The Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters—our former incarnation, before 2018—supported itself through one (very) generous benefactor, with ancillary support from individual GLCL members. As our organization evolved into Write616 and our previous champion stepped away, we’ve suspended our membership model, because our programming is free to everyone and we didn’t want to erect barriers to engagement. At the same time, we’ve started offering honoraria to our event facilitators, because we believe that authors should be paid for their expertise. You don’t need to be math whiz to know that reducing revenue and increasing expenses does not promote long-term sustainability!
Yet. It’s our mission to be open. To be accessible. To support authors. For us to not drop memberships and to not fairly compensate facilitators seems like an affront to the very values we hold most dear.
We need your help.
Write616 enjoys very minimal operational expenses. Our board members do not draw a salary; in fact, they’re some of the most generous donors to the organization. We’re reinvesting our funds back into the literary community. That way, we all prosper.
To remain a viable and long-term source of support for our local literary community, however, we need your support.
Our individual sponsors support Write616’s programming and operations through a monthly gift, offered through Patreon.
Donors offer a one-time gift in support of our programs and services. These gifts are generally undesignated, so we can apply the funds to where the greatest need lies. Either individuals or organizations may be donors.
All one-time donors with gifts of more than $1,000 are recognized in our annual report.
Our partners work with us to advance specific programs. In exchange for their support, they earn co-branding on specific Write616 programs and recognition at events and in our annual report. Please use the Contact Us form to discuss partnership opportunities with a member of the board executive committee.
- Programs—we currently offer or are planning to offer 13 distinct programs under seven broad categories. Each program admits to a different budget for supplies, venues, facilitator honoraria and related activities. We welcome a marquee supporter (often, a corporate partner) willing to fund a minimum of 75 percent of the budget for a given program.
- Writers Under 30 … connecting younger authors to network, to write and to share their work. $500
- Craft Workshops … monthly focused in-services addressing specific questions of craft. $1,000
- Therapeutic Writing … writing to support people working through grief, trauma or loss. Not yet launched. $1,000
- Retreat and Residency Program … weekend get-aways to write, or a focused residency to help authors cross the finish line. Not yet launched. $2,000
- Get Rejected … informal gatherings to encourage authors to submit their works to anthologies, contests, literary journals, agents or publishers. $500
- Get Pressed … monthly seminars educating aspiring authors about the business aspects of writing for publication. Co-sponsored by Caffeinated Press. $1,000
- Writers Squared … two or three seasoned published authors are brought together to discuss the finer points of their craft, their experiences and their guidance for aspiring authors. $2,000
- Get Feedback … each month, writers of short fiction, short non-fiction and poetry assemble to review and critique each others’ work. $500
- Get Funds … community fundraising events at one of the more enlightened breweries or distilleries in the greater Grand Rapids area. $1,000 or profit-sharing, per quarterly event
- Apprenticeships … many students in creative writing or MFA courses need practice non-classroom experience to get a leg up in the competitive job market. Although we offer unpaid internships for academic credit with accredited universities, we also support paid apprenticeships. These apprentices enjoy a structured curriculum that exposes them to work at Write616, Caffeinated Press and participating other organizations like bookstores. Each six-month apprenticeship, to support a single candidate with a stipend as well as to support administration costs, costs $2,000.
Sometimes, support is more than just a check. Write616 is committed to a long-term vision to do big things, boldly, to support the literary arts in West Michigan. We welcome financial support for our major campaigns, but more importantly, we value community partnerships to help us do these big bold things together.
- Capital Campaign—we’d love to launch a facility where authors and readers can visit, relax, write and network in peace. Plenty of great examples of writing centers across the country that open their doors widely for writers of all stripes, offering a safe and nurturing space to grow their craft.
- Beer City Book Con Campaign—inspired by the success of events like ArtPrize, Festival of the Arts and the UntitledTown Book Festival, we believe a multi-day festival of reading and writing spread across Grand Rapids could raise the profile of literary arts in the community while drawing considerable talent as speakers and panelists.
We rely on the generous support of our friends in the community to help us advance our mission of helping authors to grow their craft. Will you do your part today?