Contribute to our Annual Fund
Support Our Work in the Rochester Community
Dear Friend of Writers & Books,
Writers & Books strives to provide everyone in the Greater Rochester community with access to the literary arts. It is crucial to fulfilling our mission of promoting reading and writing as lifelong activities for people of all ages and backgrounds, including underserved populations who face economic challenges that too often prevent them from participating in our programs. We cannot do this meaningful work without you, and we are truly grateful for the support you have provided us in the past.
Erin Murphy’s story is a perfect example of the transformative power that access to free literary programming can provide. When she was in middle school in the early 00s, her dyslexia and ADHD were barriers to her academic success. As a result, she often struggled in school. She then attended Writers & Books creative writing workshops at both the Adams Street recreation center, and as a scholarship student in the Writers & Books SummerWrite program. The experience proved to be a game changer. “The program showed me that I was capable—of writing, of communicating in the way that I communicated, and that the way I communicated was not wrong.” The act of writing and performing her work helped Murphy find herself, and a profound sense of confidence. After her workshops at Writers & Books, she was relieved to discover that she felt prepared to complete the tasks asked of her when she returned to school.
Erin now serves as Leadership Training Coordinator at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership at the University of Rochester, and attributes much of her success to her experiences in our workshops. “Without Writers & Books I wouldn’t have had the ability to show myself that I could do what I put my mind to.”
Erin’s story illustrates what an impact just a few influential workshops can have on someone’s life. For more than three decades, Writers & Books has striven to foster this kind of inspiration and transformation, and to make our programming accessible for writers of all ages, but we know there is more work to be done. This past summer, thanks in large part to a generous gift from one of our donors and a partnership with the City of Rochester Recreation Department, we reestablished our rec center programs, offering SummerWrite workshops to underserved youth at satellite locations at no cost to students. As a result, nearly 100 students from all over the city participated in the program. Doubtless many experienced something close to what Erin Murphy did so many years ago. This is a beginning, but there are so many more students whose lives can be transformed.
With your support, we hope to expand our youth programming, including these rec center programs. We also hope to grow our adult programming, including our free community-wide reading series, Rochester Reads, and to add to our adult scholarship fund. A strong and vital cultural community always includes a strong and vital literary community.
Your gift to Writers & Books will allow us to continue to provide access to the Greater Rochester community, including underserved populations, through opportunities for youth and adult readers and writers alike, a wide range of workshops and reading seminars, and unique and engaging programs for the entire community. In short, your gift will directly impact real children, families, and adults in the Rochester area and beyond who need us. Won’t you consider making a gift today?
With sincere appreciation,
Kyle Semmel, Executive Director