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Reading and Writing in the South

February 06, 2020 | Features
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by Leslie Sainz, Outreach Manager, Hub City Writers Project

We hope you’re a fan of our full-service independent bookshop, The Hub City Bookshop (we’re right next to Little River Coffee Bar, come say hi!). And you’ve probably heard about Hub City Press—the South’s premier independent literary press that focuses on finding and spotlighting extraordinary writers from the American South. But how familiar are you with our diverse literary programming?

The Hub City Writers Project has been cultivating readers and nurturing writers since 1995 (look out for our 25th anniversary book to be published by Hub City Press later this year.) Our organization has grown tremendously in the past couple of years, and we’re proud to say we have a dedicated staff of eleven who work hard to solidify Spartanburg’s literary identity. Here are some of the services and programs we provide to the community:

LIBRARY WORKSHOPS

Every year the Hub City Writers Project hosts six craft workshops—three in the spring and three in the fall. We partner with the Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters to bring acclaimed authors and artists to town where they lead a 3-hour workshop on various craft topics. This spring we’re excited to host prose writer Nicki Salcedo, novelist Tupelo Hassman, and poet Alexis Orgera. For more information on our workshops, including how to sign-up, check out our website: https://www.hubcity.org/workshops.

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BOOKS AT THE BUS STATION

In March of 2019, we unveiled our first free lending library at the SPARTA Passenger Center. Travelers are encouraged to pick up a book from the shelf, which includes advance reading copies of upcoming books, New York Times’ best sellers, children’s books, and Hub City Press books. 

BILINGUAL/MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S STORY HOUR

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with The Franklin School on a Bilingual/Multicultural Children’s Story Hour!  On the third Tuesday of every month, a Hub City volunteer will read a bilingual English/Spanish book to every 4k and 3k student at The Franklin School. In January, we read Lynn Reiser’s “Margaret and Margarita/Margarita y Margaret.”

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GROWING GREAT READERS & BOOKS AS MIRRORS

Since its founding in 2011, our Great Growing Readers program has annually donated ~3,000 high-quality picture and board books directly to elementary school students as they leave school for the summer. GGR serves students at up to seven schools in disadvantaged Spartanburg County neighborhoods.

In 2020, we developed an expansion of GGR that will provide $5,000 worth of new, diverse, and culturally relevant children’s books to all 43 Spartanburg County public elementary school libraries over the course of 3-5 years. Titled “Books as Mirrors,” the program is on track to service 6 pilot schools in its first year.

It’s important to us that we continue to share our resources with underserved areas. If you’re interested in partnering on a literary/literacy-based initiative, please contact our Outreach Manager, Leslie Sainz, at leslie@hubcity.org.  
 

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