Still painfully sunburnt from the Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, I thought I’d take some time to promote an LGBT writers’ association based here in the Windy City that I—being young and oblivious—didn’t even know existed until now. NewTown Writers is a group dedicated to promoting LGBT literature and authors, brining writers together for workshops and publication, and has been doing so for the last thirty-one years.
NewTown puts out two publications—one a printed literary mag, and one an online ‘zine. These publications feature LGBT authors and LGBT-related works of fiction and non-fiction alike, as well as poetry and drama, and all directed toward opening up and filling out the field of queer writing.
Whether you’re a writer or just a lover of LGBT creative work, you should check out the aforementioned publications. If your interest extends beyond reading and you seek to interact, NewTown holds bi-weekly workshops for writers, and separate monthly workshops specifically dedicated to playwriting. Even aside from these, they hold a gaggle of gay writing-related events in various formats, working to provide the Chicago LGBT writing community with all the tools and support they need to become not only successful as writers, but as a unified group of professionals in the craft of writing.
Truthfully, it can be intimidating. Penetrating the ranks of a well-established writing group whose primary members are assumedly well out of college and have been hardened and enriched by a whole lifetime of experiences could be difficult. It’s impossible to know how receptive they might be to new blood and ideas. But given the way their goals are oriented, I feel it’s worth a shot. Even if publication doesn’t seem like your thing, interacting in groups and workshops is an almost endlessly beneficial experience with lasting rewards on the work you bring to the table, as well as your overall skills as a writer.
Still dubious? I invite you to browse the site linked at the top of this post and learn more for yourself, or even take the lazy approach and feel out their Facebook.