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Just Buffalo Writing Center Opens

“How solitary I have always felt, in my writing life,” remarks award-winning author and Western New York native Joyce Carol Oates in her essay “In the Absence of Mentors/Monsters.” She ends her essay admitting, “I think that I am still waiting to be ‘influenced’—by a loving mentor, or even a monster. By someone.”

Recognizing this common feeling of isolation among writers young and old, Just Buffalo Literary Center has made it their mission to provide the Buffalo community with those “loving mentors” (as well as to counteract the occasional “monster”) since 1975. Whether inviting some of the world’s most famous writers to Buffalo through their popular BABEL series or developing young writers through their award-winning Writers in Education programs, Just Buffalo has been integral in creating and strengthening Western New York’s literary community.

While the non-profit already organizes programs in schools around Western New York, it is expanding the scope of its educational programming to ensure that no young writer in Buffalo feels alone. Enter: the Just Buffalo Writing Center (JBWC).

Designed to aid young and emerging writers from across Western New York in the cultivation of their writing skills, the newly opened JBWC offers free “creative, fun, high-energy workshops, while simultaneously providing one-on-one help with writing projects and homework,” explains education director Noah Falck. “There is a need in Buffalo for a creative space where young people have the opportunity to express their voices, and an environment where their imaginations are valued and challenged. And that’s what we want the Just Buffalo Writing Center to be.”

One of the most crucial services the writing center provides students is access to experienced writing mentors. At the new drop-in writing center, Just Buffalo’s knowledgeable teaching artists help young people attain the tools they need to flourish as writers and leaders in the community, encouraging the region’s future literary talents to pursue and fulfill their potential.

Located on the second floor of 468 Washington Street at the corner of Washington and Mohawk in downtown Buffalo, the Just Buffalo Writing Center is free and open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6pm. The primary focus is on students between the ages of 12-18 from across Western New York. Students are encouraged to drop in for one-on-one assistance with homework or independent writing projects. In addition to the regular Writing Center hours, special programs, summer workshops, open mics and other activities are planned.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Writing Center, Just Buffalo is hosting a launch party on Thursday, May 15, 4-6pm. Free and open to the public, it will feature pop-up readings by Western New York youth and Just Buffalo’s teaching artists, interactive writing games, live music, and snacks.

The Just Buffalo Writing Center is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature and the Kresge Foundation. For more information about the Just Buffalo Writing Center, check out or call 832-5400.

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