ReadThenWrite is a reading, writing, and publishing program for teens at Open Books.
ReadThenWrite is an immersive reading, writing, and publishing experience for teenage authors.

Students read high-quality literature meant to engage their minds, provoke discussion, and broaden their horizons.

Students write short memoirs/personal narratives. They work on their pieces for many weeks, with constant oversight and caring feedback from their volunteer writing coaches.

Open Books publishes the students' polished stories into a group anthology and celebrates the newly minted writers at a gala author launch in our award-winning bookstore. Students finish the program with two monumental things: a published book, and a new sense of self-confidence.

Educator Signup!
Educators, are you interested in bringing ReadThenWrite to your school? Learn more!

Published Work

Interested in previously published
ReadThenWrite anthologies?

See the list and purchase copies here.


Chicago Tribune

"The process doesn't just strengthen their writing, their voices and their sense of self. Publishing a book also gives them another achievement to add to their academic resume..."


Volunteer For ReadThenWrite

Volunteer Role:
Volunteer weekly as a reading and/or writing coach.

Open Books Orientation, ReadThenWrite training, and background check.

Locations and Schedule:
See the listings below! The first session of the week will focus on reading, while the second will work on writing.

This is a twice-weekly commitment over the course of a multi-week session. We will consider volunteers who can do both sessions per week or just one, but those who can commit to both days will be prioritized.


Fall 2014
We are still finalizing details for our fall ReadThenWrite sessions - please check back in August for updated info!
 Gage Park

Gage Park High School
5630 S Rockwell St [map]

Training: TBA (at Open Books)

Program Duration: 9/16 - 12/11

Days/Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-12:15

Grade: 11th-12th

CTA: Bus #63: 63rd St, Bus #94: California/Kedzie


Hope College Prep High School
5515 S Lowe Ave [map]

Training: TBA (at Open Books)

Program Duration: TBA

Days/Times: TBA

Grade: TBA

CTA: Garfield Red Line, Bus #55: Garfield, Bus #8: Halsted

West Town

Mitchell Elementary
2233 W. Ohio St. [map]

Training: 9/3, 2pm (at Open Books)

Program Duration: 9/9 - 11/5 

Days/Times: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:15 pm

Grade: TBA

CTA: Bus #65: Grand, Bus #66: Chicago, Bus #49: Western, Bus #50: Damen



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