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A Partnership Between Northbrook Public Library and StoryStudio Chicago Aims to Help Local Writers Find Their Voice

Northbrook Writes Logo and StoryStudio Chicago Logo

This year's Summer Reading theme is “Find Your Voice,” and to help with that, we’ve teamed up with StoryStudio Chicago to offer writing workshops led by published teaching authors with unique perspectives. These workshops are a great opportunity to improve your writing skills, find your voice, and share your unique story. 

Northbrook Public Library’s partnership with StoryStudio Chicago lets us offer a variety of workshops led by authors with equally unique perspectives. From looking at big-picture items: like creating a plot and reexamining show vs. tell, to the smaller things that make a surprising difference (like describing sounds and textures), our Northbrook Writes workshops help writers hone their craft. To gain more insight into how this partnership came about, how it’s grown, and what it means for Northbrook Public Library patrons we sat down with StoryStudio Chicago’s Director of Signature Programs Sara Cutaia.

Looking for ways to address the challenge of taking in-person programming virtual during the pandemic, Mike Hominick, the librarian behind the Northbrook Writes programs, reached out to Sara Cutaia, which sparked the popular recurring series. As the library and StoryStudio Chicago continued to partner up, Sara said the partnership was such a success that they continue to use it as a model for their other partner programs. In addition, going virtual has allowed StoryStudio Chicago access to a wider variety of authors and she hopes library patrons will take advantage of the now widened offering of seminars that directly resulted from this.

When speaking about where this unique passion and energy for the programming comes from, Sara admired the Northbrook community’s appreciation for the arts, particularly writing, and said she could clearly see that the community appreciates these programs. She noted that without the library offering these programs, people would have to pay hundreds of dollars to attend similar workshops. Sara emphasized that StoryStudio Chicago and the Northbrook Public Library are united in making sure patrons come away from our Northbrook Writes programs with the “skills and confidence to share their stories with others.”

As we focus on programming this summer that centers on embracing our individuality and finding our own voice, we encourage you to sign up for the upcoming virtual writing workshop, “Your Story, Your Voice with Toya Wolfe” on Tuesday, June 20, from 7:00-8:30pm (Zoom). Toya Wolfe is the winner of the Zora Neale Hurston-Bessie Head Fiction Award and the author of Last Summer on State Street. To register, visit or call the library at 847-272-6224.

StoryStudio Chicago is part of the Stories Matter Foundation, a 501c3 charitable non-profit whose mission is to build communities of storytellers trained to question, explore, celebrate, and change their worlds using the power of story. Learn more about StoryStudio Chicago at