The Chicago Writers Studio is a perfect fit for anyone who doesn’t have the time or money to earn a formal degree in writing, Lavalais said. “Not everyone wants to be published, some people just want to get their life story on record. Hopefully the studio will help people do that as well as helping those who want to be published,” she said. Lavalais recommends any aspiring writer starts with a short story. “The short story really teaches you things that you need to write a novel.”
Lavalais also said the she's noticed a burgeoning writers community in Beverly, spurred by live-lit events such as The Frunchroom, Words By Friends and other happenings at the Beverly Arts Center designed for writers.
"It feels like something is happening here," Lavalais said. "There is no shortage of writers or people who want to tell stories in this neighborhood."
"For years South Siders simply haven't had access to literary events and community-based resources anywhere near the level north siders have. Why should a Beverly or Morgan Park resident have to drive an hour or more in traffic to find a writing community? I don't think they should, and Chicago Writers Studio is one small step toward balancing out those literary inequities."