The Writer’s Room, birthplace to more than 1,000 books
E.B. White once said, “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” But what if writers stopped waiting for those conditions and tried renting them instead? We here at Untapped Cities have a thing for co-working spaces: last week we told you about The Oracle Club, the week before it was The Yard. Today we offer five spots dedicated exclusively to writers.
1. The Writer’s Room
Inside The Writer’s Room, via Eamon Hickey at the writersroom.org
High above the hubbub of Broadway hangs The Writer’s Room, a converted loft that’s served scribes since 1978. More than two hundred members pay $600-800 semiannually for 24-hour access to the desks, libraries, kitchen and lounge areas. Like all such spaces, an application is required for membership. You don’t have to be published, but they do want three references that can testify to your seriousness of intent. There’s no doubt that The Writer’s Room harbors bona fide scribblers: members published 25 books in 2013.
Location: 740 Broadway
2. The Center for Fiction
Inside The Center for Fiction, via centerforfiction.org
The Center for Fiction at the Mercantile Library is a venerable institution, and one that does much more than just give writers a space for work. Founded in 1890, The Center for Fiction is an eight-story building that hosts a book store at street level and reading groups and fiction workshops on higher stories. Writers whose applications are accepted pay $100-130 a month for use the top-floor writing space. Perks include discounts on Writing Center programs, though we’re pretty sure they pay the standard rate for bibliotherapy, as offered by the Center’s executive director. For $150, Noreen Tomassi will plumb your troubled psyche in a forty-five minute consultation, and then pass along a list of the twelve books which just might save your soul.
Location: 17 E. 47th street
Paragraph, at 35 West 14th Street
Paragraph is a nifty new writing space founded by a couple of New School grad students. A cozy and hip young institution, they hold monthly readings at KGB Bar (another must-know spot for writers). At $138 to $158 a month, membership here is slightly pricier than at other spaces, but hopefully the frequent lit agent meet-and-greets they host will help you earn some of that moolah back.
Location: 35 West 14th Street
4. Brooklyn Writer’s Space
Though only open since 2002, Brooklyn Writer’s Space now has a total of three locations, including a stake in the Brooklyn Artist’s Gym in Gowanus and a Carroll Gardens storefront to complement the original Park Slope Location. Rates vary widely, depending on how often you want to write.
Location: 58 Garfield Place, Brooklyn
5. Bobst Library
Bobst Library, NYU’s space for the rest of us.
We know that Bobst Library isn’t specifically for writers, but isn’t it nice that they offer access privileges–and more than enough space to knock out that novel–for a mere $375 a year? Prove you’re an NYU alumni or a downtown resident and they’ll cheapen it to $275. This is the library where Tao Lin got his start. We know that perhaps this isn’t the greatest endorsement but hey! he’s published.
Location: 70 Washington Square South