Krista Sarraf founded Write Local in August, 2014, but the idea germinated a year earlier during a school project for her Masters in Literature program. As part of a seminar course, students studied early 20th century literary magazines. Krista chose The Little Review (1914-1929) founded by a Chicago woman named Margaret Anderson. Without The Little Review, influential authors like Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce might not have gained their impressive readerships and longstanding reputations.
This concept fascinated Krista. A paltry literary magazine could change the world? Amazing.
Over the next few months, Krista read about after-school writing programs, the link between creativity and innovation, and literacy in rural communities. It took almost a year for the idea to take shape, and, in Fall 2014, Write Local was born.
A literary magazine from the 1920s could inspire a nonprofit in 2014? It may seem odd, but the connection actually is rather strong. You see, Margaret Anderson had a unique vision: she wanted to publish avant-garde authors and to foster an appreciation of literary arts. It worked. In fact, if you’ve ever heard of a little masterpiece called Ulysses (by James Joyce) you can thank The Little Review.
Fast forward to 2014. Where are the young writers who will forge our cultural future? Of course, they exist. But do they have easy access to an audience? More importantly, do they even have the confidence to write? You’d think that in the age of self-publishing, every writer with a little ambition would become an author. Why isn’t this the case?
How can we help young writers to gain confidence in their work, to seek solace in a writing community, and to pursue writing? At its core, Write Local aims to reignite a love for creative expression and to lower barriers to that expression. It’s about building a culture of confident, innovative, and self-starter individuals.
At Write Local, we’re in the business of revolutionizing the way people think. We’re not just about workshops and contests, we’re about starting a cultural movement. We hope you’ll join us.
We have big plans for our next chapter. 2014 brought 60 Westmoreland County budding writers our programs.
In 2015, we began offering one-on-one mentorship to writers who seek more personalized, less publicized attention.
What’s next? Well, we’d like to develop our downloadable writer toolkits so that rural families can access our materials from the comfort of their own homes.