Loft, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: Suite 200, Open Book 1011 Washington Ave S Minneapolis MN 55415 USA

Mission: The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Rating: 5 stars  

Without The Loft, I very much doubt I would have completed and published my memoir. I approached creative writing from a nontraditional standpoint with a background in journalism. Since I did not have a creative writing degree, I had to look for opportunities elsewhere. The Loft serves well the professional who has an interest in writing but does not have the time, energy, or resources to get a college degree in creative writing.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I owe my later-in-life writing career to the Loft. I was a person with a dream: a dream to write and publish fiction. The Loft provided superb instruction (from a host of talented and generous writers), programming, mentorships and grant opportunities. I've seen other beginning writers struggle in many settings and many ways, and I am certain I could not have developed and advanced my writing career the way I have without the help of the Loft.

This is the sequence of events, all Loft-mediated, which has brought me to a Spring 2014 short story publication in the literary magazine "Ploughshares," and collaboration on two novels-in-progress with a New York literary agency:
1. 2005 to present: Took classes offered at the Loft, from "Writing for the Absolute Beginner" (Fall, 2005) to a workshop with the esteemed Janet Burroway (Summer, 2014);
2. 2007-2008: Awarded Loft Emerging Writer Mentorship in Fiction; absolutely jump-started my fledgling fiction-writing career;
3. 2009 to present: Proposed and taught classes in beginning fiction writing at the Loft;
4. Awarded 2012-2013 Loft MN Emerging Writer Grant; used money for an online mentorship though the Loft;
5. Spring, 2014: Developed a website with the help of former Loft fellow-students and instructors, and started writing a blog. Please see one of my earliest posts, "Postcards From the Margins: Why I Love the Loft," April 21, 2014, http://www.donnatrump.org/page/5/ (scroll down to 4/21 entry).

I am grateful, every day, for the resources provided and the opportunities made possible by the Loft.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I seriously have no suggestions for how the Loft could have/might in the future help me more.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

When I was 48 years old I decided it was "now or never" to try my hand at fiction writing. I took my first class at the Loft in September 2005--"Writing for Absolute Beginners," taught by Jorie Miller. Jorie said many encouraging things to all of her students, but it was her comment that my story-writing was "strong" that motivated me to keep going. In 2007-2008, I was awarded a Loft Emerging Writer Mentorship, during which time I had the unmatched pleasure of working with Sandy Benitez and Peter Ho Davies on an idea for a novel. Since that mentorship, I've published stories, essays and poems in a variety of journals. Now I'm working with Patricia Weaver Francisco in an online Loft mentorship, paid for by another Loft contest, the MN Emerging Writer grant, which I won this year. And that novel? Well, these things take time, but I've got an agent and 2013 sounds like a great year for a debut. None of any of this would have happened without the excellent teaching and remarkable guidance of many fine and talented people at the Loft Writing Center in Minneapolis.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

For the advancement of the writing arts you will find no better organization. The Loft truly works according to it's mission, it provides instruction and inspiration for writers of all abilities and backgrounds. It is constantly building and supporting the literary community in the Twin Cities. From their blog to their classes they do good work, offer quality products, and bring joy to the world.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Loft is a wonderful and necessary presence in the literary and community landscape of the Twin Cities. Through classes, readings, and grants to emerging writers, The Loft nourishes and sustains the creative spirit, encouraging writers of all ages to participate and grow.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Loft is a place that truly nurtures the writer's soul. I am so very grateful for this amazing organization, and for all of the opportunity and encouragement it has provided me and so many other aspiring writers. Thank you Loft! Thank you! Thank you!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a member of The Loft Literary Center for over two years. I currently work in communications and have also worked in PR and advertising. The resources, networking opportunities, classes, and venue itself consistently impress me. I have truly enjoyed being able to support such an organization.

I have also just loved the fact that the classes ACTUALLY help my writing!! It's hard to find good writing classes for people who work in communications and have studied writing in school. I've taken some other writing classes at other places, and they helped a little, but not even close to what The Loft has provided me. I really appreciate the expertise held by the class instructors. It is impressive. I have also greatly appreciated that the instructors have pursued writing professionally so I felt their advice and lessons were credible (at least the instructors I've had were writers) and also made themselves available to the students during and after the class. The classes have also provided wonderful networking opportunities with other writers.

