Community Writing Center

FAQ

About the Community Writing Center

What is the Community Writing Center?

The Community Writing Center (CWC) supports, motivates and educates people of all abilities and educational backgrounds who want to use writing for practical needs, civic engagement, and personal expression. We provide opportunities to enhance writing abilities through such programs as Writing Coaching, Writing Workshops, the DiverseCity Writing Series and Writing Partners. These services are open to all Salt Lake area residents. You can learn more about the CWC got started by reading our history.

How are you funded?

The Community Writing Center's annual budget is hard-funded by Salt Lake Community College. 98% of this funding goes into operational costs, 2% to writing projects. Writing projects are funded by donations, grants, and in-kind contributions.


What is the history of the CWC?

The SLCC Community Writing Center opened in October 2001, the first of its kind in the nation, sponsored by Salt Lake Community College. The road to opening the CWC was one of collaboration among community members, college faculty and administrators, and many students. Together we took the leap to establish a new type of community education for the people of Salt Lake City.

The CWC has its beginnings in a service-learning writing course that partnered the SLCC English Department with the Artspace, Inc. community developer. Students in a special topics course produced the Bridges newsletter for the neighborhood that Artspace was located for four years, beginning in 1998. This writing in the community led to the development of the DiverseCity Writing Series, which again partnered the college with a community organization. This program brought together people in four different organizations over two years to write their stories, imaginations, histories, and dreams.

In the fall of 2001, the CWC opened in its first home, the Artspace Bridge Projects, on 5th West and 2nd South. With one faculty member directing the CWC, and six SLCC students working hard on developing the programs, the CWC began to establish itself as a fixture in Salt Lake City's community. People from the shelter came to work on resumes and life stories; partnerships were forged with other adult education programs around the valley, like the Literacy Action Center; the DiverseCity Writing Series published its third anthology of writing in collaboration with The Road Home Shelter, located just across the street; everyone worked to get the word out about the CWC through flyers, festivals and phone calls.

Two years later, other colleges across the state, and the country, started to develop their own community writing centers based on the CWC. Weber State University, in Ogden, opened a CWC in a community center downtown in 2003. Since then, seven other CWCs have either opened or are in development around the country, located at institutions like University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

At the CWC, our programs grew rapidly. By 2004, we had worked with nearly 1000 people on their writing! People from all over the city participated in our Writing Coaching program and attended our writing workshops. The DiverseCity Writing Series grew to eight writing groups that met across the valley, and came together twice a year for publication and a public reading to celebrate their writing. And, the CWC had partnered with nearly 100 community organizations, city agencies and governmental programs on writing workshops and education for their clients, staff and volunteers.

In 2005, the CWC and the City Library met to talk about the Writing Coaching program that had been located in the library's technology center for over a year. We wanted to see how we could improve the services to the Library's patrons. During that meeting, the Library's director asked if the CWC might be interested in moving to Library Square. The CWC and the community college jumped at the chance to locate in the heart of Salt Lake City's community center. Partnering the Community Writing Center with the City Library seemed a natural fit, a collaboration that would serve the city's residents in ways that neither of us could do alone.

In January 2006, the Community Writing Center opened its doors at Library Square in Salt Lake City. The CWC is still led by SLCC faculty, and all the programs are still developed and run by students at SLCC and other local colleges and universities.  In March 2005, the Community Writing Center was an national award of Writing Program Excellence, and was held up as a model of college/community partnerships for the rest of the country.  We're looking forward to the next five years of writing with the community and serving the people of Salt Lake City.

--drafted 2005


Location

Where are you located?

The Community Writing Center is located on the east side plaza of Library Square at:

210 East and 400 South, Suite 8
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Where do I park?

UTA TRAX provides easy access to the Community Writing Center (Library Station), allowing you to park at a variety of locations throughout the valley. A list of TRAX accessible lots and schedules can be found online at the UTA website or by calling 1-888-743-3882. Regular TRAX fare is $1.75 for a one way trip and $3.50 for a same-day round-trip ticket.

Also, the Library's underground parking facility can be accessed by turning mid-block from eastbound 400 South. Parking in this facility is free for the first half-hour, $.75 per half-hour after thereafter.

There are a limited amount of metered parking spaces available on the streets surrounding Library Square. These spaces are metered Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8 AM to 6 PM and have a 2 hour limit.


Employees/Volunteers

Who are the Writing Assistants? What are their qualifications?

The Writing Assistants at the CWC are currently all students from respective colleges and universities in the Salt Lake area. They each receive extensive training in writing coaching, workshop facilitation, and collaboration.

How do I get involved in the Community Writing Center?

Many of the CWC programs are supported by volunteers. Salt Lake area adults are encouraged to volunteer their time as a mentor in the DiverseCity Writing Series, a writing coach, or simply in response to monthly calls for volunteers. All volunteers are thoroughly trained to accomplish their goals as they fit with the mission of the CWC. Call the Community Writing Center at 801-957-2192 or email the CWC at cwc@slcc.edu for more information about how to become involved.

Services

What programs do you offer?

The Community Writing Center provides opportunities to enhance writing abilities through such programs as Writing Coaching, Writing Workshops, the DiverseCity Writing Series and Writing Partners. These services are open to all Salt Lake area residents.

How much do your programs cost?

