Big Idea

ReadThenWrite is an immersive reading, writing, and publishing experience for teenage authors. Sessions begin with high-quality readings that engage students’ minds, provoke discussion, and broaden their horizons. Based on these themes, students write their own memoirs, personal narratives, and poetry, supported by their volunteer writing coaches and editors. Finally, Open Books publishes the students’ polished work 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.

ReadThenWrite program badge

At A Glance

What: Writing and publishing cohort experience for young authors.

Where: Selected schools across Chicago.

When: Weekdays during the school year. Sessions run from 8–16 weeks depending on location and availability.

Who: 5th–12th grade students, Open Books staff, and volunteer writing coaches.

Price: $50–75 per student.

Plus: Each student receives books to keep, a copy of the class’s professionally published anthology, and participation in a gala Author Launch at the award-winning Open Books store in the West Loop.