Lastly, I have found The Loft to be just a great community of writers. It's hard to find such a large community of talented writers, and I believe The Loft makes that available.

So, needless to say, I am a fan of The Loft...and yes, I proudly sport my tote bag. :)

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I usually have suggestions or ideas when asked this question, but I honestly don't when it comes to The Loft!

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

Finding the Literary Loft is a dream come true! I have a life long passion for creative writing. When I looked at creative writing programs for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, I just could not financially justify pursuing the programs because I realized creative writing is very competitive and rarely pays well. So I made sure to pursue degree programs that lead to steady employment and I developed the philosophy that you really do not need any kind of class to be a writer. You just need to make the regular habit of reading and writing.

I still hold this philosophy that these are the habits that make someone a writer, but I also realized to be a great writer that I needed to have a teacher to guide me into directions I may not have thought about and that I needed a community that provided me with constructive criticism and support.
I have been a writer my whole life, but taking classes at the Literary Loft make me a better writer.
My teachers there have provided me with literature that expands my horizons and feedback on my writing that I really value!

While I have found that the classes that meet my needs best are not cheap, the Literary Loft has options to make this affordable. I took one class on a scholarship. I qualified for low income pricing when I started taking classes at the Literary Loft. The regular habit of taking classes at the Literary Loft are priceless because there are many other things that capture my attention around the Twin Cities. The space and the community that the Literary Loft provides me gives me a chance to make my writing a priority and to continue a life long journey into growth as a writer.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 5 stars  

I retired from a career in advertising as a writer and Creative Director. I was use to a busy and demanding schedule and wondered what I would do with myself in retirement. I volunteered, I did some free lance .... and then I remembered the Loft. I had taken a few classes at the Loft over the many years I lived in the Twin Cities and I decided this might be the key to my sanity! And it was. For the past seven years, I've been a student ... of all things ... in poetry. But the real challenge and beginning of another passion came after a class with Linda Back McKay called "Writing your own chapbook." It was the first class of its kind at the Loft and in 2007 I self-published "Eclipsing the Gray." It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Since that time, I continued to take classes and with Linda's expert eye to help with editing and placement, I have self published two more books and also published a book called, "The Poetry of Prayer" for my church, with poems written by the congregation. It was sold as a fund raising project. I've had poems published in various periodicals and sold dozens of my books. And this past school year, in a 5th grade class where I volunteer, I helped the children put together a chapbook as a memory of their last year in grade school. What fun! At 75, I'm proud of myself and the work I do. The teachers at the Loft are outstanding. The Loft is outstanding! And I could not have survived retirement without them. They keep my brain stimulated and my self-esteem strong. What an organization!

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ask them to make classes available in the outer regions of Minnesota. I taught Memoir Writing in some of those small towns for a few years through the Guthrie Theater and the Library System and I know people in those areas would love to take more classes. Their library grant ran out. And I'd asked them to hire me as one of the teachers!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I attended a beginning writers' session that was conducted as a joint effort between The Loft and Hennepin County Library. Through this partnership, The Loft brings talented instructors to small community libraries. There, they teach classes in places people might not otherwise have access to such opportunities. The session I attended was free, and it was really beneficial. The instructor led us in a series of writing and brainstorming exercises in manner that felt safe and nonthreatening. For the first time in a long time, I read aloud to strangers words I had written. That was a pretty big step for me. I left feeling empowered and motivated to pursue my dreams of fiction writing.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Loft Literary Center has been a cornerstone of the vibrant literary community in the Twin Cities for many years. They offer classes on a sliding fee scale that serve writers of every age and experience level, they sponsor readings and events that feature local, national, and international writers of all genres, aesthetics, and backgrounds. They also sponsor grants for writers, and their groundbreaking Mentor Series, which pairs emerging writers with established writers for intensive study. I have attended and presented at conferences sponsored by the Loft, readings held at the Loft, and meetings of literary community leaders hosted at The Loft. Its mission, staff, and space are unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand its reach beyond Minneapolis and St Paul.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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