You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.
— Toni Morrison

For centuries, stories have been used to help us learn. They help us see our and others’ mistakes and successes. They help us heal.

At Hypertext Magazine & Studio, we believe that creating art helps us understand our personal journeys and our world. As writers and teachers, we also believe in sharing our time, energy, and skills with community members whose stories have been silenced for too long. So we decided to make it official: as of October 2017, we are now a 501c3 organization dedicated to teaching writing and storytelling techniques to communities directly impacted by violence, people who are rebuilding their lives after being incarcerated, recovering from addiction or abuse, or any underserved community whose collective voice has been marginalized in any way. 

At the same time, we're realists. We understand that, for many people, just finding a safe place to rest can be a struggle. With staggeringly high rates of addiction and incarceration, homelessness, abuse and neglect, we know that creating art might not be a priority. We also know that the path to rebuilding a fulfilling life includes understanding and telling our history. That's why we partner with social service agencies that help people rebuild their lives; part of that rebuilding process could include Hypertext Studio's writing workshops.

WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO

We’re published writers, editors, and highly experienced teachers and we want to teach people the skills they need to tell, write, and publish personal narratives and imagined stories. These ‘narrative’ skills transfer to all writing – including writing emails, cover letters, business correspondence, and resumes.

Hypertext Studio (HMS) has been kicking around Chicago for a couple of years but the pedagogy we use – Story Workshop® Approach of the Teaching of Writing – has been tried and tested for over 50 years.  

Story Workshop’s alternative teaching approach celebrates the diverse voices of every community. This approach, developed by the late writer and professor John Schultz and housed for decades at Columbia College Chicago, closely resembles the writing process and emphasizes the principles of attention, seeing-in-the-mind, and oral telling to help writers discover what they want to tell and how to tell it. It’s a highly flexible approach that can be used to teach seasoned as well as novice writers, old and young.

And since everyone has a story to tell and their own unique language to tell it, Story Workshop® celebrates the writer’s experience as a human being – collecting and mining life experiences and encouraging writers to use vivid language –including dialect. The ideal workshop brings a diverse range of voices and content into the semi-circle, giving permission and challenging students to bring their wealth of experience into the writing.

Our home base is Chicago and we are focused on working with social service nonprofits to help improve their clients' lives. And since all we need to teach a class is a room and willing would-be writers, we're ready and willing to teach anywhere in Chicago.

Since 2010, our online literary magazine, Hypertext Magazine, has been committed to publishing first-time published, up-and-coming, and established writers.

We know that, this first year, the road to securing funding will be challenging but we feel that the services we provide – teaching people to share their stories, to write – is vital.