Writing Coaching and joining the DiverseCity Writing Series are free. Workshops are generally $10 per session (so if a workshop meets once the total cost is $10, twice $20, etc.). Special interest workshop prices may vary. Special events and community programs may involve free workshops.

Can I just come in or do I need to make an appointment?

Walk-ins are welcome. For Writing Coaching an appointment is encouraged, but not required.

Do I have to be a student?

No. The Community Writing Center works with people from a variety of educational backgrounds to accomplish writing goals. In fact, most of the individuals we assist are not students.

What if I am a student?

If you require one-on-one assistance on academic related writing and attend any of the following schools, you need to use your institution's writing center (follow the links to learn more details).

  • Salt Lake Community College
  • Weber State University
  • University of Utah
  • Westminster College

If your institution does not have a student writing center, we are happy to help you.  Students are also welcome to join us for our non-academic related programs such as Writing Workshops, DiverseCity Writing Series, and volunteer opportunities.

Can you help me get published?

The Community Writing Center is not a publication house, but we do offer a variety of services that may assist in preparing or completing a piece of writing for potential publication.

Can you help me email or type something?

The Community Writing Center provides opportunities to enhance the writing abilities of people from a variety of educational backgrounds. While we do offer a variety of services that may assist in preparing or completing a piece, we are unable to assist with the typing or emailing process.

If you are interested in keyboarding training, there are a variety of online courses not affiliated with the CWC that may be able to assist you: Computer Circus, easytype.com, goodtyping.com, Keyboarding Practice, Learn 2 Type, Peter's Online Typing Course, Touch Typing, and typeonline.co.uk.

Where do EFL and ESL fit into the community writing center?

The Community Writing Center does not offer English as a second language programs, but we do offer a variety of services that may assist in improving your English skills.

Writing Coaching


What is Writing Coaching?

Writing Coaching is free one-on-one collaborative writing assistance and helpful feedback in a supportive environment. You may bring in any type of writing: resumes, essays, short stories, or letters. Writing Coaching is open to all ages.

Can I work on basic grammar issues at the CWC?

Yes.

How many times a week can I meet for writing coaching?

You are welcome to make a 20-30 minute appointment once each day.

Writing Workshops

What are Writing Workshops?

Writing Workshops explore a variety of writing topics in theme-based classes; workshops are created in response to community requests. Past workshops include: Letters to the Editor, Poetry, Memoir, Editing Tips, Application Essays, Journaling, and Fiction.

How do I find out about workshops? Does it cost to attend workshops? Are workshops ever free?

All upcoming workshops are listed in our newsletter and posted online. Workshops are generally $10 per session (so if a workshop meets once the total cost is $10, twice $20, etc.). Special interest workshop prices may vary. Special events and community programs may involve free workshops.

DiverseCity Writing Series

What is the DiverseCity Writing Series?

The DiverseCity Writing Series is a community writing program which offers multiple, on-going writing groups throughout the Salt Lake metropolitan area. Here you can find inspiration through feedback and writing prompts in open-interest or specialized groups. Submit work to sine cera, the DiverseCity Writing Series (DWS) anthology, and participate in public readings

How do I get involved in the DiverseCity Writing Series?

By joining a writing group or becoming a mentor. Many of the CWC programs are supported by volunteers. Call the Community Writing Center at 801-957-2192 to speak with the DiverseCity Writing Series coordinator who will give you more information about how to become involved.

Writing Partners

Who are Writing Partners?

Writing Partners are organizations, agencies, or businesses who partner with the CWC to address the needs of their staff, clients and/or volunteers through writing. 

What is a Writing Partnership?

Many Writing Partnerships are workshops specifically-designed for the partner organization. These can be on any type of writing, and can be a one-time workshop or can be longer-term. Other partnerships co-develop writing groups for clients of an organization. In others, the CWC and the partner collaborate to create necessary written documents for the organization.  

Are there limits to the types of Writing Partnerships possible?

No. The CWC responds to the individual needs of the organization, agency or business. Basically, a Writing Partnership is any collaborative project between the CWC and your organization that involves any kind of writing (resumes, grant-writing, newsletters, poetry, letters, fiction, writing groups, applications, etc.).

What is our organization expected to do in a Writing Partnership?

It depends on the scope of the partnership. If you would like a writing workshop specifically designed for your organization, you will collaborate with the CWC to determine what you would like that workshop to include. You will also be responsible for announcing/advertising the workshop. If the partnership creates a longer-term writing project, such as an on-going writing group, your organization will need to dedicate personnel who can co-facilitate the writing project with the CWC for a period of time (jointly-determined). After that your organization will take over the project and the CWC will step out of facilitating it.  Our goal with these types of Writing Partnerships is to create a sustainable program that the partner can facilitate on their own in the long-run.

How much do Writing Partnerships cost?

It depends. Writing Partnerships are free for non-profit organizations. For governmental and for-profit businesses the cost is determined by the scope of the partnership, the level of the partners co-facilitation, and the organization's budget. For questions, contact the CWC Director.

How does our organization become a CWC Writing Partner?

Contact the CWC Director to discuss your organization's needs (801-957-2192). The director will meet with you to collaboratively brainstorm possible ways of addressing those needs and will determine the capacity of the CWC to meet them. A Writing Partner agreement will be developed between your organization and the CWC which will describe the time frame, responsibilities and intended outcomes of the partnership. Then, the partnership will begin.