Neighborhood Writing Alliance

The Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) was founded in 1996 by Hal Adams, Deborah Epstein, and Sunny Fischer, and grew out of the "Journal of Ordinary Thought" (JOT), founded by Adams in 1991 at University of Illinois at Chicago. In the past fifteen years, over 1,000 Chicago adults have participated in NWA writing groups in a range of settings, from public libraries and public schools (with parents), to social service agencies and public housing projects. We have distributed over 131,000 copies of seventy issues of the magazine. Neighborhood Writing Alliance participants are regularly featured on WBEZ and excerpted in city and neighborhood newspapers. NWA writers and the journal itself have twice won Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards. The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune listed a play adapted by the Chicago Theater Company from work published in JOT among the top ten plays of 1999. NWA writers are featured annually in the Chicago Humanities Festival and Printers Row Book Fair. The Neighborhood Wr

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