Ohio City Writers is a non-profit creative writing center at 3208 Lorain Ave. in Cleveland. OCW organizes programs and volunteers to help youth, in grades one through 12, hone their skills with the written word, which in turn will bolster their imaginations, critical-thinking abilities and self-confidence. Our mission is to
1) Demystify writing. Too many people, kids and adults, seem to believe that Writing is something akin to magic, handed down in secret rituals from masters to carefully selected apprentices. Nonsense. We’re all born storytellers; it’s arguably the most fundamental, defining human trait. The ability to recognize and create narrative is embedded in our DNA. History itself is a story.
2) Teach respect for the craft. “I spent the morning putting a comma in, and the afternoon taking it out.” This quip, attributed to Oscar Wilde, exaggerates an important point. Writing is a process — and sometimes it’s a slow and frustrating process. Whether it’s a limerick or a State of The Union address, writing well requires patience and persistence. But the rewards can be great.
3) Encourage a lifelong passion for creating. Just as important as a healthy respect for the rules is an eagerness to break them. This balance of left- and right-brain thinking, of linear and random, discipline and chaos, is a powerful force that will serve students well no matter what they pursue in life. Writing exercises all the mental muscle groups and sharpens vision. And in our rapidly changing world the importance of clarity and creativity cannot be overstated. The future belongs to those whose ideas compel others to think and to act.
Ohio City Writers builds alliances with members of the local writing, journalism, arts and music communities, as well as the increasingly vibrant and engaged Near West neighborhoods. Students will benefit from the guidance of accomplished and passionate writers, from every genre and discipline, from across Northeast Ohio.
Read about our Programs.
Ohio City Writers is inspired by the 826 National model.
Contact us at ohiocitywriters [at] gmail.com. Please join our email list (at the top of the sidebar).
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Frank W. Lewis
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Dan Moulthrop, curator of conversation, The Civic Commons
Joe Cimperman, member, Cleveland City Council
Tiffany Graham, project manager, LAND Studio
David Hovis, materials scientist, Case Western, and advocate for Near West Intergenerational School
Jimi Izrael, journalist, author and educator
Judith Mansour, publisher, FreshWaterCleveland.com
Tom McNair, business development director, Ohio City Inc.
Gina Prodan, director of community engagement at Tackk.com and blogger at UnmiserableCleveland.com
Eric Wobser, executive director, Ohio City Inc.
Tom Beach, Michael Strauss, Terry McCafferty, English department, St. Ignatius High School
Eric Coble, Cleveland Arts Prize-winning playwright and president of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education
Matt Fabyan, former publisher, Cleveland Scene and Cleveland Free Times
Michael Gill, editor, Collective Arts Network and Great Lakes Courier
David Gray, owner, Gray & Co. Publishers
Daniel Gray-Kontar, artist (Rep Life) and youth activist
Nicole Hunter, senior creative consultant, American Greetings and creative writing instructor
Ron Kretsch, former art director at Scene and Free Times, photographer and musician
Toby and Melanie Maloney, original investors, mental floss magazine
Ray McNiece, poet and performer
Erin O’Brien, blogger and author
Myra Orenstein, marketing and advertising consultant
Anastasia Pantsios, journalist and photographer, Cleveland Scene
Scott Raab, Esquire writer at large and author
James Renner, author and journalist
Angie Schmitt, journalist and founder of Rustwire.com
Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Pepper Pike City Council member and too many other things to mention
OTHER FRIENDS & SUPPORTERS
Cuyahoga County Public Libraries • Sherwin Williams • Great Lakes Brewing Co. • Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity • Prosperity Social Club • Cleveland Professional 20/30 Club • America SCORES Cleveland • Johnny Mango World Cafe and Bar • Happy Dog • Keller National Insurance • Jakprints • IndieMerch • Roots of American Music • Teaching Cleveland • Palookaville Cafe • St. Ignatius High School • International Association of Business Communicators, Cleveland • SMART Technologies • Ohio City Theatre Project • Cleveland Botanical Gardens’ Green Corps • Edible Cleveland • SOHO Kitchen & Bar • Nottingham Spirk
The George Gund Foundation • Dominican Congregation of St. Catherine de Ricci • BP America