I've been a member of the Loft for 15+ years. The classes I've taken have been instrumental in improving my craft, and the connections I've made with other writers have been incredible. As I prepare for the publication of my first novel, there are so many Loft members, teachers and staff to thank. It is, literally, my community.
I got help through the Loft to launch my writing career mostly in the classroom and also at public readings. I actually read a couple of times myself. While it's been a long time since I've taken a class, I support the Loft because I want it to be there for the next generation of writers. I should say that I still attend readings because they are all so good.
Great classes for writers in an inspiring space! Plenty of options for all kinds of writing. I've enjoyed every class and instructor I've had.
The Loft is an exceptional organization. Its classes, conferences, events, and grant opportunities sustain a vibrant writing community here in the Midwest. Writers of all ages (kids to seniors), experience (new comers to published authors), and interests (children's lit, memoir, sci-fi, non-fiction) find a home at The Loft. Twelve years ago, I signed up for my first Loft class. I learned about craft and met other aspiring authors - one of whom has become a best friend. And now, I have two books being published. Couldn't have done it without The Loft.
There is nothing quite like the experience of stepping into The Loft. Whether you have arrived to take advantage of the charming writing studio spaces, to take a class or simply to chat with other writers in the cafe, you are immediately greeted with a welcoming and inspiring environment. In addition, the capable and friendly staff gives you the impression that they truly want you to succeed at whatever tasks your passions have inspired you to take on. The number of classes, writer groups, conferences, small groups and other opportunities that this organization offers is unparalleled in this area of the country. I only take precious time out of my life to write reviews that are worthy of that time... I am proud to take the time to speak to the heart of this particular organization and to urge others to give it their support.
I have access close to home to top-notch writing classes and workshops, but my online class with the Loft is easily on par with any in-person class I have taken. Great instruction, class organization and design, feedback, and chat opportunies. Looking forward to future classes!
I joined the Loft so I could improve my writing. Even though I live three hours west of the Twin Cities, I've had the pleasure of taking two online classes, both on poetry. I had positive experiences with both my classes. One resulted in grant funding from the local arts council, and the other helped me place a poem for publication in a journal. Because of my income level, I've also received scholarships to help pay for classes. The Loft has definitely enabled me to become a contributing member of the literary community, on both the local and national levels. Thank You Loft!
When I got out of my undergraduate program, I wanted to find a way to keep my passion for my writing alive and to find others who loved it, too. I am so lucky to have The Loft in my community. The classes are great, the people are amazing and their events are always so much fun. By attending classes, I was able to cultivate my writing and take the next step to grad school. This organization is truly awesome!
The Loft is awesome. I have taken classes, attended readings, applied for grants, rented a writing studio, and have been inspired by other writers I've met there. The people who work at the Loft care about supporting writers. They care that writers produce good work. They care that American writing demonstrates the huge diversity and talent in this country and in Minnesota. And they care about serving the diverse community around them. Without a doubt, the Loft is among the most amazing non-profits in the U.S.
I've been a member for over ten years, since winning a Mentorship one year out of college. The environment, opportunities, and culture of the organization is welcoming, dynamic, and very encouraging. I am grateful to The Loft for helping not just my writing, but for introducing me to artists like Claudia Rankine and Nick Flynn, and for hosting so many excellent community events. I'm a big fan.
The Loft has great, free events to the public as well as high quality writing courses. I'm so glad I found it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. :)
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.
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!
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.
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.
Minnesota is not flyover land in the publishing world thanks in part to The Loft. To walk into the Open Book, where the Loft is housed along with the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts and Milkweed Press, is to enter the real world of writing--at least as real as it gets. Taking classes is easy with sliding scale fees and member prices, great instructors and fellow students who want to take a part of their day, a part of their lives and discover ways to be better writers of poetry and of prose, of plays and of mysteries, of children's books and young adult novels. If you would rather just support writers, amazing readings are going on constantly both from local authors and from nationally known authors and of course often those two are the same. The Loft has an amazing library of literary journals, they have office space to rent and finish that novel, they have the Loft Mentor Series to foster emerging talent.
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.
Minnesota winters may be long but we have the Loft. On the sometimes thorny journey into publication, the Loft has aided me every step of the way -- I've taken classes and workshops, attended a conference, held a book reading, learned about funding opportunities from their newsletter, attended book events... If I lived a bit closer than I do, I'd be at the Loft every day!
