Say What magazine, the Saturday Writing Program, Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival, WordPlay open mic and Workshop series, GirlSpeak (www.youngchicagoauthors.org/girlspeak), Men as Allies: Swaggerzine(www.youngchicagoauthors.org/girlspeak/2008/swagger), anything and everything centered around teens writing in the Chicagoland area.
Young Chicago Authors owes much support and thanks to generous grants from:
Chicago Tribune Foundation
The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs
Department of Children and Youth Services
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
Goldyne H. Heyman Fund for Education
Leo S. Guthman Fund
Illinois Arts Council
Illinois Humanities Council
Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation
MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at The Richard H.
Northern Trust Charitable Trust
The Poetry Foundation
Polk Bros Foundation
Prince Charitable Trusts
Sahara Enterprises, Inc.
And contributions from many individual donors and community partners.
"Chicago is home to many fantastic cultural treasures. Young Chicago Authors is one of these--word purveyors, expression freaks, powerful in thought and delivery--where the voiceless can scream and the poets are arbiters to the imaginary life in an unimaginative time."
---Luis J. Rodriguez, award-winning author of eight books in poetry, children's literature, memoir, fiction and journalism, including the best-selling Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in LA.
"Kickin' rhymes" by Nancy Drew from Chicago Parent, Feb 2003
"The Magnificent Seven: Write-Minded" by Jeff Ruby from Chicago Magazine, Jan 2003
"Opening Books, Opening Minds" by Suzy Schultz from the Chicago Sun Times, Aug 1995
"Word Association" by Mark Scheffler from the Chicago Tribune, July 1995.
//Young Chicago Authors//
WordPlay is a weekly open mic, writing workshop and performance series that attracts 40-50 teens every Tuesday night at YCA's writing center September-June. Chicago writers and artists serve as monthly artists-in-residence and featured performers.
Louder Than a Bomb Teen Poetry Festival
YCA will present its 9th annual festival in March '09. In 2008, the festival took place at Columbia College Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and the Vic Theater. We expect more than 5,000 people to attend 7 days of performances by 400 teens from 52 high schools. LTAB is the largest gathering of teen anywhere in Chicago. Teen from every neighborhood come together across ethnic, geographic and economic divides to celebrate poetry and the strength of words.
Check the Method: Check the Method is an intensive weeklong writing and performance camp that takes place during the summer and winter school breaks, concluding with a public performance. This summer, it is being presented in collaboration with Jane Adamms Hull-House Museum.
Student Performances: YCA students perform at a variety of venues throughout the year including Printer's Row Bookfair, the Steppenwolf Theater, McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jane Addams Hull-House, local libraries, community centers, and other locations.
Watch the Steps Press is YCA's youth-led publishing wing that plans, edits, produces and distributes publications. Planned for 08-09: Say What magazine #8 will be published in fall 2008 (circ. 22,000). Say What is the voice of Chicago's dynamic young writing community and will be distributed to 150 Chicago Public Schools.
GirlSpeak Webzine #4 was published in August 2008. YCA expects more than 400 submissions from young women around the world. GirlSpeak is a pro-woman, arts and activism workshop series in which young women write, curate and publish a webzine: girlspeak.org
Anthologies: 1-3 anthologies are published that showcase writing by YCA students.
Chapbooks: 7-10 chapbooks are published each year. Chapbooks are single-author short collections by YCA students. Chapbooks are often the first publication by emerging writers which open doors to publishing and reading opportunities.
The Saturday Writing Program is a free three-year intensive writing program that serves 67 students from diverse communities. The Saturday Writing Program is offered in a series of five, 5-6 week sessions from September-June.
Men As Allies: YCA offered the Men As Allies program in Summer 2008 for Eight young men of color to discuss and organize around gender discrimination, sexism and violence against women. The program culminated in the "Safe Around Me" campaign, and the publication of the Swagger webzine.
Intersections Youth Literary Conference: YCA will offer the 2nd annual Intersections Youth Literary Conference in November 2008. More than 200 high school students will attend workshops on authors including Toni Morrison, Patricia Smith, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Angela Davis and Charles Burnett among others.
Global Writes is a three-year partnership between YCA, Global Writes in New York, and Chicago Public Schools, Department of Fine Arts. Through Global Writes, YCA offers creative writing and performance poetry workshops at: Brighton Park, Pope, and Chalmers elementary schools. YCA teachers are working in 7 classrooms and will work with the same students during their 6th, 7th and 8th grade years.
Englewood Arts Education Project: YCA is entering its third year working in Lindblom Math and Science Academy. YCA provides the integration of literary arts (including creative writing, poetry, and performance) within Lindblom's curricula. In 2008, YCA added Englewood's Gage Park High School to the project.
YCA School Workshops: YCA offers writing and performance workshops in 6-12 Chicago Public Schools throughout the year
YCA Changes Lives!
by Urszula H.
who gave YCA a 5 star rating
A scholarship Saturday program for high school students that lets them write creatively on any topics and after the 3 years gives them money for college. It is the most innovative way to help inner city youth. Empower them by allowing self expression, and then encourage them, by giving money for further education.
