Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters is a non-profit writers’ center dedicated to encouraging, promoting and celebrating the craft of writing, the endeavors of writers, and the importance of the literary arts in the communities of the Great Lakes region. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the heart of beautiful and historic Grand Rapids, Michigan, GLCL offers reading series, craft talks, classes and workshops, Great Lakes author book launches, teen and young-adult programming, writing contests, consultations with professional regional writers, and much more.
Our goal is to cultivate and foster a dynamic community of writers, readers, students and scholars to share in the joy and passion of writing. Ultimately, we believe the craft of writing is crucial to a well-balanced life; it explores and touches all aspects of the human condition, and should be open to those of all backgrounds and ages—enriching, supporting and documenting our stories.
- hosts poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction writing workshops and courses, taught by previously published and accomplished regional authors
- offers tips on entry into contests and literary awards via our website, our social media platforms, and in our members’ newsletter
- provides information about regional (and national) literary contests that might be of interest to writers via our website, our social media platforms, and in our members’ newsletter
- sponsors an annual writing contest, judged by successful and well-respected regional authors, with monetary awards and/or promise of publication
- aids in the administration of the annual Festival of the Arts Short Fiction contest
- staffs the Writers’ Hub, a space for writers to work on their craft
- announces (in print and online) Michigan-related author events, book release dates, judging of writing contests, and literary news
- hosts select author events, such as the Writers Squared series, Literature in Translation panels, and Art of the Book installations
- provides a venue for readings featuring contributing authors from regional journals and presses
- provides a venue for book club sessions for works by regional writers
- assists in publicity for finished works with online book reviews, author interviews, and/or book excerpts
- features small regional and/or independent literary magazines and presses in our member newsletter
- hosts book launch events in honor of regional writers
- maintains an archive of Great Lakes author books and chapbooks at our venue for use by members
- sells the works of GLCL members in a bookshop in our venue
- sponsors art installations of book covers, poetry broadsides, and/or other multimedia aspects of regional literary works
- creates regional anthologies
- collaborates with local and regional organizations and businesses such as The Michigan Poet, Poetry Society of Michigan, Schuler Books, Bombadil Books, Wealthy at Charles, Caffeianted Press, and more.
- serves on the selection committee and provide submission assistance for nominations for the Poet Laureate of the Greater Grand Rapids Area
- aids in the nomination and selection process for the Poet Laureate of the U.P.