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.
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.
The Loft is the most incredible resource nationally for young and older writers and creative thinkers alike. Its leadership, expansive programs and focus on education and creativity have made it a model for similiar writing centers nationally. While new to the Board, it has brought to me in a short amount of time a renewed focus and passion on the written word and the importance of that to our society.
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.
The Loft gave me a space to write when my son was an infant. The space is so open and welcoming. I am thankful for the events, conferences, and readings I have been able to attend.
The Loft serves a vital role in the life of our broader community. it provides a place for writers - whether or not published - to learn, to create, to brainstorm, to learn, to connect. Personally, each time I participate at the Loft, I leave feeling more competent, more confident, and more courageous. I encourage all who like to read and those who are driven to write or even just curious about doing so to visit the Loft; to participate in activities there; to open up to the community that it nurtures; and to share it with others.
Without the supportive environment, classes, and programs at the Loft, I would have never had the courage to choose writing as my profession. I wanted to be a writer from the time I was five, but once I graduated from college, I abandoned that because I thought I could never make it financially. When I had my first child and decided to stay home, I realized that that was the moment to try my hand at writing. I took a few classes at the Loft and continued to work on my writing. When my child was old enough to go school, I was reviewing law school applications when the phone rang. It was like something from a movie -- I was told by a Loft administrator that I had won an award that allowed me to study for one year with 6 nationally-renowned authors (The Loft Mentor Series). During that year, I wrote my first novel, SPLIT. I revised it the following year and it sold at auction in three weeks and has received a number of honors and awards. My career path really started at the Loft. The Loft was also the first place that provided me the opportunity to teach creative writing and I am now a professor of creative writing. It is an exceptional organization and I consider it one of the most important factor in why Minneapolis is a center for the literary arts and why I am a writer.
I’ve had the great pleasure of being on both sides of the desk at the Loft. Inspiring teachers such as Dale Gregory Anderson and Robert Voedisch taught me to craft compelling fiction. Through the Loft Mentor Series, lead by the amazing Jerod Santek, I was able to work closely with distinguished writers such as Pete Hautman, Jim Moore, and Mary Rose O’Reilly. Now, having moved to Pennsylvania, I’m lucky to still be tied to the Loft through teaching online classes. Kurtis Scaletta’s terrific work to develop this program means I have students from across the nation. Just as my Loft teachers have inspired me, my students now inspire me. At a time when the arts have been the first programs to be cut, The Loft community fosters and fuels a love of writing and expands an ever-growing support for the written word.
The Loft has been instrumental in my development as a writer, entrepreneur and human being. The community there is incredible. The teachers inspiring. The staff out of this world. I am deeply committed to the Loft's mission and have seen first hand the impact the classes have on the people who take them. From published authors to healed hearts, the Loft gives to the writing community like no other institution I know of.
The Loft has changed my life! It's an oasis, a safe haven...a gathering place where writers and readers and art-appreciaters can gather and learn and share. Minnesota has a tremendous support system for writers, and the Loft is the catalyst. It is fabulous!
The Loft has been a central place for community, camaraderie, and inspiration. I've enjoyed hearing authors, established and emerging, read from their work. I've listened to works of prose and poetry that have been poignant and full of energy. Most of all, I've met wonderful teachers and peers at this central gathering place for artistic expression. I've been challenged. I've grown. I've been encouraged. My own writing has improved via classes and blossomed in a 9-month program, The Loft Mentor Series. The Loft has also been a source for connecting me with others.
Loft personnel and mentors have provided me with new skills and lots of confidence. When I see my prose in print, my first comment is, “Thank you Loft!”
The Loft is one of my artistic homes. It's where I first took a poetry class that would eventually lead me to graduate school and an MFA. It's where I've been able to work with outstanding mentors from here in Minnesota and around the country. It's where I've been able to listen to gorgeous, potent, and alive readings by writers from all walks of life. It's an invaluable community resource that brings together both published and emerging writers, young and mature. The Loft is a local and national treasure.