I was fortunate to be in the early years of this program, and it helped me so much. I had a rough time when I was a teen. Everything was fine academically, but I was a depressed teen. This place really helped me build my confidence. I felt like I always had a place to go and be safe. The environment is so nurturing.
Through this program, I saw cool cutting edge plays, ate Mongolian food for the first time, developed a liking for old films, won an award for creative short fiction at the U of W at Whitewater high school writing competition, read one of my short stories at a book reading with Sara Paretsky at the Chopin Theatre, and many many other things.
If any of you have high school age kids and live in the city of Chicago, get your kids involved. It is a hard program to get into, but so worth it. If any of you are wondering what to do with your money, this place runs almost exclusively on donations and some grants, and will put your money to good use. You will feel good that maybe you helped get a kid a life they may never been able to lead. Seriously, this place did that much for some students.
Dr. Bob Boone and his wife deserve ovations and praises. I hope they find this, because I'm not sure if they know the difference they have made in my life.
BooksSay What Magazine, Girlspeak, Men as Allies: Swaggerzine, Watch the Steps Press
HeroesDr. Bob Boone, the founder of YCA
Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy through creative writing, performance and publication. YCA provides student-centered, artist-led workshops free to youth ages 13-19 in schools and communities. Our process emphasizes artistic development, mentorship, and creating safe spaces where a young person's life matters. We believe that through their words, young people can promote tolerance and remove barriers to transform their lives and society.
1180 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
phone (773) 486-4331
fax (773) 486-0326
Young Chicago Authors was founded in 1991 by Dr. Robert S. Boone, a published author and educator with extensive experience teaching teens in Chicago urban and suburban settings. He assembled a group of educators, writers and philanthropists who all believed that young people should have more exposure to creative writing. In the first four years, YCA started up an intensive three-year Saturday program for students who had demonstrated a strong interest in creative writing. Fifteen sophomores would join the program each year and remained in the program through high school. Upon graduation these students would receive $2,000 per year for college. By 1995, forty-five students were taking part in this Saturday program and another fifteen were in college. Headquarters was a converted apartment on the second floor of a building on Division Street in Wicker Park.
In this early period, YCA also offered workshops at schools and agencies. These classes, whether they were held at local high schools or organizations or in distant parts of Chicago, were all young people, especially those who had yet to discover the excitement of creative writing. Requests for these classes grew every year as teachers in the schools reported that they and their students regarded these programs as an effective motivating tool.
YCA was able to fulfill its mission with the help of a devoted and diverse board of directors and the generous support of the philanthropic community. Early supporters, such as The Illinois Arts Council, the Northern Trust, and the Chicago Community Trust were intrigued by the program.s concentration on the single skill of creative writing. The operating budget during these years was $75,000. In addition, YCA began building a special fund for the scholarship students.
In 1995, YCA began offering activities year-round. Most of these were for any young people, not just the scholarship students. Summer activities included writing classes that met several times during the week, readings by poets and novelists, opportunities for performance, trips to theaters, literary events and college campuses. YCA also gave students a chance to work as teacher aides in summer school classes at local elementary schools.
By the end of 1997, the activities of YCA were firmly established as resources for dozens of community service agencies and public schools. The budget had grown to $145,000. More than 750 students took part in programs annually, most of these living at or below poverty level with 40% from African American and 40% from Latino households. The workshop space was expanded to the entire second floor.
At present, YCA now directly serves 2,500 teens a year through workshops, performance and publication programs, and reaches 30,000 young people and adults through readership of its publications and audiences at its events.
YCA continues to expand. The Writing Teachers Collective, formed by and for writers who teach and teachers who use writing in the classroom, offers workshops on special topics in creative writing. The WTC has been integral in several initiatives, such as the Chicago Teen Poetry Slam, WordWide, GirlSpeak, and Say What, a literary magazine tying together creative writing with youth culture and personal expression. Now the focus of YCA is to reach as many youth as possible through our diverse and growing programs, as well as area and international teaching communities.
Executive Director // C.C. Carter
email@example.com , 773-486-4331 x1
Founder // Dr. Robert Boone
firstname.lastname@example.org , 847-835-5430
Development Director // Lisa Sousa
email@example.com , 773-486-4331 x2
Workshops Manager // Toni Asante Lightfoot
firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-486-4331
Performances Manager // Robert Telfer
Contact about YCA performance programs, including Louder Than a Bomb and Word Play.
email@example.com , 773-486-4331 x3
Publications Manager // Natasha Tarpley
Contact about YCA publications, including Say What Magazine and Watch the Steps Press
firstname.lastname@example.org , 773-486-4331 x3
Layout by CoolChaser
Who I'd like to meet:
Any Youngin's (and oldin's) that can, or would like to learn how to, write. Be it poetry, short story.. whatev. bring the creative juices, WE'VE GOT CUPS!
Feel free to answer any questions; you can also contact Robbie Q. via email @ email@example.com or Gabriel Charles via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- Status: Single
- Here for: Networking, Friends
- Hometown: chiCAGO
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer
- Education: High school
- Occupation: flippin cliches like Cirque De Soleil