for penning a beautiful, inspiring foreword.

The ‪release of our spring chapbook, Everything You Ever Imagined Was There​ was a huge success, as was the ferocious tutor/student game of Red Light/Green Light that followed. For more stories about tutor-crushes, sinister pigeons, and time-traveling former presidents, pick up your copy of the book in the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. for just $5.

Check out dozens of event photos here!

Together in Flames: A Literary Extravaganza

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May 21st—

On Monday, June 8th, 826CHI will celebrate the student-authors of Around That Age, I Liked To Play With Fire at a school-wide literary extravaganza at Curie Metro High School. These talented young authors will read alongside other bold voices from Louder Than A Bomb, Poetry Out Loud, CPS Shakespeare, and the Curie English Department's Students of the Month. 

Families, caregivers, student-writers, community members, and 826CHI volunteers are all welcome to attend—please RSVP on the volunteer calendar. Immediately following the reading, please join us in the courtyard for a reception to celebrate each of these young authors.

Curie Metro HS Auditorium, 1st floor
12:05 - 1:55pm

Curie Metro HS Courtyard, 1st floor
1:55 - 2:45pm

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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 drop-in tutoring, after-school 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 his or her 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