The West Central Publishing Union is about engaging citizens of all ages in the literary arts, making writing accessible, and building a supportive, growing community of writers in Spokane, from elementary school to adulthood. Nothing is so empowering as sharing your words with a supportive and accepting community, seeing your words in print, and reading them aloud to an appreciative audience. We want as many Spokane residents as possible to discover their creative power with words and feel the thrill of publication and sharing. This will build a more literate community that is appreciative of and participates in the literary arts and has the writing skills and confidence for whatever future they pursue.
COMMUNITY BOOK PROJECTS
One of the many amazing things about Spark Central is that we publish our own literary collections in short-run editions. These collections are often the result of workshops run by local writers and are released at a community reading. These books are produced in limited quantities and always sell out the night of the book release (so don't miss out). Past projects, such as The Periodic Table of Poems, have been a diverse cross-section of our Spokane community, containing teens and senior citizens, immigrants and long-time neighborhood residents, writing novices and established writers. Participants engage in meaningful writing exercises, collaborative workshopping, and a final reading where we celebrate our work together. Each participant receives a copy of the publication, the rest of which are sold to support Spark Central's programs and publishing projects, so we can keep paying the creativity forward.
ELEMENTARY FIELD TRIPS
We are currently piloting a pre-arranged handful of field trips with Holmes Elementary. In this West Central Publishing Union field trip, students depart on a two-hour storytelling adventure where they imagine characters, develop settings, and devise action-packed plots. The field trip culminates in each student receiving a personalized, bound book and the accomplishment of becoming a published writer.
University volunteers guide students in their writing experience, acting as encouraging tutors. Our resident editor, the unseen Penelope Bucket, and her stubborn sidekick hippopotamus, Snoz, interact with students and push their imaginative story-telling abilities.
Each class writes the first part of the story together, typed and illustrated in real-time by volunteers, before students write their endings individually and submit them for publication. Each student receives a bound book with the typed beginning, illustrations, and their own handwritten ending to share with their peers and parents. We hope for each student, this experience is just the beginning of a long writing career.
SCABLANDS LIT BOOKS
As our close partner, Scablands Lit produces an annual curated book called Lilac City Fairy Tales, the proceeds of which benefit Spark Central's programs. Each year, the volumes are packed with talented writers from around the region, and are released at a February performance event that you won't want to miss.