YpsiWrites is a new initiative that will place writing centers at all three locations of the Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) to extend the writing support already present for EMU students into the Ypsilanti community.
“We’ve done a lot of writing outreach on campus with the University Writing Center,” said Ann Blakeslee, a professor of English and director of the Office of Campus & Community Writing at EMU. “It’s always been a dream of ours to extend that reach into the community.”
Blakeslee and Cathy Fleischer, also a professor of English at EMU, are leading the project. They have partnered with 826 Michigan, an organization that supports youth writers, and YDL. They are receiving additional assistance from Washtenaw Literacy.
“We began a partnership with the Ypsilanti District Library last year and started thinking about how we might be able to open up community writing centers at the libraries to support teen and adult writers, and all kinds of writing.” explained Fleischer. “[We want] to really help writers gain an identity as writers, and to really start thinking of themselves as writers. And to continually improve their writing, but also enjoy the writing.”
The writing centers will support writers of all ages, levels and backgrounds. Writing coaches will include trained EMU writing tutors and professors, local teachers and other trained volunteers from the community.
YpsiWrites will provide drop ins during the week at all three YDL locations. They will run for a few hours one day a week at each location. Drop ins take place on Tuesdays at YDL-Superior, on Wednesdays at YDL-Michigan and on Thursdays at YDL-Whittaker.
Additionally, YpsiWrites will host workshops in the evenings and on Saturdays. Upcoming free programs include memoir writing workshops in September, National Novel Writing Month in November and poetry writing workshops in December. A new schedule of programs will be released in the winter.
Some programs for adults and children will occur simultaneously so a parent can attend a program at the same time as their child. These simultaneous programs also intend to bring together young and adult writers for the betterment of their writing overall.
A launch and grand opening for YpsiWrites themed “Everyone’s a Writer” will occur on Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all three YDL locations. There will be writing activities, writing prompts for writers to respond to on large boards, giveaways and at the Whittaker Road location, there will be a writers exposition and authors event.
For more information, contact Blakeslee or Fleischer at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If interested in volunteering, fill out the volunteer registration form at https://forms.gle/oCdF8CAaFjpWPWF77