A Question for Hudson Valley Writers
Would you benefit from a comfortable, affordable, well-designed writers’ space nearby? We’re exploring opening our second writers’ space, this one in Hudson, and we’d be grateful if you’d help us gauge local interest by answering three or four questions.
But first a little background. My name is Alexander Karelis. In partnership with my father Charles, I founded a writers’ space in Washington, DC in 2012, which we called Writers Room DC. While we sold it in 2016 to one of our members, it’s still serving a need today in the same place and with essentially the same mission and model. (The great new management changed its name to DC Writers Room. You may want to check out its website, dcwritersroom.com.)
The original Writers Room DC quickly became the literary nexus of the city. More than thirteen published books, fiction and nonfiction, came out of what was affectionately referred to by members as “The Space” in 2015 alone. Many more have appeared before and since. There were articles about us in the Washington Post and elsewhere.
The amenities we would offer in Hudson include well-designed workstations; ergonomic chairs; a comfortable break-room; complete security, with entry via combination lock. In addition we would offer Wi-Fi, coffee, printing, and lockers—at no extra charge.
As for timing, we would of course wait to open until COVID was no longer a concern.
Why Writers’ Rooms?
Many cities have co-working spaces designed for writers now—there are six such writing rooms in New York City alone, some with waiting lists. Among the benefits:
· The absence of ringing phones and doorbells.
· The presence of other writers. Even writers with great writing space at home are discovering that motivation is highly contagious. (Isn’t that why so many of us prefer to do our sit-ups at the gym?)
· Locked storage for laptops when you take a break, and for your books and papers between work sessions. You don’t get that at coffee-shops and libraries.
· No extra charge for printers, pens, paper, or coffee.
· Monthly memberships, which entitle you to the use of a workstation whenever you want one, are affordable—not much more than the cost of a latte and a newspaper a day.
· On a less tangible level, many patrons of these spaces around the country say that becoming a member conveys one’s seriousness about one’s writing project to friends, family, and oneself.
We need and value input from Hudson Valley writers. You can help us scale and refine our project going forward by sending us your thoughts on some or all of the following:
· Would you benefit from a writers’ space like this in Hudson? How?
· What hours might you need a space like this, or would that vary widely? Would your needs vary by season?
· Would you benefit from associated programming such as meet-the-agent nights, classes, on-call research assistants or editors, social activities?
· If you’d be willing, we would be very, very interested in anything you’d care to tell us about your current or planned writing project, for whatever this might tell us about making the space we’re planning more useful.
Our heartfelt thanks to anyone who makes time to respond to these questions, or relevant questions we didn’t think to raise. It will be our pleasure to thank respondents with a free week once we open.
And, as a final favor, we would deeply appreciate it if you could forward this questionnaire to other writers of your acquaintance. If everyone reading this forwarded it to two writing acquaintances, we would quickly reach everyone in town who might benefit.
You may find it convenient to paste the above questions into an email and insert your responses in the appropriate spaces. Or you may prefer to paste the questions into a Word document, add your answers, and send that as an attachment.
Please send replies to email@example.com.