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.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000+
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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.

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

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person 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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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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!

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

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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.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

I can't believe more people don't know about this organization!! I only recently realized (five years out of college) that I really love creative writing, so when I decided I wanted to take continuing education courses in it, I ended up doing so through a variety of institutions, including notable universities. So I have more than my fair share of places with which to compare it. Not only does the Loft offer high-quality writing classes, but it does so at a remarkably (or should I say ridiculously?) low rate and with an astounding array of subjects. You could take a course that lasts several months or you could come in for a one-time class on the one weekend you have available. You could take classes online or you could take them in-person. There's also the fact that the Loft then offers all kinds of other opportunities for writers, like contests and awards, free readings, publicity, networking events...seriously, the list goes on.

Sometimes it feels like everyone (and their mom) is a wannabe-writer, but writers are still part of an underserved community. So, truthfully, I cannot say enough good things about this place. They help writers. As simple as that.

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

Better parking?

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Loft provides education, encouragement, and community to local writers in the Twin Cities and those around the world via its online classes. I'm a better writer thanks to the classes and instructors at the Loft.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

I found a writing community at the Loft by attending classes, specialized workshops, the annual children's literature conference, and by applying for award opportunities. While meeting with my critique group, I've seen many field trips of wide-eyed children pass through on the way to writing or bookmaking activities. The Twin Cities area is richer for having this literary center for writers of all ages and abilities.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Loft has given me a physical space, a community, and confidence--all of which I've had in short supply. I've tucked myself into quiet corners to write. I've sat through readings by local and nationally known writers. This year I've been chosen as a mentee for an emerging writers competition. (Jarod Santek is the logistical genius that handles the support on many levels.) Through the mentor program I'll work with local and national writing mentors, receive reading and conference information, grant writing advice, and more. Not only do I feel validated to continue to work with words, I'm filled with a gratitude that makes me want to return the generosity. The Loft doesn't just train and empower writers, it must certainly create mentors. I don't think it's overstating to say The Loft is the reason Minnesota has such thriving and giving literary community. If you believe James Baldwin that, “You write in order to change the world ...” than it's fair to say the Loft is changing my life and countless others.

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

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