CHWP: Coffee House Writers Project
We are investing in new literature NOW.
Welcome to the Coffee House Writers Project.
*If you are a Coffee House member, head to the Members Blog for your exclusive early access to CHWP content*
Inspired by the WPA arts initiatives of the 1930s, the Coffee House Writers Project (CHWP) commissions original, short, digital-only works from those in the literary community whose ability to support themselves has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As a nonprofit arts organization and a publisher with nearly half a century of experience, CHP wants to help galvanize the book-loving community and support those—the writers, booksellers, and freelancers—who have lost jobs and income but whose work is essential for us to do ours. We want to put money in these writers’ hands as quickly as possible, and we are committed to writing checks at the time of commission.
The CHWP will host new, unpublished work from artists and booksellers (weird is good). We'll pay each writer and deliver the results to supporters, then after a time, make the work public. First up, you'll hear from Eloisa Amezcua and Fernando A. Flores, with others to follow.
At Coffee House, our mission is to create new spaces for artists and audiences, and to let generosity, collaboration, and inclusivity be our guide. Literature matters. It's not just an escape—it offers us new ways to imagine ourselves and our communities; it has the power to inspire individual and collective action.
This is a new way for us to fulfill our mission of making space, even as our ability to gather in person has diminished. We hope the Coffee House Writers Project, just like our books, will inspire readers and enrich communities by expanding the definition of what literature is, what it can do, and whom it belongs to.
What is the Coffee House Writers Project?
The Coffee House Writers Project (CHWP) is an exciting new initiative we’re launching as a way to offer financial and creative support to artists and booksellers.
Is the CHWP different from the CHP newsletter?
Yes! Our newsletter shares monthly updates on forthcoming titles, upcoming events, and recent press, plus the scoop on sales and discounts. It’s our way of staying in touch with Coffee House readers—you can sign up here! The CHWP is focused on creative work from all corners of the literary community. Become a Coffee House Press member to receive earliest access to CHWP content.
What types of topics will the CHWP cover?
You know us for diverse, innovative voices; experimental and genre-bending work; and art that explores connection, community, and political action. The CHWP will reflect these interests and specialities.
How often will new material be published?
We’ll start by sharing new work from CHWP artists every two weeks or so. As our resources grow, this may change—we want to support as many writers and booksellers as possible!
Where will new material be published?
We will send links to new CHWP material directly to supporters via email. After a few weeks, it will be made publicly available on the Coffee House Press site.
Who is invited to contribute, and may I submit? May I recommend you contact someone for a commission?
You don’t need to be connected to Coffee House Press to have your work considered for the CHWP. We're considering work from writers, booksellers, freelancers—book people!
What sort of work are you considering for the CHWP, and how do I submit?
We welcome work generated by your current state of being, but we’d also be happy to see something you’ve been working on or thinking through for a while, as long as it fits the current Zeitgeist. We want to see the stuff you can’t stop writing, but that maybe feels uncomfortably new and weird.
Some prompts: What does it mean to be writing, reading, and working (or not) now? What topics are you drawn to? What helps you generate new work and channel nervous energy? Are you rage reading? Anxious baking? What music helps you get through? Have you immersed yourself in fantasy worlds, and if so, what do those look like? What new metaphors are creeping into your poems? Are you writing down your weird dreams and turning them into stories?
Will the pieces be edited?
Yes. All selected pieces will receive attention from our editorial staff, who will edit work for clarity. Contributing writers will have a chance to review any suggestions or changes.
Currently we’re offering a flat rate of $500 for commissioned pieces.
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