Mission of the Loft Literary Center: The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature.
Since my first Loft class nearly 10 years ago, I have been a part of the Loft Literary Center’s community of readers and writers. Classes, one-day workshops, week-long intensives, conferences, readings, book launches, online courses, and contests. Through all of those, my writing has been nurtured by thoughtful, generous writers, several of whom have become close friends.
Miriam Queensen, my screenwriting teacher and dear friend, wrote a post on this very topic of a community of writers. I loved reading the points of view of several teaching artists at the Loft. There’s a little quote from me near the end.
One of my favorite aspects of the Loft community is that it’s non-academic. I thought I could attend school forever, but after grad school, I discovered I was done. No more jam-packed class schedules, no more grades, no more homework. Those served their purpose at the time. What a relief to enter a Loft class with no need to perform. No need to ever graduate! There was no perfect, no A to grasp at. Sure there was “assignments”, but I didn’t have to do them if I didn’t want to. I didn’t need to please this teacher. And with that, I was sent free.
I could take risks. I could screw up, but it wasn’t even screwing up, it was a first draft! I wrote because I wanted to. I wasn’t competing with the other students. We were cooperating, learning together, supporting each other. Building community.
Because of the Loft and what I found there, I’m writing today. And reading there tonight. I’m a bit anxious, but it’s my writing community, so I think I’ll be alright.