After I graduated with a BA in English, I began to panic: What on earth do I do post-undergrad? This flailing about led me to acquire an M.Ed and teach high school for a number of years, forgetting my original, long held life goal of going for an MFA and writing. Soon, I was sucked into the duties of a high school teacher, with five co-curriculars and some of the most emotionally and energy draining preps, as one is wont to receive as a first-year teacher. My husband gave me a gift certificate to take courses at the Loft in 2007, and that changed everything for me. It went from an institution where I'd attended readings and admired from a distance to a place that helped re-energize me and remind me of my original and deepest passions. Now, five or so years later, and I've taught in the youth program, and am currently a mentee in the program the connects emerging writers with local and national writers. It's a heady feeling, and I have had nothing but excellent support from the staff and instructors. Minneapolis is a startlingly lucky city to have such a thriving community in its midst.
I love everything about The Loft, from the building to the classes to the readings and events! I started taking classes there about seven years ago, and now I volunteer for a reading series. There's a home for every writer here.
The Loft is the only literary center of its kind in the country and it has become my literary home. Four years ago, I decided it was time to pursue my dream of being a writer. I began taking classes at The Loft and my first fiction teacher, Donna Trump, became my first mentor. This was not an official mentorship. Donna took me under her wing, because, she said, “I saw something in your writing." There was no compensation, but this is the sort of experience people tend to have with folks affiliated with The Loft. Not only is The Loft an amazing literary center, the writers and artists associated with it help to create and build a supportive literary community. Writing is a difficult and solitary endeavor. In a world where books and technology and the publishing world are forever in flux, I doubt I would be where I am today without The Loft and a teaching artist like Donna. I went on to take classes from other talented writers such as Robert Voedisch, Kate St. Vincent Vogel, and Dale Gregory Anderson and began publishing my work. After three years, I applied for The Loft’s Mentor Series Award and was accepted. Under the tutelage of the program’s outstanding writers and teachers such as Lan Samantha Chang, Marlon James, Leslie Adrienne Miller, and John Hildebrand, I took my writing and my projects to the next level. With the help of my fellow program participants and The Loft’s extremely talented Program Director, Jerod Santek, I applied for and was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant as well as a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. Without The Loft, these opportunities would not have been possible for me. My experience with The Loft Literary Center set me on a trajectory toward attainable goals, a new and exciting career path, and MFA in Creative Writing, and a place within an outstanding literary community.
The Loft is an amazing place. Over the last five years the Loft has provided me with a novel writing class, a year-long Mentor Series award, a writing group, numerous conferences and readings, member happy hours, friendships, and a building that feels like a vocational home. In a world that often pushes writers and artists to the margins, the work of the Loft returns writing to the center of what we do and who we are. I am so grateful.
I took my first poetry class at the Loft ten years ago, and I've been participating in classes and programs there pretty regularly ever since. Over all this time (and the many changes in my life and growth as a writer), the Loft has impressed me over and over by striking a balance between smart, challenging teaching and a truly nurturing environment for writers. I've become more confident as a writer; I know more; and I've become part of a community of writers. I can't imagine what my writing life would be today without the Loft.
As a writer in the Twin Cities, it's difficult to overstate the importance of the Loft. Seriously. It just defies hyperbole. Imagine an aspiring guitar player whose freshman roommate turned out to be Jimi Hendrix, a painter who found that she went to same laundromat as Picasso, or a paper-folding enthusiast who lived upstairs from the World Champion of Competitive Origami. The Loft is like that. It's so vital. I've taken classes there, attended readings, entered contests, gone to conferences, and tucked myself into a corner when I needed a quiet place to write. The Loft is truly a spiritual center for the Minnesota writing community and beyond. I can't recommend it highly enough.
When I moved to Minnesota, the thing I was MOST looking forward to was taking a writing class at the Loft. It is an amazing institution that has supported me as a person and a writer and enriched my life in so many ways. I recommend the Loft to anyone interested in any kind of writing or personal expression from children to retirees. I am so grateful for this place.
Writing is a lonely occupation: You're out there trying to make beautiful books for children, and much of the time it's just you and your screen. The Loft Literary Center has made a safe, beautiful, educational space where writers of all types can gather, learn from each other, and return to the creative process restored and renewed. It's a creative haven.
The Loft is a rare creative community, amateur accessible, yet dedicated to craft. Up here in Minnesota, where our bibliophilic tendencies run to hibernation, it’s only exaggerating a little bit to say that having The Loft has saved many a northerly writer from serious craziness.
My membership in the Loft has been central to me for over 25 years as I have progressed as a writer. Programs and classes at the Loft foster a strong writing community while helping individuals advance their skills and careers in the literary arts. There is no greater friend to my writing life.