The Writers Series of Traverse City is thrilled to report that it recently received an $18,750 grant from the Michigan CoNational Endowment for the Arts/Artworksuncil for Arts and Cultural Affairs, which included federal dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts. To read more about MCACA, please click here.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural AffairsAdditionally, MCACA granted an additional $12,000 to Front Street Writers, a for-credit class that is offered for free by the Writers Series of Traverse City in partnership with Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS). These two groups have collaborated over the last three years to provide a professional writer-in-residence with a Master of Fine Arts degree and a TCAPS language arts instructor, who team teach a full-year, for-credit language arts class. The course provides advanced instruction beyond what has ever been offered and helps students hone their creative writing skills. The $12,000 grant will be applied against the salary of the writer-in-residence, which is provided by the Writers Series.

State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, lauded the grant and the efforts and willingness of Gov. Rick Snyder to support the arts.

“For me, it’s about encouraging young writers and honing their skills,” he said. “They also bring these great authors to northern Michigan so we get a chance to hear what they’re thinking and writing. … We have a beautiful out-of-doors here, but there are a lot of days when you also need indoor beauty.”

The Writers Series of Traverse City is a nonprofit that exists to promote the magic and power of storytelling in the community and area schools. We have brought to Traverse City some of the best writers in the country, including Peter Matthiessen, Sebastian Junger, Richard Ford, Geraldine Ford, and Anna Quindlen. These conversations on stage are subsequently aired on Interlochen Public Radio with a reach of well more than 100,000 listeners.

Moreover, these writers often visit public school classrooms, including the Front Street Writers, to talk about writing, editing, their books, the importance of writing and storytelling, and their own careers.

The $18,750 grant will help fund four areas of general operations of the Writers Series, including:

– Main-stage author events at the City Opera House throughout the year, including an additional large collaborative event during the National Cherry Festival in July.

– The Front Street Writers, a for-credit course offered to five-county area students.

– Creative writing workshops for the general public. These are short duration, tuition-based classes taught by qualified writers or the writer-in-residence, depending on the workshop’s topic. Scholarship opportunities are available for anyone demonstrating financial need.

– Publication of the annual National Writers Series Literary Journal that features creative writing from all students and adults who participate in Front Street Writers and writing workshops.