The Loft? What? Where? Why Should I Care? [Q&A]

The Loft Literary Center is a hub for literary minds located a short drive from campus dedicated to “the advancement of writers, fostering a writing community, and inspiring a passion for literature.”

As a community center for writers, they offer a wealth of resources that can be overwhelming to pick through, instead we’ll break it down to your most important questions with Chris Jones, Marketing and Communications Director at the Loft.

Why would The Loft be helpful to English students? 

The Loft would be helpful to English students in the same way it is helpful to non-English students. We’re here for anyone who thinks words matter—those that understand that storytelling and writing make our world more connected, more empathetic, and more kind. It’s a place that invites everyone to connect, contribute, and progress with a community of people who that understanding.

What can students find at The Loft? 

The Loft offers many low-cost, pay-what-you-can events designed to provoke conversations around the intersections of literature, culture, writing, and books. A list of upcoming events can always be found here.

In addition, the Loft offers opportunities for all levels of readers and writers through our classes, conferences, manuscript critique, and new programs like our Novel Writing Project.

What opportunities are open to current students at The Loft?

Any Loft offering would be open to students at Hamline, but these include volunteer opportunities, formal internship opportunities¹, calls for teaching proposals, and of course any of our paid classes, conferences, or manuscript services.

Each year, the Loft awards more than $300,000 to Minnesota writers through our grants and awards. Many of the awards are not open to degree-seeking students, but check the guidelines and prepare to apply after the degree.

What kinds of classes are available at The Loft? 

If it has to do with words, we have it. We have long had classes in any genre of creative writing, designed to meet the needs of beginning and advanced students. We also have a large lineup of publishing and career classes which help explore the business side of the writing life. And finally, we’re introducing and expanding a lineup of classes for readers, which aim to help provoke conversations and understanding around some of the most important contemporary books.
Find their list of all classes online.

What kind of financial assistance is there for taking these classes?

All Loft events are pay-what-you-can, with typical suggested admissions of $10. For our classes, we offer a sliding scale cost to the class as well as a scholarship program.
The Loft also has a scholarship program for anyone who demonstrates that they are on public assistance. The scholarship program requires a one-time application and then scholarship classes are offered at 95% off the regular price.

Why should students check out The Loft?

Besides all the programs I’ve listed, one of the main reasons to come check us out is the space. The Open Book space is the first-of-its-kind model in the country, and is a testament to the passion of the Twin Cities literary community.

With our founding tenant partners, Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions, Open Book is a place where the ideas of creativity, imagination, storytelling, and the arts are encouraged, discussed, and shared. We’re lucky to have this space in our town, so if nothing else, come check out the space.

Even if the trek to Open Book blocks you, the Loft has an active digital community. With an active blog space and just-about-to-launch podcast, which will explore many of the issues mentioned above. If you care about storytelling, poetry, or the written word, we’re here for you in one way or another.


¹While there aren’t constantly opportunities listed, they offer fall, winter, and summer internships yearly so the next round of internships should be upcoming. Currently, the winter internships will go live soon.
Header photo credited to Florian Klauer. 
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One thought on “The Loft? What? Where? Why Should I Care? [Q&A]

  1. Though I’ve never taken any of the classes at The Loft, I love that the Twin Cities is home to this amazing resource! I’ve been to The Loft’s space in Open Book and it’s an inspiring spot to simply be to write in. I look forward to exploring their resources more- especially online.

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